Simple Pleasures: Stories From My Life As An Amish Mother

Simple PleasuresYoung Amish homemaker Marianne Jantzi invites readers into her family’s life and Amish community. The mother of four young children and wife of a storekeeper, Jantzi writes about her daily routines and heartfelt faith with equal measures of wit and warmth. Sewing, cleaning, cooking, gardening, and helping to manage the store take up most hours in her day, but Jantzi finds time to pen columns for the Connection, a magazine beloved by Amish and Mennonite readers across the United States and Canada. Never sugarcoating the frustrations of motherhood, Jantzi tells it like it is, broken washing machine and bickering children and all. But through her busy days, Jantzi finds strength in simple pleasures of family, fellowship with her Amish community, and quiet time with God.

What a breath of fresh air Marianne Jantzi is with her daily reflections as an Amish wife and mother. Anyone who is a wife, mother, or just needs to embrace a quieter life will be able to appreciate Marianne’s stories of her life. Amish or English any mother will be able to read these stories and shake their head in agreement and solidarity  with Marianne. I love her candidness and openness of her life when it is rare to get such a raw look into the life of the Amish. I could reread this again and still walk away with a feeling of calm and peacefulness in my heart. I was quietly rocked into a sense of calm as I read Marianne’s stories about her daily life. I hope Marianne continues to write and share her stories with us, she has a rare talent that is hard to find. Simple Pleasures is out today and can be found in your local bookstore or online retailer.


*Disclaimer: I received a free copy for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.


Jane Steele

Jane Steele


Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked – but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London’s underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate’s true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household’s strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him – body, soul and secrets – and what if he discovers her murderous past?


“Reader, I murdered him.” With this line the book begins and it is a rollicking ride to the finish. Jane Steele is not a retelling of Jane Eyre but rather runs parallel with it. Jane Steele is a lover of Jane Eyre and finds herself in similar situations as her favorite protagonist. There are a lot of similarities between both books but only on the outer shell, Jane Steele is a dark Gothic tale of a serial killer who is out to right the wrongs of those who can not fight for themselves. Jane Steele is perfectly matched to the time period, through the details and words it reads as a novel of the 19th century and puts you under a spell that won’t let go long after the novel ends. The cover caught my eye and I knew I had to read it just to see how it compared to Jane Eyre. I was delighted to discover it wasn’t a modern retelling but something bigger and darker.

This is a novel that will be talked about long after a reader finishes it and I foresee this being a top book of 2016. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye is a remarkable book and it is out today and can be found in your local bookstore or even your local library.


*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for my honest opinion. All thoughts and opinion are of my own free will.

Adulthood is a Myth



I discovered the delightful comic of Sarah Scribbles awhile ago and it was like food for my soul. Imagine my delight when I found out that Sarah Andersen was putting out her first book full of Sarah Scribbles. In her first book, Adulthood is a Myth, she has some known comics from her website and plenty of new ones to delight new and old fans a like. I love the simplicity of the comic because I think it adds to the charm of Sarah Scribbles. This is a book I will open whenever I need to feed my soul and laugh out loud when nodding my head because there is someone out there that gets it and understands me and others like me. This delightful book is out today  and I hope there will be other books released of this wonderful quirky character.

You can find out more about Sarah Scribbles and Sarah Anderson here

To order a copy of this wonderful book you can find it at:


Barnes & Noble

Or your local bookstore



*Disclaimer – I received a free copy of this book for my own honest review, all opinions are my own.


Gerda Lerner

gerda lerner


Gerda Lerner was the single most influential figure in the development of women’s and gender history since the 1960s.  Over 50 years, a field that encompassed a handful of brave and potentially marginal historians became one with thousands; and expanded from Lerner’s development of an MA program at Sarah Lawrence College to the presence of women’s-history faculty in the great majority of US colleges and universities.

In her first job, at Sarah Lawrence College, she quickly recognized that merely teaching women’s history would not be enough to build respect for the field, and she strategized to build women’s history programs with high visibility.  Doing this often meant fighting major battles with administrators and faculty members; the battles both rested on and built her toughness and, at times, overbearingness.  She began teaching at Sarah Lawrence College in 1968 and worked to establish, with Joan Kelly, an MA program there, which still continues.   Twelve years later she won a professorship at the University of Wisconsin, over significant opposition, where she built the country’s first PhD program in women’s history.  She loved her Madison community and spent her last years there.  She lectured widely on the importance of women’s history, often in an inspirational rather than an academic vein, understanding this work as political organizing.

Lerner was already a feminist by the 1940s, but in the following decades her political and intellectual orientation grew and changed.  Like many of her generation and political background, she was at first uneasy about some of the sexual issues raised by the women’s liberation movement; like Betty Friedan, she worried lest the movement’s provocative style and the coming-out of lesbians stigmatize the cause of women’s equality and women’s history in particular.  That changed radically in her master project of the 1980s, published in the two volumes Creation of Patriarchy and Creation of Feminist Consciousness (1986 and 1993).   Behind this book lay a new conviction that patriarchy was the first and ultimate source of all oppression.

Lerner wrote many books and articles in her life some of  which included:

In Praise of Aging (2004)

Living With History/Making A Social Change (2009)

Fireweed: A Political Autobiography (2003)

The Majority Finds Its Past (2005)

The Grimke Sisters from South Carolina (2004)

Why History Matters (1997)

The Creation of Patriarchy (1987)

Black Women in White America (1972)

For more information you can visit:

An Amish Market


All the color and variety of a quaint Amish shop in a charming collection of novellas by four of your favorite authors. Feel free to come in and browse!

