Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Heroines by Eileen Favorite

Penny is sick of the attention her mother gives to the Heroines that pop out of story books into their lives. It finally becomes too much when a hero comes to capture the heroine back. That has never happened before and it might just tear apart the world that Penny and her mother share.

Ms. Favorite took an idea already presented in a novel and gave it a twist. I was not only impressed with how well she took the fictional characters and kept them true. I also enjoyed how seeing them in every day life even though the book was set in the 1970's. The ending was one that I didn't even see coming.

Penny wanted her freedom but trying to hide the visitors from the outside world was never easy. She had to keep it all a secret as well. Her mother just rolled with the punches and opened her bed and breakfast to them even if it meant taking over family space to keep them hidden. Penny was just tired of it all. But even she couldn't see what was going to happen next.

While this one was not a huge favorite, I was intrigued from beginning to end with how it would all play out. It is one I am glad that I own and will keep on my shelves. Ms. Favorite has written a book that truly keeps you turning pages to see what happens next and what character will show up that they have to hide. I would definitely love to see what this author brings to the book shelves next. I am impressed!

Eileen Favorite/ New author/ Fictional Characters/General Fiction/ Growing Up/ 256 pages/ 4 out of 5

Tomorrow I'm going to take a break from reading. I hope to pick Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber on Monday.

FTC: This book is from my book shelves that I own.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson

Finally the story is told in detail of the life Anne had before coming to live with the Cuthberts. There is also a little bit about her parents and their lives. Anne is truly a girl who takes a lot but never gives up dreaming. Her parents die when she is 3 months old, and she is taken in by the lady who helped clean the house for Bertha. That is just the beginning of a long journey for an eleven year old girl.

Ms. Wilson did such a fantastic job that I felt apart of the story. I could feel the emotions and sometimes even cried along with Anne. She not only grabbed the essence of L.M. Montgomery's work but was able to write stuff that as far as I know never been written in detail before.

I love Anne. My favorite fictional character of all time who gave me a passion to dream myself. Her imagination was one of the things that kept her going. Also her tenacity for life kept her going no matter how difficult. She did break down but after all even she can only take so much. Her hopes were dashed and the depths of despair were something she experienced with all of her heart. Sometimes it seemed like she was just being melodramatic but I kept hoping for the best anyways.

This is one book that won't leave my shelf any time soon. I recommend it highly for anyone who loves Anne and I enjoyed it so much. Some of this was in the movie with the Hammonds and going to the orphanage. I am curious to brush off my copy of Anne of Green Gables if it's still in readable condition. I may have to tape it up since I loved it so much! This is one I may revisit when I need something to get me out of a slump.

Budge Wilson/New author/ General Fiction/ 400 pages/Canada/Anne of Green Gables

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Christmas Hope by Donna VanLiere and Movie

Patti and Mark Addison lost their son in a car accident 4 years go. Since then, they have slowly drifted apart. Patti has engrossed herself in her work. It all changes when she meets 5 year old Emily. Breaking the rules to bring her home with her is just the start. Patti watches Mark melt around the little girl and soon finds herself in the same spot. Now she can only hope that she can find a way for them to be a family. Hope finds her and Mark in another way with a gift that is long overdue.

Ms. VanLiere puts heart into a story that makes your own heart melt. The characters have their faults but learn to work through their problems. Also her characters seem to have a lot to work through but that's what made it come across as so real to me.

I really loved Patti's dedication to her job. She truly loved what she was doing but had lost how to communicate with her husband in the process. She had to find a new balance all over again. Mark was a sweet heart but he could only take so much. Emily couldn't believe her mom was gone but having attention sure helped as well as love from the people around her whether new or old. I loved Emily's neighbors Greta and Hal. They were the cutest old married couple. They kept me in stitches throughout the novel and warmed my heart as well.

This was a great book and I loved seeing repeat characters even if they only had a line or two. I am curious to see how the next book goes and I won't wait till next Christmas either. Hope and Love should be celebrated all year long. I am keeping this short so that I don't give too much away.

