Thursday, February 21, 2013

This Book Room

Life Without Limits is an inspiring book by an extraordinary man. Born without arms or legs, Nick Vujicic overcame his disability to live not just independently but a rich, fulfilling life, becoming a model for anyone seeking true happiness. Now an internationally successful motivational speaker, his central message is that the most important goal for anyone is to find their life’s purpose despite whatever difficulties or seemingly impossible odds stand in their way.

Nick tells the story of his physical disabilities and the emotional battle he endured trying to deal with them as a child, a teen, and a young adult. “For the longest, loneliest time, I wondered if there was anyone on earth like me, and whether there was any purpose to my life other than pain and humiliation.” He shares how his faith in God has been his central source of strength and explains that once he found his own sense of purpose—inspiring others to make their lives and the world better—he found the confidence to build a rewarding and productive life without limits.

Nick offers practical advice for realizing a life of fulfillment and happiness by building trust in others, developing supportive relationships, and gaining strength for the journey. He encourages the reader by showing how he learned to accept what he could not control and focus instead on what he could. 

My thoughts: I really, really enjoyed this book. It was incredibly inspirational. Nick, the author, offers so much encouragement in this book for whatever journey the reader may be on. And reading Nick's story and how he overcame his own struggles - it just really makes me want to shake people and say, "You can overcome this. You can DO this!" Not because Nick did and his situation was worse or something, but because people, in general, can do whatever they set their minds to. Just set your mind to it and DO it! If you need encouragement, this book is a must read.

Laura Ingalls Wilder is beginning her life with her new husband, Almanzo, in their own little house. Laura is a young pioneer wife now, and must work hard with Almanzo, farming the land around their home on the South Dakota prairie. Soon their baby daughter, Rose, is born, and the young family must face the hardships and triumphs encountered by so many American pioneers.

Additional notes: This is the ninth and last 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, the fifth book here, the sixth book here, the seventh book here and the eighth book here

My thoughts: I was sad to see this series end, but so happy I finally read it! Jason, my darling husband, recommended I read the series, and I'm so glad he did. I just love the time period in which Laura and her family grew up - things were much simpler then and in our household, we attempt to live as simply as possible. I'm sure we fail in millions of ways, but however simple we can get, the better we are for it. If you haven't yet read this series, you definitely should! You won't be sorry.

In the small Colorado town of Summit View, a surprising multi-generational mix of women from Grace Church meet once a week to pass a hot dish and to pray. But the Potluck Club, as they call themselves, is a recipe for disaster when they send up enough misinformed prayers to bring down a church. And the funny thing: the more they pray, the more troubles seem to come their way. It isn't until they invite God to the table that they discover friendship is the spice of life, and a little dash of grace, just like salt, goes a long way.

Additional notes: This the first book in the Potluck Club series. There are currently six books in this series. 

My thoughts: The characters in this book are highly entertaining. That is really what is special about this series. It's not necessarily the plot lines - sure, there's drama, romance (kind of), blah blah blah. But the characters will have you laughing out loud with their crazy antics and silliness!

Lindsay took to marriage like a starlet to stilettos, but her husband had a deeper love for his business. Left alone after his death, Lindsay must find out who she is when there isn't a party to plan or another person's life to be organized. Can she find her way Back to Life?

Lindsay realized when she married Ron, a man seventeen years her senior, that the odds were he'd see heaven before her, but she never expected to be a widow at thirty-five. She knows there's too much of life remaining for her to just sit around in mourning, but she can't seem to kick-start the rest of her life. Then unexpected help arrives...when Ron's first wife, Jane, shows up at Lindsay's front door.

The executor of their late husband's estate, Jane is everything Lindsay's not: strong, stubborn, independent...and a lot older. There are other surprises as well, including Ron Jr. (whom Jane insists is not "really" Ron's son). But against all odds, a most unlikely friendship begins to develop--as each woman discovers how to own up to her past mistakes and to reevaluate what is really important. Told in the alternating voices of Jane and Lindsay, and featuring the return of many of the unforgettable characters introduced in The Trophy Wives Club, Back to Life is a lighthearted, relatable read about where to turn when life goes in a direction you never planned. 

Additional notes: This is the second and last book in the Trophy Wives Club series. You can read my review of the first book here

My thoughts: Sadly, this book was really blah. The characters are annoying and blah. The story line is not compelling and very blah. Even if you read the first book and enjoy it, skip this one. It's all very blah.

Sophie has spent a lifetime guarding her heart and a long-held secret. It will take all of her courage to speak the truth and embrace the future God has planned for her.

The year is 1886, and Sophie Robillard returns to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, after living in Texas for 15 years as the ward of Ada and Wyatt Caldwell. Now that the town's population has exploded, her intention is to reopen the long-defunct newspaper office that so captivated her when she was still an orphan. The rejection she experienced as a child because of her mixed parentage has left deep scars that she hopes can be healed by succeeding in this new venture.

Ethan Heyward was uprooted from his home as a boy following an unspeakable tragedy. Horace Blakely, a millionaire businessman, took Ethan under his wing and eventually put him in charge of the construction and opening of Blue Smoke resort in Hickory Ridge.

They meet when Sophie arrives at Blue Smoke to interview Ethan for her newspaper. As their attraction deepens, each hides a secret that, if revealed, could end their relationship.

Additional notes: This is the third and last book in the Hickory Ridge Romance series. You can read my review of the first book here and my review of the second book here

My thoughts: I was super excited that Sophie was the main character for this book as she very much intrigued me in the first book. The romance in this book fell a bit flat for me, but wanting to know about Sophie's heritage kept me going. This book is very much plot driven and not as much character driven. There's a lot of adventure that keeps the story going.

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