Tuesdays with Morrie

Book 25 in 2019.

“Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom.

I am a Mitch Albom fan. I love his books. I listen to them because I love his voice. He is a great story teller. My son read this in school this year. I didn’t want to read it because I knew Morrie died from ALS. My husband’s best friend died from ALS in December. He struggled with the horrific disease for many years. It is a brutal, ugly, tragic, living nightmare of a way to die. When we were on a road trip last weekend, I downloaded it to listen to in the car. I loved this book.

Morrie was Mitch Albom’s college professor. He had not kept in contact with him for many years, until her heard in the news that he was dying from ALS. He reconnected then started visiting him on Tuesdays. Because “they are Tuesday people”. They had fourteen Tuesdays together. He recorded his interviews to write this book to raise money for Morrie’s medical treatments. They talk about life, love, family, and facing death.

Ugh. Ugly, ugly tears. I didn’t even know the guy, but he was a beautiful soul. At the end of the 20th Anniversary Edition I listened to, they played some of Morrie’s recordings. I so loved hearing his voice. I wish I could go back and record my grandma’s voice for her life’s story. Such a great book. I told my son I loved it, and he thought ” it was the most boring thing he had ever read”. Ha! Fifteen year olds. One day in his future he can come back and see the beauty in it. Overall afterthought, so glad I read it.

The Girl From Berlin

Book 24 in 2019.

“The Girl From Berlin” by, Ronald H. Bahlson.

I always love throwing in a good historical fiction from WWII. It is my all time fav genre. They are always so full of Good vs Evil, perseverance and endurance of the human spirit. A lot of tragedy, but a lot of good mixed in there too.

This story flips back and forth from present day to the past in WWII. In present day a 78 year old woman named Gabi, in Italy is battling a corporation who is trying to take over her family’s vineyard. Her lawyers have to dig in the past to prove who the land really belongs to. In the past we are following a young German Jewish woman, who is a violin prodigy trying to survive this new and ugly world the Nazis have created. How are the two connected and can the lawyers put all the pieces together in time to save the vineyard.

There was a lot of historical information throughout , which is fine, but I found myself skim reading a lot to get to the conversations. Hehe. Is that cheating? But I enjoyed the story and the characters. Overall afterthought, good story.

Everybody Always

Book 23 in 2019.

“Everybody Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People” by, Bob Goff.

This book. Bob Goff is the man. I loved his book “Love Does”. But I think I loved this more. I could fill this entire post full of insane, mind blowing quotes. I hate confrontation, I hate arguing, I despise debate. It makes my skin crawl. Bob Goff just states it so simple: become love. Be kind , love your neighbor as yourself, be nice 30 seconds at a time if you have to. Love everybody always.

This year has been a hard year. There has been a lot of loss. The struggle has been real, for real. In wading through new situations and difficulties, I find myself being reminded constantly to spend time with the Lord. Soak up Him. You can’t be like someone you don’t know. Bob Goff talks about us lying to ourselves, believing we are actually doing the things we know we should, being posers, not doers. Ouch Bob. It only hurt because it’s truth. I have not truly done what I am being constantly reminded to do. I can’t change anyone, I can only change myself with help from the Lord. I can treat people with compassion and love.

This book. Bob Goff. I think he ripped my heart out several times and made me stare at it. Loving people, Bob’s life is full of stories of him loving people. I want to be his friend, but I do not think I could keep up! Ha. He looks at the world with different eyes and is a doer. He doesn’t just talk, he walks in love. This was not challenging to read, but it was a challenge to my heart to love everybody always. Overall afterthought, wow, so, so good.

The Jewel of St. Petersburg

Book 22 in 2019.

“The Jewel of St. Petersburg” by, Kate Furnivall.

So I have read several of Kate Furnivall books. For the most part I have enjoyed them. After finishing this one, I keep thinking why did I read the whole thing??

It takes place in Russia in the early 1900’s and involves all of the political unrest that went on between the wealthy and the poor. I remember in her other books, they had a lot of history in them. Like too much information and historical facts that don’t really flow with the story. I suppose I just was not interested in this particular history. I am a sucker for a love story though, and just wanted to see if everyone lived happily ever after. Yet, apparently there is a book after this, so it is kind of left a little open.

I also felt like it jumped all over the place. I don’t know. I could go on and on, instead I will just say it wasn’t my favorite. Overall afterthought, not for me.

The Great Alone

Book 21 in 2019.

“The Great Alone”, by Kristin Hannah.

It is 1974 and thirteen year old Leni Allbright, is traveling with her parents to a new and foreign land, Alaska. Her father is a Vietnam veteran who is struggling to fit in, hold a job, and wants to start fresh somewhere without the society that has let him down. The Allbright’s soon find out that they were no where near prepared for the dangers awaiting them.

Holy mercy. This was a roller coaster of emotions. I could not handle one more thing happening to this poor girl. You know I hate sad stories. This was so much tragedy to one family , and those around them. But, I did not hate this book. I literally couldn’t put it down. I was cheering Leni on the entire time. I know one thing, which I have been well aware of for awhile, I would not mix well with the wilderness. Ha. Nope. I like to look at it from afar. #runningwaterandplumbingplease.

Overall afterthought, a really great story of love and perseverance.

