Monday, February 18, 2013

Starting Now - Debbie Macomber

This is another Blossom Street Novel by Debbie Macomber. I enjoyed it but was a little surprised by it. Libby has always dreamed of making partner in the law firm, she works crazy hours and when she is called into her boss's office she is sure that they will offer her the Partnership, instead she gets laid off and told 'go enjoy life'. This is how Libby learns to enjoy life and the pleasant surprises and friendships she makes along the way. As in any good book there is some conflict, joy, sorrow, love, relationships that grow and a few surprises along the way.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Prayer Chair Carla McDougal

This newest book by Carla is a great read. The book is divided into 1-2 page God provoking stories. Her goal is to make sure you have God in your thoughts 24 hours a day 7 days a week and these chapters help you think of every day tasks as ways to pray for your children / how to make your prayer time more meaningful, how God can be involved in cleaning, gardening, the list is endless. And who doesn't want to have a Prayer Chair? Every time I hear it I visual mine and wish God and I were curled up there sharing right this minute. Thanks Carla, can't wait to see what God does next for us through you.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Too Hot to Handle (Jackson, #2)Too Hot to Handle by Victoria Dahl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once I started this one I could not put it down. There is just something about Victoria Dahl's writing that I love. And I have been turned off of romance novels for a bit now because of their repetitiveness but this book did not bring any of those feelings up at all.

I thought the characters were great. I could relate well to Merry, with her perpetual awkwardness and not being the one to stand out in a crowd. I could relate to Shane, as the person being pulled in 15 different directions while searching for answers, still not knowing what he wants.

The people in these novels are so quirky but relate-able and adorable I cannot help but fall in love with them. I am always up for new Victoria Dahl!!

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Until the End of Time - Danielle Steel

One out of five Stars. Not my favorite DS book. Actually very disappointed. This was the story of 2 couples who believe that when you die you come back as someone else. I don't believe this but even if I did how did the second couple come back as the first couple? There was nothing similar about them. The second women was labeled as Old Order Amish, this was not portrayed properly in my opinion. I have done a lot of reading on Amish and I felt this was so far out there for Amish in general but for Old Order Amish, it would never happen this way. I almost feel as if she did them injustice. I did enjoy the story of Bill and Jenny but again just a little more unrealistic to me. Very un DS like.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I tend to not read other people's reviews of books until I am done because I have realized other people tend to suck (at least in terms of guessing what my opinion of a book will be). I loved and hated this book all at the same time within the same breath. I liked the resolution, I liked the strength in all the characters but most of all I liked that the female protagonist thought for herself. She, like most of us, listened to what everyone had to say and then did it her way- sometimes this was good, other times not so much. It truly showed Katniss's humanity, and helped me to relate to her.

But let me tell you I will NEVER get over Finnick's death, ever. I honestly believe I will not be able to see the movie version due to his death, I am that distraught. I can understand Prim's death, it brought a wholeness to the story and played well into the reasons Katniss acted as she did. Finnick, on the other hand, I loved that boy and I am not sure I can forgive his death.

Am I glad I read these? Yes, I am. I think they are well done and introduce a generation to the true horrors that are present in this world in a way that they can understand. Plus I did enjoy the entertainment value. However, I am traumatized a bit by the violence and death of possibly my favorite character. I still think it's good, though I am not sure I would ever be able to reread it.

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Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think this book made the 1st one worth reading. The first book, to me was a lot of mindless violence. This book led up to something, there was a point and there were good and evil. I liked this story a lot better than the first. However, the beginning is slow, which I do believe I had that problem with the 1st one as well. Until we get to the Capitol and into the arena I get bored. Do not read the 2nd if you do not plan on reading the 3rd as there is no resolution in the 2nd, simply a great story line leading to the 3rd.

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A Penny's WorthA Penny's Worth by Nancy DeRosa
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am not really sure where to start with this review. I liked the book alright but it was nothing special. I was not a fan of the writing style. The switching between
character names and pronouns were odd. I feel like the pronouns were used incorrectly and at odd times. The fact that main character called her mother by her first name sometimes and mom the others irked me for some reason. Chapters were spaced oddly, with weird gaps that made no sense.

On the story itself, it was acceptable. I enjoyed how much we got to see Penny change but the constant self degradation was not flattering and Penny cried far too often for me to like her. Also, I had a difficult time with her increasing alcohol consumption. It was like the only way she could make friends was when she was drinking and I have a problem with that belief.

I did love Penny's mantra of "I'm worth more than that." As a therapist myself, having a mantra is something I encourage all my client's to do. Even when you don't believe it, reminding yourself is a powerful tool. I loved that many chapters ended with Penny repeating her mantra to herself. My own personal mantra comes from He's Just Not That Into You (the book, not the movie) which says "I'm not the exception but I am exceptional!"

My favorite character was nurse Reins who I thought they could have developed more. She seemed like a great mentor and someone who challenged Penny in good ways. Less mom, less self deprecation, more empowerment please!

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Peter, Eyewitness to Majesty by Mindy Ferguson

I just finished Mindy Ferguson’s, Bible Study, Peter, Eyewitness to Majesty.
What a great in-depth study on Peter’s walk from the first ‘follow me’ till his death.  In this 10 week study I learned a lot about Peter, Jesus and myself.
Peter is an ordinary man, a fisherman, he was eager, impulsive, quick to speak, acted without thinking, and learned to turn his weaknesses into strengths.  This could be me on any given day.
We watched Peter take risks, we watched him fail and we watched him succeed, Peter was commissioned to spread God’s word and everything that happened to him made him into the man who traveled and shared the gospel with so many.
A few of the great things this study reminded me of was that I don’t have to be perfect to experience God’ grace, not to worry about tomorrow, the downfall of judging others, how to deal with the difficult people in our lives.
I became more aware of recognizing change in my life and the work God is doing in and through me.
I enjoy the daily synopsis and the 5th day recaps, they do a great job of bringing it all together.
I would recommend this book to do individually or with a small group, so much to learn and be reminded of in during the 10 weeks.  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Threads of Grace - Kelly Long

This is an Amish Fiction book but a little different than most that I have read.
When you first start off you get a bad feeling in your stomach as what you are going to read you are not going to like and you don't but Kelly did a great job of skipping over those bad years and brings us to a place where love can flourish. Grace and her son move after her husband dies, and this is Graces story (and her sons). Grace decides to get married to save her son from his uncle. How does Grace and her husband get a long, how does a son with special needs fit in, Painting? I think there are too many unnecessary characters in this book. I enjoyed the book and recommend it, remember this is the second one in the series and although you don't have to read the first one first I would suggest you read it as well.