Big City Tales (a link up for the Blogger Book Swap)

This link up was really difficult for me. First of all, I can be am the most frustrating, indecisive person on the planet and it drives Husband crazy. Trying to decide what book(s) to share today was impossible. I cannot choose just one, so I chose four!


Since it is the first weekend of May, I’ll begin with a tribute to Kentucky, my home state. The Kentucky Oaks was Friday, May 2 and The Derby was yesterday (Saturday, May 4) at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Congratulations to Orb, the winner.ย For the record: if I ever own a horse running in The Kentucky Derby, his name will be SPANK THAT BASS. Don’t nobody steal that name, it’s mine. Get your own. One of my favorite horse racing stories is Seabiscuit. I love the movie, it makes me cry and cheer and scream, even though I know the ending is happy. Heck, I cry like a baby every year when My Old Kentucky Home is sung at The Derby. Speaking of The Derby, you can’t have the world’s most famous horse race without a Mint Julep, and you can’t have a Mint Julep without Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. If you’ve ever wondered about the history and traditions behind liquid amber gold, this is a great book!


Okay, I admit Texas is growing on me. I’ve lived here since 2003 and I’ve been fortunate enough to live near the Gulf Coast in Beaumont (but it royally stinks and I hated the mosquitoes), the Piney Woods of East Texas, and Husband and I are finally settled south of Fort Worth. Not long after moving here, a friend suggested Same Kind of Different As Me. I don’t want to give too much away, but it is an EXCELLENT book.

Another city I love is Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I’ve been there twice for international mission outreach for post-earthquake reconstruction projects. On January 12, 2010, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti and crippled an already suffering, impoverished nation. In Unshaken, Dan Woolley describes the hell experienced when he watched the walls crumble around him in the lobby of Hotel Montana for nearly 72 hours. His story of survival is fascinating and inspiring, while the reality of suffering and death all around him is heartbreaking.

On a personal note, I have met two survivors mentioned in Unshaken: Rev. James (Jim) Gulley, an agriculture consultant and Eric, a Haitian employed by the Methodist Guest House as a driver and interpreter. Minutes before the earthquake struck, Eric dropped off Jim for an UMCOR delegation meeting at the Hotel Montana with Sam Dixon and Clint Rabb, UMVIM and UMCOR leaders who both perished in the earthquake. To read more about Jim and the work he is doing in Haiti, click here.

What city (cities) do you love? Are there books inspired by them?

If you are participating in the Blogger Book Swap, make sure you are communicating with your swap partner and getting to know more about them (i.e. their likes, dislikes, preferences in book genres, etc.) so you’ll know what to send for the swap. Next week’s link up is hosted by Yours Truly and all about your favorite (or not-so-favorite) book cover designs.

Happy Sunday. =)


By |2013-05-05T00:05:18+00:00May 5th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

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  1. Celeste Zachry May 5, 2013 at 5:10 am - Reply

    I think I’d like to read Unshaken. I’ll have to wait til summer, though – really the only time I have to enjoy reading. I’m pretty much a mad woman right now. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • Nicole May 5, 2013 at 9:05 am - Reply

      Mama Zee, if I can find my copy, I’ll bring it to you to read this summer. If I cannot find it, that means it’s in Kentucky and I’ll have to get it this summer while I’m there. I gave my Mom + grandmother two huge boxes full of books to take back with them last year. Neenie reads almost all day, every day and Mom sits with an elderly lady at night so she has some extra time to read as well. I’ll check my book closet — seriously, I need shelves because my book supply runneth over — and let you know!

  2. Martie @ Spunkyrella May 5, 2013 at 10:59 am - Reply

    What an awesome story! So good to get to know you a little better despite the link-up. I must admit I have no idea about horse races and when you force me to draw a horse it will most likely look like a cow or a dog – yeah I am that talented ๐Ÿ™‚

    Iยดve never been to Kentucky or Haiti though. Great picks as usual! ๐Ÿ™‚

    – Martie

    • Nicole May 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm - Reply

      oh Marie, I cannot draw a straight line WITH a ruler!!!! If you are looking for an inspirational story that will give you that warm-and-fuzzy feeling, check out Unshaken. It’s fantastic!

  3. Julie May 6, 2013 at 8:17 am - Reply

    I am with you on Seabiscuit…..cry every stinkin time. Honestly, Same Kind of Diferent as Me is not one I would normally be drawn to but my parents recommended it and once I started I just couldn’t put it down…powerful read! Big Hugs!!!! xoxo

    • Nicole May 6, 2013 at 9:55 am - Reply

      I’m glad you liked Same Kind of Different. It’s one of those books — like The Shack — that once I started reading, I could not put it down. =)

  4. I didn’t know that you did mission work in Haiti?! That’s amazing and must have been a beautiful, yet eye-opening experience. I love learning more about bloggers through these link-ups. Martie backpacked through India. <–that's a total adventure!
    I also adore your Kentucky Derby horse's name. I've never actually been to a horse race…only greyhound dog races. However, if your "future" horse made it, I would totally put some money down ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Nicole May 9, 2013 at 6:57 am - Reply

      Yes, I’ve been to Haiti twice for mission work and will definitely return for more trips in the future. It’s a country that’s near and dear to my heart, ever since I first stepped off the plane in Port-au-Prince. HA! If I ever own a Derby horse, everybody in the world is invited to that party to celebrate. But I do like the name I have picked out for the colt. hehehe =)

      Happy Thursday …… ohmygoodnessgracious, tomorrow’s Friday and that’s awesomeness. Big hugs, Friend.

  5. Jen @ The Well Read Fish May 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    “Unshaken” has now been added to my “to read” list. For sure!

    • Nicole May 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm - Reply

      That’s great new, Jen! It’s an incredible story of a determined man who survived a horrible natural disaster. I hope you enjoy it and will share it with others. =)

  6. Regina May 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Great range. I will say I probably won’t EVER pick up the whiskey book after traveling to your beautiful state to visit friends and getting carsick along the way to tour the whiskey place (can’t recall the name, beautiful site though) and not having one sip of whiskey. Loved, loved, LOVED Seabiscuit the movie though (was jumping on the coach toward the end) will have to add it to my GoodReads list.

    • Nicole May 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm - Reply

      Hopefully you were in Bardstown, Kentucky — the bourbon capital of THE WORLD — but I’m sorry you weren’t feeling well. I’m not a bourbon drinker either, except for Mint Juleps and Bourbon Slush (think of it as an adult snowcone …. only with bourbon, iced tea, lemonade, and grenadine). Hugs to you! =)

  7. Bri May 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    I have heard that “Same Kind of Different as Me” is a good read! I think I will have to pick that one up.

    • Nicole May 11, 2013 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      Bri, it is EXCELLENT and one I’d recommend to anyone! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. =)

  8. Roger May 16, 2013 at 12:37 am - Reply

    Yes. I have read about Dan’s story.

    • Nicole May 16, 2013 at 7:27 am - Reply

      Hi Roger, thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. I hope you enjoyed Dan’s story as much as I did. Of course, now that I have been to Haiti several times and met survivors, it personalizes the story even more. Blessings to you!

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