Tag Archives: amish books

Dec 2017 Book Reviews

5 Jan

It’s a blustery day here in Oregon, leaving the landscape looking slightly barren and depressing. There’s no snow, no sign of a cold, beautiful winter. Just windy, cloudy and rainy. But, that’s why there are such wonderful things as books to get lost in. I cannot believe I read 70 books in 2017 . I’ve decided to set this year’s reading goal to 60 books. I have always been an avid reader but I’m hoping to tone down my amount of reading just a smidgen and increase my amount of writing a lot! I enjoy keeping track of what I’ve read on Goodreads, it’s so much easier than writing them all down like I used to do.  (please tell me I’m not the only one who did that).

If you  missed it, I shared a post of my Top Reads of 2017 just last week, check it out!

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Photo by Alice Hampson on Unsplash

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson – Two princesses’ lives are thrown into turmoil. While both scramble to learn the ways of their new environments, political upheaval is on the horizon.

~As good as this story was, I admit to being a little disappointed with how much sexual content there was. While I realize that it was mild, it was still more than I like. Because of that, I don’t think I’ll read this book again – which makes me sad because I really liked Siri and Lightsong, and the different twists and turns and character development that happened throughout.

The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis – Shasta and Bree – a young slave and a talking horse – are running away from cruel masters. Their destination is Narnia.  But when they discover a plot to overthrow Narnia, their journey becomes a race to warn the people of the impending attack.

~Series review coming next month!

Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman – A compelling love story between a young Irish girl, Katherine Mary O’Fallon, new to the Canadian wild, and Sergeant Mike Flannigan of the Canadian Mounted police.

~This is a yearly – winter read for me. The wilderness and those occupying it – the animals, peoples and nature itself – are described so vividly, it’s a delight. The heartbreak that occurs will tear your heart out just as surely as you’ll rejoice when good things happen. If this book isn’t considered a classic, I’m not sure why. Read it, you’ll be glad you did. 

Cowboy Christmas by Mary Connealy – When singer Annette Talbot shows up, with trouble following close on her heels, Elijah Walker has to decide if she’s telling the truth or lying. Like his ex- fiancee. Despite himself, he’s drawn to her – and just when he decides to trust her, he finds out she’s a wanted woman. Will he find out the truth before he loses Annie forever?

~ This was my second time reading this sweet romantic mystery. I liked how Connealy dealt with Elijah’s struggle to forgive himself and Annette’s mis-guided belief in ‘bearing her cross’. Faith is central to this novel, and it’s done very well. It’s a great Christmas-time western read.

For Men Only by Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn

~A full review along with its companion book, For Women Only, will be up this month!

An Amish Christmas : December in Lancaster County by Beth Wiseman – Forgiveness is on the horizon – or is it? – for several people in Lancaster County. Facing some of their deepest fears at Christmastime has the potential to change their lives.

~I forgot how sweet these stories were. I enjoyed all 3 of them – I am seeing on Goodreads that it says there’s four novellas, my copy doesn’t have “Christmas Cradles”. A good way to describe these are Hallmark movies set in an Amish community – and that’s not a bad thing. They deal with different struggles, but all 3 stories tie in with each other. They may be a bit cliched but sometimes that’s what you want. It only took me a few days to read all of them, they are quick, fun reads for anyone. 

 

Currently Reading: 

Adrenal Fatigue by Dr. Wilson

Samantha Among the Brethren by Marietta Holley

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

The Supernatural Ways of Royalty by Kris Vallotton

 

 

To Read:

A Yellow Journalist by Miriam Michelson

The Writer’s Journey by Vogler (finish!)

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

 

What are you reading?

 

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.

~Laura

Book Review – August 2017

1 Sep

I’m so proud of myself for getting this up today, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to! I feel like I should get a gold star. Kidding, just kidding. There’s quite an array of genres this month, so hopefully you find something to add to your to-read list!

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Anathema by Colleen Coble – In the peaceful Amish community in Indiana, Hannah harbors a secret. She has an English beau that she sneaks out to be with. But one night, while she’s gone, her parents are brutally murdered. The entire community is shocked but encourage Hannah to forgive the killer. Instead, she runs away with her English beau, Reese. When circumstances force her to return to the community, can Hannah find forgiveness and a place to call home once again?

