Nourished

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Huber, Lia. Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith & Enduring Love with Recipes. New York, USA: Convergent Books. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Part travel guide, part cookbook, and part personal exploration, Nourished is a memoir of a life surrounded by food. As a food writer. recipe developer, consultant, entrepreneur and blogger, author Lia Huber shares a recount of her journey to faith, food, and community. Written in an easy, more conversational manner, she chronicles portions of her life, ending each section with a related recipe. Finding her purpose through food and faith, Lia eventually made the connection though her adventures are far from over.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Expecting more of a cookbook than a memoir, I actually was not disappointed but found the book, Nourished, to be quite interesting. Liking her style of writing, I found myself immersed in pieces of the book though I only intended to scan it at first. Drawn into her life experiences, I enjoyed the travel aspects as well as the family, food, faith and community elements. Perhaps some of the included recipes are a bit out of my grasp but are appealing non-the-less. A perfect book for a reader compelled by travel and food; this is a book I am actually glad I read.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Nourished from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

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Chasing Grace

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Richards-Ross, Sanya. Saving Grace: What The Quarter Mile Has Taught Me About God And Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Sharing her successful yet difficult story of running and life, author and Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross writes of her triumphs and downfalls, happiness and heartache, achievements and collapses, all while realizing we cannot do it alone. Applying her 4-Ps approach (Push, Pace, Position and Pose) to her running career and extending it to her life, Sanya Richards-Ross acknowledges and shares how her trust in God allowed her to embrace and develop her given talents on the track as well as in life…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Opening the book and not closing it until it was finished, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. Like having a conversation with Sanya herself, the book just flowed. Truly appreciating the closing of each chapter with one of the 4-Ps, not only did I listen to the encouraging words for life but also have incorporated some of the thoughts into my own running mantra. As a true Christian model, Sanya Richards-Ross is blessed yet humbly and enthusiastically tells her story. Definitely a book I will return to in snippets for self-reminders…excellent!

RATING:
5+ (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Chasing Grace from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

The French Chef In America

Prud’homme, Alex. The French Chef In America: Julia Child’s Second Act. USA: Penguin Random House. Audiobook. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
As a freelance writer for the New York Times and author of several books as well as Julia Child’s grandnephew, Alex Prud’homme follows up his bestselling memoir of Julia Child, My Life In France, with his newest book, The French Chef In America, chronicling the second half of Julia’s life from personal cook to celebrity chef. As a major influence in cooking, Julia was also a mentor, friend, wife and TV personality. Rubbing elbows with the elite at the White House while still making time at home for the love of her life, Paul, the continuation and impact of Julia is read by the author himself, in this eleven-hour, nine CD audiobook of the available same hardcopy book.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Remembering the significance of Julia Child on cooking throughout the years, I was interested in this memoir of her life. Not having read the first book, this stand alone version worked just fine. As an audiobook, it was easy to listen to the story while in the car, on the treadmill, or at home. With a serene voice, author Alex Prud’homme narrates the story. As an icon to the popular and current cooking craze, The French Chef In America was a nice addition to my many, many books. I definitely learned quite a bit while listening as well as developing a respect for a well-known name in America.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary audio-copy of The French Chef In America from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

In Such Good Company

Burnett, Carol. In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox. USA: Crown Archetype Publishing. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
Well-known actress and author, Carol Burnett, takes the time to share what led up to her becoming a musical comedy performer with her own weekly show. Wanting to chronicle her years while her memory still serves her well, her newest book, In Such Good Company, tells her TV story as well as mentions the many characters who shared the show with her regularly and the many special guest stars. Taking the reader behind the scenes while bestowing her memoir too, Carol Burnett graciously proves why she is so loved and respected still today…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Loving Carol Burnett and her show, I knew I just had to read her story. Full of quirky tidbits, funny memories, likeable skits, and actor spotlights, In Such Good Company also shares photographs, thoughts, remembrances, and recollections of her wildly successful show which was originally supposed to only run for 6 weeks. (While researching her book, Carol Burnett actually watched all 276 episodes, marveling and delighting in how her hair changed over the years…makes me want to rewatch all my favorite episodes yet again.) Quickly reading through it yet trying so hard to slow down and savor it, I thoroughly enjoyed this book which will remain on my shelf for many years, like a dear friend. Thank-you, Carol, for sharing a bit of your life with us!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of In Such Good Company from Blogging For Books for my honest review*

Kit Kat & Lucy

DuPont, Lonnie Hull. Kit Kat & Lucy: The Country Cats Who Changed a City Girl’s World. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
As a memoir of the changes in her life brought on by two cats, Kit Kat and Lucy, author Lonnie Hull DuPont recounts the pieces of her life shaped by cats. Full of humor, compassion, poignancy and memories, Kit Kat & Lucy take the author (and readers) on a heartwarming journey. As an author of several animal stories, she still shares her home and heart with cats.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
I was originally drawn to this book by the title and cover which includes two very handsome kitties. Perhaps expecting something a bit different, I did struggle just a little with the mixed, short stories forming the overall larger story. Though well written, in places I had trouble connecting the tales, which in turn caused some dissonance for me. Liking the healing and helping nature of the cats for the author; however, I did appreciate her willingness to share her story.

RATING:
3.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Kit Kat & Lucy from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

The Pug List

Hodgson, Alison. The Pug List: A Ridiculous little Dog, a Family Who Lost Everything, and How They All Found Their Way Home. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
Having their house burned down by an arsonist, the Hodgson family experienced grief, loss, new reality and turmoil to make it through a difficult situation not only intact, but perhaps stronger with a better perspective at the other end. Through faith, sharing, family, friends, hope and perseverance, they struggled yet realize they could survive. In The Pug List, author and mother Alison Hodgson chronicles the major event in the life of her family that changed everything…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
With an adorable Pug on the cover, I couldn’t help but assume this book would be about dogs. Shortly into it; however, I realized it was about a tragic situation in a family’s life with the Pug being only a small portion of it. Perhaps as a way to cope and finally heal, the author shares her thoughts, emotions, trials and journey as they all bounce back from devastation. Written with humor in a situation-appropriate manner, this was a well written book albeit not about Pugs directly.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Pug List from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Roots & Sky

Purifoy, Christie. Roots & Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
Making the trek from Florida to Pennsylvania, author Christie Purifoy shares her hopes, dreams, joys, sorrows and life as she transitions through a year of her life from fall until the following summer. Longing for home, meaning so much more than just a physical building, she introduces us to the simple pleasures of neighbors, gardening, motherhood, faith, and love. With deeply rooted good things growing towards the heavenly sky, Roots & Sky ties together life now and in the future while loving what is directly in front of us…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As a book to wander through, taking time to smell the flowers and enjoy the breezes along the way, I found that cozy, warm, safe feeling of home nestled within the pages of Roots & Sky.  Almost a memoir, definitely well-written and flowing, I was drawn to the writing style of Christie Purifoy as I contemplated my own busy lifestyle. Absolutely soothing and inspiring, this book would bless a Bible study or Mothers’ ministry. Wonderful!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Roots & Sky from Revell Publishing for my honest review*