10 ~ Loved it!! Couldn't put it down!!
9 ~ Excellent!
8 ~ Very Good
7 ~ Good
6 ~ Above Average
5 ~ Average
4 - Struggled to finish, but not worth it
3 ~ Annoying ~ a waste of time
2 ~ Poor
1 ~ Pitiful!
0 ~ Awful!! Don't bother
* DNF ~ Did Not Finish ~ one I abandoned
* Nah ~ I don't recommend it
1. Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith ~ by Anne Lamott, 2005, memoir, 7/10
"I live by the truth that 'No' is a complete sentence. I rest as a spiritual act" (p. 174).2. Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint ~ by Nadia Bolz-Weber, 2013, memoir, 8/10
"...the desire to change changes you..." (p. 221).
"When you're kind to people, and you pay attention, you make a field of comfort around them, and you get it back — the Golden Rule meets the Law of Karma meets Murphy's Law" (p. 261).
"Gratitude, not understanding, is the secret to joy and equanimity" (p. 295).
"I hadn't learned about grace from the church. But I did learn about it from sober drunks who managed to stop drinking by giving their will over to the care of God and who then tried like hell to live a life according to spiritual principles. What the drunks taught me was that there was a power greater than myself who could be a source of restoration, and that higher power, it ends up, is not me" (p. 48).3. The Last Original Wife ~ by Dorothea Benton Frank, 2013, fiction (South Carolina, Georgia), 6/10
"I realized that sometimes the best thing we can do for each other is talk honestly about being wrong" (p. 107).
"I long for black and white, I really do, but that's not how I experience the world. I continue to learn, over and over again, that there are often more than just two possible labels for things" (p. 137).
"There was little doubt as to who was really in charge. Maybe I needed a dog. But then did I really need another thing to boss me around?" (p. 116).
"I'm not coming back. I'm sorry to tell you this in an e-mail, but I just don't feel like hearing you scream at me ever again. Ever." (p. 170).
4. The Forgotten Orphan ~ by Glynis Peters, 2020, fiction (UK, Canada), 9.5/10
"Her cruelty of depriving a child the comfort of family was beyond comprehension, but only a heartless woman would split up twins" (p. 248).5. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek ~ by Kim Michele Richardson, 2019, fiction (Kentucky), 9.5/10
"Maisie knew her duty and calling was to ease the pain of others" (p. 306).
"Pa, people want the books. It's my job to tend to the folks who are hungry for the learning."
He lifted the courting candle. "A woman ought to be near the home fires tending that."
"But if I marry, the WPA will fire me" (p. 5).
7. I Know a Wee Piggy ~ by Kim Norman, illustrated by Henry Cole, 2012, children's book, 9/10"Born on January 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama, Hurston moved with her family to Eatonville, Florida, when she was still a toddler" (loc. 4879)."Over a career that spanned more than thirty years, she published four novels, two books of folklore, an autobiography, numerous short stories, and several essays, articles, and plays" (loc. 4874)."When Zora was there, she was the party. . . . She would sometimes write in her bedroom while the party went on in the living room" (loc. 4907).Hurston's footnote: "The word Nigger used in this sense does not mean race. It means a weak, contemptible person of any race" (loc. 5101).
"May I offer you some tea?" The way she pronounced it — "tay" — made me smile (p. 207).
10. Emily and Einstein: A Novel of Second Chances ~ by Linda Francis Lee, 2011, fiction (New York), 10/10"I am the one who should have been around for my wife and unborn son. Instead, I was having drinks in a hotel in Singapore while my wife's health was deteriorating so badly she could die" (p. 73).
"Emily . . . seemed aware only of whoever was talking, as if she were listening in a way that most people never did" (p. 3).11. Idia of the Benin Kingdom ~ by Ekiuwa Aire, illustrated by Alina Shabelnyk, 2020, history for children (Benin), 9/10
"Lillian Barlow had never been a woman interested in self-reflection. Was she afraid of what she would find? Or did she already know, and didn't like what she saw?" (p. 156).
"I knew your mother. She might have been half visionary, half nut job, but she wasn't afraid to speak her mind." . . . "I had never heard anyone encapsulate my mother so perfectly" (p. 195).
