Onto another week of sharing my TBR!
1. Jesus Freak by Sara Miles
Publish Date: January 25, 2010
# of Pages: 171
Goodreads Rating: 3.99
Description (from Goodreads): “I came late to Christianity,” writes Sara Miles, “knocked upside down by a mid-life conversion centered around eating a literal chunk of bread. I hadn’t decided to profess an article of doctrine, but discovered a force blowing uncontrollably through the world.”
In this new book, Sara Miles tells what happened when she decided to follow the flesh and blood Jesus by doing something real. For everyone afraid to feed hungry strangers, love the unlovable, or go to dark places to bless and heal, she offers hope. She holds out the promise of a God who gave a bunch of housewives and fishermen authority to forgive sins and raise the dead, and who continues to call us to action. And she tells, in vivid, heartbreakingly honest stories, how the ordinary people around her are transformed by taking up God’s work in the world.
Sara Miles offers a fresh, fully embodied faith that sweeps away the anxious formulas of religion to reveal the scandalous power of eating with sinners, embracing the unclean, and loving the wrong people. Jesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the Dead is her inspiring book for undomesticated Christians who still believe, as she writes, “that Jesus has given us the power to be Jesus.”
Why am I excited to read this book?: While I’m far from a religious person myself, I really enjoy reading books about different religions.
2. The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein
Publish Date: March 20, 2007
# of Pages: 297
Goodreads Rating: 4.07
Description (from Goodreads): There are places that I have never forgotten. A little cobbled street in a smoky mill town in the North of England has haunted me for the greater part of my life. It was inevitable that I should write about it and the people who lived on both sides of its Invisible Wall.
The narrow street where Harry Bernstein grew up, in a small English mill town, was seemingly unremarkable. It was identical to countless other streets in countless other working-class neighborhoods of the early 1900s, except for the â€œinvisible wallâ€ that ran down its center, dividing Jewish families on one side from Christian families on the other. Only a few feet of cobblestones separated Jews from Gentiles, but socially, it they were miles apart.
On the eve of World War I, Harry’s family struggles to make ends meet. His father earns little money at the Jewish tailoring shop and brings home even less, preferring to spend his wages drinking and gambling. Harry’s mother, devoted to her children and fiercely resilient, survives on her dreams: new shoes that might secure Harry’s admission to a fancy school; that her daughter might marry the local rabbi; that the entire family might one day be whisked off to the paradise of America.
Then Harry’s older sister, Lily, does the unthinkable: She falls in love with Arthur, a Christian boy from across the street.
When Harry unwittingly discovers their secret affair, he must choose between the morals he’s been taught all his life, his loyalty to his selfless mother, and what he knows to be true in his own heart.
A wonderfully charming memoir written when the author was ninety-three, The Invisible Wall vibrantly brings to life an all-but-forgotten time and place. It is a moving tale of working-class life, and of the boundaries that can be overcome by love.
Why am I excited to read this book?: I added this book to my TBR when I was on a memoir kick. It still sounds like a fascinating read, one that I would enjoy reading.
3. The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
Publish Date: January 8, 2008
# of Pages: 272
Goodreads Rating: 3.85
Description (from Goodreads): Corrigan opens her memoir with these words: “The thing you need to know about me is that I am George Corrigan’s daughter, his only daughter.”
She continues with an unabashed tribute to the first man in her life.
George Corrigan emerges as an outsized figure of immense good cheer and spirited disposition. A self-assured adman and former all-American lacrosse player (now part-time coach), he shines brightly, and his daughter appears content to live in his reflected glory.
Kelly considers herself lucky for this great touchstone in her life, and her dad’s can-do spirit becomes her greatest asset when she’s diagnosed with breast cancer as a young mother. It is her dad’s pluck and resolve that will see her through the oncoming battles — including the realization that her “cure” will mean the end of her ability to bear children and her dream of having a large family of her own.
Though Kelly writes of her husband and daughters, her mother and her brothers, it is her father’s love that sustains her. And so, readers fear for her when she reveals that George has been diagnosed with cancer, too. It is at this nadir, facing not only her own mortality but her father’s as well, that Kelly finally begins to emerge as a survivor — a wife, a mother, and more herself. Yet, she will always be her father’s daughter.
Why am I excited to read this book?: This memoir seems like a sweet memoir about a daughter’s relationship with her father. As someone who grew up as a “daddy’s girl,” I think this book would resonate with me.
4. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Publish Date: January 23, 2007
# of Pages: 407
Goodreads Rating: 4.09
Description (from Goodreads): High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It’s an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle’s hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.
But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he’s there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena’s sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom–an impossible union it’s up to Jena to stop.
When Cezar’s grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can’t imagine–tests of trust, strength, and true love.
Why am I excited to read this book?: A book about magic, family, and darkness? It’s little wonder this book made my TBR!
5. Savvy by Ingrid Law
Publish Date: May 1, 2008
# of Pages: 342
Goodreads Rating: 3.97
Description (from Goodreads): For generations, the Beaumont family has harbored a magical secret. They each possess a “savvy” -a special supernatural power that strikes when they turn thirteen. Grandpa Bomba moves mountains, her older brothers create hurricanes and spark electricity . . . and now it’s the eve of Mibs’s big day.
As if waiting weren’t hard enough, the family gets scary news two days before Mibs’s birthday: Poppa has been in a terrible accident. Mibs develops the singular mission to get to the hospital and prove that her new power can save her dad. So she sneaks onto a salesman’s bus . . . only to find the bus heading in the opposite direction. Suddenly Mibs finds herself on an unforgettable odyssey that will force her to make sense of growing up-and of other people, who might also have a few secrets hidden just beneath the skin.
Why am I excited to read this book?: This book sounds fantastic, though I originally added the book because I fell in love with the cover.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?