Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.


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Two Book Reviews on World War II books in Honor of My Dad

Today my Dad would have been 82, so I got choked up thinking about him. It’s funny that since he passed last summer, my memories of him have shifted from thinking of him as he was at the end—shriveled, old, sick to when he was active, vibrant, and helpful. My dreams have also helped: A couple weeks ago I had a dream where my Dad was helping me fix something, and he was loving and healthy! In honor of my Dad, here are two book reviews of books set during World War II that I highly recommend reading. My Dad loved books about World War II, and he would have loved reading them.

This winter I read two books about World War II: One fiction and the other nonfiction. One focuses on England, one on Germany, but both about people grappling with war and all the transition and change that it brings.

I have been thinking about the transition of gaining the strength to stand up for what is right instead of letting things slide and enabling evil to grow…

Have you wondered how the people of Germany reached the point where their leaders were commanding them to kill thousands of Jewish people, people with disabilities, and many other people in concentration camps? I have, but I never read about how the German people let this happen until now when I read: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. This book is about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian, pastor, author, and professor who stood up to the Nazi party and aided in an attempt to try and assassinate Hitler.

Eric Metaxas crafted this 500 plus page book in a way that never gets dry, is a page-turner, and shows the background of the country and people of Germany in a way I have never read before. Metaxas explains the factors that built up in Germany after the defeat of World War I so that the people wanted a strong leader, and eventually they were willing to have Hitler fill that role.

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Book Review: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

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What happens when you connect a Pakistani lady with a proper English Major? There’s some chaos, lots of sweetness, and people learn more about cross-cultural communication.

I pulled Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand: A Novel by Helen Simonson off the lending library in our apartment complex and enjoyed reading it in small portions each night! This light fiction book combines charming English countryside with a dash of drama and the conflict that happens when people are learning how to understand each other across cultures.

Mrs. Ali and Major Pettigrew lived in the same town for years, but didn’t get to know each other until they both had lost spouses and now the Major suddenly lost his brother. Mrs. Ali can relate to him with his grappling with loss, and she even loves books as much or even more than he does.

They start to fall in love, but the other people in the town and even the Major’s only son aren’t so sure.

Add in the Major’s obsession about a pair of Churchill shooting guns that were his father’s and had passed down to his brother and himself, and now that his brother has passed, he wants to reunite the guns. He has to navigate different family member’s opinions…and then all of these threads of story unite into a sweet tale.

I wasn’t completely sold on this book when I started reading it, but Helen Simonson pulled me into the countryside, empathizing with the characters, and made me feel in the middle of the story. She even made me laugh with a ridiculous fight scene, and she wraps up the story in a satisfying way. If you want a light book that deals with the issues of real life, check out Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand: A Novel. I stayed up late reading a few nights, and I’m still getting up a few times a night with a baby! Find a copy for yourself here:

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand: A Novel

~Mary Hope

 

Copyright 2018

P.S. Thank you for stopping by! I insert affiliate links, such as from  Amazon, into my posts to share interesting books and products. If you buy something or start a registry, I receive income (at no extra cost to you!), for which I am thankful. So…..

— Use this link to shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card/notecard/art shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

–keep on reading this blog.

Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!

~Mary Hope


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Need Something Lovely to Read?

Need an artsy, relaxing book to read when you have a free minute? My brother (Aaron Campbell of Campby Designs) graphically designed the book, La La Lovely: The Art of Finding Beauty in the Everyday, by Trina McNeilly, and the layout AND the words bring refreshment, hope, beauty to the reader.

Started as a blog, (so that part encourages me greatly that a blog can lead to so much more!), this book tells of her journey of recent years through her parents’ divorce, the loss of a grandmother, and how to look for beauty to show up throughout all of life. The book is like a long version of her lifestyle blog with chapters on interior design, family relationships, and even an art project or two with photographs and fonts that bring it to life.

Her chapters can be read individually, so they are great for when you just have a minute or two to read something. I read most of the book while I was breastfeeding my son or right before bed when I wanted to have something fun (but short) to read.

