Showing posts from February, 2011

Book Review: "The Brotherhood" by Jerry B. Jenkins

Summary from Boone Drake has it made. He’s a young cop rising rapidly through the ranks of the Chicago Police Department. He has a beautiful wife and a young son, a nice starter house, a great partner, and a career plan that should land him in the Organized Crime Division within five years. Everything is going right. Until everything goes horribly, terribly wrong. His personal life destroyed and his career and future in jeopardy, Boone buries himself in guilt and bitterness as his life spirals out of control. But when he comes face-to-face with the most vicious gang leader Chicago has seen in decades, he begins to realize that God is a God of second chances and can change the hardest heart . . . and forgive the worst of crimes.

The book is pretty much split in two sections. The first half deals with Boone dealing with the tragic accident that took his young family. This half most resonated with me because of the raw emotions that are presented here. I wanted to weep with B…

My Library Reads No. 9

My Library Reads is a spotlight on the library books that I have read during the previous week. This is not a post on what books I borrowed but books that I read. Since I don't review library books, this is a way to still be able to showcase them on my blog.

BTW, if anyone knows of another meme that is like this on another blog, could you please let me know? I don't know of any myself, but if there is one already in place, I'd like to give credit where credit is due!

Library Books read from 2/20/11 - 2/26/11

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 10/12/10)

YA - This is another of those books that I picked up simply because of other book bloggers and all the talk on twitter. It's a split contemporary and historical fiction book, taking place in modern day New York and France and then during the French Revolution. The book starts off with Andi who I found to be incredibly annoying. Seriously, she was such a brat. I understand th…

Book Review: "A Billion Reasons Why" by Kristin Billerbeck

Summary from Katie McKenna has never loved any man but one: billionaire Luc DeForges. He was her first love. But there are a billion reasons why she's engaged instead to Dexter Hastings, a solid and stable man who wants the same things she does: marriage and a family but all of the things that she wants without the deep-seeded pain and fear of being abandoned that Luc brings.

Dexter and she have worked an arrangement that's akin to faith without action, love without deeds -- a dead faith. Going home to New Orleans to sing for her childhood friend's wedding, Katie must search her heart to find out if any of her reasons for being with Dexter are stronger than love. Only when Katie steps fully into faith and jumps off the cliff of life into the arms of Luc does she understand the fullness of God's grace.

I haven't been able to find a lot of good romances lately. I'm not into the whole bodice ripper type deal nor am I a fan of guy meets girl, they fall in l…

Book Winner

Congrats to the winner of Book of Days by James Rubart!

Book Review: "Save the Date" by Jenny B. Jones

Summary from Former NFL star Alex Sinclair is a man who has it all--except the votes he needs to win his bid for Congress. Despite their mutual dislike, Alex makes Lucy a proposition: pose as his fiancee in return for the money she desperately needs. Bound to a man who isn't quite what he seems, Lucy will find her heart on the line--and maybe even her life. When God asks Alex and Lucy to scrap their playbook and follow his rules, will they finally say, "I do"?

This book is a new twist on popular boy and nerd girl story. Alex is a former NFL player who is planning on running for office. Lucy is in charge of a Saving Grace, an organization that helps out young women. He needs her because he needs to shed his former playboy image in order to be considered seriously for Congress. She needs him because he will offer her the money to keep Saving Grace running. Therefore the two come up with the idea to be "engaged" to each other and form a relationship t…

Book Review: "Angel Sister" by Ann H. Gabhart

Summary from It is 1936 and Kate Merritt, the middle child of Victor and Nadine, works hard to keep her family together. Her father slowly slips into alcoholism and his business suffers during the Great Depression. As her mother tries to come to grips with their situation and her sisters seem to remain blissfully oblivious to it, it is Kate who must shoulder the emotional load. Who could imagine that a dirty, abandoned little girl named Lorena Birdsong would be just what the Merritts need?

When I first picked up this book, I thought the plot was just going to be about a teen girl and the new sister she found along the way. I did not expect such a rich, deep and beautiful story about forgiveness and how bitterness can take a hold of oneself for years. The words in this story are so moving and powerful. I got swept into the lives of these characters and I did not want to leave. This book was absolutely a joy to read.

The frame of the story deals with Kate, a young teen durin…

Book Review: "Separate From the World" by P.L. Gaus

As another college year draws to an end, Professor Michael Branden is weary after nearly thirty years of teaching. Sitting in his office on a warm spring day, he receives an unexpected visit from an Amish man who claims his brother, a dwarf like himself, has been murdered. Their discussion of the odd details of the case is interrupted by a commotion on campus, which turns out to be the apparent suicide of a young college woman, who it seems has leapt to her death from the college bell tower.

