Friday, April 27, 2012

Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus

Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus
Joyce Magnin

Harriet loses a bet and now has to sell her home and move across country to live with her son and daughter-in-law. So puts her dog on a plane and makes her way across country using only local buses, taxis and the kindness of strangers.

This was a really cute book. The story was fun and entertaining. It was neat to see the country through the eyes of an "older" person. There were some thoughtful moments in the book, but mostly it was just clean, light fun. Some of the stories seemed a little surreal, but not enough that it bothered me.

I received this book free of charge from Shelton Interactive in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wife 22

Wife 22
Melanie Gideon

Alice is bored. Her job is boring, her marriage is boring and perhaps her whole life is boring. She's losing touch with everything, even in this day of being constantly and instantly connected.
One day a survey appears in her spam box and she fills it out. These surveys will ultimately change her life.

I read a lot of books. Most of them I enjoy. But rarely do I race through a book, not able to put it down, like I did with this one. The style of writing is fresh and unique. The author was able to take a subject, that by all rights, should have been boring and make it fun, refreshing and captivating.
My only complaint (and a rather small one at that) was that the survey questions were not provided, only the answers. So if she answered with only a yes, no clue was given to the question. I finished the book and found the questions at the back. 

I received this book free of charge from Goodreads in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Love At Last Sight

Love At Last Sight
30 days to grow and deepen your closest relationships
Kerry & Chris Shook

When I chose this book to review I thought it was going to be about marital relationships. So immediately I had to re-ajust my thinking. It is about ANY relationship - parents, friends, spouse, etc.
Each chapter begins with quotes that deal with relationships and ends with a challenge based on the chapter just read.

The best part about this book were the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I felt that the book was very "fluffy" and I could (and did) easily skim through each chapter to get the basic points. Another reviewer commented that it was a lot of basic common sense. I completely agree. I didn't hate the book, but I certainly didn't learn anything new.

I received this book free of charge from WaterBrook in exchange for my honest review.

Blog Contest

I know it seems like forever ago that it started, but the bloggerthon contest is still going on.
I need 67 more followers (128 total) to be able to give away these books.
It's perfectly okay for me if you follow until the contest ends and then quit. I'm just ready for this thing to be over. So let everyone know that right now we have approx 34 books to give away and I only have 20 people who have commented. So right now those twenty people are guaranteed a book. Pretty good odds if you ask me.

Here is a direct link to the page - Contest

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves
Kristina McMorris

Maddie falls in love with Lane, her brother's best friend and a Japanese American. But her timing couldn't be worse. American is at war and all Japanese Americans are being sent to the relocation camps.
It's a bitter sweet story of life, love and death.

Most war stories don't end without someone dying. It's just part of the story. So I had a hard time getting started with this book. It was very well written, but I could sense some tough parts coming and I think I was dreading it a bit. The book is over 400 pages and if it's a depressing book it could have seemed never-ending. But the author had such a beautiful way of writing that I soon became immersed in the story and forgot my dread.
People do die. It is a story about war after all. But it ends so beautifully that it doesn't leave you with a sense of sadness. This would make an excellent book club book.

I received this book free of charge from Goodreads in exchange for my honest review.

Hope For Parents of Troubled Teens

Hope For Parents of Troubled Teens
A Practical Guide To Getting Them Back On Track
Connie Rae

This book is exactly what the title says it is. It's a very practical guide to helping parents. It's simple format and easy to understand language cut straight to the point and help clarify what troubled teens are facing today.

This book is God centered and revolves around bringing the family closer together and closer to God. Each chapter lists a potential problem and tells the story of a similar family and how they resolved their conflicts. It has quite a few scriptures to back the ideas and ends with things that the parents and teens can do to help. Each chapter also ends with a prayer.

I do not yet have teenagers, but I think this book should be read before the children reach that age to prepare us for the changes that they will be facing as they reach for adulthood. This is a great resource for parents of any teenager, not just the difficult ones.

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

The Cookbook Library

The Cookbook Library
Willan, Cherniavsky, and Claflin

This book is a cross between a history lesson on cookbooks, a look into a cookbook author's book collection and a cookbook. It tells how cookbooks began and takes you through time to discover where the cookbooks we use today came from.

This book is well written and for a foodie might be fascinating history. I am not a foodie and was very quickly bored to tears. I received a kindle ARC (Advance Reader Copy) which makes it difficult to judge. It was very full of grammatical, spelling and type errors. This made it very difficult to read. But I'm hoping that these were removed from the final copy. I also think it would be easier to read in print.
I didn't hate the book because the writing was good. But the subject matter and numerous errors soon had my eyes glassing over. This book isn't for the casual reader, it's for serious foodies with a desire to understand more about cookbooks and their history.

I received this book free of charge from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Kissing List

The Kissing List
Stephanie Reents

This story is about four young women who move from college into the working world. It tells each of their stories in a slightly connecting way.

I received the ARC so I'm not sure how many changes were made before publication. But the type was all over the page with so many errors that at times it was hard to even know where to place my eyes. The spacing was set so that there were often quite a few spaces between words. Unfortunately this allowed for strange words and type to come between them.

The story, what I could make of it, was just as disjointed and confusing. The women didn't seem to have any depth or focus. The characters didn't connect as much as I'd expected them to and I just couldn't bring myself to care about their whiny and shallow selves.

I received this book free of charge from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Very Fond of Food

Very Fond of Food
A Year in Recipes
Sophie Dahl

This is a very unique cookbook. The author tells a story or adds her memories of the particular season that she's showcasing. Then the recipe is from what she remembers eating during that season.
The author is British, so some of the recipes are not what we might typically find here in the USA. But the ingredients seem fairly easy to find and the recipes are straight forward. I think the only problem someone might have is in converting the measurements from the metric system.

It's a cute cookbook. I just wish I had it in print instead of on my kindle so I could enjoy the pictures and flip through it to find favorites. It just doesn't have the same feel on the kindle.

I received this book free of charge from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Bakers Daughter

The Bakers Daughter
Sarah McCoy

Elsie and Reba are from different countries and different decades. But their lives come together when they need each other. Reba comes to interview Elsie about a German Christmas. The warmth of the bakery and possibly the people keep her coming back. This is the story of both women and the blessings they chose to pursue.

Someone said this book was like Sarah's Key. It IS about Germany during the war and a little boy hidden in the wall. But that is where the similarity ends. This story takes the horrendous parts of war and blends it with the gems of beauty that live in every person. The story will draw you in and give you a glimpse into reality for Germans during the war.
Life can be terrible. It's up to us to grasp the beauty and show it to others.
This story tugged at my heartstrings. It made me smile, cry and be thankful for the beautiful world that I live in. It's a book I'll definitely be recommending to my friends.

I received this book free of charge from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.