Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla

Set in the early years of World War II, The Far Side of the Sky is a novel about a family of Austrian Jews who flee to Shanghai to escape the Nazis. Their story becomes intertwined with that of the Chinese residents of Shanghai who are suffering under Japanese occupation. I recommend this well written, suspenseful book!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Road to Grace by Richard Paul Evans

Road to Grace is the third book of a series following The Walk and Miles to Go.  Alan Christofferson is on a journey walking from Seattle to Key West.  Following the death of his dear wife and the loss of his business, Alan is trying to find meaning and hope in his life.  The people he meets along the way are interesting characters who bring enjoyment to the reader.  I especially like the elderly Polish man in this novel who teaches Alan about forgiveness.  Historical landmarks are visited which bring memories of having been to some of these places myself.  I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Need you Now By Beth Wiseman

Need You Now is set in rural Texas where the Henderson family has recently moved from Houston in hopes of protecting their teenage children from certain aspects of big city life. Brad and Darlene's marriage has always been solid, church has been important, and their home has always been one of love. But beyond minor parenting issues, the family's faith and foundation have never truly been tested up until now. Suddenly changes, discoveries, and emotional distance threaten to tear them apart. I enjoyed this book, it was the first book I have read by her and I am sure I will pick up another.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark

Mariah Lyons arrives at her parents house to her worst nightmare; finding her Father murdered and her Mother in a closet covered in blood and holding a gun!
The police want to charge her mother who suffers from dementia.  Mariah wonders if the murder has to do with a missing letter reputed to have been written by Jesus to Joseph of Arimithea that her father may have found.  Did he tell one of his friends about the rare parchment? How is his mistress involved?  This is vintage Mary Higgins Clark.  This mystery kept me guessing to the end.  A good read!

A Blaze of Glory by Jeff Shaara

A Blaze of Glory: a novel of the Battle of Shiloh is a compelling and very readable novel about the Battle of Shiloh in April, 1862.  As Shaara has done with his other novels, he makes the story personal by focusing on the stories of individual soldiers from both sides of the conflict.  The details of troop movements, battlefield geography, and army life are meticulously researched and enhance the story.  Shiloh was truly horrific battle with high casualties, and Shaara has succeeded in depicting this reality.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to all readers, not just Civil War buffs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

7 An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

This is a non-fiction book written by a minister's wife. She got the idea to radically make herself aware of the excess in her life with a drastic method. Her family was invovled, as were some members of her church. She chose 7 because it is a biblical number. For seven months she concentrated on a topic and began reducing. The topics were: clothes, shopping, waste, food, possessions, media and stress.For one whole month she wore just 7 articles of clothing, another month she ate only 7 foods, one month she and her family gave away 7 things a day, one month they spent money at 7 places only, one month they gave up 7 types of media, etc. The book is a diary of how it went day by day. At the end of every month she evaluated their activities and what effects it had on her and her loved ones. Ultimately it altered her life forever. Her new thoughts are different than her old ones. She feels her actions have left room for the Spirit to move - and she is excited about the future. Want to try it?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Luke Warren, a wolf biologist, suffers a traumatic brain injury from an accident while driving his daughter, Cara, home from a party where she had been drinking.  Luke, famous for his research on wolves, is comatose, on life support, and doctors say he will not recover. His son, Edward, though estranged from his father for six years, returns after receiving a call from his mother.  Luke always put wolves ahead of his family which caused the collapse of his marriage.  He did have a strong bond with his daughter, Cara.  Edward and Cara are at odds over which direction to take with their father.  Cara expects a miracle; Edward, based on what the doctors have told him, feels they should let their father go and donate his organs.  A legal battle begins.  This book deals with many hurts of the past in this family.  It also deals with a lot of wolf behavior and the comparisons between wolves and humans.  Though I didn't care for some of the characters and the ending involving another character was strange, I found the book interesting and emotional.