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July 2018 Book Reviews

10 Aug

It’s finally time for some book reviews! I have decided that I’m just going to share a few of the books I’ve read in the past three odd months (my last review post was April’s) If you want to see everything I’ve read since then, go check out my Goodreads page!

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Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson – Ann Silver, cop, passes off a case to Luke Falcon, FBI. She’s relieved to have it off her desk, as she’s also the Midwest Homicide Investigator. He’s just been handed vital information that ties to a case he’s been working for years. But soon their lives will collide, getting far more personal than either had anticipated.

~ Whooeeee. I’d read this book years before but didn’t remember much of it. I appreciated how different of a lead female character Anne was – her end goal wasn’t marriage and kids and the white picket fence. This book has so many layers to it that I was sucked in very quickly and stayed that way. It is an intense story, as you follow along on a John Doe case. Perhaps a bit too quick of a wrap-up at the end for me, but thankfully, it didn’t ruin the whole thing. (you know what I’m talking about). 

 

Taken by Dee Henderson – Shannon’s escape was planned to the last detail, as is her plan to capture the ones who kidnapped her -the Jacoby family. Her choosing Matthew Dane, private investigator, as the one who helps her gain her freedom, wasn’t an accident. But the task of finding all the evidence, and what happened to the ransom that was paid all those years ago, is going to be harder than she thought.

~you might be noticing a theme here…. I was really on a Henderson kick! I do recommend that you read Full Disclosure before Taken though. You don’t have to, but you get background on several of the supporting characters in Taken that is helpful. I started Taken, but kept wondering why I felt like I should already know some of the characters..so I got Full Disclosure from the library! That aside, I did enjoy this book. It is intense and a bit slow moving but it’s theme was different than I’d read before – taking place AFTER the kidnapping. I liked the faith of Shannon and her coming to terms with the events of her life. The romance was a little odd but it grew on me. 

 

How To Be a Friend To a Friend Who’s Sick by Letty Cottin Pogrebin – Everybody knows someone who is suffering. But how to act is often so confusing and stressful. Pogrebin shares, partly from her own experiences, what to do, what not to do and that sometimes, just being present is all that is needed.

~THANK YOU Letty, for writing such a great book on this subject. I admit that while I was excited to read this, I was a bit nervous as to what her take would be on this. But I learned so much from it, as someone who’s Sick and just as a friend of someone who’s Sick. I recommend this for sure, although, if my memory serves (I read it back in May), there were a few sections in her personal story that were a little off-color to me. (? I’m not sure how to word that properly…)

 

California Passage Series by Elaine Schulte – Follow the adventures of the Talbot family in the 1800’s as they travel to California via the different routes – covered wagon, around the Horn, through Panama.

~I have grown up reading this series of four books. I believe they were my great-aunt’s at one time. The journeys they go through are interesting to read about, especially in this modern age of convenient travel. This is definitely a christian romance series – faith is a strong theme throughout each of them. A fun historical romance read.

 

Wildwood (Wildwood Chronicles #1) by Colin Meloy  – When twelve- year old Prue’s baby brother is kidnapped by crows, she’ll stop at nothing to rescue him. Even entering the Impassable Wilderness.

~I picked this up at a used bookstore because one of my friends’ loves it – but I was still hesitant about whether I would like it. It took me a few months to finally pick it up but I’m glad I did! Her statement of “It’s weird, but I love it” is a perfect review for it. It is a middle-grade fantasy series

 

Uncommon Heroes Series by Dee Henderson – you can find my review here and here. I probably hadn’t read them since 2014, so it was fun to fall in love with this series again. Highly recommend.

 

The Finding of Jasper Holt by Grace Livingston Hill – Jean Grayson and Jasper Holt’s lives were intertwined the night of the train crash. She knows that her heart will never belong to anyone else. He knows that her family will forbid them to be together, so he makes her a promise that he will prove his virtue to all who keep them apart.

