Tag Archives: christian book reviews

Book Review – April 2017

25 Apr

This month has been full of reading, folks! I’ve made a conscious effort to pick up a book instead of turn on the tv, and this month’s list is the result.

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When Bad Things Happen to Good People  by Harold S. Kuchner  – Striving to answer the age-old question ‘why, God?’, Kuchner shares the doubts and fears that often come with the question. He shares his wisdom as a rabbi, reader and parent in the hopes to bring comfort to the reader.

~This was recommended to me – that’s the only reason I finished it. I’m not a fan of this book. There were very few points that were made that I either didn’t already know or agreed with. That probably sounds arrogant but I don’t mean it to be. He has different beliefs than I do, and his including those (evolution for one), I felt to be unnecessary and distracted from the point of the entire book. If I rated these, this would be half a star.

The Shepherd’s Voice by Robin Lee Hatcher – Finally free from prison, Gabe has a hard time finding work during the Great Depression. He heads home, hoping his father will take him in. Instead he finds compassion and faith when Akira offers him a job and a home.

~This is a favorite that I read once a year. I love the journey that Gabe and Akira go through. As well as the faith and life lessons peppered throughout. Plus it’s set in the 1940’s (?) in Idaho. Fantastic setting.

Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott – As a sequel to Eight Cousins,  we revisit Rose after she’s traveled the world for two years. She’s decided that before she marries, she wants to show that she’s an independent young woman. But the world is at odds with her decision, making her wonder just who her true friends are.

~Another delightful story from Alcott. The twists were unexpected and surprising – I had a hard time putting it down! In fact, i read it in just a few days. Highly recommend this, young or old.

Captain’s Courageous by Rudyard Kipling – When young millionaire, Harvey, is swept overboard and rescued by a fishing boat, his life is forever changed. The crew teaches him how to fish, and how to be a man.

~This was a birthday present and came with a recommendation from one of my nephews. I enjoyed this book so much, although I will admit to still not knowing what a ‘foc’sle’ is. Kipling wrote a classic boy’s adventure with this one. Highly recommend, for young or old readers!

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy – Click through for my full review! For now, I’ll say that I enjoyed this novel immensely.

Created to Live by Cathy Harris – Click through for my full review! Well worth the read on a heartbreaking and controversial topic.

Currently Reading:

Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss ~I am listening to this as an audio book via Librivox. If I had a copy in hand, I would have read it within a week, most likely. As it is though, I listen to it on the nights when I’m in too much pain to sleep. Very entertaining and not sure how I haven’t read it already!

Messianic Jewish Manifesto by David H. Stern ~ Pulled this from my OH’s library. I’m moving through it really slowly but it’s a good read so far. I am able to understand it without feeling overwhelmed. 

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson ~ A favorite that I read probably twice a year. Here’s a review from a few years ago if you want to check it out.

Revision and Self-Editing for Publication by James Scott Bell ~I picked this up at the library and am eager to get any helps on editing my first novel!

Once again, I’m joining the Reading Roundup linkup. Click the picture and find some more great reads!

Reading Roundup

What are you currently reading?

~Laura

Book Review – The Unfolding Heart

10 Jan

Happy Tuesday!

Now, I have read and loved this book many times since I first was introduced to it (I  believe it was my great-aunt’s) as a teen. The characters are believable and sweet- I always want to live around these folks and be a part of their lives! I like that Grote brings up the laws that were in place about marriage – a woman could own land but once she got married, it transferred to the husband (who has better business sense). Coughcough. So glad that laws like that were changed.

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Anyway, like I said, I appreciate it when an author brings up a different part of Victorian life. And using this one as a reason that Millicent isn’t looking to get married, I like it. I simply like it. Anyway, before I go on, here’s the synopsis:

The Unfolding Heart by Joann A. Grote,

As a headstrong, independent woman, Millicent Strong is certain she doesn’t need either a man, or God in her life. She’s sure of her path and convictions until she goes to her brother’s wedding in the West and meets the kind-hearted minister, Adam Conrad. Their mutual interest is strong but her lack of faith – and unwillingness to leave the comforts of civilization for the West,  threaten their love. (Love Song, 1997)

Faith. Love. Hospitality. Forgiveness. Trusting God.  That’s what this book is about, in a sweet love story. I highly recommend this, for young teens up.

