An Open Book [Dec2018]

New release in YA dystopian, plus classics, and Christmas tearjerkers abound in this month’s reads. Want more? Carolyn Astfalk with Catholic Mom has a first Wednesday of the month book review linkup!

open-book-logo2018

No Sabbath Rest Book Talk for December or January, so here’s what we’re reading chez nous.

Check out An Open Book, a monthly book review linkup I forget where I found a list of historical picture books around the Christmas theme, but Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story by Cynthia Rylant was on there. We got it from the library, and in spite of reading it myself ahead of time, I couldn’t get through the read-aloud process without needing to stop a few times for the lump in my throat to clear, which it never fully did. It was a good opportunity to ask my audience to take over (this is someone who says she hates reading aloud). It’s the story of a rich man who, once helped by the people of Appalachia, decides he owes them a debt, so every year, he stands on the back of a train going through the mountains and throws silver packages of gifts to the children. Little Frankie always hopes he’ll get a doctor kit, but instead he gets other toys alongside practical gifts like warm clothes. Frankie grows up and realizes that, in spite of his childhood disappointment, he, too, owes a debt. Five stars, three Kleenex to Silver Packages.A1PlaceHolderElizabethRedRoseThe Royal Diaries series has long been a favorite in our house full of girls who love history. Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor is the book the youngest just picked up, after her sisters read it several years ago. I’m hoping to get a chance to read it at some point after she’s in bed and before it has to go back to the library.  A1PlaceHolderEmmaBookCoverMiddle Dumpling is reading Emma, the only Jane Austen book I’ve never read. For some reason, this one never appealed to me (as much as I liked Clueless), but Middle Dumpling seems to be enjoying it in what little spare time she has; she’s taken on an ambitious course load and is kicking its but, if I may brag on her thusly.

I admit I’ll probably read Emma before you’ll get me to give Krisin Lavransdatter or any Russian novels another try.   I’m more of a romance and action reader than a wallower in despair.

A1PlaceHolder

 

TheManInTheIronMaskCoverSpeaking of romance and action, Oldest Dumpling has been given a “free choice reading” assignment for school, and it looks like she went with The Man in the Iron Mask. Love Dumas.  Love love love. I’ve not read this one yet, but I’ll probably pick it up even before Emma.A1PlaceHolderRavenmasterAnd here’s a book I actually have read! I cannot recommend  The Ravenmaster: My Life With The Ravens at the Tower of London by Christopher Skaife enough. Skaife has a delightful voice, and I really felt like I was sitting in the pub with him across the table from me and my kids, telling us how he became the Ravenmaster, about his life in the military, even about his childhood as a bit of a “messer.” If you’re any kind of anglophile, bird fan, history buff, you’ll be absolutely delighted ty The Ravenmaster. Best of all, if you have a reader in your family whose reading level outpaces his/her maturity, The Ravenmaster is a great fit. It’s family friendly and rich storytelling.

A1PlaceHolder

I also want to give you a heads-up:

The Siege of Reginald Hill Final Front

Just in time for St. Nicholas Day, Christmas, Three Kings, Candlemas, or any other occasion on which you feel like giving gifts of Catholic-friendly fiction to your favorite teen reader, UK-author Corinna Turner has released the latest in her YA dystopian saga, the I Am Margaret Series.

This latest release, The Siege of Reginald Hill, goes like this:

An odd surge filled my heart as I looked at him, sitting there in that chair: so old; so evil; so broken; so… alone. A warmth. A caring. A… love. I loved him. Just another poor sinner who need my care…

SAFETY IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF DANGER, BUT THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

Fr Kyle Verrall is living a quiet life as a parish priest in Africa when he’s snatched from his church one night by armed assailants. He’s in big trouble—his sister’s worst enemy is hell-bent on taking revenge on the famous Margaret Verrall by killing her brother, just as slowly and horribly as he can.

What could possibly save him? The humble young priest is defenceless—or so Reginald Hill believes.

But Kyle has a powerful weapon Hill knows nothing about. And he’s not afraid to use it.

Is Reginald Hill really the hunter? Or is he the hunted?

I love what I’ve read of this series so far, but be warned: there are some graphic violence bits that aren’t suitable for younger readers. I’ve just decided to let my 14 year-olds have at it.  Perhaps the best part of this series is that there are so many books in it—more than just three, like some other, almost as good YA dystopian series I could name.  Pick a YA reader or two in your life and gift the whole stack

A1PlaceHolder

That’s it for December! Want more details on An Open Book? You can also sign up for An Open Book reminder email, which goes out one week before the link-up. You can also check out the archives of An Open Book!

NEWS: Working Mother Interviewee Alumnae Launch New Journal Project

Working Mother Final-1I’m so excited! Yeeeeears ago, when “Working Mother” was first released, I did a series of interviews with real live working mothers here, chez moi, on this humble blog. This was so long ago that the blog was still called, Will Write For Tomato Pie! Anyway, that’s when I first met, Tiffany Walsh, The Catholic Librarian (here’s Tiffany’s own blog-home).

Over the past nearly four years, Tiffany has been busy with many projects, but her latest is a contribution to the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women.  This series, spearheaded by another working mother interviewee Allison Gingras, aims to “help women build a closer relationship with Jesus. Each Stay Connected journal explores a different path to spiritual growth in short, easy-to-complete chapters—perfect for busy, on-the-go individuals or small faith-sharing groups!”

Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women: a preview of Exploring the Catholic Classics by TIffany WalshI was invited to take a look at one of the journals and share the results with you, dear readers. It was a tough choice, but, given the focus of this blog on reading and writing, I picked Tiffany’s Exploring the Catholic Classics: How Spiritual Reading Can Help You Grow in Wisdom.

From the Stay Connected website:

In Exploring the Spiritual Classics, you will:

    • learn about seven inspiring historical and modern works of spiritual literature;
    • read selected passages from the writings of St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Pope John Paul II; St. Francis de Sales, Thomas à Kempis, and more;
    • study these spiritual works in light of the Scriptures;
    • reflect on significant spiritual themes and chronicle your own thoughts and experiences.
    • apply the wisdom of these spiritual writers to your own life.

The spiritual classics are full of wisdom, advice, and inspiration to enrich the lives of modern women, and Exploring the Spiritual Classics is a great way to access that wisdom and apply it to your life. Tiffany Walsh introduces readers to carefully selected excerpts from each spiritual classic, offering her own insights before inviting you to respond to reflection prompts. You can record your responses right in the journal, then bring those thoughts to your small faith-sharing group for further discussion. And as with all the Stay Connected journals, guided prayers and space to journal your own prayer helps you forge a deeper, living connection with Jesus.

My take: Because it’s designed to serve as guide and collector through a series of deep spiritual reading, I admittedly haven’t finished it yet. That said, I can see from its attractive design, inviting reflections, and clear purpose, Exploring the Spiritual Classics promises to make those sometimes intimidating classics accessible and fruitful subjects for study, even to the busiest Catholic woman.  I can also see this being a personable way to form a study group of women who, perhaps, aren’t even Catholic… yet!  Give the Stay Connected journals a look, and see how well they could fit in your life!

Catholic Librarian

Tiffany the Catholic Librarian

About the Author: Tiffany Walsh is a wife, the mother of two children, and a college librarian with a background in law. She is a cradle Catholic who rekindled her childhood faith as a law student in New York City via her love of books and rediscovery of daily Mass. She writes monthly for CatholicMom.com, and contributed to The Catholic Hipster Handbook, published in 2017 by Ave Maria Press. She hosts book clubs and offers weekly musings over at lifeofacatholiclibrarian.com.

New Sweet WWI Historical Romance from Ellen Gable: CHARLOTTE’S HONOR

Would the latest addition to Ellen Gable’s historical romance Great War, Great Love series hit that sweet spot in your TBR pile? Read on for more about Charlotte’s Honor.

Charlotte's Honour Front Cover smAfter receiving news that her brother – and only relative – has been killed in action during the Great War, 21-year-old Charlotte Zielinski enlists as a medical volunteer. She eventually begins working in the death ward of the field hospital near Soissons, France, holding dying men’s hands and singing them into eternity.

Dr. Paul Kilgallen is a Canadian surgeon working at the field hospital. During a siege by the enemy, everyone evacuates except for Paul and Charlotte, who volunteer to remain in the basement of the chateau to care for the critically ill soldiers.

During those three days, Charlotte sees a side of Paul that very few have seen and finds herself falling in love with him. Before Paul leaves for the front, he abruptly tells her that he cannot love her, and it would be best to “forget him.”

Just when the war is coming to a close, Charlotte is surprised by two events that are destined to change her life forever.

CH Book Tour Promo 100 (1)

Excerpt

May 1918

Vauxbuin Field Hospital

Near Soissons, France

The air was thick with the mineral stench of blood. Inside the canvas tent that served as Barrack Number 48, Charlotte searched for a place in the unconscious soldier’s body to insert the hypodermic.  The poor gentleman had burns and wounds everywhere, but she managed to find a one-inch diameter spot on his thigh in which to plunge the needle.  The man didn’t flinch, and Charlotte suspected that his injuries were too grave for him to survive.  She recited a silent prayer for this man’s soul, then moved onto the next soldier.

The large canvas tents that were part of the field hospital covered the lawn in front of the chateau. Most volunteers referred to it as a chateau because it looked the part with its high ceilings, plentiful rooms and marble floors. However, it wasn’t a castle. It was a 19th century country manor.

A tendril of dark brown hair slipped from her headscarf, and she tucked it back in. Charlotte Patricia Zielinski didn’t care much whether her unruly hair was tame, but she did care about keeping healthy. She wasn’t a large girl, nor was she small.  However, roughhousing with her brother Ian for so many years made her strong.

After preparing another soldier for the operating theater, she took a short break and sat on a bench near the tent.

She glanced up at the dark sky, enjoying the quiet. After the sunrise, she’d hear the distant booming that came with being ten miles from the front.

After her bout with influenza last month, she’d felt fatigued for weeks.  In the past few days, she had enough energy to move a mountain.

Sister Betty, the medical volunteers’ middle-aged supervisor, called to her from the barrack beside her, Number 49.  She was a big-boned woman who seemed taller because she always stood so straight.  Charlotte wasn’t sure whether it was because she was British or because she was a big woman, but she also had a booming personality and a loud voice.

Charlotte stood up to speak with Sister.

“How many more men have to be prepared for the O.R., Miss Zielinski?”

“Four, Sister.”

“Maybe you’d be of more use in this barrack.” She pointed toward Number 49.

“Certainly.”  She turned to alert her co-worker in 48, when Sister yelled, “Wait.”

