Frequently Auto-Approved
Reviews Published Challenge Participant

Friday, August 23, 2019

Wisdom for Living Learning to Follow Your Inner Guidance by Reynold Ruslan Feldman, Sharon Clark John Hunt Publishing Ltd

I am afraid that I found this difficult to get into. It is full of helpful advice, but I didn't find anything especially new in it. It is the kind of book which should be read slowly, however, and I probably have too many books to read at the moment!

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

What If God Wrote Your Shopping List? 52 Ways to Find Freedom from "Stuff" by Jay Payleitner

This is a simple, but useful book about deciding what your true priorities are, and not getting too attached to 'stuff'.  Jay Payleitner gives helpful advice from a Protestant Christian perspective, including lots of Biblical quotations. I found that much of the advice was directed at families or single people, and the book was also rather American. For example, there were chapters on baseball and lemonade stands

Some of the suggestions were quite old-fashioned, such as having a rocking chair. I certainly agreed with this one, because I regret not keeping my grandmother's rocking chair! Sitting in a rocking chair is soothing and relaxing, and not just for the elderly!

There were several chapters on making good decisions about what to keep and what to buy and even how to live as a Christian. I didn't agree with all of them. For example, one chapter suggested buying an alarm clock and doing early morning devotions.  This is probably good - if you are an early morning person! I found the writing a bit dogmatic, unfortunately, and, although I am religious, I don't like books with too many Biblical quotations.

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

EDITION
ISBN
PRICE

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Travel Light, Move Fast by Alexandra Fuller

Alexandra Fuller can't get over watching her mother save a pack of terrified dogs from a large cobra with her walking stick. Her father used to say that reptiles kept everyone on their toes! This kind of courage is probably what you need to successfully run a farm in Zimbabwe, and Alexandra's formidable parents had been through even worse times. There are many anecdotes like this in this enjoyable book.

It is both a love-letter to her larger-than-life parents and a love-letter to Zimbabwe, and not the vanished colonial world but modern Zimbabwe as well. It sounds like an idyllic life with wild birds and frogs, and beautiful countryside, but, of course, it's extremely dangerous now. But when Alexandra's father suddenly dies in Budapest, she realises even more deeply what her parents and her homeland mean to her.

I found that this book moved fast, like its title, and tended to flit between tragedy and comedy. However, life can be like that, and, perhaps, it increased the poignancy of the situation. I'd love to read more of Alexandra Fuller's books.

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.


Friday, August 16, 2019

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ)

This YA novel is an optimistic, but moving and well-written story which doesn't shy away from serious issues, such as divorce and Alzheimer's disease. I was a bit surprised that I enjoyed every minute of it and didn't want to finish it, even though I am much older than Paige, the heroine, and she was much more mature and also cleverer than I was at her age. She is so likable, that I doubt that any reader could dislike her!

At the beginning of the book, Paige, a young high-school student, is known as the Girl Whose Boyfriend Drowned, and she feels that everyone pities her. She suffers from bad dreams, but she also thinks that she is ready to date again, so she makes a plan. This plan, of course, includes Ryan Chase, the boy she has had a crush on for a long time, but what are her feelings about his cousin Max, who actually reads Jane Austen?.Paige has great friends, but she has to cope with seeing her beloved grandmother declining, applying to college, and the puzzling sight of her divorced parents dating...each other.

I think that most 15 year-olds would find it easy to identify with Paige's problems, and her positive and resilient attitude toward life. Most of the characters are easy to like, and I enjoyed reading how Paige gains sinner strength in the novel. Emery Lord writes about Paige's grandmother's disease especially well.

It's a minor point, but I was delighted to find a main character who actually dislikes The Rocky Horror Show! I hate what I've seen of it, and I have never watched the movie - I won't watch it any time soon.

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay Thomas Nelson--FICTION

Katherine Reay always writes insightful and interesting books, and this one is no exception. This is a beautiful and moving story about three women who find friendship, community and meaning through their involvement in a bookshop. But a huge crisis tests their friendship, and their capacity to forgive...

When Madeline inherits her aunt Maddie's bookstore The Printed Letter Bookshop, she regards it as a temporary affair. Disappointed that she failed to make partner at her prestigious law firm in Chicago, and troubled by the break-up with her workaholic boyfriend, she is also heavily in debt because of the bookshop. It doesn't help that Claire and Janet, the employees, regard her as an outsider, and that Janet and her young male friend Chris think that she treated her aunt badly.

Claire and Janet also have their problems. Claire feels that she is losing touch with her family, especially her difficult teenage daughter Brittany. Janet feels bitter about her divorce from Seth and doesn't want to face life alone. Maddie tried to help them all before she died by sending them each a personal letter and a list of books to read. In the end, though, they need the kind of strength which only comes through prayer.

 I didn't want to finish this. I especially liked Madeline and reading about her relationship with Chris. How would this play out?

I received this free book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

EDITION

Other
Format
ISBN              9780785222002
PRICE            $16.99 (USD)

Monday, August 05, 2019

Murder in the Mill-Race by E.C.R. Lorac

This is a well-crafted mystery with a likeable Scottish Chief Inspector. I especially enjoyed the luminous descriptions of the beautiful Devon countryside and Lorac's ability to sum characters up in a few words. I will be reading more books by Lorac.

Anne and Dr Raymond Ferens want to escape the city and decide to live in a remote hillside village in Devon. The village overlooking Exmoor is very pretty but the villagers keep to themselves. The Ferens find Sister Monica especially odd. A pseudo-nun, she is a malicious gossip and a domineering woman left in charge of the orphanage. Everyone is suspicious about an employee of this woman who was either murdered or killed herself.

When Sister Monica also dies in strange circumstances, the local police  can't get anywhere with the villagers. Scotland Yard has to be called in. Macdonald, helped by Reeves, soon finds out the truth with his quiet but astute interviewing skills and his knowledge of character.

This was a bit dry at times, although creepy, but I enjoyed it.

I received this free ebook from Net Galley in return for an honest review.