For example, Trina says, “Trees, I once heard, represent rest. And here, without realizing it, I’ve been neighboring with respite. I can never decide when I like them best. Every year, each season, I try to decide again and again. I judge what the woods wear, as if I’m a regular on Project Runway. Autumn is pushing for first place with all of its colors and crunch. Summer is a shoo-in for second with its wealth of green, stately and regal, emanating a fairy-tale feel…” (page 159-160 of La La Lovely: The Art of Finding Beauty in the Everyday). Her words poetically paint pictures and draw you toward the beauty she wants to share.

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What Can Be Done to Make Momma Happy?

My son was looking at my copy of this book a few weeks ago…he wanted to chew the corners.

As a child, when my Mom was happy, I knew it—her face relaxed, she smiled, and she talked a lot more; I could relax then. When she was perturbed, I got nervous and scared. At breakfast, I remember looking at my Mom’s face to see how she was doing that day.

A mother at peace is like a bright lighthouse shining across the waves. What makes mothers happy? Is there a secret to staying peaceful? I don’t think there’s just one secret, there’s actually a bunch of habits mothers can do to grow peace in their hearts, which comes out of their eyes, into their children, and everyone who walks by.

A book that has helped me grow in peace and confidence as a Mom is The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity by Dr. Meg Meeker. Dr. Meeker, as a pediatrician, has met hundreds of moms and has distilled traits she has seen in happy mothers. Continue reading


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Book Review: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

 

Do you enjoy fairy tales? Would you like to live amid those tales sometimes? In Fredrik Backman’s My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, the little granddaughter gets to experience a grandmother who could create worlds with her words. This present-day fiction book takes the reader back and forth from the physical world and fairy-tale world, as presented by the grandmother to the girl who hangs on to the tales for dear life because of having to go through her parents’ divorce and now a new half-sibling coming and more. Continue reading


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Book Review: The Emigrant Edge

The Irish lilt is still on Brian’s words when he speaks, even after being in the United States for a couple of decades. As I listened to Dave Ramsey talk with him, I became inspired.

The United States is STILL a land of opportunity, and the book by Irish born, now U.S. citizen, Brian Buffini, illustrates how he started out with only his youth and under $100 in his pocket to become a leading real estate entrepreneur. He tells his story in his new book, The Emigrant Edge: How to Make It Big in America, and he teaches tips on what immigrants have that lead so many of them to be highly successful!

Amazon says in their review: “But Brian isn’t alone in his success: immigrants compose thirteen percent of the American population and are responsible for a quarter of all new businesses. In fact, Forbes magazine boasts that immigrants dominate most of the Forbes 400 list.” These numbers make me consider that the energy that comes from moving from one culture/system/place to another one sparks these people’s imagination and drive that leads to their success.

I have not had a chance to read this book yet, but I heard Dave Ramsey interview Brian and now I would like read more of his story. Brian doesn’t just want to tell his story, he teaches about how he became so successful…his journey…and he gives steps that we can do it as well. Check out his book:

The Emigrant Edge: How to Make It Big in America

 

Peace!

~Mary Hope

P.S. Thank you for stopping by! I insert affiliate links, such as Amazon, into my posts to share interesting books and products. If you buy something or start a registry, I receive income, for which I am thankful. So…

— shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card/notecard/art shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

–keep on reading this blog.

Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!

~Mary Hope


Leave a comment

Book Review: A Book to Read on Your Honeymoon 

Need a funny book about marriage– book to read on a romantic get-away or just before bed? Melanie Shankle unpacks the “realness” of marriage in a way that makes you laugh and be releived that you are not the only one feeling crazy. Her book, The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life, is filled with hilarious stories about her and her husband’s journey into marriage, including a story about a hunting trophy (I think an antelope head) trying to make a home on her wall…

 

A friend gave me this book at a bridal shower, with the advice, “Read this on your honeymoon… especially if you are feeling frustrated about something…” I did what she instructed, and even though Stephen and I didn’t have an explosions on our honeymoon, it was nice to have a book to get into during our down time.

Stephen and I are about to start re-doing our flooring in our house, so I think it is about time to read it again!

~Mary Hope

 

Copyright 2017

 

P.S. Thank you for stopping by! I insert affiliate links, such as Amazon, into my posts to share interesting books and products. If you buy something or start a registry, I receive income, for which I am thankful. So…

— shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card/notecard/art shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

–keep on reading this blog.

Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!

~Mary Hope