Over Christmas, my reading came to a bit of a stop. I was adjusting to a new job, getting ready for the holidays, and I really didn’t have a lot of motivation to read anything. I love getting into a good book, though, and was excited to have a couple to review this month. And with so many amazing books coming out this year from some of my favourite authors, I think I’ll have more than enough reading material!
NOTE: These titles have been received from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.
THE WEDDING SHOP BY RACHEL HAUCK ★★★☆☆
A BIT ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Wedding Shop is told from two points of view. The first is Cora, who operated a small bridal shop in Heart’s Bend, Tennessee and kept it going through the depression to the early 1980s. She was a woman who experienced a lot of heartache, but believed in helping brides prepare for their “happily ever after”.
The present day story is of Haley Morgan, a former Air Force Captain. She–like Cora–has also experienced heartache. She comes back to her small town to heal from her pain, and realizes she’s always felt a pull to the empty, run down wedding shop. Working to re-open shop, Haley will discover the story behind this small shop in the centre of town.
I haven’t read much fiction in quite a while, so this book was my first taste of fiction again. The Wedding Shop was a cute, well done story. I felt like the storyline was hard to get into, though, and much of the story dragged on. I really wanted to love this book–I love fiction that’s well written, but unfortunately, The Wedding Shop was like most Christian fiction in that it was predictable (bummer), but it was still a good, wholesome story. I guess I just wouldn’t give it another try or recommend it; hence the three stars.
CHASING SLOW BY ERIN LOECHNER ★★★★★
Chasing Slow. It’s been all over my friends’ Instagram feeds, shared on blogs, and tweeted about numerous times. If you’ve read Erin’s blog, Design for Mankind, you know this isn’t just a hype being made over nothing. I’ve adored her writing style for years, so when Chasing Slow was released, I knew I had to have it in my hands.
FROM THE BACK:
In Chasing Slow, Erin turns away from fast and fame and frenzy. Follow along as she blazes 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.
Life’s answers are not always hidden where they seem. It’s time to venture off the beaten path to see that we’ve already been given everything we need. We’ve already arrived. You see? You’ll see.
I’ve read so many books on simplifying life–on slowing down, being present, and living life to its fullest. In many of those books, authors share what worked for them, and tips for re-creating their simple, stress-free lives. Chasing Slow didn’t do that for me. What it did do, though, was invite me to pause and contemplate my life, my habits, and my story. And I can’t tell you how much I love that.
This book is a story. A story of heartbreak, joys, lessons learned, and even math equations (yes, you read that right). But more than that, it’s a book that allows you–the reader–to walk with the author, making notes of the priorities in your life. As you journey through this wonderful book, you’ll see that you already have all you need–and more.
There are few books I’ve read that bring me to tears, but this was one. They weren’t sad tears, though, and I can’t explain exactly what kind of tears they were. I found myself crying because there was finally someone who understood how I’ve felt for so long, and knowing someone’s been there is comforting. I found myself crying, all the while I was saying, “Yes! Exactly!” to Loechner’s true, kind words.
I loved the design of this beautiful book. The typography was fantastic, and honestly, this book is a work of art that will have a home on my shelf for years to come. The recipes sprinkled throughout were a fun addition, and I loved the photos, too. But most of all, the words. They were my absolute favourite, like a warm blanket wrapped around me.