Books I Love


Come Eat at My Table (What a Difference a Year Makes), by Ruth O'Neil

Come Eat at my Table by Ruth O'NeilGreat story with valuable life lessons about family, faith, forgiveness, healing our past, hospitality with a servant’s heart, and bringing the secrets from the dark to the light.

Come Eat at My Table (What a Difference a Year Makes) (Amazon affiliate link) is truly a delight!

Great character development – I felt like I truly knew them… I couldn’t wait to see how the story unfolded – even with the surprises!

Ruth O’Neil has a gift as an author and storyteller!

GUEST BLOG POST: The Love Language of Food

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My Story: From Deathbed to Glory, by Brenda Elkins Tricome

Brenda shares her faith purely in My Story: From Deathbed to Glory (Amazon affiliate link).

She gives us a transparent look at her journey, her pain, her fears, and her faith through a devastating and scary illness. It was her faith that helped her focus on her own healing and then in the process, be open to discovering the other areas of her life and relationships that needed attention. I love her ability to brush the non-important things off, offer herself grace, and even laugh at herself through the process.

This book is a wonderful gift that enables the reader to reexamine priorities and relationships, never take anything for granted, and listen to God’s purpose, even when those closest to us haven’t heard the same message. Thank you for the inspiration, Brenda!

GUEST BLOG POST: Faith in God, Hard Work and Perseverance by Brenda Elkins Tricome

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The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life

The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & LifeYears after Come Back Strong was printed, I began to look closer at genres and was drawn to the art and brilliance of memoir.

You may think of a memoir as an account of one’s personal life and experience or a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation.

I prefer Marion Roach Smith’s definition: 

Memoir is about something you know after something you’ve been through.

This resonates with me. I often process challenging aspects of my life through reflection and writing. Since my teen years, I have believed the scripture, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (Genesis 50:20). It has been an underlying theme in my life to translate my pain, growth, and healing into a passion to help others. Memoir allows me to do that.

Marion Roach Smith breaks down the craft of memoir, guiding you to find the universal themes in your deeply personal experiences. 

A great read for any writer.  

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Book Review: The Dutiful Daughter’s Guide to Caregiving, by Judith Henry

It was in Marion Roach Smith’s blog post, Can a Memoir Be a Self-Help Book? Can a Self-Help Book Be a Memoir? that I discovered that hybrids between memoir and self-help do indeed exist. One such example of a Hybrid Self-Help Memoir is Judith Henry’s The Dutiful Daughter’s Guide to Caregiving.

I bought the book even though I’m not a caregiver in the typical sense of the word. I have provided care for my husband after surgery and he cared for me after my hysterectomy/oophorectomy. As for my parents, they are both healthy and independent and enjoying their retirement.

But I’m at that age where my friends and classmates are taking care of their parents. For many years, my sister-in-law was the caregiver to my mother-in-law, who suffered from dementia. My childhood friend is responsible for caring for her wheelchair-bound mother. Whether your loved one is physically or mentally challenged, caregiving is no joke. It is exhausting overwhelming. And in some cases, extremely fulfilling.

I found myself laughing and crying as I read Henry’s The Dutiful Daughter’s Guide to CaregivingShe did a beautiful job of weaving her deeply personal experience and what she learned from it with an instructional manual of sorts for readers who find themselves in a similar situation as a caregiver. Her words definitely made me think. And because of this, I’d like to share and recommend her book.

Henry includes personal studies, practical wisdom, and must-have legal documents. She includes a glossary, suggested readings, helpful websites, and even a book club study guide – what a great idea for a support group. She talks about stress, family dynamics, and knowing what questions to ask your loved one’s doctor. All in all, she provides a really good caregiver toolbox.

It’s never easy to talk about the aging of our loved ones. It’s even harder to live through. But it is in the conversations about death and the end of life wishes that we discover grace.

Why you’ll be interested in this book:

  1. You are a caregiver. You have an aging parent, relative, or friend and want to know how to navigate the journey with grace, love, and kindness.
  2. You want to put a plan in place for yourself that your children or caregiver can follow.
  3. You are facing surgery or a medical condition and want to put your affairs in order.
  4. You are a writer who would like to write a memoir or self-help book. If you’ve been through something and feel your experience could benefit others, you’ll benefit from reading this hybrid self-help/memoir. 

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Menopause Ain't No Joke, by Angela Verges

Menopause Ain't No Joke, by Angela VergesHaving experienced menopause suddenly and intensely by way of surgery, I know the value of the right mindset combined with a little humor and a whole lot of prayer. Angela Verges combines all three in her book Menopause Ain’t No Joke: Blending Faith and Humor in Perfectly Imperfect Situations (Amazon affiliate link).

This book is filled with short, easy-to-read stories, peppered with scripture, and provides pages to journal and record gratitudes. The author’s writing reminds us that we are not alone while helping us laugh through the discomfort of menopause.

This book could easily be used as a daily devotional or Bible study to help women through menopause, parenting, and more!

GUEST BLOG POST:  The Hokey Pokey of Menopause with Angela Verges

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Surgical Menopause ~ Not Your Typical Menopause
Book: Surgical Menopause ~ Not Your Typical MenopauseSuch a well-needed collection of stories that remind us we are not alone, nor are we imagining our plethora of symptoms. 

Real stories from real women sharing the truth that surgical menopause is indeed difficult and intense, but with time, we can move from feeling fragile and vulnerable to capable and confident.

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The Journey Continues: Stories of a Survivor, by Siah B Hagin

Struggles can leave us doubting, feeling broken & hopeless, and even questioning our faith. Siah knows how that feels and shares her story of survival, healing, and rediscovery through the art of poetry in The Journey Continues: Stories of a Survivor. (Amazon affiliate link)

The author shares with us her intimate, creative work as it unfolds through her journey from pain to purpose, to victory as she courageously proclaims “I’m still here!” She reminds us that the darkness of our life that we once thought would break us can be brought into the light as we find our voice, accept our wholeness, and share our pain so that others may be healed.

GUEST BLOG POST:  To Properly Self-Care, by Siah B. Hagin

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