March 7, 2013

What I've Been Reading

I tend to read a lot - and I love to share good books! I decided I didn't have the time to write a post about each book, nor was I sure you would be interested :) So I decided I'd periodically write a post here about what I've been reading with links to my longer reviews on GoodReads. Click on the title for the full review, click on the cover if you want to purchase (or pre-order).

The Spark: a mother's story of nurturing genius
by Kristine Barnett
April 2013, 272 pages, Random House

autistic geniusThis is one of those books that stays with you. It is the story of a woman with a genius son who is also autistic. But what really struck me is how amazing Kristine Barnett is. My heart broke for her, I rooted her, I was amazed and stunned by her strength. I know it is the story she wrote about her son - but for me it is the story of a determined and formidable mother. Not only did she have an autistic son, she had another son with grave health issues, she had a stroke at a young age, she  I can only hope that I could face adversity with as much strength as her. I flew through this book - read it in just under a day. It was a book of dedication, triumph, hope and of the love of a mother. I highly recommend it!

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

immigration, families of immigrantsWhen I read the back of the book - I was intrigued. A young woman, lost in life due to her struggle with cancer, encounters a family of immigrants on a bus. She connects with them and finds common ground with the "invisible girls." It's an uplifting journey for the family and the author, though ultimately leaves a bit to be desired. At the end of the day, I understand that there is a huge issue of immigrants and people that are lost in the system. I wound up loving this struggling family and rooting for them. The ending was bittersweet and the story a little disjointed, but in the end, uplifting. I'm glad I read it and have a new appreciation for the struggling families among us.

The Adventurer's Guide to a Happy Life: 63 Simple Tips to Add Happiness To Your Life Each and Every Day by Matt Mosteller
January 2013, Premier Digital Publishing

happy living, matt mostellerQuick, yet inspiring, read. I highly recommend reading this book. It's got some great advice. I want to give it to my husband to read next - since he is the adventurer right now! It is also a great connection to make between physical and mental ways to add happiness. Some of my favorite advice?
"Add some Seuss to your life" - positive belief can make a difference. 
"Do the Unexpected" - You always need to challenge yourself! 
"Get in the Game Everyday" - Stick to it, be dedicated, you can't win it if you aren't in it!
It's a fun, positive read. Quick, memorable and with some great photos too :) Enjoy!

Heart Like Mine
Amy Hartvany
March 2013, Washington Square Press

heart like mineThe best thing about this book is that you root for every single character. The author sets up a lovely intertwined story that slowly brings you along as you learn to care about all the slightly flawed, yet connectable, characters. It is the story of a mother's love, a daughter's journey, a woman's transformation. It is real and sad and happy all at once. A daughter loses her mother, but finds the strength to perservere. I don't want to give away too much, but it was a fast, enjoyable and well worth the read. The author has a great way of making you care about the characters even when they get frustrating!

Amazon links are my affiliate links. Thank you to NetGalley for providing these books for review. All opinions are my own. 


  1. Sounds like good choices. I will keep them in mind for my next reading kick! :)

  2. These look like books I would enjoy. I've been terrible lately about starting books and not finishing them. Thanks for the suggestions!

  3. I just can't seem to get into reading a book. Wish I could, as a lot of books sound so good.

  4. I've been awful lately about checking out tons of books from the library, and never getting around to reading them. I miss it! I was an avid reader when I was younger, I just can't seem to quiet my brain down long enough to get into a book these days. :(

  5. I am just starting to make time for reading books for fun again. I had forgotten how much I enjoy reading. I will add these to my list.

  6. Wow! Looks like a few great reads to add to my list! THANKS!

  7. Those look like some great reads! I haven't been able to get into books much at all lately... seems like I'm always too busy. But, it's nice to be able to find a good book and just sit down to relax. Note to self... go to the library. ;)

  8. That's a good way to share. I do quite a bit of reading too, but most of it is non-fiction, and I know most people wouldn't be interested. ;)

    Thanks for sharing! I'm visiting from Harvest of Friends hop.