The Radium Girls

Book 20 in 2019.

“The Radium Girls” by, Kate Moore.

A friend of mine suggested this to me. It is a large book, over 400 pages. Some of it is hard to get through with science, and lots of legal talk. If you like bizarre documentaries, you could make it through. I think throughout the entire book, I was shocked absolutely shocked at what I was reading. And again, it reminded me that I was born in the right generation. Ha.

The true story is a timeline about the use of radium in workplaces starting in the early 1900’s. I had no idea that radioactive radium was used for so much during that time. It was obviously before people knew how dangerous it was. The hundreds of women who worked with it, got sick with it, and died from it, paved the way for the modern safety standards we have today. It was a battle that took decades and courage to fight huge corporations interested in only protecting their investments, not their workers. Overall afterthought, long but crazy interesting.

This Side of Murder

Book 19 in 2019.

“This Side of Murder” by, Anna Lee Huber.

This is book one in “A Verity Kent Mystery” series. I thought I would give it a try. I love a great series. However, it kind of breaks my rule, because the series is not complete and I will have to wait a year or so for new books. Then have to try and remember who, what, when and where. Eh, I started it anyway.

Verity Kent is a young widow after WWI and looking to carry on in her new world. She worked in the British Secret Service during the war, and along with her mourning, she is still processing all that she saw and knew about. She is invited to her late husbands friend’s engagement party. It will be at his summer home, along with several other couples, and young people. She almost doesn’t go, until she receives a letter saying she should go if she wants to prove her husbands innocence. Now she is intrigued, and willing to go and discover what is going on. She knows in her heart her husband was not a traitor, but how can she prove it.

I really like Verity, and am looking forward to reading more about her. The story itself was ok. It took me a little bit to get into it. It was a decent mystery and I really thought I had it all figured out. Of course, I didn’t. Ha. Overall afterthought, someone new to get to know.

The Prisoner in the Castle

Book 14 in 2019.

“The Prisoner in the Castle” by Susan Elia Macneal.

This is book eight in the “Maggie Hope Mystery” series. Don’t you just love a good series? Mercy, I love them. Nerd. Alert. I love following Maggie Hope. She is a spy for Britain during World War II. I mean, she is everything I love in a historical fictional character.

Maggie finds herself betrayed by some higher ups for knowing too much secret information. They don’t think she will keep crucial classified info if caught by enemies. They put her in a castle, on an isolated island off the coast of Scotland, with several other “prisoners” who know too much. While waiting out the war, everyone frustrated with being on the sidelines, one of them is found dead. Maggie finds herself in the middle of her fellow prisoners mysteriously dying one at a time. She has to solve what is happening before she is next.

This is one of my fave series. And this book did not disappoint. It was a little slow moving at the beginning. It also took me some time to research and try to remember what happened in the last book. Yet, I still thought it was great. Overall afterthought, can’t wait for bug This is one of my fave series. And this book did not disappoint. It was a little slow moving at the beginning. It also took me some time to research and try to remember what happened in the last book. Yet, I still thought it was great. Overall afterthought, can’t wait for book nine.

Happy Odyssey

Book 18 in 2019.

“Happy Odyssey” by, Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart.

Ok so I totally nerded out by even picking this book up. My 9th grader for his World History class, had to pick a photo of a person from history, and duplicate it using themselves. They could be from anywhere and anytime they had actual photographs. It also could not be an American. I naturally suggested picking someone from WWII (for whatever reason it is my favorite historical time to read about, fiction and nonfiction). That is how I came across Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart.

He is the author of his own memoirs that he wrote in 1950. Which made the book somewhat brutal and charming all at the same time. He had some funny lines that I laughed out loud to. It was also a ton of war talk. The intricate, detailed war talk, that my civilian self could not get into.

In a nutshell, he was one crazy dude, who was shot and wounded several times, throughout several wars, including WWI and WWII, lost an eye, an arm, continued fighting after both loses, was a POW in Italy, knew Winston Churchill, fought beside Peter Fleming (Ian Fleming’s aka James Bond’s!!! brother). He had many other important roles throughout British history. It proved to be quite the interesting read. Overall afterthought, nerd alert.

In case you were wondering my son did not pick Sir Adrian for his report. He chose Paul McCartney….. no where near as interesting….. 😉

Present Over Perfect

Book 17 in 2019.

“Present Over Perfect” by, Shauna Niequist.

Picked this up when my dear friend said she was reading it and thought it was good. I have to admit, it gutted me a little bit. I do not consider myself career oriented, I work part time as a substitute teacher. A job that I absolutely love. I also have four very active boys who play sports. So I am fairly busy. I only sometimes consider myself frantic. ( Ok at least once, maybe twice, a week)

Being present over perfect is more than just about being there for ourselves, family and those we love. I felt it was encouraging me to spend daily time quiet before the Lord, and allow myself to just be. Just be quiet. Just be at rest. Just be at peace. I don’t have to be perfect in front of our creator.

I kind of felt like it was the opposite of Rachel Hollis’ “Girl Wash Your Face”. If you felt overwhelmed by her high level of absolutely everything, you might really enjoy this. I don’t want to miss out on precious moments that will be gone before we know it. Overall afterthought, good stuff.