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review 2017-11-05 17:25
The Waiting Place: Learning To Appreciate Life's Little Delays by Eileen Button
The Waiting Place: Learning to Appreciate Life's Little Delays - Eileen Button

Some of the most priceless gifts can be discovered while waiting for something else.
We all spend precious time just waiting. We wait in traffic, grocery store lines, and carpool circles. We wait to grow up, for true love, and for our children to be born. We even wait to die. But while we work hard at this business of living, life can sometimes feel like one long, boring meeting. Even today, with instant gratification at our techno-laced fingertips, we can’t escape the waiting place. Somehow, in between our texting and tweeting and living and dying, we end up there again and again. In the voice of an old friend or a wise-cracking sister, Eileen Button takes us back to the days of curling irons and camping trips, first loves and final goodbyes, big dreams and bigger reality checks. With heart-breaking candor she calls us to celebrate the tension between what we hope for tomorrow and what we live with today. Chock-full of humor and poignant insights, these stories will make you laugh and cry. They’ll challenge you to enjoy―or at least endure―the now. As Eileen has learned, “To wait is human. To find life in the waiting place, divine.”

Amazon.com

 

 

In this collection of essays, the title inspired by a portion from Dr. Seuss' The Places You Will Go, newspaper columnist Eileen Button takes us into the daily routine of her hectic life and shows up where she found the beauty in the chaos. It took work and dedication, moments of forcing herself to stop and be still, but over time she came to learn how to work past her daily life gripes and see the gifts in the small moments. 

 

"The Waiting Place is for people like me who get stuck in their precious, mundane, gorgeous, absurd lives. It is for those who work hard at the "business of living" only to find that they seem to be caught in one long, boring meeting...It's for those who wake up one day and find themselves repeatedly sighing and thinking 'This is so not the life I dreamed of living.' It's also for those who wonder what is worse: to remain in the day-in, day-out lives they have created or to risk it all and make a change, even if that change results in falling on their faces. The waiting place is never cozy. In fact, when we find ourselves there, most of us try like heck to escape...The following essays breathe life into common (and not so common) waiting places. I hope you find yourself in these pages and conclude, as I have, that some of the most priceless gifts can be discovered while waiting for something else." ~ from Chapter 1

 

Her essays cover pivotal moments throughout her life where epiphanies slipped in under the mundane. Sometimes it wasn't right in the moment, but years later as she reflected on cherished memories. Some of the highlights: reminiscing about fishing trips as a little girl with her father; comical wedding mishaps (that were likely not so comical in the moment lol); recalling the beauty in her grandmother's hands , seeing all the life lived that showed there during family Scrabble games; revisiting her childhood home as an adult and the emotions that stirred up, turning that glass doorknob and taking in the hush of the place. Eileen also recalls lectures her grandmother would give her about her nail-biting habit, something my own grandmother rides me about to this day!

 

Eileen also discusses the struggle that comes with sometimes being defined by your spouse's occupation, in her case being the wife of a Methodist pastor.  She defines various doubts and fears that unexpectedly came along with the position of a pastor's wife as well as the he pressures and expectations that your congregation can put on you. Button reveals that she often feels she has a "dysfunctional, co-dependent" relationship with the church.

 

Additionally, there's the strain of trying to figure out what to do, how to make things work when the household income barely covers the monthly bills (Button recalls the day she swallowed her pride and applied for WIC).

 

"I reach for my daily stack of mail. Today's includes a Rite-Aid weekly flyer, the water bill, and a credit card offer that features three crosses and the message "Jesus Loves You" on the card. The credit card company writes, "Express your faith with every purchase!" There is something deeply wrong with a world in which you can own a credit card with a full color picture of Christ's object of torture printed on it."

 

 

She describes added emotional fatigue worrying over her youngest son, who was born with a condition where the upper and lower portions of the esophagus didn't connect. Speaking of her children, one thing I noticed that I found a little disappointing is how she seems to take pride in fixing meals over playing with her children. I mean, yes, it is definitely admirable that she takes the time to make nourishing meals for them, I was just a little surprised when one essay illustrates how one day her kids genuinely seemed shocked when she finally, grudgingly agrees to fly a kite with them. But it is in this moment that she has one of her revelations which she can now share with readers -- why honest presence is so important to her children! 

