Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I, Saul, book #89

So when I started reading this book for Book Club I wasn't too into it part of it.  This book switches back and forth for each chapter between modern day and Bible times, specifically when Paul was in the jail right before he was beheaded.  I wasn't really in the mood for a Bible times book, but decided to take one for the club.

But of course, the more I read it, the more intriquing it became and before I knew it I was in hook, line and sinker.  Basically, the modern day part is a group of people looking for texts that Paul wrote about his life as Saul that was never published.  And the Bible times part is Paul writing these texts as a memoir with Luke.  But that is all I want to say about that so I won't give it all away!  

Chris Fabry (remember, a fav of mine!) had an interview with Jerry Jenkins about this around the time that the book came out, but now I can't find it.  If I ever do I'll post it here.

A MURDERER who would change the WORLD

From multi-million copy best-selling novelist Jerry Jenkins comes a compelling international thriller that conveys you from present-day Texas to a dank Roman dungeon in A.D. 67, then down the dusty roads of ancient Israel, Asia, and back to Rome.  A young seminary professor, Augustine Knox, is drawn into a deadly race to save priceless parchments from antiquities thieves and discovers a two- thousand-year old connection with another who faced death for the sake of the truth. I, Saul consists of two riveting adventures in one, transporting you between the stories of Augustine Knox and Saul of Tarsus. Filled with political intrigue, romance, and rich historical detail, I, Saul is a thrilling tale of loyal friendships tested by life-or-death quests, set two millennia apart, told by a master storyteller. (picture and description at amazon)

Happy Reading!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

A house divided, book #88

Finally!  A new Robert Whitlow book!  If you have been reading here long you know he is one of my VERY FAVORITE AUTHORS OF ALL TIME!!! When I saw the picture and ad for this in the new LifeWay sale catalog I sent my hubs a message and asked him nicely to drop everything at work and run to the LifeWay store right there and get it right away!  He was at first skeptical about why on earth we needed more books, but I calmly explained to him the importance of buying Robert Whitlow books because, well, because I love them!!!

Unfortunately I was busy reading other books and did not have time to start it that night, but when I did finally get started it did not disappoint.  This one seemed to be a little "legal" heavy (remember the problem I had with the last Harry Kraus book? Same here ... ) but once I kept reading and kept looking up words I didn't understand it all starting making sense.  I absolutely loved how it ended, when the book started I would have never imagined it ending like it did.

If you like legal books, little lawyer takes on big company, and family forgiveness, then this will be a new favorite of yours also.

Corbin Gage can stand up to anyone . . . But his own divided house will bring him to his knees.  Corbin, a longtime legal champion for the downtrodden, is slowly drinking himself into the grave. His love for “mountain water” has cost him his marriage to the godliest woman he knows, ruined his relationship with his daughter, Roxy, and reduced the business at his small Georgia law firm to a level where he can barely keep the bill collectors at bay. But it isn’t until his son, Ray, threatens to limit Corbin’s time with his grandson that Corbin begins to acknowledge he might have a problem.  Despite the mess that surrounds his personal life and against the advice of everyone he knows, Corbin takes on a high-stakes tort case on behalf of two boys who have contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma due to an alleged chemical exposure. The defendant, a fertilizer company, is the largest employer in the area. The lawsuit becomes a tornado that sucks Corbin, Ray, and Roxy into an increasingly deadly vortex. Equally intense pressure within the family threatens to destroy, once and for all, the thin threads that connect them.  Corbin must find the strength to stand up to his personal demons. Justice for two dying boys depends on it . . . his family depends on it. (picture and description from amazon)

Happy Reading!


The Song, book #87

When it come to reading novelizations, I am always filled with a bit of trepidation.  Most that I have read were written AFTER the movie came out and the author tries to fill in some back story but it is just poorly done.  Or there are ones that take the script and just "make it" a story, but that proves very hard to read.   

So, when we mixed things up this summer for Book Club we decided to read this book then watch the movie.  This time it was a complete flip!  I knew if Chris Fabry wrote it, it would be good.  All he writes is good.  And, I was not disappointed.  This book could be a stand alone, not even have the movie made, and it would be a hit.  