Donna VanLiere/ Christmas Story/ Fiction/224 pages/ 5 out of 5

I watched the movie and despite a few changes I really liked it. There was one thing I really didn't like and that I won't give away cause it is central to the story. You know about it but I like the way it was handled better in the book than in the movie. Oh, well, you can't win every day! Tomorrow I start Before Anne of Green Gables by Budgie Wilson. I have heard great things about this.

FTC: This book is one I borrowed from a family member.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Immanuel:Reflections on the Life of Christ by Michael Card

Different songs that were written by Michael Card head up this non-fiction book and express better than simple words can. It helps if you know the songs but the words are beautiful on their own without the music. After each song, Mr. Card writes a brief essay about the subject of the song and what it shows. I was so pleased cause I not only got a glimpse into his writing process but how he thinks things through for each and every song at least listed in this book.

I have grown up listening to this music and even though this book is a little old, I was so pleased with how things were put together. Things flowed well from each section from birth to the Cross. The songs a lot of them brought back memories of growing up. I was impressed with how his writing style really hasn't changed from A Violent Grace and this previous work.

I have other books of his on the shelf and cannot wait to read more of his thoughts! This review is only short due to the fact that the book should speak for itself.

Michael Card/Non-Fiction/Life of Christ/247 pages/ 4 out of 5

FTC: This is a book that I own.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

2009 in Review

Here it is finally! :)

Here are the books I read last year:

1.Glad Tidings by Debbie Macomber A+
2.Murder with all the Trimmings by Elaine Viets A+
3.Dana's Valley by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan A
4. The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky A+
5. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells A
6.19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult A+
7.No Angel by Penny Vincenzi A
8.Other People's Business by Pamela Yaye A
9. Fit To Be Tied by Karen Kendall B
10.Nora, Nora by Anne Rivers Siddons A+
11.A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick A+ (fav this year)
12.If You Really Loved Me by Ann Rule B
13.The Messenger by Daniel Silva A
14.Darling Daughters by Debbie Macomber A+
15.The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark C
16.The Sanctuary by Raymond Khoury A
17.Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult A+
18.Love in the Fast Lane by Jenna McKnight B
19.Leap of Faith by Queen Noor A+
20.Domestic Affairs by Eileen Goudge B
21.Dog on It by Spencer Quinn A
22.Losing It by Valerie Bertinelli A
23.The Last Mermaid by Shana AbeDNF
24.Fade Away by Harlan Coben A
25.The Stamp of Glory by Tim Stafford C
26.Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde A+
27.Love at First Flight by Elizabeth Strohfus and Cheryl J. Young A+
28.The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger C+
29.Who Makes the Rules Anyways? By Stevi Mittman B
30.Hold Tight by Harlan Coben A+
31.Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon A+
32.Unspoken by Angela Hunt A+
33.A World I never Made by James LePore A+
34.Backspin by Harlan Coben A
35.The Great Shame by Thomas Keneally A+
36.Thursday Next by Jasper Fforde A
37.Dating Games by Leigh Michaels A+
38.One False Move by Harlan Coben A
39.The Note by Angela Hunt A+ (fav this year)
40. The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks A+
41.The Great Influenza by John M. Barry B
42.Austenland by Shannon Hale A+ (Another fav)
43.Waiting to surface by Emily Listfield-DNF
44.Lords of Corruption by Kyle Mills B
45.The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas by John Boyne A+ (another fav)
46.The Agency by Ally O'Brien-DNF
47.The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White B
48.Stalked by Brian Freeman A
49.In the Dark by Brian Freeman A
50.In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White A+
51.The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf A
52.Nefertiti by Michelle Moran B
53.The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe A+ (another fav)
54.The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson B
55.Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear A+ (Another fav)
56.The Midwife's Tale by Gretchen Moran Laskas B
57.The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews B
58.A Violent Grace by Michael Card A+
59.The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann A
60.The Christmas Blessing by Donna VanLiere A+

