Tag: Red Thread Sisters

Audiobook Review | “Life as a Spectrum Mom (Volume 1): The Ups, Downs, and Upside Downs of Parenting Autistic Kids” by Karen Pellett, narrated by Sara K. Sheckells

Posted Friday, 27 October, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Life as a Spectrum Mom” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Karen Pellett) in exchange for an honest review. The difference with this complimentary copy I received is I had a 90 day window to listen and review the book whilst given a soft deadline where I could post my ruminative thoughts at an hour which worked for me on the day the review was due; this differs from a blog tour which has a more set schedule of posting. The audiobooks are offered to ‘adopt’ for review consideration and are given to readers to gauge their opinions, impressions and insight into how the audiobook is resonating with listeners. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: Due to my unexpected hiatus in September, my adopted audiobooks (‘Life as a Spectrum Mom’, ‘Sharpe Shooter’ and ‘Sharpe Edge’) as well as the blog tour ‘The Supernatural Pet Sitter’ were delayed from posting until October.

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What initially prompted me to listen to Life as a Spectrum Mom:

I started to seek out stories in both Fiction and Non-Fiction which speak to motherhood and mumhood for the past few years now. I am a Prospective Adoptive Mum myself, as I know I will be adopting from foster care in the future – part of my path as an Auntie has been seeking out Children’s Lit (from Picture Books, Middle Grade novels to Young Adult titles) which led me back into a realm of literature which I hadn’t visited in quite a long time! Finding, I have a newfound joy of immersing into stories writ for younger audiences – I have found so many incredible stories, characters and portals of imaginative ‘thought’ – I cannot wait to share these lovelies with my own children ‘one day’.

Whilst seeking out stories involving parenthood directly, I am finding myself inspired by the honest approach writers are able to convey the ins and outs of being a parent in today’s technologic world! I appreciate reading stories about the foster care system (my favourite thus far is ‘The Language of Hoofbeats’), stories of international adoption (my favourite being ‘Red Thread Sisters’) and even, of alternative means of conception (such as the heart-centred & emotional journey as seen in ‘Claiming Noah’).

I was keenly uplifted reading the journey towards ‘balance’ and ‘self-directed growth’ Ms Bure was endeavouring to share with us in her latest memoir (she writes a series of them at different stages of her life) ‘Dancing Through Life’ – whilst owning to the difficulties of being a pro-active Mum juggling work and opportunities which arrive unexpected to give you a jolt of growth you hadn’t realised you needed. And, even though I felt a bit short-changed after reading the memoir ‘The Mother God Made Me To Be’, there was still a lot of moments of joy reading this mother’s journey towards re-awakening her own spirit for defining life on her terms.

Ergo, when it came time to settle into this audiobook – I was already primed and ready to hear a mother’s story about how raising three Special Needs children has led her onto the path she was always meant to walk. Sometimes, we never realise what our ‘purpose’ in life will be until it is revealled to us whilst we’re already moving in a direction towards where we ‘think we’re meant to be’ even if there are things in motion to let us arrive ‘where we’re needed’ instead. All our paths into mumhood are different – each of us is feeling led and guided towards the moment where we can fully embrace being Mums (and Dads!) – raising our children and endeavouring to nurture their hearts towards being well-rounded persons who can go out and share their individual spirits with the world. Each child has a gift to share, a lesson to give and a joy to multiple simply by their presence in our lives.

As I continue to read stories of motherhood and parenthood (as I love the father’s perspective just as much!) –  I feel a step closer to where my path will start to interconnect to the future where I too, will one day be a ‘Mum’. The fortitude of strength all parents have is given to them in the moments where they feel they aren’t strong enough because this is one special gift parents are given by Him to help see them through the situations which test us all for how we can transition through life’s uncertainties in order to continue to celebrate the joys.

One thing I knew going into this memoir is part of what would make it easier to read (er, listen to) is the ‘humour’ Ms Pellett put inside it! I, myself, thrive on HUMOUR! My family was infamous for finding ways to insert humour into our everyday lives – something which continues to be our mainstay even now, throughout my adult life. Humour is the balm to our soul – it’s a way to see the lighter side of ‘everything’ even if nothing feels *that!* funny whilst we’re living through it! Oy.