Have you ever read this book? What’s your favorite sweet romance story?

~Laura 

 

Book Review – A Victorian Christmas Cottage

14 Dec

I decided, since it’s Christmas season, why not review a few season-appropriate books?! I got this book from my mom’s bookshelf because, let’s face it, christmas books are appealing. And so, I bring you this collection of novellas, all set in Victorian times.

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A Victorian Christmas Cottage by Catherine Palmer, Debra White Smith, Jeri Odell and Peggy Stoks.

Now, you probably all know by now how I feel about short stories (never long enough, want more character development, etc) but each one of these stories was so good that I thoroughly enjoyed them! Plus, this happens to be one of my favorite time periods.

These novellas take you from England where a young widow finds strength in God and protection in an unexpected place, to San Francisco where a society beauty learns what is really important. Then on to a plantation in Georgia where coming home means learning forgiveness and healing. Last, we go to Minnesota where a wounded young woman is pursued by a very determined young man.

If I could give you full descriptions of each of these stories, I would. But that would give too much away! The way that faith was weaved into each one of these was masterful and has given me much to ponder about my own life. And that, as I was telling a friend of mine recently, is why I enjoying Christian romance. You get the sweet, romancy stuff as well as sound faith and living advice. I like that I get to come away with some morsels to chew on, long after the book is done.

So, SGL friends, for a fun, quick read I recommend you get a copy of these novellas.

Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas,

Laura

Book Review – Sept 2o16

30 Sep

I’m pretty sure the end of September means it’s officially fall, doesn’t it? I obviously have no idea when it actually starts but it sure feels like it here! I’m loving being able to keep the back door open for some fresh, cool air. Abby is liking it too – being able to come in and out whenever she wants is right up her alley. It also means I can sit here at my desk and write while she plays in the sprinkler (she won’t play in it without being watched, oy). She’s mostly okay with this version of me being out there with her and I’m able to actually get some editing and blogging done. Thank goodness. Poor thing is going to be heartbroken when it’s too cold for the sprinkler though. Anyway, that’s enough about the puppy – on to books! bkrvwsept2016

 

A Call to Honor  ( The Price of Liberty #1) by Gilbert Morris – When Ben Logan is given the choice to join the Navy or go to jail, he quickly signs up for the Navy. He leaves behind his mother and a girl named Rachel and decides to live life to the fullest. But while serving in Hawaii, he changes his mind about God. His new faith is tested to the limits when bombs start falling on Pearl Harbor.

– this is the first in a long (7 books) series and once I’m through them all I’ll do a series review but since it’ll take me quite a while, I’ll review them separately now. Hopefully you don’t mind!  I haven’t read this series in several years now so I don’t remember very much about them. It is refreshing to read a book from a male point of view and the emotions just transferred themselves from Ben, to me… that does sound strange but I was talking to him as I was reading ‘don’t do it!’ ‘serves you right!’ etc…

City of Tranquil Light – When Will Kiehn feels God call him to go to China as a missionary, he leaves his family’s farm in the Midwest and goes. He falls in love with a fellow missionary, Katherine, and  after they wed, they move to Kuang P’ing Ch’eng – City of Tranquil Light – and settle in to offer medical and spiritual help to the people there. As the years go by, they endure much hardship – war, famine, floods, bandits – will their faith be enough to help them?

I reviewed this about a week ago, check it out!

Evidence Not Seen : A Woman’s Miraculous faith in the Jungles of World War II by Darlene Deibler Rose –  This is the true story of a young woman, newly married, surviving the jungles of New Guinea and four years in a Japanese prison camp. Her triumphs and strengthening of faith despite everything.

– I’m a quarter in to this book and while I am enjoying it, it’s not a light/breezy/readrightthrough type of story. I just have a feeling it’s probably going to make me cry. I also find myself comparing it to ‘city of tranquil light’ since I just read that one. This one, equally well-written, starts off emotions galore, there’s no easing into it like in city of tranquil light, so perhaps that’s part of the difference. But it is very well-written and I think it will be worth the read. It just might take me a while to get through it. ( side note, the synopsis I wrote is SHORT because the one I read on Goodreads tells a lot of the story, some I wish I didn’t know because now I’m pretty positive this is going to be super emotional to read through…. )

Vegan Slow-Cooking for Two or Just for You by Kathy Hester – This isn’t your ordinary cookbook – these recipes are quick to prepare in your 1.5 or 2 qt slow cooker. Ranging from coffee creamers to side dishes to dessert, you can make anything vegan that you long for!