Love Birds by Amy Clipston

While Ellie Lapp and her mother are still mourning the loss of her brother, Seth, Ellie starts working at one of the gift shops in town. Seth’s friend Lloyd is talented at carving wooden birds, but his father disapproves and expects him to take over the family farm someday. Ellie sees the beauty in Lloyd’s creations and insists Lloyd sell the birds in the gift shop where she works. As Ellie and Lloyd spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but she accidentally betrays his trust. Will she lose any hope of a future with him?

A Bid for Love by Kathleen Fuller

Every week, Hannah Lynne brings her home-churned butter to the local market. And every week Ezra stops by to purchase some. Hannah Lynne knows not to read too much into it—Ezra is a confirmed bachelor and barely even glances her way, despite any hope to the contrary. But when Ezra bids an exorbitant amount to win the quilt she had her heart set on, Hannah Lynne can’t stop her heart from taking over her mind. Could Ezra finally be in the market for love?

Sweeter Than Honey by Kelly Irvin

Shattering a jar of pickled beets wasn’t the impression Isabella hoped to make on her first trip to the local Combination Store of Bee County, Texas. But as embarrassed as she was by the accident, she didn’t think it warranted the frosty reaction from the handsome manager of the store, Will Glick. As she soon learns, though, Will’s heart has been broken one too many times. And now, for some reason, Isabella finds herself determined to be the one to repair that broken heart and renew his faith in love.

Love in Store by Vannetta Chapman

Stella Schrock works at the Old Mill in Nappanee, Indiana, with new employee David Stoltzfus, a recent widower. When strange happenings begin occurring around town, it appears as if someone wants to close the mill. Stella and David have to work together to solve the mystery of what is happening at the Old Amish Mill, and in the process they might just find that God has more in store for their future than they would ever have dreamed possible.

Four wonderful short stories by four amazing writers. Each story is a stand alone story that are quick to read and savor. Amy Clipston takes us back to characters from her new series Heirloom Recipes, Kathleen Fuller and Kelly Irvin give us stories of young love, and Vannetta Chapman ends the book with a tale of mystery and finding love when you least expect it to. I recommend this to any fan of Amish fiction, these stories will warm your heart and leave you wanting more.

*Disclaimer, I received this book for free for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City



In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.

The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas.

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible. 

Matthew Desmond examines the relationship between tenants, landlords, poverty, and profit made by the landlords in this amazing book. This book focuses on Milwaukee but it could be any city in America where families everyday are being evicted or one step away from being put out on the streets. If you want a book that shows both sides with a rawness and candidness then read this book. It’s not an easy book to read but one that needs to be read to truly understand the problem of poverty in America. Matthew puts the reader in the middle of this story and opens their eyes to an ongoing problem in America that needs a solution and soon.

This book is out today and can be found in your local bookstore or library.


*Disclaimer, I received a book for my honest review.  All opinions are freely mine.

Mary Wollstonecraft


Philosopher, Scholar, Women’s Rights Activist, Educator, Journalist (1759–1797)

The Anglo-Irish feminist, intellectual and writer, Mary Wollstonecraft, was born in London, the second of six children.At the age of nineteen Mary went out to earn her own livelihood. In 1783, she helped her sister Eliza escape a miserable marriage by hiding her from a brutal husband until a legal separation was arranged. The two sisters established a school at Newington Green, an experience from which Mary drew to write Thoughts on the Education of Daughters: With Reflections on Female Conduct, in the More Important Duties of Life (1787). Mary became the governess in the family of Lord Kingsborough, living most of the time in Ireland. Upon her dismissal in 1787, she settled in George Street, London, determined to take up a literary career.

In 1792, she published her Vindication on the Rights of Woman, an important work which, advocating equality of the sexes, and the main doctrines of the later women’s movement, made her both famous and infamous in her own time. She ridiculed prevailing notions about women as helpless, charming adornments in the household. Society had bred “gentle domestic brutes.” “Educated in slavish dependence and enervated by luxury and sloth,” women were too often nauseatingly sentimental and foolish. A confined existence also produced the sheer frustration that transformed these angels of the household into tyrants over child and servant. Education held the key to achieving a sense of self-respect and anew self-image that would enable women to put their capacities to good use.

In Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman, published unfinished in Paris in 1798, Mary asserted that women had strong sexual desires and that it was degrading and immoral to pretend otherwise. This work alone sufficed to damn Mary in the eyes of critics throughout the following century.

In 1792 she set out for Paris. There, as a witness of Robespierre’s Reign of Terror, she collected materials for An Historical and Moral View of the Origins and Progress of the French Revolution: and the effect it has Produced in Europe (vol I, 1794), a book which was sharply critical of the violence evident even in the early stages of the French Revolution.

At the home of some English friends in Paris  Mary met Captain Gilbert Imlay, an American timber-merchant, the author of The Western Territory of North America (1792). She agreed to become his common law wife and at Le Havre in May 1794, she bore him a daughter, Fanny. In November 1795, after a four months’ visit to Scandinavia as his “wife,” she tried to drown herself from Putney Bridge, Imlay having deserted her.

Mary eventually recovered her courage and went to live with William Godwin in Somers-town with whom she had first met at the home of Joseph Johnson in 1791. Although both Godwin and Mary abhorred marriage as a form of tyranny, they eventually married due to Mary’s pregnancy (March 1797). In August, a daughter Mary (who later became Shelley’s wife), was born and on September 10 the mother died. Her daughter would grow up to be a writer most famous for Frankenstein.

For more information on Mary Wollstonecraft please visit the sites listed below.


Women’s History Month


Tomorrow is March 1st, which means women’s history month. As a feminist historian I love researching women’s history especially those untold stories waiting to be discovered. Through March I will be highlighting each day a person or persons of significance in women’s history. I hope you enjoy learning more about women’s history and if you have any questions on the topic each day please send me your questions and I will be glad to answer them.