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review 2017-11-15 00:49
Higher is Waiting
Higher Is Waiting - Tyler Perry

By:  Tyler Perry 

ISBN: 9780812989342

Publisher:  Random House 

Publication Date:  11/14/2017

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 5 Stars 


From the hilarious creation of Madea, Perry delivers an inspiring memoir and words of encouragement in HIGHER IS WAITING —with a combination of his own unique blend of spiritual hope and southern humor over a ten-year period of his personal journals. Top Memoir of 2017. 

From the multi-talented author, writer, actor, director, producer, filmmaker, playwright, songwriter, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Tyler Perry is the mastermind behind nineteen theatrically released feature films, twenty stage plays, nine television shows, and a #1 New York Times bestselling book. 

The author once again demonstrates how tragedy turns into triumph, both in the hearts and minds of individuals and sets sparks of change within communities. 

There is an entire world out there waiting for those who "want it." Cherish your dreams and keep them safe. From hard work, positive energy, and self-encouragement. Prov. 19:21. 

We are worthy, despite our histories. God gave us breath and life. Jeremiah 29:11. 


Who doesn’t love Tyler Perry? Being an Atlanta gal, I am a huge fan and have seen all his movies, a few of his plays, and read his books. (loved the references to Atlanta’s Silver Comet Trail which was my inspiration and logged in many hours on my bike for years). It brings solace. 

In addition to his witty warm-hearted stories, he is a powerful spiritual leader. The essence of power, faith, and the grace of God and how it has worked in his own life. 

In HIGHER IS WAITING, the author tells his own story. His own struggles with money, abuse, his career, and his unwavering love for his mother. His dreams. He never gave up on his dream and encourages others to do the same, no matter where they are in their journey or the climb.

Higher is divided into four sections that revolve around the metaphor of a tree. 

The Tree of Life. Taking a tree, he compares to the various stages of spiritual growth from his early childhood years to the present.

• Planting the Seeds
• Nourish the Roots
• Branching Out
• Harvesting the Fruit

It is the author’s hope, readers will spark God within and ignite a flame to go higher. From those who are struggling or are angry. Those who need forgiveness. A desire for a better life. For all humanity. 

From his own mom’s time growing up in the Jim Crow South when black people were not allowed to dream big. Tyler had big dreams. It meant reaching higher and taking chances. 

On a personal note: When I served on the board of directors for YES! Atlanta, this was an important topic and message we stressed to this group of at-risk teens. "To dream big." To see beyond their current surroundings which may appear dismal, and unattainable. 

God’s words can be of service. From your own thoughts, finances, love, career, or family; that love and compassion will be waiting in every single part of your life and step of your journey.

“Sometimes in life, dreams are hard to follow. Just like that climb, you’re not aware of how high you’re going or if you’re even moving. But every step, even when you can’t see what’s behind you for what’s in front of you, brings you closer to your goal. . . " 


Easy to read, well laid out, this powerful book could be utilized as a daily devotional. From tidbits of real life from Tyler, wise lessons, and a special call out section with questions, thoughts, and meditations, with related scripture. 

“Look how far you’ve come. God has brought you here. You won’t be abandoned. Stay in the climb.”

Perry vividly and movingly describes his growing awareness of God's presence in his life, how he learned to tune in to His voice— to persevere through hard times, and to choose faith over fear. 

I particularly enjoyed his personal stories and how he connects with nature. Especially, Chapter 6. Relating trees to people. 

Leaf People: people in your life for only a season. You can’t depend on them. They have their own weaknesses and are only able to offer shade. Like the leaves, they blow away.

Branch People: They are stronger than Leaf People. However, they need care. They are often fragile and unreliable. If a storm rolls in, they may break. Their strength has to be tested. 

Root People. Someone very special. They do their work underground. Quietly without fanfare. They provide help, support, and nourishment. They are happy when we thrive. They are strong, resilient, and powerful. Be sure and water them with love, appreciation, and gratitude. Treasure these folks. 

