Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hello, stranger!

I'm alive--just adjusting to a new diabetes drug, twice-weekly doctor visits, and walking 3x a day.

Remember my plan to buy grocery store gifts for a while? What a lifesaver! See the pretty design books Kathy found at her Kroger book table--for less than $2.

Speaking of books, can anyone recommend an uplifting new title? If I can't lie around and eat, I might as well lie around and read!


Anonymous said...

I really like Cooking for Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser. Her writing reminds me a little of yours. There are cute little autobiographical chapters on meeting and dating her husband. She writes for the NY Times food column so it's all about food, restaurants, and there are recipes for each chapter. It's light, fun, easy reading.

Anonymous said...

Meredith - I just read Pocket Full of Pinecones and I really liked it. Not earth-shaking literature or anything, but it was perfectly lovely and I came away inspired about my home, the kids, and spending more time outdoors.
If I remember anything else I'll let you know. I can't wait to hear the suggestions you get:)

Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

Books! I'm all over it:

- He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter Ciszek is one of my favorite books of all time. Seeing as how he was wrongfully imprisoned in a Siberian slave labor camp for 20 years there are certainly some tough stories, but it ultimately has a very uplifting message:

- 10 Prayers God Always Says Yes To by Anthony Destefano was a great read. The title sounds gimmicky but it was actually a very solid book.

- The Heart of a Saint by Bert Ghezzi is my latest read, and it seems very nice as well.

Hope you're feeling well. Tell us what you pick!

lissla lissar said...

Oooh, book recomendations. What do you feel like reading?

I recommend Two-Part Invention- the Story of a Marriage, by Madeleine L'Engle, for a lovely biography about the inside of a lovely marriage, Quotidian Mysteries (Laundry, Liturgy, and Women's Work), by Kathleen Norris, for a short meditation on the spirituality of daily tasks, and Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson, for a stunning, stunning novel about an elderly pastor who's writing to his young son.

Short excerpt:

"As I have told you, I myself was the good son, so to speak, the one who never left his father's house- even when his father did, a fact which surely puts my credentials beyond all challenge. I am one of those righteous for whom the rejoicing in heaven will be comparatively restrained. And that's all right. There is no justice in love, no proportion in it, and there need not be, because in any specific instance it is only a glimpse or parable of an embracing, incomprehensible reality. It makes no sense at all because it is the eternal breaking in on the temporal. So how could it subordinate itself to cause or consequence."

Chrissy said...

Hi Meredith,

If you like fiction, I can't say enough about Jan Karon's Mitford Series. Picture the Andy Griffith show with a Priest as the main character instead of a Sheriff. Not great literature by any means, but packed full of great characters and set in a charmingly small town...

Anonymous said...

anything by Beverly Lewis

Amy Ellen said...


This are not books that are just one complete story, but they are sooo humorous they are worth reading they are called

She Who Laughs Lasts, Looks Whos Laughing, and Help I can't stop laughing. They are very humorous and inexpensive on amazon. You will pay more fo shipping then for a used copy of these books. But they are worth it.

Anonymous said...

Yes! I highly recommend Goodbye Is Not Forever by Amy George. You can get a used copy very inexpensively online. "A true story set against the gripping backdrop of a small Russian village invaded by German soldiers in W.W.II, - an incredible confirmation of God's never-ending grace in the lives of His children." I have read this twice and bought several copies to lend to friends. If you read the first chapter, (or less) you will NOT want to put it down. It is amazing how God watched over this family and cared for them through the most trying times of war and famine - but it is NOT a downer! Other than the Bible, it is the most inspiring book I have ever read. And so very appropriate for such a time as this.
Mrs. L.

madamspud169 said...

Any of the "chicken soup for the soul" series of books.

True-life stories of people helping others, people overcoming great hardships & just the ultimate feel-good, inspirational stories all packaged in one book.

I love them all they never fail to make my heart lighter when things are rough.

Sarah M said...

when I was in my first trimester, and nauseas all day long, I read all the past copies of TIME magazine, I was so out of the loop with the news (we don't have cable) and they are short enough where you can put it down and tend to kids and not forget where you are!

Anonymous said...

I tend to be wary of Christian Fiction, but I really enjoyed [and have reread a few times] the historical novels loosely based on Jacob/Rachel and Leah but set in 18th century Scotland, by Liz Curtis Higgs. Thorn in My Heart, Fair is the Rose, and Whence Came a Prince...
It may sound cheesy, but the third one really inspired me to love my husband but lean on God. I don't know that anyone else would glean that from the book, but it sure hit me hard.