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Audiobook Review | “Life as a Spectrum Mom (Volume 1): The Ups, Downs, and Upside Downs of Parenting Autistic Kids” by Karen Pellett, narrated by Sara K. SheckellsLife as a Spectrum Mom
Subtitle: The Ups, Downs, and Upside Downs of Parenting Autistic Kids
by Karen Pellett
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Sara K. Sheckells

From candy explosions and safety spaces to patience pills and mattress slides, autism turns normal on its head and stomps on it for good measure. For this family and their three autistic children, life is chaotic but glorious. Experience everyday life from the perspective of a spectrum mom and defy the label as only an exceptional family can.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B0741NBX68

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Memoir, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction


Published by Self Published Author

on 20th July, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 3 hours, 22 minutes (unabridged)

Self-Published Audiobook

Karen Pellett | Blog | Site | @KarenPellett | Facebook | Instagram

Narrator: Sara K. Sheckells | Site | @SaraSoundsVO | Facebook

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Posted Friday, 27 October, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Audiobook, Autism, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Clever Turns of Phrase, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Equality In Literature, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Indie Author, Learning Difficulties, Memoir, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Mother-Son Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Siblings, Special Needs Children, Vignettes of Real Life, Women's Health

_+ #atozchallenge _+ 26 Days | 26 Essays [epic journey] Today is Letter “E”. Hint: The World is a Melting Pot

Posted Saturday, 5 April, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 8 Comments

A to Z Challenge Day 5 Letter E I am involved in a world-wide globally connected blogosphere challenge where each blogger who signs into the participant linky is quite literally confirming their express desire to blog straight [except on Sundays!] for *26 Days!* whilst writing *26!* most intriguing & thought-producing alphabet essays! Or, to be comically inspiring, randomly cheeky, and otherwise delightfully entertaining! The bloggers who have signed into the challenge are from all walks of blogosphere life: book bloggers united alongside lifestyle gurus; writers of all literary styles nudged up against travelogues; the gambit runs the full course of each and every theme, topic, subject, and genre you could possibly light your heart with joy to broach in a blog! And, the curious bit to the journey is where your posts lead you as much as where other blogger’s posts inspire you! It’s this fantastic community to celebrate the spirit within the blogosphere as much as the spirit of connection amongst the bloggers who might not have crossed paths with each other otherwise. After all, the road map for blogs is as wide and large as the actual world outside the nethersphere of websites, pixels, and memes! Walk with us whilst we discover a bit about ourselves, our blog, & each other!

I am blogger #552 out of 2279!

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{ should be noted: @aishacs posted a multi-post Interview
on the blog Story & Chai
about diversity in literature; Part II, Part III, Part IV }

Originally I was going to focus on E P I C F A N T A S Y for Letter E, except to say, that throughout the twitterverse and the book blogosphere I was finding encouragement to draw light on another equally as important discussion of interest E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E! I grew up in a moderately sized city to the extent that the world was outside my door, the essence of the melting pot in vivid colours and dimensions was all around me. I loved the multicultural heritages I grew up near and I enjoyed the conversations I had with those who could help me understand traditions, cultures, and religions outside of my own. I have many fond memories speaking to Native Americans for instance whether I was at a bookshoppe or at an arts & crafts festival. I loved finding ways to engage with people who could dynamically shift my point of view and endear me to how our differences bridge the gap to how we are all interconnected and related.

Although I grew up in a house full of European descent (for the most part; mostly Briton though), the inertia of connectivity of other cultures was always encouraged and sought out. When you live in a city of any size, you get to see a beautiful cross-section of everyone who lives within the city itself. Whilst your riding the bus or walking down the boulevard you are greeting people as you come across them, accepting them as you speak to them, and within those brief moments of conversation you begin to grow curious about their own stories. Stories in which they grew up sharing within their own families and stories in which they grew up reading inside the books they cherished as bedtime companions.

I always celebrated then when I found multicultural characters in the stories I was personally reading as well as settings outside the norm of the net in which is regularly cast. E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E does not end nor begin on having different perspectives in ethnicity or nationality, as it also is inclusive of the ideal for a balancing of all characters and the lives in which they lead. This can include single | divorced | grandparent | foster parenting, adoptive or step-parent families, LGBT families and individuals; learning difficulties as well as those who are living with a medical handicap, illness, or affliction. Immigrant stories of people and families changing their stars for a life in a new country; biracial and multi-ethnic families. Whilst going further to extend past religious differences and spirituality freedoms to include a cross-section of all representations of a person’s beliefs as much as the differences in how we live, eat, and breathe. Full equality is giving the writer the will to focus on the characters they can personally identify with and as thus, can endear the reader to draw connection with as well. For every well-written story there is a reader who is aching to read a story which has transcended the living reality mantra of the earth being a melting pot and has taken the theory into practice in literature. I hint about my views about all of this under “My Bookish Life“.

