Hey, everyone. Last year I read over sixty books, something I haven’t done in a while. I wrote and posted reviews for the majority of them.
This year, I’m doing things a bit differently. Rather than posting individual reviews (except in some cases), I plan to write a monthly review post. Also, I’m only posting four-star and five-star reviews.
Since I took a blogging break at the end of December, this post is for books I read that month.
Autumn Paths is a collection of nine short stories. The majority of them come from Canadian authors. The stories are different genres, but each has a common theme—life’s pathways.
As with most collections, there are some stories that stood out to me above others. Chuck Bowie’s Footfall had an enjoyable and somewhat surprising twist at the end. I also enjoyed The Booksellers Secret Octavo by Angela Wren. The Maze by Monique Thébeau touches on a situation that is unfortunately all too common.
Each story is short enough to read during lunch break or for a quick read before turning in for the night.
A Long Walk Home
Kenzie is a young woman who feels alone and betrayed on Christmas Eve. She’d lost her parents in a house fire two years earlier, was dumped by her fiancé who ended up engaged to her best friend, Joy. With all the festivities of the season, all Kenzie wants to do is go home and hibernate until Christmas is past.
But when she runs into Joy, her anger turns into much more. Kenzie goes to a nearby park and decides to end it all. Enter Thomas, an angel who has been watching her every move. Desperate to save her, Thomas gets Kenzie’s attention with an abandoned cat and her kittens. Kenzie’s life changes for the better that night.
This story has a bit of sadness, a touch of magic, and a big lesson on forgiveness. If you like a feel-good Christmas read, I recommend this short novelette.
Continuing with the Christmas theme, my next review is a short story written by Rox Burkey and Charles Breakfield.
Hot Chocolate is a Christmas story that’s centered around family. The main characters, Jacob and Petra, come from different cultures so there is a blend of both in their holiday celebrations. They also have a tradition of surprising one another with a unique Christmas gift.
This short story is a delightful, heart-warming read with a surprise ending. Perfect for the holidays.
Love, Me is a heartwarming romantic story set at Christmas time. But the thing that drew me to the book was the fact the lead character’s daughter has leukemia. As the wife of a two-time, twenty-eight-year cancer survivor, I can relate to a family member’s plight as they watch their loved ones battle this dreadful disease.
Knowing the child had cancer, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. Would I shed a lot of tears? Would it rekindle memories that are still painful? No, the book was quite the opposite. From Grace’s unconditional love toward her daughter, to Cassie’s selfless letter to Santa, to Kyle’s love and generosity, Love, Me stirred up feelings of warmth and hope—something we need more of today.
While there is a feel-good message, the author also calls attention to childhood cancer awareness. The book is easily read in a couple of hours, and I recommend it for any time of year.