©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Girl Meets God

Every now and again, I'll go to the thrift store and find something that makes the trip worthwhile. This is one of those finds. Last year, my daughter was reading this book and her description intrigued me. Basically, this memoir details Lauren's spiritual biography. It's rare that I will read a book that doesn't in some way encourage my faith, and this one did that! One of the more memorable quotes for me is "God does not cause our suffering, but He uses it to grow us into the person He wants us to be." Since I have a chronic illness, this really "rang my bell," so to speak. Another of her thought-provokers was that the Eucharist should really be called Viaticum--that the Eucharist should be considered those things necessary for our journey. She writes with an understandable style that brings you into her struggles and victories as if they were your own. Highly recommended!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Gingham Bride, A Trip to Hastings, and Some Fun

Last night I finished a little fluffy book called The Gingham Bride. Fiona has been beaten, abused and misused all of her life; AND she'd been betrothed to the grandson of her grandmother's best friend. When he comes to claim her as his bride, Fiona can't believe it. She fights her growing attraction to Ian while trying to stay under her father's anger-ridden radar. Fiona's highlights include her sewing circle of friends, finishing high school, and her faith. Jillian Hart's novel was kind of slow for me, but for an entertaining read, it worked fine for me. I went to the doctor today for a blood check (just a routine thing for me). While I was out, I stopped in Hastings book store to find a gift for a little friend of mine who broke her arm. My children have not seen fit to give me grandchildren yet, so I have had to "adopt" them. I am of the opinion that a book is always a good gift, suitable for almost any occasion. I found some Little Golden Books that I had loved as a child, a Princess story book with paperdolls included, and gasp! books for me. I spent more on my books that I did for the gift. Be watching here for their reviews. Now for some fun!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

To Be Perfectly Honest

This book by Phil Callaway kept me awake last night. I found it entertaining but convicting at the same time. I understood Phil's dilemma--when is it okay to be brutal with your honesty, and how do you balance honesty with caring? I ached with him over the deterioration of his mother and her eventual death, having lost my own mother a couple of years ago. I know the temptation to employ the Therapeutic Alterations of Reality.

I chose this book for my first review because I've read Phil's articles in Servant Magazine from Prairie Bible Institute. My daughter is an alumna of Prairie and I have other friends who are also alumni from there. I have always found his writing funny and this book did not disappoint me, but it was not just chuckles all the way through. Phil gives us snippets of real life that includes the death of his mother, the illnesses of family members and friends, and the struggles of day-to-day living.

I can't wait to see my friend who went to Prairie and give this book to her. I know she'll love it as much as I did.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Book Case Redo

I better start from a while back: I have a chronic illness that at times keeps me from being as productive as I want to be. I've had surgeries and treatments and I generally get things done, but quite slowly.

A few weeks ago, the book case on my side of the bed crashed into the one on my husband's side of the bed, and they all came tumbling down. After getting all the pieces out, and cleaning and rearranging the bedroom, I started putting together new book cases--well, one of them. I had a couple of days this past weekend where I felt sooooooooo good, better than I had in years, so it was time to tackle the book/book case issue. I put the first one together and got it filled up. Then my husband decided to move the book case to another wall. Oh, yeah, I put one shelf in wrong and had to dismantle the book case and then put it back together again.

So that cut into my reading time, but in the meantime I found some book cases, book rooms, book structures pictured online that I thought I'd share.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Heart of Gold

Heart of Gold by Robin Lee Hatcher was an incredible read. Set in Idaho during the Civil War, this book chronicles the life of Shannon Adair after she moves from war-torn Virginia to Idaho with her father, a minister. While living in Virginia, she was a battlefield nurse. In Idaho she is asked to nurse the sister of a former Wells, Fargo driver/messenger while looking after the sister's son. This is one of those romances that sneaks up on you while spinning a good tale. Two men seek Shannon's attention: Matthew Dubois, the Wells, Fargo messenger; and Joe Burkette, the livery owner. Shannon cannot help but be flattered by Joe's attentions, but her heart pulls her toward Matthew.

I truly enjoyed this book and devoured it in two evenings. It was just the right amount of humor, drama, mystery, and romance for me. Great Work, Robin.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Jane Kirkpatrick, Three Reviews

A Daughter's Walk

This book intrigued me because I had seen the nonfiction work on this event that started and ended near where I live. A determined mother and reluctant daughter made a cross-country trek in the face of criticism, ostracism and nay-sayers. It was a $10,000 bet, so to speak, to see if these women could walk from Spokane, WA, to NY, NY, within seven months. They had to gather signatures of dignitaries in the locales they visited to prove they'd made the walk. There were compensations for unforeseen circumstances, but not for injuries--and a sprained ankle kept them from completing the walk on time.

