A HISTORY OF WILD PLACES by Shea Ernshaw

I was opening my Book of the Month box just as my dad called yesterday. I told him what I was doing and he (84 years old) immediately said he remembered the first Book of the Month they ever received: Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962) He also said he remembered ordering To Kill a…

SING, UNBURIED, SING

This family drama was true southern prose full of spirits and stories and spells. Sin and family and forgiveness. No one dies quite like a southerner, taking their specific cooking and unique lineage, leaving us our heritage and pockets full of stories to embellish for many generations to come. “…. sorrow is food, swallowed too…

Meet Me at the Front Door

The anticipation had been building for six hours. We’d sung The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and my personal favorite, Sweet Violets. We’d found things out our car windows that started with an A, anthill. Then a B, bird! Always cheating our way through those pesky letters like Q or X. Our sandwiches…

Deeply thankful.

Since Scott works next week, we decided to have our Thanksgiving dinner together on Friday. When your family is sitting down to turkey next Thursday we will be in the oh-no-not-turkey-again stage of leftovers. This was supposed to be a table set for five. Our children were going to be here all at one time…

THE VANISHING HALF by Brit Bennett

I was glad to finally be able to sit down with this Book of the Month feature and all-around popular Bookstagram book, The Vanishing Half. The concept intrigued me. Stella and Desiree are twins and both born light-skinned Black. Both of them wanting to escape the confines of their small town and to live a…

WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH by Elizabeth Acevedo

This is the second book I’ve read from Acevedo and I listened to both of them on audio. I believe she is an author that should not only be read, but be heard as well. Her reading is thick with a Dominican accent and her placement of words melt together like a cherished recipe, passed…

Beautifully Mundane

It is early morning and I start another day. Tilly has an amazing internal alarm clock that insists on no more sleeping past 5:30am. Sometimes, it’s 5:33am. I would love to be one of those people that wakes up pleasantly, stretches and thanks the Lord for a new day. I am not. I would like…

Tilly’s First Tide

Vacationing without vacationing seems to be our rallying cry this summer. Keeping things local, daytrips, and ‘cheap entertainment’. Like so many of you, COVID has left its mark on many. We continue to be grateful, however. For health and the health of our extended family as well. And, of course, for Tilly and all of…

GHOST by Jason Reynolds

I miss Castle. I realize this isn’t something I need to hide (anymore.) But you have to understand, I started this secret habit back before it was cool. I was a full-fledged adult with full-fledged middle school and high school children when Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants first came out. I hid in my bedroom and…

THE NAME JAR by Yangsook Choi

I remember it clearly. I was in 4th grade, Mrs. Adams’ class at Alton Elementary School and I was up next to give a talk about myself: WHO I AM. I collected the usual data about where I was born and what my birthday was, etc. I don’t remember being overly nervous about standing up…

A WOMAN IS NO MAN by Etaf Rum

I will admit, it makes me a little nervous to review a book that a) has been popular and critically acclaimed, b) promotes gender equality and c) (most importantly) is about a culture with which I have very little to no connection. So I step into my thoughts very cautiously. A WOMAN IS NO MAN…

T I L L Y

Just like my own kids, I have done a lousy job of recording our newest family member’s life. Meet Tilly. Officially: Matilda Corona Sutherland (April 2) Yes, one of the new Quarantine puppies of the world. We picked her up on April 2 and WOW!, what a whirlwind of a month we’ve had. Whew…puppy parenting…