Tuesday, August 11, 2015

In Which I'm Indulging in 2 Massive Pageturners

There's something about summertime's soothing rhythm that just begs you to dive into one or two great big reads, isn't there?

Our schedules are looser, lighter, and free-er than the rest of the year.  Feet propped up {or buried in the sand}, a cold drink at hand, a couple of hours here and there?

Yes, please!

I'm partial to huge tomes, those gigantic sagas and complex stories that span the generations.  Maybe it's the counselor in me.  For I am used to sitting by the hour, listening intently to women's hearts ... their fears, their hurts, their tears.  Their courage, their questions, their victories.

More often than not, we are able to track their painful challenges back a generation or two and see how the dynamics of their family of origin have, in some way, shaped and impacted their own personal here and now.

And then the aha moments begin to hit home, startling insight comes to call, the healing streams start to flow, cleansing the pain and bringing wisdom and growth.

But I digress!

Anyway ... recent weeks have found me paging through Rosamund Pilcher's THE SHELL SEEKERS, looking back with Penelope at her turbulent life and heartbreaking loves.  By the end of the first page, I was hooked.

Set in the English countryside and by the sea, spanning three generations, the oft' times subtly stormy relationships that she has with her children make for some fascinating reading. Throw some priceless artwork into the mix, add in a variety of interesting characters along the way, and this 530 page book was a wonderful escape, a splendid piece of fiction.

And now I'm wading through the real life story of the Kennedy family since the 1960s.  Weighing in at 820 large print pages, AFTER CAMELOT: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF THE KENNEDY FAMILY - 1968 TO THE PRESENT, is a sad and complex saga of unhealthy family dynamics, life shattering tragedies, decisions both foolish and wise, and impressive accomplishments.  And even though dozens of family members' painful stories are interwoven together, this is surprisingly easy reading.

And that's just what I'm looking for right about now.







What books are in your beach bag this summer?

Connecting with Anne
Modern Mrs. Darcy
&
Holley
&
Lyli

40 comments:

  1. I have 8 books on my nightstand that I've started and just can't get into. I'm too distracted and can't concentrate. I miss my summer reads! 3 more days and then I hope things will calm down and I can read. I'm going to start with "The Coincidence of Coconut Cake". You just can't go wrong with a book with a picture of cake on the cover!!!

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    1. A book with a chocolate cake in all its glory on the cover would move to the top of my pile! Otherwise, it's pretty much just one read at a time. Too hard to concentrate on more than one at a time.

      And keep me posted on the big weekend, Val!

      ;-}

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  2. Linda, I love books that consume me, inspire me to finish early so I can continue the story. One you might enjoy, if you have time, is "The Accidental Empress" by Allison Pataki. - great true story. Sweet blessing, friend. : )

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    1. I'm writing the title down even as we speak, Crystal! Nothing captures the heart like a true-to-life story!

      ;-}

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  3. Linda,
    I'm so happy to know you're enjoying time by the ocean with a good book and those are massive reads...Impressive...and a counselor once taught at a retreat about generational dynamics using Abraham, Isaac and Jacob...it reminded me of how much I/we all need God's grace to intervene and we can't escape the dynamics of our family of origin without God's help...many blessings to you, dear one :-)

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    1. Yes, we can find that desperate need for God's grace to intervene and heal those crazymaking family dynamics / the sins of the fathers in the 'secular' books and movies that surround us.

      I guess it goes to show that something doesn't have to be 'Christian' to remind us how much we need His healing touch ...

      Thanks, friend, for the insight you've brought to the table today!

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  4. I remember reading The Shell Seekers years ago. Always enjoyed Rosamund Pilcher's stories. I'm revisiting the loves of my youth this summer. It's interesting to read them again nearly 40 years later, lol. Working through the Anne of Green Gables series now and wondering just how much reading it has a child shaped my perspective . . . . So glad you are taking time to indulge, my friend. Blessings.

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    1. I love the idea of working through a series or an author's works, June! I'm heading back to the library to get another one of Rosamund's stories.

      And yes, there's a time and a place for everything, isn't there ... and that includes indulging!