~I received this book from my aunt (along with a few other Hill books) and absolutely loved it. I read it in two days- and that’s because I made myself put it down and accomplish life things. Like eating. And sleeping. It was a sweet, heartfelt western romance with great imagery and life lessons. Does that sound cheesy? It wasn’t.  I never was sure what year it was set in but I quickly decided to quit trying to figure it out and just enjoy it. Lovely book. Highly recommend.

 

Currently Reading:

Dear Theo by Vincent Van Gogh

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Gifts of the Spirit by Fruits of the Zion

 

To Read:

Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (new author for me!)

The Shadowfell Trilogy by Juliet Marrillier

 

~Laura

May Recap and June Goals 2018

1 Jun

I feel like I did pretty good on my goals this month considering how many days I spent stuck on the couch.  I do have several goals for this coming month,  but as a few of them are super easy/quick I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get most of them done!

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           (Abby’s first adventure to the beach! More pictures are on Instagram!)

Recap of Monthly Goals:

Watch/Read a documentary/biography : I watched some of Gordon Buchanan’s Elephant Family and Me

Try a new recipe: I am still cooking a lot from  Against All Grain cookbooks. I did make these Stuffed Sweet Potatoes .

Write one letter a month

Read theology/marriage/bible study book: I’ve started reading Gifts of the Spirit put out by First Fruits of Zion.

Edit ‘Amelia’ : I finally picked up a tri-fold cardboard thing and have started putting together a plot board. I can tell already that it’s going to make such a difference.

Eat healthier/lose weight : I haven’t lost any weight, while being decently strict on eating…mostly

Post Regularly

Psalm 103:8

May’s Goals:

Go through/declutter stuff in attic – every week I want to…

Crochet appliques for my aunt-  I’m having some difficulties with this project

Finishing touches on crochet Camper

Character changes/development

Finish reading/reviewing Nick’s book – I’m getting so close to the end, it’s so good!

