Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall Into Reading 2012

Fall Into Reading 2012 is here.  How fast did that summer go?  After a leisurely summer of randomly picking books out of my own TBR book basket, I found it a bit of a challenge to have a bit of a disciplined approach to what I'm going to read for a set time.  But my basket is still overflowing and my list is something like 14 pages long on my library website!  Time to start getting through some of the ones I've had on the lists for some time.  Descriptions are condensed from the back of the books.

  "Wherever Grace is Needed"  by Elizabeth Bass ~ Story of a young woman who returns to her dad's home to help care for him while he recovers from a car accident after having left against her wishes 30 years before with her mother when the couple divorced.  Seeing it as a chance to get closer to that side of the family she finds when she arrives that her father is also in early stages of Alzheimer's.  The neighbor's next door are also reeling from a tragedy of their own and as Grace extends her stay her life becomes intertwined with the neighbors.

"Maggie"  by Charles Martin ~ Sequel to "The Dead Don't Dance". "When Maggie opened her eyes that New Year's Day some seventeen months ago, I felt like I could see again. The fog lifted off my soul, and for the first time since our son had died and she had gone to sleep—some four months, sixteen days, eighteen hours, and nineteen minutes earlier—I took a breath deep enough to fill both my lungs." Life began again for Dylan Styles when his beloved wife Maggie awoke from a coma. A coma brought on by the intense two-day labor that resulted in heartbreaking loss. In this poignant love story that is redolent with Southern atmosphere, Dylan and Maggie must come to terms with their past before they can embrace their future.   

"My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business" by Dick Van Dyck ~This is a lively, heartwarming memoir of a performer who still thinks of himself as a “simple song-and-dance man,” but who is, in every sense of the word, a classic entertainer.

"Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas ~ (still plugging away on this one.  A very deep study kind of book that I layed down over the summer.)The title expresses a radical thought for today's marriages! Chapter by chapter, discover how marriage works to develop Christlike character - forgiveness, love, respect, perseverance - in each of you. This book will enrich your marriage in unexpected ways. A Focus on the Family recommendation.  

"Lake of Dreams" by Kim Edwards Lucy Jarrett is at a crossroads in her life, still haunted by her father's unresolved death a decade earlier. She returns to her hometown in Upstate New York, The Lake of Dreams, and, late one night, she cracks the lock of a window seat and discovers a collection of objects. They appear to be idle curiosities, but soon Lucy realizes that she has stumbled across a dark secret from her family's past, one that will radically change her—and the future of her family—forever.

"Eternal on the Water" by Joseph Monninger ~ Cobb, a devoted teacher and nature-lover, takes a sabbatical from his New England boys prep school seeking to experience what Henry David Thoreau and the transcendentalists did in the early nineteenth century. Kayaking to the last known spot where the American writer and philosopher camped four years before he died, he encounters the beautiful free-spirited Mary. Also a teacher, avid bird-watcher, and deft adventurist, Mary is flirtatious and beguiling, and the two soon become inseparable. Mary is like no one Cobb has ever met before, but he gets the feeling that she is harboring a secret. Eventually she shares her fears with Cobb—that she may be carrying the gene for a devastating, incurable illness that runs in her family. Finding strength in their commitment to one another, the two embark on a journey that is filled with joy, anguish, hope, and most importantly, unending love.

"The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great" by Eva Stachniak ~ The Winter Palace tells the epic story of Catherine the Great’s improbable rise to power—as seen through the ever-watchful eyes of an all-but-invisible servant close to the throne. (fiction)

"Thunder and Rain" by Charles Martin ~ Third generation Texas Ranger Tyler Steele is the last of a dying breed-- a modern day cowboy hero living in a world that doesn't quite understand his powerful sense of right and wrong and instinct to defend those who can't defend themselves. Despite his strong moral compass, Ty has trouble seeing his greatest weakness. His hard outer shell, the one essential to his work, made him incapable of forging the emotional connection his wife Andie so desperately needed. Now retired, rasing their son Brodie on his own, and at risk of losing his ranch, Ty does not know how to rebuild from the rubble of his life. The answer comes in the form of Samantha and her daughter Hope, on the run from a seemingly inescapable situation. They are in danger, desperate, and alone. Though they are strangers, Ty knows he can help-- protecting the innocent is what he does best. As his relationship with Sam and Hope unfolds, Ty realizes he must confront his true weaknesses if he wants to become the man he needs to be.

"And the Band Played On...the enthralling account of what happened after the Titanic sank" ~ The amazing true story of one of the band members who famously played as the Titanic sank, written by his grandson.
On April 14, 1912, when the Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage and sank, 1,500 passengers and crew lost their lives. As the order to abandon ship was given, the orchestra took their instruments on deck and continued to play as the ship went down. The violinist, 21 year-old Jock Hume, knew that his fiancée, Mary, was expecting their first child, the author's mother. A century later, Christopher Ward reveals a dramatic story of love, loss, and betrayal, and the catastrophic impact of Jock's death on two very different Scottish families. He paints a vivid portrait of an age in which class determined the way people lived—and died. This outstanding piece of historical detective work is also a moving account of how the author's quest to learn more about his grandfather revealed the shocking truth about a family he thought he knew, a truth that had been hidden for nearly 100 years.

