Friday, August 15, 2014

This Book Room

The Reverend Curtis Black hasn't spoken to his son, Matthew, in over a year-not since Matthew dropped out of Harvard to marry his girlfriend, Racquel, and be a full-time father to their infant son. Curtis knows that it was he and his wife, Charlotte, who drove Matthew away, but he prays that one day his son will forgive them and come home.

Matthew, however, can't seem to forget the pain his parents caused him and Racquel. Still, he wonders if maybe they'd been right, as fatherhood is not what he expected, and Racquel's behavior has become increasingly erratic. Matthew genuinely wants to be a good husband, though, and swears he'll never repeat his parents' mistakes. But when an old friend expresses her desire for Matthew, the temptation may be too great to resist...

Then, there's Dillon Whitfield-Curtis's long-lost-son-who has settled in as a member of the Black family. Yet the transition has been anything but easy. Charlotte, convinced he's only after Curtis's money, wishes he would move back to where he came from. Dillon, however, has no intention of going anywhere. After a lifetime in the shadows, he's determined to take his rightful place as Curtis's first-born son and heir, and he'll do whatever it takes to win his father's affection-even if it means playing dirty...

As jealousy builds and secrets pile up, both of Curtis's sons will be pushed over the edge and forced to take drastic action. Can these two troubled young men find their way back into the Black family fold, or will their family ties be undone once and for all?

Additional notes: This is the eleventh book in the Reverend Curtis Black series. You can read my reviews of other books in the series by searching "Reverend Curtis Black" in the search box on the blog.

My thoughts: Sometimes, I really question why I even read these books. They're just so full of drama and craziness. The books are enjoyable to read, in that I always feel much better about my own life, and they are just quick reads, too. Read at your own risk is what I would say!

From Mary Hunt comes a collection of tips on saving money and time in the areas of home, auto,
travel, clothing, cooking, shopping, finance, kitchen, gifts, special occasions, kids, yard and garden, laundry, health, organizing and more. It contains sound advice for getting out of debt, managing money, curbing spending, finding creative solutions, and “bringing dignity to the art of living below your means.”

My thoughts: The good news is that I found a few really good tips and tricks I had never heard of before, including a nifty way to clean one's hairbrush. The book was a quick, easy read and was perfect for on-the-go and bathroom reading. I would highly recommend reading it and seeing what new tricks you discover.

In the Amish town of Sugarcreek, love comes in many forms. But will it come at all for Miriam?

Miriam Zehr has worked at the Sugarcreek Inn longer than she cares to admit. The restaurant is a favorite of town residents as well as the many tourists who come to taste the famous Amish fare. Though she always tries to have a smile for every customer, deep down Miriam knows something's missing: a family of her own.

Miriam has never felt particularly beautiful, especially because she's always been a bit heavier than other girls her age. When Junior, the man she's pined for all her life, suddenly seeks her out, she's thrilled to be noticed . . . until she realizes he's only asking her to help get the attention of Mary Kathryn Hershberger, her pretty friend.

If Miriam helps Junior court Mary Kathryn, she'll get to spend a lot of time with him, but she might lose him in the process. Are these few stolen moments worth a lifetime of sacrifice? Is Miriam right to even hope for the life she dreams of?

Additional notes: This is the first book in the Return to Sugarcreek series. The second book has already been released, and the third book will be released soon.

My thoughts: I was so happy to see a new series from the author and one in which we re-visit a familiar land! Of all the Amish books I've read, this author is one of my all-time favorites. If you're a fan of Amish fiction, you've got to check out her books.

Nine-year-old Beezus Quimby has her hands full with her little sister, Ramona. Sure, other people have little sisters that bother them sometimes, but is there anyone in the world like Ramona? Whether she's taking one bite out of every apple in a box or secretly inviting 15 other 4-year-olds to the house for a party, Ramona is always making trouble--and getting all the attention. Every big sister can relate to the trials and tribulations Beezus must endure. Old enough to be expected to take responsibility for her little sister, yet young enough to be mortified by every embarrassing plight the precocious preschooler gets them into, Beezus is constantly struggling with her mixed-up feelings about the exasperating Ramona.

Additional notes: This is the first book in the Ramona Quimby series. There are eight books in this series and all have been released.

My thoughts: I know I read some of these books as a kid, but that was at least 20 years ago. I'm thoroughly enjoying getting into the series and Ramona's crazy antics. It also helps me envision what sort of craziness I am in for as Bug grows older. This series would be a fantastic read-aloud series for your littles.

In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life... until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

My thoughts: This is a tragically wonderful read and perfect for middle-schoolers on up. The characters are so lovable and well developed. I was rooting for them all and was very happy with how the book ended. If you're looking for a great book to end your summer reading with, this is the one.

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