Friday, September 15, 2017

Romances by Lily Everett: Quick Review

About the Book:

Sheriff Andie Shepard may be new to Sanctuary Island but, like everyone else who comes here, she's already fallen under its healing spell. Andie is determined to leave her mistakes behind her and make this scenic haven her home. But she just might have to change her plans—as well as open her heart—when an unexpected visitor shows up on her doorstep…

Caitlin is the ten-year-old niece Andie never knew she had. Silent, wary, and shy as can be, Caitlin only responds to the horses that run wild across the island. Andie has no idea how to deal with Caitlin—until Sam Brennan enters the picture. A tall, handsome loner who rehabilitates abused horses, Sam is able to help Caitlin break out of her shell. But that's not all: He finds a way to touch something deep in Andie's heart, opening her up to the healing power of love. Together, these three lost souls must face the darkness in their past to build a brighter future. Because here, on Sanctuary Island, anything is possible…

Dr. Ben Faulkner is a veterinarian on warm, welcoming Sanctuary Island, a refuge for wild horses. Though he's dedicated his life to healing animals and rescuing the ones no one wants, Ben is nursing deep wounds of his own. After tragedy tore his family apart, he gave up his dreams of finding happiness long ago…until Merry Preston arrives on the island. Vivacious, friendly, and instantly loveable, Merry is everything Ben is not. She's also nine months pregnant and attempting to carve out a new life for herself and her unborn child.

Though Ben tries to keep his distance, when a raging storm cuts them off from the mainland, he's forced to help bring her new baby into the world. It's a harrowing experience that leaves him with one great certainty: I want these two to be my family. Seeing his opportunity, he makes a dramatic proposal to the young mother: a marriage of convenience. If Merry marries him, he'll draw up a contract naming her son as his heir and promising to provide for them both. But as they'll learn, love is more than a business proposition…and it'll take all the magic hidden in Sanctuary Island to turn Ben's proposal into something real and lasting.

My Comments

Ok, maybe they weren't all that realistic, but they were fun reads.  

I bought them with a gift certificate from a friend.  Grade:  B.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Review: The Bible Blueprint

About the Book:

In The Bible Blueprint, best-selling author Joe Paprocki makes understanding the Bible not only easy for the person in the pew, but downright fun! Using witty cartoons, thought-provoking sidebars, and short quizzes to supplement his easy-to-grasp teachings on the Bible, Paprocki guides lay Catholics to a solid understanding of the stucture, organization, and purpose of God's Word. 

Among numerous other topics, Paprocki covers the different genres of biblical writing, key figures in biblical history, and the methods Catholis rely on to interpret the Bible. As readers increase their understanding of the Bible, they will also increase their ability to find their way in Scripture: eight perforated Bible bookmarks are included.

My Comments:

One thing non-Catholics often accuse Catholics of is ignorance of Scripture, and to be honest, the way Catholics approach religious education and Bible study is very different from that of many non-Catholic Christians.  While many denominations focus their religious education programs on knowing the Bible, Catholic religious education is focused on knowing the teachings of the Church, some of which come directly from the Bible, and some of which do not. 

While Catholics hear large portions of the Bible at Mass, many Catholic adults are looking for information about the Bible and what the Church teaches about the Bible. The Bible Blueprint is a good introduction.  Paprocki used the image of a blueprint-- a plan.  His book is a blueprint of the Bible, and the Bible is the blueprint for salvation.

The book is easy to read and humorous without being slapstick or disrespectful.  There is a lot of good information, but this is not a scholarly tome that must be read with a dictionary at your side.  It approaches the Bible from a Catholic perspective and discusses topics such as why our Bible is longer than the one Protestants use.

I enjoyed The Bible Blueprint, which I won in a contest my parish DRE ran.  If you are ready to learn more about the Bible but the "meaty" Bible studies or textbooks about Scripture are heavier reading that you want, give this a try.  Grade:  B+

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

To Be Where You Are: My Review

About the Book:

After twelve years of wrestling with the conflicts of retirement, Father Tim Kavanagh realizes he doesn't need a steady job to prove himself. Then he's given one. As for what it proves, heaven only knows.

