Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sparkly Green Earrings ... A Charming Memoir from Melanie Shankle (a.k.a. "Big Mama")

Sparkly Green Earrings
by Melanie Shankle
Christian / Non-Fiction / Memoir
Available February 2013
Tyndale House
240 pages

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About the Book
“There is really no better indicator you’re a mother than acquiring the ability to catch throw-up in a plastic bag, disinfect your hands, and immediately ask your friend to pass the beef jerky as you put on another Taylor Swift song and act as if nothing has happened.”

This is the type of insight Melanie Shankle offers in this quirky memoir of motherhood.

Written in the familiar, stream-of-consciousness style of her blog, Big Mama, Sparkly Green Earrings is a heartwarming and hilarious look at motherhood from someone who is still trying to figure it all out. Filled with personal stories—from the decision to become a mother to the heartbreak of miscarriage and ultimately, to the joy of raising a baby and living to tell about it—Sparkly Green Earrings will make you feel like you’re sitting across the table from your best friend. A must-read for anyone who’s ever had a child or even thought about it.

My Thoughts
I'm not a mother, and I don't know if or when I ever will be. However, Sparkly Green Earrings still resonated with me. Yes, it's a book about "motherhood," but it's so much more than that. It's really about relationships and friendships and trusting God when we don't know why things happen like they do. It's about growing up and growing out of our selfish tendencies so that we become more like Christ each and every day.

Melanie has a special gift for writing about her personal life experiences in a way that still strikes a chord with readers. I found my eyes misting over as she talked about her miscarriage, and then mere paragraphs later (not even the next chapter!) I was guffawing loudly enough for Hubs to roll over and ask what was wrong. (I have GOT to stop reading in bed after my husband has already fallen asleep!!!)

This is an incredibly charming book, one I am happy to recommend! [5 stars]

About the Author
Melanie Shankle was in fourth grade when her teacher asked her to read a story she had written to the entire class. Even though that story now seems a little silly and simplistic, it made the students in Mrs. Rice's homeroom laugh out loud, and a little dream began in Melanie's heart—a dream to use words to make people laugh.

Over the ensuing years, Melanie wrote when she had a chance and tucked things away in notebooks and journals, rarely showing any of it to anyone. But in July 2005, on a total whim and in desperate need of a creative outlet, she began writing a blog called Big Mama. No one was more shocked than Melanie when someone other than her dad and her college roommate began to read it.

Since that time Melanie has seen her blog readership grow beyond her wildest dreams and open the doors to writing and speaking opportunities she never could have imagined. It's proof that God wasn't playing around when he inspired Paul to write Ephesians 3:20. It is "immeasurably more" than she could have asked or imagined.

In addition to her blog, Melanie writes a quarterly column for the popular online magazine Praise and Coffee, is a regular contributor to the Pioneer Woman's blog, and serves as co-administrator and writer for LifeWay Women's AllAccess blog. She also serves as emcee for LifeWay's annual DotMom event and participates in Compassion International's blogger initiative.

A graduate of Texas A&M University and a former pharmaceutical rep, Melanie loves writing, shopping at Target, looking to see what's on sale at Anthropologie, and encouraging other moms in a humorous, yet relatable way at TheBigMamaBlog.com.

Most of all, she loves being the mother of Caroline and the wife of her husband, Perry. The three of them live in San Antonio, Texas, with their two elderly dogs. She also believes she owes a debt of gratitude to Mrs. Rice for making her read that story out loud all those years ago.

Melanie Shankle Online

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