book club

Sabbath Rest Book Talk/Open Book [Mar 2018]

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

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

Sabbath Rest Book Talk: a monthly live interactive event where we talk about the value of fiction in developing compassion, empathy, and healthy relationships

MARCH’S THEME: HEROISM

Discuss HEROISM with Sr. Maria Grace Datenno of THE GOSPEL TIME TREKKERS SERIES on Sabbath Rest Book Talk #live #video #bookclubThis month’s episode features special guest Sr. Maria Grace Dateno, FSP, author of The Gospel Time Trekkers Series.

Sister was able to join us for the whole episode!

Joseph Pearce, author of RACE WITH THE DEVIL, host of EWTN's TOLKIEN'S THE LORD OF THE RINGS - FACES OF FANTASY

What’s going on for April? We’ll be hosting special guest Joseph Pearce of EWTN fame, discussing our theme of Forgiveness.  Get next month’s reads here.

A1PlaceHolderSign 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!

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An Open Book/Sabbath Rest Book Talk: TRUST [Feb 2018]

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

an-open-book

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

Sabbath Rest Book Talk: a monthly live interactive event where we talk about the value of fiction in developing compassion, empathy, and healthy relationships

February’s Theme: TRUST

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Special Guest: Connie Rossini, Trusting God with St. Therese

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Reading Selections

Sabbath Rest Book Talk discusses the human themes in this book. #live #videoAll the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE  From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

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Sabbath Rest Book Talk discusses the human dimensions of this book. #live #videoStanding Strong: A West Brothers Story by Theresa Linden

COMMENT DURING FEBRUARY’S SRBT FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK (signed paperback to US Mailing Address, ebook to international addresses)

Having just confessed his sins to his priest–more sins than a kid his age should have–Jarret jumps in his Chrysler 300 and races to the outskirts of town. Emotion overwhelming him, he pulls off the road and flings himself face down behind an outcropping of rocks. Ever since that life-changing night in the canyon, Jarret has felt the presence of the Lord in his soul. Now that presence is fading. Is it his fault? How will he remain faithful without it when he still struggles against the same temptations?  ​Meanwhile his twin brother, Keefe, questions whether he has a calling to religious life. He’s gone along with Jarret’s bad schemes for years. Is he worthy of such a calling? What would he have to give up to pursue a vocation? Keefe reads everything he can about St. Francis and the Franciscans, but he’s afraid to talk to his father about the Franciscans’ upcoming discernment retreat because his father seems closed to faith. Is he ready to go all in?  Follow the West brothers in this contemporary teen fiction as they struggle through temptations and trials down paths they can barely see, toward goals they desire in the depths of their hearts.

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Sabbath Rest Book Talk discusses the human themes in this book. #live #videoEaster Bunny’s Amazing Day by Carol Benoist and Cathy Gilmore

Meet the Risen Jesus with an amazing bunny—and his amazing tale—in this beautifully illustrated hardcover children’s book. Children will learn about Jesus’ friendship and comfort through the eyes of a timid bunny rabbit who experiences firsthand the love and joy Jesus brings. Easter Bunny’s Amazing Day is sure to be a family favorite every Easter.

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

Check out next month’s reading list and 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!

And, now for the video…

What’s your #OpenBook?

Don’t forget to link up YOUR #OpenBook reviews over at Carolyn’s!

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

New Book Club! And deeeep discounts on Jane E!

Check out this article over at Sabbath Rest Book Talk‘s bestest buddy, VirtueWorks Media, Inc.

Introducing virtue mentoring for teen girls through the Totally Feminine Genius (TM) Generations Book Club!

Virtue Mentoring for Teen Girls through the Totally Feminine Genius(TM) Generations Book Club

I’m honored to see The Memoirs of Jane E, Friendless Orphan included alongside some amazing book suggestions in the 16 and up range.  If you’d like to get a group discount* on these ebooks for your book club, contact me at e mccole cupp at gee mail dot com (remove the spaces, use an @ symbol, etc.), or if you’re stumped by my super sophisticated spam deflector there, comment below, and I’ll be in touch.

Jane Eyre rebooted: THE MEMOIRS OF JANE E, FRIENDLESS ORPHAN by Erin McCole Cupp

*Group discount: each book at 99 cents for orders of 5 or more per book. Feel free to start with Unclaimed (Book 1), and I’ll keep the discount if you choose to continue with the other two books.  

 

The Desires of Your Heart: A Guest Post from Allison Gingras

Welcome, Tomato Pie Fans! I’m taking a hiatus from blogging to finish the sequel to DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME. Meanwhile, I have a series of guest bloggers taking care of the place. Let’s hear from today’s guest, Allison Gingras.

“Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

SeekingHeartLogoWhat a promise – I am not sure which intrigued me more when I first read it?  How one delights themselves in the Lord or what desire I would want fulfilled.

The first part was easier than I thought to accomplish because the Catholic faith is so rich in ways to encounter Christ in our everyday life.  I could not imagine my life not filled with prayer, the Scriptures and the Sacraments.  St. Paul exhorted us to pray without ceasing, so whether folding laundry, driving the car or reading a book, I do everything with a prayerful heart.  I will say a Hail Mary for each member of my family as I put their dishes into the dishwasher, say the rosary on my way to an event, or give thanks for the author’s talent as I read their book.

My introduction to scripture, only 10 years ago, has transformed my faith life, providing me this amazing gift of learning how Jesus spoke, and therefore having a better sense of His voice in my life.  Scripture good for all teaching and reproof has become the center of my faith and my hope, not a day goes by I don’t take a moment to ponder a verse or two.  It was also important for me to memorize a few special verses to embrace on tough days when I need encouragement, particularly helpful when writer’s block strikes or my teenage son is teetering on that last nerve!

