This Week’s Reads: The Sweetness of Water – Total Health Turnaround – The Lord of the Rings #AmReading #Books #Reads

Hey, everyone! I hope you’re all doing well this week. First, I have to apologize for being somewhat absent recently; I’ve tried to keep up with posts, but it’s been difficult for me. I’ve been dealing with some health problems, which has led me back into the doctor’s realm again—where I don’t want to be. Since my daughter was sick, and the stress of dealing with that on top of some other things (I believe) has activated something in my system and I’m in a bit of a setback now. Something really neat happened though: I went to the wrong doctor. Have you ever gone to the wrong doctor because there were other doctors with the same last name and Google misled you? I did, and at first it seemed like a huge nuisance. I was supposed to be visiting a cardiologist in a new group and instead I went to his cousin’s office, who’s a family doctor but highly active in functional medicine. It must be a sign because it’s exactly where I needed to be. I’ve always had an interest in functional medicine, and this doctor tends to treat with a more natural approach. We talked for a time, and he didn’t even charge me for the visit. What’s happened to me is an imbalance of stress hormones (including a thyroid imbalance no surprise), and I’m hopeful I can get it under control quickly. My plan is to go back and sit down with him for a comprehensive visit. So, there’s something good that happened for me this week. 😀

In the reading world, I’ve finally finished The Princess Bride over the weekend. I’ve been thinking about it considerably, and I’m finally ready to write up a review. We watched the movie again so I could compare the two with both fresh in my mind. There was so much that I forgot about, even with this being a reread. It turned out to be a good experience overall.

We also finished The Black Stallion, and then we watched the movie with Mickey Rooney, and I cried. Gosh it was good. Watch for that review coming up for Shabby Sunday.



My new fiction book pick for this week is The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris.

I picked up this copy from the library. The time period interests me, and it comes highly recommended from a couple GR friends. Historical fiction is a genre I planned to read more of this year. Maybe there’s a few more to squeeze in before the year’s up.

Blurb:

In the spirit of The Known World and The Underground Railroad, a profound debut about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever. 

In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry—freed by the Emancipation Proclamation—seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son to the war, hire the brothers to work their farm, hoping through an unexpected friendship to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys.

Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. In the aftermath of so much turmoil, it is Isabelle who emerges as an unlikely leader, proffering a healing vision for the land and for the newly free citizens of Old Ox.

With candor and sympathy, debut novelist Nathan Harris creates an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction. Equal parts beauty and terror, as gripping as it is moving, The Sweetness of Water is an epic whose grandeur locates humanity and love amid the most harrowing circumstances.


I’m also reading a book I just learned about while watching Dr. Mark Hyman on YouTube. I like to listen to his podcasts sometimes, and ironically, he had a doctor on a podcast discussing stress hormones, which is something I’m dealing with right now. I went ahead and picked up her book Total Health Turnaround. I’m not even that far in and everything Dr. Tricia Pingel is saying makes sense to me. I don’t really need to lose weight, but I do need to get my hormones back in line. Stress is the one thing I haven’t conquered on my health journey. I’m hoping that this book and my accidental trip to a functional health doctor is going to lead me in the right direction.


The gem of the week for the kids is this The Lord of the Rings set we picked up used on Amazon. I had some serious giddying excitement when these came in the mail yesterday. Are these covers gorgeous, or what? They’re illustrated by John Jude Palencar.

They aren’t in perfect condition, but they’re good reading copies for the kids to read.


After much back and forth on what edition to get, this is the edition I chose for our collection. The illustrated edition is the one we almost purchased, but because it’s such a huge tome, we decided to get the trilogy split up into a set. It’s not illustrated, but that’s okay. I’ve already read the trilogy and The Hobbit, but I’m super excited to have this edition to read again with the kids. We’re starting The Fellowship of the Ring this week. Reading these back to back might be a challenge with school starting next week, but I’m hopeful we can stay the course and finish them up in about a month or so.

So, that’s it for me this week. It’s crazy how horrible my reading was in July, but I’m hopeful to get back on track for August. Finishing the Retelling Reading Challenge is on my radar, especially with some of the largest titles waiting for me, like Daughter of the Forest. That book is around 550 pages or so. I feel very strongly about completing my reading goals in 2021 though.

