Great Reads, Great Gifts, and a GIVEAWAY!
It is officially the Holiday Season. It seemed to sneak up on me this year, but I say that every year. One thing I’ve learned over the years is nothing stays the same forever. I’m not just talking about my high cheek bones turning into jowls either.
Once your children grow up and start their own families they create their own traditions. It took me a while to embrace those changes but you have to go with the flow.
The holidays mean it’s Gift Giving Season. I love giving gifts. We’ve shifted more toward giving gifts of time, meaning gifts that involve spending time with the recipient. Last year we gave our sons and their wives tickets to the Van Gogh exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Sharing fabulous art with loved ones is so inspiring!
We enjoy getting tickets to the circus for the kids. They look forward to it and so do we. Not sure how many more years we have until they’re too grown-up for the circus so we grab the chance while we can.
One gift everyone enjoys is a good book. I’ve read a few this year that I’d like to recommend to you for your gift list. They are quite different, these recommendations, but I like variety.
The one thing these books have in common is each author has a blog. Some you may know and some you may not, yet, but will want to. Not only are these women excellent bloggers but their books encourage the rest of us to keep pushing to be better writers so, perhaps, next year our book may be on the list.
The blogger/ author I’ve known the longest is Sonia Marsh of Gutsy Living. She is the master of gutsy living, believe me. Her book, Freeways to Flip-Flops, is an amazing story of the year she and her husband moved their family from the cushy life in Southern California to the third world country of Belize. Those of us who’ve raised children understand sometimes you’d like show them what it’s like out in the real world without the ‘comforts of home’ so to speak. She actually did it.
Karen C.L.Anderson’s book, After the Before and After, is her personal journey through weight loss, gain, loss, and what it’s taught her about life. Her self titled blog continues that story. Her honesty about the struggle for self-acceptance is a story most every woman can relate to whether your problem is weight or not. She has helped many women learn to love themselves for who they truly are and stop the negativity. I applaud that.
Bristol Boyz Stomp, by Doreen Mcgettigan, is so compelling I literally couldn’t put it down. It takes you through the night her brother was beaten to death in their small town by boys he knew and how the ensuing trial divided the community. It’s real life and death with an honest look at our justice system. Despite the pain of her personal tragedy she is the most upbeat and giving person you’d ever want to know. You can find her blog at doreenmcgettigan.com.
The most well-known book (do date) would probably be Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir, by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess). If you haven’t read this yet I highly recommend it and if you have please buy it for someone else. If you know her blog you know how hilarious she is. Her book takes you into her life and shares the poignant moments as well. I laughed out loud so many times I can’t count, but I also cried. She is a really good soul.
Last, but by no means least, is True Vines, by Diana Strinati Bauer. I don’t recall how I found Diana’s blog, dianabauer.com, but I know I immediately told everyone I knew they should read it. Her writing is exquisite and the fact that she has a Bed & Breakfast in Italy was totally intriguing to me. I love Italy! She’s also an artist and is originally from the Philadelphia area. Over time she let it be known she was birthing a book. I couldn’t wait to read her first novel. It surpassed my greatest expectations. Unlike most books that I rush through this was different. It needed to be savored. I’m looking forward to her American book tour this winter!
You can find my reviews of these books on Amazon.com.
Oh…I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a sweet little book for a child on your list… The Duffy Chronicles! It’s a sweet story (for 7-10yr.olds) of a pound puppy searching for his true home and his purpose in life. I donate all profits to no-kill shelters. This is the book that gives back.
So my friends these are my reading suggestions to give this Giving Season. Buy two of each so you can keep one for yourself!
In the spirit of the season I am giving away one copy of True Vines. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what book you’ve read recently that you would recommend as a gift. I will randomly choose one winner on 12/10 and contact you for shipping info.