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E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E for me is reading the world through the lens in which we live. Our world is a beautiful melting pot of cultures, traditions, religions and individualism. Why not celebrate those differences by painting living testaments of our lives as a portrait through the characters we breathe to life in novels? Giving back a bit of the grace in which we are free to live?
by Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story

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Access to Different Kinds of Literature via Color in Colorado

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Books on the Underground; Books on the Subway; Jorie Loves A Story: Booking the Rails

I recently reviewed a book for my Booking the Rails Feature where I highlighted Wonder by R.J. Palacio who wrote this beautiful book about a boy whose face is altered from other children yet the light of his heart uplifts everyone who meets him. The beauty of the novel itself is showing the grace of living your life as true to who you are on the inside as to reflect back to those who perceive you through prejudicial eyes the joy in being authentically yourself. The barriers people build up between each other can be brought down one by one if we endeavour to understand what alienates us and be determined to draw out empathy and compassion as a first response rather than fear, ignorance, and indifference.

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August has a keen philosophical intuitiveness about himself, the dynamics of his family, and his personal living environment around him. He seeks to find solace out of uncertainty and squalls chaos with simplistic truths which etch out the stigmas of which society oft-times places on individuals who are in some shape or form ‘different’ from the ‘norm’. And, the sad truth is that normalcy is in the eye’s of the beholder! To be normal is quite definitively the ability to be wholly true to yourself, your internal resolve of spirit, and in knowing who you are without the prejudgements and negative thoughts of others assembling into your heart. August has instinctively dry humour to convey his thoughts about life, dispelling any unease to meet him because he breaks the ice by simply being himself! He draws you into his sphere by engaging you in a way you were not expecting! No pretense. He’s simply ‘August’, who prefers to go by ‘Auggie’, the brother of Via and the boy who wants to live like a regular ten-year old entering fifth grade!

– quoted from my review of Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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Each book I am selecting to highlight as part of my Booking the Rails feature will be a story which will challenge convention and/or the ideals of story-telling and branch out into new horizons for both my readers and those who find the books on the trains. I want to start a conversation on those posts of giving dialogue and conversation to topics and subjects that will benefit from having a light shined on them. It’s my own wink and a nod to creating a new pathway back into the culture of being ‘bookish’ and ‘conversational’ with each other. Rather than merely nodding in agreement or staying silent altogether. More of my thoughts on this are contained on my visit to The Star Chamber Show : Episode 16. (archived & easy to listen too)

Carol Antoinette Peacock & Pepper
Carol Antoinette Peacock & Pepper in the author’s office. Peacock Family Album.

Previously, I showcased the adoptive story of Carol Antoinette Peacock whereupon her story entitled: Red Thread Sisters embarks on the journey of adopting children from China. This is one of many yet to appear on Jorie Loves A Story, as one of my sub-focuses on my blog will be positive adoptive stories for those who are considering foster adoptive options as well as international, open, and other avenues towards adopting children into their family home. I wanted to find authors who give a positive testament of the emotional keel a child or teen experiences prior to adoption as much as the transitional period after they are adopted. (if the story broaches both time periods) What I appreciated about Ms.  Peacock’s writings are her honesty in leading with her heart and her own adoptive story in which the Red Thread Sisters stems from at its core.

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There are two sayings throughout “Red Thread Sisters”, as well as in the personal letter attached in the afterword by the author herself,… one is a meditative pause of ‘light reflected as brightly lit as lunar lanterns’, and the second is the poignancy behind the entitlement of the book itself, ‘of the delicate red thread that unites all of us in a shared common bond, where those who cross our path are meant to be in our lives, and despite the appearance of the thread’s nature, will hold steadfast and strong perpetually’. The book gives pause to any woman considering motherhood through adoption and any father choosing his path of fatherhood through adoption, because it touches on the raw emotions that are silently withheld from the adoptive parents, by children who live in constant fear that something they do or say or not do even will be grounds for them to return back from whence they came. To become un-adoptable simply because they didn’t live up to the adoptive parents expectations. It’s also a book that examines adoption from the reflections of the children themselves, as they struggle to yield and bend with a new rhythm completely different from the one they were used too whilst at an orphanage, group home, or foster home. They have to learn its okay to make mistakes, to learn and grow through their experiences, and that a forever family isn’t co-dependent on perfection but rather with honesty, heart, emotion, and love. May we always keep ourselves lit from within with a light of hope as powerful and strong as lunar lanterns, to advocate for adoption and the expansion of our hearts and worlds when a child in need of a family, finds one in those of us willing to open our hearts and homes to them.

