by Leah Hager Cohen
I enjoyed reading about the fear people have of acknowledging that they don’t know something. The book tells of people suffering through a class because it appeared they were the only one that wasn’t in the know. Even children do not want to say, “I Don’t Know“. One study showed that kindergartners, even when told it’s okay to say “I don’t know”, still answered yes to the question, “You know what this is?”, even if they did not.
“Making decisions in the face of uncertainty is part of life.” High skilled rescue workers have to make split second decisions in situations that they often do not know what might be the best choice. We often have to make decisions without having the privilege of knowing the possible outcomes. That can be fearful. “So much becomes possible when we honor doubt.” When we can honestly admit to not knowing, we can open doors that allow us to learn new things. It really is okay to say “I don’t know”.
When Jonell McLain saw a $37,000 diamond necklace in a local jewelry store display window, she began to wonder why personal luxuries were so plentiful yet accessible to so few. Thus began her desire and plan to make the necklace a part of her life. She convinced twelve other woman to invest in the necklace with her. Each woman was given the opportunity to wear the necklace sometime during the year as well as special occasions like weddings, & anniversaries. What started as a quirky social experiment became something far richer and deeper, as the women transformed a symbol of exclusivity into a symbol of inclusiveness. They discovered that sharing the necklace among themselves was only the beginning. The more they shared with others, the more profound the experience and experiment became. The Necklace is an inspiring tale about a necklace that became greater than the sum of its links, and about thirteen women who understood the power of possibility.
This delectable and witty mystery introduces Rosie “Aunty” Lee, feisty widow, amateur sleuth, and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved home-cooking restaurant. After losing her husband, Rosie Lee could have become one of Singapore’s “tai tai,” an idle rich lady. Instead she is building a culinary empire from her restaurant, Aunty Lee’s Delights, where spicy Singapore’s meals are graciously served to locals and tourists alike. But when a body is found in one of Singapore’s tourist havens and one of her guests fails to show at a dinner party, Aunty Lee knows that the two events are connected.
The murder and disappearance throws together Aunty Lee’s henpecked stepson, Mark, his social-climbing wife, Selina, a gay couple whose love is still illegal in Singapore, and an elderly Australian tourist couple whose visit may mask a deeper purpose. Investigating the murder are Police Commissioner Raja and Senior Staff Sergeant Salim, who quickly discover that Aunty Lee’s sharp nose for intrigue can sniff out clues that elude law enforcers.
Wise, witty, and charming, Aunty Lee’s Delights is a spicy mystery about love, friendship, and food in Singapore, where money flows freely and people of many religions and ethnicities coexist peacefully, but where tensions lurk just below the surface sometimes with deadly consequences.
by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Once again another great read by Sawyer! What Once Was Lost tells the story of Christina Willems as she carries on the work of the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor. The Asylum is the only home Christina has ever known. When a fire displaces all her charges, Christina is determined to bring them back together. However, circumstances seem to be against making that task possible. The characters are interesting and the setting takes you back in time.
by Stacy Hawkins Adams
I read this series in eBook format, which I use for my “on the run read”. I downloaded all three books from the Sunflower eLibrary. We do have the third book from the series in paperback on the shelf.
In the first book, The Someday List, Rachelle Covington, the wife of a very successful brain surgeon, isn’t totally happy with her life. While her doctor husband goes off to Africa on a missions trip, she heads back to her hometown and not so wealthy relatives. The characters are fun to be with, even if they do have their own set of troubles.
The second book, Worth a Thousand Words, features Rachelle’s cousin Indigo Burns as the main character. She is growing up and falling in love. Her fiancé wants her to push their wedding plans forward. Indigo wants to go to college and get her career started before she weds.
Dreams That Won’t Let Go, the third book in the series, Indigo’s wedding plans are underway. However, troubles come when Reuben, her estranged brother, comes back home.
by Karen Witemeyer
Stealing the Preacher was a fun read, one I did not want to take a break from.
Joanna’s father, an ex-outlaw for the last sixteen years, holds up a train to get Joanna the birthday present she has asked for. When her father shows up with a “preacher man”, Jo is embarrassed but hopeful. Her mother’s dying wish was for her to continue praying to find a way for her father to get right with God. Jo’s only hope was to have the community church open back up with a man of God to lead it. But would a man pulled from his own agenda want to stay to start a church.
Silas only wanted to give his daughter what she wanted. This “preacher man” wasn’t anything like any other he’d ever encountered in his life time. This man was a working man and not one to take any guff either. But a childhood experience had soured him to any man toting a Bible.
Archer only wanted to attain the position at the church in Brenham. The unexpected delay may cause him to lose out to another. But just maybe God has other plans for him.
by Susan May Warren
When Ivy Madison moves to Deep Haven, she is at home. She came to fulfill the new assistant county attorney position, and nothing could ever make her want to leave. At her first community event, she bids on the wrong bachelor by accident, Darek Christiansen. Although Darek is handsome enough, he is also wounded and angry about the death of his wife at the hand of his best friend Jensen.
Jensen, driver of the vehicle that struck Felicity, was sentenced to three years of community service among the hostile citizens of Deep Haven who thought he deserved to be in jail. The trouble is, Ivy was the one who plea bargained to keep Jensen out of jail. When Darek finds out her part in keeping Jensen in Deep Haven, will he hate her and if he does will she be able to stay? Take a Chance on Me is about family, overcoming, forgiveness, and love.
by Jenny Colgan
A fun light read set in London! Issy Randall a typical 8-5 office worker, who rides the bus to work and shares her flat with Helena, an emergency nurse. Issy has a thing for her boss, and he seems to have a thing for her– at times. Helena thinks she is crazy to keep going back to Graeme who doesn’t want the people at work to know about their relationship.
