It amazes me to no end that 2018 is almost over, and that I’ve barely posted on this blog. My recipe blog is going great guns, but here – where I share spiritual insights and books and other intriguing stuff – nothing. Sigh.
I’ll keep writing here, that’s for sure as spirituality and books and other stuff are important to me. As usual, I’ve been reading up a storm over the last few months. How about you?
There will be one more book post this year that rounds up all of the books in one big gift giving extravaganza. That should be live next week.
Full disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on a link and buy something (even if it’s not the particular book,) I receive a little compensation. I think I’ve made $5-10 over the years of blogging, probably because I’ve clicked on my links – lol.
Peace Like A River by Leif Enger is Midwestern to its core, and dripping in the possibility of miracles that float through this novel like snowflakes. The novel is gripping, haunting, and all of those things you and I love about a well-written piece of fiction. It covers one short year in the life of eleven-year-old Reuben Land and his small, broken family as they race across the cold north searching for his renegade older brother. Fresh like winter snow, treacherous like an ice storm, and tragic and beautiful all at the same time.
The Apprentice by Jacques Pepin. I love a good autobiography and, for sure, this is one. It’s filled with anecdote after anecdote about celebrated chef Pepin’s life, and a handful of recipes. There is a grueling old-fashioned apprenticeships in France, and then Pepin arrives in America. The rest, they say, it nothing but history, and the story-telling is charming.
The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemison (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdom, The Kingdom of Gods, and the bonus material “The Awakened Kingdom.” Back in April, I told you about The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemison; since then I’ve looked for other books in that series at local bookstores, but have had no luck. Finally, I came across The Inheritance Trilogy at a Barnes and Noble; it’s not the same series as The Fifth Season, but it’s a doozie of a series all on its own. As this is a 1400-page compilation, it’s hard
I keep wondering why so many post-current society stories are
In the aftermath of Germany’s World War Two defeat, a lonesome woman and her two boys return to the castle of her husband’s ancestors. There, a disjointed group of women
Looking for a heart-warming novel about girlfriends? Add a little knitting into the mix, and that’s exactly what you get in The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. There’s friendship, love, secrets, and miracles – everything you’d really want or need in a chick-flick book.
Writing about American Buddhist Rebel and Unplugging the Patriarchy is a little like writing about the chicken and the egg. They’re so closely related, it’s a bit hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. For example, American Buddhist Rebel is the teacher’s while Unplugging the Patriarchy is the student’s story; the teacher appears in Unplugging but the student doesn’t appear (at least by name) in American.
Regardless, I did enjoy both. I can’t get enough spiritual biographies, and both books are that. American Buddhist Rebel: The Story of Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz by Liz Lewinson is a more conventional biography albeit written by a student of Rama. That is to say, it’s a flattering biography of an even-to-this-day controversial figure. As someone who’s fairly well versed in spirituality (I spent two years working at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies and writing the catalog/course offerings,) I’d never heard of Rama.
I really loved Unplugging the Patriarchy: A Mystical Journey Into the Heart of a New Age by Lucia Rene. This novel reads more like a fictionalized first-person narrative, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. Who is the mysterious man in the Pacific? Can he stop the three main characters from dismantling the esoteric rings that bind patriarchy into this world?
While the teacher, Rama, passed away in 1998, and his work is carried on by the nonprofit Rama Meditation Society. Lucia Rene is still very much alive and living in South America. Her website offers classes and other teachings online.
If you enjoy mystery and intrigue set in a not-too-dissimilar setting (albeit that setting is industrial revolution England) you just might like this haunting novel by Ian R. MacLeod. There’s a sick child, a manipulating mother, and gritty fantasy. What’s the book? The House of Storms by Ian R. MacLeod
Featuring two sisters who are (seemingly) totally opposites, The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman is tasty. And the novel is not so much about the sisters as it is how they find their way in the world, and how one of them discovers her true passion in some old cookbooks.
Brimstone by Cherie Priest is set in the early 1920s where talented clairvoyant Alice Dartle has just arrived at the spiritualist camp in Cassadega, Florida. Tomas Cordero, a tailor who lives in Ybor City, Florida, is struggling with shell shock from his experiences in the first World War and the loss of his beloved wife. The paths of Dartle and Cordero cross in Cassadega and combine to defeat a powerful enemy who loves fires.
A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams. If it wasn’t for the hurricane, this would be a wonderful summer beach read. And that hurricane is ever-present because the reader knows it’s sneaking up on the characters, yet they remain blissfully unaware of what’s on the way. The story twists and turns to unravel Lily Dane’s family mystery and slowly winds up to that hurricane. The final chapter is thrilling, and the epilogue shows how love stands the test of time. Sigh.
The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell. Cady Drake is a social misfit and down on her luck: her adoptive mother has passed away, and now Cady is alone in the world. She moves forward in her life through her old cameras and photographic skills. When a friend urges Cady to accept an assignment photographing the old carousel’s of Paris, the adventure truly begins. If you’ve ever loved riding on a carousel and fallen in love with the gorgeous sculptured creatures, be sure to add this to your reading list. History, mystery, and a little bit of love are included, too.
Christmas Cake Murder by Joanna Fluke. This quick and easy read is yet another in the Hannah Swenson series, and I read it in one night. There are tasty recipes and a lighthearted look back at the beginning of Hannah’s cookie and mystery empire in the small town of Lake Eden, Minnesota. Charming, as always. Recipes included are: cocoa-crunch cookies, honey apple crisp, anytime peach pie, melt-in-your-mouth pork roast, ultimate lemon bundt cake, Cool Whip lemon frosting, bacon & sausage breakfast burritos, cashew butter blossom cookies, chocolate hazelnut bon-bons, ultimate butterscotch bundt cake, Cool Whip butterscotch frosting, ultimate Christmas bundt cake, Cool Whip white chocolate frosting, and minty dream cookies. If you love old recipes, you’ll thoroughly enjoy my other blog – My Great Recipes Collection.
What have you been reading?