The investigations of these two deaths become intertwined as Professor Branden again teams up with Pastor Cal Troyer and Sheriff Bruce Robertson to seek explanations for these bizarre events.

Out of all the books so far in the Amish-Country series, this one was my favorite. First off, I believe it's the longest (though not by much) but enough to give the story a bit more depth. Second, this is a really good story dealing with everything from college life to dwarfism to genetics to child kidna…

Book Winners

Congrats to the winners of Radio Shangri-La by Lisa Napoli:

Ingrid S
Rebecca Rasmussen

Book Review: "A Prayer for the Night" by P.L. Gaus

Summary from author's website: Amid a whirlwind of drugs, sex, and other temptations of the "English" world, a group of Amish teenagers on the Rumschpringe test the limits of their parent’s religion to the breaking point. The murder of one teenager and the abduction of another challenge Professor Michael Branden as he confronts the communal fear that the young people can never be brought home safely.

Along with Holmes County Sheriff Bruce Robertson and Pastor Cal Troyer, Professor Branden works against the clock to find a murderer and a kidnapper, and to break a drug ring operating in the county, determined, wherever the trail may lead him, to restore the shattered community.

Unlike my last review of Clouds Without Rain which left me feeling kinda ho-hum, this new volume in the Amish-Country Mystery series brought back much revival into the series. For one, this story stood out in my mind because it shows the faults and difficulties that do happen with the Amish. The p…

Book Review: "Lady in the Mist" by Laurie Alice Eakes

Summary from By virtue of her profession as a midwife, Tabitha Eckles is the keeper of many secrets: the names of fathers of illegitimate children, the level of love and harmony within many a marriage, and now the identity of a man who may have caused his wife's death. Dominick Cherrett is a man with his own secret to keep: namely, what he, a British nobleman, is doing on American soil working as a bondsman in the home of Mayor Kendall, a Southern gentleman with his eye on a higher office.

By chance one morning before the dawn has broken, Tabitha and Dominick cross paths on a misty beachhead, leading them on a twisted path through kidnappings, death threats, public disgrace, and . . . love? Can Tabitha trust Dominick? What might he be hiding? And can either of them find true love in a world that seems set against them?

As someone who grew up in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, it was awesome to see my hometown during early 1800s. I don't normally see this area used …

Book Review: "Book of Days" by James L. Rubart

Summary from What if you were losing your most treasured memories? Of your wife who passed away, of your dad who died far too young? What if you heard of a book where all of those memories are recorded and you could get them back? And what if this book also told your future? Would you believe it? Would you go on a desperate search for it, holding onto a strand of hope it would bring healing and answer all your questions?

Young Cameron Vaux's mind is slipping. Memories of his wife, killed two years earlier in a car accident, are vanishing just as his late father predicted they would. Memories he knows are critical to remember. But his only hope for answers, and a cure, seems to lie in search for a book--and a God--he doesn't believe in.

I was intrigued by this story. Cameron's quest was to find a mysterious book that his dementia suffering father talked about on his deathbed. This leads him to a place in Oregon, where Cameron finds that he is losing his …

Book Review: "Clouds Without Rain" by P.L. Gaus

Summary from In the wooded Amish hill country, a professor at a small college, a local pastor, and the county sheriff are the only ones among the mainstream, or "English," who possess the instincts and skills to work the cases that impact all county residents, no matter their code of conduct or religious creed.

A fatal accident involving and Amish buggy and an eighteen-wheeler sets Professor Michael Branden on a quest to uncover the links between the crash and a spate of disturbing events.

I have to say, unfortunately, out of all the books in the series that this was the most forgettable. Unlike the past books, I didn't find anything that really stood out to me in the story. It's written well and I like Professor Branden and Pastor Troyer's characters very much and I really enjoy their knowledge of the Amish community. The plot about the two sects of Amish are interesting as modernization vs Old Order gets a lot of discussion in the book. Th…

Book Review: "The Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook" by Matt Dunn

Summary from publisher: "It's not me—it's you."

After ten years, Jane's had enough of Edward Middleton. "You've let yourself go," she tells him. "So I'm letting you go too."

Determined to get her back, Edward realizes he must learn how to make women want him again. But right now, he's the kind of man who puts the "ex" in "sexy." One thing is certain: if he's going to be Jane's Mr. Right, he needs to turn himself around. From Atkins to Waxing, Edward begins working his way through the makeover alphabet.

