Book Review: The Magic of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd

I love the blog Coffee & Crumbs. It was established right after Jimmie was born and I have been reading it ever since then. It has helped me cope with the bad days, enjoy the good days, and accept my feelings about motherhood. I have cried, smiled, and laughed, while reading this wonderful blog.

Now you can cry, smile, and laugh while reading the blog’s new book, a collection of essays, The Magic of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd. Some of the essays I previously read on the blog, but most of them were new to me. I enjoyed reading one essay at a time, thinking about it, and then reading another. The pictures and quotes on several of the pages are beautiful and inspiring. This is a must read for new moms, soon-to-be moms, and moms who have been in the midst of motherhood for a long time. It’s full of all the stuff we want to say to each other but feel like we can’t because then we will be judged. This is a judgement free zone kind of book.

One quote that really hit home is:

‘I guess I just feel like motherhood is a lot of wishing away hard seasons and then realizing they’re gone forever. It’s tying to claw back through time because you didn’t realize what you were actually wishing away.’ Pg. 19

And  I also love this one:

You are more than your worst day.

You are more than your biggest mistake.

I promise, this will not define you. Pg. 109

The Magic of Motherhood opens up with my favorite post from the Coffee & Crumbs blog: A Letter to My Pre-mom Self. The first time I read this essay I ugly cried for a good while. I remember reading it because my son was just past three months old.  Those first three months were HARD. Looking back, I can’t even remember a lot because I was in a fog that I never thought would go away. But it did. Eventually the fog did clear. Motherhood is so hard. Motherhood is so beautiful.

The Magic of Motherhood is filled with love and struggle: Love for adoption, the struggle of infertility, love and struggles of marriage, the struggle of the hard days, and the love for the ‘easy’ days. Sure you can buy all the baby books at the store (been there), but you won’t find this kind of clarity in those books. The Magic of Motherhood reaffirms the fact that it really does take a village and we are all in this together.

Head on over to the official book page for more information and buying options.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Falling Free by Shannan Martin

 

Shannan Martin had the perfect life: a cute farmhouse on six rambling acres, a loving husband, three adorable kids, money, friends, a close-knit church—a safe, happy existence.

But when the bottom dropped out through a series of shocking changes and ordinary inconveniences, the Martins followed God’s call to something radically different: a small house on the other side of the urban tracks, a shoestring income, a challenged public school, and the harshness of a county jail (where her husband is now chaplain). And yet the family’s plunge from “safety” was the best thing that could have happened to them.

Falling Free charts their pilgrimage from the self-focused wisdom of the world to the topsy-turvy life of God’s more being found in less. Martin’s practical, sweetly subversive book invites us to rethink assumptions about faith and the good life, push past insecurity and fear, and look beyond comfortable, middle-class Christianity toward a deeper, richer, and ultimately more fulfilling life.

I was really excited to read Falling Free by Shannan Martin. I started reading it during a time when I was struggling. A time where I felt broken. It sounded like an inspirational story about how a woman found peace after losing her perfect life. I tried really hard to enjoy the book, the message and the story, but I couldn’t get past page 70. There was just too much repetition for me.

Every other sentence in the book seemed to be “God this, God that…” etc. I knew that this was going to be a religious book, which is one of the reasons I wanted to read it, but there just wasn’t enough content to keep me engaged. I wish I could have sucked it up and kept reading because like I said, I was really interested in the story and looking for the inspiration. It just wasn’t enough for me. Can’t win them all.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

Book Review: Spectacle by Rachel Vincent

Book two, Spectacle, in The Menagerie Series by Rachel Vincent does not disappoint. Picking up a short time after the first book, Menagerie, ended, Delilah and her fellow cryptid friends are discovered by Williem Vandekamp, owner of Savage Spectacle. At the Savage Spectacle, freedom is no longer an option. Back in a cage and stripped of all her rights once again, Delilah Marlow is forced to do things that she never would could have dreamed of doing. Williem Vanderamp is in the midst of perfecting a collar that allows his handlers to control everything a cryptid can or can not do. The situation is far worse than it ever was in Metzer’s Menagerie, if you can believe that were even possible. Even though the cryptids are eating better and living in bigger cages, Williem can control other aspects of their lives that only a real monster would consider acceptable.

I have been waiting over a year an a half to read the second book in Rachel Vincent’s Menagerie series. It was worth the wait. I never read Harry Potter, (I am one of those “watch the movies” people) but I can imagine this is how readers felt after binge reading one of J.K. Rowling’s books. I can only hope that there will be more than one more book in this series. Yes, people, I just compared The Menagerie Series to Harry Potter. You all need to jump on the Rachel Vincent train as soon as possible. Spectacle ended in such an incredible way making me want the next book even more than I wanted this one.

Rachel Vincent’s imagination is unbelievable. Her creativity kept my mind turning throughout the entire book. The world that Delilah and the other cryptids live in is so unreal, yet she is able to make me believe that this could happen right under my nose at a factory down the street. I remember when I read Menagerie and how I wanted to make everyone I knew read the book. I now want to give both of these books to everyone I know. I must admit, Spectacle is a little more colorful than Menagerie. There are a few sexual scenes that are disturbing and graphic, but they are also necessary to move the story along. I guess the disturbing part is how real she paints the picture with these creatures that are so unreal. I can’t imagine what a movie series would be like, but I would definitely be a midnight showing.

I like how the relationship between Delilah and Gallagher continues in Spectacle. Their friendship is so pure and honest, he will do anything to protect her because it is his sole duty in life. There are a lot of other returning characters in Spectacle, Rommily, Claudio, Genevieve, Eyrx, just to name a few. There are also new cryptids to discover. I wish I had reread Menagerie before starting Spectacle but it didn’t take long to remember who everyone was. I would not recommend reading Spectacle without reading Menagerie first.

Spectacle will be available for purchase on May 30, 2017. You can preorder is now. If you haven’t read the first book in this series, you still have time; Menagerie is, by far, one of my favorite books.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.