– I have only made a few recipes from this so far (as I keep forgetting some key ingredients on my shopping trips, oy) but we’ve enjoyed them and I was surprised at how filling they were. That might sound silly but I have a hard time with staying full. And not eating meat tends to make that worse, but with these meals, I didn’t get hungry for about 3 hrs (which is good!). Once I get to the produce stand again I plan on making some more meals from this book =) 

Golden Retriever by Dog Fancy Magazine – Covering everything the owner of this friendly breed needs to know to be a well-informed caregiver, this book is easy to read with beautiful pictures of adorable puppies to adult Goldens to compliment the information.

– This book covers SO much. It was an impulsive grab at the library but I’m hoping to learn a few things, what with having a senior and a puppy. 

On my To-Read List:

The Color of the Star book 2 of The Price of Liberty by Gilbert Morris

Love’s Pursuit by Siri Mitchell

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

What’s on your to-read list?

~Laura

 

City of Tranquil Light Book Review

20 Sep

Friends, this book sat on my shelf for YEARS without me ever reading it. Not even a ‘read a few pages and put it down’ read. Never. Do you know what made me finally pull it out and give it a try? Running across an old email from my sister in law, recommending a few books (thanks Michaela!) , and this was on it.

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This story pulled me in right from the start and I quickly fell in love with Will, Katherine, Chung Hao and the descriptions of China. When Will Kiehn feels God call him to go to China as a missionary, he leaves his family’s farm in the Midwest and goes. He falls in love with a fellow missionary, Katherine, and  after they wed, they move to Kuang P’ing Ch’eng – City of Tranquil Light – and settle in to offer medical and spiritual help to the people there. As the years go by, they endure much hardship – war, famine, floods, bandits – will their faith be enough to help them?

Caldwell writes in an enchanting memoirlike way – alternating between Will and Katherine’s perspectives, each come alive in a remarkable way. And as these characters reminded me strongly of a former pastor and his wife, it added another depth of emotion to it , as I could so easily see these people doing what Will and Katherine did – living a hard life in response to their God’s call.

I highly recommend this book, although perhaps not for younger teens as some of the violence is described. I am planning on getting Caldwell’s first novel, The Distant Land of my Father, next time I get to the library!

~Laura

Book Review – August 2016

2 Sep

Hello again friends! I didn’t feel like I’d done a lot of reading this month and then I started writing this post! Ha! This month feels like it’s been going on a lot longer than 31 days, does anyone else feel that way? It definitely had its good times though – getting to be in Bend and celebrate my brother in law’s and a nephew and a niece’s birthdays; having a good friend stay over so we could binge-watch Star Wars and play with the puppies and getting oh-so-close to the end of the novel I’m writing. I am glad to see it go for the hard side of it too – severe pain; moodiness because of the pain; for the first time not being able to recall words to songs i’ve known for years and puppies having bad reactions to fleas. But! That’s not why you’re here! Books! Books! That’s why you’re here.

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I want to remind you of two things real quick.  One, 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.  Two, I have an ever-updated Book List of all the books I’ve reviewed, check it out!

December Caravan by Rebecca Vandemark – Just when her life seemed as perfect as it could get, Rebecca’s world turned upside down. A few month before their wedding, her fiance left her. As the months and years passed, her body seemed determined to fail, no matter what she did. After getting diagnosed with late-stage Lyme Disease and cancer (among other things), her plans and goals for the future drastically change. But what remained constant was her love of the Lord and seeking His heart no matter the circumstances.

~I received this book free for an honest review. I enjoyed this look into Vandemark’s story so much as she constantly reminded me to keep my focus and hope on the Lord.  Her trials are beyond imagining, and yet here she is, years later – encouraging those around her to run to the heart of God. I highly recommend this book and if you want to know more about her, here’s her blog

Why Can’t I get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease by Richard I Horowitz – Lyme disease is known as the great imitator. And Horowitz has been studying it for years. In this book he shares the method that he uses for diagnosing Lyme, and other chronic pain as well as thoroughly covering Lyme’s leading symptoms.

