March 2020–Part One

Thank you for joining me here!   (Reminder: the page numbers I list here reflect the number of Kindle pages, not paper pages.)  I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

Three Wishes


Three Wishes by Lianne Moriarty (Length: 378 pages).  I enjoy Moriarty’s novels and decided to pick up this one, her first published novel centered around triplets in Sydney.  The book focuses on them and their adult relationships with one another, their parents and their spouses/partners.  This is very funny in parts, and incredibly fun to read as the plot is fast-paced, the characters are well-drawn and the setting is interesting.  There isn’t much of a plot per se, as it’s a bit predictable, but the character portraits are the stars here.  I found the author’s use of flashbacks (to childhood and beyond) to be really interesting, as well as the use of various third parties watching the triplets interact from afar.  (I didn’t understand these at first, but as the novel progressed I enjoyed this literary device, especially toward the end when some of these scenes overlapped with one another and we meet these third parties.)  This is a lengthier novel and would be a fabulous vacation/travel read!

From the publisher:

A New York Times bestseller, Three Wishes is the funny, heartwarming and completely charming first novel from Liane Moriarty, also the author of #1 New York Times bestsellers The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies, and Truly Madly Guilty.

Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle, beautiful thirty-three-year-old triplets, seem to attract attention everywhere they go. Together, laughter, drama, and mayhem seem to follow them. But apart, each is dealing with her own share of ups and downs. Lyn has organized her life into one big checklist, Cat has just learned a startling secret about her marriage, and Gemma, who bolts every time a relationship hits the six-month mark, holds out hope for lasting love. In this wise, witty, and hilarious novel, we follow the Kettle sisters through their tumultuous thirty-third year as they deal with sibling rivalry and secrets, revelations and relationships, unfaithful husbands and unthinkable decisions, and the fabulous, frustrating life of forever being part of a trio.

Book #2:

MIracles and Other Reasonable ThingsMiracles and Other Reasonable Things by Sarah Bessey (Length: 239 pages).  I picked up this book because I’ve heard of Sarah Bessey and this book in particular, as it’s recommended for those who are spiritual (and not necessarily religious).  The author experiences a major medical miracle while in Rome to meet the Pope (an unusual event in and of itself as she’s not Catholic).  This is very well-written, and I do see the appeal to non-Christians as it’s very practical in terms of how to find and keep a relationship with God or a higher power even in times of turmoil and great stress.  Worth a library check-out for sure.  

From the publisher:

A deeply moving and life-affirming account of wrestling with faith and God and finding miracles in the most unexpected places.

In the brief instant Sarah Bessey realized that her minivan was, inevitably, going to hit the car on the highway on the bright, clear day of the crash, she knew intuitively that it would have life-changing consequences. But as she navigated the winding path from her life before the accident—as a popular author, preacher, and loving wife and mother—to her new life after, inhabiting a body that no longer felt like her own, she found that the most unexpected result wasn’t the way this shook her body, but how it shook her deeply rooted faith, upending everything she thought she knew and held so dearly.

Weaving together theology and memoir in her trademark narrative style, Sarah tells us the story of the moment that changed her body and how it ultimately changed her life. The road of healing leads to Rome where she met the Pope (it’s complicated) and encountered the Holy Spirit in the last place she expected. She writes about her miraculous healing, learning to live with chronic pain, and the ways God makes us whole in the midst of suffering. She invites us to a path of knowing God that is filled with ordinary miracles, hope in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and other completely reasonable things.

Insightful, profound, and unexpected, Miracles and Other Reasonable Things is a wild, spirit-filled story of what it means to live with both grief and faith, suffering and joy, as we wrestle with God.

Book #3:

Over the EdgeOver the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon by Michael P. Ghiglieri, Thomas M. Myers, et al. (Length: 500+ pages).  This was another book I picked up in preparation for my upcoming hike in the Grand Canyon.  This is a surprisingly well-written account of all of the known deaths in the Grand Canyon.  Written with lots of atmospheric detail, this book contains dozens of helpful facts and suggestions but is not exploitative in any way.  The authors provide some interesting history lessons along the way.  This is an oddly specific, but incredibly entertaining and worthwhile read.  

From the publisher:

Gripping accounts of all known fatal mishaps in the most famous of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders.
Two veterans of decades of adventuring in Grand Canyon chronicle the first complete and comprehensive history of Canyon misadventures. These episodes span the entire era of visitation from the time of the first river exploration by John Wesley Powell and his crew of 1869 to that of tourists falling off its rims in Y2K.

These accounts of the 550 people who have met untimely deaths in the Canyon set a new high water mark for offering the most astounding array of adventures, misadventures, and life saving lessons published between any two covers. Over the Edge promises to be the most intense yet informative book on Grand Canyon ever written.

Book #4:

Murder on the Orient ExpressMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (Length: 256 pages).  When one is the mood for a satisfying mystery, an Agatha Christie book will fit the bill every time!  I read this years ago, but honestly didn’t remember who the murderer was and enjoyed it just as much the second time around.  This is a Hercules Poirot mystery and I enjoy how Christie refers to him in the third person, so the reader is not in his mind as we would be if he was narrating.  This mystery is such a good, classic set-up, and is beautifully staged with 12 different suspects/characters.  I love this fast-paced, quick read.  Perfect for a quiet Sunday afternoon.  

From the publisher:

“The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”


Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.


Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.


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