      ;-}

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  5. Oh, man, was I shocked to see "The Shell Seekers" in the picture! I did read that one. But I'll pass on the Kennedys. I don't need sad, not now...and I grew up with unhealthy family dynamics, to say the least.

    A suggestion, for next summer...Susan Howatch's six-volume "Church of England" series...'Glittering Images' is the first one. They'e about 400 pages each, and cover the lives of a group of clergy and 'hangers-on' from the 1930s to the 1980s. For a bloke like me to like them - and like them enough to read them every couple of years - I figure they have to be pretty accessible.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/08/your-dying-spouse-42-stages-of-grief.html

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    1. The British piece of me is intrigued by your recommendation, Andrew. I'm jotting it down even as we speak.

      Thanks!

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  6. A book on the beach?! You just made me all kinds of jealous with that picture missy!! hehe! <3 - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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    1. Ah, my favorite place on earth ... any spot where there's some kind of life-giving movement of water ...

      ;-}

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  7. I've been searching for a book that will get me hooked and forget about the internet for a while but couldn't find any. I think this is the answer.

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    1. 'Forget about the internet for a while.' No wiser words were spoken, Lux!

      And before you leave the internet, be sure and check out the Modern Mrs. Darcy site for great conversation about good books. Anne is fabulous! The link is at the end of the post.

      ;-}

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  8. Beech? What's a beech? If having lots of water we had our own in June & part of July. :) But getting away sure sounds nice about now. I have an office list and a home list. My home list included We Don't Need Roads: Making of the Back to the Future trilogy. Now a book on Titanic as told by its survivors. My office reading includes Unoffendable, The Emotionally-Destructive Relationship (already read Marriage), and Openness Unhindered.

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    1. A great big YES to The Emotionally Destructive Relationship by Leslie Vernick. You know I'm a big fan, Bill!

      I think this should be must-reading for anyone who feels that something is not quite right in a relationship but just can't put their finger on it. It never ceases to surprise me at how often we tolerate these kind of crazymaking relationships even as we realize we're being swallowed alive by someone else's unhealthy stuff.

      Don't get me going on this!!

      ;-}

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  9. Do not ask me how many times I have read "The Shell Seeker" - I fell in love with it when Angela Lansbury played the part many years ago on television. My best friend and I discovered our love for the same type of books many years ago when we read it again at the very same time!! I just read it again about a year ago!!!!

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  10. Hello Linda, how are you?
    I have been resting this week, not reading anything at the moment. I am glad it is an academic break right now.
    Thank you for stopping by at my blog. You have always patted my back with your comments.

    God Bless Linda

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    1. Resting is good! Savor and enjoy, my friend. Everything and everyone will be here when you return!

      ;-}

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  11. Linda, I used to read fiction when I was a teen and early 20-something, but now I'm so intrigued by the latest non-fiction book that I rarely give the fiction section a second glance. I'm so glad that you are still relaxing and getting caught up in an escape from harsh realities for a while. Are you still vacationing with family? I picture you galavanting all over the Adirondacks with your grand kids in tow as I pray for you each day. I do hope it was a wonderful getaway! Hugs to you!

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    1. On one of the more eventful days, all 12 of us galavanted our way to a hike near some waterfalls. The trip included an encounter with a nest of bees, the oldest grandchild falling into the water while jumping on rocks, and some fun photo shoots before all the action.

      Good times! I'm recovering right about now!

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  12. Linda, I need a new treadmill book and "The Shell Seekers" sounds like a great one (as long as it's not too thick to fit on the reading stand)! I've read a few really, really good books this summer, including "Dear Mr. Knightley" (Katherine Reay), "The Hardest Peace" (Kara Tippetts) and "Let's Pretend We're Normal" (Tricia Lott Williford). Talking about books with other book lovers is so much fun, isn't it? :)

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    1. A treadmill book! Ah, to be so motivated! Hope it fits on your stand, Lois ...

      Thanks for all your suggestions! My to-read list is growing by the hour! Love that ...

      And yes, I love this conversation! I'm glad you're part of it, too.

