It's been a while since we have done a round up of our Little Free Library book highlights! If you aren't familiar, we have a Little Free Library on property at the Inn shaped like a cute little strawberry. Our friends over at Hill Farm Design custom built it for us a few years back. We like to think it's grown to be a pretty iconic little spot on property that many guests look forward to when they stay with us! Who doesn't love to exchange and discover new books?!
One of our favorite aspects of this little library is that we can feature local authors. There are so many people in the Arizona community that are so talented and creative! It's special to learn about and meet local writers, hear about their respective journey in writing books, and read their awesome stories! We're so fortunate that many authors are willing to donate to the library so that our lucky guests can discover these reads as well.
One of our most frequent guests, Raeanna Wilczek (@bookedonlattes), is our go-to for all things book recommendations! She reviews books on her fun Instagram page that you absolutely have to check out and follow! You can frequently spot The Strawberry Inn in the backgrounds of her posts and Windmill Coffee drinks featured in the midst of her book reviews, too! She's got the scoop on the best reads for all types of interests... so we looked to her for recommendations on local authors, many of which she was able to connect us with. We consider her our Little Free Library "Ambassador!" It's so fun to go to her page for inspiration on the next book to add to your list. We love her!
Without further ado, let's get into what books you may be able to snag from the library right now!
We had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Danielle Wurth, author of the two books below! She is a professional organizer in the valley and offered to come take a look at our new office right after we moved. She's beyond sweet and you can tell how passionate she is about her career! Check out her books below:
Ignite The Organizer In You - Danielle Wurth:
"With Ignite the Organizer in You, you’re guided by a professional expert who will teach you a psychology-based approach to creating organizing solutions. You CAN move from a state of intense disorder and realize the long-term benefits of the organized lifestyle you’ve desired and deserve."
Ignite The Organizer In Your Child - Danielle Wurth:
"[This book] offers parents and their children an impactful guide to raising a self-sufficient, organized child in a chaotic, consumer driven world. You will discover what matters to them, when you uncover what motivates them to achieve it. Define their space and devise systems that foster efficiency and decision-making. You will stop and avoid senseless fights and frustration…all through epic organizing adventures that engage and motivate your children. This interactive approach addresses matters from your child’s heart, mind, and hands. Together you will confidently transform and redefine your relationship like you never thought possible."
We heard about author Karlie Burnham on trusty old Instagram of all places! One of our mutual friends raved about her recently released children's book and we had to reach out to her to see if she'd be interested in sharing her adorable book with our audience. I read it to my kids and they loved it too... check it out below! Thanks for sharing it with us, Karlie!
My Monster Eats My Vegetables - Karlie Burnham:
"Join Sterling and his monster buddy, Roger, and discover why eating from a colorful plate can be so good for your body! This picture book is colorful with fun illustrations and perfect for preschool to early elementary aged children, teaching them the importance of a healthy diet."
Kelli Donley and I met in a modern quilt guild - she is one of my favorite people, SO generous and kind, and an incredible author! She specializes in historical fiction in the Southwest, so her books are always super interesting and hard to put down!
Counting Coup - Kelli Donley:
"Happily consumed with her academic career, Professor Avery Wainwright never planned on becoming sole guardian of her octogenarian Aunt Birdie. Forced to move Birdie—and her failing memory—into her tiny apartment, Avery’s precariously balanced life loses its footing.
Unearthed in the chaos is a stack of sixty-year-old letters. Written in 1951, the letters tell of a year Avery’s grandmother, Alma Jean, spent teaching in the Indian school system, in the high desert town of Winslow, Arizona. The letters are addressed to Birdie, who was teaching at the Phoenix Indian School. The ghostly yet familiar voices in the letters tell of a dark time in her grandmother’s life, a time no one has ever spoken of.
Torn between caring for the old woman who cannot remember, and her very different memories of a grandmother no longer alive to explain, Avery searches for answers. But the scandal and loss she finds, the revelations about abuses, atrocities, and cover-ups at the Indian schools, threaten far more than she’s bargained for."
Zachary Cormier is a native of the greater Southwest, growing up surrounded by those desert lands - with open space, mesas, and rugged mountain terrain stretching out beyond the horizon. A wide open stage with space for big stories. Zachary is drawn to many kinds of literature, but has been especially influenced by the work of Cormac McCarthy, and in particular, his Border Trilogy. Zachary is also a music junkie, and is constantly inspired by musicians from all genres. He was so kind in donating multiple copies of his book shown here!
