Most of the time, I talk about food. It suits me, I like food. But every now and then, I need to take a little break and focus on something other than food for a bit. Although, after reading “Church of the Small Things”, I think Melanie Shankle would be in agreement of keeping up with the food talk.
I’m not sure when I first heard about Melanie Shankle, but I do remember seeing the adorable cover for her book “Sparkly Green Earrings” years ago, picking it up, and at the time realizing it was written for moms, and promptly put it back down. I didn’t have a kid yet, so thought it didn’t relate. That was a mistake, because when I happened to run across it in the audio books of my library again years later and gave it a chance, I was dying. I immediately went on to “There’s an Antelope in My Living Room” and Nobody’s Cuter than You” instantly. Listening to her Southern accent for the first two books, solidified my love for my fellow Southerner.
Then, as you all know I have an obsession with podcasts, and at some point, Melanie was a guest on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. She was hilarious, and I instantly wanted to listen to all the episodes of The Big Boo Cast podcast she does with Sophie Hudson. They are notorious for cracking on each other about how long they’ve completed the podcast without having yet reached 100 episodes, have an intense love for college football, share all the latest fashion, and they both only have one kiddo, so I can certainly relate.
So when the opportunity came up a few months ago to be on Melanie’s launch team, which included getting an advanced reading copy (how fancy), I knew I wanted to sign up. I couldn’t wait to read this new book, which I knew would be full of her signature humor, insightful reflections, all in her down to earth style that makes you want to be her friend immediately. Being a fellow introvert, I felt like I could relate in so many ways.
The book is written in a series of short-stories, memoir style, which makes it a super easy-breezy fun read that you could easily finish in a weekend. Bring it along for your fall travel plans, curl up on the couch with a blanket with the weather finally cooling off, or pass along as a wonderful Christmas gift idea.
Melanie has such a great sense of humor, I find myself laughing out loud constantly, and her perspective on life for this book, realizing that you don’t always have to be the biggest, brightest, most famous person in the world, much less in the carpool line, is so refreshing. She puts into perspective all of the little things that we encounter each day, the frustrations, the joys, the people we meet along the way, which all make up this glorious, beautiful, and very messy life!
One of my favorite quote from the book comes from a part where she is realizing how much she has relied on her own power to do all of the things:
“I try so hard to be graceful and compassionate and kind and wise and discerning and loving, but I’m putting myself in charge of the production of all those attributes. And then my selfishness and pride and insecurity all rise to the top instead, and I freak out because I know how lacking I am in basically every category, and then I just want to sit on my couch in my pajamas and watch old episodes of Friday Night Lights because it feels safe… but what continues to happen is Life. Beautiful, fragile, heartbreaking, mind-blowing life. God has a script written for each and every one of us, no matter who we are or what we’ve done or how ill-equipped for the adventure we feel.”
I definitely encourage you to go seek this book out. It’s available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and there are pre-order’s available now, and some great pre-order bonuses available through her website if you order before October 3rd. At the very least, check out her amazing podcast and you can follow her blog where she posts frequently (with a Fashion Friday included) at The Big Mama Blog.
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