Charlotte stopped. “Yes?”

“Perhaps you’d better stay where you are. If there are only four left to prepare, finish that duty, then report to this barrack.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

It took a bit of getting used to, but here in Europe, nurses were referred to as sisters.  And all sisters – and most medical volunteers – wore headscarves that looked like habits.

She approached a soldier on a cot, noticing the maple leaf on his collar. Canadians tended to be an agreeable bunch.  He pursed his lips as she stripped his clothes, wincing as bits of skin came off with his pants.  The poor fellow tensed, but Charlotte could only offer, “I’m so sorry.  I am doing my best not to hurt you.”

The dark-haired man attempted a smile.

An ear-piercing explosion caused the world around Charlotte to vanish, and she reflexively collapsed on the cot, falling across the soldier lying in front of her. Ears ringing, she remained still for what seemed like an hour but was likely a few minutes. Blinking, she opened her eyes and stared at the metal side of the cot in front of her and felt the soldier moving underneath her.

As she lifted herself up, not one but three large drops of blood splattered the white sheet below her. Her head seared in a flash of pain.

When the Canadian soldier took hold of her hand, he said something she couldn’t hear.

His warbling soon became words. “Are you all right, Miss?”

Her mouth was open, but she couldn’t speak.  Nodding, she raised her hand to her headscarf.  When she pulled her hand to her face, it was covered in blood.  Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

“Are…you all right, sir?”  Charlotte asked the man.

“Yes, no worse than I was.  Thanks to you, Miss.  You shielded my body with yours.” He paused. “You have a bad shrapnel wound on your head.”

“Y…yes.”  Charlotte winced but forced a smile. She turned and picked up a bandage from the side of the overturned cart. She pressed it to her head.

By this time, the entire ward was awake and bustling with moaning soldiers.

Standing up, her surroundings seemed to shift and sway, so she reached for the soldier’s hand. “I’m so sorry.”

“Think nothing of it.  I’m happy to reciprocate.”

Glancing just above the soldier’s head, she spotted five or six holes the size of watermelons blown through the side of the barrack’s canvas wall and hundreds dotting the rest of the walls. Following the holes from the side wall to the ceiling, she stared upwards at the roof of the tent, now shredded in many places.

A few soldiers near the wall had sustained minor injuries, but no one appeared to be mortally wounded.

Panicked and fearing the worst, Charlotte rushed outside, the bandage still to her head. As she turned toward the adjacent barrack, she stopped and gasped. The influenza ward was no longer there.  Body parts, blood, torn-apart furniture, and bits and pieces of the barrack were all that remained.  The realization that she had escaped death made her knees buckle.

She blessed herself and lowered her head. “Requiescants in pace.”  Her hearing had not yet fully returned, but she could hear someone call her name.


photo credit: Tim Baklinski, Two Trees PhotographyEllen Gable is an award-winning author of nine books, editor, self-publishing book coach, speaker, publisher, NFP teacher, book reviewer and instructor in the Theology of the Body for Teens. Her books have been downloaded nearly 700,000 times on Kindle and some of her books have been translated into Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and French. The mother of five adult sons, Ellen (originally from New Jersey) now lives with her husband of 36 years, James Hrkach, in Pakenham, Ontario, Canada.

A1PlaceHolder

Find Ellen on:

More about Ellen & Charlotte’s Honor

What was the inspiration for Charlotte’s Honor?

Since one of the themes of Charlotte’s Honor is preparing and being with soldiers who are close to death, the inspiration came from being with two close people in my life in the hours before their deaths. These experiences served as inspiration for Charlotte’s Honor.

Eleven years ago, when my mother was close to death, my sister called me in Canada and urged me to come right away (to New Jersey, my home state), that Mom didn’t have much time left.  I arrived before she passed, but by the time I got there, she was unconscious.  My sister and I prayed the Litany of the Saints (which she requested) as well as the Divine Mercy Chaplet. In the middle of the night, I got up to sit with her. I held her hand and prayed for her, talked to her and told her she was loved, and that it was okay to go.  When she did pass away, I was grateful and honored that I was present at the moment of her passing. And an interesting experience happened. My stepdad, siblings, and I were all sitting by my mom’s bedside and all of a sudden, I felt like my mom was on the ceiling staring down.  I lifted my head to look up, but at that point, my brother patted my arm and said, “Hey, El, I have this strange feeling that Mom is on the ceiling looking down at us.”  I believe that we were given a great grace at that moment.

Last year, my mother-in-law passed away. She had both dementia and cancer.  She was surrounded by those she loved and, although unconscious, we prayed the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and other prayers for her in the last few days of her life.  It was a good death, a holy death. It’s the kind of death I hope to have: others praying the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet for me as I’m close to death.

Why World War 1?

I’ve always been interested in history and I knew very little about this war.  I decided to focus the bulk of my research on the last year of the War (after the United States entered).  Because I am American, and my husband is Canadian, the female protagonists in this series are American and the male protagonists are Canadian. So for Charlotte’s Honor, Charlotte is American, and Paul is Canadian.

Why is the name of the series Great War Great Love?

I owe my gratitude to the son of a friend of mine, Ian, for coming up with the title. The reason for the title is that World War 1 was called the “Great War” by the Allies before the USA entered the war, and is still often called the “Great War,” by the British, Canadians and Australians. And Great Love because there are many examples of how couples met and fell in love during times of war.

