Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book Reviews from 2014

Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair

One of my favorite phrases in the book is toward the end during a story about a friend fixing curtains and teachers who drew her out of her shell in school: "This is who I want to be in the world. This is who I think we are supposed to be, people who help call forth human beings from deep inside hopelessness."

And don't we all strive for that in some way? A friend receives terrible news and we offer soup, an ear or a stiff drink.

The Good Mother Myth

Diving into this collection feels like grabbing coffee with your best friends because the writers pull no punches. Their direct approach to their lives and the stories they tell are comforting because we are all human and to separate women based on some arbitrary measuring stick is pointless, stupid and solves absolutely nothing.

Etched on Me

Etched on Me is the latest from Jenn Crowell and it's a sprawling, heartfelt book that will have you want to dance at the end. In a Top 40 Latest Hits way.
Or maybe that was just me.

Redefining Realness

As a reader you end up cheering for her, as she crosses Hawaii, California, Texas and finally to New York, meeting treasured friends along the way. Her family, while not always being the most supportive or understanding, never stops loving Mock and makes the journey, albeit a different one than Mock, with her.

The End of Eve

The memoir is in the running for my favorite book of the year. It is gut-wrenching to read and bear witness to this period in the author's life, but by the end, the reader has been given a hard-won gift in this beautifully written book. A worthy addition to anyone's bookshelf.

Dear Sister

Healing and justice and forgiveness are going to look radically different to each person who undertakes and incorporates these actions into their own lives. The conversations that need to happen, to advance both these systems, along with reshaping the communities, start with books like this one.

The Big Tiny

The Big Tiny traces Williams' journey from sketching plans for her eventual house, to buying a trailer from an interesting group of Russians, fighting with various pieces of wood, downsizing almost of all of her possessions, and then setting up shop in a dear friend's backyard.

The New I Do

Authors Susan Pease Gadoua and Vicki Larson offer ways to reshape and redo marriage since nearly half of all contemporary marriages still end in divorce.They believe that "rather than continue to encourage people to cram themselves into an old model that isn't working for many....we want to acknowledge what's already happening and encourage you to think about new ways to marry."

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