Thursday, September 24, 2020

Strong by Kara Goucher


“This is My Race

I Am Fearless

 I Belong”


From the publisher:  Kara offers a look inside her private Confidence Journal. Interactive prompts teach you how to implement this practice into your own daily training routine.

 Confidence techniques include Positive Self Talk, Setting Goals, Power Words, and Visualization Techniques.

 Inspirational read from a two-time Olympian for boosting confidence!



Saturday, August 1, 2020

My Stylish French Girlfriends by Sharon Santoni

Even though this book is a coffee table style book, I read it from cover to cover. It appealed to my artistic side, as well as my interest in house decorating and garden keeping. It features 20 different French women. Each woman has a few pages dedicated to them with a short synopsis of how they live and a photo shoot of their workplaces and homes. Some of them live in the French countryside, others live in Paris and have a country home, some also live in small villages. Each woman has an established way of life. Their families vary as to being single with grown children to married with kids still in the house and everything in-between. To me, they each seemed to have an elegance to them and the knowledge of how one should enjoy the simple pleasures in life and seek the quiet joys of everyday living. This, of course, is balanced against the busy, motivated life of working. Some of their professions were: selling antiques, country home interior shop, painter (as in on canvas), bridal gown designer, champagne producer, horse raiser, home renovator, and wire sculptor to name a few. So interesting and beautiful, a really enjoyable book.

Monday, July 6, 2020

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

Neurosurgeon Jake Baker reminisces about growing up in 1980's Niagara Falls, the summer when he turned twelve where his eccentric uncle Calvin formed The Saturday Night Ghost Club with him and the new neighborhood kids Billy and Dove. They go for haunting adventures in town and inadvertently past family tragedies resurface... The story is about childhood innocence and friendship as well as teenage angst and rebellion. It touches on bullying, family dynamics and how one's memories shift with changing perspectives over time. Except for the medical description of the brains, it is a good story with layers that I enjoyed.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Magnolia Journal (magazine)

   The theme from the Summer Library Program this year is "Imagine Your Story". I was thinking how a trip is similar to that, having recently gone on vacation with my husband to Waco, Texas (before Covid-19!), where we visited Magnolia SILOS, among other places, it was fun to imagine what it might be like to live somewhere else or be someone else.
   Now, I admire Joanna Gaines, but I fear I could never 'wear her shoes', because, oh my goodness, not only does she and here husband , Chip, have five children, they do a ton of other stuff as well.Starting off with the popular filming of Fixer Upper, which I really enjoyed, and now they have the businesses: Magnolia Marketplace, Magnolia Bakery Co., Magnolia Table, Little Shop on Bosque, and the online Magnolia Marketplace.
   Joanna also has gone into publishing some of her own books and creating the magazine Magnolia Journal. The magazines are really cool- if, like me, you like Joanna's style. So I have enjoyed reading many of the issues, because we do subscribe to it. So, CHECK IT OUT at your Pella Public Library.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Tending Roses by Lisa Wingate

  This was the perfect story for someone like me. The farm where Katie and her husband go to, so resonated with my own life growing up on a small, lovely farm. The underlying current of the story was meaningful and poignant.
   Katie and Ben struggle with their priorities. The importance of earning a living and getting things you want versus spending time with family. Their son, Joshua, needed heart surgery as a baby, so suddenly their finances are not as stable as they were. Also, their is friction between family members, notably strained since the death of Katie's mother. There is tension in the marriage and exhaustion from caring for a baby and now a grandmother.
   Katie and Ben agree to go to the family farm and stay with Grandma Rose for a few weeks until a decision can be made as to what should be done about her. Now, Grandmother Van Gortler is a force to be reckoned with. Her preaching criticism has to be taken with a grain of salt. After Katie spends some time with her, she begins to learn what makes her like she is. Rose's difficult past has definitely shaped her. However, in her old age, Rose sees an opportunity to pass on to Katie sage wisdom gained from her own enjoy the beautiful and simple things, to ask for help when you need it, to be patient, to except others for who they are, to forgive, to help those in need, to love your children.Through a series of short stories her grandmother leaves for her, at just the right times, Katie is given a legacy to cherish forever.
   I really enjoyed this story and would highly recommend it. Lisa Wingate is also the author of the well-known book Before We Were Yours.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard

Earning much recognition in 2019, this children’s book shows the myriad ways in which fry bread is interwoven in native culture in our country. The poetic text and illustrations share with the reader the importance of this traditional food in all kinds of Native American families, despite the vast diversity of native peoples. The picture book format is followed by a lengthy section of author’s notes, which works like a nonfiction complement, complete with citations. Although written for kids, it is age-appropriate for anyone interested in better understanding this culture… or anyone with fry bread memories of their own!

Monday, February 10, 2020

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

During a blizzard, guests in an isolated resort dropped dead one after another. Among them were best friends Gwen and Riley, as well as a writer, a lawyer, a fighting couple and a separating couple. The heavy snow makes driving impossible, roads are closed, electricity is out, even police must postpone their arrival. The remaining guests are cloaked with fear and suspicion among themselves. Secrets form the past surface and friendships betrayed. How much does one really know someone? I was compelled to find out "who-dun-it."