Who was that woman…..

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton is a multi-layered story that spans years of family secrets. As Cassandra, the present day main character, tries to unravel the lives of her grandmother and great grandmother, she is taken on a literal and emotional journey. The story is filled with wonderfully developed, charismatic characters and many page turning plot twists!

The Brain…

The Believing Brain by Michael Shermer and the Science of Fear by Daniel Gardner give us insight into how our brains construct thoughts and assumptions. Each book is somewhat unsettling as the authors delve into the many situations in which our ability to think rationally is overwritten by various factors such as fear, past experience, and misunderstandings, among others. However, each is a facinating read about what we know about how the human brain functions and makes decisions.

Emmanuel, God is With Us…

What do Beverly Lewis, Francine Rivers, and Lynn Austin all have in common? They are all Christian fiction writers who pen inspiring, unique stories. Beverly Lewis is famous for her Amish based tales, which take you into the lives of one of the oldest, and most famous, conservative religious groups in America. Francine Rivers is perhaps best known for her novel The Last Sin Eater, which takes a somewhat obscure concept from seventeenth century appalachia and creates a story about the discovery of God and faith around it. Lynn Austin is a wonderful historical fiction writer, often of women’s stories, focusing on their strengths during times of great change in our nation’s history.

Healthy farms, healthy eating…

Food Politics by Marion Nestle and the documentaries Food, Inc. and King Corn shed some necessary, but uncomfortable light on the state of our food supply, how it effects our health, and the relationships between our government and large food conglomerates. Be prepared to find yourself reading food labels the next time you visit the grocery store!

Home Town Jobs…

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A Year Without Made in China by Sara Bongiorni and Big Box Swindle by Stacy Mitchell both address the issue that fewer and fewer of the goods sold in the United States are produced by local professionals and/or business men or women. Bongiorni takes on a tough challenge when she refuses to buy any products made in China, however she and her family learn valuable lessons and prove that they can change their buying habits. Mitchell tackles chain stores and how they have so easily become recognizable icons in American cities and towns. She asks the difficult question (whether this is a good thing) and exposes some of the reasons that have contributed to the large influx of chains and franchising in the past 50-60 years.

Interdependencies of the earth…


Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum by W.F. Ruddiman is a fascinating look at the earth, how it might regulate itself over time, and activities that affect this not quite understood balance. It is helpful to have some background reading done in earth science or climatology before tackling this text.

Heartwarming entrepreneurs…


Hattaras Girl by Alice Wisler and Bed and Breakfast by Lois Battle both tell the story of a bed and breakfast owner. These establishments always make me think of friendly hosts and beautiful homes with wrap-around porches. However, as these easy reads show, life for bed and breakfast owners is just as complicated as everyone else’s. Enjoy these quick books while at the beach or on vacation this summer.

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