Visit Collett end of month 

1 thing that I didn’t think I could do: I really, truly did drive to and from Eugene this past weekend! I also sanded my Adirondack chair last week

~~~

June Goals:

Go through/declutter stuff in attic

Crochet appliques for my aunt

Finish reading/reviewing Nick’s book

Transfer plant to Copper pot

Finish Adirondack Chair

Fix/Finish rag rug

Donate box of stuff

Plan Mike’s Graduation parties

 

~Laura

 

What are your goals for June?

Writing Prompts: Character Development (Harrison)

23 May

It’s been ages since I did one of these but I’m having to partially re-work one of my side characters. The time period is late 1890’s, set in the East Coast where Society is still rigid (more lax than it would have been in Europe but stricter than out West).

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Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

Harrison James – American – Name means ‘Power’ – 19 years old at the beginning of the book – single child – brown hair, brown eyes, 5 foot 9 inches (taller than Amelia, shorter than Ian), trim

Standing in Society – In one of the Prominent families

Type of Childhood- pampered – High Society (raised by nannies?)

First Memory – a nanny getting fired for refusing him something?

Religion – in name/title only

Finances – wealthy and set to inherit the estate

Bad Habits – gambler, drinks, smokes

Hobbies – card playing/gambling, betting on horse races (does he start racing horses too?)

How does he spend a rainy/sunny day? –  at parties, club or the races

PERSONALITY:

Greatest Source of Strength – ????

Greatest Source of Weakness – gambling

Soft Spot – Amelia

Is this soft spot obvious to others? Maybe before he realizes it himself

If not, how does he try to hide it? – Tries to treat her the same as everyone else (but how does it ACTUALLY come off? is he harsher with her or is he simply not able to?)

Biggest Vulnerability – ??

ATTITUDE

Most at Ease when – he’s the center of attention/when he’s working hard at the paper

Ill at Ease when – he’s idle – in Society and after

Priorities – MONEY

Philosophy – ?

If Granted one wish, what would it be? – ?

INTERRELATION WITH OTHERS

How does he relate to others? – on his terms – there are a few that he doesn’t act as arrogant around but not many

How is he perceived by the Heroine? –  Originally she is infatuated with him. She sees only the good. Time goes on and their relationship changes and she starts to see him in a professional light – someone to give her a chance.

How does he view heroine? – Until 1/2 way through the book (?) he sees her as a young girl with impossible dreams. But realizes she’s grown up – wants to help her gain independence/backbone – and snub Society. Is drawn to her.

First Impression and Why? – Depends on his mood – could be very good/charming or could be terrible. he decides in an instant if he likes you or not and bases it off that

What do family/friends like most about him? – He’s entertaining – when in the right mood. He can charm an entire crowd when he wants to

What do family/friends like least about him?- he’s cocky. Arrogant.

GOALS

Immediate Goals – none. Are you kidding? Life’s about having FUN

Long range goals – once tragedy strikes (in whatever form that happens..) to create his own fortune by growing a newspaper empire

How does he plan to accomplish this? – growing a struggling paper and then buy out others as he can

How will other characters be affected? – Amelia will be helped. Georgia will be helped/hurt in the 2nd book. What about his parents?

 

There are 2 more pages of questions but that’s it for now! You’ll notice there are several question marks still – and I didn’t even write all of the blank questions down, just the ones that I feel really need answered.

I recently heard advice for developing a character – take who you want them to be at the end of the story and flip it – that’s who the character is in the beginning. I am trying to follow that with Harrison. But let me tell you, it’s going to be a long road to get him where he should be.

~Laura

~Also, these are the ladies that I’m loving following for all things writing related lately – lara ferrari and Amara Luciano .

 

 

 

April Book Review 2018

4 May

As promised, April’s book reviews! I got a little excited while at the library one day and came home with a STACK of books of all different genres. It’s been fun bouncing around such different styles of writing these past few months. I have decided though, that I’ve got to stay away from the library for a few months at least to tackle my TBR list of books that I already own!

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Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

Biblically Kosher: A Messianic Jewish Perspective on Kashrut by Aaron Eby – Learn why God calls meat and dairy to be separated, hidden additives that contaminate food and practical ways to eat kosher.

~This was an easy-to-read book on eating kosher. I learned so much from it and it brought up many discussions between my OH and I about the topic. Definitely worth the read if you’re at all curious about the topic!