 

This collection also touches upon the topic of depression. Button shares moments where she deeply hurt for loved ones who had fallen into immense emotional darkness and her inner aggravation at feeling helpless to save them. Here again, she shares the calming takeaways she eventually came to realize are born in life's harder moments. For readers reaching for this book at a time when they find themselves saying, "This is not the life I signed up for," she offers this to marinate on: "To live is to wait. It's how we wait that makes all the difference." Hang in there long enough, you'll find your way to the brass ring. 

 

As a whole, these essays are so enjoyable largely because Button writes in the tone of a good friend who speaks in soft tones but still makes it clear she's been through the wringer in her day and, at least on some level, knows of what she speaks.  It's also a kick to see her East Coast upbringing infused into her wording:  "wicked dark' "wicked ugly". Her humor balances the heavier bits and I give her bonus points for working in a "Come On Eileen", a nod to my favorite 80s song :-D

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text 2017-10-02 15:46
Nope
With Malice - Eileen Cook

Look I know this was a spin on the Amanda Knox story that took place in Italy. However, other than that, I really don't get why Eileen Cook insisted on the book taking place there. We don't get a sense of Italy at all. We also take a long way around to figure out what happened. When the truth is revealed I pretty much laughed cause it doesn't make sense at all. 

 

The story follows 18 year old Jill Charron. She finds herself in the hospital in a lot of pain and wishing for her best friend Simone. Jill is shocked to find that she has been in a the hospital for several weeks, and her friend Simone is dead in an accident that it appears Jill is responsible for. 

 

I didn't like Jill from the first. Maybe because she sounds robotic and not normal at times about things we get to see from her POV. I need to have a bit of empathy for a main character instead of feeling bored by her and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I also didn't get why Jill was even friends with Simone based on the tidbits we get to read via other people and what is said/not said about their friendship. When we get to the reveal I just rolled my eyes. I was wanting something else there that would be surprising. Cook definitely does not hide anything at all, you know which way the story is going since the story is littered with clues. 

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text 2017-10-01 13:08
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
With Malice - Eileen Cook

This book really didn't work for me. I swear unreliable narrator stories only work if there's an actual twist to be had. Also including texts, transcripts, etc to break up the book didn't help either. You don't know who people are exactly and it just made things confusing. The reveal was laughable. 

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review 2017-09-25 11:37
Book Review For: ' King of Hearts' by Eileen Putman
King of Hearts: British Rogues Historical Romance (League of Rogues Book 1) - Eileen Putman

'King of Hearts' by Eileen Putman is the First Book in the Series "League of Rogues". This is the story of Gabriel Sinclair and Louisa Peabody. Gabriel in a drunken card game ended up at the Convent where he was looking for a lock of Virgin Hair. But ended up getting caught and the Nuns had made it out to be that he tried to murder and rape one of their girls. In addition the man that he was playing cards with where he won a Ship from try to say that he had stolen it. Which his crimes set him up to be hanged. Louisa believes she knows the evil of men after what her father and husband had done to her. So Louisa has chooses to help the women that have suffered from the evil of men. On one of this runs to save a women that is to be hanged she ends up rescuing Gabriel. Louisa is Leary of Gabriel at first but he is now in good health so she must house him with her. Gabriel from the first time seeing Louisa he thinks she is an Angel and asked to marry her. Louisa thinks she knows Gabriel's type and that he is the King of a Thousand Hearts.
Gabriel starts to meet the collection of people that Louisa has saved and his feelings for her just grow. But Louisa has allot of past hurts and trust she will need to overcome before she can fully be his.
I truly enjoyed this book. It had everything that I look for in a Historical Romance Book. I hope to read more of Miss Putmans books soon!
"My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
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Source: www.amazon.com/King-Hearts-British-Historical-Romance-ebook/dp/B073WTY21T/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1506276659&sr=1-1&keywords=King+of+Hearts%3A+British+Rogues+Historical+Romance+by+Eileen+Putman
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review 2017-08-06 18:10
The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook
The Hanging Girl - Eileen Cook

Ugh, the book tied me in knots! (In a good way!)

The mystery is on a slow boil as your introduced to Skye whose life is stuck in a dead-end 
then she makes a deal, a easy deal that would get her money and a new life. That is until the deal ends up with someone dead and Skye stuck in the middle and running out of time to find a murderer. 
As everything slowly unravels for Skye, who you feel a deep empathy for, even if she made a really crappy choice. I always hoped she be okay in the end. Cook does put the reader through an emotional ringer as everything starts to add and and then! -She hits you again with another shocker that left me guessing if it solved everything or just another secret.

I can't say enough great things about this book- only to read it for yourself!

ARC: NetGalley

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