Now for stats:
Favorites: 6 (if I counted right)
Chunksters: 10
Non-Fiction: 9
New Authors: 37
Mystery: 14
Romance: 5
Review: 5
Total Pages: 20,879

So for skipping the month of October for reading, I think I had a good year. Maybe not as good as years past but life and life changes have definitely made it interesting to read. I hope to read as many books as last year if not more, we'll see how this year pans out. I definitely read more of my own books and hope to continue to do that as well as more Christian books. :)

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Christmas Blessign by Donna VanLiere

Nathan Andrews is all grown up and in his third year as a medical student. He struggles to find a purpose when he sees so many patients dying and unable to help them. Meeting Megan Sullivan will not only change his life but might just be the pick up he needs. She also has a lot she can teach Nathan. Nathan has a lot to think about but maybe he'll finally understand everything his mother used to tell him.

Ms. VanLiere did a fantastic job in this book. It's been awhile since I have read The Christmas SHoes but I remember enjoying it very much. The flashbacks in this book helped my memory and gave great flow to the book. I was impressed with not only her handling of the different characters but how well she balanced all the emotion in the story. It never felt like it was over the top nor too much for me to handle in one book. I can't wait to read more of her work.

Nathan is stubborn but knows he wants to help people like he wasn't able to help his mom. He also has a great gift with children that is not easy to come by. His family is there to support him and he will need their support the more the story progresses. His father is steadfast and so amazingly nice. He never questions what Nathan wants to do but is able to turn it around so Nathan questions himself. Got to love that parent ability.

This is one author who I am so pleased to read again and I have more of hers on the stack that I borrowed from my mother. Ms. VanLiere has a way with words that is a joy to read. Definitely an author you'll see appear more on this blog.

Donna VanLiere/ Fiction/ Christmas/215 pages/5 out of 5

I hope to have my year in review up in a couple days.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

December Stats amd Reads plus a Review

I normally don't put everything together but the fact that I am losing my laptop for a little bit has urged me to get things done.

Here are my stats and reads for December:
1.The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann 12-01-09 through 12-30-09 A
2.The Christmas Blessing by Donna VanLiere 12-30-09 through 12-31-09 A+

Total Books I Read: 2
New Authors: 1
Fiction: 2
Non-Fiction: 0
Chunkster: 0
Mystery: 0
Romance: 0
From the Stacks: 2
Books for Review: 0
Books I Bought:3 (2 with gift card)
Total Pages Read: 311

Now for the review portion:
The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman

This particular translation was done by Aliana Brodmann. I found her explanation of the story very interesting. As the story started and you got a glimpse into the children's world, I fell in love with Marie and the presents her Godfather Drosselmeyer would bring them. The little nutcracker was so sweet but there was more to his story. Her whole family thought Marie was making everything up including the battle between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Godfather Drosselmeyer told a story how the nutcracker came to be. Marie even had a dream of meeting the nutcracker and going off to worlds unknown.

The book was really good but due to life, it took me forever to get through. The story was so different from the ballet. The action was really good and well paced. I loved the rhyming and how Marie refused to believe any different than what she saw in front of her. She was a strong willed little girl but she was loyal to a fault. Godfather Drosselmeyer was a great character who brought depth to the story than even I could imagine.

This is one book that I hope to read to both my boys. It may be awhile cause it was a little scary at times even for me. But I loved reading it and the pictures were gorgeous! Definitely one of the highlights of this Christmas season for me.

E.T.A. Hoffman/ Children's lit/Fiction/99 pages/ 4 out of 5

Well if you must know, I bought The Cat, The Quilt, and the Corpse by Leann Sweeney as well as The Fashion Hound Murders by Elaine Viets with a gift card I got in a work gift exchange. :) I then bought The Polar Express by Charles Van Allsburg with Christmas money from my grandparents. Well Wee One should be up soon, so off to go check on him. I'll post the other review and my Year in Review some time this week.