Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Book Review: My Summer With Gramps

My Summer With Gramps, by Ignatius Ryan, tells about a developing friendship between a 13 year-old boy and his grandfather. When this teen goes to spends each day one summer with his grandfather he learns so much than what was needed for his book report on "Death of a Salesman." The two talk about a wide variety of topics, including philosophy, politics, and history.

I love watching the new friendship grow between the boy and his grandfather. Plus the new words that the boy discovers, as well as the reader, means that his education is not limited to the classroom.

What a wonderful story. I am so glad I was given the opportunity to read, relish and review this book.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Createspace in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Book Review: Jefferson's America

I love Jefferson's America by Julie M. Fenster. I feel like she has given a fresh, new look to the portion of history that involves the explorations of the west. It begins while he is in office as Secretary of State and continues through the expansions that America went through during his time. There was background given to the areas before we began exploring plus of those that would go on their explorations. Fenster used journals as a launching point for her book and I was impressed with the detail that she was able to hone from each of these.

I am a history buff and I appreciate the work that it takes to produce a complete work and keep it objective. Julie Fenster was able to do just that.

There is one issue that I had with my copy, but this did not have to do with the writing, but the printing. Beginning in the second chapter, there were ink blots found throughout the book. This did make it harder to stay with the reading, but I am so glad that I did.

I was given this book by blogging for books in exchange for my honest review, however, this is a book that I would have picked up at a bookstore and enjoyed.

Book Review: Love is Something You do

Love is Something You Do is an emotional trip through the lives of these two people who have dedicated their lives through serving God. Their journey through life is uplifting, heartbreaking, full of hope and so much more. After the earthquake hip Haiti, the Burnettes were already there so they continued to minister through helping others.

I did have a little difficulty in reading this book because of the emotions that it brought to the forefront and the voice that was used throughout. However, the story is inspiration and helps others to see what can be done when someone turns their lives over to God.

I was given this book by bookfun.org and Whitaker House in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Spiritual Warfare for Your Family

Whether parent or grandparent, Spiritual Warfare for Your Family, helps guide families through protecting this valuable gem. This book discusses the reasons why the fight might feel like a losing battle to some and why the Enemy wants you to feel this way. Plus the author, Leighann McCoy offers practical advice to aid in the struggle and weapons to use.

I found this book helpful, even if I don't have any children still at home. I am a grandmother and as such I liked the way the author was able to address this relationship as well.

I think this is a wonderful resource to turn to again and again as different struggles surface throughout the family relationship.

I was given this book by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Book Review: Cavendon Hall

Barbara Taylor Bradford has such a gift when it comes to writing fiction. In Cavendon Hall, she created such complex characters and the setting was so beautiful. She was able to move the book through different times effortlessly.

This family saga follows the life of two British families, the Inghams and the Swanns. The Swanns have been servants to the Inghams for generations. With this relation, the stories of the two families are intertwined throughout the book.

It was interesting how the history of the world, specifically times leading up to and through World War I, affected these family. Cavendon Women, the sequel, promises to be a sequel that will be well worth reading.

I was given this book by NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: On This Foundation

On This Foundation is the third book in the Restoration Charonicles. The author, Lynn Austin, does an awesome job when writing a fictional book based on the Bible. This book covers the story of Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall.

If I did not need to sleep, I would not have put this book down once. Even then, I started back up in the morning. This book transports the reader to this Biblical time and the characters are alive. They almost made me feel like I was a fly on the wall.

As with her other books, Austin does not paint perfect characters. Just as we all are flawed, so are the characters in the story, even through he is a powerful and influential man.

I highly recommend this book and even though it is the third in the series, it easily stands alone.

I was given this book by bookfun.org and Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Book Review: The Quest of All Ages

The Quest of All Ages is a fantasy with such fantastic descriptions I wanted to be there. The author was able to create complex characters that you feel like you know, also.

It centers around a Mer Prince and an Earth Princess who met at a waterfall and tried to meet again. Their parents did what they could to prevent this meeting so their children could marry someone of their own world.

I do enjoy fantasies but I felt like I was absorbed by this book. The beauty was all-encompassing.

I would recommend this book for all.

I was given this book by NetGalley and AuthorBuzz in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: The Inheritance

The Inheritance, by Michael Phillips, is set after the death of Macgregor Tulloch. His death turned the world of Whales Reef upside down when the will is contested. David was very loved by Macgregor but his cousin, Hardy, is contesting it. Hardy has plans for the money. While the courts examine the case, the Island is in a state of turmoil.

Loni Ford, an orphan, has had many questions concerning her life. Then she received a mysterious letter and each of these people's world become intertwined.

I loved this book. The setting and the culture of this part of the world fascinates me and this story made me feel like I was actually there while reading it.

Michael Phillips has written many bestsellers. This first book in the Secrets of the Shetlands is destined to be another one.

I was given this book by Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Book Review: Washout Express

The Washout Express, by Jody Day, is a quick, easy book to read. Jody Day is able to make characters who are easy to relate to. Plus the inspirational message throughout is heart- and soul-lifting.

Bailey Brown is dealing with a horrible time in her life. The man who she loved has betrayed her. As she gets through this, with help, I was able to feel for her.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Harbourlight Books in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Rebekah's Treasure

Rebekah's Treasure, by Sylvia Bambola, is a historical book which tells of the lives of the Jewish people during the times of Jerusalem's fall. When Rebekah and her husband leave the city they each take one valuable thing with them. This story centers around the item Rebekah takes, the cup from the Last Supper. The story tells about the dangers and struggles they each face, plus the characteristics of the cup which make others long after it.

I have loved each of the books by Sylvia Bambola. I love how she keeps her characters grounded in God no matter what they are facing. In a big way, this is a challenge for each of the readers, to help us remember to do this also.