What are you guys reading this week? Have anything fun planned? Have you been able to keep up with your reading goals? Let’s chat!

❤️ Mischenko

26 thoughts on “This Week’s Reads: The Sweetness of Water – Total Health Turnaround – The Lord of the Rings #AmReading #Books #Reads

    1. I’m with you, Jo. I told him it was like a sign that he was the one I was meant to see. Truly, I was in need of a primary doctor anyway. Although I try to stay away from doctors at all costs. 😉 Thank you ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Seems like it might have been destiny for you to wind up in that doc’s office – sounds like it was a productive (and free!) visit. Hope the next one goes well. I’ve never read The Princess Bride, but I adore the movie. I’m also embarrassed to admit I tried reading LOTR, but never made it past the description of a hobbit’s house – but I also love those movies. Maybe I should look into the illustrated set, lol. I bet your kids will enjoy them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think so too, Teri. There aren’t very many functional docs in my area at all. It’s something I’ve always had an interest in because my endocrinologist doesn’t seem to have a handle on my thyroid levels at all. Maybe this is the answer.

      If you love the movie, you may want to just leave it at that. There’s extras in the book which continue on after with Buttercup and Westley, and also more added information about Inigo and Fezzick. I’ll write up some of the differences in my review. It’s just one of those books where some people are going to love the movie more because of its ‘fairy tale’ appeal.

      I hope you try LOTR again. We love the movies too. 😀 Have a good week, Teri.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cathy. Everything happens for a reason, right? I truly feel like this might be a huge blessing. 😀
      Have you tried the books? I can totally see people who don’t really like fantasy not having an interest. My oldest son never liked the books, but he enjoyed the movies. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally feel you on the stress hormone front. As I understand it, women go through many hormonal issues in their mid 40s and up, as they become premenopausal. Add stress to that mix and it’s a disaster. I hope things go more smoothly for you and you can enjoy what is left of the summer.

    Great find with the Lord of the Rings series! I only have The Hobbit and will need to get the others soon. Enjoy! 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, and I’m 43, so I guess some of it is to be expected. Hopefully it doesn’t get much worse though. 😆

      I’ll hopefully review them when we finish. Happy reading this week! Take care 💜

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. 😀 Unfortunately, these editions don’t have illustrations. I noticed a trilogy that Target had online which was supposed to have the same illustrations as the huge tome edition (by Alan Lee) but split into the three parts. It’s like $73.99, and I couldn’t confirm that it was illustrated at all. This edition we picked up was just a little over $25 shipped. I found some super expensive editions on Amazon—some leather bound. I just can’t see spending over $100 on them! Maybe to collect it would be cool.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Actually, I don’t even think I mentioned it because someone else was confused by it thinking that these had illustrations inside. I wish they did, because I love the artist’s work. There really isn’t much information about the editions we purchased online either. If only Goodreads were more organized with their editions. 🙄

          I noticed one leather edition set, but they were almost pocket sized, and I’m not a fan of small books like that because smaller books = smaller print. 😆

          Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s cool that the doctor mix up worked to your advantage (and kind of funny that they are cousins). It sounds like you are in the right mindset to let the healing begin ❤️. I’m sending lots of positive healing vibes your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It worked out well it seems. I was in need of a primary doctor anyway, and what better doctor to have than one that functions as an MD but also fictional medicinal when needed. Definitely hopeful! Thanks so much, friend. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you feel better soon. I’m also not feeling good since yesterday. I have fever and cough. I hope it’s not COVID, just throt infection. Will go for test tomorrow if fever continues.

    I want to get LOTR books. I read library books but want to get my own copies. I hope kids enjoy illustrated version.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, I’m so sorry you’re not feeling well, Yesha. I hope your fever is better soon. ❤️ I feel like having a copy of The Lord of the Rings is worth having on the shelf. Take care, friend. Let me know how you’re doing. Will keep you in my thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my gosh. Your accidental trip to the wrong doctor sounds so meant to be. I love those things!
    I’m so glad to read it actually worked out for the better for you.
    And the health book sounds very interesting too. I might look into that, as well.

    I hope this new path will help you to feel better soon 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

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