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Following God One Step at a Time

Meet Me in Barcelona

This book review is part of the –>”Read Around the World” Challenge

Starting in Spain, I read “Meet Me in Barcelona” by Mary Carter.

MeetBarcelona CasaBatllo The Casa Batllo in Barcelona is the setting for several scenes in the book.  The top of the house shows part of the dragon that is on the back of the house.

This is an intriguing mystery story with many plot twists that surprise!

The story is told by Grace.  It involves her boyfriend, Jake, and her friend from her childhood, Carrie Ann.  There are a few creepy characters as well.  A wonderful trip to Spain goes all wrong.

I really enjoyed reading this book!

The story mostly takes place in Spain.  Since I have never been to Spain, I was wishing that the book had some pictures to go with the story, so I have included some pictures here of the Salvador Dali house, which is one of the locations for a key part of the story.

MeetBarcelona DaliHouseSalvador Dali’s home was a fishing cabin in 1930.  He added to the house over the 40 years he lived there.  It is located near the town of Cadaques. 

MeetBarcelona Dalimaster-bedroomThe master bedroom for Salvador Dali and his wife, Gala.

MeetBarcelona UnfinishedPhoto-studioThis was Salvador Dali’s studio.  There is an unfinished painting on his easel.

MeetBarcelona DaliEggsThis shows just a few of the “eggs” Salvador Dali had in the area outside of his home.

MeetBarcelona tires-at-pool-seatsThis shows the eccentric tastes of Salvador Dali.  This is located behind a fountain outside.  The seat is bright pink lips.

Intrigued? 

If you like mysteries, you are bound to love “Meet Me in Barcelona”!

–>Click to get the book!

You can also find a used copy for less than $4 at –>Abebooks.com.

 

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TBR Booklist Challenge

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So I have a problem, and a solution…

I have a TBR (To Be Read) book list that is as long as the Mississippi River!

It is an unending list, but here is 1 solution —

The 2020 TBR Challenge!

Yes I joined this challenge so I can read at least 12 books on my TBR list.

Do you have a huge TBR list too?

–>Click to join the TBR Challenge!

This challenge is hosted by –>WendyTheSuperLibrarian.blogspot.com 

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2020 Book Challenge

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Just to make reading books even more fun,

I am joining a book challenge this year —

“Read Around the World” sponsored by –>www.ABookLoversAdventures.com

The books are based in 21 different countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

There also is a FB group you can join to talk about the books with other people doing this challenge.  This month, the group is starting with Spain, reading the book “Meet Me in Barcelona” by Mary Carter.  I was able to download the ebook from the library to my Kindle, so I am reading it now.

This should be a fun challenge, because not only can we read some interesting books, but we can learn a bit about each country too.  

–>Click to join the challenge!

 

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5 Things I Learned About Relationships

Each year I choose “One Word” for the new year.  The idea is to focus on that word and make some progress in that area of my life.

In 2019 my “One Word” was — Relationships, and this is what I learned —

  1. Every relationship takes 2 people who care enough to keep the relationship going.  If one person quits, there is no relationship.  (If I don’t spend time on a relationship, then I don’t really value it.)
  2. A broken relationship takes time for trust to be restored.  Without trust, a relationship stays broken. 
  3. Everyone makes mistakes, so if we value the relationship, we need to forgive each other.  Without forgiveness, the relationship dies.  (Being forgiving has helped revive some of my relationships. I realized that I made mistakes too.)
  4. Prayer is vital, because in any relationship we need help. (I have spent a lot of time praying for relationships this past year.)
  5. Relationships are a journey of love.  The deeper our relationship is with God, the more love we can give to other people.  (I worked on my relationship with God every week, going to church, reading the Bible, and praying.)

Hopefully these 5 little nuggets will be helpful to you.  Maybe you will want to pick “One Word” for 2020.

If you read between the lines of my “5 Things I Learned About Relationships”, you might figure out my “One Word” for 2020 —

LOVE!

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Book about Noonday Collection

Just a short review of the book Imperfect Courage by Jessica Honegger, founder of the “B” company, Noonday Collection —

ImperfectCourage cover

In this book, the author describes how and why she began the company.

Noonday Collection, is a fair trade jewelry company, that sells jewelry made in 12 countries, and provides employment to 4,500 artisans who make the jewelry.

The author explains that she was afraid to start her business.  She thought she might be a fool for thinking she could start it.  She feared failure and rejection.  She states that she has only “Imperfect Courage”, so she decided to do it afraid.

The book encourages others who want to start a business to help people.

The book gives too much information about the company, Noonday Collection, almost like a long advertisement.

For me, the best part of the book, is the section where the lives of some of the artisans are described, both before being employed through Noonday Collection, and after.  This is the best reason for Noonday Collection to exist.  This is why Jessica Honegger has worked so hard at keeping this business successful.

To read more,  –>click “Imperfect Courage

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Nonfiction November TBR

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This is the last post in Nonfiction November —

It is our To-Be-Read lists!

Maybe after you’re done shopping, you want to relax and read…

Here are some of the nonfiction books I have added to my TBR list — 

(–>Title click links to read more or buy it)

–>Dear America by Jose Antonio Vargas   (memoir of an undocumented immigrant) (–>Click to see the blogger who recommended this!)

–>The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantu   (experiences of a border patrol agent)

–>Salt by Mark Kurlansky   (a world history on the significance of salt)

–>The Naked Now by Richard Rohr   (what mystics see in the Bible)

–>The Firebrand and the First Lady by Patricia Bell-Scott   (Eleanor Roosevelt, her friend Pauli, and social justice)

–>The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben   (Trees are more mysterious than we think.)

