Friday, December 31, 2010

The Miracle of Mercy Land by River Jordan

Mercy Land's story puts us in a small town in the pre-war era of the 1930s.  The everyday life of a newsman, Doc, and his trusted right hand lady, Mercy, is interrupted by the sudden appearance of an unearthly book.  The book's mystery and purpose become the main focus of the story, as other characters are introduced and the plot unfolds.  While I greatly enjoyed the writing style of River Jordan, I did not find it easy to mix this measure of fantasy into what would have otherwise been a lovely piece of romantic fiction.  Not my favorite read.

Waterbrook Multnomah provided me with a free copy of this book for review. Please take a moment to click on the link below and rate my review at Blogging for Books.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers

Grady takes you along for the ride as he and his huckster friend, Floyd, strike out to make it rich. Trouble is, they have to strike out again and again, because it seems those get-rich-quick ideas Floyd comes up with end mostly in a quick flight to another town, with the former townspeople in hot pursuit.  Interwoven into this great tale is the question of Grady's birth.  Where did he come from, and was he really found under a bush like Floyd says? A fun read for all ages. I read it in a day, and my twelve-year old daughter followed suit. Both of us enjoyed this not-so-serious read as we relaxed over Christmas vacation.  It leaves you waiting for Grady's next big adventure!

Waterbrook Multnomah provided me with a free copy of this book for review.

Please take a moment to rate my review at Blogging for Books:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell

When I started this book, I found myself crawling through the first chapter, but was soon pulled into the story line.  Told from two viewpoints, the aged husband now living in a Retirement Community, and the deceased wife's journal, and based on the lives of the author's maternal grandparents. An interesting tale about Mennonite missionaries to China in the early 1900s, their love for each other and the people they serve, and their many sacrifices for the sake of carrying the gospel to China.  A very difficult book to put down once you become part of the lives of the characters, and it leaves you wishing for a few more pages, or better yet, another book!  I'll look forward to reading more by this author!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Under The Overpass by Mike Yankoski

"What's worse? To do dope or to not love your brother? Why do we kick drug users out of the church while quietly overlooking those who are ignoring their own different but equally destructive sins? Why do we reject the loving, self-sacrificing, giving, encouraging, Jesus-pursuing drug addict but recruit the clean, self-interested, gossiping, loveless churchgoer?  Which one do you suppose Jesus would rather share a burrito with under a bridge?" (pp. 96-97, "Under The Overpass", Waterbrook Multnomah, 2010)  Gets under your skin, doesn't it?  Such is the nature of the story shared by Mike Yankoski, a self-proclaimed "upper middle-class Christian college student" who, with a friend, felt God's call to leave what they felt was safe and journey into the unknown world of the homeless.  With only one set of clothes, a couple of cheap thrift store backpacks and sleeping bags, and an old guitar, they set out to become "homeless" in six different cities.  You'll smell their filthy clothes, sense the rats and the roaches, and shiver when it starts to rain. You'll cringe when the Christians pass them by, and you'll find yourself asking "was that me? Was I one of the ones who walked on by?".  By the time you're finished reading, you won't be able to look at anyone you'd considered "untouchable" the same again, and maybe, just maybe, you'll go over and shake their hand.

Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. Check out the first chapter at or read the Under The Overpass Action Plan at

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Third Husband Will Be A Dog by Lisa Scottoline

OK, so this one is not going to be in the church library, but it was a fun read!  A series of short stories geared toward women.  Personally, I thought the first two in the book weren't very funny at all, but after that CB and I took turns laughing hysterically at most of the rest. So, if you read it, don't give up after the first two chapters, or even better, just skip over them.  They're even funnier if you've been exposed to (or grown up with) South Philly Italian culture!

The Twelfth Imam by Joel Rosenberg

I can't read Joel Rosenberg without also comparing the lines I'm reading to today's headlines.  Read it, and the evening news will never be the same again.  Interesting look at Muslim beliefs about the coming of their messiah "The Twelfth Imam", and how that affects their government and the way they see the rest of the world.  Couldn't put it down!

The Power of Praying for your Adult Children by Stormie Omartian

Another winner by Stormie. Great insight, beautiful prayers for anyone looking to influence the spiritual lives of their older children.  Currently doing the book study as a ladies prayer group.

The Returning by Ann Tatlock

I had a really hard time getting into this one.  The story of a family torn apart by alcoholism. Dad just returned from 5years in prison for manslaughter, the teen daughter is rebelling (how new), the youngest child doesn't recognize him, he falls off the wagon and has a fling with a woman from AA... I started reading it, then closed it and didn't finish it.  I enjoyed other works by Ann Tatlock, but not this one.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

OK, so I don't usually read two World War 2 stories in a row, but The Heart Mender was mostly fiction and Unbroken is mostly fact.  The life of Louis Zamperini, olympic track runner, who survived over a month at sea on a raft after his B24 went down during WW2, then was a POW in several Japanese camps and barely survived.  Gain a greater appreciation for what a POW during WW2 went through, then go thank your favorite veteran!

The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews

5 out of 5 stars!  A little World War 2 history, a little mystery, a little suspense, a little romance. Loved it!!!!  She's just lost the love of her life, shot down by a German plane. He's a German submariner, just washed up on shore near her home. Will she leave him for dead? Hide him away? So many facts mixed into this book that it leaves you wondering if the storyline really IS fiction??? 

startin' a blog

Some books I am pre-reading for the church library, others I have picked up off of the bookstore or public library shelves.  I'll read them and review them, and you can decide whether they are worth your time.  Please feel free to leave your comments after you've read the book, too!