Tag Archives: books

Wednesday Reads: A Reading To-Do List

Wednesday Reads WideEvery so often I go through a book slump. This is the moment when I lose interest in books (yes, it happens, occasionally) and each book I pick up fails to keep my attention. Or it’s the moment when there seems to be absolutely nothing interesting to read.  Since I’m more of a book buyer than borrower, I don’t want to spend my money unless it’s going to be worth it. Lately, I’ve been floating among a few interesting reads here and there. Some I purchased; some I borrowed; some I read; and some bored me and got shelved.

Suddenly, however, there seems to be a plethora of books begging for my attention. Their covers intrigue me and their jacket covers pull me inquisitively into their plots. Here’s a few that I have found appealing and will be adding to my to my Reading To-Do List over the next few weeks.



The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth

A captivating tale of life, loss, and love…Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy–including the identity of the baby’s father– hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest. (synopsis from Amazon.com)






Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker

In the tiny town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, the paper mill dictates a quiet, steady rhythm of life. But one day a tragic bus accident sets two families on a course toward destruction, irrevocably altering the lives of everyone in their wake. (synopsis from Amazon.com)






The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macalister

The  Amazing Arden is a famous female illusionist known best for her illusion to saw a man in half. However, when her husband shows up dead one night after a show, Arden finds herself as the prime suspect.  Now a young policeman who has seen her show must decide if her alibi and story are the truth or simply  illusion at its finest.






The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna Van Praag

Since her parents’ mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta’s dress shop. Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta’s charming tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets: With just a few stitches from Etta’s needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to free a woman’s deepest desires. (synopsis from Amazon.com)





The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

This is what happens when a socially awkward genetics professor decides he needs a wife. He develops and implements a plan to find the perfect wife with a sixteen page  survey. Along the way he meets bartender Rosie Jarmen, who goes against the every correct answer on the survey. Rosie is on a journey of her own to find her biological father.  The reader finds that soon the wife project and father project intertwine to reveal a quirky and romantic love story where the unexpected is to be expected.




The Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

LIncoln O’Neil has landed a job monitoring inter-office emails making sure to report dirty joke emails between co-workers as well as non-work-related messages that clutter up the office email system. The only problem is he has fallen in love with one of the two female employees who constantly exchange emails about their personal lives. How will he ever go from email stalker to potential boyfriend?



I can officially declare my recent book slump is over. Now my only problem is deciding which one to read first!

How about a little help?  Which one would you read first?



Wednesday Reads: Decorating Edition

519dIBQX6QL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_-2For five of the twenty years Keith and I have been married, we owned a home. The other 15 we lived in rented houses and mobile homes. Now we currently live in a rented apartment. Renting a home always made me unsettled, like a constant visitor in someone else home. However, after reading Myquillin Smith’s The Nesting Place, I discovered that no matter where I lay my head at night, I might call it my own because it’s the place God picked out for me. That one thought changed my whole opinion about decorating.

I am NOT talented in the area of design. In fact, if I can’t see it, I can’t do it. My decorating ideas usually fall into one of two categories: Wow-I-can’t-believe-I-did-that and Oops-how-soon-can-I-change-this-horrid-mistake. Once I read The Nesting Place, this décor-challenged girl changed her entire mindset about decorating a home.

My first design attempt after reading The Nesting Place

My first design attempt after reading The Nesting Place

Myquillin spoke my language – renter’s language, that is. She addressed the fact that renter’s often feel “like the unreached people group of the design world.” That was me! I immediately knew that she understood my plight when she revealed that she was currently living – and decorating – a rented home. More, importantly, pictures of her rented and beautifully decorated home are featured among the pages.  I gained confidence that what she had to say could relate to a mere renter.

The first thing she teaches about design (and it’s her motto too) is that “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” As one who doesn’t really revel in the details, I loved that idea. I like to craft every so often, but when a project has that “homemade” look, I simply hide it in the closet. However, Myquillin encourages us to embrace the imperfection. Now instead of hiding the handmade-homemade yarn wreath, I proudly display it.

Homemade Yarn Wreath inspired by Life{in}Grace          blog

Aside from embracing imperfection, The Nesting Place helped me define the purpose of my home. The books lists questions that allow readers to consider how they want their home to make others feel. I created a list of adjectives that I felt were the heart of what my home was about. I wanted my home to be comforting, cozy, inviting, peaceful, and most of all fun. Then I got intentional about how I could create that feeling. Suddenly, I had ideas (borrowed from Pinterest) that created those feelings. My home décor had a defined purpose, and for the first time, I began to believe that I could decorate it in a way that would be beautiful to me.

Lastly, The Nesting Place taught me contentment. I don’t have to have perfectly tailored drapes or fancy artwork. I just need to be happy with what I have. I need to love the mess that daily life creates. I need to embrace the imperfections that produce true beauty.

Not perfect but I'm happy with it.

Not perfect but I’m happy with it.

Even if you aren’t design-challenged like me, you will love The Nesting Place. It offers hope for the non-creative and challenges those who design like pros. Home-owners, renters, and those who simply dream of having their own place one day will glean valuable knowledge about what truly makes a house a home.

PS: You can also check out Myquillin Smith’s (a.k.a The Nester) blog for more home inspiration at thenester.com.