My Book List

2/6/22 I’m reading Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah. Its a well told story about a family who own an apple orchard, have a cold as ice mother with secrets of her past and two sisters who are as opposite as my sister and I. My friend Ramona at school lends me books and this one is a perfect read for a snowy winter day or night.

For the last year I’ve abandoned reading fictional novels and started reading self help books. Now after reading Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Dr. Susan Jeffers and You are a Badass by Jen Sincero, I’m desiring a good book to read for the summer. Sometimes I look at my local library as well as a revisit to my bookshelf for a book that was so good that I’d read it twice or more.

I recommend any book by Anita Shreve. I loved The Pilot’s Wife as well as The Weight if Water. Jodi Piccoult, an author who lives in my native state of New Hampshire, is one of my favorites as well. She’s written Nineteen Minutes, a novel every educator should read about school violence and bullying and who is at fault. Other of Piccoult’s titles include Plain Fear, a mystery of a dead baby set in Amish country, House Rules, a story about a teenaged boy with Asperger’s Syndrome who is obsessed with solving crime scenes until he becomes a suspect himself.

Years ago I read Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe, an amazing story that I read in just a few hours. Fannie Flagg is the author, a writer with a poignant style of writing, who portrays the characters with such precision, I feel that I have met them in person! If you love that book you may enjoy Welcome to the World, Baby Girl and Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven.

My latest book wish list is tucked in my pocketbook and I’ll bring it to the local library on my next visit. It’s close enough to walk to on a clear sunny day. If they don’t have the book, the head Librarian Karla signs up for an inter library loan and obtains the book from another library.

Here’s my generated wish list:

Conviction by Denise Mina

Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

Ask Again Yes by Mary Beth Keene

The Summer Demands by Deborah Shapiro 

I’m reading 13 Clues for Miss Marple by Agatha Christie

Although this old paper book sports brown tattered pages with  a binding that’s split in two, I’m really enjoying this book. It’s short mysteries that present clues and make you ponder over them as Miss Marple solves each one. It’s an old book written so long ago, yet it seems fresh to me.

January 9, 2019

Check out The Divide by Nicholas Evans

This book is written well and descriptive and as I read it I care more for the characters Sarah and Benjamin. I found this at a book sale years ago and stashed it on my book shelf, unread. Here I am cuddled up by our fire and reading on a wintry snow day from school.


July 20, 2018

I stumbled upon my latest find by accident but maybe it was a pure divine coincidence. My sister and I attended a Keith Urban concert and stayed over in a hotel that night. She had this book in her bag, I’ve Been Thinking…Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver. I noticed it and thumbed through it and later purchased it after my sister ranted and raved over it.

My sister and I at the concert

I love Maria Shriver and what she stands for. She is a strong woman, a person who knows what she wants to do( find a cure and an answer for Alzeimer’s, her true mission),who writes poetically with her heart and soul and has featured a Facebook video in the past with Christina Ferrare. These were about a year and a half ago, focusing on healthy foods for a healthy brain and body. What I loved about the videos was that these two are obvious friends and had a charisma and humor that kept you glued to it. I miss them but I’m getting my fill of Maria by reading her book.

Each chapter has various reflections that affect women and can strengthen them. She features joy in the home,gratitude, forgiveness, the power of positive thinking and letting go. Maria describes her battle with empty nest and where it has left her. I can relate to this as I’m experiencing the same thing.

I loved the chapter that focused on mental illness and how everyone has some form of it. It resonated with me because sometimes I feel like my thoughts are mental and steamrolling the real me. Shriver says that everyone has mental problems and that it’s okay. She further says that “we all need to think about preserving its (the brain) health”.

Lastly I encourage you to buy this book and rest it on your night stand. Read a bit at a time and reflect. Journal your thoughts and reflections after you read. If you enjoy short reflective chapters that make you think, then this is your book.

One last quote from Maria’s book that I love is,

” I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” 

-Carl Jung

March 2, 2018

Currently I’m on a school break and winding down the week with a promising book. The other day I visited my local library and checked out a book I’ve wanted to read for years. Somehow it kept getting pushed back until here I am, finally giving it a go.

We Were The Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this book but I’m thankful that I did!

January 13, 2018

American Yesterday by Eric Sloane

I’m always enthusiastic to learn about life in America long ago. The older I become the more inspired I become to dive into the past and learn the life my ancestors lived. While antique stores fascinate me, stories and books depicting yester year are just as interesting.

I stumbled upon this Eric Sloane book a few years ago and read it in a few days. As all passionate readers know, good books are meant to be reread over and over again. I love Sloane’s sketches of house styles, furniture and old barns. He speaks of long ago with a nostalgic air and brings the reader to that time.

A page of the book describing the town street cleaners and criers.

According to Sloane, the Town Crier in the 1600’s was also the lamplighter. Street lights were iron cages filled with burning pine and were hung up with poles. The Town crier had to keep the fires blazing all night. This is one of many interesting facts from this book that I didn’t know before, inspiring me to read more.

Other Eric Sloane books are A Musuem of Early American Tools and American Barns and Covered Bridges. Check them out if you wish to be thrust back in time to learn of traditions and lifestyles of long ago.

