Posts Tagged ‘11/22/63 Review’

It’s the 3 Little Things (With Meagan): King, Cuffs & Coffee

Friday, May 15th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

Well, hello, Friday! Nice to see you again! The Clark family has hobbled through another week and this will be our last 3 little things for this month as the blog will be on hiatus from May 20th-June 1st. My husband and I are celebrating our 15 year anniversary and got our very first passports to take a trip to Italy to celebrate. We are touring Florence, Rome, & Venice on our trip and I am so excited and so very nervous. Grandma retired last year and has generously agreed to step into our place and take over for nine days with my children. She is a saint!

I want everything to be spectacular for her so I am filling the freezer, organizing a fraction of the unorganized spaces, list-making, and tackling the Mt. Everest of laundry piles. It will all be worth it though and we are so thankful we leave our kids in far more competent hands than my own.


Passport Application

Say some prayers for grandma and, if you have a few to spare, throw up a few for us since we are nervous travelers!  We have been saving a long time for this. Actually, since we got married. I started a secret fund and auto-transferred $25 in it each month for a vacation for our ten year anniversary. We were broke, but we never felt the pinch in those early years of marriage. Ten years passed and our kids felt too small to leave them, but now at 12 and 9… the timing finally feels right.

Today we have Meagan Church  joining us to share her happy list! Meagan Church is a writer, children’s book author and the brainpower behind, which explores the story of modern motherhood. She lives in the Midwest with her high school sweetheart, three children and a few animals. Connect with her on Twitter, on Instagram, or visit her website

Meagan and I are local friends that have wrote for some of the same publications and she is as genuine as they come. You are in for a real treat today so please give her a warm welcome! If you are interested in being a guest poster on the 3 little things, send over a list of your 3 favorites and why to amy@momadvice.comand I will share them in the upcoming weeks! 

Meagan Church


It’s a spring Friday in Northern Indiana, so what better time to take a few minutes and consider a couple simple, yet beautiful moments of recent? Of course I must take pause to celebrate the return of birds, tree buds and running season, but there are other things that have had my heart and attention as of recent, including a book, a bracelet and a brewer.

11/22/63 by Stephen King


“11/22/63” by Stephen King

I don’t typically read Stephen King books. While I am an avid reader, the overwhelming size of most King books intimidates me, not to mention the fact that some of his stories that I heard years ago still haunt my nightmares today. While re-reading his incredibly inspiring book “On Writing,” I felt the urge to dive into one of his newer novels. I had heard good things about “11/22/63,” so I downloaded a digital copy from the library, and, not being very good at converting digital pages to print pages, I had no idea just how long it was. I wasn’t able to finish the digital copy before it had to be returned, so I headed to the library to get a print copy and an intimidating surprise. I pulled the book off the shelf, suddenly thankful for each and every Insanity workout I had endured that had made it possible for me to actually lift the behemoth of a book. But, I told myself that size didn’t matter. What mattered was that I finished a story that had engaged and engrossed me from the start. Soon this book crept into many of my conversations and even a few of my dreams. Even with three little ones, writing deadlines and typical every-day commitments, I read the book in record time. While I have always had respect for King’s writing, reading this book put me in awe of his masterful storytelling. Though I finished it a few weeks ago, the story is still on my mind, along with wondering if the upcoming Hulu mini-series will do the story justice.

Personalized Cuff Bracelets

Personalized Cuff Bracelets

I have always been a sucker for a good quote. And, I’ve always tried to find ways to surround myself with encouraging and inspiring words. Over the past few years, I have had quotes and verses that have served as mantras for me, including the reminder to “be still” and the scripture Philippians 4:13 (which helped me get through three natural child births). When I attended the Storyline Conference in Chicago last fall, writer Shauna Niequist spoke these words that I instantly knew would be my mantra for 2015, “Do your thing with great love right now.” Wanting a constant reminder of these phrases, I fell in love with personalized cuff bracelets. Thanks to the awesomeness that is Etsy, I can have my reminder right at hand (or, rather wrist) whenever needed.

Thermal French Press


French Press

I love coffee though I’m no connoisseur by any means. I just love a nice cup of black coffee, hold the frills. I have had a devoted single-cup coffee maker for a decade-and-a-half. Sure, there have been fancier products on the market, but it served me well. Until recently. When I knew the end was near, I started researching and asking around about a replacement. Soon enough I came across a French press. The reviews, along with the fact that no wasted filters (or K-cups) are required, I decided to give it a try. I settled on a stainless steel option, fearing I would break a glass one and not trusting piping hot water in a plastic carafe. So far, it has not disappointed. Sure, it takes a few minutes longer to brew (four minutes after the water is heated) than the automatic drip did, but the rich taste, bold flavor and lack of wasteful filters have won me over and make me feel like a kitchen barista.

