Saturday, May 30, 2009

Turning the Paige by Laura Jensen Walker

I finished reading Turning the Paige by Laura Jensen Walker, which is a "Getaway Girls Novel" and a new release from Zondervan. This is a new author for me, and I did enjoy reading it once I got familiar with the characters.

The Getaway Girls is a book club of women. The group reads books and then participates in various adventures from the stories, like hot air ballooning and a trip to Paris.

Paige Kelley is one of the "Getaway Girls." At 35 years old, divorced and childless, she isn't really sure what she wants to do with the rest of her life although she thinks working in a call center isn't it. She is responsible for caring for her ailing mother as well since her two siblings have escaped the responsibility by moving away.. Paige feels the weight of this responsibility growing heavy on her shoulders as she must take her mother to doctor appointments, fix her meals, and do household chores for her. Her girlfriends encourage her to set some boundaries with her Mom and not feel guilty about having a little bit of freedom for herself.

I enjoyed getting to know Paige as she struggles with her past, her divorce, her desire for children, and her difficult relationship with her Mom. She wants to be there for her Mom, but at the same time desires to have her own life too. The characters are believable and likable. It seems like the Getaway Girls would be a good group of friends to have. I look forward to reading more from Laura Jensen Walker.

The Noticer by Andy Andrews

Have you ever read a book that you really wanted to share with others because the message touched your heart? That is how I feel about the latest book from Thomas Nelson Publishers called The Noticer by Andy Andrews. This ten chapter book will grab the attention of the reader from the beginning and hold it until the last page.

The story is written from the perspective of a younger Andy and is about his encounter with a man named Jones. Jones comes into Andy’s life unexpectedly at a time when he needs him the most. It is a life-changing meeting actually. Andy continues to tell the stories of other people who encountered Jones and how he helped change their perspective.

I absolutely loved this book and would recommend it for everyone. There is a story and lesson here for everyone at any stage of life, old or young, married or single, male or female. The reader will be able to relate to the characters in the book. It teaches a valuable lesson about the importance of perspective when dealing with problems in life. This book would make a great gift for your personal library as well as a great gift for a family member or friend.

Catching Fireflies by Patsy Clairmont

We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining-- they just shine.

Dwight L. Moody

Catching Fireflies by Patsy Clairmont is an excellent book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I first heard of the book back in March when we attended the Women of Faith conference. It was a joy to hear Patsy speak, and I knew I'd enjoy her book if it was anything like the bright, spunky gal who shared at the conference.

This is one of those books that is so enjoyable to read that you want to keep reading to find out what stories and little flickers of encouragement the author will share next. Each chapter focuses on a different type of light source, such as lamplights, candlelights, flashlights, Christmas lights, starlight, lighthouses and of course fireflies to name a few. The chapters begin with a story of some sort about that particular type of light, has a few thought-provoking questions, and then concludes with "Bright Ideas" which relates that light to a Bible story.

I can say this book taught me a lot. First of all, it reminded me of all the references to light in the Bible. My theme verse for my life is Matthew 5:16. This book showed me that everyone can be a light. Even a simple act done for another can offer a flicker of hope to keep someone from giving up. Some people in our lives are strong towering lighthouses while others just consistently give us rays of sunshine amidst the regularity of daily life. Both types of people are necessary. The important thing is to SHINE.

Thank you to Patsy Clairmont for this excellent book and enjoyable read. As Patsy says, "Shine, girlfriend, shine!"