"I realized by watching you grow up that books could make a difference. More specifically, children's books could change the world" (p. 276).
12. The Last Letter from Juliet ~ by Melanie Hudson, 2019, historical fiction (England), 8/10"In her [Idia's] dream, a woman was fighting in a raging battle. Arrows zipped through the air at her from all directions, but they missed. . . . Quickly, the dream changed; the battle was over, and the brave woman helped to heal those who were hurt by mixing herbs and potions and making the wounded fighters feel better with a single touch" (np).
13. Vintage 1954 ~ by Antoine Laurain, 2018, fiction (France), 9/10"Juliet was a pilot ... She flew for the Air Transport Auxiliary during the war. They used to deliver all the aircraft from the factories to the RAF" (p. 24).
"Sure enough, between cockamamie (ridiculous; incredible) and codswallop (something utterly senseless) I found coddiwompler: someone who travels in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination" (p. 62).
"Arpajon’s theory is this: UFOs don’t travel through space, but through time" (p. 95 ).
16. That Book Woman ~ by Heather Hensen, illustrated by David Small, 2008, children's fiction, 9/10"So if a kid feels lonely or left out, he can sit on the bench and someone will come over," Deon said.
"He or she," Kym corrected.
"The bench acts like a signal," Lizzy said. "Everybody needs a buddy" (p. 41).
"The Easter Rising still strikes a chord of heroism in Ireland, and in the rest of the Irish diaspora, today. It is remembered as the beginning of the road to Irish Independence" (p. 319).
23. Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky ~ by Kathi Appelt and Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer, 2001, children's history (Kentucky), 7/10"Yesterday's Bookshop," I said. "It commemorates the past but acknowledges that we aren't still living in it" (p. 309).
24. One Little Act of Kindness ~ by Susan Salidor, illustrated by Natalka Soiko, 2020, children's, 8/10"Magazines were far more popular than books, especially 'practical' magazines such as Women's Home Companion and Popular Mechanics. The mountaineers were hungry for ways to improve their lives, and they found the magazines on home health care, cooking, agriculture, child care, parenting, canning, hygiene, hunting, and machinery particularly helpful" (p. 33).
25. The Lost Stetl ~ by Max Gross, 2020, historical fiction (Poland), 4/10"One little act of kindness can go a long, long way. Two little acts of kindness can brighten anyone's day." (Includes music for the song.)
"What's the delusion?"26. The Lost for Words Bookshop ~ by Stephanie Butland, 2017, fiction, 7/10
Dr. Polus sighed almost imperceptibly. "He thinks he's an eighteenth-century Orthodox Jew from an imaginary shtetl in the forest" (p. 94).
"I'd left care, when I was eighteen. I had been so determined that I was on my own: once my parents had gone, I was someone no one wanted. And I made it so" (p. 312).
27. The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae ~ by Stephanie Butland, 2018, fiction (Scotland), 8/10
Ailsa (who had a heart transplant) emailed Seb (who had a cornea transplant): "Did you surgeon [REALLY] use the words 'keep an eye on it'? One of my consultants used to say 'pump' instead of 'heart.' As in: 'you have to put your pump into it.' I'm not sure what the point was but it made me laugh" (p. 150).
"I wanted to call you Ailsa, for my mother's middle name and because I'd looked it up and it meant 'victory'..." (p. 295).
28. How to Keep House while Drowning: 31 Days of Compassionate Help ~ by KC Davis, 2020, self-help, 8/10
"Although it looks like a lot, there are actually only 5 things in any room: (1) trash, (2) dishes; (3) laundry; (4) things that have a place and are not in their place; and (5) things that do not have a place" (loc. 137).
29. My Only Child ~ by Sam Vickery, 2020, fiction, 6/10
"Remember that anything worth doing is worth doing half-assed" (loc. 377).
"I understood now how secrets, even kept with the best intentions, could corrode a relationship" (p. 260).
"None of the sharing-the-same-body thing [with her younger self] made any sense. It was strange that Tesla hadn't written much about the weird melding process" (p. 219).
