Tag Archives: wanda e. brunstetter

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!


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


Book Review – August 2015

28 Aug

Happy end of August! Not that it’s really sunk in yet that summer is pretty much over – we are looking forward to vacation next week (finally one we are going on together!!!) which includes a wedding, lots of time with friends and family and possibly buying a car! EEK!

This month has been one full of reading a rather random assortment of books. But, really, it would be boring to read all one genre in a month wouldn’t it? Aug2015bkrvw

The Count of Monte Cristo – 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. — I am reading this on my phone, which means it’s going much slower than if I had a book to pick up! I am loving the complexities of the story, and realizing that, of course, the movie changed some major components of it. I might need to get a copy just so I can actually finish it.

The Problem of Pain – 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.  – I have this next to my bed to read before falling asleep = it’s taking me a very long time to get through….But I am learning from it and figure it will become a yearly read.

The Storekeeper’s Daughter – Wanda E. Brunstetter – Daughters of Lancaster County, book 1 – In Amish country in Pennsylvania, tragedy strikes  – Naomi Fisher’s mother dies in an accident. At the time when she should be going to singings and riding in a courting buggy, she is instead taking care of her seven siblings and helping her father in the family store. Just when she thinks she can’t take one more day in the restrictive world she now finds herself, the unthinkable happens. And any confidence she, or her family, had in her is shattered – will she be able to continue on? – This was a re-read for me but still just as enjoyable. Brunstetter rarely lets you down with her novels. The gospel message is clear throughout, without being overkill. I hope you know what I mean by that….I enjoy the slow-paced nature of books set in the Amish world, and inevitably feel incredibly lazy with having washers for clothes and dishes….and plenty of time to read novels!

The Hero and the Crown – Robin Mckinley – She had always known the story of how her mother, the witchwoman, had used a spell to get the king to marry her. Aerin had heard it from beginning to end many times – how, after giving birth to a daughter instead of the longed-for son, her mother had turned to the wall and died of despair. Being the daughter cast her into a difficult position – one with a destiny she couldn’t see. But through determination and with a willing war-horse, Aerin would learn that her destiny was far greater than anyone believed – she was to be the hero who would wield the Blue Sword, Gonturan.   I picked this book up (along with #2 in the series) at Jupiter’s bookstore in Cannon Beach Or. Seriously, I love going to that bookstore. No matter what else I do while in the cute seaside town, I spend at least an hour in the cram-packed-full-of-used-books bookstore. I have read a few of Mckinley’s books – Beauty being one of my favorites – so I decided it was worth risking it. It is fantastic. A new world and language to get sucked into, plus it’s about a sword-wielding heroine? Yes please. The twists and turns and the growing that the heroine does from beginning to end are engrossing.

The Secret – Charlotte Bronte  – A collection of short stories by Charlotte and her siblings are in this light read. Each are set in the imagined world of Verdopolis and are full of intrigue, lies and love. – These were very fun to read even though due to taking so long to read them I did get a little confused about the repeating characters. The heroines are all gorgeous and brave and true while the heros are handsome and trustworthy and the villians easy to spot by their dark brows and evil intent  – all in all, very charming stories.

The Blue Sword – Robin Mckinley  – Harry Crewe, newly orphaned, has come to the desert land of Damar, a place of secretive, magical Hillfolk and the Outlanders. Her life is a bit dull and ordinary – until she is kidnapped by Corlath, the king of the Hillfolk. She begins training in the arts of war, even though she doesn’t understand it.  –  This is the second book in the series (not sure it’s actually a ‘series’ though) of the world of Damar. Absolutely engrossing so far. Fantastic characters and I do love a bit of magic in my novels. And when a book can make me forget I’m eating lunch, well, you know it’s good.

Hope you find something to fill the coming weekend,


What are you reading lately?

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