Thursday, October 10, 2013
This Book Room
Additional notes: This is the second book in the Dixie series. The third book was just released. You can read my review of the first book here.
My thoughts: The first book left readers with quite a cliff hanger, and I was so anxious to read this book! While still enjoyable, it was not as good as the first. I'm hoping the third book brings redemption to this series. The characters in the first book were so fun to read, and the author clearly tried to create lovable, fun characters in this book. The characters just fell flat for me. Honestly, it kind of felt like the author was trying too hard with the characters. They didn't feel authentic. I would probably skip this book unless you loved the first book and are one of those people who stick with a series no matter what (and I am not one of those people. I can't even tell you how many times I've not finished a series).
Joshua has come home.
But home is no more peaceful than it was during the "time long ago" remembered by Joshua. Violent, seemingly intractable disputes poison the very air. It falls to Joshua, retracing the path taken two millennia ago, to lead his followers to peace in this world as well as in the next. Joshua in the Holy Land will carry every reader back to where it all began.
Back to Nazareth and Bethlehem.
Back to Capernaum and Bethany.
Back to Jerusalem.
Full of resonances with the Gospels, Joshua in the Holy Land is a profoundly satisfying addition to the Joshua phenomenon.
Additional notes: This is the third book in the Joshua series. You can read my review of the first book here and the second book here.
My thoughts: This was a good book, but it was not great. I couldn't really say why, but I just didn't connect with the plot as much as I have with the other books. I would still read this book, as there are nuggets in each book that have stuck with me long after I have finished them. But all told, this book is definitely my least favorite in the series.
When Denis O'Connor rescues a three-week-old kitten from certain death during a snowstorm, little does he know how this tiny creature will change his life forever. Against all odds the kitten—whom he names Toby Jug—survives and turns out to be a wondrous Maine Coon Cat extraordinaire. Life with Toby is never dull, and Denis and Toby embark on a series of sometimes comical, sometimes poignant adventures that bring them ever closer together. From the massive invasion of bees at Owl Cottage to the mysterious case of the disappearing tomatoes, Denis and Toby form an extraordinary bond, and the cat that no one thought would live through the night ends up altering the lives of everyone he meets.
My thoughts: This book was very... odd. The author seems to be an odd sort of fellow. His cat is highly entertaining, but this is a very different sort of book. I found it difficult to really get into. I think it was the author's voice - it was sort of hum drum and... kind of boring. I hate to give this kind of review, but in all honesty, I would probably skip this book if I knew then what I know now. I wouldn't really recommend it, unless you're just crazy about all cat stories (I am not, but I do love cats and all animals passionately).
Pirates! Magic! Treasure! A gargoyle? Caroline Carlson's hilarious tween novel The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society.
Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword.
There's only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.
But Hilary is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life of petticoats and politeness at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure, where she gets swept up in a madcap quest involving a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn't exist, a talking gargoyle, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.
Written with uproarious wit and an inviting storyteller tone, the first book in Caroline Carlson's quirky seafaring series is a piratical tale like no other.
Additional notes: This is the first book in the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates series. It was just released in September. The second book is due out next year.
My thoughts: Run, don't walk, to your local library to check out this book. Jason and I both loved it. It's so funny and silly and just plain good. We both mentioned to each other that we may actually need to purchase this book for Bug later on - this is the first really good adventure book we've read with a female lead. Your kids will love this book. The target audience is 8 to 12 year olds, but really, anyone can read this book. It's fairly innocent and just really, really good. The gargoyle adds an extra dose of silliness to the book.
It’s 1863 and 10-year-old Emmy Blue Hatchett has been told by her father that soon their family will leave their farm, family, and friends in Illinois, and travel west to a new home in Colorado. It’s difficult leaving family and friends behind. They might not see one another ever again. When Emmy’s grandmother comes to say goodbye, she gives Emmy a special gift to keep her occupied on the trip. The journey by wagon train is long and full of hardships. But the Hatchetts persevere and reach their destination in Colorado, ready to start their new life.
My thoughts: If you're fan of Little House on the Prairie books or enjoyed playing Oregon Trail, you will love this book. There were really sad parts, though, which really are part of life on a trail like this. This story was gripping, entertaining and made me smile. I'm not always a fan of Sandra's books, but this one was a hit for me!