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Nancy's Notes - November 3, 2016

“You Will Not Have My Hate” by Antoine Leiris, “The Magnolia Story” by Chip and Joanna Gaines, “Twelve Days of Christmas” by Debbie Macomber.

We have a couple on new biographies which may peak your interest. The first is, “You Will Not Have My Hate”. On November 13, 2015, Antoine Leiris’s wife, Hélène Muyal-Leiris, was killed by terrorists while attending a rock concert at the Bataclan Theater in Paris. It was the deadliest attack on France since World War II. Three days later, Leiris wrote an open letter addressed directly to his wife’s killers, which he posted on Facebook. He refused to be cowed or to let his seventeen-month-old son’s life be defined by Hélène’s murder. He refused to let the killers have their way: “For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom.” Instantly the Facebook post caught fire, and was reported on by newspapers and television stations all over the world. In his determination to honor the memory of his wife, he became an international hero to everyone searching desperately for a way to deal with the horror of the Paris attacks. This is a memoir of how he and his baby son, Melvil, endured in the days and weeks after Hélène’s murder. With absolute emotional courage and openness, he somehow finds a way to answer that impossible question: how can I go on?
        All of the HGTV fans are familiar with Chip and Joanna Gaines of   “Fixer Upper” fame. Their life is now revealed in, “The Magnolia Story”. The book offers their fans a detailed look at their life together. It takes readers from the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything. They share their childhood memories that shaped them as well as the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today. They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Chip was an entrepreneur who ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Their claim to fame came after four children and countless renovations, when Joanna garnered the attention of a television producer who noticed her work on a blog.
        My last title is a light, Christmas story by one of our favorites, Debbie Macomber. Her latest is, “Twelve Days of Christmas”. Extrovert Julia Padden likes nearly everyone, with the exception of her neighbor, Cain Maddox. No matter how hard she’s tried to be nice, Cain rudely rebuffs her, preferring to keep to himself. She decides she’s going to break through Cain’s Scrooge-like exterior by killing him with kindness. To track her progress, Julia starts a blog called The Twelve Days of Christmas. Her first attempts to humanize Cain are far from successful. Julia brings him homemade Christmas treats and the grinch won’t even accept them. Meanwhile, Julie’s blog becomes an online sensation, as an astonishing number of people start following her adventures. Julia continues to find ways to express kindness and, little by little, chips away at Cain’s gruff façade to reveal the caring man underneath.
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