Thursday, June 25, 2009

I am Fifteen and I Do Not Want to Die

by Christine Arnothy
Collins Publishing

Christine Arnothy's book is not currently available in the United States, but is available to purchase on UK Amazon. It has been translated to English from French.
The frist half of the book is well written and very good. Christine describes where whe was living during the seige of Budapest. She is living in the cellar of their apartment house with several other tenants. They are starving and scared of the Russians who threaten to invade at any moment. She is desdcrives her plight in great detail with wonderful imaging.
Her family escapes to the country and lives in their country home for 3 years. At this time she is 18. For some unknown reason they must leave in a hurry taking practically nothing with them.
As the book goes on, the story becomes bland. She constantly complains about her employment and her first husband. The story ends with her giving birth to their daughter. In the afterword, she only talks about her second husband and son. Also, in the afterword, it becomes very confusing as she describes more about the things she wrote about in the main part of the book, but they are completely different. I am not sure if something was lost in translation or if it is purposely written this way. This is more of a refugee story than a story of wartime survival. The story starts at the end of the war and 60% of the book is about after the war and how irritated she is with her husband and employment and how she longs to be a writer.
I would have rather had a bit more pre-war background on the family, why they had to leave Budapest, and what her parents ended up doing. She goes into no detail about how she and her first husband part ways or how she meets her 2nd husband. Not even in the dedication in the front of the book does she mention her daughter, only her son. Very odd indeed.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jungle Jack Hanna's The Wackiest Wildest Weirdest Animals in the World

Jungle Jack Hanna The Wackiest Wildest Weirdest Animals in the World
by Jack Hanna
Thomas Nelson Publishing

This book kept disappearing at my house. Everyone wanted to read it. We were all facinated by it. This book is amazing. There are so many fun facts along with large beautiful pictures. The book is not only fun and entertaining but also educational as well. My children and I learned which animal smells like popcorn. There is even an animal whose fur color rubs off onto your hands when you pet it! The book comes with a DVD of Jack Hanna's bloopers from his TV show. After you have read this book you will be able to answer most any unusual animal question.
What a great gift to give a child of any age. My children, 4, 8, and 13, really liked this one. Grandma even enjoyed this one! Don't forget to give your animal lover this book for any occasion!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


by Brandilyn Collins
Zondervan Publishing

This book had me up really late last night. Part of me really wanted to find out the ending and the other part of me was a bit scared. So, if you like a good mystery read Exposure. Kaycee is the main character and she thinks someone is watching her. Her mother spent her life always looking behind her. Kaycee thought her mother was crazy and she passed it on to her. But was her mom crazy? Kaycee writes a newspaper column about fears. She herself is afraid of many things. She keeps seeing a picture of a deceased man pop up, with no evidence to show the local Sheriff. Matt is a police officer that answers her many pleas for help. He thinks she is crazy, but when one clue leads to another he is not so sure she is just a crazy lady.
I do not usually read these kinds of books, but I decided to give this one a try. I was fine reading up until it was time to go to bed. I guess I just needed to make sure everything turns out alright. Although this book is from a Christian publishing company, there is not a light of religion in it. In the epilogue Kaycee brings to light God. I thought was out of place. I would have liked to see her relying on God a bit more. I felt like the author slapped that at the end to make it a Christian book. Overall I felt this book was well written and had lots of twists and turns.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Love's Pursuit

by Siri Mitchell
Bethany House Publishing

Love's Pursuit takes place in Massachusetts during the Puritan era. Susannah is a puritan girl who on the outside seems to be the eye of perfections. However, Susannah thinks herself to be a sinner and judges herself harshly. A captain from the "King's army" comes to their village because he has heard reports of savages. I do not want to give too much away, but will Susannah fall in love with a man from her own puritan village or with the Captain and his heathen ways? You will have to read to find out!!
This one was a bit hard to get into at first because I have not read much about the Puritans and was a bit confused at firs by some of the goings on and their language. I wished that the author had given a bit of an introduction, perhaps a bit of actual history, before delving into the story.
However, that does NOT mean I did not like it, I really enjoyed this story. It gave me a bit of what life was like for the Puritans. It also kept me driven to read to the end, because I had no idea how the end would turn out. I must say I was disappointed in the ending, but that is just me. Leave a comment here after you have read it and let me know how you liked the ending!

