A Piece of Cake: A Memoir by Cupcake Brown

“If you put God in your plans, you can make them as big as you want.”

cover to A Piece of Cake I've typed and retyped the beginning of this paragraph countless times in an attempt to word this tactfully, respectfully, even wittily when what I really want to say is, “Shut up and suck it up!” Do we really have that much to complain about?

In this book I met a woman who endured every conceivable horror but determinedly struggled her way to success. It took a long time. It took a lot of work. It took a strong faith that grew from small gestures of trust. With all the scapegoating and complaining that consumes the world, I was eager to finish this book and discover how this woman rose above the self-pity to make something of herself.

Between the covers of this book, I discovered the formula to success: Prayer and trust in God + determination and hard work = happiness living your dream. Who would have thought?

I'm embarrassed to admit that as the story progressed, my feelings changed from sympathy to frustration. Working in pharmacy for 13 years has hardened my tolerance of drug addicts. My lack of experience with addiction on a personal level allowed my professional hardships of dealing with the disease to remain at the forefront of my mind while reading this book. For a moment, I lost my compassion.

Before this book, I couldn't fathom how someone could return from the doorstep of death to accomplish more than most people with every advantage. You're allowed an open walk through this author's darkest moments and when she finally finds her light, you can't help but discover a little of your own. I take with me the lesson that when life hands you lemons, you can, when ready and willing, make lemonade.

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

A murder mystery was just the break I needed after the intense love story I'd finished reading only days before. I'm partial to reading books set in the historic Deep South. I chalk it up to my desire to know the world during a time I still struggle to understand.

cover to Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter With a glance at the cover and synopsis, the book looked promising, but instead of a whodunnit, I got a who"duh"it. I'm not the girl who figures out what's going on before it happens. The endings tend to surprise me. So as I verged on congratulating myself for my Sherlockian sixth sense, it became apparent that this book was just simply written with a simple plot. That's all. I, unfortunately, retain my complete lack of foretelling.

I wouldn't consider myself bored while reading this book, but I didn't walk away with the urge to recommend it either. It was an okay read to pass the time. The book did leave me with one blaring, burning question, "Where was the suspense?" Tease me, please me, make me work for it. Don't just shove it down my throat. I like a little mystery in my mysteries.

One Day by David Nicholls

Dex and Em, Em and Dex.

cover to One Day That borrowed line from the book could serve as the synopsis. This book is solely about two people, Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew. Two people whose undefined relationship spans a quarter century.

Disinterest set in during the first couple of chapters as the story started to unfold like another boring and overdone love story. But then, it makes a sharp and unexpected turn toward the land of extraordinary love.

What made this story striking was the characters' acceptance of their situation. Best friends, both carrying a deep love, but continuing to live separately with the understanding that it might always be that way.

As with any romance, you're rooting for that perfect point of union, but in this book you didn't need that inevitable moment. You experienced a love story each time the characters met up. You sensed their unspoken emotions and felt the rumblings of truth that boiled at their cores. Their time together more a testament to love than the boldest affirmation.

One Day turned into many years of life revolving around a bond that only exists for the few.