Released in 2020, On the Bright Side is Melanie Shankle’s latest book. If you’ve not read her books, I would encourage you to do so. Her writing is faith-based but not heavy (if that makes any sense). She weaves the truth of God’s Word in the telling of personal stories, and I would characterize her writing as humorous, encouraging and honest. She got her start blogging at The Big Mama blog, and to date, has authored seven New York Times bestselling books.
Although I haven’t read all of her books, the first one I did read was Nobody’s Cuter than You, and I LOVED it. But one of the things I love most about reading her books is that, to me, they are totally relatable. Because Melanie and I are roughly the same age, her ’70s and ’80s references bring back all kinds of memories and often make me laugh out loud. She’s also an Aggie, and because we had some overlap in our time at Texas A&M University, there’s some shared nostalgia there, as well.
Synopsis of On the Bright Side
Here’s a quick synopsis from the book:
These days, so many voices tell us what to do, what to think, and what kind of parent or friend or spouse to be that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and defeated. Somewhere in the midst of online arguments and crazy politics and the ups and downs of life, we’ve lost sight of the gifts that are all around us: kindness, love, mercy, and joy.
In On the Bright Side, Melanie Shankle reminds us of the unchanging principles we can count on in a changing world. These are lessons that Melanie has learned along the way about how to find all the joy that life has to offer–and why encouragement is never something to keep to ourselves.
Melanie invites us to lead with love in all areas of our lives, exploring topics such as:
- Finding your people
- Giving up on comparing and competing
- Aging (kind of) gracefully
- Believing in ever after
- Staying mostly sane while raising kids
- Thinking before speaking
- Making decisions
- And more!
This delightful memoir highlights the joys of life told in Melanie’s down to earth, relatable, and totally enjoyable style. On the Bright Side is a how-to guide to knowing–and living–what matters most.
My Review of On the Bright Side
So we can just start right there; it’s an easy 5-stars for me. Reading Melanie Shankle’s books are like listening to a best friend. Her personal storytelling is funny but also encouraging and uplifting. She shares her faith in the context of sharing her life with her readers.
This book is easy to read, and you find yourself experiencing a wide set of emotions along the way. I laughed in sections, cried in others, and often found myself thinking, “Yes, that’s exactly how I feel (or felt)!” Overall, though, you will be encouraged.
It’s all about looking at the bright side of life. And hopefully, we all can agree that although life (I’m looking at you, 2020!) has dealt some unfriendly blows, we always can find bright spots if we choose to look for them.
Here’s a quick link if you’d like to order a copy for yourself: Amazon.