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« Pumpkin Returns! (Toben) | Main | To the E.R. We Go (Toben) »


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I just reserved Hunger Games at the library last week... Now, I know I'll enjoy it :)


Make sure she reads all three, the last one is great! Glad to hear she's reading, we'll be praying for sleeping and other needs.

Barb from CNY

So glad to hear Joanne is enjoying her latest book! Has she read "Mennonite in a Little Black Dress" by Rhoda Janzen or "The Mighty Queens of Freeville by Amy Dickenson? I read them both this summer and enjoyed them. The are both non-fiction and were entertaining. Enjoy your Sunday!
Barb from CNY


I don't think it's foolish to pray to still be able to read, it is such a wonderful gift. I would be lost if I couldn't, that is one of my greatest fears.

I do indeed hope the girls have a good week at school and enjoy it as much as possible. Also for sleep for Joanne, I know how draining it is to run on empty and that must be so much worse when recovering from such a major event as a stroke.

Continued best wishes to you all.

Erin Koss

See about Room and The Help if she hasn't already read them. Unbroken is also really good despite it's length. Toben, you might like this one also.

Sally  Campbell

Hello! I love the books of Charles Martin, with THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US being my favorite. I highly recommend that one! Praying for Joanne and trusting God for complete healing. ~Sally


I can totally understand your prayer for Joanne. I have always been an avid reader and it is something I thank God for, often. It is such a blessing to be able to sit down (or lay down) and devour a good book. I'm so happy to hear that Joanne is reading again. Praying for sleep. Trying to live life without enough sleep is brutal, and even more so when you have other challenges thrown your way at the same time.

Shari@Rain into Rainbows

I absolutely get what you mean about reading. Since my accident, I pretty much read several hours a day at least. And like Joanne, I'll devour anything written that I can get my hands on.

You might want to check this out: It is a list of free books for Kindle. Also if you follow her blog, she lists (usually daily) the latest free and almost free books on Amazon.


I suggest The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin. I really like his books and this one kept we sitting for two hours just to finish it!

Karen Booker Schelhaas

Hey Toben and Joanne. So glad to hear that you're reading and enjoying it. A book that hit me sideways and has stayed with me is "one thousand gifts" by Ann Voskamp. I couldn't put it down.

Janet Cline

Great post....nothing like a good book! I hear the book "Not A Fan" by Kyle Idleman is good. I plan on downloading it to my kindle real soon. Happy reading, Joanne!
P.S....glad the kitty is back!!

Steph Hollingsworth

Toben and Joanne, I've followed your blog since the time of the stroke but have never commented. I've been praying, though!! So happy to hear that Pumpkin is back home and that Joanne is able to enjoy a good book, despite all the mountains your family is scaling these days.
If you're an avid reader, Joanne, you've most likely read Jan Karon's Mitford series, but just in case you haven't, I had to mention it. It's wonderful
Also, my kids and I all thoroughly enjoyed the Inkheart series.
God bless you!

kristi walker

LOVE the Hunger Games trilogy!! Praying for each of you!

Brandi Luiz

Lynn Austin authors a series about The Kings and Chronicles. I got the first one on my kindle and have been enamored with them all. Had to get each one as I finished the last. Maybe she would enjoy her as well.


Ok. As a lover of all things books - here are some:
Biblical - Heaven is for Real. And the Lineage of Grace.
Mystery - James Patterson has a GREAT series with numbers in it. The series is older - but he is still writing for it. Awesome!
I also like Nora Robert's mysteries. Some of her stuff is a little too "cotton candy" for me, but the mystery stories are very good.

... other things on the brain tonight. Hopefully I will be able to talk to God later and soothe my aching heart.


Sheri H.

I totally understand the love to read! My favorites are:
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (absoluetly my is a LONG but easy read)
Anything by Francine Rivers is wonderful. I am also a HUGE fan of Lori Wick. She is a Christian fiction writer from our area (WI) that I have gotten to know. I read through all of Lori's book and I don't know if they are available on the would have to check.


Hooray and thank you, God, for Pumpkin's return! Regarding book suggestions: Agree with others about The Help and the Gods and Kings series by Lynn Austin. Two books I read this summer and loved were Shanghai Girls and its sequel Dreams of Joy by Lisa See. So glad to hear that Joanne is able to enjoy reading. I will continue to pray for complete healing!
Love from So. Cal.

Alice H

Hunger Games is AMAZING!! I read ALL three of the books in 6 days.

The Help was a great read as well.