31. I'll Be Seeing You ~ by Elizabeth Berg, 2020, memoir, 8/10
"If you are a writer you need to put what you imagine into words and then you need to read those words in order to understand yourself. After that, you might feel a need to put those words before others. I think I have to say that need is the operative word" (p. 64).
32. Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer ~ by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Natasha Donovan, 2021, children's, 7/10
[Berg's friend says:] "I really wonder . . . is there any meaning to the end of life?" (p. 193).
"In the hills of northeastern Oklahoma, Mary's Cherokee tribe provided education for everyone. Her great-great grandfather, John Ross, had served as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. He helped create a school that later became a state teacher's college, which Mary began attending at the age of sixteen" (no pagination).
Four Cherokee Values
* gaining skills in all areas of life
* working cooperatively with others
* remaining humble when others recognize your talents
* helping ensure equal education and opportunity for all
"You can go back. It's true...you can go back, but..."
"When you go back, no matter how hard you try, the present won't change" (p. 26).
"Each of my hundreds of students had a unique grammatical profile. . . . What is more, these students' different grammar choices seemed to correspond to their diverse personalities, their distinct ways of understanding and dealing with life" (p. 10).36. The Last Children of Mill Creek ~ by Vivian Gibson, 2020, memoir (Missouri), 10/10
"According to [linguist Benjamin Lee Whorf], any language will do more than enable its speakers to convey their thinking to each other: It will also somewhat mold their thinking. Whorf argued that, by making certain thoughts easier to express than others, a language helps determine what one thinks and feels in the first place" (pp. 10-11).
"It still makes a difference to my morale whether I relate bad news about myself before the coordinating conjunction but or after it" (p. 12).
"We are faced throughout out days with this grammatical decision: the choice of what to put before the conjunction but and what to put after it. Whatever goes last usually receives emphasis (called by grammarians end-focus). . . . we exercise the astounding power to declare which truth is the proper takeaway — the more useful of the two, going forward" (p. 115).
"I'm convinced that my zeal for living a full and authentic life is a direct result of my scrappy early years as one of the last children living and learning in Mill Creek Valley" (p. 17).
"In Mill Creek, every aspect of life was labor intensive and time consuming. We boiled water to wash dishes, clothes, and our bodies; we built fires to heat the house, and walked everywhere we wanted to go. On the rare occasion we rode a streetcar, it was never just a straight trip — we always transferred at least once, maybe twice to get to our destination" (p. 61).
"This summer, she wasn't going to be Jay's widow, Cristal's younger sister, a kindergarten teacher, or a reliable volunteer at the library. She was going to find the person who hid inside her — the one that had been broken" (p. 16).
"Thanks for helping Kacy understand you don't have to be number one to be a winner" (p. 104).
38. Mavis and Dot ~ by Angela Petch, 2018, fiction (England), 8/10
"Athletics is just not me. I'm not into agoraphobics ... You know, people in leotards leaping around in a gym, all hot and bothered," Mavis said, speaking with her mouth full of cake. Dot laughed, "I think perhaps you mean aerobics" (pp. 14-15).
39. While My Sister Sleeps ~ by Barbara Delinsky, 2009, fiction (New Hampshire), 9/10
"Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — inflammation of the heart muscle — is the leading cause of sudden death in athletes. It doesn't happen often, and the instance is even lower in women than men. But it does happen" (p. 16)."Letting go wasn't a betrayal, but rather a pure form of love. But letting go entailed acceptance of reality" (p. 188)."No, it's not about giving up. . . . It's about letting go" (p. 270).
40. The Paper Bracelet ~ by Rachael English, 2020, fiction (Ireland), 9/10
"Men can't help themselves, so the burden falls on women to keep society safe and close to God. Do you understand?" (p. 40).
41. The First Time I Said Goodbye ~ by Claire Allan, 2013, fiction (Ireland), 6/10
"She could see why, on leaving places like Carrigbrack, many young women went to England or America. It wasn't because they were ashamed. It was because they'd been abandoned" (p. 48).
"Religion had treated her like a criminal when in reality she'd been a victim" (p. 96).
