Tag Archives: jewish theology

Book Review – Dec 2015

4 Jan

So I admit that I completely forgot about doing this post last month! Oy vay. And then I realized that I also have forgotten to do the Heart of India series review. Oy Vay times two.

bkrvwdec2015

But! I completed my reading challenge on Goodreads! And just in the last few days of December too – click here if you want to see all that I read (and subsequently, all I reviewed here on SGL)

~I have added links to each book to amazon if you want to get one of these books for your very own! Thanks for supporting my blog. ~

God-Fearers – Gentiles and the God of Israel -by Toby Janicki – How do non-Jews participate in the modern revival of the Messianic Jewish? This book  brings together what is known on late Second-Temple Era Judaism and early Christianity to answer this question, and to introduce  those first non-Jewish believers, called God-Fearers.

I reviewed this last month, and my opinion stands now that I’ve finished it!

Chateau of Echoes by Siri L. Mitchell – Frederique Farmer owns her own castle that she’s turned into a bed and breakfast. She doesn’t know that the diaries of a fifteenth-century girl are about to upset her entire life.  Soon she hires a college student and agrees to an American writer being a long-term guest.What happens is more intrigue and possibilities than she ever imagined.

I’m not sure if there is Mitchell novel that I love more than this one. Seriously. I mean, put together reading, writing, cooking, mystery and medieval times? YES. There is some talk of intimacy throughout – it is very delicately put (i mean, come on, I’M reading it) but I do like to tell when it’s present. 

Beauty by Robin Mckinley – Beauty had never had the grace and beauty of her sisters but she tried to make up for it in other ways. Her father was a gentle soul and never noticed the differences between them. But when he came home one day with a story of an enchanted castle and its terrible owner, along with the promise he had had to make, Beauty knows that she is the only one who can go and fulfill the promise. She alone must go to the castle, and to the Beast.

I feel like I’ve been talking about this book for ages without actually having reviewed it here on SGL. I adore this book. Mckinley’s worlds are fantastic – when Beauty is with her family, and then in the castle with the Beast. I never get tired of it. In fact, I still demand quiet in certain parts of the book, savoring them as if it was the first time I’d read it. She wrote another version of this fairy tale and I like it as well but not near as much as this one.

To be a Jew by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin – This has been acknowledged as the classic guide – full of information and daily inspiration – to Jewish attitudes, law and philosophy. From Shabbat to Succot, dietary laws to family life, birth to death and mourning, this book shines the light on how to live a devout life.

I will admit that I’m struggling getting through this one. Nothing against the book itself, though. While it is ‘meatier’ than God-Fearers was, it is still very well written. I think it intimidates me a little bit, (yes, books can intimidate!!!) and that alone makes it hard to pick up. I do look forward to working my way through it though.

Under Eastern Stars  and Kingscote (Heart of India series books 2 and 3) by Linda Chaikin — I am going to review these as a whole series.  You do not want to miss it, I enjoy this series so so much.

I can’t believe that I read 5 (and started another) books during the crazy month of December! We made another trip to Powell’s bookstore (miles and miles and stories and stories of any type of book you could want!) so I have added these three books to my to-read list for January:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Dragonhaven by Robin Mckinley (I just cannot get enough of her books!)

It’s always fun to have something new to read, and I now have a little pile growing.

Did you get any books for Christmas or Hanukkah? 

~Laura

 

Book Review – January ’15

29 Jan

bookreviewjan'15

Welcome to the first book review of 2015!!! How exciting!! On goodreads, I have a goal of reading 50 books this year. Seems quite reasonable to me, that’s only 4 books a month, right? Easy peasy. I mean, I’m currently reading 4 right now, with another one on the bottom of the stack to start whenever. My fellow book-lovers, that made perfect sense to you, I know it did.

Well, I’ll get right to the reviews!

