bookshelf love update {mini reviews}

Miraculously, in five weeks, I have read eight-and-a-half books (currently working on Valley of Dreams). I didn't think I'd come anywhere close to finishing this entire stack by March 22! And yet here I am, reading more than twice as many books as I usually do. In any case, here's the list, followed by a few more reviews down below. Links in the list go to my review (if I've written one) or to Goodreads.

The Hills is Lonely by Lillian Beckwith
The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert
Holding Up the Earth by Dianne E. Gray
Riding Lessons by Sara Gruen
Flying Changes by Sara Gruen
Grace at Low Tide by Beth Webb Hart
Blessed are the Meek by Zofia Kossak-Szczucka
Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce
Valley of Dreams by Lauraine Snelling
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams

If you'd like to join me in the Bookshelf Love reading challenge, jump on over to the introductory post. And in case you missed it, you can view more details about my personal Bookshelf Love challenge here.

Blessed are the Meek
by Zofia Kossak

The famous novel about St. Francis of Assisi by Polish historical novelist Zofia Kossak-Szczucka, known for her WWII resistance work. (from Goodreads)

The subtitle, "A Novel about St. Francis of Assisi," as well as the description copied above, are rather misleading. While the beginning and end of this novel are about Francis, the middle half is all politics and crusade, and one can read pages and pages without coming across the name "Francis." Also, the frequent ellipses in the dialogue made for choppy reading. If you're looking for a novel about the Fifth Crusade, you may enjoy this book. If you're looking for a novel about St. Francis, well, you might want to look elsewhere.

2/5 leaves

by Terry Tempest Williams

In the spring of 1983 Terry Tempest Williams learned that her mother was dying of cancer. That same spring, Great Salt Lake began to rise to record heights, threatening the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and with it the herons, owls, and snowy egrets that Williams, a poet and naturalist, had come to gauge her life by. ... As it interweaves these narratives of dying and accommodation, Refuge transforms tragedy into a document of renewal and spiritual grace. (from the back cover)

This is a soul masquerading as a book. It is messy, but it is also beautiful. Refuge reads like a journal, with vignette after vignette of the lake, the refuge, birds, Williams' mother... It is choppy yet poetic, simultaneously intimate and detached. At first, I couldn't decide if I liked it or not, but as I continued  reading I began to fit the pieces into the whole, and I stopped often to jot down quotes in my notebook. I want to share them all with you, but this one will have to do. Read the book and discover the rest for yourself. You won't regret it.
"In my young mind, it had something to do with the magic of birds, how they bridge cultures and continents with their wings, how they mediate between heaven and earth." (p. 18)
5/5 leaves!


  1. Congrats on making so much headway on your challenge! And Tempest sounds like an amazing book!

    I have a lot of books on my shelf that I need to read, so I'm definitely going to be joining this challenge!

    1. Thanks! I'm so excited to have you join the challenge! It's been fun, but also, well, challenging. :)

  2. Congrats congrats :) These books sound really interesting and I've been looking for some new reads, so I'll have to check them out!

    1. Thanks! I highly recommend Refuge, and Blessed are the Meek is actually a decent book if you go into it with the right expectations. :)