Jessie Weaver said...

My favorite series is the Glenbrooke Series by Robin Jones Gunn. They are light romance and have a wonderful Christian message.

Dianna said...

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. You can't fail to appreciate his word acrobatics as he gradually eliminates each letter of the alphabet from the book!

Aimee said...

Peace Like a River - a novel by Leif Enger. Incredible writing. Authentic characters, both endearing and abhoring. Deep themes of family, faith, and hope. Not trite. Very rich. I will read this quality piece of fiction over and over.

Anonymous said...

I'm sooo into Mysteries right now. If you're interested in a light, funny mystery, try Donna Andrews' bird books. They're the ones with "bird names" in the title...beleive me, they're cute and funny!

Also, another good mystery author is Laura Levine...oh, and Joanne Fluke has her bakery mysteries! Yummy!

Got more where that comes from...

Amy said...

I can remember my own days of gestational diabetes and multiple appointments per week like it was yesterday, so I can definitely understand having no time to blog!

You've gotten some great book recommendations. I've been on a fiction kick lately, nothing especially inspirational, just some light mysteries and such. The Jane Wheel mysteries are light, not bloody or gory. And I always love Beverly Lewis or Wanda Brunstetter if you like the Amish fiction books.

Anonymous said...

Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Diebler Rose. A christian missionary,she was captured by the Japanese during WW2 and imprisoned for several years. This book is incredibley inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! I see that I didn't capitalize "Christian". Sorry.

An Adventurer in the World said...

First, the Bible books of Ephesians and Deuteronomy.

Secondly, I was encouraged this spring from an unlikely children's book 'Indian Captive: the story of Mary Jemison' by Lois Lenski. This true account does not set out to encourage, and is not didactically Christian, and yet reading how this young girl grew to accept a bitter reality and love what she could not change has been really comforting.

One that is uplifting for its' pure belly-laugh potential is "A Girl Named Zippy: Growing up Small in Mooreland, Indiana". oh my.

glad you are taking such good care,

Deb Meyers

An Adventurer in the World said...


Just read the posts above. I heartily second "Cooking for Mr. Latte" !

Laura said...

We missed you! If you want a well-written, lovely book, I'd recommend _The Lovely Bones_, by Alice Sebold, about a murdered girl "growing up" and watching life on earth from heaven. It sounds a little cheesy, but it's really thought-provoking and insightful.

Pen In Cheek said...

I am on my 8th novel this summer and highly recommend "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant and "The Birth House" by Ami Mckay.

Happy reading!

Ashley said...

I would recommend "The Market Square" by Miss Read. You could probably find it at your local library.

blossomteacher said...

When I am not feeling well, or just don't know what I feel like reading, I always re-read my old favorites. I just finished re-reading the Little House books while I was letting a sprained ankle heal. I love the simplicity and the beautiful story-telling. Same with the Anne of Green Gables set, or the Chronicles of Narnia, or The Little Princess and The Secret Garden, or Little Women and Little Men. All the classics from childhood :)

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

For nonfiction, I really enjoyed Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson. The author is a Christian, and she shows how taking care of the everyday things of life is ultimately a spiritual task. It's a very inspiring book.

Some more nonfiction I've enjoyed are Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf, David Wann, Thomas H. Naylor, and Vicki Robin and The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs. And I've just started Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle by David Wann.

For fiction I always will recommend Chaim Potok. If you've never read his books, start with The Chosen or My Name is Asher Lev. I can't say that they are light reading, but they are fascinating (to me). Potok was a Jew, and most of his subjects are Jewish. His books tend to make you think about your own faith. Very powerful stuff.

I can recommend plenty more, but I don't know what sort of book you're looking for. Uplifting in what way? Fiction or nonfiction? Does it need to be Christian in nature, or is secular okay, too?

Anonymous said...

I've been wanting to read 90 Minutes in Heaven--I forget the author.

For a brainless but entertaining read, The Devil Wears Prada is excellent. Not really uplifting, though.

Tubo Family said...

Glad to hear from you! I second the recommendation on the Mitford series.

Kathleen Grace said...

ha! Imagine my surprise when I saw your link to my blog as I was reading yours on my google reader:>) I wish I could recommend a book but I havent had much time to read a real book in the past year or so. I spend too much time blogging!:>)Well, and cooking, cleaning and filling the etsy shop when I can! Love your blog Meredith!

Rachel said...