Millions of Karon fans will be thrilled that it’s life as usual in the wildly popular Mitford series: A beloved town character lands a front-page obituary, but who was it, exactly, who died? And what about the former mayor, born the year Lindbergh landed in Paris, who’s still running for office? All this, of course, is but a feather on the wind compared to Muse editor J.C. Hogan’s desperate attempts to find a cure for his marital woes. Will it be high-def TV or his pork chop marinade?
In fiction, as in real life, there are no guarantees. 
Twenty minutes from Mitford at Meadowgate Farm, newlyweds Dooley and Lace Kavanagh face a crisis that devastates their bank account and impacts their family vet practice. 
But there is still a lot to celebrate, as their adopted son, Jack, looks forward to the most important day of his life—with great cooking, country music, and lots of people who love him. Happily, it will also be a day when the terrible wound in Dooley’s biological family begins to heal because of a game—let’s just call it a miracle—that breaks all the rules.
In To Be Where You Are, Jan Karon weaves together the richly comic and compelling lives of two Kavanagh families, and a cast of characters that readers around the world now love like kin.

My Comments:

I've read most of the Mitford books and like many long-time fans will, I'm sure, I grabbed this one when it became available (I got it on NetGalley).  I wanted to visit with old friends and watch them have new adventures.  However, I'm about a third of the way in and I have no desire to finish.  I think every person in Mitford has at least made an appearance and if  you haven't read the other books, they will mean very little to you--they meant little to me because it has been a couple of years since I read the last book.  I'm hoping that by the end of the book Lace finds out that she really can have a baby, but other than that, well, so far nothing in this book has grabbed me and I'm having trouble keeping people straight, or even figuring out who is on stage right now.  

Thanks to the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade C (real Mitford fans may enjoy it, but don't bother with this if you haven't read the others.  

Monday, September 04, 2017

It's Monday: What Are You Reading


I guess I'm getting back into it; this is my second week in a row joining Kathryn and the gang  and since I'm off tomorrow I can spend more time reading other people's posts and finding new reads.

This week I added seven books to my NetGalley shelf, so I guess I'll have to spend some of the time actually reading books.

I plan to review the financial books on my financial blog, where, by the way, I recently wrote about helping the victims of Hurricane Harvey.    

I've started To Be Where You Are and I'm finding it slow.  Fr. Tim has aged, along with the people of Mitford and everything just seems, well, old.  

I published two reviews this week:
Something Like Happy by [Woods, Eva]

I'd really like to know what those of you who have read The Giver and the other books in the series think about the question I asked at the end of the review.

Hope everyone has a great Labor Day and gets in some quality reading time.  

Friday, September 01, 2017

Review: Something Like Happy

Something Like Happy by [Woods, Eva]

About the Book:

This joyful, poignant and deeply uplifting novel celebrates the importance of living each day to the fullest through the tale of two very different women—one at a crossroads in life, one given three months to live—who team up to participate in the “100 happy days” challenge and embark on an unforgettable journey that brings each of them redemption, love, and happiness.

With her marriage over and her career stalled out, thirty-something Annie’s life is at a standstill. Then she meets colorful, upbeat Polly, whose recent cancer diagnosis has left her determined to make the most of every moment. Polly sets a challenge: learn to be happy in just 100 days. From dancing in fountains to riding rollercoasters, Annie is drawn into Polly’s world, discovering friends, hope and even love. But what happens when time runs out and she’s tested to her limits once again?

My Comments:

This is a story about two women.  Annie has lost her life and Polly has been given three months to live.  

Annie was the happily married mother of a beautiful baby boy until he died, she fell into depression, and her husband left her. Since that time she has been existing--working a job she hated, sharing a depressing apartment with a roommate she really doesn't know and taking care of her mother, who has early-onset Alzheimer's.  She has no friends and she has no fun in her life. 

Polly had it all too--great job, handsome husband, great friends and a supportive family.  However when "Bob", her brain tumor, made himself known, she decided that she would spend her last few months grabbing life, not waiting for death.  

We follow Annie and Polly though several weeks of doing things they have dreamt of and never done or things Polly wants to do at least once more.  Polly pushes Annie and others outside their comfort zones and gets them to grab for things that make them happy.

The book is set in England and uses British terms like "jumper" or "NHS".  

Polly's mother is a churchgoer but Polly has not been during her adult life.  Now that she is dying, Polly can't decide whether she'd rather believe, or not.  

While there are no bedroom scenes in the book, two of the characters are homosexual.  

I smiled, laughed and cried while reading this book.  I highly recommend it and give it an A.  I'd like to thank the publisher for providing a review copy via NetGalley.  

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