My Foolish Heart  (Deep Haven #4) by Susan May Warren – Unknown to her town, Isadora Presley is the voice behind Miss Foolish Heart, the talk show host guiding callers through finding  true love. When it seems that she’s falling in love with a caller, her ratings soar. What she doesn’t know is the the caller lives right next door, in the form of Caleb Knight. He has come to Deep Haven to start over after paying a steep price in Iraq. All he wants is to land the high school football coaching job and then he’ll reveal his disability. But he doesn’t count on moving in next door to a beautiful young woman. Desperate, he calls in to Miss Foolish Heart for advice.

~ As I have come to expect from Warren, this was a unique story line with endearing characters. It did take me a little bit to get fully into it though, as I felt there was so much longing for the past that it put me off. After a while, that eased and I just fell in love with Caleb, Issy and supporting characters.

The Shadow of Your Smile (Deep Haven #5) by Susan May Warren –  Noelle and Eli’s marriage is on the verge of divorce when an accident wipes Noelle’s memory of their life together. Not their life together, including their children and the tragedy that tore them apart. As she slowly finds her footing in this strange life that she’s built for herself, will their secrets tear them apart again or give them a second chance?

~Ahh, this one. What a heart-breaker. I’m learning that I have a hard time reading novels where the characters are struggling in their marriage. Aside from that, it was interesting how Warren wove the family’s restoration together after so much tragedy and ill-spoken words.

The Cozy Life : Rediscover the Joy of Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge by Pia Edberg – Learn how to slow down and enjoy each moment in every aspect of your life in this small treasure trove of inspiration and practical advice.

~This was a nice, easy read about Hygge – disconnecting from the fast-paced society (logging off social media, stepping off the rat race) and creating a life that we can enjoy and feel safe and content in. There’s even a 30 day challenge to Hygge.

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard – Adam Dunne’s life is perfect. Until his girlfriend doesn’t return from Barcelona. Until he receives her passport and a note “I’m Sorry – S”. He starts searching for her and ends up connecting her to a cruise ship called the Celebrate. And finds that another woman disappeared from the ship a year ago in eerily similar circumstances. To find out what happened, he has to make difficult decisions, do impossible things – like outsmart a predator on what seems like the perfect hunting grounds.

~You. Guys. Thrillers aren’t normally my thing. Well, if I do read them, they are Christian, aka ‘toned down’. But I’ve been following Howard online for years (hopefully that didn’t make me sound like a stalker…) I got this from the library and couldn’t. Put. It. Down. I read it in less than three days – all 368 pages of it. There was some cussing in it so beware if you decide to read it. The plot was incredible though. I was pretty much blindsided by the ending. Brilliant. I am still thinking about it, weeks later. If you enjoy a good thriller that will wake you up at night because the Killer just might be lurking in your bedroom, pick this one up.

As You Wish: Inconceivable tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes – A first-person account of the making of the Cult Classic, this book is delightful. Elwes’ recounting of the whole process – from auditioning for the part of Wesley, to the 25th Reunion – will bring laughs, tears and add another level of enjoyment to watching Princess Bride

~Delightful. Absolutely Delightful. I am so glad I finally read this! If you’re a fan of Princess Bride, you have got to get your hands on a copy of this.

 

Currently Reading:

You Don’t Know Me by Susan May Warren

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

How to be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick by Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Taken by Dee Henderson

Gifts of the Spirit by First Fruits of Zion

 

To Read:

Dear Theo: the Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh by Irving Stone

A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck

Whispers of the Moor series by Sarah Ladd

Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll

March Book Review – 2018

1 May

I know, you’re probably thinking, “Laura, you mean April’s book reviews, don’t you?”

No. No, I don’t. I read so many good books the past two months, I decided not to smoosh them into one long post. So later this week, a post will be up of what I read in April! With these two posts, I am hoping to jump back into blogging – at least once a week – regularly again. I have missed it and really want to keep up with it. Sometimes, these breaks are necessary, even if they are unplanned!

Also, remember, while covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.

Let’s get to the books!

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Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

The BFG by Roald Dahl – When Sophie is carried off by a giant in the middle of the night, she isn’t sure what will become of her. She’s pretty sure she’ll be eaten by morning. And she would have been, if any of the other giants had snatched her – ones like The Bonecruncher or The Fleshlumpeater. But The BFG is not like them, he is kind and jumbly. So when she finds out what the other giants are doing, she comes up with a plan to stop them.

