My nightstand is straining under my to-be list. Books I’m reading now, books I plan to read next, books I’ve read and tend to keep close by like the best of friends. For instance, right now, I’m rereading Tozer’s The Pursuit of God. I get more out of that work every time I read it and I couldn’t recommend it more. My reading tastes are eclectic to say the least. Here are a few of my other latest, greatest favs:
Forever Friday by Timothy Lewis
Every Friday, a postcard.
Every Friday, a love poem.
Every Friday for sixty years.
Adam Colby is just doing his job, sorting through the unsold Alexander belongings after the estate sale. He is unprepared for what he finds in an old photo album, overlooked by the bargain hounds and treasure hunters—six decades of postcards and poems from Gabe Alexander to his wife, Pearl. The mystery of the Alexanders’ love entices Adam, a man unhinged by divorce and puzzled by the depth of commitment that he finds in the unabashedly romantic cards.
Forever Friday invites you to travel back in time to the early twentieth century Texas Coastal Bend where a young couple—Gabe and Pearl Alexander—are swept up in a miraculous love. As the heartwarming, pulse-quickening story of their relationship develops through Gabe’s poems, the Alexanders reveal a new way to consider what it means to be truly devoted to each other. Could the secrets of their love affair, laid to rest twenty years ago, hold the key to one man’s future?
My thoughts: Forever Friday could be an excellent marriage manual or an important resource for those in the senior care industry, though it’s not meant to be either. It’s a passionate love story that moves effortlessly back and forth through time and carries us all to the most hopeful of conclusions: Not only does enduring love exist, it thrives when purposed.
Becky Johnson and her daughter Rachel Randolph come from a long line of laughter. The female side of her family tree is dotted with funny storytellers, prolific authors, hospitable home cooks, and champion chatters. In We Love, We Laugh, We Cook, Becky—a butter and bacon loving mama—and Rachel—a vegan bean eating daughter—share stories of their crazy, wonderful, and sometimes challenging lives as Rachel becomes a mother herself. Becky is messy; Rachel craves order. Becky forgets what month it is; Rachel is an organizational genius. (At least before baby arrives.) Sprinkled throughout are the lip-smacking, nourishing recipes they love to make and share. From food for a family reunion of thirty, to lunch for a party of one in a high chair, to a hot meal for a sick friend, the authors demonstrate grace, acceptance, and love to others through the bonding gifts of humor, attentive listening, and cooking … whether diners prefer beef or tofu in their stew.
My thoughts: Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, I read this a while back and one half of the writing team is married to my agent, (and Julie’s), I haven’t had a chance to talk to y’all about it and I couldn’t wait any longer. I loved this book and not just because Becky and Rachel’s relationship reminds me so much of mine and my daughters. And not just because the food sounds so good. It’s all of that and the belly laughs layered along the way. Don’t miss it. This is what I had to say in the endorsement, “Surely one of life’s greatest pleasures has to be gathering around a table of delicious food to share our favorite stories with family and friends. In We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook, this mother daughter duo gives us an abundance of both.”
And finally, I give you a little gem of a book I just found:
Know someone FRAZZLED this December?
Know someone SAD this holiday?
Know anyone IN THE DARK about the point of Christmas?
. . . Want to light up their tree a bit?
A Better December casts ancient King Solomon as a farsighted author who penned his famous Proverbs to coach modern people through the stress and melancholy of the Christmas holidays. With a zippy style and playful mood, Steve Estes’s little volume moves from the sage’s clever holiday tips to a gentle but compelling introduction to the One behind Christmas. It is spread with poignant, but not sappy, true stories. Pint-sized and pen-and-ink-illustrated, A Better December is intended as a book to give at Christmas.
My thoughts: Calm down, y’all. This is not a store putting up Christmas decorations alongside the school supplies sort of thing. It’s about relieving the pressure of Christmas before it can even begin to build. It’s about going into the holidays with an entirely new perspective, courtesy of a priceless little book with whimsical drawings and wisdom multiplied entitled A Better December.
The truth is, I get a lot of book galleys and radio requests. When I was contacted about this one and asked to consider the author as a guest on ATS LIVE, I scanned the media kit and responded that I was interested. It sounded like something I would enjoy, and it was.
I’m glad I followed up on that email. A Better December by Steve Estes felt like a case of perfect timing for this busy belle. Once I read it, I knew I’d want to tell all my friends and family about it. Could there be a better review? Grab one for yourself and a friend. They’ll thank you later!
Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is an author, speaker, and radio host known as the Belle of All Things Southern who firmly believes, “The whole world stops for a story.”
What are you reading?