"The Story of Beautiful Girl" by Rachel Simon ~It is 1968. Lynnie, a young white woman with a developmental disability, and Homan, an African American deaf man, are locked away in an institution, the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, and have been left to languish, forgotten. Deeply in love, they escape, and find refuge in the farmhouse of Martha, a retired schoolteacher and widow. But the couple is not alone-Lynnie has just given birth to a baby girl. When the authorities catch up to them that same night, Homan escapes into the darkness, and Lynnie is caught. But before she is forced back into the institution, she whispers two words to Martha: "Hide her." And so begins the 40-year epic journey of Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and baby Julia-lives divided by seemingly insurmountable obstacles, yet drawn together by a secret pact and extraordinary love.

"My Life with George" by Judith Summers ~When Judith Summers' husband and father both died within the space of two weeks, she found herself floundering. Life for her and her eight-year-old son Joshua seemed relentlessly bleak. Then George bounced into their lives. A loving Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with film-star looks, George reawoke their joie de vivre. Yet Judith soon discovered that living with George had its drawbacks. He was a full-time job and as expensive to run as a Ferrari. Wilful and badly behaved, he refused to eat anything other than roast chicken, preferred travelling by car to walking, and became as jealous as a spurned lover if any man dared show an interest in her. And when a near-death tangle with a Staffordshire Bull terrier resulted in costly sessions with an animal psychologist, Judith found that it was she who was put on the couch.

"Everything" by Mary DeMuth ~ A review book. “I don’t write this book as a condemnation or as a sermon. The last thing I want to do is provide a ‘how to be the best Christian in ten easy steps’ guide. I pen these words as a fellow struggler who is learning that what we think about God matters, how we allow Him to reign in our hearts matters, and how we obey Him in the moment matters. It all matters. Everything.”In this gentle and challenging book, DeMuth describes the process and the nuances that shape us to be more like Christ. Her words are clear, vulnerable, and thought provoking, and every chapter is infused with Scripture. Most of all, DeMuth provides personal and practical evidence that there is no greater pursuit than Christ. We must surrender everything, but it does not compare to the Everything He is, the Everything He gives.

"All to Jesus" by Robert J. Morgan ~ Another review book.   A devotional based on God's purposes, power and grace.

So there we go, such as it is.  I've left a few spots open for review books.   If you'd like to join in with Katrina's casual easy-going reading challenge you can visit her at Callapider Days


S said...

These look good - especially the Catherine the Great and the Titanic books. I'll be interested to see what you think after you've read them. Enjoy.

Barbara H. said...

Maggie sounds really good. I read one Charles Martin book this year and enjoyed it overall except for one kind of weird section. I've been wanting to read another of his books.

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Looks great, Susanne! Good variety and some very intriguing reads. I had forgotten about Mary DeMuth's new book... will have to look into that one. Thanks for being part of Fall Into Reading!

nikkipolani said...

Wow. Talk about a full plate. I have about ten audiobooks loaded and ready for their turn. Plus a small pile of books someone lent me. And a TBR stack that I'm not even going to look at. Thus, I'm a little afraid of reading your list too carefully should one or five of them leap into my TBR...

Gigi Ann said...

I just put "My Lucky Life In and out of Show Business" on my Wishlist. I have always loved anything Dick Van Dyck was in. Have a Happy Fall Reading.

Carrie said...

Wherever Grace is Needed sounds like a VERY impacting and moving read. Wow!

And I would so love to read My Lucky Life . . . sometime. That just sounds fun. (And I love reading bios of those who made those "classics" that we love - both on the big screen and on tv.)

Yes, I know. I can't believe summer is over either.

Nise' said...

Have a great Fall of reading! I enjoyed Lake of Dreams.

Janet said...

Lots of interesting books on your list. Enjoy your fall reading!

Brooke said...

Ooh! I recently read Thunder and Rain by Charles Martin and thought it was incredible. Hope you enjoy getting through some of the books on your wish list this fall!

Annette {This Simple Home} said...

I own, haven't read Sacred Marriage. The Story of Beautiful Girl was really good. I hope you enjoy it!

The rest are new to me...I will look forward to hearing how they are!

Sandra Stiles said...

I've only heard of one book on your list, "The Story of Beautiful Girl". However, I've found a couple of others to add to my TBR list. Good Luck with your reading.

Jennifer Donovan said...

I've had so many people tell me I need to read Charles Martin. Enjoy your reading!

Lisa notes... said...

I know what you mean about going from a random approach to reading back to a disciplined approach. I love these challenges being every other season instead of every season. :-) I like both styles of reading.

I love your list. I read Sacred Marriage and really loved it. Happy reading!

Jen E @ mommablogsalot said...

Great list! I've been wanting to read Dick Van Dyke's book, too! Happy reading!

Cassandra said...

Sacred Marriage sounds really good but also very thought intensive (not a bad thing!). I like your variety of selection.

Happy reading!

twiga92 said...

I enjoyed Sacred Marriage. Hope your reading is going well!