penny's pages

purposeful ponderings

Four Stars Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes is an entertaining story about a young widow who rents the apartment in her Maine home to a washed-out professional baseball pitcher. There is laugh-out-loud dialogue and poignant insight. The language was stronger than I like, but tended to be confined to one character. The morals […]

Penny J. Johnson’s third collection of poetry invites readers into virtual rooms echoing with voices that developed the author’s past, consume the present, and anticipate the future. These reflections ignite poetic interest and inspire joy through sorrow. Welcome to a reading tour of family stories, kitchen conversations, camping adventures, care-giving insights, and more.

What do you need right now? ‘Tis the season of giving. It’s a time when we make lists, attend events, and participate in family gatherings. We save, plan, wrap, give, receive, accept, and return. Then we end one year and begin another. But, this question gives me pause and right now I need to consider […]

Five Stars This is one of my favorite books that I read this year. I love learning about new aspects of history, especially during time periods and issues I’ve studied yet, through another story, gain new perspective. I listened to The Summer Country by Lauren Willig while on vacation this summer. I learned about cause […]

Through poetry, Penny J. Johnson explores memories from childhood like this one in “Chicken a la King.” But, The Last Time We Were Children is more than remembering. Her poems describe descending sledding hills, climbing mountains, and playing in fields and fairgrounds. They also profoundly cast light—both with humor and serious faith—on the dark hours […]

If you had been able to choose, would you rather have been an only child or part of a very large family? For many reasons, this is a fascinating topic for me. As much as I’ve studied personality types, I’ve investigated the various effects of birth order on family dynamics. But, that isn’t exactly what […]

Five Stars Kathleen McGurl’s The Forgotten Secret is a captivating tale across time that will keep the reader guessing until the end. I liked that it covered the time between the World Wars, but also helped me understand more about Ireland’s tumultuous history. Definitely a must-read.

Now available in paperback and for Kindle! In 2012, While Bethlehem Sleeps awakened readers to reflect on the Christmas story through poetry depicting character sketches, Advent themes, and seasonal musings. This expanded edition provides devotional insights with poetic highlights. Activities at the end of each daily reading assist in extending Advent throughout the week with […]

Recently, one of my writing prompts asked, If I looked in your fridge right now, what would I find? Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and I could list the items we’ve accumulated for our upcoming festive cooking. Instead, I’m going to talk turkey about what is in my refrigerator most of the time. […]

Five Stars I have yet to read a Catherine Ryan Hyde book that I haven’t liked. Have You See Luis Velez? is another engaging read with excellent character development and an intriguing story line. This book challenges society biases to form new connections and bolsters courage to reach out to neighbors in need. Simply inspiring.