~ After thoroughly enjoying the movie, I knew I had to read this. I hadn’t read any of Roald Dahl before and had no clue how closely the movie had followed the book. When I found a copy at a second-hand bookstore, I snatched it up and read it right away. What a delight! It, of course, was different than the movie, but I simply loved it. The BFG himself is simply delightful and snozzcumbers are just as disgusting. I highly recommend this book!

 

Rose Daughter by Robin Mckinley- When Beauty joins the Beast in the castle, he tells her that the heart of the place is dying. And it’s true. So Beauty sets out to heal it, sure that that is the only reason that she’s there. Because growing roses is the only thing she’s good at. And the glasshouse is full of dying bushes – all prickly stems and brown leaves.

~I decided to pick this up again as I haven’t read it in years. Yes, Mckinley wrote two versions of Beauty and the Beast. The other one is Beauty , this one is a bit more…. fantasty (? I think that would be the word for it). It is still very enjoyable and fun to see how she takes a different route with the story. I enjoy how she has the animals come back to the castle lands – and the background story of the Beast! If you enjoy re-tellings of Beauty and the Beast, you must read this one.

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas – A twenty-year battle to abolish slavery was the focus of Wilberforce’s life. But he did much more besides that, to better the lives of his fellow men. He is one of the few men of which it can truly be said ‘ he changed the world’. Victory came for him in 1833, just days before his death.

~I really intended to review this separately because it was just THAT GOOD. If you don’t know who Wilberforce is, or just want to know more about him, read this! I enjoyed it so much and was constantly telling my OH and mom (and basically anyone else who would listen) tidbits from the book. The history of how he and his friends fought slavery for so long is interesting and motivating and heartbreaking all at the same time. 

Vigilante’s Bride by Yvonne Harris – Finally on his way home again, Luke Sullivan doesn’t expect to rob a stagecoach. Much less kidnap a woman passenger. But he’s really rescuing her from having to marry his enemy. Emily McCarthy doesn’t see it as a rescue, though, as she is tossed over a stranger’s shoulder in the dead of night.

~This story had fun, unexpected twists throughout it, keeping me turning pages! I always enjoy a good western novel, but I was pleased with how Harris kept you guessing. My only disappointment was that the ending felt rushed and was slightly less satisfying because of that. I still recommend it though, it didn’t ruin the story at all for me.

Finished the O’Malley Series by Dee Henderson

Finished the Shadowfell Series by Juliet Marillier – upcoming separate review!

 

Have you read any of these? What have you been reading lately? I’d love to hear from you! 

 

 

March/April Recap and May Goals 2018

27 Apr

What with disappearing for the past month-ish, I didn’t do goals for April. But I want to get back on track with these, so let’s get started!

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Recap of Monthly Goals:

Watch/Read a documentary/biography : I read Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas (review next week!). I’ve also been thinking about watching some of Gordon Buchanan’s shows again. Like this one

Try a new recipe: I have been trying a lot of new ones lately. I just haven’t been keeping track. Mostly they’ve been from Against All Grain cookbooks though.

Write one letter a month – I wrote one just the other day!

Read theology/marriage/bible study book: I have finally finished Biblically Kosher: A Messianic Jewish Perspective on Kashrut by Aaron Eby.

Edit ‘Amelia’ : I’ve finished filling out index cards for each scene and am prepping for re-writing scenes and writing new ones

Eat healthier/lose weight : I have gone back and forth on this. I am strict on my eating habits and then get fed up (or just really want pasta) and get off track for a while.

Post Regularly: well, we know this didn’t happen! Ha.

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March’s Goals:

Finish Index Cards/Move onto next step :  well, I’ve sort of moved on to the next step…

Finish Crocheting Vespa for Mom   

Finish Dusting Blinds

Finish 30 Day Declutter Challenge  still working on this….

Workout 2 days a week

1 thing that I didn’t think I could do: I washed and covered my VW Bug! Finally!

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May Goals:

Go through/declutter stuff in attic

Crochet appliques for my aunt

Finishing touches on crochet Camper

Character changes/development

Finish reading/reviewing Nick’s book

Visit Collett end of month

 

~Laura

What are your goals for this coming month? 

 

My Month in Photos – March 2018

31 Mar

While titling this post, I noticed that I didn’t do one of these last month! Ah well, I suppose every few months is okay. Oy vay to my memory.

Anyway,  while it was a pain-filled, frustrating month in so many ways, there were still many happy moments. Happy days. Enjoy.

 

  1. One of Abby’s best buds came over for a play date. 2) Feeling GOOD on a run to Joann’s 3) YUMMY protein bites    4) YES, this is happening. My OH is graduating with his bachelor’s in June!  5) Abby and her ball   6) A look at what several days this month have consisted of – video games, night guard (for necessary naps) and chocolate shakes.