Whole Foods Pretzel Bread

Okay, okay! I just couldn’t leave this one out. A few months ago a friend asked me a question that changed my life: have you tried Whole Foods pretzel bread? Maybe that was a bit dramatic, but let’s just say that ever since she asked that question, we have either had a loaf on the counter or in the freezer…or both. These fresh-baked bites of heaven have saved more than one meal for me, partly because I’m not the best meal planner and also because when the kids hear pretzel bread is on the menu, they stop moaning about the part of the meal they don’t like and instead give thanks for the mouth-watering deliciousness that will soon be broken, shared and devoured.

How fun was that list this week? I am so excited to share more great ideas from you all in the weeks to come! Thank you, Meagan, for generously sharing the happy today!

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of  It’s the 3 Little Things

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

Great Reads for Moms: March ’13 Edition

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

I hope everyone is off to a great reading start this year! If you are looking for more ways to squeeze in quality reading time, be sure to read this month’s article on how I made reading a priority in my own life again. I am off to another great start this year, although at a slower pace than I would like thanks to our busy schedule.

Be sure to connect with me on my  Author Profile on GoodReads and you will find my book is listed there too! I would be ecstatic if you became a fan of my writing and would love to see my book listed as something you might be reading in 2013. 

As always, if you are looking for a little inspiration this new year, be sure to check our MomAdvice fan page for a weekly check-in on what everyone is reading each week on our Facebook Fan Page. I hope you will swing by on Fridays and share about the books you are working on or request recommendations with one another. So far it is a huge success and I have gotten a few new ideas for my own stack!

Just as a reminder, I read many more books than are just featured here, but try to feature the ones that are my absolute best picks of the month here. If you want to read more, please feel free to friend me on GoodReads! You can find me right here and I am always happy to connect with people there too! There is nothing more motivating than seeing what other people are raving about and my to-be-read pile continues to grow with all of my new friends on there! In fact, many of the books featured are ones that I have found through my friends on GoodReads.

11/22/63 by Stephen King

It has been many years since I have read a Stephen King book, but I kept hearing that I should pick up this book from so many people (including my amazing friend Kristen from Dine & Dish) that I thought I would give this book a try. I have to say, that I believe already that this book will be among my top ten for 2013, simply because the concept of the book, the characters, and the beautiful weaving of history throughout it have stuck with me since I read it.

This is not horror fiction, but historical fiction offering up the hypothetical scenario that if you could change something in history, would you alter it and what would the consequences be if history was changed.

Jake Epping  teaches high school English in Lisbon Falls, Maine, and is recently divorced from his wife and going through the everyday minutiae of middle-aged life. When he happens upon an assignment from one of his students, a brain-damaged janitor’s story of a childhood Halloween massacre by their drunken father, it brings him to tears and he finds that he can’t stop thinking about what if his life had worked out differently.

When he has lunch at his favorite diner, the diner owner and friend, Al, shares that he has a secret portal to 1958 that he uses to time travel in the back pantry of his restaurant.  He has been taking notes and following Lee Harvey Oswald to see if he can alter the JFK assassination. His dying wish is that Jake can use his notes and actually complete the mission of killing Lee Oswald Harvey before he kills JFK.

Jake decides to fulfill Al’s dying wish and begins a new life in 1958 under the name of George Amberson. What Jake doesn’t expect is how quickly his life can become settled in this new era or how his life would change if he met his one true love?

I loved absolutely everything about this book and when I finished it, I wanted to read the story all over again. It has a beautiful love story, great suspense, and leads to the ultimate question, “Would you change history if you could?”

I can’t recommend this book enough- I would give it ten stars if I could!

MomAdvice Rating- 5 Stars out of 5 Stars


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus is a book that I have picked up from the library no less than half a dozen times, but never could seem to get around to reading it. I usually abandon popular fiction, but this book kept coming up in conversations with fellow readers and everyone kept encouraging me to read it. I am so glad that you did, I really did enjoy this fresh take on the circus and the magical elements within this book.

Unlike a traditional circus papered with announcements of dates and times of arrival, the night circus arrives without warning. Within the black-and-white striped canvas walls is a circus called Le Cirque des Rêves, that appears out of nowhere and is only open at night. What lies within these black-and-white walls is a circus like no other with room upon room of optical illusions, magical acts, and a behind-the-scenes competition between two young magicians.

