Hi, I’m Kelley and I’m a total bookaholic! These are some of the ones that have moved me most…
- When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
In a world where abortion is a crime and punishment comes in the form of personal humiliation, Hannah Payne is possibly unprepared for the box she finds herself in, but in breaking free, she discovers a most valuable gift… herself.
- The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
I don’t even need to read the descriptions of Sarah Addison Allen’s work anymore to know I’m going to love it and The Peach Keeper did NOT disappoint!! This is a story of friendship and love, how both can sneak up on you when you least expect it and the magic that can result when we let go of who we think we ought to be and just follow our hearts. My favorite quote from the book sums it up nicely… “We are who we are. It’s surprising how little say we have in it. Once you accept that, the rest is easy.”
- Creative Illustration Workshop by Katherine Dunn
An absolutely WONDERFUL mixed-media guide to using imagery to tell our personal stories and, as a bonus, it’s just full of Katherine Dunn’s beautiful artwork!
- Nickle and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
I have to admit that this book collected dust on my bookshelf for a looooong time, but I finally picked it up out of desperation during my battle with the giant and was truly captivated. Ehrenreich spent a summer in the late 90s walking in the shoes of the “working poor” and the results were eye-opening – poor working conditions, low wages, a shortage of affordable housing, lack of health care, even good nutrition seems elusive!! And the prognosis for change doesn’t seem very promising – welfare reform has cut many vital programs and one of the groups Ehrenreich cites as a champion for change (ACORN) has just filed bankruptcy! This book doesn’t offer any easy answers, but I think it’s one we all need to read.
- Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh
This is a book about exercising our creative muscles. Patti says, “if you’re alive, you’re creative” and then she goes on the share the ways in which you can prove that to yourself. This lovely work also features art from creatives around the world, including the artwork of Kim de Broin Mailhot and the poetry of Maya Stein.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Skeeter wants to retain her place within the circle of friends she grew up with, but she can’t quite stomach the way her friends treat their help. She decides to make waves, losing her so-called friends in the process, and changing her little southern community forever.
- Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo
Otto Ringling thinks his sister is a spiritual fruitcake and is beyond annoyed when she tricks him into taking a new age guru with him on a road trip from New Jersey to his family home in North Dakota. Otto sets out with a firm resolve to not be taken in by the guru’s nonsense but, somewhere along the way, his walls start to crumble and Otto discovers himself in the rubble.
- The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Enzo could show Denny a thing or two; if only Enzo could talk or turn doorknobs. Turns out Enzo is a labrador mix who is wise enough that words aren’t always necessary in his mission to teach Denny how to truly and deeply value himself.
- Rain Village by Carolyn Turgeon
Imagine what it might be like to always be child-sized, then imagine being forever child-sized in a family of big-boned farmers who have little use for a tiny, delicate creature such as yourself. Imagine what it might mean to such a child if she were lucky enough to meet a magical librarian, who teaches her to read and gives her wings to fly.
- The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
This story isn’t for everyone, but I loved it. It’s about a Jesuit priest, named Emilio Sandoz. A gifted linguist, Sandoz is selected to travel to a faraway galaxy to meet an alien race about whom he knows nothing more than their hauntingly beautiful music. In the end, the one thing Sandoz thinks we have in common with the people of Rakhat is possibly the thing that separates us most completely.
- Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts
When their surrogate step-mom, Floy, drops dead in the Walmart checkout line, Lutie and Fate do the only thing that makes sense, they steal Floy’s Pontiac and take off in search of their missing father. Lutie ends up waaaaay off course and caught in a web of prostitution and drug abuse, with Fate trying desperately to save her. Rescue comes by way of Juan Vargas, a homeless drifter, who takes the children with him to Hugo, Oklahoma – winter home to the circus Juan fled so long ago. While Juan rebuilds his broken family ties, Lutie and Fate learn what family really means.
- Life Is a Verb by Patti Digh
At the beginning of this book, Patti encourages the reader to fold down pages, write in the borders, document the corners of the book that resonate the most. This is probably the most beat-up book in my library and I’ve been back through it many times to read and reread the life lessons Patti shares. The short version is maybe “life is short – live it up” but you should read every loving word of this book – it is a true treasure.
- Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Lily has spent most of her young life hiding from a horrible secret – one her daddy doesn’t like to let her forget. When Lily finally gets her fill of her daddy’s abuse, she runs away and lands herself right in the place she needs to be to finally learn her truth, whispered to her through the hum of bees, hot summer days, and a circle of truly divine mothers.
- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert’s epic account of her journey through food in Italy, prayer in India, and love in Indonesia. With poetic prose and heart-full authenticity, this book will make you dream of creating an epic journey of your own!