  1. Just one of the times we got stuck in traffic on our way to Bend.  2 and 3) the beauty of the drive.  4) Abby and little Cocoa being sooo cute at my parent’s house 5) the ONLY photo I took while in Bend, that wasn’t of my dog.  6) Abby’s cuteness on the way home.
  1. Finally washing (and then covering) my ’68 Bug!! 2)Abby’s sadness that her and Cocoa were separated.  3) The beginnings of a yummy Detox Salad 4) PAIN people. Pain. 5) The stash I brought home from my Doctor’s appointment.  6) The weirdness I came out to the other day. . . .

 

1 and 2) Two of the crocheted stuffed animals I made. 3) I finally made it through filling out an index card for each scene in my book! 4) What my desk typically looks like while editing. 5) THIS QUOTE IS ME.

 

There should be a book review post up for you next week! For more frequent sightings of Abby and what I’m crocheting, follow me on Instagram (and of course, I can’t get the link because somethings going wrong…. but if you type in my blog name, you’ll find me!)

~Laura

February Recap and March Goals 2018

9 Mar

 

February was a pretty good month for me and I did so much more than I normally am able to. This doesn’t mean that I busted out all of my goals (if only!) but I am still quite happy with everything I accomplished.

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Recap of Monthly Goals:

Watch/Read a documentary/biography : I’m still reading Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the amazing campaign to end slavery by Eric Metaxas.

Try a new recipe: Once again I made a few recipes from the Eating Clean cookbook (Tomato Soup, veggie burgers and the Everything but the Gluten cookies. I also just made the mock mayo yesterday). I also made Lemon Coconut Bars ( pretty yummy even though they weren’t what I was expecting) and Chicken Spinach Meatballs (didn’t add the parmesan cheese of course).

Write one letter a month

Read theology/marriage/bible study book: I have started Biblically Kosher: A Messianic Jewish Perspective on Kashrut by Aaron Eby

Edit ‘Amelia’ : I have almost finished filling out index cards for each scene

Eat healthier/lose weight : I have been able to clean up my eating even more

Post Regularly – In keeping with one post a week, I have been able to.

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February’s Goals:

Couch and box springs to the dump – NOPE. Augh

Clean Oven –  I did scrub the door and a quick wipe down on the rest. So I’m counting it

Finish dusting house – I did dust a few of the blinds!

Workout 2 days a week – I did good the first few weeks of the month! Took Abby on a walk almost every other day.

Finish crochet Camper – nope. Other projects that have/had deadlines took precedence

Index Cards for ‘Amelia’  – I’m only a few chapters from being done!!

At least 1 Thing I didn’t Think I could Do: I worked in the yard for quite a while. Baked 2 pies in one morning.

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my book. in a nutshell.

And now, for March’s goals:

Finish Index Cards/Move onto next step

Finish Crocheting Vespa for mom

Finish Dusting Blinds

Finish 30 Day Declutter Challenge

Workout 2 days a week

How was your month?

~Laura

 

Jan/Feb 2018 Book Review

1 Mar

              “A Book is a Dream that you Hold in your Hand.” ~ Neil Gaiman

This is a double feature today! I didn’t share my reads from last month so I’m throwing them in with this month’s reads. There are some really great books from classics to fantasy. I enjoy reading such different genres, especially since I have started reading them from a writer’s perspective. Like the book that I just finished yesterday, the author wrote one character in the 3rd point of view while the other main character was in the first person. I liked how you knew right away which person you were reading about right away. My writer’s brain is trying to decide just how hard it would be to implement that…. Anyway, on to the book reviews!

 

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Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

 

Adrenal Fatigue by Dr. Wilson  – Crave salt or sweets? Unreasonably tired? Need coffee to keep you going? Having a hard time keeping up with daily life? With an easy to follow style, Dr. Wilson guides you through figuring out if you have adrenal fatigue, and then tells you just how to start feeling better.

~ I took notes as I read through what foods to eat/avoid, supplements to take and the best herbs to include. I learned so much from this book. I had several ah-ha moments , finding sense in so many health struggles that have confused me for years. I would highly recommend this to anyone with unexplained health struggles. And remember, whether you have adrenal fatigue or not – be your own advocate. You know your body better than anyone.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by AVI – It’s not often that a young girl, when crossing the ocean to join her family, ends up joining the crew and being accused of murder. But Charlotte Doyle did. Her fantastic tale is one that must be read, unless of course, you don’t like strong ideas or action.