Can you tell us about the first book in the series and next book of the series, Ella’s Promise?

Julia’s Gifts (Book #1 Great War Great Love) As a young girl, Julia began buying gifts for her future spouse, a man whose likeness and personality she has conjured up in her mind, a man she calls her “beloved.” Soon after the United States enters the Great War, Julia impulsively volunteers as a medical aid worker, with no experience or training. Disheartened by the realities of war, will Julia abandon the pursuit of her beloved? Will Julia’s naïve ‘gift scheme’ distract her from recognizing her true “Great Love?” From Philadelphia to war-torn France, follow Julia as she transitions from unworldly young woman to compassionate volunteer.  Julia’s Gifts is now available in Italian and French and will soon be available in Portuguese and Spanish.

Ella’s Promise (Book #3 Great War Great Love) The daughter of German immigrants, Ella is an American nurse who, because of the time period, was discouraged from continuing her studies to become a doctor.  During the Great War, she travels to Le Treport, France, to work at the American-run hospital. She meets her own “Great Love” in the last place she would expect to meet him.  Ella’s Promise will be released in mid-2019.

This is very different from some of your other books in that it is a very clean romance and can be read by young teens to elderly women to middle-aged men.  Was that a conscious choice?

Yes, it is very different and no, it wasn’t a conscious choice at first.  When I came up with the story and as I was gradually developing the characters and plotlines, it made the most sense to keep this a “sweet” and “clean” love story that anyone can enjoy.  It is, however, a war novel, so there are descriptions of war injuries.

Are you working on any other writing projects?

I’m in the process of writing Ella’s Promise, which is book 3 in the Great War Great Love series.

I’m outlining another novel, tentatively entitled Where Angels Pass, based on my father’s life and experience as a clerical abuse survivor. Since he never saw justice in his lifetime, I’d like to create a story where there is justice for him, even if fictional.

I’m also working on a non-fiction project that will offer guidance in coping with loss (I’m still in the outline stages of that project).

Who are some of your favorite authors?

My favorite Catholic author is Dena Hunt (author of Treason and The Lion’s Heart), but I also enjoy reading Willa Cather’s books (Death Comes For the Archbishop, One of Ours).  Dena’s books are incredibly well-written and moving.  Cather’s books are well-written and rich in imagery and meaning.

And while this may seem biased, I enjoy reading books by all the Full Quiver Authors.  I also enjoy the books of the authors who are fellow members of the Catholic Writers Guild.

One of my favorite secular authors is Nelson DeMille (author of the John Corey series).   I also enjoy reading Kathleen Morgan’s Christian historical novels.

Sabbath Rest Book Talk/Open Book [Nov2018]

Halloween books, death, and creepy stuff all abound in this month of the Holy Souls!

Carolyn Astfalk has a first Wednesday of the month book review linkup!

an-open-book

The aforementioned Carolyn also joins me every month for Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

NOVEMBER’S THEME: MEMENTO MORI

SrTheresaAletheiaNoble

Featuring Special Guest: Sr. Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP, (Remember Your Death)

A1PlaceHolder

Sunday, November 4 at 7pm Eastern

 

Join us this month as we discuss:

A1PlaceHolder

Discuss MEMENTO MORI in BLEEDER by John Desjarlais on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubBleeder by John Desjarlais

When classics professor Reed Stubblefield is disabled in a school shooting, he retreats to a rural Illinois cabin to recover and to write a book on Aristotle in peace. Oddly, in the chill of early March, the campgrounds and motels of tiny River Falls are filled with the ill and infirm — all seeking the healing touch of the town’s new parish priest, reputed to be a stigmatic. Skeptical about religion since his wife’s death from leukemia, Reed is nevertheless drawn into a friendship with the cleric, Reverend Ray Boudreau, an amiable Aquinas scholar with a fine library — who collapses and bleeds to death on Good Friday in front of horrified parishioners. A miracle? Or bloody murder? Once Reed becomes the prime ‘person of interest’ in the mysterious death, he seeks the truth with the help of an attractive local reporter and Aristotle’s logic before he is arrested or killed — because not everyone in town wants this mystery solved…

A1PlaceHolder

Discuss MEMENTO MORI in THE DOOR IN THE WALL on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubThe Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli

The bells clang above plague-ridden London as Robin lies helpless, cold, and hungry. The great house is empty, his father is fighting the Scots in the north, his mother is traveling with the Queen, and the servants have fled. He calls for help but only the stones hear his cries. Suddenly someone else is in the house, coming towards Robin. It is Brother Luke, a wandering friar, who takes Robin to St. Mark’s Monastery, where he will be cared for until his father sends for him.  At last, a message comes–Robin is to meet his father at Castle Lindsay. The journey is dangerous, and the castle is located near the hostile Welsh border. Perched high in the hills, the castle appears invincible. But it is not. Under the cover of a thick fog the Welsh attack the castle. And Robin is the only one who can save it…

A1PlaceHolder

DIscuss MEMENTO MORI in A LITTLE PRINCESS by Frances Hodgson Burnett on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubA Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

When little Sara Crewe is brought from India to London to join Miss Minchin’s school, she arrives a princess – cloaked in velvet and feathers, surrounded by extravagant affection. Then disaster strikes; her father dies and his business fails, and Sara is cast into poverty. Now a beggar, and used by the school for back-breaking work, she must depend on her imagination, and the kindness of strangers, to lift her above the misery of her circumstances. A dramatic reversal of the traditional ‘rags to riches’ formula, A Little Princess, by the author of The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett, is a truly magical story about the power of optimism in the face of adversity, which continues to enchant readers of all ages.