With a layoff at work, Issy is given severance pay which she uses to fulfill her life time ambition– to own her own bakery as her grandfather had. Of course Graeme thinks she will fail and come crawling back to him, but when the banker Austin comes into the picture Issy’s love life may take a new turn.
Issy struggles with her new establishment, the Cupcake Café, where she becomes very innovative in making sure that it succeeds. Her grandfather, now in a nursing home, sends her luscious sounding recipes for sweets along with his quirky instructions. (They really do sound wonderful, although I have not tried any of them yet.) Meet me at the Cupcake Café has several interesting characters including the ironmonger who resides next door. Watch out! You may find your mouth watering for cakes and your mind wandering to London.
Originally written in 1908, this classic mystery was a great read. “This eerie tale was hailed, from the start, as a classic in the genre, and has been praised as the first advance in the technique of the crime story since Edgar Allan Poe wrote The Murders in Rue Morgue.” You might have your suspicions as to who-dun-it, but you’ll have to wait to the very end to know for sure. When Rachel Innes rented the summer home, she wasn’t prepared for hidden rooms, murder, and intruders. With evidence pointing to her own niece and nephew, Miss Innes decides to keep a few details from the detectives and does some of her own sleuthing.
I found The Circular Staircase to be a great read, I had to remind myself several times of the time frame it was written in. It could very well have been a more modern writing. Many interesting characters and happenings. It reminds me a bit of Agatha Christie, so if you like her you’ll like this one too.
by Mary Simses
Ellen Branford headed to small town Beacon, Maine, to hand deliver a letter to her Grandmother’s high school sweetheart. A simple day trip turns into a week long adventure. It starts off with Roy Cummings pulling Ellen out of the bay, after she fell through a rotting dock. The kiss Roy received, after his heroic act, was the beginning of trouble for them both. Ellen, a successful lawyer in Manhattan, was to be married in only three months to a very prominent man planning to run for political office.
The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café is a heartwarming, day dreaming, at the beach, fun book. I felt like I was in the salt air, as I read it. The outcome was predictable, but it sure was fun getting there. You will meet a few quirky characters with some twists to the plot.
by Kim Vogel Sawyer
The Klassen’s all have large families. Samantha came into the family dreaming of her own houseful of children. Adam would make the perfect father for a whole farm house full of kids. Samantha’s heart is heavy when after five years of marriage their home is still empty. Why would she and Adam be deprived of being parents? Can the love Adam showers upon her and the children of her husbands family bring satisfaction to her heart? Kim Sawyer has a special talent for gathering her readers into the lives of her characters. When A Heart Cries has many interesting characters to become attached to.
by Alan Garner
Conversationally Speaking teaches conversation skills simply and effectively. Most of us converse without even thinking about the words that leave our mouths. In some situations we need to think about the words before they cross our lips, so that we avoid the foot in mouth syndrome. I found Conversationlly Speaking very informative and applicable for many conversations that we may find ourselves in. It is full of helpful ways to avoid getting ourselves into ackward situations. It has helps for our one-on-one conversations, social conversations, as well as handling criticisms constructively. There are tips for when we are dealing with family, friends, and even strangers. It was also enlightening as to how people think and react to the spoken word.
Merrill, being raised by her father and brothers, has become just one of the boys. Wearing pants was frowned upon back in 1895, but when a girl is out cutting ice from the river nothing else will do. It isn’t until Rurik Jorgenson comes to town, to help his uncle, that Merrill starts caring about her apparel. Merrill finds herself losing her heart to Rurik, that is until his finance shows up. I found Peterson’s, The Icecutter’s Daughter, to be a fun adventure into the life’s of the people in this small Minnesota town. As a bonus this book is also available in an ebook through Sunflower eLibrary.
“When my cell phone rang, I’d just finished cutting up my marriage mattress.” Melanie’s husband left her for another woman. Her best friend, B.J., wants her to attend their high school class reunion, which is the last thing she wants. But when an old flame, Finn Miller, starts emailing her, she imagines a possible romance and gives in to B.J.’s hounding.
Melanie’s means of income is the sale of sculptures she creates from scrap metal. Her latest sale, a metal fountain she entitled Endless Loop, has sprung a leak. When she arrives to repair the fountain, she finds the owner, Tim Brody, very handsome and intriguing, even if he is miffed about his recent purchase. And Tim finds other reasons to keep in contact with Melanie.
Time Flies when B.J. and Melanie have some crazy adventures in Mustang Sally, B.J.’s convertible, as they meet and prepare for the reunion. Big times roll with a case of “Tab” and a visit to the tattoo parlor. Phobias come to light when B.J. almost passes out at the sight of a needle, and Melanie has a melt down on the entrance ramp of the highway. Happenings at the reunion are far from any expectations and Melanie longs for home and a special order from Tim.
Zachary North, a man who has spent years in the midst of photographying the horrors of war, must come out to recover from its affects. He isn’t eating, sleeping, or talking. Serena Stone, a second generation photojournalist who had previously covered war in the middle east, is the only person that can help him overcome the haunting intrusions that occupy his mind. Through Zachary’s recovery, Serena discovers many Secrets From the Past leading her & Zac back to the war scenes of Libya to untangle the mysteries of her own family troubles that she had previously never known existed.