Winter’s Bone

“I’d be lost without the weight of you two on my back.”

Ree Dolly is 17 and responsible for her younger brothers and her mentally ill mama. 

Her daddy, Jessup Dolly, skipped bail and can’t be found. 

As part of his bond money, Jessup put up their homestead as collateral, which means Ree has to find him. 

The setting is the Ozarks. 

Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. 

It’s not a young adult read, so don’t give it to a kid, but I highly, highly recommend it. 

I wasn’t sure why it felt familiar to me until I read the interview with Daniel Woodrell at the end of the book. 

If you enjoy works by William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor, you will like Winter’s Bone. 

The story doesn’t shy away from the cold, hard facts. Nothing is white washed. 

Maybe this sounds weird, but the rhythm of the story draws you in…

Not every book does that to me. I almost skipped church because I didn’t want to stop reading. 

The movie is also really good. 

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Summer Reading

 

It’s summer reading time! 

My friend Mary gave me 2 sacks full of novels (and a few nonfiction books as well) so I am ready for some serious fun reading.

Even when I wasn’t a student, I mostly read fiction in the summer. There’s something about summer that makes me not want to read anything heavy. 

Am I the only one that feels this way?

I thought it would be fun to get some recommendations (you know, in case I’m able to finish all the books on my bottom book shelf). 


  1. What are some books on your summer reading list?
  2. Any of them graphic novels? I’m trying to give that genre a chance, so I’ve read a couple this year.
  3. What about nonfiction? Have any good nonfiction reads you think I should throw on my summer reading list?
  4. Any of your favorite authors releasing books this summer? Any that you’ve already pre-ordered?
  5. Are you participating in the local library’s summer reading program?

 

 

 

 

The Road Home

 

 

the road homeI’m still not sure why Christian Fiction authors love the Amish so much, but I’m hooked now…

The bad news about there being so many novels about the Amish is that many of them are cookie cutters.

Which leads to my confession:

I am reading The Road Home by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen for the 4th time in 2 years.

Technically, I’ve listened to the audio book 3 times and currently I’m reading the print version. (The whole debate on audio books vs. printed books is a touchy subject among readers.) 


The Road Home
is one of the best Christian fiction books I have ever read. There’s depth and character development and no cheesiness.

Another plus is that the novel is a modern retelling of the Book of Ruth. 

I don’t want to give anything away, but here’s the blurb:

For Naomi Kauffman Yoder, memories of a Pennsylvania Dutch childhood, abandoned roots, lost connections, and shattered dreams have left her with nothing but loneliness and regret. Now wracked with grief, she comes to a momentous decision…

For Ruth Escalante Yoder, daughter-in-law and friend to Naomi, she concludes that leaving Las Vegas is the only option left to her…

So begins their odyssey–a cross-country quest in Naomi’s creaky old Impala as she returns to her family farm in Lancaster County, to the values of a life once spurned.

Although never having seen the East before, Ruth too is looking for a place to call home. Will she find it among the slow, quiet rhythms of Pennsylvania farm country?

Doesn’t this story sound cool?!?

Let me know if you read the book. And, if you have any theories on why Christian authors love the Amish, I’d love to hear those too!

 

Say no to crazy

Does anyone else feel like people are acting a bit crazy about this presidential election?

I saw on the news today that a tattoo artist is offering to give people free Donald Trump tattoos…

I’m not saying if I’m for or against Trump–who I vote for is my business–but getting a tattoo of any president or presidential candidate is creepy. 
Here’s my plea:

Say no to crazy. 

Pray for our country, the future president, the election…

Just don’t be crazy. 

You can be an advocate and have an opinion, but extremism pushes people away (it scares them). 

If your candidate is as good as you say they are, let the facts be what persuades others. 

State the facts and don’t be crazy because craziness is not persuasive. 

Politics is already a sticky subject without you adding more to it. 

And please do your homework before presenting something as fact. Just because it’s on the news doesn’t mean it’s truth. 

Untold stories

I want to write fiction this year. 

Writing this blog comes so naturally. I enjoy writing about life and everyday things. 

The conversational tone is my favorite. That’s why travelogues are my favorite book genre. 
In my college creative writing classes, my attempts at poetry were pitiful and my short stories were not impressive. 
It frustrated me because I have been a reader my whole life. Visualizing a story as I read is second nature. 

So why can’t I write about the stories I see so clearly in my head?

Two of my goals this year are to improve my writing skills and to write a few short stories. 

The only way I can achieve these goals is to change the way I see myself as a writer. 

I’m not some untalented wannabe who is barely scraping by. 

I can write. 

I have a voice. 

I will not give up. 

There are stories inside of me, as well as the everyday adventures I enjoy sharing.