Celia & Marco have been both been training as magicians for this competition since they were children, although they never knew who or what they would be up against. Both of them are skilled magicians, each with a specific skill set that they are strongest at, and they are to be pitted against each other in a battle to the death.

What neither  Celia or Marco expects is that they will fall in love. What could the outcome be when only one opponent can remain standing?

This book is imaginative in concept and in its writing. I found myself sucked into a world of vivid imagination and could not put the book down because I needed to know what the fate of Celia & Marco could be. The book has many, many characters, which definitely kept me on my toes, but each character offers a different element to the circus that helps mold this unique story line.

Thank you all for recommending this one! I loved it!

MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars

Schroder by Amity Gaige

Schroder is an absolutely riveting read that I finished in a record 24 hours due to the captivating story. The book shares the story of  Erik Schroder. When he was just a boy, he applied to attend a summer camp, where he makes up a fictional name of, “Eric Kennedy,” with a rich East coast background contrary to  his real first generation East German immigrant background. Once he adopts this fictional identity, he severs contact with his father and starts his life free of his German roots, and enjoys what he believes to be the American dream.

Years later, Erik and his wife are going through a divorce and his custody rights are basically taken away from him. In an impulsive decision, Erik finds himself on an urgent escape to Lake Champlain, Vermont with his daughter on a week long journey filled with bad decision after bad decision.  In an explanation to explain his behavior his story is then told to his ex-wife Laura from a correctional facility where Erik confesses why he adopted a different identity, how it felt to not have his daughter in his life, and what he did on those six days on the run with his daughter.

There are so many things I loved about this book. First, Erik is truly one of the most unlikable characters you will ever read, yet the author still manages to pull at your heartstrings and make you feel sorry for Erik and his circumstances.  The second, is hearing this story told form Erik’s point of view makes you wonder what the story would be if told from Laura’s point of view or his daughter’s point of view.

There are some loose strings with this one, like the fact that Erik was able to go his entire life without getting caught with his new identity or how he was able to pull this identity switch over on his wife. Despite the improbability of that though, I really thought the characters were well-developed and the story would lend itself well to a book club discussion!

MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Each year I make a goal to read a literary classic or two and I was excited to read Wuthering Heights for the first time this year. The Masterpiece Theater adaptation of the book and the classic movie of this book both are among my favorites ever watched, yet I had not read it.

If you are not familiar with the story, Wuthering Heights is a love story of dramatic proportions between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, an adopted child of their family. When Mr. Earnshaw passes away, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley. He ends up leaving Wuthering Heights, believing in his heart that although he loves Catherine, she does not love him back

When he returns years later, successful and wealthy, he exacts his revenge for all of the cruelty invoked on him as a boy and for the love he lost.

Dark, cruel, twisted plot lines, and an unrequited love story are what make this book so darn good. You find yourself loving and then hating Heathcliff.

I am so proud I tackled this classic and am looking forward to reading more great classics this year!

MomAdvice Rating- 5 Stars out of 5 Stars

Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall

Virginia plantation wife Iris Dunleavy is put on trial and convicted of madness amid the chaos of the Civil War. The problem is that Iris is not actually insane, but simply does not agree with the way her husband is managing the slaves that they have on their plantation.  She is sent away to Sanibel Asylum to be counseled and restored back into becoming an agreeable wife. Unlike others there though, Iris knows that she did nothing wrong and refuses to change when her husband is the real criminal.

There is a mix of unlikely characters at the Sanibel Asylum, all with varying senses of lunacy. When Iris begins playing checkers with Ambrose Weller, another patient at the asylum, a relationship quickly blossoms and an unlikely love story develops.

Determined to escape the asylum, Iris finds herself conflicted as she falls more and more in love with Ambrose Weller, a man who is dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder after serving in the Civil War. Will she stay to be with Ambrose or will they runaway together and what will be the consequence of taking Ambrose out of his therapy setting?

This is a great, quick read, that historical fiction fans will love for a quick escape!

MomAdvice Rating- 4 Stars out of 5 Stars


Not enough great reads for you? Check out our Books section of our site for monthly recommendations and ideas for making reading a priority again in your busy mom life!

Books I have read in 2013 (so far):

Disclosure: All of the links above are affiliate links and are provided so you can locate the books quickly and easily. Feel free to order a book, but we encourage utilizing the library system and buying me a latte instead.  Then we both would be really happy and we could have our own little book club together! Wouldn’t that just be so much more lovely? Happy Reading!


What has been in your book stack this winter? Feel free to share your book recommendations or feedback on any of the books that have been mentioned above! I love getting new suggestions for my book pile!


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