      ;-}

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  13. Linda,
    I just LOVE stories that span generations too! Have you read Elswyth Thane's series published in the 1940s or 50s, spanning 8 books? Reading the life stories of others' (even if it's fiction) can inspire and help us see ourselves more clearly and I love getting lost in a great story! Hope you are settling into your new home -- and setting up your bookshelves! xo

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    1. I had lots of built-in bookshelves at home and the office in NY. No built-ins here, and not alot of space for furniture. We're starting to talk about a wall of shelves up in the loft off the master bedroom. I'm liking the idea of a cozy nook there ...

      ;-}

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  14. I'm reading way too many books all at the same time. But hey, it suits my ADHD personality. :-)

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    1. Interesting point ... our reading styles do reflect our personalities!

      ;-}

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  15. I tend to read a lot of non-fiction and this has been the norm since my mom passed away until this summer when I rediscovered fiction again. I read "Dear Mr. Knightley" and could not put it down. A good sign that I am healing more. I decided I need the balance again of fiction and nonfiction. Glad you are getting the chance to let your mind wrap around a good book. Enjoy!

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    1. I love to hear you say that you're healing more. It is a long and winding road, isn't it, Mary. And we do morph and change in the process. By His grace, may it only be for good, may we only grow more deeper in love with our Savior ...

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  16. I remember reading Shell Seekers ages and ages ago...but I don't remember all that much about it. I am reading Austen this month. I don't normally read much in summer as I am out of doors as often as I can be. Sometimes I read in the seaside park. I do read more often in the winter when the nights are long.

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  17. Reading outside in a shady space is one of summer's biggest perks, isn't it? Combined with a good walk ... what a blest way to spend a morning.

    ;-)

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  18. You go, girl! You deserve all the time you want to sit back and read big books. :) I'm currently reading Anna Karenina. I started out on my Kindle, but it just seemed depressing to read for awhile and only progress 1%. ha. So I checked out the paperback from the library so I'll at least feel like I'm making progress. It is an enjoyable book though so taking it slow and easy isn't a bad thing.

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    1. An e-reader never did work out for me. I thought I'd love the convenience of not lugging 40 pounds of books around every time we traveled. Not so much.

      Don't you just love the feel of a book in your hand? Especially a heavy-duty one like you're paging through right about now?

      ;-}

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  19. I am about 8 chapters into the new Harper Lee novel, but I am not sure I have the stomach to finish it. It's been lovely so far, but chapter 8 is where she discovers the changes in Atticus. -- I taught TKAM for years, and so Atticus is like an old friend to me. It's kind of like turning Mary Poppins into Lizzie Borden.

    I also read Dear Mr. Knightley last month on my Kindle as I sat with grandpa in the hospital. I don't read as much now that I have a husband to feed, and I rarely read fiction as a result, so this novel was a fun treat. It's light, and it kept me company as I sat up all night in the dark hospital room. -- I also read Melanie Shankle's book on Marriage that week. Very fun! :)

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    1. This, Lyli ... --> 'It's kind of like turning Mary Poppins into Lizzie Borden.'

      ;-}

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  20. You've got some interesting reads! I love getting caught up in a good book. And with this August heat there isn't much else you can do :).

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    1. So many cool books being put on the table this week. Love the conversation, the input.

      Smart bunch of people 'round here, huh?

      :-}

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  21. Hello friend. Glad you are getting some time to relax! Book reading??? Well, I did most of my reading while I worked out during the lunch hour but the fitness center in our office building is closed for remodeling. It's also when I would write (one of the many reasons why there isn't a blog post lately). So I have turned to walking and walking and reading don't work together. BUT when I have time to read I am working my way through Multiply by Francis Chan. Good stuff!

    Love you.
    xoxo

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    1. Hey Girlfriend! So good to see you again! Sorry work isn't being too accommodating to you these days! I know you were able to get lots of good stuff accomplished on your breaks.

      But I'm glad you're here ... and am looking forward to when you write a bit again ... if not online, then shoot me a quick email and let me know how you are!

      :-}

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Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...

Linda

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