January 1, 2018

My first time writing 2018! 😮

Fellow blogger Jodi suggested Braving the Wilderness by Brene’ Brown a few months ago. It interested me and I immediately placed it on my book wish list for Christmas. I want to thank Jodi for suggesting this awesome book, its pages have been hours of enjoyment! I’m almost done reading it  after starting a few days ago. Interspersed in the pages are my sticky notes with ideas I want to keep and revisit. The book focuses on belonging and Brown’s research and insight of it. Many pages spoke to me as all my life I’ve felt like I haven’t belonged and therefore I had to act to fit in. Guess what? I’m done with that! I’m just me and if I belong to myself that’s a start. 

I would love to share with you some of Brown’s words and ideas that mean something to me.

” Do not think you can be brave with your life and your work and never disappoint anyone. It doesn’t work that way.”

Permission slips to yourself is an attempt to belong to yourself and no one else.

( I love this one! My first permission slip is not to take life so seriously)

You will always belong anywhere you show up as yourself  and talk about yourself and your work in a real way.

Once we belong thoroughly to ourselves and Believe thoroughly in ourselves, true belonging occurs.

People are hard to hate close up. Move in.

Check this book out if you wish to gather insight on belonging and being yourself. Next I’m inspired to read Brown’s Rising Strong. After I read it I’l share my thoughts with you.

Happy Reading my friends!

What do you reading suggestions do you have for the cold winter nights?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

November 7, 2017

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

This book spoke to me so much that I am re-read it after finishing it. My neighbor and friend Anita suggested it and lent me the book. After I told her how I loved it, she gifted it to me. It’s a special gift because it’s made me think of my learned behaviors and how toxic they are. I’m trying my best to apply these Four Agreements to my life.

The Four Agreements are as followed;

1. Be impeccable with your word. Stay true to your word and say positive words and not negative. This not only applies to talking to others but to yourself! Don’t talk down to yourself but choose uplifting words. If you speak negatives it becomes your reality. Positive words will pave your way to a freedom of sorts…away from a living hell.

2. Don’t take anything personally. What someone thinks of you is not your business, did you know that? I have always wanted and demanded that others would like me without judgments and in turn I take situations personally, thinking that maybe their opinions are my fault. No, this isn’t true! What matters is what you think. Not everyone in this life is going to accept or like you and the sooner you face this the better your life will be.

Another side note is that when you take everything personally you are thinking that the world revolves around you! That’s not true. Everyone has a reason for what they do and most of the time it’s not about you but them.

3. Don’t make assumptions. Most of our lives we have made assumptions and made them truths to ourselves. When we don’t really know the truth, our thoughts become reality but that’s not good. Our brain has a mind of its own ( haha, good pun) and is constantly thinking and producing unwanted garbage.

4. Always try your best. This applies to the other three agreements. Living with holding these strong principles orchestrating the way will not always be easy. If you have a tendency to gossip then it may be a hard habit to break. If you fail, get up and try again with a determination that you want to live free of that toxin.

I highly recommend this book to you. It’s a quick read but one to be savored, thought about and reread again. It’s changed the way I’m approaching situations and I love the enlightenment I feel at this point in my life.

Blessings to you all,

Heart and Soul ❤

Lately I’m trying to instill more peace and self improvement in my life. About a year and a half ago I bought The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, a suggestion from my dear sister. Barb is a wellness and health coach, but also an advocate for my well being and suggested this read to change certain aspects of my life. See Barb’s brand new inspiring website at She intends to teach and inspire others to live a great life by physically being fit and healthy.


I’m finally immersed in this book. One statement from The Untethered Soul that is sitting deep within me is this, keep your heart open. Singer says that many people have a process of opening and closing their heart, picking what and who they like and don’t like and acting accordingly. When you constantly open and close, it creates a blockage of energy. There’s no release of the negative energy and it causes you problems. Blocking energy is a choice to close your heart to the rewards of happiness and love.

Once you live in each moment with a positive energy and open heart, you will grow as a person. Whatever situation arises, keep your heart open to people and new experiences. Don’t label everything between things you like and what you don’t like.  Live in the moment and see the good in it. When this habit of closing your heart and building a brick wall happens, stop it. Say no to it and block your heart closing.

As I continue this inner journey I will share truths that I learn about myself. I think it’s valuable to constantly strive to know oneself and find a possible path to peace within. As I read this great inspirational book, I’m unlocking answers about behavior and the heart and it’s capacity to let situations in. I’m also learning that as I read this book many examples apply to me.

I highly recommend this book to you while you embark on your personal journey. My version is on the Kindle, where I can highlight words that speak to me. You may prefer the solid book version with the cover.

Have a blessed week friends!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

I’m revisiting a great book that I read a few years ago with my son. It’s passionate and descriptive writing pulled me in, making me truly think about war and its effect on soldiers and families. Check out The Things They Carried by Tim O ‘ Brien. It’s worth the read and you may want to keep a journal handy to quote parts!


Right now I’m reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, a little inspiration for any soul seeking creativity. I’m really immersed in it and have book marked my favorite quotes  that stuck with me. Has anyone read this and if so, what do you think of the book? Was Gilbert’s book a comfort or help to you?