Tag Archives: rabbi donin

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 

Book Review – Feb 2016

29 Feb

Happy Leap Year Day! Which means we are less than a month away from Spring Equinox! Woot woot!( I’m SO very ready to start driving my classic VW again! ) But, while it insist on rain-rain-raining, I’ve got some great books to keep you happily indoors.

bookrvwfeb2016

Not Exactly Eden by Linda Windsor – After her fiance postpones their wedding, Jenna Marsten finds a mysterious wedding gift – and traces it to her father in the Amazon. Determined to  meet him, she leaves the glittering socialite life and grabs her courage for an adventure of a lifetime.

~ Windsor rarely disappoints and in this one she delivered a sweet romance without being too sugary sweet. The emotions of the main characters keep it from being too unrealistic and remind the reader that Christ never leaves us! 

 

Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings part 1)  by J.R.R. Tolkien – Inheriting Bag’s End, and the Ring, from Bilbo wasn’t what Frodo wanted but inherit them he did when Bilbo up and disappeared on his 111th birthday. Their wizard friend, Gandalf, comes with a fantastic story for Frodo about the Ring. It is the One Ring, forged to rule all rings and must be guarded from the evil that seeks its power once more. And so starts a journey that neither Frodo nor his hobbit friends had never dreamed of, or wanted. Joined by Elf, Man, Wizard and Dwarf, this company must help the Ring-bearer across Middle Earth to defeat evil.

~It’s really intimidating to write a synopsis for such a classic. I mean, REALLY intimidating. I am almost to the end of this book and lamenting the fact that I don’t have any more of the series! Tolkien’s world is fantastic – can I just go live in the Shire right now please?? 

 

Little Lord Fauntleroy  by Francis Hodgson Burnett– Seven-year-old Cedric is a kind-hearted boy growing up in New York with a circle of dear friends. But all that changes when he is told that he is to be an earl and his grandfather wishes him to come live with him in England. Deciding to be the best earl that he can be, Little Lord Fauntleroy faces even his selfish old grandfather without fear.

~ Can I just say that this classic children’s book is PERFECT?! It was originally published in 1886 and is now one of the most famous children’s books written. I quickly became enchanted with Cedric and his mother. I’d say this is a must-must-read for all. 

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. You might recognize this from December’s book review…. I am oh so slowly getting through it but am enjoying it. It often sparks conversations between me and my OH and we even pulled it out for the blessings for doing Havdallah the other night. 

Is your to-read stack of books going down at all or is it growing like mine seems to be doing??

~Laura

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