The leaf, branch, and root people in our own lives. 

Perry reiterates his soul-filled experiences have taught him to embrace disappointments, knowing deeper lessons will be revealed. 

They have shown him time and time again God’s hand in closing some doors and opening others. Helping him to release the past and create a future of hope. The tools for forgiveness and placed him back on his path, when he lost his way.

I also enjoyed Chapter 13. Discovering the Gift. We all ponder our higher purpose. Our hidden gifts. We must look for them.

HIGHER IS WAITING is a beautifully written spiritual guidebook (thought-provoking and soul-searching) one to treasure. Highly recommend and an ideal choice for the gift giving and the holiday season as well as book clubs or small groups. 

This is not a one time read. HIGHER IS WAITING is a memorable book you want to use, bookmark, and reference daily, to enrich your life. A reminder of how far we have come, and heights yet to attain. Buy two copies. Give one away to someone who needs "hope and faith," this Christmas season.

A special thank you to Random House for an advance reading copy and also purchased a hardcover copy for my personal library.


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/10/08/Higher-Is-Waiting
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review 2017-11-08 09:41
Grave Errors (Witch City Mystery, #5)
Grave Errors - Carol J. Perry

When you read enough books in one genre, you start to get a feel for the different styles of different publishers, and I've definitely read enough cozies to recognise patterns.  Kensington, for instance, tends to publish authors with creative stories and strong characters, but are almost always too light-handed with the editing.  Just enough to notice it but mostly not so bad you can't enjoy the story anyway.  


Grave Errors is a good example.  Lee is a strong, independent, likeable female protagonist with intelligence, who has an unwelcome gift for scrying that she can't control.  Instead of going all woe is me! she takes steps to deal with it.  She gets along with all the other characters and isn't TSTL.


The book (and series) has no love triangles, just a nice, subtle sub-plot romance that makes Lee's involvement in mysteries feasible and lends an additional air of well-adjustedness.  The story is set in Salem Massachusetts, which lends its atmosphere to a variety of plots.  And finally, the mystery is decently plotted.  Even though I think it was pretty obvious who the villain was from almost the start, the story behind the motive was, to me, so much more interesting. 


But man, this could have been so much better if it had been more tightly edited.  Small things, like red-lining blue-lining* the author's tendency to mention Pete's (the BF) discomfort with Lee's visions every time she tells him about one.  There were at least 6 visions in this book, and I'd gotten a clear idea of Pete's discomfort with them after the first 2.  


At one point she refers to a hurricane heading their way named Penelope, with top sustained winds of 60mph.  Storms aren't categorised as hurricanes until they reach a sustained wind speed of 74mph.  I get that as a Florida girl, that's something I'm going to pick up on more than a lot of readers, but it's a simple google search - you don't even have to leave the results page to find it.


I'm not trying to discourage cozy readers from reading this - it's a good story and I really enjoyed it.  But at a time when I feel like most cozies are turning into completely vapid crap, Kensington shows so much promise, publishing stories that are both cozy and interesting to readers that value intelligence in their fiction.  If only they weren't quite so stingy with their red blue* pencils.  


*Editors actually use blue pencils.  I did not know that.  But I googled it.  ;-)


I read this for Task 1 Calan Gaeaf:  Read any of your planned Halloween Bingo books that you didn’t end up reading after all, involving witches, hags, or various types of witchcraft.


(I originally said in my status update I was going to read this for Dios de Muertos, using my Book Holiday Joker card, but then realised it totally fits the Calan Gaeaf category without burning the Joker. Duh.)