~I heard about this book through carrottoppapershop  and I requested it from the library that same day. I was so intrigued by it and it was well worth it. The story was fun and engaging and with some very unexpected twists. I was so pleased with how it ended that I read the last few pages twice and then had to tell my OH all about it. It is a children’s classic so all ages can read and enjoy it. 

 

Truth Be Told by Carol Cox – Great Western Investment Company is eager for Amelia Wagner to retract her late father’s statements about their business dealings. But as Amelia takes over the running of the newspaper and picks up the investigation into Great Western, she thinks her father was right. But she doesn’t know the danger that she’s getting into. Nor does Ben, the man that is keeping tabs on her. But soon they’ll both have to decide just how important this is – and try to reveal the truth before Great Western stops them.

-I got this book partly because it bears similarities to the novel that I’m writing and I wanted to know just how close they are. But! Relief, they aren’t that similar. (WHEW!) This novel was so fun, so easy to read that I flew through it. I will definitely read it again.

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A Little Princess by Frances Hodson Burnett – When Sara Crewe is taken to her first boarding school in England, it is far from the life she knew with her father in India. But as she is an exceptionally bright and imaginative child, she makes friends – and enemies – quickly. But when news comes that her father has died, leaving her destitute, she is devastated. The matron, Miss Minchin, forces her to work as a scullery maid. But Sara dreams that her fortunes will change again, and they do, in a very unexpected way.

– I enjoyed this story so much and it’s going on the ‘I can’t believe I’d never read it’ list. I liked the moral lessons in it and just fell in love with Becky. ( I have a thing for side characters). As a children’s classic, this is a great book for a younger – and older -audience. Another great story by Burnett is Little Lord Fauntleroy

 

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier (book #1) and The Caller (book #2) – A separate review will be up when I read the third book! It’s waiting on my shelf and I can’t wait to start it! This series has been so good – and so engrossing.

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A Yellow Journalist by Miriam Michelson – The newspaper world was a male-dominated field in the early 1900’s but a young and pretty female reporter enters into it with courage. She does whatever it takes to get the story – be it climbing a high ledge or acting as a blushing bride – and proves that she’s the best.

– This story was unlike any I’d read. It was highly amusing and I laughed out loud often. I did have a hard time keeping track of all the characters but that didn’t ruin it for me. As it was printed in 1905, and was about that era, it was perfect as research material for me for my own novel. Double win.

 

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – click the link to read all about this wonderful series!

 

Currently Reading:

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery

Biblically Kosher: A Messianic Jewish Perspective on Kashrut  by Aaron Eby

The Vigilante’s Bride by Yvonne Harris

 

To-read :

Raven Claw by Juliet Marillier (book #3 of Shadowfell)

Dear Theo by Vincent Van Gogh

Whispers on the Moors series by Sarah E. Ladd

 

~Laura

What are you currently reading? Do any of these sound good to you?

 

 

Series Review – Chronicles of Narnia

9 Feb

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Originally published between 1950 and 1956, this children’s classic series has become the author’s best-known work. It has sold over 100 million copies in 47 languages (thanks wikipedia for these fun facts). This was only my second time reading them – although as a home-schooler, I feel like I should have grown up reading them. Ha. But! I’m so glad I’ve been introduced to them now as an adult.

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There are seven in all, and while there is some disagreement on how they should be read – chronologically or the order in which Lewis wrote them, I’m not sure it matters too much. I think it comes down to personal preference. But, let me give you an overview of this series.

Each book chronicles adventures in the land of Narnia. Aslan’s country. Each time that the country faces real threat, children from our world are called to help. It takes courage and faith for these children to succeed at their tasks. They meet many friends, and many foes, along their journeys. From The Magician’s Nephew, we see the creation of Narnia and follow its entire history until it’s destruction in The Last Battle.

I love the little lessons that are learned along the way in each adventure – and the worlds they come upon. In reading reviews, a common feeling is that The Last Battle (#7) is the strangest of them all and in some ways I have to agree but I did still enjoy it. They all are a few hundred pages each so they are pretty quick reads. (I mainly read them while taking detox baths!)

I highly recommend these books, for any age. The lessons within are great for when reading aloud to kids, or even as reminders for adults.  If you haven’t read this series, I suggest you give it a try.

~Laura

*fun fact, the series we have is the set that my hubby grew up reading.*

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