This book deserves the highest rating I can give it. I would recommend it to everyone.

I was given this book by bookfun.org, the author and Heritage Publishing House in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Book Review: Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are?

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans De Waal, is an insightful book to help the reader gain knowledge of animals. As an animal lover and respecter, I love the teaching De Waal places in this book. He does recognize the difficulties in testing each animal, as each has different temperaments, anatomy and interests. This led him to look at the differences in motivation and attention.

I felt like anyone who has an interest in animals, whether curiosity or a love, would enjoy this book. I would recommend it.

I was given this book by NetGalley and W.W. Norton & Company in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: The Midwife's Choice

The Midwife's Choice, by Delia Parr, is the second book in the At Home in Trinity series. I had not read the first book, but I was able to keep everything straight easily.

This book is set in Trinity, Pennsylvania and is centered around Martha Cade, a midwife. I loved this story. The sacrifices a midwife, and her family, have to accept are daunting and rewarding. I caught myself in awe and amazed as the story continued. It is beautiful.

I would recommend this book to everyone. It is well-worth the read. I was given this book by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. Thank you.

1492: New World Tales

1492: New World Tales, collected by Richard and Judy Dockrey Young, is a compilation of stories from around the time of 1492. Each tale is exciting and can make the reader feel as if they were there at the time of there telling.

The book begins with a description of what life would be like for children in this time. Then it goes on to share tales from aboard each of the boats, from different settlements and so on.

Each story is short but yet complete. As I would finish one, I could not wait to begin the next. I could easily see this as a stand alone book for students or for resource material for the classroom. If I were teaching this time in history, this book would help the children connect to the times, not just be told dates and names.

I am a history and book lover and this book combined my two loves very easily. I highly recommend this book for anyone, not just the classroom.

I was given this book by August House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Book Review: A Natural Man: The True Story of John Henry

I remember learning the song and the legend of John Henry as a child. This is a wonderful telling of the story. The author, Steve Sanfield and the illustrator, Peter J. Thornton, worked together so well in A Natural Man: The True Story of John Henry.

I believe that this version would be a great way to introduce today's readers to this legend. The books shares the story of the nation as they were entering the Industrial Age. John Henry was a family man and a railroad man who did what he said and provided for his family with his hard work, even when it came to beating a machine.

The other part of this book that I loved was seeing the song at the end of the book. I could not help but to break out in the song. This is an amazing version of this story. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to all. It is important to keep these stories alive for future generations.

I was given this book by August House in exchange for my honest review.

Child's book Review: The Pig Who Went Home on Sunday

I love when I come across a different version of a favorite story. This is that kind of book. The Pig Who Went Home on Sunday is a mixture of Three Little Pigs and an Appalachian Folktale. Instead of a Big Bad Wolf there is a wily fox and at the end of the story, the successful pig saw his mama again.

I loved this version of the story and the illustrations by Jennifer Mazzucco complemented the words by Donald Davis perfectly.

I am so glad that I was given this book by the publisher, August House, in exchange for my review.
Thank you.

Sharing different versions of The Three Little Pigs is always a fun thing to do in my school library. I found this one in the public library as I was looking for some retellings to possibly add to our collection. It is a delightful book told a little differently than many of the other versions I have read and the only one I can remember where we see the mother again! The illustrations are terrific as is the Appalacian setting where a fox is the culprit instead of a wolf.. And for those that don't like to see the wolf get boiled in a pot this was one has a less violent ending. Recommended for fans of the folktale or as an introduction to it.

Cookbook Review: Food With Friends

The first thing that struck me when I received this book was the vibrant colors on the cover of the book. I could not wait to dive in and begin looking. The pictures and the recipes inside the book are just as vibrant and tempting.

Leela Cyd, Author of Food With Friends compiles a bountiful list of recipes that fill the headings that she has given each section. These sections are
Secret Ingredients
Style File
Breakfast and Brunch
Happy Hour
Potlucks and Picnics
Tiny Takeaways

The first sections tell about any special ingredients that may be needed in the recipes and how to set a table for a get together. Then come the recipes, with pictures. She talks about different toppings for steel-cut oats, such as shredded coconut or seeds. Then Irish soda bread with rum-plumped figs and candied walnuts, yum. She also includes recipes for cookies, canapes, many dishes for potlucks, galettes and so much more. I love this book.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys new recipes or who cooks for friends and family.

I was given this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Book Review: Walking the Woods and the Water

Walking the Woods and the Water is a very good book about a 2500 mile journey in 7 1/2 months. Eighteen year old Patrick Leigh Fermor took this journey from Holland to Turkey. He did not use a map, only his charm and energy to travel across Europe. Through his note-taking he was able to compile this book. His descriptions of the world are unequaled. His innocence of what would be needed to make this journey make the book even more endearing. It made me wish that I were taking this trek with him. 

I was given this inspiring book by NetGalley and John Murray Press in exchange for my honest review. 

Book Review: The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies

The Woman Who Flummoxed The Fairies, retold by Heather Forest, is from a seanachie tale from the Scottish Highlands.

The illustrations, by Susan Graber, are so rich in color and relate to the tale beautifully.

In the story, there are fairies who work to help the Fairy King's wish come true. This wish is to taste the wares of the bakerwoman. They bring the woman to the king and through a series of events, she is able to trick the Fairy King into letting her go, letting him know that he will receive his cake and any others he may want, if he only asks. She makes good on her promise and, in return, receives fairy gold to share with others.

The story is filled with the rich language of other tales from Scotland and Ireland. This makes it a wonderful way to share traditional stories with the next generation, so they can continue on and on...

I was given this book by August House publishing in exchange for my honest review. I would like to thank them, sincerely, for the privilege of reviewing this book.