Good morning, and welcome to another Monday, in which we celebrate our reading, blogging, and life.  Mailbox Monday is hosted in August by 5 Minutes for Books; and Book Journey brings us another edition of What Are You Reading?


This week’s mailbox brought one review book, and I received one download for Sparky.

1.  We Sinners, by Hanna Pylvainen

This stunning debut novel—drawn from the author’s own life experience—tells the moving story of a family of eleven in the American Midwest, bound together and torn apart by their faith

The Rovaniemis and their nine children belong to a deeply traditional church (no drinking, no dancing, no TV) in modern-day Michigan. A normal family in many ways, the Rovaniemis struggle with sibling rivalry, parental expectations, and forming their own unique identities in such a large family. But when two of the children venture from the faith, the family fragments and a haunting question emerges: Do we believe for ourselves, or for each other? Each chapter is told from the distinctive point of view of a different Rovaniemi, drawing a nuanced, kaleidoscopic portrait of this unconventional family. The children who reject the church learn that freedom comes at the almost unbearable price of their close family ties, and those who stay struggle daily with the challenges of resisting the temptations of modern culture. With precision and potent detail, We Sinners follows each character on their journey of doubt, self-knowledge, acceptance, and, ultimately, survival.

2.  You Are the Love of My Life (e-book), by Susan Richards Shreve

For fans of Sue Miller, a finely wrought novel of family secrets and the desire for sustaining love.

It is 1973 and Watergate is on everyone’s lips. Lucy Painter is a children’s book illustrator and a single mother of two. She leaves New York and the married father of her children to live in a tightly knit Washington neighborhood in the house where she grew up and where she discovered her father’s suicide. Lucy hopes for a fresh start, but her life is full of secrets: her children know nothing of her father’s death or the identity of their own father. As the new neighbors enter their insular lives, her family’s safety and stability become threatened.

From a writer whose “unique presentation of human experience makes reading a delight” (Elizabeth Strout), You Are the Love of My Life is a story of how shame leads to secrets, secrets to lies, and how lies stand in the way of human connection.



Welcome to another great week to share thoughts on reading and blogging.  If you stop by the other blogs in our community, you might just find your next favorite read.

Assorted Stuff On the Blogs:

Over at Creative Journey, I posted my check-in for Row 80; at Snow Chronicles, I posted an excerpt from Interior Designs; and my Weekend Potpourri took us on a journey via photos, books, and movies.

Reading (Click Titles for Reviews):

Grace Grows, by Shelle Sumners

The Next Best Thing, by Jennifer Weiner

Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple

Safe Within (e-book), by Jean Reynolds Page

What’s Up Next? (Click Titles/Covers for More Info)

1.   You Are the Love of My Life (e-book), by Susan Richards Shreve (I couldn’t wait to dive into this one, even though I just got it!)

2.  Small Damages, by Beth Kephart

3.  Drowning Ruth, by Christine Schwarz (From Mt. TBR)

4.  Jackie After O, by Tina Cassidy


That’s it….I think!  I have lots of books just waiting, so if I finish these, I know where to look!  What are the rest of you reading this week?  I hope you’ll stop by and chat.


    1. I don’t feel as guilty about it anymore, Judith; probably because I’ve whittled those Old TBRs down to less than 12 left. The newer TBRs number in the forties, but I’m not too worried.

      Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your week.


      1. Wow, that’s really well done, Laurel-Rain! My (single) TBR is around 70 and way too much for me. I can’t handle that kind of numbers because I feel I should read each and every book, and that I should do it soon (before the books look old and yellow). 🙂


      2. When I moved in here five years ago, my TBRs numbered at around 166. I had to pack separate boxes for them. A couple of years later, I started a blog just for “journeying through those stacks,” (Curl up and Read). I don’t ever want it to get that out of control again!


  1. I’m glad to see you gave Bernadette five stars. I’ve been looking forward to it and my copy finally arrived last week. It jumped to the top of the pile so I’ll be reading it soon.


  2. We Sinners and You are the Love of My Life….added to my TBR list. Thanks! Have a great week! Oh, wait, I also have to add the Jennifer Weiner book….it has been ages since I have read anything by her!

    Jen C


  3. I’ve heard about Small Damages – I think I want this as a palate cleanser novel – sounds so interesting. The subject matter – I think it’s easier for teens to have babies in the family now, but when I was a teen, man – it’s was not done. It was a pretty big deal to have a baby out of wedlock (and how apt is the lock part of marriage, where did that word come from anyway?*g*) I know it still happens, but I’ve never understood forcing people to have abortions or give up babies for adoption, and some families can put up so much pressure that it amounts to being forced. I’ll get off my soapbox now – back to the monday meme – Small Damages sounds interesting, and I think I have Drowning Ruth in my shelf, so I should think about reading it soon.

    And The Next Best Thing – Jennifer Weiner is one of those writers that can make you enjoy her novel, even when you don’t like the characters. She really can write a true to life story.


    1. You’re right about Jennifer Weiner….her writing style draws me in every time.

      I like the description of Small Damages as a “palate cleanser.” Hope you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by, Mardel.


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