Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes

Seven Most Recent Reads Edition

As if I didn’t blather enough about books already, right? Between An Open Book (here and at Catholic Mom), Sabbath Rest Book Talk with Erin McCole Cupp and Rebecca Willen, and my Relevant Fiction Reviews posts, you’d think I’d be covered on the book front. But, no, I’ve read such a strong string of books – fiction and nonfiction – that I thought they’d earned their own post. Here are the seven books I’m reading or have recently finished, in order from currently reading to already read.


Standing Strong

 Standing Strong by Theresa LindenStanding Strong, by Theresa Linden, is the forthcoming book in her West Brothers series of teen fiction books that began with the award-winning Roland West, Loner. I’m barely into this one, but chuckling at the gag lingering from Battle for His Soul – a car befouled by rancid Limburger cheese. The characters in this series are so well-developed and the writing so solid and strong. Coming this fall!


Heidi by Johanna SpyriThis children’s classic, Heidi, by Johanna Spyri, was one of my favorites as a child. In fact, I read it multiple times. Thanks to my lousy memory, however, reading this aloud to my younger children is like reading it for the first time!



Finish by Jon AcuffFinish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done, by Jon Acuff, is due out next month. I can count the number of motivational-type books I’ve read on one hand. This one appealed to me mainly because I find Jon Acuff’s personality and humor so appealing on social media. Finish is all about reaching goals minus the gung-ho approach that ignores our natural proclivities and often ends in failure. Even if I thought the content was bunk (and I don’t), I’d still read it for the humor. The riff on the Apple Genius Bar is terrific. Coming September 12!


The Other Side of Freedom

The Other Side of Freedom by Cynthia ToneyIf you’re looking for solid children’s literature for your middle grade reader or young teen, look no further. The Other Side of Freedom by Cynthia Toney is the story of one boy’s struggle to do the right thing when it’s not clear what that may be. Sal is a courageous, relatable hero, and this story set in early 20th century Louisiana has the feel of a classic. Coming October 9!


The Friendship Project

The Friendship ProjectI’ve been anticipating The Friendship Project: The Catholic Woman’s Guide to Making and Keeping Fabulous, Faith-Filled Friends by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet for months now.  I loved their Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina. This book follows much the same format with chapters from both authors, personal anecdotes, and concrete suggestions for action.  I need to focus on the “making” of such friends more than the “keeping,” since friendship is and has been a long-neglected aspect of my life. I’m hoping to implement some of the suggestions and pray for opportunities to develop such friendships in my life. Coming September 22!


Rosa, Sola

Rosa, Sola by Carmela MartinoHere is another solid choice for middle grade readers and young teens. Rosa, Sola by Carmela Martino, is an honest, heartfelt tale of a girl who, more than anything, wants a baby brother. Rosa’s story is a compassionate tale of hope, heartbreak, and family. A well-written story I’m handing off to my daughter to read.


Caddie Woodlawn

Caddie Woodlawn This Newbery Award winner, Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink,  had slipped by my notice until it became a Sabbath Rest Book Talk selection. I read this aloud to the little kids, and we all enjoyed it. It’s a humorous, touching coming of age story set on the American frontier, and I’m glad to have read it.

If you’re looking for more options for Catholic teens and preteens in the vein of Standing Strong, The Other Side of Freedom, and Rosa, Sola, visit Catholic Teen Books. If you’d like to follow my reviews, you can find me and friend or follow on Goodreads. I read a lot of Catholic fiction (adult and YA) and Christian romance with a variety of other genres sprinkled in. Here’s what I’ll be reading next: Dying for Compassion (The Lady Doc Murders: Volume 2) by Barbara Golder, How to Write Short Stories and Use Them to Further Your Writing Career by James Scott Bell, and Pickup Notes by Jane Lebak.


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6 thoughts on “Seven Quick Takes

  1. Thank you for reading and including my book, The Other Side of Freedom! You’ve given me great ideas for my next read, too.

  2. You’re going to LOVE “Pickup Notes.” So good. Also “Dying for Compassion” is excellent–did you read the first one? It helps to read these in order.

  3. I don’t know how you manage to read so many books, Carolyn! But then, I’m a very slow reader.
    Glad you liked Rosa, Sola. I hope your daughter enjoys it too!

    • I sneak it in when I’m putting the kids to bed and when everyone has gone to sleep. It helps that I read quickly, but I should probably be doing a little less reading and a little more writing!

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