I am thrilled to review and recommend Melanie Shankle's latest book, Church of the Small Things (not an affiliate link, but takes you to the autographed edition at Barnes and Noble).
Church of the Small Things is a wonderful, lovely, encouraging, and thought-provoking collection of essays about the little things in life. And not just the little things, or that we should be grateful for those little things--although that is certainly true. But it's more about how we notice and remember the people in our lives. We sometimes remember them in big ways, but more often we remember them by the little things in their lives, and the little ways they made us feel special. Or the little things they said or did that made them uniquely themselves.
I tend to read and then want to immediately apply what I have learned in my own life. What this book has done for me is make me more aware of what I may or may not be doing to help others see God. I am a teacher, and there are days I love my job, …
This is a great debut from author Jen Mouat. My friend recommended it to me as something to read that is the same flavor and feel as Maeve Binchy, and I would agree.
Friendship, family, memories and loves lost and found again. These are just a few of the things Mouat brings into light throughout the novel, in the charming setting of small-town Scotland, with a summer home and a bookstore supplying plenty of fun as a setting.
This book has a lot going on, and by the end a whole large cast of characters that might feel a tad overwhelming. Nevertheless, I liked it very much and would recommend it to fans of Binchy and similar British women's fiction writers.
From the publisher:
Returning home is never smooth sailing…
Summoned by her childhood best friend, Kate Vincent doesn’t stop to think. Instead she books at one-way ticket from New York back to Wigtown, Scotland, leaving her glittering new life behind. Scenes of idyllic…
Looking for Lovely sounded like a great book for me. Collecting moments? Yes. Loveliness everywhere? Yes, please. I'm still in awe that not only did my copy of the book come in an envelope complete with party confetti, it's signed by the author!
It's like a party!
And then I started reading. And it was hard.
I'm not sure why this book was such a difficult read for me. Is it because so much of it touched the tender parts of my heart? Because I completely related to the self-loathing and pain and "broken crazy" Annie Downs describes?
Yes. Yes, I think, to all of the above and more.
It has become even harder for me in recent years to believe in the deepest parts of me that I am truly worthy of the lo…