~ This book is nothing if not thorough. To be honest, I only made it a quarter of the way through. The information was interesting and I picked up a few tidbits that were extremely helpful to know. The reason I wasn’t able to finish it was that it read like it was also written for doctors – with a lot of information that only those with medical background would find helpful. It was interesting reading how he started his practice and how it evolved into what it is today – with surprising advancements in Lyme research and ‘curing’ if you will. I’d love to read it if they cut it down to maybe half it’s size and written especially for non-medical readers. 

Tucker Mills Trilogy by Lori Wick – Tucker Mills, Massachusets in the mid 1800’s. Jace has fallen for Maddie but will his sister allow him to follow his heart? Reese is finally a free woman, but her heart is still in a cage of fear, will she let Conner in? Dannan’s world has drastically changed, but the one thing he longs for most can never happen, can it?

~Let’s move to Tucker Mills, shall we? In case you missed it, I reviewed it earlier this week! 

These Three Remain A novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman #3  by Pamela Aidan – After being rejected by Elizabeth, a humbled Darcy returns to Town and tries to become the kind of man he’s always wanted to be, the kind of man Elizabeth could love. When a chance meeting brings Elizabeth back into his life, Darcy sets out to show her he still loves her. But when Wickham creates havoc again, will Darcy’s newly-found strength withstand the test?

~I adore these books. I mean, Darcy and Elizabeth all over again? Yes please and thank you! Come back for a review of the whole trilogy!! 

On my To-Read list:

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell

 

I hope you found something to read! Happy last-day of August to you all!

 

~Laura

 

Series Review – Tucker Mills Trilogy

30 Aug

You Guys. Seriously. I can’t tell you just how much I LOVED this trilogy. Yes I’ve read it before. Yes I read them all in about a week. Yes, it’s by Lori Wick. What can I say? She’s a favorite of mine.

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Moonlight on the Millpond – As a newcomer to Tucker Mills, Massachusetts, Jace Randall learns the workings of his uncle’s farm and mill. When Maddie Shephard comes back to town, Jace is instantly smitten and decides that not even his sister, Eden, could find fault with her. What he didn’t count on was Eden’s need to control his life – or the lengths she’d go to to maintain it. Will Maddie and Jace be able to forgive her, and each other, after the betrayal and lies?

~First off, I love the name Maddie. Second, Jace just happens to be one of my favorite guy’s names. Third, this book sucks you in on the first page and you quickly fall in love with, well, pretty much everyone. Except Eden. (coughcough)

Just above a Whisper – Indentured servant, Reese Thackery’s life gets another hit when the owner of her contract dies and the bank becomes the holder of her fate. The bank owner’s son, Connor Kingsley, comes to investigate and soon releases her from service. He then hires her to keep house for him, but Reese can’t decide how she feels about him. Can both put aside the hurt of the past and learn to trust again?

~Honestly, I think these two characters are some of my favorites of Wick’s. Reese’s attitude throughout her trials is how I would sincerely like to be! And Conner’s patience…sigh.

 

Leave a Candle Burning – Dannan Mckay has taken over his uncle’s practice in Tucker Mills. While everyone loved Doc Mckay, Dannan has settled in and feels welcomed by the townspeople. When he has an unexpected meeting with a woman in the general store, he starts to dream of something more – a wife and family. But then he learns something that stops his dreams of love in an instant, and he focuses all his attention on his patients. Life once again gets turned upside down when he ends up taking guardianship of a young cousin. The new role of father makes Dannan think of how the young one needs a mother – but the one he loves is out of reach.

~I remembered very little of this one – happy sigh. A unique storyline, wonderful romance. 

If I could move to the small town of Tucker Mills, I would do it in a heartbeat.  I’m not kidding. I would. BUT, we’ll get back to reality now… I enjoy how Wick weaves faith into all of her books, I’m always left contemplating the focus in each novel (i.e. each of her novels tend to have one main point in faith that the main character is dealing with) and that normally inspires conversations with my OH.

As with most (if not all ) of Wick’s books, any age could read these – I probably started reading them when I was 13/14. You might have noticed I had to get the 1st and 3rd from the library! Such a tragedy I know, but so far I haven’t found them in used bookstores. One day though, One day.