"There's a part of you, Annabel, that always holds on to the first time you said goodbye. Especially when you didn't realize you were saying it at the time" (p. 104).
42. The Little Dog in the Big Plague ~ by C. C. Alma, 2015, fiction (novella), 10/10
"We think Ringo can smell the disease," Joni said. "Herlikes people who don't have the bug. And he likes you, so you're probably immune" (p. 46).
"Ringo felt so happy. ... They were a pack now, a healthy, cooperative, productive pack. He had done his job" (p. 64).
43. The Rebel Nun ~ by Marj Charlier, 2021, historical fiction (France), 6/10
"How were we, crouching obediently in our monastery doing Christ's bidding of tending to the sick and poor? How were we spreading His gospel? We were only praying to save our own souls" (p. 151).
44. I Am Yoga ~ by Susan Verde, art by Peter H. Reynolds, 2015, children's, 10/10
45. I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness ~ by Susan Verde, art by Peter H. Reynolds, 2017, children's, 10/10
46. I Am Human: A Book of Empathy ~ by Susan Verde, art by Peter H. Reynolds, 2018, children's, 10/10
47. I Am Love: A Book of Compassion ~ by Susan Verde, art by Peter H. Reynolds, 2019, children's, 10/10
48. I Am One: A Book of Action ~ by Susan Verde, art by Peter H. Reynolds, 2020, children's, 10/10
49. One True Thing ~ by Anna Quindlen, 1994, fiction, 8/10
50. The Old Girls' Network ~ by Judy Leigh, 2020, fiction, 7/10
"My father . . . did what so many men do: he divided women into groups . . . the intellectual twins, the woman of the mind and the one of the heart. . . . I had the misfortune to be designated the heartless one, my mother the mindless one. It was a disservice to us both but, on balance, I think she got the better deal" (p. 281).
"Bisto's presence, his mischief and lightness, was a perfect antidote to Barbara's frostiness" (p. 133).
"Perhaps it's time to let the past go, Babs. Maybe it's still holding you back" (p. 176).
51. Allie and Bea ~ by Catherine Ryan Hyde, 2017, fiction, 10/10
Allie: "The only car she could see coming was a shabby older white van with some kind of writing on the side. As it pulled closer, Allie could see an old woman behind the wheel, and on the dashboard, a curled and sleeping cat. This odd pair of travelers was looking like her one and only chance" (p. 124).
52. Reluctantly Home ~ by Imogen Clark, 2021, fiction (England), 8/10
"As she climbed the stairs to her room, it occurred to her that for the first time in almost as long as she could remember, she was the one offering help rather than having it offered to her, and it felt good" (p. 209).
Grace Montgomery Smith met Mrs. Melissa Allen, then chapters jumped around: Leah now, Clio now, Melissa then, Grace then . . . and Noah (age 4), and Poppy (age13), and Ray (her "fella"), and Hector (her son), and Charles (her husband) . . . Who ARE these people? . . . I couldn't keep up with which characters knew each other, much less what was happening. So I abandoned the book after 101 pages (of the book's 329 pages) and "Did Not Finish" it. I had tried.
"Please. All I want is to live" (loc. 445).
"Adolf Hitler. He seemed to decide on everything in Germany and none of his decisions made any sense. What she didn't understand was why the other adults didn't tell him how wrong he was?" (p. 95).
"[He] understood that mostly what we humans do is daydream, that while we're going about the business of our lives in one direction, we're daydreaming it away in another" (p. 211).
"This is how we'll be remembered down the line, as caricatures in the mind of a surviving family member" (p. 218).
"What is love? . . . the love we express can best be seen in what we do and say" (back cover).
58. Meditations: A Collection for Women ~ by Ronnie Polaneczky, edited by Virginia Mattingly, illustrated by Nancy Loggins Gonzales, 1996, gift book, 5/10
59. The Awkward Owl ~ by Shawnda Blake, 2012, children's picture book, 10/10
60. Coast Road ~ by Barbara Delinsky, 1998, fiction (California), 9/10
61. Flight of the Sparrow: A Novel of Early America ~ by Amy Belding Brown, 2014, historical fiction (Massachusetts), 9/10
"As they ride past the hill where the meetinghouse stands guard over the stones of the burying ground, Mary recalls the last time she sat on the pew bench listening to her husband. The world has become so disordered, it seems as if years — not months — have passed" (p. 172).