– quoted from my review of Red Thread Sisters

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One author where I found a strong sense of giving E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E a new definition of purpose is Laura Resau. Her blog is linked to my sidebar where the RSS feeds join the mixture towards the bottom. I have been making purchase requests for her books at my local library each chance that I can as well. The tricky bit is to remember which book of hers I read first: What the Moon Saw OR The Indigo Notebook!? I have taken it upon myself to read all of her novels, but I am still in the middle of accomplishing this goal! I have also read Star in the Forest.

Laura Resau
Photography Credit: Tina Wood Photography

Laura Resau is the award-winning author of seven highly acclaimed young adult and children’s novels– What the Moon Saw, Red Glass, Star in the Forest, The Queen of Water, and the Notebooks series (Delacorte/Random House). She draws inspiration from her time abroad as a cultural anthropologist, ESL teacher, and student. Loved by kids and adults alike, her novels have garnered many starred reviews and honors, including the IRA YA Fiction Award, the Américas Award, and spots on Oprah’s Kids’ Book Lists. Praised for its sensitive treatment of immigration and indigenous people’s issues, Resau’s writing has been called “vibrant, large-hearted” (Publishers’ Weekly on Red Glass) and “powerful, magical” (Booklist on What the Moon Saw). Resau lives with her husband, young son, and beagle in Fort Collins, Colorado. She donates a portion of her royalties to indigenous rights organizations in Latin America.

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The Indigo Notebook Book Trailer by the Author Laura Resau

The Indigo Notebook Page on Laura Resau’s site

[ after the 1:00 mark the song continues to be enjoyed by audience ]

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The Indigo Notebook by Laura ResauResau has the natural ability of fusing the indigenous culture of Mexico and Ecuador into her novels in such a wonderfully skilled way, that whilst I was reading The Indigo Notebook I instantly flashed back to my own memories of traversing through the interior of Mexico in and around the Federal District and the Yucatán Peninsula! One of these days I want to collect her books for my own personal library, but what I appreciated about my local library is being open to bring in authors who write multicultural stories for a young audience who could benefit from the life lessons and story contained within her pages! As I start to re-read over the books I have already read and progress forward into the ones I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading, I will be writing down my thoughts on my blog! I am always hopeful that through the sharing of my own lamentations about the writers and books which speak to me to the point of being moved emotionally, I will in one small way impact another reader’s life.

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E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E : A sampling of Books to Read

{ books I have predominately found through my local library }

UPDATE: per rifflebooks.com errors I’ve moved this list to my #LibraryThing
(as I will be reading these selections throughout [2019] part of my #BeatTheBacklist challenge)

E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E : New Authors on the Horizon

A full list of the book covers & stories is on Riffle: (share at will!)

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Equality in Literature & Diversity in Literature : walk hand in hand – July 2014

Reaching past our own heritages and our own living environments gives us a wider world view and depth of understanding. We become wholly in-tune with the harmony of the world’s spirit by embracing all the lovely and unique differences which shape our identities. We grow out of love and we give back love each time we endeavour to forge a bridge between our culture and the culture of someone else. We give our spirit a bit of a lift by the joy of celebrating the history of people who live as passionately as we do and whose traditions are as rooted in their culture and families as much as our own. Lessons of connectivity and of friendship will always abound when two souls are willing to make a connection.

One of the books I have oft spoken about online via my blog and my Twitter feeds is “The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker, which is an atmospheric enriched narrative which crosses the divide between mythology and immigration. She digs deep into the setting of her novel to shift between New York City and the old world in which the Golem and the Jinni originated from. She has a deft hand in revealing human emotions and convictions out of characters who are everything except human! What endeared me to the text is her gift of story-telling to not only enchant you with a magical kinetic plausibility but to give you a full score of characters who are each on their own individual journey towards self-discovery. It’s in this inherent quest to understand both origin and worth in a world set against the tides of where their destinies are taking them, Wecker infuses her narrative with a connection of heart.