  • Torah Rediscovered -by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz –  This book shows how Jews and non-Jewish believers can honor the Torah. And also how years of neglect and abuse have muddled the difficult issues in the Torah, and clarifies them.  You might recognize this title as I started reading it mid last year, but as I never finished it, I am starting it all over again and will finish it this time! It is such a well-written book, and written so that I can understand!
  • Happy Wives Club – by Fawn Weaver – One night, Fawn started a club to get women who love being married together and speak positively about marriage. Very quickly it spread like wildfire across the world – and Fawn traveled around it to speak with some of these women/couples in order to find the secrets of a great marriage. I have enjoyed reading this so far. I am reading it as a part of the Meaningful Marriage Study group that I am a part of on facebook. It is a light read and getting to ‘meet’ these couples has been a joy and through each couple something new stands out to me and makes me pause in contemplation. I very much recommend it!                                                    bookreviewjan2015
  • Wildwood Dancing -by Juliet Marillier – Jenica and her sisters and father live in the Transylvania woods, in Piscul Draculi – a castle that hides a portal to the Other Kingdom. Every month, with her sisters and pet frog, on the Full Moon, they go through the portal and dance the night away. But at home, in their world, everything is changing, and soon, events will bring their two worlds together and change everything. Forbidden love – Unswerving anger over an act of betrayal – an enchanted frog – and the ultimate test of trust. I mean, really, can you get any better than that in a story?? Sigh of contentment. A friend suggested this book to me years ago and I now read it a few (or several) times a year. I am pretty sure I’ve talked about it here on SGL before too. If you like a bit of magic and fantasy, this book is for you. (for those of you that are not sure, let me also say that I don’t read very much magic/fantasy but still love this one) Plus, my OH surprised me recently with a copy of my very own!

             bookreview-jan2015

  • Mrs. Mike – by Benedict and Nancy Freedman – A 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.  I am only a quarter of the way in, in this book so cannot give it a full recommendation yet. I can say that the opening is fantastic – it sucked me in quickly. It did lose me a little bit as it went on though, with a drunken right-hand man and some other random scenes that I can’t quite recall. But, i give it a tentative review so far. Check back next month for a full review! ( this was a Christmas gift from a friend, and you can see the packaging in the back of the photo, I didn’t waste any time starting it!)
  • Lousia May Alcott : Her Life, Letters and Journals – Edited by Ednah Dow Cheney – This book gives an intimate look at one of America’s most beloved authors.  It was originally published in 1889 (!!), just one year after her death. Combining her letters and journal entries with comments from a family friend (Cheney), shows how ‘faithfully and fully she performed whatever duties circumstances laid upon her’.  I really enjoyed this book, even though it took me over a month to complete it. I talked about it here and still recommend it for any young/older woman to read as motivation to keep at our tasks of loving and taking care of our families.

And for the book that’s on my list to start in the near-future – Heal Your Headache by David Buchholzm M.D. – this book has the “1-2-3 program for taking charge of your health”.  With answers to questions that nearly all headache sufferer asks, this book is a treasure-trove of information, based on ‘the breakthrough understanding that virtually all headaches are forms of migraine.’   “Step 1 – Avoid the Quick-Fix. Step 2 – Reduce Your Triggers. Step 3 – Raise Your Threshold” – I have owned this book for a few years now, after having been recommended to it for years by several doctors. While I have read bits and pieces of it, I haven’t ever read all of it. I highly recommend it to fellow headache/migraine sufferers from the bits I’ve read though.

Two boards for you to check out on my pinterest page – SGL (that way you’ll never miss a post if you don’t want an email!) and my quotes and books board!

Happy reading friends!

~Laura Starr

A Musing Maverick

"What good amid these, O me, O life? - Answer: That you are here—that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Walt Whitman

Elaine Howlin - Literary Blogger

Journaling, Reviews, Readathons

See Jayne Run

Navigating with Chronic Illness in a Self Absorbed World

prophetofwar.com

I will walk with you. Will you walk with me?

1WriteWay

I AM therefore I Write. Official site of Marie A Bailey, writer, knitter, and stray cat magnet.