Thursday, January 17, 2013

This Book Room

The adventures of Laura Ingalls and her family continue as Pa, Ma, Laura, Mary, Carrie, and little Grace bravely face the hard winter of 1880-81 in their little house in the Dakota Territory. Blizzards cover the little town with snow, cutting off all supplies from the outside. Soon there is almost no food left, so young Almanzo Wilder and a friend make a dangerous trip across the prairie to find some wheat. Finally a joyous Christmas is celebrated in a very unusual way in this most exciting of all the Little House books.

Additional notes: This is the sixth book in the Little House on the Prairie series. You can read my review of the first book here, the second book here, the third book here, the fourth book here  and the fifth book here. There are nine books in this series, and all have been released.

My thoughts: This book was difficult to read, in that it was definitely depressing. But it was also a joy to read - to see how families used their resources to the best of their abilities, how they had hope and stuck out the hard times and to see them all come through at the end. This book had a ton of adventure.

In the 2012 London Olympics, US gymnast Gabby Douglas stole hearts and flew high as the All-Around Gold Medal winner, as well as acting as a critical member of the US gold-medal-winning women gymnastics team. In this personal autobiography, Gabby tells her story of faith, perseverance, and determination, demonstrating you can reach your dreams if you let yourself soar.

My thoughts: This book is an easy read, but the writing is very... interesting. The phrase "LOL" is actually used in the book, which isn't something I would do personally as a writer, and as a reader, I have to say it did put me off a little. But I imagine this story is written in much the way Gabby would talk, so in that sense, the book was written perfectly. Anyway, the story was interesting to read and the book comes with great pictures.

"My name is Alan Christoffersen. You don’t know me. ‘Just another book in the library,’ my father would say. ‘Unopened and unread.’ You have no idea how far I’ve come or what I’ve lost. More important, you have no idea what I’ve found." —Prologue What would you do if you lost everything—your job, your home, and the love of your life—all at the same time? When it happens to Seattle ad executive Alan Christoffersen, he’s tempted by his darkest thoughts. A bottle of pills in his hand and nothing left to live for, he plans to end his misery. Instead, he decides to take a walk. But not any ordinary walk. Taking with him only the barest of essentials, Al leaves behind all that he’s known and heads for the farthest point on his map: Key West, Florida. The people he encounters along the way, and the lessons they share with him, will save his life—and inspire yours.

Additional notes: This is the first book in the Walk series. There are currently three books released for this series and the fourth book is due out in 2013. 

My thoughts: I am so glad I picked up this book. I had tried to read this author's Christmas-y type books and could not get into them. But this book is fantastic. I cried, I laughed, I yearned to hike with this guy. I love the idea of walking away - or is it really, walking to something? I can't wait to read more of Alan's journey and what he discovers along the way. I highly, highly recommend this book.

Jane, Victoria, and Natalya. Together, they are the Darlings. Best friends forever. They have matching necklaces, their own table at Ga Ga Noodle, and even a shared motto: "May you always do what you're afraid of doing." When the friends begin freshman year at three different high schools in distant corners of New York City, they promise to live by their motto and stay as close as ever. The Darlings know they can get through anything as long as they have each other. But doing scary new things is a lot easier with your friends beside you. And now that the girls aren't spending all their time together, everything they took for granted about their friendship starts to feel less certain. They can't help but wonder, will they really be the Darlings forever?

Additional notes: This is the first book in the Darlings are Forever series. There is one other book out in this series. 

My thoughts: I have mixed feelings on this book. If I were a teenager, I probably would've liked it a lot more. But I've been desperate for reading material and thought this book looked good, so I committed myself to reading it. It definitely reminded me of high school: all the angst. Argh. I'm so glad I'm not there anymore! But if you're into teen fiction, you will like this book.

Coming Home is a novel about tremendous victory and unprecedented loss, a story of faith and a forever kind of love, love that will stay with you long after the last page. This stand-alone novel will serve as either a grand introduction or a beautiful conclusion in the saga of the Baxter Family. The Baxters make plans to come together for a summer lakeside reunion, a celebration like they haven’t had in years. But before the big day, the unthinkable happens. As the Baxter Family rallies together, memories come to light in the grief-stricken hours of waiting and praying, memories that bring healing and hope during a time when otherwise darkness might have the final word. In a season that changes all of them, the brilliance of family love overshadows even the valley of heartache as the Baxters draw closer to God and each other. Along the way, secrets are revealed and the truth about the Baxter Family history is finally made known. Ultimately, in this portrait of family love, the Baxters cling to each other and to God’s promise of forever. 

Additional notes: There are several series written by Karen Kingsbury that involve the Baxter family, such as the Redemption series, the Firstborn series and the Sunrise series, among others. This book can be read as a stand-alone or I would recommend reading all of the other series first (I did not), then end with this book. 

My thoughts: Well, I had thought I had read all the series with the Baxter family, but apparently, I had not. I actually found this was totally okay, as while the family had progressed without me, it doesn't really matter. This book was absolutely fantastic. If you can't stand to read so much of Karen's work (and I wouldn't blame you as the writing can get a bit dull), just read this book. It's so amazing. I loved it. I cried a lot, but I smiled and was inspired by this family's steadfastness. I highly, highly recommend this one.

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