Thursday, October 3, 2013

This Book Room

A stronger Joshua arrives in a deceptively ordinary village only to witness the doings of unscrupulous leaders and violent people. The children are the first to recognize that something is quite different about this stranger who has come seemingly from nowhere. It is through the villagers' children that Joshua is able to restore a sense of peacefulness and honesty.

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

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book and enjoy this series thoroughly so far. I've read other reviews, which noted they thought it was an unrealistic story because who would allow their children to go off with a stranger. To address that in my own way (since this is my blog and I can say whatever I want here), I would just say in this day and age, maybe it's a bit unrealistic. But in the ideal world, which is Heaven, my Bug can go off with whomever she wants. I don't know if I would truly recognize Jesus if He walked Earth today. I would love to say I would. But hardly anyone recognized Him when He came and walked among us from infancy. I don't have a naturally trusting heart, but I know with Him, I've given my life. My Bug, my marriage, myself, my every day. This book encapsulates that we are to trust Him with everything and to love everyone. Whether or not this book is realistic, that message is relevant and true. It doesn't matter how you get that message. It just matters that you get it.

Americans from all walks of life are still feeling the roller-coaster effects of the Great Recession. For  many, home values are still too low and unemployment is still too high. Others have prospered despite the ups and downs. In Clark Howard’s Living Large for the Long Haul, the renowned broadcaster examines our new paradigm through the eyes of those whose financial portfolios have beaten the odds, and those whose economic situation has gone off course. Through these fascinating personal accounts, readers uncover amazing opportunities and smart decisions, finding advantages in bleak times for lasting payoffs in the long run.

My thoughts: You won't necessarily learn something new from this book. I did not (that I can recall at this time). However, I found the stories within incredibly interesting. If you want a snapshot of America today, read this book. I was not so much a fan of stories where Clark Howard claims Americans are still doing well, as in most of those stories, the people had started their businesses some 30 years ago, when as we all know, the business landscape was much different. This was an eye-opening read, all in all, and I definitely recommend it.

Leelee Satterfield seemed to have it all: a gorgeous husband, two adorable daughters, and roots in the sunny city of Memphis, Tennessee.  So when her husband gets the idea to uproot the family to run a quaint Vermont inn, Leelee is devastated…and her three best friends are outraged.  But she’s loved Baker Satterfield since the tenth grade, how can she not indulge his dream?  Plus, the glossy photos of bright autumn trees and smiling children in ski suits push her over the edge…after all, how much trouble can it really be?

But Leelee discovers pretty fast that there’s a truckload of things nobody tells you about Vermont until you live there: such as mud season, vampire flies, and the danger of ice sheets careening off roofs.  Not to mention when her beloved Yorkie decides to pick New Year’s Eve to go to doggie heaven-she encounters one more New England oddity: frozen ground means you can’t bury your dead in the winter.  And that Yankee idiosyncrasy just won’t do.

The inn they’ve bought also has its host of problems: an odor that no amount of potpourri can erase, tacky d├ęcor, and a staff of peculiar Vermonters whose personalities are as unique as the hippopotamus collection gracing the fireplace mantle.  The whole operation is managed by Helga, a stern German woman who takes special delight in bullying Leelee for her southern gentility.  Needless to say, it doesn’t take long for Leelee to start wondering when to drag out the moving boxes again.

But when an unexpected hardship takes Leelee by surprise, she finds herself left alone with an inn to run, a mortgage to pay, and two daughters to raise.  But this Southern belle won’t be run out of town so easily.  Drawing on the Southern grit and inner strength she didn’t know she had, Leelee decides to turn around the Inn, her attitude and her life.  In doing so, she makes friends with her neighbors, finds a little romance, and realizes there’s a lot more in common with Vermont than she first thought.

In this moving and comedic debut, Lisa Patton paints a hilarious portrait of life in Vermont as seen through the eyes of a southern belle readers won’t soon forget.  A charming fish-out-of-water tale of one woman who learns to stand up for herself-in sandals and snow boots-against the odds.


Additional notes: This is the first book in the Dixie series. There are three books in this series, the latest of which is due to be released this year.

My thoughts: This was a fun read, overall. It's best read in the winter, while eating something decadent and in the tub with bubbles. The end of the book was a true cliff-hanger and left me wanting more immediately. The characters in the book were hilarious and fun. This book kind of reminded me of Gilmore girls, in terms of its crazy characters. I love small towns. If you do, too, check out this book.

It's the summer of 1979, and a dry, hot, northern California school vacation stretches ahead for

Left to their own devices, the inseparable sisters spend their days studying record jackets, concocting elaborate fantasies about the life of the mysterious neighbor who moves in down the street, and playing dangerous games on the mountain that rises up behind their house.

When young women start showing up dead on the mountain, the girls' father is charged with finding the man responsible, known as The Sunset Strangler. Seeing her father's life slowly unravel when he fails to stop the murders, Rachel embarks on her most dangerous game yet: setting herself up as bait to catch the killer, with consequences that will destroy her father's career and alter the lives of everyone she loves.

It is not until thirty years later that Rachel, who has never given up hope of vindicating her father, finally smokes out the killer, bringing her back to the territory of her childhood, and uncovering a long-buried family secret.
Rachel and her younger sister Patty-the daughters a larger-than-life, irresistibly handsome and chronically unfaithful detective father who loves to make women happy, and the mother whose heart he broke.

My thoughts: Unfortunately, if you just read that summary, which is provided by goodreads.com, you know the first 225 pages of the 300 page book. The good news is that the first 225 pages are riveting, even if you just read the summary. The bad news is that the last 75 pages don't really match with the  first 225. The ending was kind of anti-climatic. It just fell flat for me. I was so riveted by this story. I wanted to ignore everyone and read it. And the end was just boring for me. That was disappointing.

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