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review 2017-11-08 09:15
Eine Wissenschaftlerin, ein Pfarrer und eine unheimliche Schlange
Die Schlange von Essex - Sarah Perry,Eva... Die Schlange von Essex - Sarah Perry,Eva Bonné

England im Jahr 1893: Nach dem Krebstod ihres Mannes Michael verlässt Cora Seaborne die britische Hauptstadt London, um mit ihrem Sohn Francis und dem Kindermädchen Martha in den Küstenort Aldwinter zu reisen. Die Witwe ist Naturwissenschaftlerin und eine Anhängerin der Thesen von Charles Darwin. Sie hört von der Geschichte um die ominöse Schlange von Essex, die dort gesehen wurde. Ihr Interesse ist geweckt, denn sie hofft auf eine wissenschaftliche Sensation. Doch sie gerät dort auch mit Pfarrer William Ransome aneinander. Obwohl beide in ihren Meinungen grundverschieden sind, fühlen sie sich stark zueinander hingezogen…


Mit „Die Schlange von Essex“ ist Sarah Perry ein preisgekrönter, ungewöhnlicher Roman gelungen.


Meine Meinung:

Mich hat der Roman schon nach wenigen Seiten in seinen Bann gezogen, sodass ich das Buch nur ungern zur Seite legen wollte. Das liegt unter anderem daran, dass die Geschichte sprachlich meisterhaft umgesetzt wurde. Sehr eindringlich und lebhaft sind die Beschreibungen, teilweise sogar poetisch. Durch schöne Sprachbilder entsteht viel Stimmung und Atmosphäre. Trotz der anspruchsvollen Sprache ist der Erzählstil flüssig und angenehm, sodass mein Lesefluss nicht ins Stocken geriet.


Die Handlung beginnt im Januar und setzt sich im Folgenden in den weiteren Monaten des Jahres fort. Dies drückt sich in der Aufteilung der Hauptkapitel aus.


Anders als vermutet geht es in der Geschichte nicht nur um die Protagonisten Cora und Will. Immer wieder springt die Erzählperspektive auch auf die anderen, teils ziemlich speziellen Charaktere, die sehr detailliert geschildert werden und deren Innenleben für mich gut vorstellbar wurde. Durch diesen Umstand entstehen zudem mehrere Handlungsstränge, was die Geschichte für mich reizvoll gemacht hat.


Wer eine seichte, reine Liebesgeschichte erwartet, wird enttäuscht. Kunstvoll wird das Thema Liebe mit anderen Lebensbereichen wie Glaube und Wissenschaft verwoben. Auch weitere gesellschaftliche Aspekte der viktorianischen Zeit in England tauchen auf, was für mich sehr interessant und teilweise auch lehrreich war.


Positiv hervorzuheben ist meiner Ansicht nach außerdem das sehr hübsche Cover. Gut gefallen hat mir auch, dass der englische Titel 1:1 übersetzt und somit übernommen wurde.


Mein Fazit:

„Die Schlange von Essex“ ist sicherlich ein historischer Roman, der polarisiert und vom Leser einiges fordert. Zwar hatte ich anfangs andere Erwartungen an die Geschichte. Mich allerdings konnte das Buch von Sarah Perry mit seiner toller Sprache und seiner Tiefgründigkeit absolut begeistern.

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text 2017-11-02 09:58
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 364 pages.
Grave Errors - Carol J. Perry

Something about unremitting back pain has made me crave cozies, and as I was searching through my TBR cozies a few days ago, I started to grab this one, because... Halloween!


But then I got to this bit in the synopsis:

Lee Barrett has returned for a second year to the teaching staff of the Tabitha Trumbull Academy of the Arts—affectionately known around Salem as “The Tabby.” Lee is pleased when student Hilda Mendez suggests a way to soften the annual after-Halloween letdown, and at the same time fulfil the history obligation. Hilda thinks it might be fun to get the city involved in observing
Dia de los Muertos. (emphasis mine)


And there's my reading task for Square #1, sorted!  


(I'm using my first instance out of 5 of the Holiday Book Joker.)

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text 2017-10-25 16:45
Halloween Bingo - Monsters - Double Bingo
The Essex Serpent - Sarah Perry




I read The Essex Serpent for the Monsters square on 11 September 2017.

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