We all go through challenges and struggles that occasionally wreck us. If it hasn't happened to you yet, it will. That's the way life works sometimes. We have to live through a pain that we never expected or a challenge that restructures our entire life plan and sometimes that brings us to a place we can't handle, can't face, or simply just don't want to.
I read Let Hope In over a weekend and highlighted so many passages, I should have just highlighted the whole book. Though I'm not currently in a place of need, this book spoke to me through my past experiences and I know it will help so many readers through dark places.
Wilson focuses on four specific choices that can change your outlook on your situation and allow you to truly let hope in.
1. Choosing to Transform Instead of Transfer 2. Choosing to Be Okay with Not Being Okay 3. Choosing to Trust Rather than Please 4. Choosing to Free People Rather Than to Hurt Them
The book is Scripture-based and uses Biblical references in an excellent way. The point is made, but it's not overkill. The text is very readable and made for a quick read -- minus all the time I spent highlighting.
This is one I'll keep on my shelf to reference when I have a friend in need (or myself!). The writing is excellent and the subject matter always necessary to have on hand.(less)
Luke Brandford never imagined he would land in Watervalley, a tiny rural town nestled in the mountains of Tennessee. When he became a doctor, he always imagined he'd remain in a large city, conducting research to help find cures for the diseases he'd been taught to treat, yet the offer of a practice in this town made the ability to pay down the student loan debt he'd built up and Watervalley was where he landed.
Adjusting to small town life proved difficult, with one mishap after another, typically ending in embarrassment on Luke's part and leaving the people of the town laughing at their new doctor. Challenge after challenge confronts him and though he does see the charm in Watervalley, it takes a long time before he's not wanting to run back to the big city.
The residents of the town truly make this book what it is and I was reminded the entire time I was reading of Jan Karon's Mitford novels. Jeff High really hit some high points with his quirky cast of characters and their charming small town life, which was just what I needed in this reading slump. I found myself chuckling on most pages -- always a good thing when reading a book like this.
My few criticisms really had to do with the chapter transitions. I hate to call them corny, but that's exactly what they came off as. I also felt the actual medical jargon sometimes felt forced. Jeff High has a background in the medical field and he obviously knew what he was talking about, but in the midst of this particular plot, the language didn't quite feel authentic.
I was definitely charmed by the story and the characters, despite the few flaws I found, and I'm anxious for the second book. Sometimes I really need a book with a homey feel and this fit the bill perfectly. (less)
In our house, Ashley Wolff's Baby Bear Sees Blue is a daily read. When it first showed up in my mailbox, I fell in love with the sweet illustrations and the unique way of teaching colors and just recently E started enjoying it too. He's finally getting to the point where he'll sit through longer books and it's definitely a favorite.
Though usually pretty informed when it comes to new releases, I had no idea a companion book was being published! I was thrilled to see Baby Bear Counts One show up at my door and it's just as fantastic as its predecessor.
A beautiful autumn theme is woven through the pages as Baby Bear discovers different things around him. There's one woodpecker, two squirrels, three beavers, and so on, all getting ready for winter to come.
We're working on counting with E and this book is a wonderful way to point out new animals, while learning to count them. He's obsessed with squirrels, so I was very happy to see those acorn-gathering animals on one of the very first pages! Ending with snowflakes was perfect and is a great gateway to talking about the next season.
I love Wolff's illustrations with their beautiful lines and the soft color palatte. I know Baby Bear Counts One will be another popular book on our shelves. (less)
I'm quite obviously not a guy, but I think the Josh's emotions were spot-on. The writing was beautiful and intriguing and Josh was a great main charac...moreI'm quite obviously not a guy, but I think the Josh's emotions were spot-on. The writing was beautiful and intriguing and Josh was a great main character. He was hurting from his decisions and his loss, yet didn't want to exhibit those feelings to the world. He just wanted to be alone with his thoughts. The secondary characters were perfectly done and the plot was relevant. One of my favorites this year.
Interesting read. I've never believed in the "only children are always spoiled" mentality, but I do occasionally worry about loneliness. This book hel...moreInteresting read. I've never believed in the "only children are always spoiled" mentality, but I do occasionally worry about loneliness. This book helped explain why my child won't necessarily be lonely or isolated for not having siblings. I did find some portions a bit dry and repetitive, so I ended up skimming. (less)
Journey, written and illustrated by Aaron Becker, is a powerful story of imagination. A little girl, bored and lonely, wants desperately for someone to play with her. When she's turned down time after time, she decides to maker her own fun and journey to another world in a special red boat. When captured by an evil emperor after performing an act of kindness, she must rely on kindness in return to make her escape and head for home.
I love wordless picture books, when done right, with an easy-to-follow story, and this one is illustrated so beautifully that you can't help but fall in love with this little girl's adventure. It's one of those special books that should be on everyone's shelves!(less)
The first 50 pages were great and totally drew me in. I really liked the author's writing style and the flow of the book. Then, slowly, I realized how...moreThe first 50 pages were great and totally drew me in. I really liked the author's writing style and the flow of the book. Then, slowly, I realized how much I disliked the main character. As they mystery of what lead her to end up at the riding camp was slowly revealed, I liked her less and less... then the last 3/4 of the book just made me feel gross. I finished it, but overall, really didn't care for it. Sad :((less)