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Each were set on a course to learn and grow out of their experiences in a place neither expected to be. They each succumb to their inherent natures, but I feel only one of them is able to change the other for the good. Because one of them is stronger than the other as far as knowing how to make good on what has been turned for the bad. Their journey leads not to a resolution of sorts to overcome their individual obstacles towards true freedom, but rather too a junction point that leads them to question everything they felt they knew thus far along. And, in that conclusion the reader has to sit back and ponder the true meaning behind “The Golem and the Jinni”, for was it a journey of theirs that you took or an inward journey of understanding the limitations of humanity?

– quoted from my review of “The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker

I am hopeful that more readers will seek out E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E by choosing titles by all authors of all backgrounds who celebrate our united spirit within the global society of nations and nationalities.

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Not enough multicultural books? via Color in Colorado

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Thank you for joining me on DAY 5 | A to Z Challenge!

I am a girl named Jorie who loves a story!
I am a bookish library girl on a quest for literary enlightenment!
I am predominately self-taught and library educated!
I am Mademoiselle Jorie!
Thank you for joining me on this journey!

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This marks my fifth post for the:

A to Z ChallengeFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Which authors do you feel reflect the beauty of E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E? Which authors who are newly published OR have books which will soon be forthcoming would you recommend to be added to the “on the horizon” category of this post!? Which books have captured your heart whilst enveloping you in another person’s shoes and culture?! How do you feel progress has been made to give ever writer a voice and each story the gift for expanding our horizons?

UPDATE: 1 May, 2014: In the weeks since this post was first published I have participated in #diverselit & #WeNeedDiverseBooks movements on Twitter. I also created the tag #EqualityInLit to reflect my personal view and feelings towards diversity and equality in literature. You will denote a new category indexed on Jorie Loves A Story E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R Ewhich speaks to the heart of how this blog post inspired me to make my views a bit more well-known.

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{SOURCES: A to Z Challenge Participant & Letter C Badge provided by the A to Z Challenge site for bloggers to use on their individual posts & blogs to help promote the challenge to others.The photograph of Carol Antoinette Peacock was given to me by the author and used with permission. Laura Resau photograph, author biography & book cover for The Indigo Notebook used with permission by the author. The book trailer by Laura Resau had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portals to this post, and I thank them for this opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers provided by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

Diversity Solutions with Sherri L. Smith (author of “FlyGirl”) – (mayaprasad.com)

Why I Write About India – (mayaprasad.com)

Diversity in Kid’s Books – (nytimes.com)

Booklist 2014 (for multicultural literature) – (campbele.wordpress.com)

Exploring Diversity Through Children’s & Young Adult Books: Background Reading – (cynthialeitichsmith.com)

Embracing Diversity in YA Lit – (slj.com)

Comments via Twitter:

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Posted Saturday, 5 April, 2014 by jorielov in A to Z Challenge, Adoption, Book Cover Reveal, Book Trailer, Booking the Rails, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Whimsy, Brothers and Sisters, CFHS The Society, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Conservation, Cultural Heritage, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut in United States, Debut Novel, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Fantasy Fiction, Genre-bender, Guest Spot on Podcast, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Interviews Related to Content of Novel, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Memoir, Meteorology, Nanowrimo 2008, Non-Fiction, Orphans & Guardians, Quaker Fiction, Readerly Musings, Septemb-Eyre, Siblings, Sociology, Southern Belle View Daily, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Dystopia Challenge, The Rocketeer, The Typosphere, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure, Travel Narrative | Memoir, Vignettes of Real Life, Wicked Valentine's Readathon, Writes of Passage, Wuthering Heights, Young Adult Fiction

{Book Chat} #1: One Book Everyone Should Read | Once

Posted Friday, 15 November, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 9 Comments

The Book Chat | Sweet Green TangerineOne Book Everyone Should Read | Once (in their lifetime)

I agree with our fearless hostess, that the book we choose to recommend to read this week, should be one that has etched itself into our minds, our hearts, and into the fabric of our being. Characters, of whom, have instilled inside us memories that haunt us long after we have met them, and of whom, re-define our perspective of how we see and view the world around us. Narrative prose that erupts as clear as lightning, permeating our mind’s eye with a hearty imaginative state where we can fully see the world that is knit and stitched together by the writer’s capacity for endeavouring us to see their world as they intended us too. A story that has a girth of knowledge and positive impression of lessons learnt are always best understood after we have transitioned through them. Yet. It’s not an easy question to respond too, because the life of a book reader bent on the written word, is hard to pin down and pick out one book that stands out amidst the shadows of all the other lovelies that we have come to know! I’ve never been one to play favourites and so, this task is rather a difficult choice! I yield to simply referring to one book I think any reader would be happy to become acquainted with, if only for one reading whilst their hunkered in to their own reading affairs and adventures therein!