A1PlaceHolder

Sign up here to get monthly reminders to tune in to Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

Check out the reading list for all of 2018.

For notifications that each month’s SRBT is available for viewing/listening, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Plus, click here to check out our NEW GOODREADS FEATURE!  It’s a list! On Goodreads! Vote for books we’ve already featured and add any books you think we should discuss in the future!

Fiction is Good for you! Watch Sabbath Rest Book Talk, and never feel guilty for reading fiction again!

Sabbath Rest Book Talk/Open Book [Oct2018]

Carolyn Astfalk has a first Wednesday of the month book review linkup!

an-open-book

The aforementioned Carolyn also joins me every month for Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

OCTOBER’S THEME: OBEDIENCE

Sunday, October 7 at 7pm Eastern

A1PlaceHolder

Join us this month as we discuss:

TEEN READ WEEK AT YALSA

 

Discuss OBEDIENCE in INTERMISSION by Serena Chase on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubIntermission by Serena Chase

Intermission is a heart-wrenching contemporary YA romance set against a backdrop of musical theatre and family drama. With coming-of-age themes that honestly explore the gray areas of the moral dilemmas the characters face, this novel traces the path of one talented teen girl as she crosses painful thresholds of first love, faith, and betrayal to take the necessary steps toward adulthood, independence, and the dreams that set her heart on fire. [Due to content involving instances of verbal, emotional and physical abuse directly and indirectly perpetrated against the main character, this book is recommended for ages 14+]

A1PlaceHolder

Discuss OBEDIENCE in ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubElla Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

This beloved Newbery Honor-winning story about a feisty heroine is sure to enchant readers new and old. At her birth, Ella of Frell receives a foolish fairy’s gift—the “gift” of obedience. Ella must obey any order, whether it’s to hop on one foot for a day and a half, or to chop off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not accept her fate… Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse forever.

A1PlaceHolder

Discuss OBEDIENCE in THE KING'S PREY by Susan Peek on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubThe King’s Prey: Saint Dymphna of Ireland by Susan Peek

An insane king. His fleeing daughter. Estranged brothers, with a scarred past, risking everything to save her from a fate worse than death. Toss in a holy priest and a lovable wolfhound, and get ready for a wild race across Ireland. Will Dymphna escape her deranged father and his sinful desires? For the first time ever, the story of Saint Dymphna is brought to life in this dramatic novel for adults and older teens. With raw adventure, gripping action, and even humor in the midst of dark mental turmoil, Susan Peek’s newest novel will introduce you to a saint you will love forever! Teenage girls will see that Dymphna was just like them, a real girl, while young men will thrill at the heart-stopping danger and meet heroes they can easily relate to. If ever a Heavenly friend was needed in these times of widespread depression and emotional instability, this forgotten Irish saint is it!

A1PlaceHolder

Sign up here to get monthly reminders to tune in to Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

Check out the reading list for all of 2018.

For notifications that each month’s SRBT is available for viewing/listening, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Plus, click here to check out our NEW GOODREADS FEATURE!  It’s a list! On Goodreads! Vote for books we’ve already featured and add any books you think we should discuss in the future!

Fiction is Good for you! Watch Sabbath Rest Book Talk, and never feel guilty for reading fiction again!

Sabbath Rest Book Talk/Open Book [Sep 2018]

Carolyn Astfalk has a first Wednesday of the month book review linkup!

an-open-book

The aforementioned Carolyn also joins me every month for Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

SEPTEMBER’S THEME: AGING

LisaMladnichHeadshotTrueRadianceMladnichSpecial Guest: Lisa Mladnich

A grateful revert to the Catholic faith, author, speaker, TV host, life coach… Lisa Mladinich is a wife and mother, and the Host of Shalom World TV’s Catholic series, WOMAN: Strong Faith, True Beauty. A dynamic speaker and the award-winning author of five Catholic books.

COMMENT on the video itself by October 31, 2018 for your chance to win a copy of True Radiance (US mailing addresses only).

A1PlaceHolderSeptember’s Episode Available Now!

 

Theme: Aging

Discuss AGING in THE THINGS WE KNEW by Catherine West on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubThe Things We Knew by Catherine West

When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things she can’t?  After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.  Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister. As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.

A1PlaceHolder

Discuss AGING in 10 STEPS TO GIRLFRIEND STATUS by Cynthia Toney on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclub10 Steps to Girlfriend Status (The Birdface Series Book 2) by Cynthia Toney

Wendy Robichaud is on schedule to have everything she wants in high school: two loyal best friends, a complete and happy family, and a hunky boyfriend she’s had a crush on since eighth grade—until she and Mrs. Villaturo look at old photo albums together. That’s when Mrs. V sees her dead husband and hints at a scandal down in Cajun country. Faster than you can say “crawdad,” Wendy digs into the scandal. She risks losing boyfriend David by befriending Mrs. V’s cute grandson, alienates stepsister Alice by having a boyfriend in the first place, and upsets her friend Gayle without knowing why. Will Wendy be able to prevent Mrs. V from being taken thousands of miles away from her? And will she lose all the friends she’s fought so hard to get?

