Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Blogger Hop: What is one thing you do not know about me?

I've been terrible about participating but... This week's question is:

Blogging Question: What is one thing that your blog readers probably do not know about you?

My answer:
I wear glasses, probably because too many times I read in the car at night waiting for the headlights behind us to reach me. :-)

What is your craziest reading habit?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Faith Like Potatoes by Angus Buchan

Faith like potatoes by Angus Buchan film edition coverFaith Like Potatoes: the story of a farmer who risked everything for God by Angus Buchan with Jan Greenough and Val Waldeck. Monarch Books, 2006. 174p. (9780825463358 (USA); 9781854247407 (UK))

If you’ve seen the movie you should definitely read the book. And if you haven’t seen the movie you should still read the book. It’s a wonderful testimony to God’s provision and guidance when we trust Him.

Back cover:
Angus Buchan is a tough, straightforward South African farmer of Scottish extraction, whose gentle but uncompromising faith has carried him through drought, financial crisis and family tragedy. Called by God to preach the gospel, he has found the Holy Spirit working through him in amazing miracles of provision, healing and changed lives.

My review:
Faith like potatoes by Angus Buchan book coverWritten in a very direct, straightforward style Angus tells his story simply and poignantly, never ashamed to admit his failings, never failing to give glory to God. He readily admits when he struggled to fully surrender to God’s will and shares what verses and encouragements helped him be obedient.

Angus was born in Southern Rhodesia (now called Zimbabwe), grew up in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), and eventually settled in South Africa with his family. I really enjoyed getting to know more about southern Africa through this book.

The disciples were ordinary men. Angus Buchan is an ordinary farmer. But he has allowed God to do extraordinary things through him. His love for God’s word and the power of prayer are shown over and over again. It’s a challenge to me to delve into the Bible more.  

Disclosure: I borrowed this book through Inter Library Loan. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Remember - Anytime you visit or use an affiliate link to get there. Any purchase you make from a link on my site generates a small kickback. You need not purchase the item I'm featuring, any purchase counts. It costs you nothing extra and is an easy way to support this site.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Proposal by Lori Wick

The Proposal by Lori Wick. Harvest House, 2002. 297p. Series: The English Garden, #1. (0736905588)

I do believe Lori Wick is one of my favorite Christian fiction authors. At the moment I’m rereading the English Garden series and can’t help compare the books to some other novels I’ve read recently. The Proposal is book one in the series.

Back cover:
1810 – London, England
William Jennings is a man who has never known the love and companionship that marriage brings – and doesn’t want to. But when a relative dies, leaving Jennings three young children, his whole world is turned upside down.

As the last male of his generation, he’s thrilled to have two boys to carry on his name. Yet what is he to do with a little girl? As Jennings sets about pouring his life into the boys, the brothers tolerate their kind but demanding guardian – until they discover their younger sister is a the mercy of a cruel nanny.

Jennings is finally driven to his sister for help, and while spending the summer at her home, becomes acquainted with her neighbor. Intelligent and deeply grounded in her faith, Marianne Walker has a chance to show Jennings the world in a different light. Will Jennings find himself drawn to this woman – and to the God she so obviously loves?

My review:
 After reading several novels where the main and only point is the romance, it is refreshing to read a novel where there is more to the story. The three children are important characters and a lot of the story revolves about them grieving their father and getting used to their new life with Jennings.

The reader also meets Jennings’ sister, Lydia, husband Palmer and their children. It is through this family that Jennings meets Marianne Walker. And it is also Lydia and Palmer to whom Jennings turns when he starts wondering about the Bible and Christ.

One thing I really like about this book and the series is how the author seamlessly includes portions of sermons and Bible verses. It’s not “preachy” and the sermons serve a purpose in the story.

Another aspect I really like is how the romance is handled; it’s sweet, it’s simple, it’s chaste.

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Updated 9/9/12: Remember - Anytime you visit or or please use an affiliate link to get there. Any purchase you make from a link on my site generates a small kickback. You need not purchase the item I'm featuring, any purchase counts. It costs you nothing extra and is an easy way to support this site. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Top Ten Fictional BFFs

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's topic is a freebie and I've gone back in the archives of TTT to bring you the Top Ten Fictional BFFs (best friend forever). This is partly inspired by my having just spent the weekend with my BFF and some FFs (forever friends). Most of the links go to Goodreads, some go to my reviews. And they are not in any particular order.

Top Ten Fictional BFFs

1. Anne and Diana from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Five images of Anne and Diane from Anne of Green Gables

2. Frodo and Sam from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

3. Rose Red and Leo from Veiled Rose and Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

4. Old Shatterhand and Winnetou from Winnetou I, II, and III by Karl May

5. Tom and Huck from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

6. Jo and Laurie from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

7. Lucy and Mr. Tumnus from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

8. Asterix and Obelix from Asterix the Gaul by Goscinny and Uderzo

9. Robin Hood and Little John from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle (and many other books)

10. Who would you add to the list?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monthly Reflections 6/2012

How I fared with my June goals:
☑ Write at least four book reviews of which one is for Blogging for Books and one for Netgalley
(except that I reviewed it in July...)
☑ Finish that B4B book that I've been dragging my feet on
(finished and reviewed it!)
☑ Read two books for the 2014 Winter Olympic Challenge
(Enna's Burning takes place in a fictionalized southern Germany so it kinda counts for the challenge; The Duke Promise takes place in France and Switzerland)
Read two non-fiction books
(I was reading two but didn't finish them in June)

July is going to be another crazy month. In case you missed the news last month, I got a job! In Africa! As a school librarian! And I leave at the end of this month. So I'm rather busy getting ready for that and saying goodbyes. My sincere apologies that this blog will be not be updated as frequently or consistently as in the past.