Before I make my selection, I want to talk a bit about the type of books that I am always anxious to meet and am forevermore blessed to have my path crossed with theirs! You see, there are several books that come to mind, books who strong heroines have touched my life at precisely the right moments to give me a lift of spirits and a breath of a world that has always felt enchantingly familiar!

The Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinI had the benefit of growing up in a house where literary inspiration was at the forefront of discovery! Long before I could sort out how each word was meant to be said by voice, I had the pleasure of ‘listening’ to stories (of all varieties and forms) become brought to life by my Mum! She had a knack for knowing exactly how to empathise each syllable with articulation and clarity! I marveled at how I would ever grow into shoes large enough to understand how to purport the ‘telling of’ a story in the same manner of how I ‘heard her’ speak them to me! It’s an ongoing process even now! What I loved about Silverstein’s poems and visionary genius is his ability to cleverly etch into his collective writings the wit and banterment of a life filt with humour! He gave the best gift you can give to children: thought-provoking rhymes, poems, and stories of characters who ‘teach through their actions’. In this, I have always held close the fond memories of his books. As once I could sort out the words, I could not help but soak into his collections breathing in the world as he saw it through his creative eyes!

The Secret Garden & A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson BurnettBy far, The Secret Garden was more than a mere story for me, as the life of Mary Lennox was one that nestled inside my heart from the very first moment I became acquainted with her circumstances! She had this genuine ability to draw you out of yourself and into the world as she perceived it from a different set of eyes than most. Curiously keen on everything happening around her and yet, with such a graceful measure of innocence that bespoke of a childhood we all hope every child can experience. She was searching for stability and of a place to call home; where roots could grow as strong as she would soon mature! Her friendships with Collin and Dickon are lessons knitted together from the simple truths we all need to accept if we are meant to grow inside our own journey. Whereas with A Little Princess I felt rather akin to Sara Crewe, feeling her thoughts, her emotions, and her uncertainties as she was quite unceremoniously deposited into such a difficult situation without the benefit of protection from a guardian! Where Mary Lennox was independently spunky, I always felt that Sara truly needed a little extra confidence to know she could stand on her own feet and survive. They are each living shattered lives where circumstance and ill-will of those around them start to affect their happiness. These were the stories that compelled me to seek out the depth of historical fiction and epic multi-generational sagas. To see the underpinnings of how characters grow into their shoes so to speak and the passageways they have to walk in order to arrive inside their futures.

Mandie {series} by Lois Gladys LeppardI was quite young when I first began to read the Mandie series as what attracted me to the premise was the fact that a girl who was in search of her father, grandmother, and origins of birth found unforeseen comfort in her Uncle Ned, a Native American. I loved how Leppard moved between the different cultures, as much as how she showed how Mandie’s grandmother influenced her grand-daughter to have a world-view based on experiences, adventures, and travel opportunities. She instilled in Mandie a true sense of freedom which comes from knowledge, empathy, charity, and faith. Mandie is the type of ‘best friend’ you always hope to meet whilst your growing up due to how genuine of a friend she truly is! I liked that she was a bit spunky in some ways too! She never found a challenge too difficult to overcome nor did she pass up a good mystery to solve! She was a girl a threshold ahead of her time, set in the historical past to where even growing up in the 20th century you could see the frameworks of her living world as it was painted so very clearly for you to observe!

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryI suppose you could say you have noticed a trend in the type of lead characters and stories that I have been drawn too since I was a child! Anne of Green Gables is the epitome of a heroine whose spirit and mirth of life will long outlast all of us who have come to know her as intimately as though we were childhood confidantes! Montgomery gave us a real portrait of life and living through Anne’s eyes, and kept Anne rooted in her unique personality whilst the Anne we knew and loved grew into a woman with her own means and family. She dared to step out of the comfort zones of society and willed herself to achieve what many I think in her plight might have simply given up on obtaining at all! She’s the inspiration for all young girls to realise how strong women can be at the times in life we need to assert ourselves and stand strong!