A1PlaceHolder

DIscuss AGING in GRANDMAMA'S PRIDE on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubGrandmama’s Pride by Becky Birtha

Every summer, Mama, Sister, and Sarah Marie take the bus down south to visit Grandmama. The three of them sit in the back of the bus, because, as Mama says, it is the best seat. Later, on a walk into town, the girls don’t drink from the water fountain because Grandmama says she’ll make fresh lemon-mint iced tea when they get home. Throughout the summer, Aunt Maria teaches Sarah Marie how to read. Then Sarah Marie notices signs in town she hadn’t been able to read before, like the one on the bathroom door that says, “White Women” and another that says “Colored Women.” Sarah Marie faces a hard realization about the segregated South. But in the fall she reads about events happening in places like Clinton, Tennessee, and Montgomery, Alabama. And by the next summer, when they go back to visit Grandmama, they all sit in the front of the bus.

 

A1PlaceHolder

Sign up here to get monthly reminders to tune in to Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

Check out the reading list for all of 2018.

For notifications that each month’s SRBT is available for viewing/listening, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Plus, click here to check out our NEW GOODREADS FEATURE!  It’s a list! On Goodreads! Vote for books we’ve already featured and add any books you think we should discuss in the future!

Fiction is Good for you! Watch Sabbath Rest Book Talk, and never feel guilty for reading fiction again!

POSTPONED Sabbath Rest Book Talk [Sep 2018]

Carolyn Astfalk has a first Wednesday of the month book review linkup!

an-open-book

The aforementioned Carolyn also joins me every month for Sabbath Rest Book Talk. We may also have Theresa Linden and Corinna Turner show up this month.

Another note: my family and I will be visiting Tyburn for Pilgrimage 2018 on our usual live SRBT day. Thus, we’ll be pre-recording at least my part (Carolyn’s, too) at the Catholic Writers Conference Live. Look for the video to post no later than our usual First Sunday time slot.

Oh! And keep an eye out in the video description for a possible giveaway of Leslea Wahl’s An Unexpected Role.

September 2018’s Episode is postponed!

Sign up for the SRBT newsletter and be the first to know when it’s rescheduled. Meanwhile, if you haven’t read the books for the month yet, you just got an extension on your deadline!

Theme: Aging

Discuss AGING in THE THINGS WE KNEW by Catherine West on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubThe Things We Knew by Catherine West

When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things she can’t?  After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.  Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister. As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.

A1PlaceHolder

Discuss AGING in 10 STEPS TO GIRLFRIEND STATUS by Cynthia Toney on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclub10 Steps to Girlfriend Status (The Birdface Series Book 2) by Cynthia Toney

Wendy Robichaud is on schedule to have everything she wants in high school: two loyal best friends, a complete and happy family, and a hunky boyfriend she’s had a crush on since eighth grade—until she and Mrs. Villaturo look at old photo albums together. That’s when Mrs. V sees her dead husband and hints at a scandal down in Cajun country. Faster than you can say “crawdad,” Wendy digs into the scandal. She risks losing boyfriend David by befriending Mrs. V’s cute grandson, alienates stepsister Alice by having a boyfriend in the first place, and upsets her friend Gayle without knowing why. Will Wendy be able to prevent Mrs. V from being taken thousands of miles away from her? And will she lose all the friends she’s fought so hard to get?

A1PlaceHolder

DIscuss AGING in GRANDMAMA'S PRIDE on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubGrandmama’s Pride by Becky Birtha

Every summer, Mama, Sister, and Sarah Marie take the bus down south to visit Grandmama. The three of them sit in the back of the bus, because, as Mama says, it is the best seat. Later, on a walk into town, the girls don’t drink from the water fountain because Grandmama says she’ll make fresh lemon-mint iced tea when they get home. Throughout the summer, Aunt Maria teaches Sarah Marie how to read. Then Sarah Marie notices signs in town she hadn’t been able to read before, like the one on the bathroom door that says, “White Women” and another that says “Colored Women.” Sarah Marie faces a hard realization about the segregated South. But in the fall she reads about events happening in places like Clinton, Tennessee, and Montgomery, Alabama. And by the next summer, when they go back to visit Grandmama, they all sit in the front of the bus.

A1PlaceHolder

Sign up here to get monthly reminders to tune in to Sabbath Rest Book Talk.


Sign up here to get monthly reminders to tune in to Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

Check out the reading list for all of 2018.

For notifications that each month’s SRBT is available for viewing/listening, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Plus, click here to check out our NEW GOODREADS FEATURE!  It’s a list! On Goodreads! Vote for books we’ve already featured and add any books you think we should discuss in the future!

Fiction is Good for you! Watch Sabbath Rest Book Talk, and never feel guilty for reading fiction again!

Sabbath Rest Book Talk/Open Book [Aug 2018]

Carolyn Astfalk has a first Wednesday of the month book review linkup!

an-open-book

The aforementioned Carolyn also joins me every month for Sabbath Rest Book Talk. We may also have Theresa Linden and Corinna Turner show up this month.

Another note: my family and I will be visiting Tyburn for Pilgrimage 2018 on our usual live SRBT day. Thus, we’ll be pre-recording at least my part (Carolyn’s, too) at the Catholic Writers Conference Live. Look for the video to post no later than our usual First Sunday time slot.

Oh! And keep an eye out in the video description for a possible giveaway of Leslea Wahl’s An Unexpected Role.

