Monthly Recommendations March 2016: Stand-Alone Novels

This month’s topic is Stand-Alones, and I have had a hard time narrowing this down.  So today, I scrapped every list I’ve made and quickly went through my physical shelves (except for the Laura Frantz book, which needs to be there) for a few stand-alones that I would recommend but I perceive as being less well known, even if that just means they are less well known than other books by the same author.  In the case of the Jasper Fforde recommendation, I am considering it a stand-alone until the promised follow-ups to this 2009 book are scheduled to be released – partly so I do not become frustrated having to wait, and wait, and wait… Continue reading


The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale


Rarely do I just start reading a book knowing so little about it, and then to find it this surprising and compelling turned it into a 4.5 star (or 9 tissue) read.  Celeste Fletcher McHale took me on a roller-coaster of a ride with this tale of three lifelong (well, ages 5 to 30) friends in a small southern town.  What starts out as a story of a wife whose suspicions about her husband’s fidelity lead to her and her friends hiding her own indiscretion from him, turns into a tale of  love and friendship that had me laughing and crying in turns. Continue reading

Review: Beautiful Uncertainty by Mandy Hale


Book Description:  Bestselling author Mandy Hale, the Single Woman, will help readers learn how to walk with God through the beautiful uncertainty of life with the wonderful certainty of His presence.

Over the years, I’ve read a few books aimed at single women and living the single christian life.  Generally, I’ve found them to be well intentioned, not that helpful, and not quite aimed at me.  Perhaps I read them all a bit too late, as they seemed to be about stages of life I had already passed through as well as being based on a different set of life experiences and circumstances.


With a back cover description that starts out with an all caps statement of “If life doesn’t look like you thought it might…” I was hopeful that this book would be different.  It was. Continue reading

Review: The End of Bliss by Rhonda Ringler Cutler

theendofbliss_cutler_googlepic“It’s 1929, and Edith and Reuben Merkal, a couple from Long Island, are living the charmed life.  Then the stock market crashes, ushering in the Great Depression.  Reuben loses his construction business as well as the house he built for Edith and named ‘Bliss.’  The Merkals are victims of the times.  Even so, they blame themselves and each other for their misfortunes.  At first, Edith watches helplessly as a devastated Reuben does nothing about finding work.  Eventually, she takes a job as a salesgirl, and comes to relish her growing independence.  After Reuben reluctantly becomes involved with Sea Forth’s small Jewish community as it fashions a response to an anti-Semitic incident, he begins to understand the reasons behind his life-long ambivalence toward his religion.  His awakened sense of responsibility towards Europe’s beleaguered Jewish population helps him put his own problems in perspective.” ( from the book-cover)

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Tuesday Talks, 3/1/16: Movies Over Books

Fair warning that some of what I am about to say may upset you, and if you are a super-fan of certain authors/books with devoted followings, I am about to be quite offensive.  I don’t mean to be, it is just that I have certain opinions that this week’s topic is leading me to express.  There are just some books that I prefer as movies (with some really hastily photoshopped images).  Here are the ones that come to mind: Continue reading