How wonderful that you can continue to enjoy your love of reading and books Joann!! I am an avid reader as well and I would be heartbroken if that ability was taken away from me (so I understand how important it is). Some of my favorite books (and I too love variety so I'm kind of all over the board) are:

The Hunger Games Trilogy
The Help
The Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich (starts with One for the Money)
Withering Heights
Jane Eyre
Northanger Abbey
East of Eden
The Secret Life of Bees
All But My Life
The Notebook (which I think everyone has read:)
The Percy Jackson Books (I read them with my 10 yr old daughter and loved them)
The Maze Runner and Scorch Trials
Same Kind of Different as Me
The Christmas Tree

I have so many more but I hope that gives you some new choices. Some are fun and some are old and some are just depends on my mood as to what I want to read.
I continue to pray for you daily and think about you while I run. I know you're going to come full circle. Hang in there!! Hugs from IN

Christine H.

I'll add to the suggested reads too. I am a fan of the Maisie Dobbs mystery series. It combines two of my favorite genres, historical fiction and mystery. The setting in the first book takes place during WWI. I also love that the protagonist is a woman. There are seven or eight books in this series. The author's name is Jacqueline Winspeare.

Anne R

Hi Joanne!
This is my first time to comment but I have followed your blog for awhile. I am so excited for you for the progress you are making in your recovery. I am able to look back on the hardest time in my life (when my parents went through a divorce) and see that I grew so much closer to God during that time. I know that your struggle is so much more difficult than mine, but I think that means you will grow even closer to Jesus during this time.
I wanted to recommend the book "Christy" by Catherine Marshall. They have recently divided the book up into a series, but I love the original book (just one volume). Also, I am sure you have read it but the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers is my favorite (along with ALL books by Francine Rivers)! Happy Reading :)


Yay for the return of Pumpkin! Here are a few of my favorite reads that I always love to recommend:
1. 'Til We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis
2. East of Eden, John Steinbeck (An interesting companion book is his Journal of a Novel, literally the journal he kept as he wrote E of E.)
3. The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Moshin Hamed -- really enjoyed the pared-down prose style; overall writing was terrific; thought-provoking.
4. Persuasion, Jane Austen

Jan Maniatis

I remember reading a facebook note one day from Joanne that she hated reading and that broke my heart - knowing in this girls heart there are pages turning vs. beats beating. So glad the 'book' has returned as a joy. Praying for sleep, rest, renewal and PTL Pumpkin is home! Hugs and prayers, j

Jan Maniatis

Oh, I forgot! Shanghai Girls - really liked this and I have Dreams of Joy (the 2nd one) ready to read. Read ROSES - it's like Dallas series from TV, bold, great characters, just a fun read. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn always makes me grateful for all I have. Hugs, j

Devanee Cogburn

So good to hear that you love to read, Joanne. I love my Kindle too!!!
I just thought I would share a website with you. If you sign up with them they send you e-mails weekly with FREE Kindle books and they are Christian books, some fiction some non-fiction. I love it. I have tons of books on my Kindle and most of them were free!
You have been such an inspiration to me.
Hugs to my sister in Christ,


I just read the The Hunger Games because my reading club made me...then I went nuts and bought the whole series on my Kindle cuz i couldn't wait...Joanne will LOVE it or HATE it...I don't know anyone who was in between! Joanne...I'm SO happy (praise Him)that you can depart to far off worlds in your head!


The Help - awesome read!
The Secret Life of Bees
Glass Castle - Amazing true story.


I live in Canada and followed Joanne's progress closely. Life then caught up and I have not--for too long. Well today, I read many weeks worth. Why do I think, after a quick calculation, that today is your birthday, Toben. If I am right, May God bless you much this new year of your life. May you be fiulled with hope and trust during those dark hours. May you be given a double dose of all you lost these last few months and may all that the moth and rust took away be restored to you in this new year of your life. Happy Birthday Toben. God bless from Canada.

A couple of gripping stroke memoirs:
Don't Leave Me This Way by Julia Fox Garrison
My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor

Neither is exactly Christian, but both are amazing accounts honestly told.

Happy Birthday Toben! I continue to pray for all of you sweet family. -Ginger


Francine Rivers newest two book series, Her Mother's Hope and Her Daughter's Dream were amazing! She will especially enjoy tbem since she has daughters!


Toben, it just occurred to me--was Pumpkin "fixed"? It not, um, could be she mellow because she is going to be a momma?! I have heard of such feline behaviors before. . . ; )

As for books, I think Joanne (and the girls!) would really enjoy the Mistmantle Chronicles, which are young adult fantasy in the vein of the Narnia books, and have the most amazing story arc of sacrifice and redemption.

I am so sorry for your scare last night, and am praying you get the answers you need soon.


lisa craddock

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