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My Favorite Books (Part 1)

I am all about books, books, and more books. I have shared what I’m reading often on the ‘Gram and FB and so many of you have liked them so I thought I’d share one of my favorite authors here and to highlight three of her books.

Melanie Shankle, author of The Big Mama Blog, is a child of the 70s, a teen of the 80s, a college student of the 90s and has been married for 21 years and has one daughter, Caroline, age 14. She is a true Texan all the way. She has written three New York Timers bestsellers, Sparkly Green Earrings, The Antelope in the Living Room, and Nobody’s Cuter Than You.

She is my kinda girl since I grew up in the same time period as her. Her writing style gives you some giggles with her talk from the 80s, her recitation of song lyrics, her mention of 80s fashion, etc. is a hoot! This gal is funny! Her books are autobiographical and humorous and you always come away feeling like you’ve been friends for years.

The first book, Sparkly Green Earrings, is about motherhood. Here’s

a little something from the book, “It’s not like anything you imagine when you’re eight years old and playing with your baby dolls and dreaming of the day you will have five children and them them Candy, Andy, Randy, Sandy, and Mandy. Or was it just me? …Why did I think it was a good idea to have children with rhyming names? More important, why did I think I’d ever survive five children? …Motherhood will break your heart and make you laugh harder than you ever imagined. You find yourself alternatively feeling like your friends talked you into some sort of pyramid scheme so you could share in their misery and thinking this is the most fulfilling thing you’ve ever done in your life.” She holds nothing back when it comes to all things motherhood. She will have you cracking up in the first chapter. After writing this little gem, she realized there were so many stories to family so this led to the next one. And it was so fun being on this journey with her.

The second book, The Antelope in the Living Room, is about marriage. Melanie will share the idea of the title (which I don’t want to give away). She says, “…the whole think is a beautiful illustration of our marriage. Perry pays attention to detail. He likes things to be correct. He will measure something down to one-eighth of one-eighth of an inch. Meanwhile, my life philosophy is basically, ‘Eh, close enough’ as I nail holes in the wall, all devil-may-care. He believes in rolling the tube of toothpaste from the bottom up to get every last drop of Colgate, like he’s some kind of fluoride addict, while I like to squeeze right from the middle of the tube.” Can any of you relate? Now we don’t feel we’re the only ones who experience this with our spouse. She shares how God orchestrated their whole relationship, differences and all.

The third book, Nobody’s Cuter Than You, is about friendship.This is actually the first book I have read of hers. I didn’t know about her blog. I just happen to be cruising down the aisle at the Christian book store and came across it. So, I had to buy it with the other four books in my hand. Don’t judge. Book collector, not hoarder, right? Ok, moving on.

This book is what made me fall in love with her and what made me feel like we could be friends. This book gives a laugh-out-loud look at the special bond that exists friends and the celebration of all the amazing people God brings into our life at exactly the right moments. Melanie says, “A few months ago, my daughter, Caroline, curled up next to me on the couch after a day of school that had left her tired and frustrated. She began to tell me about some of the girl drama going on in the fifth grade and that she just wasn’t sure who she could trust and who her real friends were. We talked through it, and I wiped her tears as she let our a big sigh, saying, ‘I just haven’t met my Gulley yet.’ And it made me want to cry because one of the things I want most for Caroline to know is the beauty of female friendship and what it adds to our lives. We need those people who will listen to our toes and hold our hands as we got through heartbreak and joy and try to figure out all that life throws our way.”

Melanie shares about this 25-year-old friendship with Gulley as well as the friendships she had in her childhood, her teens, and all the way through college. This made me long for those true friendships and I hope maybe her story helped me be a better friend in then process.

You can see how these books got to me. I may or may not have cried with each of them. But man, she had me laughing out loud in the middle of my living room with my family looking at me all strange. These books are that good. That sweetness to the soul we all need. Pick one up. It doesn’t matter where you start. I have them here. If you want to borrow one, let me know.

If you’d like to pick up your own copy, you can get them from our friends at Amazon here:

Nobody’s Cuter Than You: A Memoir About the Beauty of Friendship

The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One

Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn

Check out Melanie Shankle’s blog here:

Be sure to comment below to let me and the rest of our friends here know how you like them. Enjoy!

Hugging you so tight,

Tammy