Reading list

January 9, 2018


No, not my book (this time), but another book I’ve been enjoying by a wonderfully sweet columnist,  is, “Mark My Words” by Ronda Rich. Gathering her best columns she wrote about her late mother, Ronda has elevated the spirited maternal character to new heights by grouping these tales together into a fun-to-read book.

So . . . if you promise you’ve read my book at least 11 times and bought 30 extra copies for all your friends, then I want you to rush out and get a copy of Ronda’s book. Hahaha! She’s such a talented, nice Southern columnist and has been super friendly and helpful to me whenever I’ve had a question. When I first met her, I only wrote a blog and never dreamed I’d also have a newspaper column and book.

Most of the details about Ronda’s mother are humorous, but a few cause you to squirm, as only personal tales about loved ones can do. Why is it mothers do things like that? I also loved reading the details about the food she prepared for her family. It all sounded so familiar and delicious.

Fuzzy, blurry photo of when Ronda and I first met several years ago at Page and Palette Bookstore in Fairhope.

When Ronda was practically forced to play the piano in church one Sunday, and did so badly (another reason I love and identify with her), her mother commented on the way home, “Do you know what I kept thinking?” Ronda asked, “What?” “That I couldn’t believe you were sitting on a piano bench in the middle of church in a dress that barely covered your tail.” — leave it to a mom to tell it like it is. This left me laughing out loud. LOL – LOL – LOL!

Of course, other stories will bring tears to your eyes, like the time Ronda’s mother made up the difference at the cash register for a young boy ahead of them in line who was buying gifts, but came up short changed. Kindness, love and family tales all bring about a great book that is perfect for a gift (mother’s day?) any time of the year.

If you’d like to order Mark My Words or want to read more about it, click HERE for Ronda Rich‘s website (and sign up for her newsletter there too).


Another book I have waiting to get to is this historical book about the reformation and Martin Luther. I bought it back in the fall when it first came out  to help understand the entire historical time period, because I don’t know much about it — public schools seem to skip over this part of history. A friend told me she found the book to be exciting and couldn’t put it down, so I’m waiting to start until I have a big block of time to devote to it. History exciting? I guess it’s kind of like Gone with the Wind for church. I’ve also met Eric Metaxas and he’s super nice.

What are you reading and what can you recommend?


  • I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t bought your book yet, I was holding out until I could go to one of your book signings! But I pinky promise I will order it asap and get you to sign it some day over lunch! These others sound great too, I’ve got to make more time to read!

    • Oh Jenna, I know you’re a loyal friend/fan and no worries! I’ll be signing a few more times locally in Fairhope, and FINALLY, something is in the works for Birmingham and a few other cities. Stay tuned and thanks so much!

  • I love Ronda Rich’s books and had subscribed to her email letter at your recommendation years ago. Some of her stories are so touching, especially when she tells them with her wonderful rich Southern accent (that I envy). My husband and I were lucky enough to hear her speak a few years ago and we had a hard time not sobbing when she told about the uncle who went missing during WWII and his funeral (the story has a happy ending); it’s included in “There’s A Better Day A’Coming.”

    Right now…I’m reading The Majorettes are Back in Town, as I’ve finally gotten all the Christmas stuff put away and breathing in the new year! I love this photo of you and Ronda, my two favorite Southern authors. Both of you capture the essence of living in the South with humor and poignancy.

    • You were so lucky to get to hear Ronda speak! She’s excellent with a crowd. I’ve heard the story about her uncle but would love to hear it again. That’s a sign of a great story! You know, about the photo, I thought, “wow, my shorter hair cut makes me look so much younger!” Then, I realized the photo is about five years old, so no wonder! haha!

  • Leslie Anne, thank you for the recommendation! The book sounds inviting! Metaxas is an excellent writer that really researches, his book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer was outstanding. I will get to his newest!

    • I’ve heard wonderful things and even sermons at church about his Bonhoeffer book, so I was excited to get this.

  • Ellen Shook says:

    I was reading yours today, actually, and I can highly recommend it! I found myself nodding along with your observations, and then laughing at some of the Southern expressions I heard my mother use all the time Waiting in the to-be-read-pile are many but the one I am most eager to get to is the new one by Walter Isaacson about Leonardo da Vinci. Then I have the new James Lee Burke, and, and, and … I am way behind on my reading! This Rhonda Rich one sounds fun, too.

    • I’ve seen good reviews about the Leonardo da Vinci book, so that looks like a possibility for me. Thank you for reading my book, and I’m so glad you like it. You’ll love Ronda’s book too. She has a similar style – yet totally different from me. And she’s been writing so much longer, she’s much better and more polished than I’ll ever hope to be. Thanks Ellen.

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