I'm reading "Peace Like a River" right now, and I LOVE it. The writing is timeless--I can't put it down.
"To Hell with All That" by Caitlin Flanagan has stuck with me for years. It's a series of essays about housekeeping, marriage, and motherhood.
For your inner foodie, anything by Ruth Reichl.
Feel better soon! And I'm glad you were diagnosed and you (and your baby) can be healthier.

Bell said...

If you haven't discovered the delight of Sarah Ban Breathnach's Mrs. Sharp's Traditions, you need to get yourself a copy of this sweet book. I think you would gobble it up. And it is the kind of book that is wonderful to leave around because you will pick it up and read about the month you are in at any time and find inspiration. The title is actually longer than that but it's not hard to find. There's a link to it in my blog's sidebar if you can't find it. It's out of print but you can find great copies of the hardback for great prices.
Why not get some books on CD to listen to from the library and color with your children or do puzzles or draw while you all three listen?

Anonymous said...

I would highly recommend the (secular) novel "The Time Traveler's Wife." It is a beautiful love story, although it it sad. I found it very engaging at a time when I really needed to be distracted from everyday life. I would also recommend anything by M.F.K. Fisher, the great American food writer. Her book "How to Cook a Wolf" is about being frugal (or not) in wartime and still living well. If you haven't already read this book, I think you would really love it.

Anonymous said...

Other people have already made my suggestions, but I second Time Traveler's Wife, the Jan Karon books and the Beverly Lewis books. They are all quite different from each other, but I'm not a big fiction reader (when I was a librarian I got a lot of flack for that) and I liked them all.

I just finished up being slowed down by clomid, and for me reading non-fiction I've been meaning to get to (I second Jen F's first two choices) was the most fun. I felt like I was getting something done.

Good luck. :)


Michelle Smiles said...

Hey Meredith...hope the drug doesn't make you feel too wonky. And twice weekly? Ugh!

I have a whole pile of books if you would like some I could drop them by sometime. I don't know what you like to read so they may not be to your liking - all popular novels (James Patterson, Sue Grafton, Linda Howard, Dean Koontz, etc). Nothing of any intellectual value but good for diversion. Let me know!

MommyLydia said...

If you think you've already read all the Jan Karon books, there's a new one out called _Home to Holly Springs_

Another inspiring read that I find most people haven't read is the Yada Yada Prayer Group series by Neta Jackson. describes it thus:
" * #1 YYPG—is about grace (“I’m just a sinner, saved by grace”)
* #2 YYPG Gets Down—is about forgiveness
* #3 YYPG Gets Real—is about redemption
* #4 YYPG Gets Tough—is about spiritual warfare
* #5 YYPG Gets Caught—is about truth & freedom
* #6 YYPG Gets Rolling—is about letting go and reaching out"

Anonymous said...

Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture" - very uplifting, based on the "Last Lecture" he did at Carnegie Mellon (available in multiple places on the internet). He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given only a few months to live, so he gave the lecture and wrote the book (well, actually he dictated it to Jeffrey Zaslow, who did the writing) as a way to tell his three children what he wanted them to know, how he felt, etc. This book as been on the best seller list since it came out in April. As both a parent and a person, I find it very inspirational.

K said...

Big Russ and Me - Tim Russert
Change of Heart - Jodi Picoult
Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett

This is my list from the last 2 months. I just started World Without End by Ken Follett which is a follow-p to Pillars. They are long, but intense and to me they are page turners.


Meredith said...

Thank you!!!

I can't wait to start filling up my library reserves with all these new titles.

I have read and enjoyed the Mitford series but did not know there was a new one out.

Loved The Red Tent, too, and also enjoyed The Hell With All That by Flanagan.

Deb, Haven Kimmel is one of my all-time favorite contemporary writers. Love her.

Lissla, since you named Madeline L'Engle's 2 Part Invention--another of my favorites--I will take your advice on Gilead.

Jennifer F, anything that's inspired me will probably help me, too.

Miss Read mysteries? I haven't seen those yet. I do love a light cozy mystery but I'm going to have to stay away from Joanna Fluke and any other food-related reading for a while.

I get too hungry, and mouthwatering words by Ruth Reichl and Cooking For Mr. Latte might just push me over the edge : )

An Adventurer in the World said...

ooops, was NOT THINKING about your food boundaries when seconding "Mr. Latte"!

