Wearing God by Lauren F. Winner -- the chapter on God as a laboring woman was especially powerful and touching
"Smells are almost always, ... described by 'simile, metaphor, or metonym.' As is God...I devote hours each week - in the classroom, in the pulpit, at my computer - to the task of putting words to my experience, and the church's experience, of God. The whole archive of Judaism and Christianity represents forays into such description. All of these images for God, from vine to shepherd to rock, are attempts to say something about God and how we meet and are met by God. Sometimes the words seem apt. And sometimes they seem as limited and useless as my efforts to describe the smell of a cinnamon bun." -- pg. 73
"When read through a biblical scrim, laughing during a political protest seems to do something even greater than what sociologists and humorologists enumerate. Laughter indeed relieves stress and forges bonds. But it is also a sign of defiance, a sign that the ruler who rules unjustly is not ultimately in control. Because it is hard to laugh when you are terrified or furious, laughter fosters (and proclaims) confidence. If those who laugh now will weep later, and those who weep now will laugh later, then saying that God laughs and provokes laughter is synonymous with saying that God overturns the hierarchies of the world. That overturning will make you laugh or cry, depending on where you sit." (pg. 192)
The House on Mermaid Point by Wendy Wax -- in this book, we spend time once again with Madeline, Nicole, Avery, Deirdre, Kyra, and Dustin (whom I met in a previous book) as they are boated to a private island in south Florida. There they face odds with humor and hard work to renovate the property of a former celebrity.
Grandma Gatewood's Walk -- by Ben Montgomery -- a biography of the 67 year old grandmother who hiked the Appalachian Trial; what a neat lady!
A Promise Kept by Robin Lee Hatcher -- the story of Allison - who thought she heard God's promise to save her marriage -- and about her new life in the mountains of Idaho; a good reminder to pray without ceasing, and to remember God works in realms we don't always see
The Perfect Life by Robin Lee Hatcher -- what happens when your perfect life gets turned upside down when someone accuses your high-profile husband of adultery on a news station? It's a false accusation (right?), but it still casts doubt on your family. Why, God, do you allow such things?
The Promise by Beth Wiseman -- Mallory always wanted to save someone's life, and when the opportunity to travel to Pakistan, marry a man "in name only" in order to expedite his request to come to the United States so his daughter can be treated for leukemia is presented, she travels there. And finds many things aren't what she was lead to believe. It was chilling to note that some of this story - more than I wanted to be true - was based on actual events. Yikes.
Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island by Regina Calcaterra -- my mom read this biography a couple of months ago, and it must have really touched her because she mentioned it several times. I finally remembered to get it at the library, and wow, I understand how it made such a strong impression. Why God gives some people children is beyond me.
Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok -- when we meet Charlie in this book, she is working as a dishwasher in the restaurant where her father makes his delicious noodles. When the opportunity arises for Charlie to work as a receptionist at a dance studio, her world changes. At least when she's not at home where her father holds to the traditional ways. Good book!
Ribbon of Years by Robin Lee Hatcher -- the life of Miriam as told by friends and people she'd impacted over the years. I don't know that I would have kept such a good attitude if I'd dealt with the issues she faced!
Blessed Vows by Jillian Hart -- awhile back I got this two novels in one book at a book exchange, and I slowly read through the two stories. They were not that good, but thankfully the book is now finished and I can leave it for someone who might appreciate the tales.
Love Starts With Elle by Rachel Hauck -- This book goes from Elle getting engaged, being asked to relocate by her fiancé, their breaking up, and her meeting a New York lawyer renting her cottage for a few months. There's more stuff in there, of course, but that's a bit of it.
It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren -- another story involving the Christiansen family. This time focusing on Eden, and her coming out of the shadows and finding her place in the world.
Whenever You Come Around by Robin Lee Hatcher -- when her parents travel to Europe for a three-month trip of a lifetime, Charity comes back home to live at their house while her residence in Boise is renovated. After her dog causes an accident (broken wrist and ankle), she feels obliged to help her neighbor Buck for a few weeks.
God's Gift by Dee Henderson -- an OK story about a market manager, Rae, and her friendship with James, Lace, and David
When Love Blooms by Robin Lee Hatcher -- the story of a marriage of convenience, a young governess, and a dying wife. Takes place in Idaho. A fairly good if not predictable story.
Child of the Jungle by Sabine Kuegler -- "the true story of a girl caught between two worlds" ; my mom read this biography about a German family who lived in West Papua among the Fayu tribe, and she thought I'd like it. I took it with me to the beach this weekend, and read it within a day. I like reading stories about other cultures, and this was rather interesting to me.
Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller -- a story about the author growing up with hoarding parents: a father who liked to collect things, and a mother who shopped too much (QVC, online shopping) and the awful, awful messy houses they lived in and how her upbringing affected her life.