~I’ve read many Amish-based novels over the years so when I heard this one was really good but very different, I was kind of skeptical. I mean, how different can you get? Well. Coble did it. This is a tear-your-heart-out story that you are so glad you read. (as opposed to those that leave you dissatisfied and wishing you hadn’t ever heard of it much less read it). There is faith mentioned but it’s not as big a message as many of the Amish books I’ve read. This would get a four out of five stars from me for characters and story line, I enjoyed it that much. I would recommend this to anyone – although you might want to pre-read it before passing it to a young teen as there are some intense scenes.

Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss- The beloved tale of a Swiss family being shipwrecked on an island and using everything around them in order to survive and thrive for years. From taming wild animals to building a spinning wheel and drawbridges, the Robinson’s ingenuity and tenacity inspire readers of every generation.

~If you’ve been following SGL for a while, you’ll know that I started out listening to this story via Libravox sometime near the beginning of the year. I finally bought a copy so I could finish it. Thank goodness for Powell’s, feeding my book addiction. Anyway, while there was much described that I didn’t understand (names of animals for instance), it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of this story. I love the faith displayed as well. A great adventure story for just about any age.

Love Finds You in Sisters Oregon by Melody Carlson – It’s been over 10 years since Hope has been back to her hometown of Sisters, Or. And just as long since she saw her two sisters. But when her grandmother passes away, she can’t avoid them any longer. Her plan is to be there just long enough to attend the funeral and then she’s out of there. But then she finds out that she inherited Nona’s house and little dog. Not to mention a friendship with Nona’s handsome young attorney. In order to keep her inheritance, Hope is going to have to learn how to live among her sisters – who are none too happy about her inheriting everything.

~ The Love Finds You series is a large series and Carlson wrote a few of them – In Pendleton, Or, being one of them. This was a cute story overall – and it was fun knowing the places she was talking about. I  have to admit to being a bit disappointed with it though. The development of the characters seemed rushed at the end. I liked the parallels/comparison of the sisters to the Three Sisters (mountains) but the discord among them honestly got on my nerves. By the end of it, I liked it better than I did halfway through, if that helps! It was cute and it’s a good light, fun read overall though.

The English Garden Series – The Proposal and The Rescue by Lori Wick – Set in the early 1800s in England, this series has a delightful ‘Austen’ feel that I just love.

~I have read the first two and am waiting to read the rest! And then I will share a full series review with you. For now, suffice it to say that I enjoy this series every time I read it. 

I also shared three series reviews with you this month. Check them out if you missed them!

Series Review – Guardians of Childhood

Series Review: Mistborn Trilogy

Series Review: Seasons of the Heart

Currently Reading:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

The Prayer of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

Spindle’s End by Robin Mckinley

 

Once again, I’m linking up with the Reading Roundup! Click the picture below for some great book reviews!

Reading Roundup
Laura

Book Review – Sept 2015

2 Oct

Happy October, Readers! The month for pumpkins, pipes and puppies. (read: pumpkin patch, firepit evenings and a new puppy in two weeks!) I started this book review the beginning of this week but kept realizing I had forgotten another book I had read. Whew! I will, in order to relieve your mind, tell you that some of these I started the end of August. I did not read a dozen odd books in four weeks. Because that is kind of insane. More like six weeks. Somehow that’s better…??

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The Time Machine by H.G. Wells – An Inventor travels first thousands of years, and the millions, into the future and comes back with a fantastic story of his travels.

– short synopsis for you but this is a very enjoyable read. The tale he tells is engrossing. All a little fantastic, but it’s time travel, it’s supposed to be.

Quilter’s Daughter by Wanda E. Brunstetter Daughters of Lancaster County book 2 – When Abby Miller comes to Lancaster County to help her pregnant mother, she leaves behind a full life – a quilt shop and loving fiance. But when tragedy strikes, her faith is shaken and she seeks answers to her questions. But where will she find them – in her love of quilting? her past? the heart of an overlooked Amish man?

– Ahh, I enjoyed this book. I like reading these types of novels when life is hectic, for the pace of the Amish is slower than ours, and for those moments I’m in their world, riding in a buggy to town, baking bread or knitting by the fire. They are busy but not at the mad-dash-pace of our world. I always feel slightly lazy though…

The Bishop’s Daughter by Wanda E. Brunstetter Daughters of Lancaster County book 3 – After her father, Bishop Weaver, has an accident, Leona finds her faith shaken. While teaching at the one-room schoolhouse, an Englisher in search of his family, Jimmy Scott, is hired to paint it. They are drawn to each other, even knowing the obstacles in the way. Will Leona find the answers she needs, will Jimmy find his real family? Will their love survive?