I also love that since I’ve been reading them for…well, over a decade, I am picking up on different things. Now that I’m married, I pick up on the hurt or joy when it’s a marriage moment… did that even make sense? Maybe I’ll close now and say : This trilogy is delightful. READ IT.

~Laura

Do you have a series you’ve been reading since you were a teen and still enjoy today?

June 2016 Book Reviews

1 Jul

Happy Fourth of July weekend friends! Due to a long writer’s block, I have been reading a lot this month. A migraine is kicking up it’s heels inside my head so I’m going to finish this off quick (yes, I write my intro dead last every book review post…doesn’t everyone?) But I have to tell you the book I scored at the book sale at the Happy Valley Library a few weeks ago. “A History of the Twentieth Century – Volume one : 1900-1933” by Martin Gilbert. It weighs probably ten pounds and I’m SO excited about it. With plans of of more novels written in the early 1900’s I’m expecting this to be very helpful. Did I mention that it was 50cents?? Oh yes. SCORE.

Ahem. Alrighty, I hope you find something in this list of books to check out! Happy Weekend!

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Lydia’s Charm by Wanda E. Brunstetter – New widow, Lydia King and her son move to Charm, Ohio to help her mother with her grandfather. But when gifts are left on her front porch, is she ready for the chance at love?  ~A father of four boys, Menno Troyer is also recently widowed and has come to realize his boys need a mother. While he doesn’t think he’s ready to love again, he has to think of his boys first. ~Levi Stutzman has dedicated his life to caring for his family, all handicapped by dwarfism. He decided long ago that he would never marry, but his heart is big as he helps anyone that needs a hand. ~ When tragedy strikes Lydia again, will the mysterious gift giver be there to help her through?

~ I have to be honest, I wasn’t very excited about this book. I’d picked it up several times this past year but never made it past the first few pages. But I’m trying to go through the books I own and have never read, so I persevered. I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was a fun twist on an Amish romance, although I did get mad when a certain tragedy struck. I am pretty sure I yelled at the book, which prompted concern from the OH and the puppy….yeah. It was that upsetting. BUT! Brunstetter delivered yet again with a very enjoyable story. This one is staying on my shelf, I’m happy to say!

Toujours Provence by Peter Mayle – A charming description of life in Provence, as can only be told by someone who lives there – stories of finding gold in the garden, pig-hunting truffles, a stray dog named “Boy”, and decadent feasts and wine.

~This is a book that I’ve owned for several years and never read, although I am pretty sure I’ve read Mayle’s  ‘A Year in Provence’  that precedes this book. While this was a fun book to read, it’s not captivating enough for me to read again. Each chapter is a different story of Mayle’s adventures so it’s an easy, light read. Hearing about the different customs and superstitions of some of the characters was delightful. But, whether it’s due to eating kosher and the French most definitely do not (hehe), I think I’ll be passing this book along to a new owner.

Little Britches by Ralph Moody – It was 1906 when Ralph Moody’s family moved from the east coast to Colorado. Ranching is full of challenges, ones that his father teaches him to think through and overcome. Through wind storms, water wars and family picnics, Ralph shares the hardships and pleasures of ranching. He was also being groomed to be a man, and to take his father’s place when the time came.

~I had never heard of this book until a few months ago when a friend lent it to me. And now, I can’t believe I didn’t read these growing up! The writing is so good, you get quickly sucked into the early twentieth century as Ralph learns how to fit in at school, be a cowhand and to be honest no matter what. I absolutely LOVED how his father taught him, if I can be such a parent! This was a completely delightful story and I was so excited to find out that Ralph wrote more than just this one! I am now on the third book and still loving them. 

Man of the Family by Ralph Moody – Ralph Moody has had to shoulder the responsibilities of a man at only 11 years old. The family is determined to stay together though, so Mother and Grace start baking and repairing lace curtains while Ralph builds frames, trades rabbits and delivers the baking.

~you know what , I’m going to just wait on reviewing these for a series review!!! Come back and check it out!

Beware the Ticking Lyme Bomb by Craigger Creed – BEWARE! Lyme disease-infected ticks can be picked up anywhere outside – in your yard, the woods or a park. Learn about this complex ailment before it comes knocking on your door, in an easy-to- read book which includes some personal experiences  and comparison spreadsheets to show you how the symptoms and treatments vary between the patients.

