From My Bookshelf to Yours
January 1, 1970Title: From My Bookshelf to Yours
I love reading as much as writing. So I thought I’d write about a subject that combines both: writing book reviews. My goal is to read a book and write a book review each month. It’s great mental exercise and helps me remember what I’ve read. If I publish a review, I’m helping others as well.
Books I’ve read and reviewed this year include: A New Man (opens your eyes to the pervasiveness of pornography), Forgiving the Dead Man Walking (how Debbie Morris forgave her attacker), Wounded by Words (overcoming abuse) and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (more below). I recommend all. These and more of my reviews are posted at Amazon.com.
If you’re looking for a good summer read, I suggest Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. This is Barbara Kingsolver’s true story of eating for one year only what could be raised on the family farm or purchased locally (for the most part; they cheated on coffee and spices). Many years ago I found Kingsolver’s novel The Poisonwood Bible an eye opener on the life of a missionary. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is no less on the matter of food.
Since I grew up on a farm, this book took me back to “dressing” chickens and hoeing vegetables. I have never considered buying “organic” vegetables. To me a carrot is a carrot. But Kingsolver opened my eyes to pesticides sprayed on veggies and steroids injected into chickens, so that I’m ready to check out a local natural foods store. But her book is a fun read, because she offers colorful descriptions of everything from anticipating the first asparagus to breeding turkeys. One daughter adds a college-age perspective and recipes (zucchini chocolate chip cookies, anyone?) while a younger one provides fun anecdotes about raising “Lily’s Lovely Layers.” Kingsolver’s husband, Steven L. Hopp, offers sidebars on more academic stuff.
Another book I recently stumbled across while book signing was The Shack. The endorsement of Eugene Peterson (author of The Message) intrigued me: “This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress did for his.” Really? That is high praise! The Shack is a novel based on a tragic abduction and offers a fresh look at good and evil. There are already 513 reviews posted at Amazon, so I didn’t write a book review, but I did find the book thought provoking.
So if you’re a writer who likes to read (or a reader who likes to write), go a step further and write a review. I like this web site for overall guidelines: http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/bookrev/tips.htm. For practice, I invite you to write a review of my book—Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories About Women Who Made a Difference—and post it at Amazon.com. I’d love to hear what you’re reading too. In fact, if you’ll e-mail me directly or from my web site (www.shirleybrosius.com) your name, snail mail address and the title of a book you recommend by June 30, I’ll put your name in a hat and draw a winner who will receive a copy of my book. I’ll also list suggested books in an upcoming newsletter. Feel free to invite others to visit my web site and sign up for my newsletter too. Next time I hope to tell you about “our” (as in Friends of the Heart) latest book project.
Have a blessed summer.
June 15, 8 and 10:30 a.m. - Speaking at First United Methodist Church, Millersburg, on “The Gift That Keeps on Living.”
September 19-21 - Friends of the Heart leading Women's Retreat for Gateway Community Church at Traber Center, Spring City.
October 31-Nov. 1 - Book Table at 70th Anniversary Teacher Training Conference for CEF of Eastern Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.
November 9, 9 a.m. - Speaking at Thank Offering services: St. Michael's Lutheran Church, Klingerstown; 10:30 a.m. - Zion Lutheran Church, Erdman.
December 2 - Friends of the Heart presenting "Mary: Ordinary or Extraordinary" at First United Methodist Church of Hershey.
February 13-15, 2009 - Friends of the Heart leading women's retreat for Bethesda Evangelical Congregational Church at Kenbrook Bible Camp, Lebanon.
March 8, 2009, 3 p.m. – On authors' panel at Elizabethville Branch Library.