Titles On My Shelf

I am often inspired by a theme when I suggest books for Destiny in Bloom, but this month I am sharing books I have just read, am reading or about to read. The suggestions have a variety of audiences, yet all appealed to this holding-on-to-her-forties woman. I hope one (or more) peak your interest to the point of opening it up and giving it a try.

Son by Lois Lowery
Target audience: young adult plus

Son was a deeply satisfying read for me. It is the last in a series that started with the Newberry Award winner The Giver which is read by most 8th graders. The book “finishes” the story and answers the big question the first book ends with. I have taught The Giver over the years and love it. It is the kind of young adult literature many adults will find worth investing their time. There are four books in the series. The second and third books (Gathering Blue and The Messenger, respectively) continue the story but never really answer the looming questions The Giver ends with which Son does. You could read The Giver and then Son and be okay. I insist The Giver be read first. I suggest that Gathering Blue be read before The Messenger. Lowery’s word choices are precise and her metaphors powerful. The one thing I miss the most about not teaching 8th grade this year is that I don’t get to teach The Giver again, Son blessed me to get to visit friends from the previous books and see if “…happily ever after” would pan out.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Target audience: high school plus

The Alchemist is Coelho’s telling of a Shepard boy, Santiago, who sets all that he has and knows to find the destiny presented to him in a dream. Laced with wisdom, adventure and passions the reader follows Santiago on his journey to find his Personal Legend. I closed the book with a sense of awe for the quiet awakening that happen in me while reading it. The book contains a mixing of cultures and faiths come together to reflect what positive expectation can do in influence anyone to complete their Personal Legend.

The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews
Target audience: all, would be a good family read aloud

As I reflect on The Traveler’s Gift, I find myself wondering if this book is the equivalent to Last Lecture by Charles Dunn, in that it seems to sum up all a father would want to impart to a child. Each book is filled with key truths learned in the writer’s own unique life, which if shared and understood by others could make a huge difference in how a reader’s life is lived. The story is an allegory of the tragic life of David Ponder, once a successful husband, father and businessman who finds life unbearable to face. This is when he comes face to face with key historical figures who help him see life in new way. He comes to know whatever actions taken, your life will not be the only on effected- for the positive or the negative. The messages he receives are powerful. As a reader I found them paradigm shifting.

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler
Target Audience: female adult

Julie Kibler and I attended Hardin-Simmons University and took many English classes together. Over the past few years, I would see her facebook posts talk of 1500 words written or transcripts and would be inspired she had taken a path of action allowing her to express the story held in her heart. Now I am so excited to see her work of many years being published and available to all: Calling Me Home. I purchased my copy at Costco the day it came out. Though I have yet to read it, it is the next book for the book club I attend- so I am days from walking into the world of eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister and her hair dresser, Dorrie Curtis. The story entails a drive from Texas to Cincinnati on a personal quest for Isabelle. Sharing their stories the road trip becomes a mutual journey of understanding love that goes on to change their lives. I have one friend, Linda, who has finished it and loved it say she could hardly put it down to get her daily home responsibilities completed. Now that is a good read.

*Originally published on Destiny in Bloom*