Little House in the Big Woods {Little House series thereof} by Laura Ingalls WilderI still remember curling up with my boxed set of paperback novels by Ms. Wilder wildly lighting my imagination with frontier life! Her stories were so real to me, that I would always make a bit of a tradition out of when I would read the Little House books! IF I could wing it, I would always like to begin them in the early murmurings of Autumn, when the weather would feel unlike Summer! I was fascinated by the simple inclusions of Laura’s life such as the biscuits in her pocket to keep her hands warm and the method of making ‘candy’ out of snow and maple syrup! How many days and years I longed to attempt that recipe myself yet never experienced more than an hour’s worth of frost on the windshield? When the tv series was well on its way of finding its own heart of inspiration from the stories in the books I held close to my heart, I found myself living by extension of the original stories through everything that evolved in the teleplay! I realised years later that there were creative liberties taken, but for me, both Little Houses will always be felt with warm affection! They each in their own way gave us so much more than we could return in thankful notes of gratitude!

A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensAh, Ebenezer! Who doesn’t know of Ebenezer Scrooge! I must have read this story numerous times to the brink that each time it was re-made into a tv mini-series, tv movie, and/or theatrical released motion picture; I would always have the general aspects of his story pop back into my mind! I must say, that there each new variation of this story I see something new and wholly different from the others. Each adaptation if you will focuses on something else that Dickens was attempting to impart on the world. I have not come across one adaptation I haven’t enjoyed and if I may be so bold to lament: I hope there are several more variations in the future still yet to come! The best life lesson to give any child is the one of generosity without the expectation of returned gratitude. To give without conditions is the greatest gift we can give each other! And, to remain humble to all walks of life and circumstances whilst we traverse our lifepaths is an even greater philosophy to aspire towards!

White Fang by Jack LondonI remember when I first started to mention to my teachers I wanted to read the works of Jack London, I was deeply surprised by their reactions! IF they were not explaining to me that they were meant for ‘boys’ not ‘girls’ they were trying to persuade me to read lighter fare! The truth of the matter is I have always felt such a natural curiosity and attachment to the natural world, that it was a natural progression for me to discover White Fang! I never understood why there had to be such strict perimeters when I was growing up! Boy. Girl. Gender this, gender that! Goodness! What I loved about the book (as my parents noted my desire and took me to the bookshoppe to pick out a copy!) is the pure and raw adventure to it! I loved it beyond what words could express and when I saw the motion picture — it felt as though I had come full circle! Very impactful for a young girl!

A Wrinkle in Time {Time Quartet series thereof} by Madeleine L’ EngleThis particular book didn’t greet me until I was in my twenties as I was seeking out a way to jump-dive into reading quantum physics! The full story is hidden within the link I’ve just provided! What I wanted to say in this post is that I would love to complete my readings of the Time Quartet to see what occurs ‘after’ they return home! I remember wondering ever so curiously what would happen next and even, how what they had experienced with their cheeky and quirky visitors would affect the rest of their lives? As each new experience alters your perception and how you proceed forward. In this particular case, its a rather extraordinary excursion! I suppose I shall remain patient until I can gather the remaining three books! I still stand by my declaration that this is the best introduction to Flatland which can serve as the next stepping stone into any quantum physics or mechanics book of your choosing!

The Indigo Notebook {book one: The Notebook series} & What the Moon Saw by Laura ResauAround the age of nine and twenty, I stumbled across Ms. Resau’s books at my local library! Intrigued I started to pick them up and read them. Before long I realised I wanted to read more, so I started to generate purchase requests to keep up with her publication schedule! Until one day I realised, my goodness! The breadth of what she writes into these tales is not only for the emotionally mature young adult (due to the story-lines and character arcs), but they are for the reader who likes to transcend out of the regular offerings and seek out something a bit heartier to chew on! IF you like to ruminate about your readings and allow the heart of a story to soak into you, I can give you no higher recommendation than seeking out a title by Laura Resau! The fact that she writes about cultures in Latin America only warms my heart more being that I have traveled to Mexico myself and saw such a keen insight into the foods, culture, and traditions that I had observed myself!

The Sixty-Eight Rooms {book one: The Sixty-Eight Rooms series} by Marianne MaloneAh, adventure through time travel which stems out of a museum! How many of us read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil F. Frankweiler when we were younger!? Hoping to have the courage to sneak away, tuck into a museum and see what happens when you turn on your torches? (flashlights!) The fact that I had the chance to stay-over at a Children’s Museum for a Night Away made this book even more exciting because I truly did ‘live that adventure’ even if I was surrounded by chaperones! You know children always find a way for ‘alone time’ and let their curiosity get the better of them! Laughs. Back to the story here, this is one of the books that sparked my interest into seeking out more stories of the French! I won’t spoilt anything and tell you why at this junction in time,… but if you are curious about Chicago’s Art Institute’s Thorne Rooms, look no further! Dig in!

