What Book Has You Hooked?

We have thousands of books in our home. No kidding. We have bookshelves in every room, and they are stocked end to end. We also have baskets of books, stacks of books, piles of books, and boxes of books. No doubt, we never lack for a direct route to escape.

Now that I think about it. Maybe it’s time for me to make this official.

(clear throat) “My names is Julie Cantrell. I have an addiction. My addiction  is books.” May the 12 steps begin.

Yesterday, when my mother-in-law began searching for a book to read, I kept mum, giving her the time and silence to choose the right book for her. It’s a magical experience, really. Diving into a sea of stories and waiting to discover which title rises to the surface, discovering that one shiny tale that catches your heart by the hook.

10421615_10152612770719308_2064042904116025046_nHere’s the title my mother-in-law took with her to the porch, which is – I must admit – the best place in the world to escape into fiction. My little porch has given birth to stories and welcomed them home. It’s a sacred space. Go gently into that warm light, friends.

Seeing my husband’s mother in our rocking chair, reading Lisa Wingate’s book — well, I just had to share the smiles.

What book have you found today? I’m currently diving into a heavyweight, and one heck of a good read (not for the gentle soul). It’s dark, graphic, and intense, but I can’t put it down. Flying Shoes, by Lisa Howorth indeed has me hooked.

Share yours and happy reading!


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Julie Cantrell

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author at Harper Collins Christian
Julie Cantrell is a tree-hugging organic-farm girl and mother of two who happened into a mid-life adventure as a novelist. She's having fun parenting, writing, teaching, speaking, and living the dream.

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    • Julie Cantrell says

      Ohhh. Bonnie..those are TWO I haven’t read! Thanks for the tip. I’ll add these to my TBR list right this second. Thanks! j

    • Julie Cantrell says

      Indeed, Denise…The Story Keeper is one of my favorites of all Lisa’s books. She is honestly the most prolific author I know. I don’t have any idea how she cranks out two books a year. i just sit in awe. j

  1. Jackie Smith says

    I love, love to read…..mostly Christian fiction. After meeting Denise on this blog, I made sure that I read all of her books! Then read Lisa’s The Tidewater Sister’s and anxiously waiting for the Story Keeper. Had read Julie’s ITF and WMM…and am ready to dive into Kellie’s two…MOP and A Woman of Fortune.
    I do appreciate you great “belle” authors!

    • Julie Cantrell says

      Jackie, wow…I’m so honored! Thanks for your tremendous support and we are thrilled every time you join us here on the porch. Keep visiting! And sharing all the good reads you discover. Cheers, j

  2. says

    Ah…..summer and books go hand-in-hand! And your mom-in-law chose a good one. Thanks Jackie for including Mother of Pearl and A Woman of Fortune in your reading pile!

    Great post, Julie……happy reading, everyone!

  3. Lisa Wingate says

    I have to admit, I’m just writing and editing right now *sigh.* Looking forward to hitting some books in the fall. My Kindle is stacked and so is my reading shelf!

    I love it that your mother-in-law picked up Wildwood Creek. Love the idea of it spending time on your magical porch 😉


  4. Lisa says

    I just finished “The Wedding Dress” by Rachel Hauk and next is “Once Upon a Prince”.
    I have a TBR list – all by the Belles!!

  5. NanN says

    I just finished Mississippi Cotton by Peter Yarborough and absolutely loved it. Young Jake’s thoughts are so genuinely voiced in a story filled with events that would often have me pause, in between chapters, to consider what my actions might have been. I also laughed at so many thoughts that popped into Jake’s young head. The author really captured the essence of how young boys look at life.

    • Julie Cantrell says

      NanN —- Paul Yarborough is a friend of mine. I endorsed that book and even served as a critique partner for him. I loved that story and am so glad to see you mention his book here. Thanks for reading Southern Lit! j

      • NanN says

        Julie, it wasn’t until I had finished the book that I noticed your connection … and smiled BIG TIME to see it.

  6. Gin Tadvick says

    I am currently reading God’s Guest List by Debbie Macomber and From Stress to Stillness by Gina Lake.
    Julie – I really identified with you regarding all the books. I’m pretty sure that every room in my house with the exception of the Dining room has at least one bookcase – large or small. I started cataloging all of them into Readerware and stopped when I hit over 1500. I swap a lot of my books so that someone else can enjoy them but my daughter and I definitely have our “collections”. And I delight in leaving books on her bed (after I have read them of course) so that when she comes home from college, she has new and different options to choose from when she wants a good read! Thanks for sharing the Addiction. Personally, I don’t think I want to go to Rehab – so no 12 steps for me. I would rather be a book pusher!

    • Julie Cantrell says

      Readerware…that’s a new on on me…gonna go check that out. I could really use some kind of organization here. Thanks!

  7. Velma Hunsucker says

    I have read many books this summer. My two favorites are The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate and The Bridge Tender by Marybeth Whalen. I am almost done with Diann Hunt ‘ s For Better or For Worse, then I am determined to finish Secrets Over Sweet Tea by Denise Hildreth Jones before I head back to work. I am also working on the A Year of Weddings novella series. I still have a huge stack of books and a Kindle full of books in my TBR pile. So many books, so little time.

    • Julie Cantrell says

      Fabulous choices, Velma. Sounds like you are having a fantastic summer! Nothing better than stories and sunshine. Cheers, j

  8. Miriam Lozano says

    I have read many books since reading the Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate back when it first came out. Then I got chosen to be a Sister in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Book and read the Story Keeper. It got me hooked on Lisa and I went on to read Tending Roses and so now I am just going through that series. Reading Good Hope Road right now and I just can’t seem to get away from this idea of “keeping stories”, writing down my history, journals and all of that. So, I guess you can say that I am holding on to all books Lisa Wingate right now because I love her humor, the way she describes things, the quotes that stay with you. Sorry Julie, but I will get to your books as soon as this phase in my life is over.

    • Julie Cantrell says

      Ha, Miriam, you’re making me smile. you cannot go wrong with Lisa…great choice! Enjoy all those wonderful adventures she’ll take you on, and thanks for joining our porch chat. Happy Reading! j

  9. says

    Last night I finished ONE FOOT IN EDEN by Ron Rash. It was his first novel and written in the first person in comparison to his third person works such as SERENA. I absolutely loved it. He was a master from the start!

    • Julie Cantrell says

      Ha…Oh, sweet EvaMarie! Wow…what a nice surprise to find THAT kind comment on the porch today. Thank you…honored…tremendously. Thanks for the smiles, too. Cheers, j

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