62. To the Top! : A Gateway Arch Story ~ by Amanda E. Doyle, illustrated by Tony Waters, 2012, children's picture book, 9/10
63. Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness ~ written and illustrated by Anastasia Higginbotham, 2018, children's picture book, 7/10
64. Death Is Stupid ~ written and illustrated by Anastasia Higginbotham, 2016, children's picture book, 7/10
65. The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy ~ by Michael F. Patton and Kevin Cannon (illustrator), 2015, philosophy, 6/10
"Knowledge about any subject becomes more robust as we question, challenge, and ultimately improve on it" (p. 11).
66. The Mother I Could Have Been ~ by Kerry Fisher, 2019, fiction (England), 4/10
"And some people twisted and turned and agonised, trying to please everyone without ever pleasing themselves and, in the end, cauterized the pain of not fitting in, of not getting it right, by cutting themselves off" (p. 204).
67. No Happy Endings: A Memoir ~ by Nora McInerny, 2019, memoir, 7/10
"Love changes us, and so does loss" (p. 185).
68. Everything, Everything ~ by Nicola Yoon, illustrations by David Yoon, 2015, YA fiction, 9/10
"There's more to life than being alive" (p. 300).
69. The Journey of York: The Unsung Hero of the Lewis and Clark Expedition ~ by Hasan Davis, illustrated by Alleanna Harris, 2019, children's history, 10/10
"Captain Clark spoke. 'It took every one of us to get this far. . . . The way I see it, every man has earned the right to say where we go from here. York,' he said, 'it is time for you to vote.' So I voted, right there beside all those white men. I put my word up, and it counted for something" (p. 31).
70. Never Mind! : A Twin Novel ~ by Avi and Rachel Vail, 2004, YA fiction, 7/10
"When I told the truth, they were sure I was lying, but my lies had become the foundation of the world" (p. 121).
71. Inside Animal Hearts and Minds: Bears That Count, Goats That Surf, and Other True Stories of Animal Intelligence and Emotion ~ by Belinda Recio, 2017, psychology, 10/10
"If a cat and an iguana can nuzzle each other and nap together, and a dog and fish can 'kiss' upon meeting at the boundary between their terrestrial and aquatic worlds, then it's time for humans to take a lesson from other animals in how to get along" (loc. 632).
72. The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Book 1 of Heaven's Books) ~ by Mitch Albom, 2003, fiction, 9/10
"There are five people you meet in heaven . . . Each of us was in your life for a reason. You may not have known the reason at the time, and that is what heaven is for. For understanding your life on earth. . . . to understand what happened in your life. To have it explained" (p. 35).
73. The Next Person You Meet in Heaven (Book 2 of Heaven's Books) ~ by Mitch Albom, 2018, fiction, 10/10
"If you knew you were about to die, how would you spend your final hours?" (p. 2).
"No story sits by itself. Our lives connect like threads on a loom, interwoven in ways we never realize" (p. 12).
"No act done for someone else is ever wasted" (p. 92).
74. After the Crash ~ by Emma Davies, 2021, fiction (England), 10/10
"Nothing lasts forever, Louisa, but we don't have to mourn something just because it's gone. Instead we can choose to celebrate that it was here at all" (p. 58).
"I can hear Isaac's words in my head. You don't have to mourn something because it's gone, instead you can choose to celebrate that it was here at all... The good, mingled with the bad. All of it" (p. 141).
"I can still hear Leah's voice, reminding me that I'd never seen Isaac at the inquest. I'd never seen how broken he was. And it's staring me in the face — how my articles have only ever shown one side of the story, the side I'd chosen to tell. . . . just like art, perspective can change a thing's appearance dramatically. And that is the nub of the matter" (p. 167).
