book recs

December.15 Book Rec

This month’s book recommendation: Our Lady of the Lost and Found by Diane Schoemperlen. What better time of year to read a book reflecting on faith, our purpose and direction in life, and what it takes to recharge then keep going?


Our Lady reads like memoir and narrative in one; the postmodern voice and wink at the beginning of the action further blurs the line of who exactly is talking to us (the author herself? the author’s character?). This just adds to the appeal for me, because the book is a journey of getting to know someone as a friend, and yourself better through that burgeoning friendship. The book and its characters in turn become the mirror for you as you read.

It’s witty and clever without being brittle, meditative and profound without platitudes, and filled facts without ever getting bogged down. (I learned more about Marian science, religious fervor, and history from this than some nonfiction books I’ve read!) It’s a book about women, by a woman, and all their glorious strengths and foibles–and that right there is something to celebrate.

Lastly, Our Lady is a book I read then recommended to my [Catholic] Granny. I knew she’d enjoy it for all the reasons I listed above, and she did. But our conversations about the book, and her feeling heartened I hasn’t lost all my faith (in whatever form) if I would read-like-recommend such a book, are what stays with me most.

Brew a pot of tea and enjoy!

book recs

November.15 Book Rec

This month’s book recommendation: The Melting Heart by Claudia Jameson. I’m a shameless devotee of Harlequin’s original romance line, especially of a certain era. Jameson is part of that era. While I enjoy many of her books–her style and basic plot type–this one is a favorite for me.


The Melting Heart hits a lot of my thematic happy places: plucky heroine, reclusive hero, enforced domesticity, emotional angst that isn’t contrived, and a love that’s earned after the imperfect leads learn one another, grow a mutual appreciation, and then fight to be together.

This is a comfort read for me. I’ve revisited it many times for company on a quiet day (quiet lonely, quiet content, quiet rain, quiet traveling…). It’s gentle, thoughtful, and rewarding. Just right for a quiet autumn day.

Brew a pot of tea and enjoy!

book recs

June.15 Book Rec

This month’s book recommendation: Taming The Beast by Amy J Fetzer. The beauty and the beast set-up is one of my favorite tropes, and this book does an excellent job with its modern take on the fable. A tortured, growly beast in his darkened castle. A sensitive yet practical beauty who disrupts his embittered isolation. And a sweet, not-too-precocious kid tossed into the mix for good measure.


Beyond the easy-sell premise for me, I discovered a nicely fleshed out world with likable characters who each carry judged on appearance alone scars of their own. There’s a reason the heroine relates so well to the beast, and it isn’t simply a matter of instant attraction; this adds depth to the relationship and both leads, and makes their fit and happily ever after with one another all the more believable. There’s palpable physical heat between them as the plot develops, which adds great spice, but there’s also personal longing to be accepted and understood, which adds solidity to their arc.

With strong secondary characters and organic forces of conflict, Taming really comes together in a satisfying whole.

Brew a pot of tea and enjoy!