They Are Only Men - Zachary Cormier:
"Senior (Samuel) and his son Beau are sheriffs in a rural New Mexico county out in the middle of the sprawling desert lands. They Are Only Men first follows Senior as he sets out to see if there is anything to a report about a hitchhiker being snatched off into the dark out on the highway by something unseen. Senior's story is of his epic struggle to try to capture, transport, and cage the evil being he discovers out in that desert."
One of my best friends and frequent visitor of The Strawberry Inn, Diana Elizabeth, recently published her book about her experience with a broken engagement she experienced in her early 20's. She's such an incredible and talented person and we're so excited to share this inspiring book with all of you!
In Repair - A Guide to Healing From a Broken Relationship - Diana Elizabeth Steffen:
"A broken engagement is complex. You were at the ultimate high point of love—planning your dream wedding and future—and, suddenly, the dreams disappeared. It is unlike those people who had a marriage dissolve—who wore the dress, said the I do’s, cut the cake and lived a married life for a few years. They got to experience marriage. They got to have the wedding, the first home, the relationship (whether perfect or not), while an engaged person dreamt of it, romanticized it, and set their future on that picture-perfect life. When that expectation of a perfect future suddenly dissolves, picking up the pieces turns into a nightmare.
I understand you. Let’s talk about it, and let’s talk about how you will pick yourself right back up, piece by piece, and push forward, little by little. You will, and I will help you. And so will God, whether you know Him right now, or not."
Brett Humphrey was an author that our ambassador, Raeanna recommended to us! He writes fantasy and adventure books for kids that adults also enjoy. His hope is that parents want to read his books to their kids, but also let their own imaginations run as they read. For more info on his books, check out his website HERE.
Awakening - Brett Humphrey:
"Alister Drake despises bullies. Determined to stick up for the weak, the soon-to-be thirteen-year-old is happy to make use of his massive overnight growth spurt. But he’s shocked to discover he has a lot more on the line when he learns he’s from a dimension of dragon shifters.
Thrilled to find his two friends are also animal-powered aliens, Alister and company head to an isolated spot with their mysterious teacher to experiment with their powers. But their crash course in dimensional defense ends when they’re thrown into battle with enemy forces intent on their extinction. Can Alister and his pals protect what’s left of their kind from annihilation?"
We connected with author and speaker, Stephanie Pletka, through friend Amy Carney! We're so glad we learned of Stephanie because she's doing such important work helping moms find identity and purpose amongst their hectic lives! We can't wait for the lucky recipient of her book because it is filled with so much goodness. Also, what a perfect gift for Mother's Day right around the corner!
Living Your Best Life - Stephanie Pletka:
"What If Who You Are Is Who You Were Meant To Be? As moms, we’re always someone’s someone, giving, loving, and nurturing. Stripped from all the labels, who are we, just being a girl in this world? Self-doubt reminds us that we aren’t enough, that someone else could do a better job raising our kids, or that we should be further along in life. Somewhere along the way, we feel stuck, lose our identity and purpose, comparing ourselves to others, as a measuring stick to success. We hustle for our worth, in the form of an over achiever, a fixer, an entertainer, a perfectionist or people pleaser, allowing fear to clip our wings, to make us feel small. Overwhelmed, exhausted and behind the eight ball at every turn, we live life to the busy instead of to the full. It's time to take our power back, to walk in our true identity, minus the expectations of others. It's time to walk in our passion and purpose, to find our tribe and write our story. This book examines twelve struggles we deal with and the steps needed to create breathing room, establish boundaries and live the life we've always dreamed. Here's to Living Your Best Life."
We had the chance to meet author Melissa Galt last year at the Cloth & Flame Lavender Farm Dinner! We're so thankful she has donated her book to our little library, I'm sure someone has snatched it up by now!
Celebrate Your Life - The Art of Celebrating Every Day - Melissa Galt
"It is truly about making each day a celebration. This little book, by renowned interior designer and life coach Melissa Galt, gives you 101 ideas on how you can create special occasions just about any time. Melissa shows you how to transform ordinary into extraordinary and celebrate this incredible life you are living."
Well, folks! That's it for now! If you are interested in learning about the books we have covered in the past, check out our 2020 round up blog here.
We always love to see guests enjoying our little library, so if you take part in it during your stay, tag us in your photos on social!
-Amber & Carson