(Good thing I didn't follow up with "The Mitford Cookbook" or "Hallelujah! The Welcome Table" by Maya Angelou ; )

deb m

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

Okay, if you like light mysteries, M.M. Kaye has a wonderful series called Death in.... They're all places like Zanzibar, Kenya, Berlin, etc. All exotic places, based on the places Kaye lived. I like them for the story, the setting, and the time period. They're all 1930s to 1950s.

Also, her book The Ordinary Princess is a great one. It's a kid's book, but adults would enjoy it, too. It's a favorite of mine, and I read it to my 6th grade class when we were doing a unit on folk and fairy tales. They all loved it, even the boys. Personally, I think every little girl should have this book in her collection.

Nancy said...

Here are a few of my bookclub favorites --

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan
In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
Big Stone Gap Trilogy by Adriana Trigiani
Hospitality with Confidence by Grace Pittman and Be My Guest by Vivian Anderson Hall (about Christian hospitality)
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
All of the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich (they're laugh out loud funny)
Chocolat and Five Quarters of the Orange by Joann Harris

Anonymous said...

I was going to recomend Miss Read, but without looking at all the comments it appears that you have already gotten that recomendation. The books I have read by her are set in England and are about the life of a school misstress and the people that live in her village. They are a 'quiet and peaceful' read.

3beansalad said...

I'm reading "My Life In France" by Julia Child. I've never really had much of an opinion of Julia (positive or negative) but this book is FABULOUS! She was such an interesting person!

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Oh I'm so glad you like the Mitford Series....I rarely reread a book (as in neverish), but those I have reread. Partly to be reminded of the "prayer that never fails."

I received the new one for my's got a different twist and is the first in her new series.

And thanks to everyone for the suggestions...I've jotted some titles down...appreciate it.

SchrefflerFamily said...

"Home to Holly Sprigns" is not another Mitford series book. Its the first book in a new series, using Father Kavanaugh and his wife after the events of Mitford.

Anonymous said...

Just want to say that our Kroger too had 75% off all their books today. I bought several for gifts.

I'm sure we'll start a run on Kroger.

Anonymous said...

90 Minutes in Heaven (mentioned somewhere in here) is by Don Piper. We had him speak at our church. The book is very inspirational on a couple of levels: dealing with adversity here on earth and what we have to look forward to in heaven. I had a friend die from ALS last year; I gave her this book a few months before she died and it made all the difference. Even in that situation it gave her such great joy.

Anonymous said...

You've gotten some great recommendations, Meredith! I also endorse the Miss Read books as a gentle, companionable read.
I'm recommending 2 authors that I didn't see others recommend. These are books that entertain me, aren't too gripping that I HAVE to stay up late to finish (never a good thing with small children in the house!), but also offer insight and inspiration. I am a former English teacher and I read constantly :) First recommendation: Alexander McCall Smith. He wrote the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books - they are GREAT for a heart-warming read that is also interesting and intelligent. I've read books from his other series (he's very prolific - yay!) and they are good also.
Also, there's Cordelia Underwood by Van Reid (and a few more following that). They are funny and also serious with characters that are well-rounded and moral. Reid sets his novels in quirky New England places. My pastor introduced me to these and they are just very fun.

Happy reading!

Anonymous said...

I second on Chaim Potock - I've read many of his books.

Also, Wendell Berry has a host of gentle stories about the people of a small Kentucky community (actually based on the town I grew up in!).

Janette said...

My sister has chronic fatigue. She suggests LISTENING to books on tape. She loves the Cat Who series. iF you listen to them- the kids can enjoy them too as they play!

Carrien Blue said...

A long time ago a very dear friend Journey mama in fact, lent me a copy of A Tree Full of Angels. I kind of stole it for a few years and when I tried to give it back finally she let me keep it as a gift. I loved it. I can't remember the authors name, because it was quite foreign sounding. She's a member of a monastic community of some sort.

Another read I found fascinating was Christianity Rediscovered-Donovan it's a true story of a priests missionary work among the Massai.

I just started Christians at the Cross by NT Wright. A series of sermons. And I'm enjoying it.

And for a totally different kind of book, another that I'm reading right now, (because I have gobs of spare time ;) is Creating a World Without Poverty-Mahammud Yunus in a word, AMAZING.

Sandy said...

Hi Meredith! I just went camping for one night w/hubby and read the entire, The Hidden Art of Homemaking' by E. Schaeffer. Knowing you (queen of hospitality) you've already read it. It's an old book, but it was great! Got it cheap on Amazon too.
Wish I could help ya out, Sista!