Books I read:

My reviews:
My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat
The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick
An Unlikely Suitor by Nancy Moser

Memes and other posts:
Several great giveaways
Top Ten Characters I'd like to Meet
Footprints Prayer
Top Ten Summer TBR List (of which I've read half and started three)
Top Ten Beach Reads
Top Ten Favorite Book Settings
Update #1 on Reading Challenges

My July goals:
Finish reading all the books I'm currently reading
2 B4B reviews
2 NetGalley reviews
3 non-fiction
10 posts written and scheduled for this month and August

Your turn:
What are your goals for July? What did you accomplish in June?

Top Ten Books For People Who Liked X Author

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's topic is Top Ten Books For People Who Liked X Author. It's easier for me to think in terms of genre and story than of an author's writing style. Most of the links go to Goodreads, some go to my reviews.

Top Ten Books For People Who Liked X Author
 If you like Lori Wick try...

1. My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade (contemporary)
Because of the setting
...kind of like White Chocolate Moments

2. Any of Laura Frantz's books (historical)
Because of the history
- The Colonel's Lady
- Courting Morrow Little (loved this book!)
- The Frontiersman's Daughter

3. Any of Siri Mitchell's books (historical fiction)
Because of the history, setting and romance
- The Messenger
- Heart Most Worthy

4. Any of Julie Klassen's books (historical)
Because of the settings and romance
- The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
- The Silent Governess

5. Beauty for Ashes by Dorothy Clark (historical)
Because of the history, plot and romance
...kind of like Wick's The Rescue - English Garden series, #2; or The Princess
(The second book, Joy for Mourning is also good.)

6. Here Burns My Candle series by Liz Curtis Higgs (historical)
Because of the history and romance
- Here Burns My Candle
- Mine is the Night

7. The Oxford Chronicles Series by Melanie Jeschke (historical/recent)
Because of the history
- Inklings
- Expectations
- Evasions

8. Anything by T. Davis Bunn (historical and contemporary)
Like Lori Wick he has written lots of historical fiction, several contemporary stories, and several series.
Some favorites include:
- All Through the Night (contemporary)
- The Book of Hours (contemporary-ish)
- Heirs of Acadia series co-written with Janette Oke (historical, Bk 5 was best)
- Acts of Faith series co-written with Janette Oke (historical, Bk 1 & 3 were best)

9. Janette Oke - but she's big enough to have her own 'People who liked X author' post
Because of the plethora of historical romantic fiction

- Heirs of Acadia series co-written with Davis Bunn (historical, Bk 5 was best)
Acts of Faith series co-written with Davis Bunn (historical, Bk 1 & 3 were best)

10. The Unlikely Suitor by Nancy Moser
Because of the history and romance

Who do you think also belongs on this list?

The Forgiven Duke by Jamie Carie

book cover of The Forgiven Duke by Jamie CarieThe Forgiven Duke by Jamie Carie. Publisher, 2012. 320p. Series: The Forgotten Castles, #2.(9781433673238)

I really enjoyed The Guardian Duke and was looking forward to finding out how the story of Alexandria Featherstone and the Duke of St. Easton would continue. This book jumped in right where the first left off and then ended with another cliff hanger! If you haven’t read the first book this review will have some spoilers.

Back cover:
Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon - the path of least resistance - Alexandria Featherstone sets off toward Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. A glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton - the path less traveled by - on Dublin’s shore still haunts her.

Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able,” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.

The powerful yet wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.

Dimmuborgir "black castles" of Iceland
Dimmuborgir "black castles" of Iceland - Alexandria's adventures lead her here
See more pictures on the author's Pinterest board.

My review:
When book one ended with the Duke getting his first glimpse of Alex sailing away to Iceland I thought for sure he would get on the next boat and catch up to her soon. The story didn’t go anything like I imagined and it was so much more exciting. I don’t want to give anything away, but…the poor Duke! What suffering and pain! Yet he was very humble later and never begged for honor or attention for what he endured.

I really liked how this book, and the whole series for that matter, isn’t just about the female protagonist. The male protagonist has just as an important story line and his own lessons to learn. St. Easton learned the biggest and hardest lessons about submitting and trusting God. All his conversations with God were well written and realistic.

The adventure is still fresh, the drama continues and the danger is even more real than book one. But while book one could be considered YA, this book (and especially book three) had some scenes and decisions that were not PG. I can’t give any particulars without spoiling the story, but a man gets drunk and wakes up naked the next morning with no memory of what happened during the night. There are also a few too many kisses.

(P.S. I read this as an ebook from NetGalley for review purposes. It didn’t seem anywhere close to 320 pages long so don’t let that big number scare you! The story flies by.)

Disclosure: I received this book for free from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.

Updated 9/9/12: Remember - Anytime you visit or or please use an affiliate link to get there. Any purchase you make from a link on my site generates a small kickback. You need not purchase the item I'm featuring, any purchase counts. It costs you nothing extra and is an easy way to support this site. Thanks!
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