Roseanna’s Reads

In My Devotions

A Grief Observed
by C. S. Lewis
Yes, I’m still on my C. S. Lewis kick. 😉 This is a very short little book(let). It’s Lewis’s personal journaling after the death of his wife, with a preface by Madeline L’Engle and also a foreword by Lewis’s step-son. Both point out that this is one man’s journey through these hardest of days and not meant to represent everyone’s grief. Everyone goes on their own journey. But it was definitely interesting to read his. To see how first he questioned God and then realized that it was himself he was questioning–that he couldn’t see beyond himself in those first throes. I loved his observations later on about how holding to the sorrow didn’t keep her more present, but rather the opposite. That it was in the moments he felt more like himself again, closer to God again, that she was the clearest to him too.


The Great Divorce
by C. S. Lewis
Since the first book was so short, I was soon moving on to the next in the collection I’d bought. The Great Divorce is a sort of fable or allegory akin to Dante, where a character journeys through the different parts of the afterlife. A little odd, LOL, but it does allow for some really interesting reflections that worked their way into his other books too. Much of what I’ve seen in this one showed up in Narnia–and are in fact the parts of The Last Battle that stuck with me so fully decades after first reading it, so this one has been fun.


For My Bookclub

Within These Lines
by Stephanie Morrill

Okay, so I’ve read this one before, it being by my best friend/critique partner. But I read it two years ago, so I needed a refresher before chatting about it with my book club yesterday. =) I’ve found that it’s just as brilliantly done as I remembered! Stephanie does a fabulous job of writing a story of love and loss, boldness and honor, of a great injustice met with grace by many of those who suffered it and ignored–and often forgotten–by those who watched it happen. This book tells the story of the Japanese Americans who were relocated and sent to camps during WWII here in America, capturing all the horrifying details–like the fact that the camps weren’t finished and had no working toilets, no walls in the dorms, and the paper exterior walls (literally!) did little to keep out the desert sand–through the eyes of our hero, Taichi. Meanwhile Evalina, the girl who loves him, is determined to fight against this injustice back home in San Francisco. I love how she paints one thumbnail red–leaving the other nails bare–to remind herself that life isn’t normal anymore, even though everyone else in the city goes on with life as if their neighbors hadn’t just been imprisoned simply because of their heritage. Highly recommended!!! It’s a young adult but great for any age group, from middle schoolers on up to my grandmother!

For the Edit

Heart of a Royal
by Hannah Currie

Okay, who doesn’t like a princess book?? I know my daughter and I are both crazy for them, and we were super excited at WhiteFire to welcome Heart of a Royal into our young adult line, WhiteSpark! Hannah Currie (an Aussie author) has done a fabulous job in this first book in her Daughter of Peverell series–a fictional kingdom in modern times. Mackenna Sparrow is a commoner by birth, but when the queen dies giving birth to a daughter the same day Mackenna is born, her mother is brought to the palace to nurse the infant princess, and the king promises Mackenna a home there as long as Princess Alina is there. So she’s grown up with the life of a princess…which is now crumbling around her. The king hates her and, now that Alina is engaged, kicks her out, forbidding her from ever speaking to his son, Prince Thoraben again. It seems the people have gotten it into their heads that she ought to marry Ben and be their next queen, and while Ben has always been her best friend, she can’t imagine why they feel this way. As her life shifts around her and a horrible storm disrupts everything in the kingdom, Mackenna finds herself having to face not only the people’s expectations, but her own heart–and the truth behind the Rebels she’s been taught are her greatest enemy.

With the Kids

The Sign of the Beaver
by Elizabeth George Speare

Our school year is in full swing, and we’ve already read quite a few books! The other day we finished The Sign of the Beaver, a great middle grade book about a boy whose father leaves him to watch the homestead in Maine one summer while he goes back to Massachusetts to fetch Matt’s mother and sister. Matt’s summer nearly ends in ruin until some local Indians step in. He ends up thrown together with a native boy a year older than him–he’s supposed to be teaching Attean to read, but more often Attean is teaching him how to survive in the wilderness. They definitely don’t strike up an instant friendship, but it was a wonderful thing to watch develop!

Lawn Boy
by Gary Paulsen
I love this short little book. It’s hilarious and fascinating–the most fun you’ll ever have when it comes to economics lessons. 😉 The idea is that a boy is given a lawn mower for his twelfth birthday and soon he finds himself with more jobs in the neighborhood than he can keep up with. But no worries–a local stockbroker knows some guys who’d be happy to help with the work for a portion of the pay…and does he mind if he pays him in stock? He’s a little cash-poor right now. Pretty soon, this kid is the head of an enterprise he can’t even fathom. Each chapter has very technical titles, and then the story itself is nothing but fun.


Rachel’s Reads

I’m so excited that FALL is officially here! YAY! Time for Here are some of the books I’ve been reading this month. You can watch for my reviews over on my blog, Bookworm Mama.


by Charolette Bronte

I’m currently listening to this as part of a Read-a-Long with author, Rachel McMillan. It is basically a virtual book club that we get to read through together section by section and discuss together. I have the version read by Mandy Weston from SCRIBD and I’m really enjoying it.


For Fun/Review

by Jody Hedlund

I am so so SO in love with this series!!! Foremost is book 2 in the series and you really need to start with Always (a Novella) to get the full scope of the story.


Finding Lady Enderly
by Jonna Davidson Politano

You guys, Joanna is SUCH an amazing author! I was thrilled to see her book, A Rumored Fortune, was nominated for The Christy Award. This one has me so captivated it is hard to put down!


With the Kids

Red Sails to Capri
by Ann Weil

With school back in full swing, this is the first title we are reading this year for literature/history/all the good stuff…My 2nd grader has been loving it. A fun story with a hint of mystery.


For the Book Club

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
by Catherynne M. Valente

This month’s theme was fairytale/folklore etc. And this is the title we voted on. Currently, I am only about 2 pages into it…Shhhh….don’t tell them I’m behind….But I am super intrigued by it. Technically a YA book, I am curious to see what we all thought of it.


Happy Fall!!!