“Sometimes we tell our stories and sometimes our stories tell us.”

Patti Callahan Henry – The Bookshop at Water’s End

Dearest Readers,

July was busy, a trip back home, visits with family, celebrating our thirtieth anniversary, and learning the rhythms of retirement life. We’ve meandered down country roads, found treasures, and made good memories.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

A portrait of loss and grief, The Year of Magical Thinking is worth your time. Didion opens the door and shares a real and authentic grief. Grief from the unexpected, breathtaking loss.

“‘the ordinary instant.’ I say immediately that there would be no need to add the word ‘ordinary,” because there would be no forgetting it: the word never left my mind. It was, in fact, the ordinary nature of everything proceeding the event that prevented me from truly believing it had happened, absorbing it, incorporating it, getting past it.” –Didion


 The Sea Keeper’s Daughter by Lisa Wingate

“Restaurant owner Whitney Monroe is desperate to save her business from a hostile takeover. The inheritance of a decaying Gilded Age hotel on North Carolina’s Outer Banks may provide just the ray of hope she needs.” from Amazon

Lisa Wingate weaves intricate stories that draw you in with her storytelling, beautiful prose, geographical settings, and well-explored characters.

“How sad, I think now, to live an entire life blinded by the ordinary when the path to the extraordinary waits just beyond the well-meaning prisons of our own making.” Wingate  Great summer read!

The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner

“THE FOREVER SUMMER is a delicious page-turner and a provocative exploration of what happens when our notions of love, truth, and family are put to the ultimate test.”

I picked up Brenner’s book as a Kindle special. The Forever Summer is the perfect summer read, light, yet layered with the nuances of family, relationships, and past mistakes marching into the present day.

A quick, fun read!


The Bookshop at Water’s End by Patti Callahan Henry

This book had me at “Hello!” A bookshop, the geographical location, and Henry’s beautiful prose. It didn’t hurt when I had the opportunity to meet Henry at a book signing. She is gracious, fun, invested in her characters and her readers.

I am binge reading all of her books, I enjoyed Bookshop and Henry so much!

I loved The Bookshop at Water’s End!

Another wonderful summer read!


American Fire by Monica Hesse

American Fire is a true story based on a modern day,  Bonnie and Clyde. A story of love and arson set in a small coastal community in rural Virginia. The geographical location itself becomes a character.

Hesse does a beautiful job peeling back the layers of this intriguing and twisted story.

It is a page turner! You’ll want to set aside plenty of time for this read!

PS: Monica Hesse was another author who visited our local Hub City Bookshop. I enjoyed hearing the back story of American Fire from her vantage point.

Between the Tides by Patti Callahan Henry

New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry portrays a woman burdened by the past—and the choices she must face to break free of it—in this emotional, engaging novel. 

“Nine months after her father’s death, Catherine Leary still hasn’t fulfilled his last wish: that she scatter his ashes in the Seaboro River in South Carolina.  The scene of a childhood tragedy that forced her family to move, Seaboro is the last place Catherine wants to see again.  But on the evening of her thirtieth birthday, her father’s young colleague—whom she once dated—pays a visit…” from Amazon 

Between the Tides was Henry’s first novel though it was her third published novel. Another wonderful read from Patti Callahan Henry.

Coming Up for Air by Patti Callahan Henry

When I told you I am binge reading every word by Henry, I meant it! Her storytelling is worthy of such. And book lovers, let’s be honest, Henry’s book covers are to swoon for! That alone is enough to grab my attention.

“On the Coast of Alabama, there is a house cloaked in mystery, a place that reveals the truth and changes lives…” from the book jacket

Another lovely piece of storytelling and beautiful prose, interesting characters with multi-faceted layers, and a beautiful geographical setting! Love it!

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

I picked up The Almost Sisters for Modern Mrs. Darcy’s book club and I was not disappointed.

“With empathy, grace, humor, and piercing insight, the author of gods in Alabama pens a powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South that confronts the truth about privilege, family, and the distinctions between perception and reality—the stories we tell ourselves about our origins and who we really are.” from Amazon

I loved this book, loved the thoughts it cultivated on racism, and how we as a society treat those who are different from us and the impact it has.

A Thousand Mornings, Poems by Mary Oliver

I went in search of poetry for a myriad of reasons. One, you can never have too much beauty in words. Secondly, poetry quiets my soul, inspiring my own writing. A Thousand Mornings is a beautiful collection and has already become a dear friend to me.

“As long as you’re dancing, you can break the rules. Sometimes breaking the rules is just extending the rules. Sometimes there are no rules.” Three Things To Remember from A Thousand Mornings, Poems by Mary Oliver. 



I hope you find something on my bookshelf that interests you. In the meantime, I would love to hear what you are reading!

Gifts of Grace

I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my own daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. Sharing the realness of life. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.

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In case you missed these posts:

You can find a small sampling of my favorite podcasts here

Inspired: Five Minute Friday

Collect: Living, Collecting, Sharing Stories for Five Minute Friday

Tempted When the Heats Turned Up

Comfort in the In Between: Five Minute Friday

Marriage: Celebrating Marriage, Meandering Through Memories

Generations Lost: Have we given up too soon?

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