People know that I love the book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. They know reading one particular scene in it was what made me want to write way back in 1982. What people don’t always know is that I rarely recommend it. While Betty Smith wrote a powerful story of a girl’s life in Continue Reading
Why Do Books about Healing Make the Best Reads?
What is it about being a teen that makes you want to do grand, sweeping things in your life. You’ll solve every problem. The cure for every disease is in your grasp. It’s like that song by The Statler Brothers. “The Class of ’57.” It goes “The class of ’57 had its dreams. We all thought we’d Continue Reading
Why It Takes True Grit to Read This Book
Sand crunched beneath my feet—my very hot, sweaty feet. In fact, considering I wore Keds-like sneaker, part of that heat was the burning of that sand through to said feet. Just sayin’. While normal kids did Saturday morning things like watching cartoons, I trudged through the Superstitions Continue Reading
Is The Famine of the Human Dream Worth Reading?
My big toe curled around a chunk of carpet. Hands behind my back. I probably rocked a bit. Up on the balls of my feet, back on my heels. “They borrowed a bed to lay His head when Christ the Lord came down.” Dad stopped me right there. I was practicing a poem I’d memorized to recite at Continue Reading
Why This is The Book to Read This Summer
It happens every year. Someone, somewhere asks the question. “Where's your favorite place to read?” The question holds heavy implications, though. It just doesn’t mean “at home” or “on the couch” or “at the beach.” Wrapped up in one six-word question are dozens of interrelated ones. Questions Continue Reading
The Hardest Thing about This Book and Why I Love It
The diagnosis came. Cancer. Of all the people I knew, she was the last I would have expected to get cancer. She was healthy, active, careful with everything she ate. But years before, in the seventies and eighties, she’d spent way too much time in the sun—before people knew that was a Continue Reading
4 Purposeful Ways You Can Change Your Life
As I said in my newsletter a week or two ago, I’ve been listening to Emily P. Freeman’s, The Next Right Thing podcast recently. Woven through the words she shares each Tuesday, one thread stands out strong, courageous, and a little audacious in our modern, “go, go, go—do, do, do” society. As she Continue Reading
Is Symbolic Fantasy the Best Way to Captivate Readers
The argument raged—symbolism or substance. Should we use allusions to familiar Biblical and theological truths, or should we be overt and forthright to avoid any chance that someone might miss an important lesson? How do people learn best? In my usual fence-sitting style, I agreed with both. I Continue Reading
Patriotism and Heroism and Why It Matters in a Book
Many know that I love a good heroic story. My friends swooned over C. Thomas Howell and John Stamos (I admit, I had to look them up to see if I could recognize any faces on friends’ walls!). They imagined themselves as Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink or Sweet Sixteen. I memorized Patton’s Continue Reading
Will Leaving Darkness Offer You Hope?
“Aren’t you afraid that he’ll start up with the porn again?” To this day, I don’t know what made me ask the question. First, it was none of my business. Second, what a way to slap a friend in the face! I don’t recall her exact reply. In fact, when we talked about it a few years later, and I Continue Reading
Is The Lost Art of Relationship Worth Your Time?
“He’s your father.” I can’t tell you how many times that was my mother’s response to me complaining about something Dad had done. Look, this isn’t easy to say, because I have a great love and respect for my father. But he’s not perfect. Dad made serious mistakes in his life—some that affected all Continue Reading
Is This Book Just the Right Escape?
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he Continue Reading