~This was a great book to start off learning more about Lyme disease. It’s lighthearted but the warning is often repeated – Beware! Don’t wait! Pay attention to symptoms and go to a doctor now! Take charge!     I’m so glad I grabbed this off the library shelves and highly recommend it to others who want to learn more without getting overwhelmed with in-depth information. 

Currently Reading:

Why Can’t I Get Better? : solving the mystery of Lyme and Chronic Illness by   Richard  Horowitz, MD

Fields of Home by Ralph Moody

Trim Healthy Mama plan by Pearl Bennett and Serene Allison

Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

 

Lord of the Rings Series Review

27 Jun

 

The Lord of the Rings series is a high-fantasy novel written by J.R.R. Tolkien and first published in 1954/55. I never understood what all the hype was about this series until my OH got it for me and finally read it. I will admit to it taking far longer than I wanted, to get through all three volumes but that can be blamed on life and not wanting to eat and read at the same time (i mean, the book is gorgeous, I didn’t want to get anything on it!) I finally caved though when I couldn’t put it down. Hefting that through the house as I took care of the dogs, made meals, etc was interesting but the world of Middle Earth and the amount of details he put into backstories, languages, etc, was fantastic.

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I had already seen the movies (totally did it backward) but I think it helped me, having an idea of who these characters were. Normally I don’t like that, it shapes what you think about them to the degree that when they are different in the book (as they inevitably are, movies tend to take SO much license…….) but, for some reason, it helped.

I also read some about Tolkien and the parallels of himself and others in his life in some of his characters, which added a whole other layer to it.

Yes, it’s violent (it’s a WAR, man!) so I wouldn’t recommend this for young readers – unless you’re reading aloud to them and then you could skip over those bits! Other than the violence ( in the mood for some head-lopping? Gimli and Legolas keep count.), this series is CLEAN.  Why can’t more writers keep it that way?

I was watching an interview of Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachan, two of Bollywood’s biggest stars recently and loved their answer when asked why they don’t kiss in their movies. “you have this intimate moment and then suddenly, snap, cut, you’re in the mountains singing and dancing. It’s a lot more interesting…I’d much rather that.”   I got so excited when he said that! People can fall in love – and express that love – without getting all physical and mucking up the whole story.

ahem. Sorry…. Stepping down off my soapbox…..

So. I so appreciate the little bit of love and romance in these stories, it’s romantic, sweet, honoring and respectful. And isn’t that the love we all dream of?

The Fellowship of the Ring – book 1 by J.R.R. Tolkien – Frodo Baggins had no idea just what he was inheriting from Bilbo that night. But soon he knew that the Ring Wraiths were hunting him and the Ring of Power that he had. The Ring that could change the future of Middle Earth. Sauron wanted it to spread his evil through the land. So Frodo, Sam and those who would help him, must destroy the Ring in Mordor – the dark land where Sauron reigned.

 

The Two Towers – book 2  by J.R.R. Tolkien – The fellowship has been scattered. Some of them are dealing with treacherous Saruman. Some are preparing for the onslaught of war against Sauron. Only Frodo and Sam are left to take the Ring of Power to Mordor. Their guide through the dangerous lands is Gollum, the sneaky creature whose mind is filled with the Ring.

 

The Return of the King -book 3 by J.R.R. Tolkien – The fight continues against the evil Sauron –  Aragorn has joined with the Riders of Rohan. Gandalf has returned and defeated Saruman.  Merry and Pippin, having escaped the Orcs,  meet the Ents. Frodo and Sam continue their perilous journey into Mordor guided by Gollum. Through it all, the armies of Sauron are massing.

Gah! Just writing the synopsis’ (or is that synopsi?) makes me want to read them all over again. I also highly recommend The Hobbit, which is the prequel. I am going to give The Silmarillion a try although I’ve been warned it’s pretty much a history book of Middle Earth.

These books are very easily attainable, I’d bet you could get them at almost any used bookstore you wander into. Or Amazon is always a great option!

Have you read LOTR? What did you think?

