No Offense

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The second in this Little Bridge Island series is sweet and full of all kinds of bookish fun. The main character is a librarian and she falls for the island’s sheriff. A few people from book 1 show up but you don’t need to have read it to like this one.

There’s one open door scene that’s pretty tame but otherwise the book goodness in this story makes it for a compelling read. There’s also a bit of a mystery … more than one actually!

“All it takes to get someone to love reading is finding them the right book – a book that can even change their life.”


All That Really Matters

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What a delight!! An author I love reviewed this last week and then I got it from the library when it came out on Tuesday.

It was a delight. A Social Media Influencer seeks out a “mission” to expand her platform. What she gets is more than she ever imagined. The young adults change her in ways she couldn’t have predicted and she changes them too.

Her ideas for classes are fun. Her relationship with the director starts off a bit rocky but is a delightful Christian love story in the end.

After starting it I realized this author wrote one of my top books from 2020 … and she’s done it again. The way she brings in fostering and adoption are quite moving.

“Because no matter how I try to spin it or pretty it up, the truth is getting more and more difficult to disguise: Though I was one of the most liked personas on the internet, I was likely one of the most lonely, too.”


No Judgements

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A delightful, super quick read. Bree has run away after a terrible event to a small island in the Florida Keys where she vacationed as a kid.

Even though the book takes place during a hurricane I still want to go there to visit. The people were delightful!

Drew goes from no one to nemesis to in love with her. I appreciated how confident she was and how it came out in more ways than her relationship. She has a real love for pets too (which while I don’t, I can appreciate).

It’s got one small open door scene, but is otherwise an easy read!

“I was wondering when you were going to ask. What’s the trouble exactly? You don’t trust me not to drop you? Or you’re afraid of falling even more deeply and irrevocably in love with me than you already are?”


The Heart of the Mission

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I’d like to say that the author is a good friend of mine – a long time work friend of mine anyway. This book is the best primer in evangelization that I’ve read, ever! Cande lays out a plan that is simple, not quite easy – but simple enough. Be in relationship with the Lord. Be in relationship with people. Listen to their story, share your own story.

It’s simple – not quite easy. It’s so hard actually. The hardest – and something I feel like I’m failing at every day. How do I share the thing that is the most fundamental to who I am in a way that invites others in? Practice and humility while also not using a script or being overly confident that I know what’s best for everyone.

I can’t wait to have Cande speak at an event I’m hosting in a few months – praying it will be convicting for everyone who attends so we can spread the beauty of the Lord’s story.

“Evangelization isn’t about memorizing all the right Bible verses or knowing all the right theological answers. At its heart, evangelization is just sharing the story of Jesus and how His story gave your life hope.”


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

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Anne Bogel recommended this on her podcast months before it was published. Then it was a Book of the Month selection in October and I had to get it. I chose it for my next book club read because I knew it was going to be worth a discussion.

Addie has sold her soul to the devil in exchange for immortality and freedom. She doesn’t know what she’s asking for – as most of us don’t when we pray to God or anyone other spirit. She gets freedoms and also invisibility. She belongs to no one except herself.

The book brings up two big questions to me. First, what does it mean to love? Second, how does one love if they aren’t free? I used about a hundred book darts, and I can’t wait to discuss this!

“By the time the clerk find the cloths, a ghost of a girl on the changing room floor, she won’t remember whose they are, and Addie will be gone, from sign and mind and memory.”


Christ in the Storm

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I’ve had this for a while and picked it up the other day when I was stretching as a way to pass the time. It’s short, simple and powerful. One of the best things I did during quarantine last March was watch/participate in love the Urbi et Orbi blessing.

It was a extreme comfort in the midst of darkness. And beautiful. The image of the Holy Father in St. Peter’s square, in the dark, in the rain won’t soon be forgotten.

The book has a few introductory sections, then the reading and his homily, followed by the prayers each with an explanation of the history.

I do wish this was a little bigger in size. It’s smaller than a standard book so not really a coffee table book.


If For Any Reason

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I saw someone recommend the second in this series the other day, and since we know I can’t start a series in the middle I found the first one on Hoopla. Started last night when I arrived an hour early for Mass (read the calendar wrong) and the Church wasn’t open yet. Finished today.

She’s been living her life based on these letters from her mom who never knew the whole story. As she discovers it, everything changes.

It’s a delightful story!

“Emily walked out of the theatre and exhaled a long, hot stream. Being assertive sent adrenaline rushing through her veins. It wasn’t like her. She liked to go with the flow, not cause waves. And while she felt confident most of the time, she also avoided conflict the way she avoided long-term relationships – with great fervor.”


Of Literature and Lattes

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Well that was a delight. Another book about Winsome that had all my favorite characters but written in a completely different structure. The first in the series is from three perspectives. Each written in the voice the woman narrates her own story. Some positive first person, some critical third person.

This book is omniscient narration. I think that’s a thing. We see the world from everyone’s perspective. The narrator isn’t one of the characters and it’s lovely. So many stories were shared and perspectives. I feel like I moved in.

I found myself a bit in the stories too. A bit of Janet’s history, some of Alyssa’s resentment, a portion of Becca’s life story. So many wonderful pieces that really felt like real life.

Also it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger so I hope that means a 3rd is in the works!!

“Looking to the past, especially when you don’t know the whole story, won’t get you anywhere. Take it from me—and I don’t mean just about work. I mean life. You’ll make assumptions.”


The Printed Letter Bookshop

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Well this was a delight. There’s a little love story but mostly it’s about a woman finding her way in the world. She inherits a bookshop and it changes everything as books usually do!

She didn’t really know her aunt, but her aunt knew just what she needed. Lessons about how sharing everything honestly with those around us are weaved throughout. As an author I just love said recently “ask more questions, read less minds.”

I loved every page of it and can’t wait to dive into the second one in the series immediately!!

Crazy meant bold, daring, fearless. It was a radiant word, endowed with virtue and supernatural strength. For years, I wanted to be called crazy too.”


Words in Deep Blue

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I can’t remember what prompted me to put this on hold. Something Anne Bogel said on her podcast probably. I have it marked as “from Anne” so maybe her or maybe Annie Jones (my two favorite book recommending Anne’s on the internet!)

Anyway, I started it yesterday afternoon and devoured it. It’s beautiful. A little about love, some about a bookstore, and a lot about grief.

I want to visit the Hallows bookshop someday but it’s closed and also fictional. But maybe, just maybe I convinced a friend who just became a bookstore owner to have their own Letter Library and all of my book dreams can come true.

“The Letter Library is a section of books that aren’t for sale. Customers can read the books but the can’t take them home. The idea is that they can circle words or phrases on the pages of their favorite books. They can write notes in the margins. They can leave letters for other people who’ve read the same books.”