75. Retirement Is a Full-Time Job: And You're the Boss! ~ by Bonnie Louise Kuchler, 2009, humor, 9/10
"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." ~ Dorothy Parker
"There is always a lot to be thankful for. For example, I'm sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt." ~ Unknown
"The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been." ~ Madeleine L'Engle
76. The Little Island Secret ~ by Emma Davies, 2021, fiction (Scotland), 8/10
"Hope is what you have when you set yourself free" (p. 286).
76. She Wouldn't Change a Thing ~ by Sarah Adlakha, 2021, speculative fiction, 9/10
"But what if the past ... isn't really what you thought it was?"
"It probably never is," he replied. "I think most of us remember our pasts in very different lights. Even when we've gone through them together" (p. 164).
"I can't imagine not having Dean in my life, and if I had to go back and do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing" (p. 168).
"The choices we make every day are not just about us. They impact everyone around us in ways that you can't even imagine" (p. 197).
77. Jerrold Petrofsky: Biomedical Pioneer (People of Distinction Series) ~ by Timothy Gaffney, 1984, juvenile biography, 8/10
"That same year  he was married to Cheryl Carey. Cheryl was teaching first grade at Jana Elementary School in Hazelwood, a St. Louis suburb" (p. 27).
"A daughter, Melissa, was born to the Petrofskys on February 16, 1976" (p. 33).
"He lives in Beavercreek, Ohio, with his wife, Cheryl, and his daughter, Melissa, and son, David Andrew" (p. 97).
"He quickly learned that flying is not so simple. He landed in Chattanooga, Tennessee, then took off again. 'I ran right into storms and severe turbulence, diverted to Atlanta.' ... He and Cook flew in a jetliner to Newark, New Jersey, and had a friend drive them to Morristown" (pp. 80, 82).
78. Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family ~ by Mitch Albom, 2021, memoir, 10/10
Speaking to Chika: "You were an unfailing antidote to adult preoccupation. All you had to say was, 'Look!' " (p. 90).
79. Crime & Punctuation (Deadly Edits, Book 1 of 4) ~ by Kaitlyn Dunnett, 2018, cozy mystery, 5/10
"While Tiffany had occasionally made mistakes in other areas of punctuation, her use of the Oxford comma had been one hundred percent consistent throughout her manuscript. The anomaly I noticed came at the end of a sentence acknowledging several lawyers she'd talked to. If she'd meant to thank them as a group of three, then she should have written 'My lawyer friends, Philip Sussman, Lawrence Kruger, and Michael Doran.' Instead, she'd thanked 'my lawyer friends, Philip Sussman and Lawrence Kruger, and Michael Doran'" (pp. 144-145).
80. Agnes Parker . . . Girl in Progress ~ by Kathleen O'Dell, 2003, juvenile fiction, 7/10
81. Here Come the Unicorns ~ by Joan Uda, 2013, children's chapter book, 8/10
"Those animals are not unicorns. They're pronghorn antelope" (loc. 72).
82. What Gifts Does the Christ Child Bring? ~ by Joan Uda, 2012, essays, 9/10
"Little Women ... created a world in which I wanted to stay. ... I fell in love with Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, the sisters I didn't have. ... Jo, the character based on Alcott herself, was a huge role model in my life. Jo was a tomboy, a dreamer, a seeker, and also the scribbler who yearned to have her writing published. I loved her and saw myself in her" (loc. 615-620).
83. The Jade Locket and the Red Star: The Untold History of the Invasion of Okinawa and Why Korea is Now Two Countries Instead of One (Alternate title on copyright page: The Jade Locket: A Memoir) ~ by Joan Uda, 2012, memoir, 8/10
"On July 12, 1973, an enormous fire swept the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, destroying an estimated eighty percent of records on file for Army personnel "discharged November 1, 1912 to January 1, 1960," which includes my dad [Warren W. Mc. The Air Force also lost about seventy-five percent of its personnel records for those discharged between September 2947 and the end of 1964" (loc. 525-529). [Bonnie: That would also include my children's dad's Air Force records.]
"Okinawa ... He [her dad] went in with the combat troops because his work required that he arrive quickly, move civilians out of battle zones, and collect Japanese intelligence materials before they were destroyed" (loc. 1516).