Then we watched the movie, and thought, "Hunh?"  Yes, I know when they take a book and make it a movie they have to chop out about half of it.  (Well, except Holes, the only book-made-to-movie EVER that follows right along and doesn't miss a beat!)  Yes, I guessed as I was reading what would be missing, but a lot more was missing than I thought.  And, well, maybe it was from after reading the detailed book .... but the acting was not that good.  I have been so encouraged by excellent Christian films lately that I thought this one might be a good one, but I was not overly impressed.  Again, maybe because the book was so good that a movie could not keep up.  

Overall it was a good story, and I felt the frustration on both sides.  It made me think about all these singer/performers who make it bigger than they ever thought they would ... they get what they wanted then realize it may be not what they really wanted at all .....

Jed King's life has been shaped and scarred by the songs and mistakes of his famous father. He wants to sing his own song, but the words and melody are elusive. Jed’s dreams of a successful music career seem out of reach . . . until he meets Rose.  Inspired by his love for the vineyard owner’s daughter, Jed pens a new song― a song with such emotional power and longing that it catapults him into stardom. But with this life of fame comes temptation, the same temptation that lured his father so many years ago and now threatens to unravel his marriage. The pull of “The Song” takes Jed and Rose on a journey that will force them to deal with failure, the pain of loss, and the desire to be who God created them to be. Together they will test the limits of the promise that love is the power that heals. Lyrical and deeply honest, The Song asks hard questions of love and forgiveness. When even the wisest of men is a fool for love, can true love persevere?   (picture and description from amazon)

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The letter, er, The timepiece, book #86

 Funny thing happened the other day ... so for Christmas my mom gave me a beautiful hardback copy of The Letter with a paper cover on it.  I was familiar with the author but had not read the stories in this series.  Since I had been busy with other things this one has been sitting in the pile by my bed (probably not even an official pile in the piles to work through) but I was looking for a quick book to read before I started the book club book and picked this one up.  The synopsis on the back didn't sound very intriguing to me, but I started in anyway.  

Evans' style of writing is so beautiful that I feel he could rewrite a scientific journal and you would not even know you were reading something so mundane.  I mean, just listen to this, "Just then, a cuckoo clock erupted in festive announcement of the second hour, followed by a gay, German melody accompanying tiny, brightly colored figurines waltzing in small circles on a wooden track." "Through the heroic efforts of the fire corps, the fire had been isolated to the east wing, though the stench of smoke permeated the entire mansion.  The house itself had escaped serious structural damage, but the damage inflicted upon its occupants was of far greater consequence."  Beautiful, I tell you.  

Unfortunately, the story itself is rather sad, but in the end it all shows how the characters grew through the turmoil.  

However ..... there was no mention of a letter.  You know, The Letter.  I kept thinking it was going to be one of those where the last chapter, last paragraph, last sentence explained the title, but nope.  Not one mention of a letter in the entire book.  

I was perplexed.  I kept flipping the book around and around, but for the life of me I could not figure it out.  At one point the paper cover fell off and I realized what had happened.  The book I read was actually The Timepiece, not The Letter.  I figured that since my mom purchased this book for me at a used book store (her favorite type!) probably whoever donated it just got the covers mixed up and who knows where The Letter actually is.  Chalk it up as funny story.

So the next day I called my mom and told her the funny story.  She gets to sorting through her books and finds she has a copy of The Timepiece that someone gave her.  But wait.  (You see it coming, don't you?)  HER copy of The Timepiece is NOT The Timepiece but, you guessed it!  The Letter!!!  She was the one who accidentally got the covers mixed up somehow!  Of course, knowing my mom - and I've done it too! - she probably read both of these books before giving me one and that is how the covers got mixed up!!  

"Of all, clockmakers and morticians should bear the keenest sense of priority-their lives daily spent in observance of the unflagging procession of time... and the end thereof."
So begins Timepiece, the unforgettable story of hope and the source of the wisdom MaryAnne Parkin shared with Richard in The Christmas Box. With the help of David Parkin's diary, Richard discovers the mystery of the timepiece and the significance of MaryAnne's request.  Nineteen years previous, only eleven days before her death, MaryAnne Parkin had bequeathed a beautiful rose-gold timepiece to my keeping. "The day before you give Jenna away," she had said, her voice trembling as she handed me the heirloom, "give this to her for the gift." I was puzzled by her choice of words. "Her wedding gift?" I asked. She looked at me sadly, then forced a fragile smile. "You will know what I mean."
(pictures and description from amazon

Finishing up one more quick short story before starting on our book club book!


Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Christmas bargain, book #85

So I decided to look for a quick read and have a little Christmas in July, since I never seem to have enough time to read all the Christmas books I want to in December.  This one pretty much fit the bill and it started out great, but started going downhill in a way I did not care for.

This book encapsulated all my favorites ... pioneers, small towns, a little love, underdog ... Luke Granger, the banker, was just trying to have a client pay off his debt.  Mr. Booth, however, had no money at all and whenever he did have money he'd spend it in the saloon.  He did, however have a daughter, who took care of the house.  She seemed to be a homely character with serious self confidence issues, so afraid of her father.  When Luke shows up at the homestead demanding payment, he discovers Mr. Booth has nothing and was planning to "trade" his daughter to the saloon to pay off his debt there.  Not that Luke had any need for a wife or housekeeper, and the girl was not much to look at, he could not let her be given to the saloon.  So he agrees to take the girl for his payment and they are off.  

To find out what happens, you need to read it for yourself.   Your opinion may very well differ from mine!  

As owner and manager of the Hardman bank, Luke Granger is a man of responsibility and integrity in the small 1890s Eastern Oregon town. When he calls in a long overdue loan, Luke reluctantly accepts a bargain in lieu of payment from the shiftless farmer who barters his daughter to settle his debt. Philamena Booth is both mortified and relieved when her father sends her off with the banker as payment of his debt. Held captive on the farm by her father since the death of her mother more than a decade earlier, she is grateful to leave. If only it had been someone other than the handsome and charismatic Luke Granger riding in to rescue her. Ready to uphold her end of the bargain as Luke’s cook and housekeeper, she isn’t prepared to marry Luke as part of a crazy Christmas bargain. (picture and description from amazon)

I've already started another book to hold me over before I dig into this month's Book Club book!

Keep Reading!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

52 Steps to murder, book #84

This book exhausted me.  I'm so glad I finally finished. I thought it would be a like a modern day Agatha Christie when I started, but all it did was confuse the goodness out of me and left me hanging till the very end.  Moving on ....

An elderly woman is found poisoned in the upstairs bedroom of her home whose from door stands 52 steps above the street in an old-fashioned whodunit that blends clues, red herrings, suspects, and humor. (picture and description at amazon)


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The guest book, book #83

In case you are wondering, no I did not read this in two days.  We were at the beach last week (holla!) and the Good Hope Road book I had was an old, falling apart book of my mom's and I did not want to take it to the actual beach in case it got more messed up.  (Which was a good thing, since thanks to the windy conditions my copy of this book will not be fit for the library now!)  So, since this is our Book Club Book for this month anyway I was reading it in between the other.

Loved this book!  It was a book that kept me sucked in the whole time, constantly wondering what was going to happen next!  There was just enough "Jesus" in it to make me feel good, but not so much that it made me feel like she slathered it on to classify it as Christian fiction.  The characters were very believeable and even though the story had a few more details than certain friends would prefer I found it a natural flow and not like she was pushing them on the reader.  

All in all I highly recommend it!

When Macy Dillon was five years old her father encouraged her to draw a picture in the guestbook of a Carolina beach house. The next year, Macy returned to discover a drawing by an unidentified little boy on the facing page. Over the next eleven years the children continue to exchange drawings … until tragedy ends visits to the beach house altogether. During her final trip to Sunset, Macy asks her anonymous friend to draw her one last picture and tells him where to hide the guest book in hopes that one day she will return to find it―and him. Twenty-five years after that first picture, Macy is back at Sunset Beach―this time toting a broken family and a hurting heart. One night, alone by the ocean, Macy asks God to help her find the boy she never forgot, the one whose beautiful pictures touched something deep inside of her. Will she ever find him? And if she does, will the guestbook unite them or merely be the relic of a lost childhood? (picture and description from amazon

Now its time to decide what's next!! 

Happy reading!