In this book, you will find the unexpected, the agonizing, the heartbreaking, and a gamut of other emotions. I am not sure that I enjoyed the book--it wasn't my normal fluff, but I will say the book engaged me and didn't let me go. I highly recommend it.

A Flickering Light

I love photography. I started with a Kodak instamatic, then a Kodak pocket camera, and then I moved up to a Pentax SLR (my first one was stolen!) and now I have a Pentax DSLR. I really should keep it with me wherever I am, and I need to take it with me more often than I do.

Jane chronicles the story of Jessie Gaebele, who lives in Winona, Minnesota, and her quest to become a professional photographer in a time when the industry was dangerous to everyone, not just women; and in a time when women were not encouraged or allowed to have a career because that took jobs and money away from the men who were bread-winners for the caretakers of the home.

Jessie, along with another girl, takes a job with FJ Bauer and becomes his right hand woman to run his studio when the mercury used in the photographic process sickens Mr Bauer. Besides the danger from the chemicals, Jessie faces the danger of falling in love with a married man, faces the memories of an accident involving her younger brother, and faces her own family's disappointment, or so she thinks. She takes herself to a self-imposed exile in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

When I was younger, I loved reading Irving Stone's novelizations of historical people. Jane has brought this style of writing to a new level by writing about people who are close to her heart. Jessie Gaebele is Jane's own grandmother and this makes the story even more gripping. Jane gives us a glimpse into a woman's life at the turn of the century and in the early 1900's. She also shares the difficulty of trying to make it alone as a woman instead of following tried and true traditions of marriage and family. It is worthy of a reader's time.

An Absence So Great

An Absence So Great begins where A Flickering Light left off continuing the chronicle of Jessie Gaebele's life as a photographer. Jessie's travels take her to Milwaukee, Eau Claire, back to Winona, MN, and then to North Dakota in her quest to own her own photographic studio. She lives on her own terms and resents the "good ole boy" networking it takes to meet her goals. This story captivates from the very beginning all the way through to the interview at the end of the book.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Bit of Saturday Fun

You Read to Escape

You appreciate creativity and imagination in all aspects of life. You love a good fantasy.

You can be passionate to the point of being possessive. It's hard to quell your flames.

You see beauty everywhere, and you like to share your inner world with others.

You love to get lost in someone else's head. You are truly curious about other people's dreams.

You Are a Paperback Book

You are an avid reader, and you probably buy a lot of books. And nothing beats an inexpensive paperback you can carry around.

You read whatever you feel like reading. You aren't a snob, and you aren't ashamed of your tastes.

You always have a stack of books to get through, and it seems to be constantly multiplying.

You don't mind waiting for a book you want to come out in paperback. You have plenty to read in the meantime!

You are a Dreamer

You tend to have your head in the clouds. You love to be drawn in to a whole other world.

You are a sensitive person. You find it easy to be emotionally effected by books.

You are a person with a few deep interests. If you're drawn to something, you learn everything about it.

You are a person who loves to acquire possessions. You can't resist a sale, and you own a lot of things.

You Are Fantasy / Sci Fi

You have an amazing imagination, and in your mind, all things are possible.

You are open minded, and you find the future exciting. You crave novelty and progress.

Compared to most people, you are quirky and even a bit eccentric. You have some wacky ideas.

And while you may be a bit off the wall, there's no denying how insightful and creative you are.

You Are a Memoir

You're funny, but many people don't see your funny side. Your subtle dry humor leaves your close friends in stitches.

You have your own quirky ideas about the world. You see so much light and promise.

You have no patience for small talk or niceties. You want to have conversations of substance.

You are an amazing storyteller. You always have a new story to relate, and your friends love to listen to you.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Reading Quirks

Given: I like to read.
Given: Spoilers don't spoil anything for me.

In the 9th grade, Geometry was my favorite subject. That my teacher was a shirt-tail relative didn't hurt things. A lot of things came together for me then, and I can trace my brand of logical thinking back to that class.

So about my quirks: I will read a book from the beginning, but somewhere around chapter six or seven I will jump to the end of the book and read the ending. Most of the time, I'll go back to where I left off and read the book through. I like to read them this way to see if my imagination matches the author's in getting from start to finish. Occasionally, I'll do that and give up on a book. I did that yesterday. It's not that the book wasn't good, I think it was and that it had a lot of good things in it, but it wasn't holding MY interest. Not every author who writes romance will write romances I like. It's not to say that author isn't doing a good job, it is more to say that the book isn't the right book for me and my interests at that particular time. Some authors write books I love but other books I don't care for as much. That's okay--it's individual preference and it makes the world go round (well, not really. I mean, I do understand about the gravitational pulls and the earth rotating on its own axis, etc, but you know what I mean!).

I also reread books almost to the point of memorization. There are just some books I never tire of.

I read according to my mood. There are days I need humor or days I need to be lost in something outside my real world.