Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Bibliophiles

A little while back I was offered the opportunity to review a book by Karen Berner entitled Until My Soul Gets it Right. Since this was the second book in a series (well, soon to be series) the author (she’s such a wonderful person and fantastic writer) sent me the first book (A Whisper to a Scream) as well. Since I am OCD about doing things in order, I read the first book first.

At first I was disappointed that I had made that decision because I just knew that there was no possible way that the second book would be anywhere near as good as the first one.

I was wrong. And now, I’m so caught up in the characters that I was brassy enough to email Karen and insist that she get that third book written IMMEDIATELY. Thankfully, she is such a nice person, she took my demand request as a compliment. Whew.  

The characters are members of a book club and Karen introduces us to two members in the first book and another member in the second book. No one got one single thing for me from 2 ½ days because I could not get my nose out of the books.

The characters are interesting, far from shallow. There are emotions that run deep and the thoughts that run through their minds are quite familiar. And the humor? The humor was intelligent and, when it showed up, I was laughing out loud- no lie.

Nothing I can tell you would do these books justice. But, I have to say, I will be waiting for the third book and the ones following. And I’ll try not to pester email Karen anymore about getting them written. I mean, three times is probably more than enough. Right?
Karen has graciously written a guest post for us today- I think it’s quite appropriate for a lot of us.

Running to Stand Still
By Karen Wojcik Berner

The other day, I was listening to U2’s masterpiece, “The Joshua Tree,” which I hadn’t heard in quite some time. Lately, most of the music in the house has belonged to my sons, but now with one off for his freshman year at college and the other back in junior high, I can once again reclaim the soundtrack of my days.
The song “Running to Stand Still” came on, and I paused to listen, struck by that simple, yet powerful phrase.

Running to stand still.

How many of us are guilty of that? Of going and going and going in hopes of someday being able to finally relax and breathe a bit?

There is always so much to do, an overwhelming list of grocery shopping, working, holidays/parties, exercising, laundry, paying the bills, cleaning, or running incessant errands. I don’t know about you, but I am tired.

This list is compounded by the Internet. In these plugged-in days with email, texting, instant messages, Twitter, Facebook and the rest, the willpower to ignore that little gnat-like, nagging voice urging us to check online just one more time is incredibly important.

An article in the July 16th Newsweek warns that being online too much might actually be creating biological changes in our brains. And not for the better. The article states that “The current incarnation of the Internet—portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive—may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic.”

Running to stand still.

I’m trying to incorporate a small part of stillness into my life every day in my quest to achieve a better 
balance. Being a writer/editor, I live on deadlines and the adrenaline rush that accompanies them, so this is not an easy task.

Whether it is taking the time to meditate (or in my case, attempting to meditate), having a cup of tea (THAT I can do!), or lighting a lavender candle and enjoying its scent, make some time to just be. Listen to the wind rustle through the trees. Lie down under a tree and look up at the sky through its ethereal leaves. Watch rain or snowflakes trickle down from the sky.

These actions can free us from feeling like we are hamsters stuck on Habitrail wheels, our minds frantically figuring out what is next on the great “To Do” list of life.

What steps have you taken to incorporate stillness into your life?

Source: Dokoupil, Tony. “Is the Onslaught Making Us Crazy?” Newsweek 16 July 2012: 24-30.

HEY, HEY, HEY! Now guess what? Y’all get to enter for a chance to win a copy of the second book- Until My Soul Gets it Right!  And all you have to do is tell me in the comment section that you want in!

This is not a series to miss.

For more information about the author, Karen Wojcik Berner--
The Bibliophiles: Contemporary fiction with a sprinkling of the classics
Website: www.karenberner.com
Blog: http://karenwojcikberner.blogspot.com


  1. Thanks for the review; both books seem interesting and caught my attention; count me in too! Thanks for the guest post too; very insightful to take the time to just be still; I know I need to take heed of that excellent advice!


  2. It really surprises me that you wouldn't read these books out of order. ;-) But I totally get that!!

    Count me in. (please)

  3. I'm in, baby.

    That Running to Stand Still phrase really got to me. So true!

  4. You got me with your description, count me in as well.

  5. Patrice- You're in! LOL

    betty- You're in too! I need to take heed of it too. But I don't. :)

    Judy- Really? LOL You're in!

    Betty- Awesome! It got to me too...now all I have to do is implement it. Right. :)

    living- Great! You're in!

  6. Haven't heard of this series before but it sounds right up my alley!

    Thanks for the chance to will book #2. And I'm OCD too, so I'll have to read #1 first too!

  7. Running to stand still- so sad, but so true.

  8. Running to stand still. OH how I miss U2!!
    And please count me in for the book!

  9. Great post! The book sounds terrific!

  10. Vicki- You won't be sorry! They're quite good!

    Michele- Isn't it though?

    Deb- Will do!

    Plum- Do you want in for the drawing?

  11. My daughter left home for 1 1/2 years... I love to read... I need the humor... Count me in!

  12. quint- I hate it when they do that! You're in!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It makes me feel connected to everyone even though we may live far apart! Have a wonderful day!

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