~Laura

 

 

 

 

Book Review – May 2016

1 Jun

Happy June 1st! May was an interesting month – doctor visits, a wedding, tons of birthdays and my parents came for a visit! I also wrote a LOT more than I have in the past few months so I am proud of that and am planning on keeping the momentum up! My first draft is getting closer to being finished! eeek! I’m so very excited.

bkrvwmay2016 Because of the excess writing, I haven’t been here on SGL as much and I’m sorry! I’ve missed it but if I hope to get published….. priorities! It’s also why I haven’t read as many books as normal either, I’ve started taking my book (mainly the 10-lb Tolkien one) to bed with me and reading until I just can’t stay awake any longer!!

To Be a Jew – by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin – Donin did what no one else had at the time, he put together a book, simply stated, on how to daily live the Jewish life. Including the blessings to be read, why certain things are done etc, it’s a stand-alone book to guide you in following the Torah.

~I Finally finished this book! It’s absurd how long it took me to get through it, especially as it’s  easily understandable. I do plan on reading it again, and it is one of the main books we pull out when we have a question on specific blessings, or what the traditions for a festvial are. A must have in your Jewish library.

The English Garden – Gail Gaymer Martin, Diann Mills,  Jill Stengl and Kathleen Y’barbo  – In these four short stories, we see how the garden can hold the key to peace, quiet and sometimes even love.

~A Woman of Valor – Marston Hall was to be Helen’s new home in 1631. She was to take care of three children who would test every bit of patience she had. But she found that being around the horseman unsettled her every bit as much as the children did. Will time in the garden help each see the beauty in each other?

~Apple of His Eye -Sarah’s only escape from social demands is the Victorian garden behind her parents’ home. But when she meets and falls in love with the orchard keeper, more than the flowers keep her coming back. How will these two find a future together ?

~A Flower Amidst the Ashes – During World War 2,Corporal Margaret Walker meets a handsome Royal Air Force pilot who slips past her defenses with beautiful drawings of gardens. Will she allow love to grow when she’s already lost so much?

~Robyn’s Garden – Robyn regularly has a group of disabled children over to learn about nature as they help tend the garden. But then a handsome American arrives, and takes something she can’t afford to lose. Will she be able to learn the hard lesson of trust, before it’s too late?

~These stories are well-written and heartwarming. As usual, I wold love them to be longer and more in depth. The first one is probably my favorite, perhaps because of my experience with working with children. It’s also fun that they progress through time, starting in 1631 and ending in modern times. 

Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge – Your heart matters! It has gotten pushed aside and wounded through the years, but the longings of being in a great adventure, being the Beauty in a tale and part of a wonderful romance, were all put there by God. He is the Hero our hearts are longing for and will help us be the woman we long to be – a woman that is captivating.

~I read this right out of high school with a group of friends and learned so much from it. It’s only taken me YEARS to pick it up again but it’s fun to see the same things standing out to me and hitting home as I’m in a completely different place in life. I highly recommend this for any woman!

Lights of the Veil by Patty Metzer – Mere hours after meeting her nephew, her late sister’s son, both Erica and Betul are kidnapped and taken to India. Back in the place of her birth, Erica meets Prince Ajari who helps her, and then tells her he is Betul’s uncle. Desperate to not let Betul be taught to be Hindi, but raised in faith of Christ, as her sister wanted, Erica is caught between the charisma of Prince Ajari and keeping Betul safe. Will the light of Christ pierce the blackness, and free both Erica and the Prince?

~This is an absolute favorite of mine! I know for sure that I’ve reviewed it here before but one can never get enough of this novel! I am currently halfway through it – which means I want to read it all the time to get to the end but I don’t want to get to the end!! It’s a real problem folks. 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery – I reviewed this HERE, check it out!!

The Two Towers book 2 of the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – The fellowship has been scattered. Some of them are dealing with Saruman. Some are preparing for the onslaught of war with Sauron. Only Frodo and Sam are left to take the Ring of Power to Mordor.

Return of the King– book 3 of Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – The fight continues against the evil Sauron –  Aragorn has joined with the Riders of Rohan. Gandalf has returned and defeated Saruman.  Merry and Pippin have met the Ents. Frodo and Sam continue their journey into Mordor

~Okay, if you’ve read, or know anything about this series you know this is the shortest synopsis of each book. But, I am planning on reviewing the series as a whole once I finish Return of the King. So, this is only to whet your appetite! 

What are you reading lately?

~Laura 

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