The Golden Hour {book one: The Golden Hour series} by Maiya WilliamsIf you are reading carefully you will have noticed I provided a guiding map of which books to read in order and which to proceed into next. However, to make it easier to follow whatever you do, do not feel the inclination to read this book *ahead!* of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil F. Frankweiler & The Sixty-Eight Rooms! You will thank me later! Of course, technically you could read A Wrinkle in Time either ahead of the first of three in this sequence or have it proceed directly after The Golden Hour! Reason being, there is a play on themes that are integral to each of these stories! And, yes, this one has a French connection as well! I think what I loved about this one is the plausibility factor of how time is treated and shifted around. Alas, plausible in the sense if you have already accepted elementary truths of science fiction!

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline KellyCalpurnia Tate took me by complete surprise around two years ago! I was holding off checking out this novel for the longest of times, until one day I realised why not? IF I felt the story was not one I could readily soak into the only thing I’d have to do is return it directly in other for another reader to give it a bit of a go! Inside this coming-of age tale is a spunky (eh, smiles!) wholly true-to-herself girl who is striving to make a connection to a family member who is not readily understood or accepted in her family unit. I felt anguish along with Calpurnia whilst the events unfolded for both of them and I felt my heart grow as the ending chapters brought me to my farewell of her life. I must confess, I could have entertained another installment if only to see what ‘came next’ in her ‘evolution’.

Red Thread Sisters by Carol Antoinette PeacockMy book showcase review of this novel paints my feelings and thoughts in such a deeply personal way that I know it can stand on its own as to express my gratitude for finding this story! However, what I felt I should impart right now is that how powerful we can give children the ability to accept and process all families at a young age! Orphans and children without families are rather commonplace in today’s world, but how many children who grow up with a family know of their fears, hopes, and dreams? Or, how difficult it is for them to accept a ‘new’ family when they were not fully sure if they wanted to leave behind the only home they had ever known? Peacock writes a compelling story of two girls who befriended each other at a group home in China and how their evolving lives would remain entwined!

The clever observer will note immediately that I have chosen to focus on books that we are generally meant to read during our growing years, and of course, I haven’t spotlighted all of them (from my own readings OR generally known by others), but I have picked out the Lucky 13 (it is 2013, after all!) Picks, which holds within the list the selection I shall showcase in a moment! Each of them are interconnected on the level that, in each story, the main character(s) are undertaking a transition in their lives. The shape and nature of the transition is as widely unique as the characters’ themselves, yet each boy and girl featured in these lovely books has to dig a bit deeper than they ever thought possible to even hope to understand the unique situations and circumstances that start to affect their personal worlds directly! They must take on adversity and circumvent outcomes that might not have been as keenly positive if they had not found the true strength to carry-on through what crossed their paths!

Having said this, the one book that I would refer someone to read to have a reading experience that would give them the benefit of all of these stories combined is:

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Mr. Silverstein has the ability to transport us through a portal of literature, by which, our curious and innocent eyes remain fully intact. Even if we are re-visiting this story as adults, who may or may not be jaded by life experiences, or as a new reader, who never had the proper chance to read this story in their growing years. It’s a book that is not hinged to one particular age or another, but rather is universal in its message and at its very core, is a lesson that substantiates all the other titles on the list! For you see, if you never were introduced to “The Giving Tree”, you might not be as readily accepting of the themes, subjects, topics, and climaxes that these other stories contain! Do you not agree?

{*NOTE: All books featured in this post are listed under *Children’s Lit: The Undiscovered Frontier*, for the express purpose of highlighting my work-in-progress to stitch together reviews of the books I have written down on that page! As for each book &/or series listed, there is a world of transformative literature awaiting the reader!}

This post was originally intended to be shown on 21 September 2013!

{SOURCE: The Book Chat badge is provided by Sweet Green Tangerine
for participants to show their solidarity!}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Friday, 15 November, 2013 by jorielov in Adoption, Book Chat, Brothers and Sisters, Children's Classics, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Family Life, Illustrated Poetry, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Orphans & Guardians, Poetry, Quantum Physics, Revolutionary France, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Siblings, The Natural World, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure, Wilderness Adventures, Young Adult Fiction