The first Wednesday of each month, Carolyn Astfalk hosts #OpenBook, where bloggers link posts about books they’ve read recently. Here’s a taste of what I’ve been reading:
From Here to Home by Marie Bostwick. An enjoyable novel IF you’ve read the others in the series; you won’t be as invested in the characters if you pick this one up on its own. In this story, a quilting-show host and her special-needs son and cohost risk losing their jobs when a new producer tries to turn a craft show into reality TV.
Bulletproof Vestments, a short story by Jane Lebak. Father Jay, a priest who’s a former gang member, finds his life threatened by the brother of the man convicted of carjacking after Jay identified him as the suspect. Now crippled after serving a tour of duty in the Middle East, Jay has returned to minister to treet kids in the old neighborhood. Because this prequel will leave you wanting more, here’s the rest of Father Jay’s story. What’s next for Father Jay? I’m actually hoping for a pre-prequel!
The Regrets of Cyrus Dodd by Bette Lee Crosby. Fourth in a series but works as a standalone. As Bette Lee Crosby’s books always do, this story carried me right along and captivated me with characters I’d love to know in person. This is the story of a man who focuses on what could have been, what he should have said or done, instead of celebrating what is. The novel is filled with touches of wisdom and populated with terrific characters connecting this story to other books by this author. (ARC provided by the author through SocialBook; releases mid-June)
Life-Changing Love by Theresa Linden. A standalone sequel to Roland West, Loner, this novel tells the story of Roland’s classmate Caitlyn, who at 15 is not allowed to date but who dearly wishes for a romantic relationship, competing for Roland’s attention with a girl who has no restrictions and seemingly few inhibitions. The characters’ Catholic faith is sensitively integrated into the narrative. This is a compelling novel that will appeal to readers in grade 7 and up. My full review with author interview is here.
Soaring Alone by Vickie S. Miller. This suspense novel has a great premise, but I thought there were a few too many holes in the plot or things that didn’t get explained thoroughly enough. Rachel, a young wife and mom who’s already in therapy, receives a phone call telling her that she had been kidnapped from the hospital as an infant, that the media already knows this and that her birth mom wants to meet her. As a reader, I wanted more detail about how Rachel got from the kidnapper to the family who raised her, and less about her (completely explainable, given the circumstances) psychological troubles.
Keep Your Kids Catholic by Marc Cardonarella. Marc Cardonarella maintains that you are the one who is your child’s primary catechist in his new book. Cardonarella shares concrete ways parents can secure their own faith, then structure their lives (and their teens’) to support growth in faith. My full review of this book is here.
Learning to Love with the Saints by Jean Heimann. In this book, Jean shares her own surprising and inspiring faith story, tracing a path walked with growing devotion and conviction. Learn how Jean’s life was influenced by the stories of the saints. My full review of this book is here.
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Follow my Goodreads reviews for the full list of what I’ve read recently (even the duds!)