–>Pleased to Meet Me by Bill Sullivan   (how biome, genes and germs, affect our behavior)

–>The Book of Gutsy Women by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton  (true stories of bravery)

To find more TBR lists — –>Click Nonfiction November

I have enjoyed being part of Nonfiction November!

Did you add any books to your TBR list?  Tell us which ones…

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Nonfiction November week 4

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This week we are finding out what makes a book our favorite!

The best way I know to figure this out is to look at books that are some of my favorites…

–>Finding Beautiful — the true stories of 12 women who went through a life transformation

–>Surviving the Island of Grace — memoir of a woman who lives on an island in Alaska, working as a salmon fisherman

–>A Second Chance at Heaven — memoir of a woman literally saved from hell

–>50 Women Every Christian Should Know — short biographies of women in history

–>Breaking Cover — the memoir of a female CIA agent

–>The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek (historical fiction) — story of a woman during the depression who delivers books to dirt poor people in the Appalachians

–>Hidden Figures — true story of Black woman mathematicians at NASA

–>My Heart — memoir of a mother with a serious heart condition

The theme running though all of these book favorites is —

— a strong woman central character, who struggles through problems,

and ends up victorious!

These women are each an inspiration to me!

These are the kinds of books that encourage me to struggle on through life’s problems, and celebrate each victory, each joyful moment of discovery, each time of peaceful serenity.

I will never understand how some people go through life and never read a book.  They obviously don’t know what they are missing!

–>Click Nonfiction November for book favorites of other nonfiction bloggers.

So what makes a book your favorite?  Share in the comments below…

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Nonfiction November week 3

Although this is a bit late, this is my list of books on 1 topic —

(all –>are clickable links)

–>Renia’s Diary (autobiography diary) (Poland)    –>To buy

–>The Dressmaker’s Gift (historical fiction well-researched) (France) –>To buy

__ The Boy Between Worlds (biography) (Netherlands) –>To buy

BoyBetweenWorlds cover

(Since I have not reviewed this book yet, I am including the cover picture.)

So what do Poland, France, and the Netherlands have in common?

      — They all were invaded by Nazi Germany during WWII! 

The results for the common people trying to continue living their normal lives, was devastatingly similar.

The topic is WWII, but from the perspective of individual people. 

What was it like to live on the streets, in the neighborhoods, once the war invaded their country?

I found this topic fascinating!

I generally do not like war stories, but these books took the war down to the local level. We find out how the war affected individual people. 

All three of these books were very informative, personal, emotional, and shocking!

I highly recommend you read at least 1.

To get more recommended books for various topics,

   –>Check out more Nonfiction November week 3 lists.

I would love if you tell me about other WWII books you would recommend!  Please leave me a comment.

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The Dressmaker’s Gift

Dressmaker'sGift cover

This is a most engaging historical fiction book-“The Dressmaker’s Gift”!

Author Fiona Valpy has done a lot of research to make this book true to the history of WWII France.  She tells the story through Harriet, a woman in 2017, who goes to Paris to uncover the past of her grandmother who lived in Paris in the 1940s.  Both Harriet and her grandmother (Claire) worked in the fashion industry in Paris two generations apart.  Her grandmother was a seamstress and made dresses, thus the title — “The Dressmaker’s Gift”.

Harriet’s grandmother, Claire, and her two friends, shared an apartment.  They all end up working in the French Resistance.  This was a very dangerous job, but they were appalled by the Nazi Germans’ cruel behavior.  Many people (not just Jews) were rounded up and questioned, tortured, or sent on trains to labor camps (i.e. concentration camps).

This book gives a very real picture of living in France during WWII.  There were air raids, bomb shelters, rationed food, and the uneasy co-mingling with Nazi Germans after France surrendered.

This book is part mystery, part history, part fashion, part hopeful reminder.  By no means is this a sad book, nor depressing.  It is sometimes shocking.  This book is also about love, hope, truth, and the strength of humanity to survive and courageously choose what is right.  

I enjoyed this book! It was compelling, so it was hard to put down.  I learned so much about what it was like to live in France during the War.  WWII is a popular topic for books and movies right now.  I add this one to a growing list of books at the top of the heap.  Since this story is about fashion, and courageous women, it would probably appeal more to women readers.

The author dedicates this book to the memory of the female Special Operations Executive (SOE) Agents who worked with the French Resistance and lost their lives in Nazi concentration camps.

–>Go here to read “The Dressmaker’s Gift“!

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Nonfiction November 2

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I am really enjoying doing Nonfiction November!

This week we are suggesting a pair of books on the same subject — One is fiction and one is nonfiction. (to find more book details follow the –> below)

So here is my pairing —

I have two fiction choices that tell interesting love stories with families and all their complications included —

1 –>The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe — This is a popular book that I just loved, and it was made into a movie too!

Beach House Cover

2 –>Book Woman of Troublesome Creek (by Kim Michele Richardson) – This is a love story as well as an historical-fiction story.  This book hit on a lot of my favorite subjects:  books, libraries, Appalachian Mountains, and a brave heroine!

BookWoman ofTroublesomCreek Cover

The true life love story written from actual diary entries and written letters —

3 –> “Devotedly” by Valerie Elliot Shepherd Valerie is the daughter of the true love couple, Elisabeth and Jim Elliot.

DevotedlyCover BH-Devotedly-3D

For other interesting pairings, go to the Nonfiction November sponsor’s blog —

–>Sarah’s Bookshelves

If you would like to share a book with us, add a comment below —

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