Mrs. Twist’s Book Club: Are You Joining Us?

Have you signed up for Mrs. Twist Reads This summer book club?  You can read all about it and sign up here.  The best part if you are local to Fort Worth you can join me for a “Books and Bites” party on Wednesday, May 31 at 7 p.m. (be sure to RSVP on our book club page here).

If you have started the book Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, you might have noticed there are alot of characters to keep straight.  I made myself a tip sheet to keep everyone straight. But as promised by most of the reviews out there on the book, once you get all the players identified, the book is easier to read and the good stuff starts happening.  So, stick with it!

Mrs. Twist Reads This: Summer BookClub

Every summer, my mother would have me write down my “Summer Bucket List” — a list of things I wanted to do that, to me, screamed summer.  Among things like go to the pool, travel to Red River, New Mexico, and Galveston beach, checking out books at the library was always on the list.  I love the smell of libraries and how quiet they are.

Summer is the perfect time to pick out those “beach reads” — you know the book you just can’t put down?  Years ago, for me, that was the DaVinci Code.  I took it with me when we traveled to England to visit Mr. Bee’s family. I couldn’t put it down.  It was the perfect airplane read.

Today, announces the release of Into the Water the newest book from New York Times best selling author Paula Hawkins  From the same author that brought us The Girl on the Train, Ms. Hawkins returns with more psycho-fun!

Here’s the description:

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
 
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return. Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

Order your copy today, read it along with me during the month of May, and then join me for a “Books and Bites” party on May 31, at 7 p.m. (location details to come). You can sign up to read it along with me through BookMovement here. All you have to do is set up a free account on their site and it will take you directly to our club page.  If you sign up and join me for the party in May, I’ll have a special book tote as your party favor!

I’ll be posting discussion questions along the way both on the blog and on our Mrs. Twist Reads This bookclub site at BookMovement, a cool source I stumbled upon. Founded by Pauline Hubert, when she was just 25 years old, so that book clubs could have an online curated recommendation network. 43,000 book clubs have joined their site since their launch in 2004.  It has fun features like discussion boards, 20,000 reading guides, top book club recommendations, a direct link to Amazon for ordering new books, email reminders of our upcoming gatherings, and it allows me to put books in my queue for the future.

And, don’t worry if you miss this month’s book — I’ll be offering a new book every month from May through August.  Even if you are not local, I would love to have you be a part of our club!

What’s On the Stack: My February Books

Three books on my library cart this month…

 

I like to seek out books that offer support and encouragement and I saw this book floating around social media Craving Connection — 30 Challenges for real life engagement. “Embrace the desire God has given each of us for connection.  Invest in meaningful relationships, right where God has you and become the friend you wish you had.”

 

Chasing Slow — Written by viral sensation and HGTV.com star Erin Loechner.   Erin turns away from fast, fame and frenzy to blaze the trail toward a new-fashioned lifestyle—one that will refresh your perspective, renew your priorities and shift your focus to the journey that matters most. Through a series of steep climbs—her husband’s brain tumor, bankruptcy, family loss, and public criticism—Erin learns just how much strength it takes to surrender it all, and to veer right into grace.

And, thanks to a lovely HWT reader, Carol, I get to jump into deliciousness with Helen Corbitt Cooks for Company (you can read about how Carol knew I wanted this book here).  A few days after I posted the story, this book arrived in the mail along with a lovely handwritten note.  Carol said the book was from her mother’s cookbook library adding “I think you and my mother might have been the same person!”  It totally warms my heart to know I will be cooking from Joan’s cookbook. I tucked the note inside as a reminder of her kindness.

Have a fab Friday!

What’s on the Stack: January’s Reading List

Three books I’m perusing this month (I use the term peruse because it’s a bit of a challenge for me to focus on reading).  There’s a theme here — two books are about slowing down, and one for slow cooking.

First, a book I had on my Christmas wish list…Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth.  Here’s a brief description of her book:

“Have you ever stopped to think, Maybe the Amish are on to something? Look around. We tweet while we drive, we talk while we text, and we surf the Internet until we fall asleep. We are essentially plugged in and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  It’s time to simplify our lives, make faith and family the focal point, and recapture the lost art of simple living. Building on the basic principles of Amish life, Nancy Sleeth shows readers how making conscious choices to limit (and in some cases eliminate) technology’s hold on our lives and getting back to basics can help us lead calmer, more focused, less harried lives that result in stronger, deeper relationships with our families, friends, and God.”  Added bonus is the cover art — look at her apron!

Second, no coincidence, the next book was written by her husband Dr. Matthew Sleeth.  I absolutely love his book 24:6 A prescription for a healthier, happier life.

“In 24/6, Dr. Matthew Sleeth describes our symptoms, clarifies the signs, diagnoses the illness, and lays out a simple plan for living a healthier, more God-centered life in a digitally-dazed, always-on world. Sleeth shares how his own family was dramatically transformed when it adopted Sabbath practices and helps readers better understand how their own lives can be transformed – physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually – by adopting the 24/6 lifestyle.”

We did a brief study of this book in my United Methodist Women’s group. I truly found myself craving that one day of the week where I could focus on just being quiet.  My church small group has decided to study it for the next few months so I am looking forward to a more in-depth look at his advice.

Third, one of my favorite cookbook authors Gina Homolka and her Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: Knockout Quick-fix and Slow Cooker Recipes.  I have her first book Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor. I have to say every recipe I have tried has been yummy and well received by my picky teen.  All her recipes include nutritional information and Weight Watcher points.

Follow Gina on Pinterest where she posts recipes.  In fact, she also has a Skinnytaste Meal Planner a 52-week journal to help you organize and plan your meals…something I really want to try to do in the new year.

Check out my Books Worth Reading on Pinterest.  What’s on your stack this month?  I always love good read suggestions.

November: A Month of Abundance

Every November I relish in reading Ann Voskamp’s books.  She’s a New York Times best selling author and I’ve written about her before.  You may be familiar with her last two books:  One Thousand Gifts and Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas.

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The perfect way to read the Christmas story with your children

This year Ann is launching a new book The Broken Way:  A Daring Path into the Abundant Life.  She has so much good information and tons of freebies you can download from her website.  With each of her books she always provides free study guides and something I really enjoy – monthly calendars.  The November calendar kicks-off the season of Thanksgiving and starts November 1 with a simple task — jot down three gifts you are thankful for, then reach out to three people who have made those gifts possible. Simple.  Thankfulness is not costly and doesn’t require gift wrap.

 

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Ann’s writings are especially important to me during the months of October through December because of the ministry I help lead at my church on grief and loss.  For 15 years I have been given the gift from God of leading a grief support group and the honor of serving on the committee for Hope for the Holidays — an evening of hope, healing and worship for those who are facing the holidays grieving a loss.  Loss of a relationship, employment, ability, loss of a loved one through death, addiction, incarceration, or homelessness.  You are invited to join us this year on Thursday, November 17, 7 p.m. at Arborlawn United Methodist Church.  Please visit our Facebook page for more information.

If you are local to Fort Worth, Ann Voskamp will be signing copies of her book at Lifeway Christian Store, 5900 Southwest Loop 820, 76132, on Friday, November 4, 6-7:30 p.m.  I’m going to make an evening of it, dinner with a friend, then hopefully to meet Ann to sign my books.

I hope you will join me during the month of November to focus on making your life full of abundance.  Print your calendar, post it on the fridge, and together, let’s #bethegift.