"My parents did want another child, but were not able to adopt again until 1952 when my eight-month-old brother John came to live with us" (loc. 2160).
"Summed up, my beliefs are simple: God is; God is good; God loves me as God loves everyone and asks that I behave as a beloved and grateful child" (loc. 3359).
"Your mother's name is Zelda Brown ... And your father's name is Max Martin" (loc. 3389).
"...my children--my genetic descendants--Cari, Mike, Beth, and Take', and my five grandchildren, Dave, Ben, William, Maddie, and Sophie" (loc. 3437).
"What if Zelda had found a way to keep me? Who would I be today? ... It almost feels as if I have an invisible twin named Janet Lee Brown" (loc. 3441).
84. The Time of the Church ~ by Suzanne Richterkessing, illustrated by Susan Morris, 1999, children's picture book, 7/10
85. Booth Girls: A Love Story ~ by Joan Uda, 2013, fiction (Iowa), 10/10
"Aged only thirteen, Anne had been raped, made pregnant by her rapist, and her parents or at least her father blamed her for not stopping the rapist" (loc. 2382).
"What is there about me wanting to have a career instead of getting married and having babies that nobody understands?" I hollered (loc. 3390).
86. At the Water's Edge: God's Grace in Everyday Life, Volume One ~ by Joan Uda, 2012, essays, 8/10
"I believe that no real love ever ends" (loc. 684).
"A need to be special has dogged me all my life ... My heavens, why else would I need three professional degrees?" (loc. 878).
"I write my autobiography in deeds and words, and I'm the one responsible for it. And I'm the only one with the authority to change the parts I don't like. ... I'm the author of my own life" (loc. 1070-1075
87. At the Water's Edge: God's Grace in Everyday Life, Volume Two ~ by Joan Uda, 2012, essays, 8/10
"Skimpy eating was no part of the Hawaiian tradition and big was beautiful" (loc. 2372).
88. When the Men Were Gone ~ by Marjorie Herrera Lewis, 2018, historical fiction, 9/10
I concluded the session by asking all three to give me one word that described why they most admired the Little Women character they collectively named as their favorite: Jo. "Different," Lula Ann said. "Independent," Katharine said. Bobby Ray remained silent. "Bobby Ray, what do you most admire about Jo?" I asked. "If I have to pick, I guess, strong. I kind of like that," he said (loc. 357).
I was certain I'd face pedestrian questions, such as "Why do you want to do a man's job? What makes you think you can handle the boys?" and "What does a lady know about football?" (loc. 977).
89. Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It ~ by Ethan Kross, 2021, self-help, 9/10
Tools You Can Implement on Your Own (pp. 162-165)
- Use distanced self-talk.
- Imagine advising a friend.
- Broaden your perspective.
- Reframe your experience as a challenge.
- Reinterpret your body's chatter response.
- Normalize your experience.
- Engage in mental time travel.
- Change the view.
- Write expressively.
- Adopt the perspective of a neutral third party.
- Clutch a lucky charm or embrace a superstition.
- Perform a ritual.
Tools That Invoke the Environment (pp. 170-171)
- Create order in your environment.
- Increase your exposure to green spaces.
- Seek out awe-inspiring experiences.
92. If God Is Love, Don't Be a Jerk: Finding a Faith That Makes Us Better Humans ~ by John Pavlovitz, 2021, social issues, 233 pages, 10/10
- Following Jesus ---> doing what Jesus says (p. 5).
- Whenever people say, "I'm spiritual but not religious," this is usually another way of saying, "I've outgrown my God box and am currently looking for a bigger one." (p. 13).
- Fully understanding God ---> underestimating God (p. 16).
- Putting theology over people ---> hurting people in God's name (p. 48).
- Willingness to change ---> possibility of growth (p. 57).
- A specifically male God ---> reinforced subconscious misogyny (p. 60).
- A God who transcends gender ---> the ability to see God in everyone (p. 63).
- Embracing an "America first" theology ---> a gospel that is not for the whole world (p. 69).
- Believing that God shows no favoritism ---> loving people as Jesus did (p. 73).