AUGUST’S THEME: BELONGING

Sunday, August 5 at 7pm Eastern

Discuss BELONGING in BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubBrideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

The wellsprings of desire and the impediments to love come brilliantly into focus in Evelyn Waugh’s masterpiece-a novel that immerses us in the glittering and seductive world of English aristocracy in the waning days of the empire. Through the story of Charles Ryder’s entanglement with the Flytes, a great Catholic family, Evelyn Waugh charts the passing of the privileged world he knew in his own youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities. At once romantic, sensuous, comic, and somber, Brideshead Revisited transcends Waugh’s early satiric explorations and reveals him to be an elegiac, lyrical novelist of the utmost feeling and lucidity.
A1PlaceHolder

Discuss BELONGING in AN UNEXPECTED ROLE by Leslea Wahl on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubAn Unexpected Role by Leslea Wahl

The devastation of a ruined summer.  The gift of a second chance. Can Josie learn the lessons she needs in order to discover her true self?  After a humiliating event and overwhelming peer pressure, 16-year-old Josie flees her home to spend the summer with her Aunt on a South Carolina island. Her fresh start turns into the summer of her dreams as friendships grow, romance blossoms, and a series of thefts surround her with excitement. However, when tragedy strikes someone close to her, Josie realizes there are more important things than her reputation. As she sets out to solve the mystery she has become entangled in, she not only realizes the importance of relying on her faith but along the way also discovers who God wants her to be.

A1PlaceHolder

Discuss BELONGING in THE NAME JAR by Yangsook Choi on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubThe Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

The new kid in school needs a new name! Or does she? Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. Her new classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and decide to help out by filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. But while Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, one of her classmates comes to her neighborhood and discovers her real name and its special meaning. On the day of her name choosing, the name jar has mysteriously disappeared. Encouraged by her new friends, Unhei chooses her own Korean name and helps everyone pronounce it—Yoon-Hey.

A1PlaceHolder

Sign up here to get monthly reminders to tune in to Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

Check out the reading list for all of 2018.

For notifications that each month’s SRBT is available for viewing/listening, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Plus, click here to check out our NEW GOODREADS FEATURE!  It’s a list! On Goodreads! Vote for books we’ve already featured and add any books you think we should discuss in the future!

Fiction is Good for you! Watch Sabbath Rest Book Talk, and never feel guilty for reading fiction again!

Sabbath Rest Book Talk/Open Book [July 2018]

Carolyn Astfalk has a first Wednesday of the month book review linkup!

an-open-book

The aforementioned Carolyn also joins me every month for Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

JULY’S THEME: INTEGRITY

It’s a two-parter this month. Ain’t no technichal challenge we can’t rise above!

Special Guest Liz Lantigua of Good News Book Fairs on Sabbath Rest Book Talk live video book clubSpecial Guest: Liz Lantigua of GOOD NEWS BOOK FAIRS and GOOD NEWS BOOK SHOP

Lizette M. Lantigua is a published author, and writes for young adults. She is also a frequent contributor to the Florida Catholic newspaper and Columbia Magazine. Previously, she worked for Channel 23 Univision, The Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald, and Channel 51 Telemundo in South Florida. She is also known for her unique Hispanic themed stationery and social announcement designs under the Lantigua Designs brand created in 2004. Combining her knowledge for retail, journalism experience, and passion to inspire others to read, she created Good News! Book Fair. Its goal is to bring inspiring, fun, and entertaining Christian books, movies, and gifts to students, parents, teachers, and organizations.

Join us this month as we discuss:

Theme: Integrity

Discuss INTEGRITY in THE GRACE CRASHER by Mara Faro on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubThe Grace Crasher by Mara Faro

Armed with a Jesus fish that might be swimming in the wrong direction, Julia must pretend to be “born again” for her Christian housemates—cute EMT Mark and his church-lady mom. Their place is within walking distance (cough, stalking distance) of Dylan, her latest musician crush. Mark knows she’s faking her faith. But he needs someone like her to crash his dull routine. So he protects her secret and brings her to his Evangelical church. Hiding her Catholic past, she bumbles her way through hand-raising worship. Other times she sneaks into Mass. Meanwhile, Mark explains how to be “saved.” (Sure, she needs saving—from her alcoholic dad, her copier-jamming job, and Mark’s suspicious mom.) But does he just want to save her? Or date her? Then Dylan sings her a song at open mic. Suddenly she’s torn between two guys, flubbing her way through three different churches, and completely confused about life. Will it all crash down around her, or will she crash straight into grace?

A1PlaceHolder

Discuss CONSCIENCE in FRECKLES by Gene Stratton Porter on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubFreckles by Gene Stratton Porter

Freckles is a young man who has been raised since infancy in a Chicago orphanage. His one dream is to find a job, a place to belong and people who accept him despite his youth and the disability of having only one hand. He finds this place in the Limberlost Swamp, as Mr. McLean’s Limberlost guard of precious timber.  In the process, he discovers a love for the wilderness and animals he encounters every day on his rounds and a burning desire to learn about all the new birds and plants he sees on his rounds every day. He also finds and falls in love with a girl he calls the “Swamp Angel.” This is the story of his plucky courage in sticking to his job in the swamp, and his adventures in learning about the natural world he finds himself in every day. He is befriended by the “Bird Woman” and with her help learns to love the Limberlost he has been hired to guard.