– This book was a great end to the trilogy. Seeing the characters develop and grow from the first and second books was enjoyable. I also like how Brunstetter brings faith into her novels – it’s not in-your-face but still a central theme. I feel like her books would be a great option for girls just starting to read more ‘adult’ books, a good transition point.

Francesca’s Kitchen by Peter Pezzelli – Francesca Campanile loves to cook for her family. But with her children grown, she feels useless. When she finds an ad for a part-time nanny, she is sure she’s found the answer to her problems. Loretta Simmons is a single mother of two, struggling to make ends meet. She’s not sure what to make of her new nanny, but both women are surprised to learn how much they needed the other.

– I fall in love with Francesca every time I read this book. I also wish she was my grandma. A perfectly normal reaction, trust me. Her memories of raising her kids are spattered throughout as she tries to connect with the new generation focused on video games and junk food. My mouth waters as time and again, she cooks these wonderful dishes – full of cheese (i’m dairy free so bear with me with that remark…) that just makes me want to hop in the kitchen as well. The only negatives I can really say about this book is one insinuation that I really just want to block out  because it adds absolutely nothing to the story line. And Loretta does go on a date with a slime ball who tries something but it’s very minor and not graphic. Francesca is Catholic so that is brought into the book but it’s not a major theme or preachy. Mostly she mentions a few saints, goes to confession a few times and tries to do what she feels God is calling her to do. Overall, I am glad I ran across this book years ago! A good read.

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells – A young scientist becomes obsessed with finding a way to make things invisible. When he does create the serum, he tries it out on himself. Beforehand, he could only see the benefits of such an existance – freedom! – but reality sets in and with it, a descent into madness.

– I finished this just the other night and AH!! I enjoyed this immensely, even more than the Time Machine. I scored this book at Barnes and Noble on the sale on a sale on a sale rack – being a 2 books in 1 situation, I couldn’t pass it up. I’d never read Wells before but at least these two will be ones I come back to. I didn’t anticipate the ending at all.  And that makes me happy. I enjoyed the different ways the characters were brought into the story, and the adventures of the invisible man. I found on youtube that they made a movie in 1933 that I have simply got to own now.

The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis  -Man has been plagued by one question for years – ‘if God is good, why does he allow pain?” Lewis, who is known as the ‘greatest Christian thinker of our time’, answers this complicated question and seeks to heal a hurting world

-Lewis writes very differently than I am used to, so I am frequently re-reading sections in order to better grasp his point.  I am in the last few chapters now, it has moved from my bedside to the table so I read it while eating breakfast most mornings. I intend on putting it on the ‘read yearly’ list. There are many ‘ah-ha’ moments in it. Well worth the read.

HTML and CSS : Design and Build Websites – My OH got this for me and I intend on devoting a whole post to it once I’m through it. For now, let’s say that they have done a fantastic job on making it a book that while it teaches you how, it doesn’t intimidate the socks off of you at first glance. A huge bonus for me. I intend to work through it as it teaches, being more of a hands-on learner. Don’t hold your breath for the full review though – I have no idea when it’ll be.

The Count of Monte Cristo  by Alexandre Dumas – On the brink of the happiest day of his life, Edward Dantes is thrown in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Years later, he learns of a treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo. He then focuses on escaping the grim fortress and, after finding the treasure- exacting revenge on the three men who ruined him.

– Since I was reading this on my phone last month, I have somehow stopped reading it. Guess I called it when I said I need to get an actual copy in order to finish it.  But don’t take my not finishing it as a sign that it isn’t a good read for it is! The development of the characters and the descriptions of what is going on are great.

And there you have it for September’s book review! Are any of these your favorites?

~Laura

*I’d like to note that any books I read are free of foul language or any immoral …stuff. If there is a hint of it, I will tell you but that is the most that I will read, and by default, will share with you. Not everything I read is faith-based though, so keep that in mind if that is your priority. *

*If you click any link here and buy from amazon, I will get a percentage from the sale. Just a way I’m trying to make a little money from this hobby of mine*

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