- Living scared of hell ---> missing out on a life of love (p. 78).
- Less preoccupation with sexuality ---> more energy to embrace Jesus' priorities (p. 92).
- Passing the buck of bigotry to God ---> driving people away from God (p. 97).
- Focusing on the character of God ---> a compassionate reading of scripture (p. 116).
- Praying for a particular outcome ---> results-oriented, frustrated prayer (p. 122).
- Blaming church decline on wider culture ---> ignoring evil within the church (p. 133).
- Erring toward kindness ---> a more loving religion (p. 140).
- A fixation on abortion ---> a narrow understanding of life (p. 145).
- Overvaluing niceness ---> sanitizing Jesus' fierce love for humanity (p. 160).
- Recognizing your privilege ---> greater awareness of others' challenges (p. 165).
- Seeing the humanity in the hardest people to love ---> loving them as Jesus does (p. 178).
- A preoccupation with saving souls ---> the temptation to ignore present suffering (p. 183).
- Giving up on being right ---> the possibility of connection with those who disagree (p. 201).
- Jesus' command is to love God, neighbor, and self. Which of these is the most difficult for you? (p. 224).
"The paper said Nellie Bly is not your real name, no more than Nellie Brown was. I have no idea who you really are."There were so many things she could have said. That her name was Elizabeth Cochrane ... (p. 243).
95. What Child Is This (Kindle Single) ~ by Rhys Bowen, 2018, fiction, 42 pages, 10/10
"Come and see what I've found!" he called to her. "You won't believe it. A real miracle." ... "What is it?" she demanded again. "This house. I noticed the front door was open. There's nobody inside. They've all gone. See the barrier down there? The street's been shut off" (p. 16).
96. Catch You Later, Traitor ~ by Avi, 2015, juvenile historical fiction (New York), 304 pages, 6/10
"History is memory researched. Historical fiction is memory brought to life" (p. 294 in Author's Note).
97. The Girls with No Names ~ by Serena Burdick, 2020, fiction, 8/10
"Suzie Trainer disappeared from school with everyone whispering that her father had put her in the House of Mercy for receiving a telegram from a boy. ... The House of Mercy was just up the road from us, a Protestant Episcopal home for wayward girls" (pp. 45, 46).
"The day my daughter Effie went missing, October 16, 1913, was now seared into my memory" (p. 144).
"It was 1914, the world was an entirely different place than it had been in 1897 when I first met Emory. Luella's generation couldn't possibly understand" (p. 218).
"Men are the whole of our problems I'd heard her say on more than one occasion" (p. 250).
"Will you tell me a story?" Effie said. "Anything will do. I haven't been able to think up a good one since the mercury treatments. It's like a pillow's been stuffed in my brain" (p. 275).
98. One Tiny Turtle ~ by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Jane Chapman, 2001, children's picture book, 9/10
99. What Cats Teach Us: Life's Lessons Learned from Our Feline Friends ~ by Glenn Dromgoole, 2000, gift book, 7/10
100. The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death ~ edited by David Shields and Bradford Morrow, 2011, nonfiction, 6/10
101. Cat Tales: A Catty Concoction of Quotes, Poems and "Dear Tabby" Advice ~ edited by Suzanne Beilenson, 1992, gift book, 48 pages, 7/10
CAT-NIP = Feline love nip (p. 14)CAT-CALL = Feline 'fone conversation (p. 15)CAT-SKILL = Tabby talent (p. 16)CAT-TAIL = Kitty legend (p. 17)
"Today dwell on the people who've crossed your circuitous path and changed your story. Remember some of those initial meetings and the ground you've covered since. Sit with gratitude for them and for the difference they've made on your journey" (p. 9).
"Jesus always sought proximity to people who were hurting or alone or in need and he was always there grieving alongside the tending to their wounds making them feel seen. In this wasy, his was a low life, and his willingness to carry and embrace the heartache of others speaks to a glaring gap in the world, one that can only be filled with compassion" (pp. 38-39).
"[Jesus] tried to make room for the previously excluded. This is a good way to think about love: it equalizes the world as it lifts the low" (p. 57).