But is a change in appearance what Jane really wants? Can cuddly Teddy really become sexy Eddie? Or is there more to the dating game than meets the eye?

Are you in the need for a funny book? Do you want something that will make you forget about your own problems? Looking for a light read after all that heavy reading? Have you ever wondered what goes on in guy's mind? Do you like hot British guys? If you…

Book Review: "Radio Shangri-La" by Lisa Napoli

Summary from Lisa Napoli was in the grip of a crisis, dissatisfied with her life and her work as a radio journalist. When a chance encounter with a handsome stranger presented her with an opportunity to move halfway around the world, Lisa left behind cosmopolitan Los Angeles for a new adventure in the ancient Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan—said to be one of the happiest places on earth.

Long isolated from industrialization and just beginning to open its doors to the modern world, Bhutan is a deeply spiritual place, devoted to environmental conservation and committed to the happiness of its people—in fact, Bhutan measures its success in Gross National Happiness rather than in GNP. In a country without a single traffic light, its citizens are believed to be among the most content in the world. To Lisa, it seemed to be a place that offered the opposite of her fast-paced life in the United States, where the noisy din of sound-bite news and cell phones dominate our days, and meaningfu…

My Library Reads No. 8

My Library Reads is a spotlight on the library books that I have read during the previous week. This is not a post on what books I borrowed but books that I read. Since I don't review library books, this is a way to still be able to showcase them on my blog.

BTW, if anyone knows of another meme that is like this on another blog, could you please let me know? I don't know of any myself, but if there is one already in place, I'd like to give credit where credit is due!

Library Books read from 2/6/11 - 2/12/11

Stitch Me Deadly by Amanda Lee (Berkley Prime Crime, 2/1/11)

Cozy Mystery: 2nd book in the Embroidery Mystery series. Cute mystery series involving an owner of an embroidery specialty shop who keeps having dead people turn up in her store. I really like the pace of this mystery series. It's slow but comforting. The mystery is very good and I didn't know who the killer was until the very end. I liked Marcy's relationship with her mother. They actual…

Book Review: "Chosen" by Ted Dekker

It has been 13 years since Black, and the Forest Guard is slowly being defeated by the Horde. Thomas Hunter is forced to lower the recruiting age from 18 to 16 in order to find enough troops to train for his armies. Of those new recruits, four are chosen to become squad leaders--two boys and two girls--but first they must pass one of Thomas's tests and bring four cacti back to the group.

Nothing goes as expected on their quest, though. They are pursued by the Horde and Johnis, the youngest of the four, sees both Roush and Shatiki--both of which vanished 13 years ago. The Roush give Johnis a new mission: he, along with the other three recruits, must recover the six missing Books of History. Silvie is the only one willing to follow John's lead, though, and rescuing the other two from the trouble they bring upon themselves only delays the quest for the books. The books have the power to bring about unspeakable evil if they fall into the wrong hands.

I always get a bit wary when an …

Book Review: "A Man of His Word" by Kathleen Fuller

In just a few short months, Moriah Miller's perfect life unravels. Newly wed and newly pregnant, Moriah is abandoned by her husband, Levi. He's left her, his family, and their faith without a backward glance. The community, stunned, rushes to the young woman's aid.

But there is someone who feels more than just sympathy for Moriah. Gabriel Miller Levi's twin longs for an intimate commitment that might someday bind them to one another. Convinced of the impossibility of his dream, Gabriel settles for a mere friendship with the woman he loves.

Moriah bravely goes on with her life, adjusting to her new role in their tight knit Amish community and preparing for the birth of her child. She is unaware that her brief marriage once idealized as the happiest time in her life may have been merely a shadow of the king of love God has created for her. A love that can mend the soul, renew her heart, and give her a future filled with hope...if only she'll let it.

To be honest, I wasn…

Book Review: "Another Dawn" by Kathryn Cushman

Summary from Grace Graham is back in Tennessee with her four-year-old son on a short unpaid leave from work, helping her father recover from surgery and spending time with her sister. Shoal Creek seems more backward than ever after her years in California, and it's hard to find organic food anywhere.

When the unthinkable happens and her son is diagnosed with measles, Grace's fears over modern medicine take a dangerous turn. Worse, the town has fallen into quarantine and its residents focus their anger and blame on Grace. She is alone and scared, until one brave woman chooses to reach out a hand of forgiveness and mercy. But when the outbreak takes a life-threatening turn, will Grace be able to forgive herself?

This book is extremely relevant and realistic. You can turn on a news program, open a magazine or go on an online message board to read about the debate between vaccinations and the role they play in autism. There are many different views on this and some people…