Sometimes a Light Surprises

by Jamie Langston Turner
Bethany House Publishing

Ben's wife was murdered over 20 years ago and no one knows who did it. Ben and his children are estranged, he was never really there for them after Chloe died. Chloe started going to church about 6 weeks before her death. Chloe and Ben fought over it, he never understood why she found religion.
Well, this is what part of the book is about. There were so many characters introduced and over 4 people that were telling their own story that is was hard to follow. All of the people were connected, but never really meshed. We would get a detailed account of something going on in their life but then it would be months later and something else goes on in their life. I was frustrated by the lack of a story line and bits and pieces of several people's stories but never anything in full. At the end of the book I felt that there really was not any conclusion or really not much of a book. I would have stopped reading it but I had to finish in order to do my review. I am usually able to be give a rounded out review of both sides, but I just did not like this book. This is the first book I have read by Turner, so I may try to read another one of hers to see if this is her writing style.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Bride in the Bargain

by Deeanne Gist
Bethany House Publishing

I loved this book! I got it in the mail today and finished it just a bit ago. It is about a gal, Anna, that goes to Seattle right after the civil war ends. She thinks she is going to be a cook for a lumberjack and his crew. When she arrives she finds out she is supposed to be his bride. Joe needs a bride to secure his 640 acres. Written in a contract it states he is to be married (a family man) to entitle him to 640 acres, otherwise he loses half of his property. What links he goes to in order to get Anna to marry him. Anna tries her best not to fall for Joe. She blames herself for the loss of her mother, father, and younger brother. I do not want to give away the ending so I will not tell you the outcome. 

I really like the way Deeanne Gist wrote this book. There was no lagging in the plot. It ran smoothly and had no slow parts. I just couldn't wait to read the next chapter. You will not regret reading this book!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Jesus Calling

Jesus Calling
by Sarah Young
Thomas Nelson Publishing

This small, 5x7, book is a daily devotional for those of us who want to become closer to Jesus Christ. Sarah Young divides this book into months with a date on each selection. There is also a scripture reference at the end of each passage. Each devotional is written from the Savior's perspective.
I really did not like this book very much. I thought I would, but I think there was too many ideas that I did not agree with. I believe that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father are 2 separate beings and that we pray to Heavenly Father in Jesus' name. Throughout the book there are references to praying to Jesus. Other then the discrepancies of my personal beliefs, there were a few daily devotionals that hit home to me. When trying to gain a closer relationship with the Savior this book may be a good choice. It is also nice that the passages has been broken down into daily readings. I think it is especially good that there are scripture references at the end of each day's reading. This will give those that want to study the scriptures a way to correlate with their reading. Jesus Calling would be a great gift to give a loved one as well.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When Love Blooms

When Love Blooms
by Robin Lee Hatcher
Zondervan Publishing
copyright 2008

I really enjoy reading books set in different periods of history. This novel is set in the late 1880's in Idaho.
Emily Harris becomes a governess for for two little girls in a rural area of Idaho. The girls' mother, Dru, is dying of cancer. The girls' stepfather, Gavin, and Dru are married in name only. Dru wishes to find love for her husband, so he will be happy after her death.
When Love Blooms shows its readers that even through trials God is always there. Emily learns to love and trust her heart and God.
I had a hard time putting this book down. I wanted to find out what happens to Emily and how or if she and Gavin find love. Gavin had such a hard childhood and has a deep distrust of women. I was rooting for him to come to love Emily. There is a bit of history in the book as well, although not as much as I would have liked. Overall a wonderful, fun, light romance.

Zondervan publishing

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How Sweet It Is

How Sweet It Is
by Alice J. Wisler

I could not put this book down! I read it in two days.  This book is a Christian novel with a hint of romance.  Deena Livingston inherits a cabin located in North Carolina from her grandfather. She decides to move from Georgia to her new cabin, escaping her heartbreak and scars of her past. She does not intend to get to know her neighbors. Deena decides to start a cake decorating business and according to her grandfather's wishes she must also teach cooking to a group of teenagers.
She does not really know much about her grandfather, Ernest, however the more she gets to know the locals the more she learns about him and why he believed that she would come to love the cabin.
Deena comes to embrace her past and starts to trust and pray to God again. She is able to forgive and embrace her emotional and physical scars.

I highly recommend this book to everyone looking for a refreshing light read.