penny's pages

purposeful ponderings

Five Stars I wish I could recommend this book to everyone. With eloquence, authenticity, and respect, Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko reveals the traumatic treatment and displacement of Koreans and their culture through a family’s saga before, during, and after WWII. The reason I can’t recommend it to everyone is because of some difficult content. For […]

I threw a clay pot. Some people plan to throw pots their whole lives –along with vases, mugs, bowls, plates, candle holders, and miniatures. That’s what potters do. I am not a potter. I doubt I would choose pottery as a profession because of one key personal trait. I don’t enjoy getting dirty. In fact, […]

“I have no life,” I said as we navigated around the construction barrels along a familiar main road we travel several times a week. My husband–a man of few words, which often drip with bittersweet sarcasm that form pools of deep wisdom–gave me a look I don’t think I’ve ever seen in our thirty years […]

Three Stars After reading The Nightingale and The Great Alone, I found this book to be an unexpected deviation from what I expect from Kristin Hannah’s writing. It was readable, but started with a fantastical element that seemed unnecessary and didn’t carry through the rest of the book. I appreciated some of the characterization and […]

I told myself I wasn’t good at math. Considering my parents are former math teachers, my assertion seemed unlikely. Math certainly wasn’t my favorite thing to do, although I can’t say I struggled with it until we moved to Missouri. My trip-up stemmed from a specific type of problem: word problems. After over a decade […]

Recently, I had the opportunity to provide a devotional for my church’s Ladies’ Tea. As often happens when I receive an “assignment” such as this one, I experience a challenge of my own that relates directly to what God is leading me to share about Him. Because this devotional was presented verbally and because of […]

Four Stars A Curve in the Road is one of those books I needed for a diversion. I had been reading quite a few deep, heavy themes. Although the circumstances of the characters are tragic and life-changing, the book itself was the reading reprieve I needed.

On Labor Day, the writing prompt in my journal was “What is your favorite way to spend a lazy day?” I smiled because it was a good opportunity to write about what I had done so far on a non-routine, unscheduled day. Who let the dogs out?: Well, I did. At 4:45 am. This is […]

Five Stars The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell is one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. Dugoni writes a captivating story about a young boy struggling with his uniqueness in a way most if not all readers can appreciate. Yet, the battles for Sam are also his and experiencing them with him […]

In my grandfather’s desk, he kept a slate and a slate pencil. I still feel the narrow smooth soapstone resting against my already-developing writer’s callous. I hear its tap-slide against the charcoal-gray slate. Sometimes I couldn’t wait for the surface to dry between wet-rag washes, and my marks faded before I could finish an entire […]