Book and Beach

Summer 2019 Reading Favorites

Find some time to rest and relax with a great book.  

Arrow clipart#11

(I am an Amazon Affiliate so you can click on the book title or book picture to go directly to Amazon to purchase). 

        No time to Read!  I listen to many of my books using Audible.  It’s a great way to get more reading into your life while you do mundane tasks like cleaning, dishes, walks, etc.  Click on the word Audible or in the sidebar to try it out!  Let me know if you  enjoyed one of these books and I’m always looking for another good book to read if you’d care to share your favorites with me.

Follow the River  (fiction) by James Alexander Thom

Follow TheRiver
Follow TheRiver

What it’s about:  Mary Ingles was 23, happily married, and pregnant with her third child when Shawnee Indians invaded her peaceful Virginia settlement in 1755 and kidnapped her, leaving behind a bloody massacre. For months they held her captive. But nothing could imprison her spirit. With the rushing Ohio River as her guide, Mary Ingles walked one thousand miles through an untamed wilderness no white woman had ever seen. Her story lives on – extraordinary testimony to the indomitable strength of one pioneer woman who risked her life to return to her own people.

Why I liked it:   This book is raw, painful, and the most amazing true story of what the human body and soul can endure.  From riding a horse for days after giving birth, to eating bugs to survive, this courageous story will keep you captivated and heartbroken from beginning to end.  Although I give this book a five star, it comes with a warning that it is extremely hard to read some parts.

Mr. Churchill’s Secretary  (fiction) by Susan Elia MacNeal

What it’s about: London, 1940. Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none of this deters Maggie Hope who possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her indefatigable spirit and remarkable gifts for codebreaking, though, rival those of even the highest men in government, and Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance she could never have imagined—and opportunities she will not let pass. Ensnared in a web of spies, murder, and intrigue, Maggie  unravels a mystery that points toward her own family’s hidden secrets, and discovers her quick wits are all that stand between an assassin’s murderous plan and Churchill himself.

Why I liked it:  A blend of historical fact and fiction, I found this inside look into the life of a wartime secretary fascinating.  The plot swirls with lively characters and mystery that keeps you reading on.  This is the first book in the Maggie Hope series, so you’ll have plenty more to read if you liked this one.  

We Were the Lucky Ones   (fiction) by By Georgia Hunter

We Were the Lucky OnesWhat it’s about:  It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer.  But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world. As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere. 

Why I liked it:  Another hard book to read, but so worth it!  I knew nothing about  Polish history during World War II, and this book does a wonderful job  describing the lives of ordinary people struggling to endure.  You will cry, hope, and rejoice with these characters and be inspired to never complain about the hardships of your life. Beautifully written by a grand daughter. 

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding   (fiction) by By Jennifer Robson

The GownWhat it’s about: London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown. Intertwined is the modern story of a granddaughter, living in Toronto, who received the legacy of a piece of fabric left by her late grandmother, that resembles the Queen’s wedding dress. 

Why I liked it:  This is a heartwarming story of friendship between two unlikely women thrown together by their embroidery skills and their need to survive the hardships in post-war Britain.  They are simple, hard-working women surrounded by the fashion world of the wealthy.  The author does a fascinating job telling their story through the discoveries of a granddaughter who never really knew her grandmother’s past.  Not a page turner, but still a very enjoyable read. 

Where the River Ends   (fiction) by Charles Martin

What it’s about:  He was a fishing guide and struggling artist from a south George trailer park. She was the beautiful only child of South Carolina’s most powerful senator. Yet once Doss Michaels and Abigail Grace Coleman met by accident, they each felt they’d found their true soul mate. Ten years into their marriage, when Abbie faces a life-threatening illness, Doss battles it with her every step of the way. And when she makes a list of ten things she hopes to accomplish before she loses the fight for good, Doss is there, too, supporting her and making everything possible. Together they steal away in the middle of the night to embark upon a 130-mile trip down the St. Mary’s River—a voyage Doss promised Abbie in the early days of their courtship.

Why I liked it:  This is a love story and no one does it better than Charles Martin.  Told from the prospective of the care-giver, Doss, it takes the reader into the life of the heart wrenching pain of loving and caring for a mate until the end.  I laughed and cried through this powerful, tender, emotional book.  

Make Something Good Today   (non- fiction) by Ben & Erin Napier

MakeSomethingWhat it’s about:  Long before their hugely popular TV show, an expanding family, or demolition day on their dream home, Erin began keeping a daily online journal to help her stay focused on the positive and count her blessings in life. She never expected that her depictions of small-town life in the tiny swath of Mississippi where she Ben call home would catch the eye of a television producer and set them off on the journey of a lifetime.   Make Something Good Today offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the struggles and triumphs of a couple that America has come to know and love for their easy humor, adoring relationship, and ability to utterly transform a place into something beautiful and personal. 

Why I liked it:  This sweet love story of two young people  struggling with all the questions of life  – vocation, health, family, etc., is so genuine and humble, it will touch your heart.  Their openness, positive attitude, and honestly will only make you love them more and give you encouragement for how God leads even in the dark times.

Walking on Water  (non- fiction) by By Madeleine L’Engle

WalkingonWaterWhat it’s about:  In this classic book,Madeleine L’Engle addresses the questions, What does it mean to be a Christian artist? and What is the relationship between faith and art? Through L’Engle’s beautiful and insightful essay, readers will find themselves called to what the author views as the prime tasks of an artist: to listen, to remain aware, and to respond to creation through one’s own art.

Why I liked it:  This book truly is a classic that I could read over and over again.  It is filled with pearls of wisdom and encouragement for the artist.  Walking on Water speaks to your heart on both faith and creativity.  Practical, spiritually deep, and full of amazing quotes to refresh your soul.  A must read for Christian creatives. 

Feature Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.