A1PlaceHolder

Discuss INTEGRITY in 7 RIDDLE TO NOWHERE by Amy Cattapan on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubSeven Riddles to Nowhere by Amy Cattapan

Because of a tragic event that took place when he was five-years-old, seventh grader Kameron Boyd can’t make himself speak to adults when he steps outside his home. Kam’s mom hopes his new school will cure his talking issues, but just as he starts to feel comfortable, financial problems threaten the school’s existence. Then a letter arrives with the opportunity to change everything. Kam learns that he and several others have been selected as potential heirs to a fortune. He just has to solve a series of seven riddles to find the treasure before the other students. If he succeeds, he’ll become heir to a fortune that could save his school. The riddles send Kam on a scavenger hunt through the churches of Chicago. But solving them won’t be easy. With the school’s bully as one of the other potential heirs, Kam and his friends must decipher the hidden meanings in artwork and avoid the mysterious men following them in a quest to not only keep the school open, but keep Kam’s hopes for recovering his voice alive.

A1PlaceHolder

Sign up here to get monthly reminders to tune in to Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

Check out the reading list for all of 2018.

For notifications that each month’s SRBT is available for viewing/listening, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Plus, click here to check out our NEW GOODREADS FEATURE!  It’s a list! On Goodreads! Vote for books we’ve already featured and add any books you think we should discuss in the future!

Fiction is Good for you! Watch Sabbath Rest Book Talk, and never feel guilty for reading fiction again!

Sabbath Rest Book Talk/Open Book [June 2018]

Carolyn Astfalk has a first Wednesday of the month book review linkup!

an-open-book

The aforementioned Carolyn also joins me every month for Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

JUNE’S THEME: FORTITUDE

Sunday, June 3 at 7pm Eastern

Theme: Fortitude

hcfm_hendey_headshotSpecial Guest: Lisa Hendey, author of CHIME TRAVELERS

Lisa Hendey is the founder of http://www.CatholicMom.com and the author of several books including A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms, The Grace of Yes and the Chime Travelers children’s fictions series. Lisa hosts two podcasts and is a frequent radio and television guests. She speaks and writes internationally and resides in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

A1PlaceHolder

Join us this month as we discuss:

Theme: Fortitude

Discuss FORTITUDE in DYING FOR COMPASSION by Barbara Golder on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubDying for Compassion (The Lady Doc Murders Book 2) by Dr. Barbara Golder

GIVEAWAY: COMMENT ON JUNE’S SRBT by June 30 and be entered to win a paperback copy of DYING FOR COMPASSION (North American mailing addresses only)

What happens to a new love when an old one appears to claim first rights to a man and a marriage?  Just as Telluride Medical Examiner Jane Wallace and Irish writer Eoin Conner take their first steps toward romance, Eoin’s beautiful wife Fiona arrives to resume her long-abandoned life with Eoin. When Eoin discovers that Fiona was responsible for the denial of their annulment, he returns to Ireland to find the proof to free him to marry Jane. After Fiona is found dead in her hotel room, Eoin is indicted for her murder.  Unwilling to leave the matter solely in the hands of Irish authorities, Jane goes to Ireland to follow the evidence wherever it leads. She leaves behind a tangle of problems in Telluride, where it is left to her trusted friend Father Matt to unravel the mysteries at home, unaware that they hold the key to Jane’s mystery abroad.

A1PlaceHolder

Discuss FORTITUDE in SHANE by Jack Schaeffer on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubShane by Jack Schaefer

In this true Western classic Jack Schaefer tells the story of a mysterious stranger who finds himself in the Wyoming Territory joining local homesteaders in their fight to keep their land and avoid the intimidating tactics of cattle driver Luke Fletcher. While trying to leave his gunslinging days behind him, the mysterious stranger, Shane, is tested by Fletcher and his men. In Shane, Schaefer executes a perfect Western narrative while exploring the overarching themes of virtue, the human condition, and a man’s search for self.

A1PlaceHolder

Discuss FORTITUDE in THE SISTERS OF THE LAST STRAW by Karen Kelly Boyce on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubSisters of the Last Straw 1: The Case of the Haunted Chapel by Karen Kelly Boyce

GIVEAWAY: COMMENT ON JUNE’S SRBT by June 30 and be entered to win a paperback copy of SISTERS OF THE LAST STRAW #1 (US mailing addresses only)

The Sisters of the Last Straw and the Case of the Haunted Chapel is the first in a series of children’s books that convey the fun-filled story of a group of misfit nuns. These sisters and their madcap adventures teach the importance of tolerance and forgiveness. Each book focuses on the virtues of Gospel living and the frailties of human nature. While children delight in the humor and fast-paced exploits of this special group of nuns, they learn the need to be forgiving of the faults of others and to look for the good in all people. Children are enchanted and entertained with the humorous escapades of the characters while learning the importance of basic Christian values, growth, and love.A1PlaceHolder

Sign up here to get monthly reminders to tune in to Sabbath Rest Book Talk.

Check out the reading list for all of 2018.

For notifications that each month’s SRBT is available for viewing/listening, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Plus, click here to check out our NEW GOODREADS FEATURE!  It’s a list! On Goodreads! Vote for books we’ve already featured and add any books you think we should discuss in the future!

Fiction is Good for you! Watch Sabbath Rest Book Talk, and never feel guilty for reading fiction again!