If you could have dinner with an author…

I’m borrowing from Angela at Books and Opinions again (thanks, Angela!).

Usually I dislike this kind of question – “if you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, who would it be?” – I’ve never had a good answer. But for this questions, I had an immediate answer, but I debated whether it was stalker-ish to post it. Clearly, I decided it’s not:

If I could have dinner with an author, it would be UK indie author Lizzie Steel.

Lizzie SteelA while back I reviewed Lizzie’s first book, Running Home, calling it one of the best fiction books I’ve ever read. Recently, I looked her up on Amazon so I could recommend the book to a friend and I discovered she wrote a second (phenomenal!) book, A Life More Complicated. Having loved Running Home, I bought and read A Life More Complicated immediately. I do plan to review the book more thoroughly, but here I will simply say that this book was amazing. She calls it gritty – and it is. It is gritty and gripping and painfully real.

Running Home Book CoverA Life More Complicated Book Cover


So, I would like to have dinner with Lizzie Steel because I find her writing compelling, and I am in awe of how she masterfully tells her stories from her desk in the playroom while battling crippling anxiety. As a mom-trying-to-be-an-editor, and suffering with my own history of post-partum mental illness, I identify with Lizzie and take encouragement from her bravery in putting herself out there – and succeeding splendidly!


Angela over at Books and Opinions posted an “Either-Or Book List” list yesterday and invited people to post their own answers in the comments. I thought it was such a fun idea that I’m copying over here (even though I can’t answer some of the questions, and I’m majorly resisting the urge to include commentary on every question). I’d love it if you chimed in, also!

1) Paper or Digital?


2) Romance or Sci-Fi?


3) History or Current Events?


4) Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes?

Sherlock Holmes  —  Although I’m not sure I’ve read any true Sherlock Holmes books (I have vague recollections of maybe abridged versions as a kid?), I’m familiar with the character (isn’t everyone?).  I had to Google Hercule Poirot…apparently my memories of those Agatha Christie books I read in 4th grade just because my teacher was reading them are not so great.

5) Twilight or Hunger Games?

Twilight   —   Ok, I’m no longer resisting the urge — bring on my commentary! I’ve never read either but the whole premise of Hunger Games disturbs me.

6) Jane Eyre or Anna Karenina?

Anna Karenina  —  Again, never read either. This is getting disturbing – and I call myself a book blogger? Anyway – Anna Karenina is on my dresser just waiting to be read…

7) Harry Potter or Narnia?


8) History or Biography?


9) Stand Alone story or Series?

Stand Alone

10) Dante or Tolstoy?

Sigh. Haven’t read either. So sad. I do own both, though.

11) Sauron or Jadis the White Witch?

The White Witch — Though both could stand to be revisited!

12) The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew?

Nancy Drew   —   There’s a whole crate of them in my bedroom right now that I read as a kid…Is it ridiculous or just cute in an innocent way that I truly thought the “colored housekeeper” was rainbow-colored? PS – I did also read The Hardy Boys. I pretty much read anything I could get my hands on.



If Angela posts again next week, I’ll link up again! Thanks, Angela!


Happy Birthday to me! (And a C.S. Lewis book)

So yesterday was my birthday – and it was an absolutely awesome day. I LOVE my birthday every year, but yesterday was definitely one of the best birthdays I’ve had. My husband and kids just pulled out all the stops. Honestly, it was less about the specifics of what they did and more about the amount of effort and love they put into everything: they baked me a cake (from scratch! and it was delicious!), made me homemade cards, Adam made me paella (yum!), and they *tried* to let me sleep in (A didn’t cooperate, but she’s a baby)… and my five-year-old (“H”) got me a gift:

Reflections on the Psalms by [Lewis, C. S.]

It was absolutely the most perfect, wonderful gift, and I sobbed when I opened it. The whole thing was her idea, and Adam made it happen. One night at dinner we were talking about my birthday and she jumped up and whispered in his ear that she wanted to get me a book for my birthday (all I knew was she wanted to get me a gift). So, he took her to Barnes and Noble. As he tells it, they wandered the entire store looking, when H happened upon the Christianity section. Now, she and I have read some of the Chronicles of Narnia together, and she knows I’ve read other C.S. Lewis books. So as soon as she saw C.S. Lewis, she knew that’s what she wanted to get me. She actually wanted to get me all the C.S. Lewis books, but Adam helped her pick just one. She even paid for it from her piggy bank, wrapped it herself, and kept it a secret until I opened it. So perfect.

One of my favorite things (obviously, right?) is reading, and it’s so special for me to share that love with my daughters. In July we started having H stay up later and she and I started reading chapter books together every night before bed. It has become part of my day that I really look forward to. In fact, the couple of times we’ve tried to punish her by saying, “no story at bedtime,” it has been more of a punishment for me. I really treasure that time, and I’ve told her that.

What moved me the most about this gift is that my daughter, not yet six years old, knows me. She didn’t just want to get me any gift – she chose the perfect gift. She was able to see me as my own person, outside of my role as mom, and she gave selflessly just to bring me joy. She smiled as she walked out of my bedroom yesterday and said, “So now you can read it to yourself at night.”

So now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go read some Reflections on the Psalms.