On my reading shelf: possible gift ideas for readers.

club master eyeglasses on pile of three books
Photo by @sincerelymedia on Unsplash

How many of you expected to be so busy without leaving your homes? Such is the life of any stay-at-home-wife/mother. Even without going anywhere but the store, we tend to have full day timers/planners. Falling into bed at the end of the day with something great to read is such a treat… especially if you can keep your eyes open long enough to read it!

A few things occupying my nightstand of ebook space are;

The Jane Austen Diet: Austen’s Secrets to Food, Health, and Incandescent Happiness (ebook) written by Bryan Kozlowski. I bought this book because, Jennifer L. Scott recommended it on one of her videos. I have been watching her on Youtube lately. I started reading it on the Amazon site (the Lookinside) feature and decided to buy it. I love Bryan’s wit and writing voice. He is someone I would invite over for a cuppa and Jane movie marathon or just to sit and talk about her work. If you love, Jane, and you love food I recommend this book. I think it would also make a great gift as long as you presented it to the receiver as a lark and an addition to their, ‘Jane’ collection. There is quite a lot about body acceptance written in these pages, wisdom gleaned from Jane’s books. I think any fan of Austen’s work would like this book.

Image from the Amazon site

If you follow my blog you already know that I am reading, The Holy Angels by Mother Alexandra (in printed format). My sister and I have formed a book club with just the two of us. This is an amazing book. It is meat and potatoes stuff. Whether of not you are a Christian, if you have wanted to know more about angels, this is the book you need to buy. It too would make a great gift. Here is a descriptive excerpt from Amazon’s website:

First published in 1981 and long out of print, The Holy Angels has yet to be surpassed as a comprehensive and comprehensible account of the nature of the angels and their role in our salvation. In layperson’s terms, Mother Alexandra presents the essence of everything the Church has to teach us about the angels, beginning with the Old Testament, continuing through the New Testament, and concluding with the Tradition of the Church as expressed in her theology, hymnography, and iconography. For those who long to become better acquainted with these holy servants of God and to understand their role in our lives, this book is a great place to start.

Amazon.com

Also on my shelf is:

The winter Pascha by Father Thomas Hopco who I think is this generation’s C.S. Lewis (don’t hate me). Also in print form.

When the winter begins to make way into the Northern World, the Church of Christ begins to celebrate ‘a splendid three-day Pascha.’ Thus Father Thomas Hopko begins the first of forty meditations for the season of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, ending with the feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple on the fortieth day after Christ’s birth. In the style of his popular book for the paschal fasting season, The Lenten Spring, the author again draws on the biblical readings and liturgical hymns and verses of the season to illumine the way for believers to follow the Church’s days of preparation and celebration for the Coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in human flesh. Many references are made to the writings of the saints and Church Fathers, as well as to contemporary Christian teachers and spiritual guides. All those who love the Lord’s Coming will find comfort and strength, as well as enlightenment and instruction, for having passed through the Winter Pascha with this book as their companion.

Image and quote taken from Amazon.com

Yes, I am having a hard time keeping up with my reading. I have other studies I am plowing through as well as other books I re-visit from time to time to try to keep up. The book I am keeping close and reading the most is The Holy Angels book. As I said my sister and I are discussing it and I do not wish to fall behind.

This brief list does not include books I have accumulated to read ‘one day’. Which include: The Catholic Vote for Trump even though the election is over I want to finish this book. The author has some very good insights on what is going on in our nation. Catholic or not, religious or not you can’t live in America and not know there is something very wrong with our nation right now. Something which began long before, Trump took office. Also on my list of ‘to-read’ are; Triggered by Donald Trump, Jr. (e-library book), some of the Madame Chic books by, Jennifer L. Scott (all ebooks), Everyday Wonders; Stories of God’s Providence, by V. Rev. Michael J. Oleksa. If you like Alaska this is a must read even if you are not a Christian. I find Fr. Oleksa to come across as very tender hearted with a great love for the people he serves. He has written several books about his life serving the people’s of Alaska and the history of Orthodoxy in Alaska.

Here is an interview he did.

Also in my Kindle are the books written by, Constantina Palmer:

Every monastery exudes the scent of holiness, but women’s monasteries have their own special flavor. Join Constantina Palmer as she makes frequent pilgrimages to a women’s monastery in Greece and absorbs the nuns’ particular approach to their spiritual life. If you’re a woman who’s read of Mount Athos and longed to partake of its grace-filled atmosphere, this book is for you. Men who wish to understand how women’s spirituality differs from their own will find it a fascinating read as well.

Image and quote from the Amazon.com website.

From the author of “The Scent of Holiness,” The Sweetness of Grace is a collection of stories derived from conversations with Orthodox nuns, monks, and laypeople, along with experiences of Orthodox life in South Korea, Greece, and North America. Those who enjoyed Everyday Saints will enjoy these similar stories from other parts of the Orthodox world. The book includes conversations with monastics, priests and laypeople and stories of the sweet and difficult aspects of Christian life. The stories span three continents, including experiences in South Korea, Greece, and North America.

Image and quote from the Amazon.com website.

This is a partial list. Of course I am not reading every book at the same time. I like to rotate my reading. Orthodox books tend to be, ‘chewy’. Meaning, very meat and potatoes. You don’t skim an Orthodox book, you ‘chew’ on it for a while as you ‘mentally digest’ it.

Any of these Orthodox books would be a great choice for a Christian book club, a gift for a friend who loves to read, or to grace your nightstand/e-reader device.

What are YOU reading these days? Let me know in comments.


Giveaway time

The Holy Angels - Ancient Faith Store

As I mentioned HERE, my sister and I are reading, The Holy Angels by Mother Alexandra. I am halfway through chapter four and I must say, this book is amazing. It is impactful and I believe it would be enjoyed by anyone who read it no matter their religious affiliation. Therefore, I am giving one away to one of my readers.

Here is how you can win.

  1. Go to my Instagram account @melissabishopco
  2. Follow me.
  3. like the post with this book’s cover
  4. be available if you win, I need to be able to contact you to obtain your address where to mail the book. Winner will be picked Friday the 27th. I will order and mail the book from Amazon. I will not be touching it although we are not ill. I want to do my part to keep this giveaway as safe as possible.
  5. If you do not have an Instagram account, leave a comment here saying you would like read about The holy angels and your name will be entered into the contest.

Good luck!

p.s. open to US residents only.


Pray for peace

Theotokos of the Sign: the Explanation of the Icon - The Catalog of Good  Deeds

Prayer for Peace
Almighty God and Creator, You are the Father of all people on the earth. Guide, I pray, all the nations and their leaders in the ways of justice and peace. Protect us from the evils of injustice, prejudice, exploitation, conflict and war. Help us to put away mistrust, bitterness and hatred. Teach us to cease the storing and using of implements of war. Lead us to find peace, respect and freedom. Unite us in the making and sharing of tools of peace against ignorance, poverty, disease and oppression. Grant that we may grow in harmony and friendship as brothers and sisters created in Your image, to Your honor and praise. Amen.

Can we try and pray this every night if we are not already doing so? Especially during the Nativity Fast, let us unite in prayer for our nation.

Later today, I will be recording a book review and posting it on my Youtube channel. I am working on growing my channel. Small beginnings, prayerfully hoping it will flourish into something more.

The Holy Angels: Mother Alexandra

In my review (well, actually PRE-review as I have not yet read it) I will tell you about an angelic encounter I had a few years back.

The Litanies to the Holy Angels

Do you believe in angels? Have you had an angelic encounter?