Saturday, September 24, 2011

This Book Room

Lizzie Nichols is back, pounding the New York City pavement and looking for a job, a place to live, and her proper place in the universe (not necessarily in that order).

"Summer Fling" Luke's use of the "L" (Living Together) word has her happily abandoning plans to share a one-room walk-up with best friend Shari in exchange for cohabitation with the love of her life in his mom's ritzy Fifth Avenue pied-à-terre. Lizzie's landed a non-paying gig in her chosen field—vintage wedding gown rehab—and a paying one as a receptionist at Shari's boyfriend's father's posh law firm. So life is good . . . for the moment.

But almost immediately her notoriously big mouth is getting her into trouble. At work she's becoming too chummy with society bride-to-be Jill Higgins, inflaming the ire of Jill's troublesome future mother-in-law. At home she's made the grievous error of bringing up the "M" (Marriage) word to commitment-shy Luke. Once again joblessness and homelessness are looming large for hapless blabbermouth Liz—unless she can figure out some way to babble her way to a happily ever after.

Additional notes: This is the second book in the Queen of Babble series. You can read my review of the first book here. There are three books in this series, and all have been released.

My thoughts: The characters really struck their groove in this book. Shari makes a stunning revelation about herself that changes the course of all the main characters. And it's a revelation that'll have you cheering for two very specific people to get their act together... together (wink, wink!).

Sadie Fisher wonders if she'll ever find true love again after the death of her husband. When wealthy Englischer Kade Saunders rents her guest cottage for a month, Sadie's world is turned upside-down. Kade has a five-year old autistic son who is unexpectedly left in his permanent care. As Sadie's feelings for the child grow, so do her feelings for Kade. But is this man suitable for anything more than friendship?

Additional notes: This is the third book in the Plain, or Daughters of the Promise, series. There are currently five books in this series, and so far as I know, this series is ongoing. You can read my review of the first book here and the second book here.

My thoughts: I really wasn't so impressed with the second book of this series (but I still adore this author). I considered dropping the series, but this book changed it all around for me. I loved this book. I really like that Beth brings a fresh perspective to the tried-and-true (and sometimes boring) love formula. There's always a little twist, something that pushes the story one step beyond.

A man who once thrived on wickedness and counted on forgiveness, Curtis Black has changed his ways. Back in the heart of his congregation and his family, he will no longer stray from the beaten path. Or so he's promised his long-suffering wife, Charlotte. But the sins of the past have strange ways of coming to light. First, Curtis's former mistress shows up with their newborn baby daughter—named Curtina—and insists that Curtis be a part of their lives. Charlotte has forbidden her husband to have anything to do with them, but the trouble is, Curtis's newfound conscience is leading him to have uncomfortable thoughts of responsibility.

Also, the interim pastor who took over while Curtis was on a book tour is threatening blackmail. He's gotten too used to life at the pulpit and will do everything in his power to stay there.

Meanwhile, Charlotte has her own previous transgressions to deal with. The man who claims to be her son's biological father has turned up and wants to make amends for the past thirteen years. If Charlotte gives in to his increasing requests, she may lose the only child she has left.

However, Curtis and Charlotte have been through too much together to give up now. They must work harder than ever—as a mother and a father, as husband and wife—to save their family, their marriage, and their souls.

Additional notes: This is the fifth book in the Reverend Curtis Black series. This series currently has eight books and is ongoing. You can read my review of the second book here, third book here and the fourth book here.

My thoughts: This is one series I've never considered dropping. These characters are seriously crazy. You've got to read these books (if you have, please comment and tell me what you think!!!). I don't even know what I can say about these books is that they are so entertaining. A true escapism book.

Thousands of years of human history stained by strife, death, and sin come to an end when the King of Glory returns to earth. The satisfying conclusion of the seven years of tribulation covered by the Left Behind series portrays the return of Jesus Christ to earth in both glory and judgment at the height of the battle between the forces of evil gathered at Armageddon and the remaining Christian believers at Petra and Jerusalem. Nothing seems to be able to stop the Antichrist, Nicolae Carpathia. But God is in control.

Additional notes: This is the twelfth book in the Left Behind series. There are 13 books in this series, and all have been released. You can read my review of the tenth book here and the eleventh book here.

My thoughts: I didn't like how slow this book was in the beginning, but once Jesus comes, it gets so good. I am the kind of reader where I have a movie playing in my head of the book as I'm reading, and the movie playing in my head so good I didn't want the book to end. The message of this entire series is refreshing and essential. This series is a must read.

He’s at it again, but this time he’s not alone. America’s Ultimate Cheapskate is back with all new secrets for how to live happily below your means, á la cheapskate. For The Cheapskate Next Door, Jeff Yeager tapped his bargain-basement-brain-trust, hitting the road to interview and survey hundreds of his fellow cheapskates to divulge their secrets for living the good life on less.

Jeff reveals the 16 key attitudes about money – and life – that allow the cheapskates next door to live happy, comfortable, debt-free lives while spending only a fraction of what most Americans spend. Their strategies will change your way of thinking about money and debunk some of life’s biggest money myths. For example, you’ll learn: how to cut your food bill in half and eat healthier as a result; how your kids can get a college education without ever borrowing a dime; how to let the other guy pay for deprecation by learning the secrets of buying used, not abused; how you can save serious money by negotiating and bartering; and how – if you know where to look – there’s free stuff and free fun all around you.

The Cheapskate Next Door also features dozens of original “Cheap Shots” – quick, money saving tips that could save you more than $25,000 in a single year! Cheap Shots give you the inside scoop on:

• How to save hundreds on kids’ toys;
• What inexpensive old-fashioned kitchen appliance can save you more than $200 a year;
• How you can travel the world without ever having to pay for lodging;
• What single driving tip can save you $30,000 during your lifetime;
• Even how to save up to 40% on fine wines (and we’re not talking about the kind that comes in a box).

From simple money saving tips to truly life changing financial strategies, the cheapskates next door know that the key to financial freedom and enjoying life more is not how much you earn, but how much you spend.

Jeff Yeager is the author of The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches, and has appeared as a guest correspondent on the NBC Today Show and Discovery’s Planet Green network. He is also the author of the popular blog The Green Cheapskate,

My thoughts: I didn't agree with everything Jeff said, particularly the bit about not having an emergency fund, but I enjoyed that this book was more of a "why to" than "how to." The truth is is that most people who are living frugally and within or below their means aren't miserable - I certainly am not! We're doing it not only to save for retirement and be responsible, but because we actually enjoy it. This book was a breath of fresh air.

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