Hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

Charlotte owns a bridal salon but she is procrastinating on planning her own wedding.  She buys a trunk at an auction and finds a wedding dress inside so she starts to research its history.

This is basically Sisterhood of the Time Travelling Dress.  Four women have worn the dress since it was made 100 years ago.  The book tells all their stories.  It is Christian fiction, which I didn’t know when I picked it.

The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy

Reba is a freelance writer in El Paso who is doing a puff piece on Christmas traditions around the world.  She interviews the owner of Elsie’s German Bakery but Elsie’s years in Germany were during World War II.  Her memories are of a proud Nazi family and the young Jewish boy that she hid in her bedroom.

This book was really good.  The cover said that I would read it in one sitting and they were right.  The stories of Elsie’s life in Germany and life in Texas are told.  This is the first book I’ve read that deal with Nazis as complex people instead of monsters while still being aware of the evil of that society.  It draws parallels between the behavior of German citizens and the behavior of El Paso residents on the border with Mexico.

Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo

Otto Ringling’s parents just died.  He agrees to drive his flaky sister Cecilia from New Jersey to North Dakota to get their farm ready to sell.  When he gets to her house she tells him that she is sending her spiritual guru in her place because she wants to give her half of the inheritance to him.  Reluctantly Otto sets out on a road trip with this guy who he is convinced is a con artist.

This is a gentle and slow moving book.  I think I tried to read it once before but I gave up when I got bored.  I listened to the audio this time.  It took a while to get into the story but then I liked it.  It reads so much like a memoir that I checked several times to be sure it was labelled as fiction.  The road trip they take is leisurely.  This was stressing me out.  I kept doing the math.  They had two weeks to get out there, do whatever, and get back.  After two days of driving they were still in PA and I was screaming, “You aren’t going to make it if you keep stopping for long lunches!!!!” at my car stereo.  I’m a drive ’til you drop kind of traveler.

Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum’s friend Lula witnessed a murder and now the murderers are after her.

The Mother Tongue – English And How It Got That Way by Bill Bryson

I like his travel writings best but this was a very interesting book for word nerds like me.

Adam’s Gift: A Memoir of a Pastor’s Calling to Defy the Church’s Persecution of Lesbians and Gays by Jimmy Creech

Jimmy Creech was a Methodist pastor who hadn’t thought a lot about homosexuality until a church member named Adam came into his office. He said he was leaving the church because the Methodist’s just officially banned same sex marriages. This led the author to defy the ban by performing commitment ceremonies. He was tried by the church twice and eventually lost his ordination.

The book covers what happened and his biblical reasons for it but it isn’t the most readable memoir I’ve seen. The subject is interesting though.