Lastly, the Sacraments are where I go to dip into God’s well-spring of grace.  Grace is that undeserved yet freely given gift of God’s Holy Spirit within us (that is the simplified “Allison abridged” version of grace – by the way).  When I am feeling distant or discouraged, the remedy is always found in participation in the sacraments – particularly for me daily Mass, time spent in Adoration or making a really good confession.  Gifts are best when they are used, and I try my best not to waste the grace present, promised and abundant, in the Sacraments!

So, what about the desires of our heart?  How do we discover those?  That is where God is the most generous – since He has given us our brains (and even our heart’s desires), He is well aware of them.  He knows them long before we, so focusing on delighting in the Lord is truly all we need to concern ourselves with.

Last September, I received a phone call inviting me to host my own radio show.  Reluctant but curious, I asked for a few days to pray about my answer.  Off to Eucharistic Adoration I went with a notebook and pen.   I sat before Jesus and asked for inspiration – if I said yes, what on earth would the show be about?  As I sat pondering, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I had a degree in English, a passion for books (especially Catholic books), and had lead book/Bible study for nearly 10 years – that was to be the foundation of my show.   From that time in prayer, A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras on Real Life Radio was born.  Each week, I focus on just one book.  Monday-Thursday we discuss the themes, contents and inspirations gleaned from the book and then on Friday, I am blessed to spend an hour with the author.  It is not a review show but an on-air book club – it is interactive, interesting, and truly fulfills one of my heart’s desires.  I love connecting people and books, especially when I know it will change lives and grow faith.

So how do you delight yourself in the Lord, and what desire of your heart can He fulfill?

AGingrasPicAllison Gingras is founder of  Reconciled To You and host of A Seeking Heart on Breadbox Media weekdays 10 am ET. Allison blogs, writes and speaks about living an every life of faith.  She created the “Words with” daily devotional App Series: Words with Jesus.  and offers presentations on Forgiveness; Trust; and the Blessed Mother.

WWRW: Unleashed by Sonja Corbitt

It’s baaaaaack!  It’s the What We’re Reading Wednesday linkup over at Jessica’s Housewifespice!

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I’ve had the distinct honor to be part of the CatholicMom.com Unleashed book club.  And guess what book we’re reading!  No, seriously! YOU’LL NEVER GUESS!

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Why, yes, it’s Unleashed by Sonja Corbitt! What’s it about, you ask?

Sonja Corbitt was an evangelical Baptist before she converted to Catholicism. In Unleashed, she shares her passion for the scriptures by weaving the Word of God with her own experiences to show readers how the Holy Spirit flows through their lives in relationships, prayer, and even in times of suffering.

Sonja Corbitt’s passionate faith and natural storytelling ability combine to create a refreshing message of how God, in his continual pursuit of us, speaks to us through the positive and painful circumstances of life, relationships, and his Word.

In Unleashed, Corbitt testifies that prayerful and regular study of the scriptures is the key to hear the voice of God, to see the Holy Spirit at work even in times of suffering, and to receive all the graces God wants to give.

Corbitt has been captivating Catholic women across the country with her message about God and his desire to know them in a deep and personal way. Endorsed by her bishop as a “credit to her faith,” Corbitt inspires Catholics everywhere to engage with the scriptures with renewed vigor and energy.

This is another one where I wish Amazon had six stars to give.  I admit I took this book on with great trepidation.  Part of that is because Snow Crash has freaked me out about anything charismatic (not AT ALL the fault of the charismatic movement but the fault of a buttkicking fiction story).  So a book dealing with the Holy Spirit?  I was a bit, “Um.  Okay.  Deep breaths, Erin.  We can DO this!”

First, I have to clarify that Unleashed is not about the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Rather it is a step-by-step guide for discerning how the Holy Spirit is speaking to us without words but through repeating patterns that not only spring forth from our own hearts but from the hearts of those around us.  In this book, Sonja gives us sort of a listening device for making out the guidance of the Holy Spirit more clearly, more thoughtfully, with greater peace and confidence.

It’s tackles complex issues with deep-cleansing-breath simplicity.  It holds a mirror up to the soul behind the face in the mirror and says, “Yes, you have work to do, but you don’t have to do it all today. Still you can do something today.”

Do something today.  Get to know the Holy Spirit, not as an abstract monstrosity but as a solid, loving friend.  Perhaps picking up your copy of Unleashed will be that something you do today.

WWRW: The Grace of Yes by Lisa Hendey

It’s time for What We’re Reading Wednesday, occasionally hosted by Jessica over at Housewifespice.  Even if she’s not hosting right now, go on over there and give her blog a cuddle.

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This week it’s all about saying, “YES!”

In The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living, Lisa Hendey gives us a firm but gentle walk down a path out of the fear and selfishness that tends to be the natural human state into a way of living that is made larger and more free by all the ways we can give, and in giving see ourselves as the gifts we are. Each chapter includes a down-to-earth, pointed-to-heaven reflection from Lisa, a set of thought-provoking questions on the virtue being discussed, and prayer. Few writers have the gift of being able to give us a kick in the pants without it hurting like the dickens. Lisa Hendey is one of those who has this gift. If you’d like such a kick in the pants and have others getting kicked along with you (that sounds much worse than it sounded in my head), I also encourage you to participate in the CatholicMom.com Grace of Yes book club going on right now.  Say “yes” to The Grace of Yes!