Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bleeding Heart by Amber Stokes

Bleeding Heart by Amber Stokes

Five bleeding hearts. One profound journey.

Summer 1886

Sally Clay's livelihood has been snatched away, but in its place arises an opportunity to escape from her sordid past and an unrelenting, unwanted suitor. Boarding a train with a heartsick rancher and an enigmatic miner, she leaves Virginia City behind and heads to Northern California, waiting for the chance to make right what went wrong three long years before.

But the road to revenge is far from smooth. Sally soon learns that the jagged pieces of a broken heart can far too easily wound the hearts of others - and hers isn't the only heart that's broken. Tragedy and fear dog her steps as she flees from the redwood forests to the high desert and back again. Will her bleeding heart ever find a way and a place to heal?

A desperate soiled dove. Three men who come to care for her. One man determined to claim her.

All on a journey that will show them what true love really involves.

My Thoughts:

This debut novel took me by surprise in many ways! It’s not your typical “light and fluffy” read from the world of Christian fiction. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a “light and fluffy” story just as much as the next girl, but I also enjoy being so shocked by a plot change that I have to put my book aside for a moment to register what just happened. Amber blows the “predictable” label that often comes with Christian fiction right out of the water.

Bleeding Heart is a dark story. There’s pain and heartache, but there’s also healing and forgiveness. As the title suggests, this story is the journey of five hurting people that cross paths in one way or another.

Amber writes beautifully, and I can’t wait to read what she pens next!

**Through Labor Day weekend, Bleeding Heart is only .99!!!!

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Real Boy by Anne Ursu

The Real Boy by Anne Ursu

Walden Pond Press (September 24, 2013) 352 pages


The Real Boy, Anne Ursu’s follow-up to her widely acclaimed and beloved middle-grade fantasy Breadcrumbs, is an unforgettable story of magic, faith, and friendship.

On an island on the edge of an immense sea there is a city, a forest, and a boy named Oscar. Oscar is a shop boy for the most powerful magician in the village, and spends his days in a small room in the dark cellar of his master’s shop grinding herbs and dreaming of the wizards who once lived on the island generations ago. Oscar’s world is small, but he likes it that way. The real world is vast, strange, and unpredictable. And Oscar does not quite fit in it.

But now that world is changing. Children in the city are falling ill, and something sinister lurks in the forest. Oscar has long been content to stay in his small room in the cellar, comforted in the knowledge that the magic that flows from the forest will keep his island safe. Now, even magic may not be enough to save it.

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Thoughts:

It is with great excitement that I announce the newest addition to my “hug-worthy” shelf! It’s a rare event, just so you know!

Oscar is odd. He knows he’s not quite like all the other children. He doesn’t know what to say, and he questions what he does say. He has an extraordinarily difficult time looking people in the eyes. He often feels the urge to hide away from the world. He won my heart! Completely! I find tears in my eyes at random moments just thinking about how much Oscar was like the child version of myself(and even a great deal like my adult self). The tears have flowed just writing this post, and I applaud the author for writing such an amazing book! Oscar is such a special character to me now! I imagine even those of you who don’t connect with him so much will find tears in your eyes, too. I read an e-ARC, but Lord willing, this book will be added to my shelf in real form soon.

As I kept reading The Real Boy, I thought the author was writing Oscar to be a child suffering from social phobia. It was only through another reviewer stating so, that I realized Oscar actually has Aspergers Syndrome. If you know the symptoms of social phobia and that form of autism, you know many of them kind of mesh together. There were a couple of issues Oscar had that I didn’t completely connect with now, but I did more so as a child. She writes his issues in so subtly that you might not even realize what she’s done. What she’s done, though, is created a beautiful, magical story that will connect all the “odd” kids of the world. She lets them know they’re not alone, and I wish so desperately that I’d read a book like this when I was a child. To know I wasn’t the only child so “different” would have been such an encouragement. It would have been great to know as I heard other kids talking about how “weird” I was when they thought I couldn’t hear them.

Despite Oscar’s issues, he’s smart, and fills his mind with book knowledge. I love that the author gave him such a wonderful, understanding friend for his journey. She was gentle, but at the same time stern when the need called for it. Every “odd” child deserves such a friend! They do exist!

The Real Boy is a mysterious little story, with unexpected twists and turns. Secrets are slowly revealed, and even then I wasn’t always sure what to do with my new knowledge. It’s dark and so very emotional. It’s one of those books that I really can’t say too much about without giving away a secret. I will say that it is a loose re-telling, with a unique little twist.

I wouldn’t consider this an easy read. I’d say it’s for a mature reader in its target age group. I found myself confused at times, and I’d have to re-read certain parts at an attempt to see what didn’t connect in my mind. Even the ending is left somewhat open, and there’s plenty you’re left with to fill in the blanks. I’m hoping this means a sequel, even though I’m not really expecting one.

I have Breadcrumbs on my shelf, and now I’m looking forward to devouring it, too. In case you can’t tell, I highly recommend this for all adults, and mature middle grade readers. It’s wonderful and I simply can’t thank the author enough for adding it to the world of fiction!

*I was provided an e-ARC through Edelweiss for review.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

From the Heart....

I'm so behind with everything, it's pitiful! I sat down earlier to attempt some commenting, and I was made aware of *just* how behind I am. I'm working on it! ;)

Despite that, I want to take a moment to write this post. I had lived with fear and worry concerning a decision in my past for years. It was a wonderful decision, but I felt it was brought about by the wrong reasons at that time. I made it right last week, and the peace that came with *that* decision has been an amazing experience. Wonderful, I tell you! With that, though, I've had another issue weigh heavy on my heart, and I want to attempt to make it somewhat right.

When I first started blogging, I didn't make the best reading choices. This post is mostly in reference to Christian non-fiction, but I'm constantly working on (slowly) improving my fiction choices, too. My ultimate goal in life is to get to heaven. Really, nothing else matters! To do that, I have to follow the guidelines set forth in the New Testament. There have been books I've read in the past, and some I might have even recommended to you, that I didn't completely agree with. I felt they had (some)false teaching in them, but contained subjects that aren't popular. I kept those issues to myself, and took the good from the book, and left the bad. The problem with that is that by recommending those books to you, I most likely left you with the impression that I agreed with all of the author's theology. I promoted false teaching, and I apologize for that!

I know most of you won't care about this, but some of you may, and I do! Plus, let me make it clear that my beliefs mean *NOTHING, WHAT.SO.EVER*! God's Word is what matters!

I struggle *greatly* with feeling like someone is falsely teaching others and simply me being judgemental to others. I don't like the tug of war I feel in those situations! My goal is to make better reading decisions in the first place, but to also be more upfront about when I feel someone is leading others away from what God has taught us in the New Testament. I also want to "study" an author a bit more before picking up one of their books. Don't get me wrong! I feel it's greatly important to study from multiple points of view concerning a subject. If I only believe and study what I've been taught, then how will I ever discover if I'm wrong! I encourage you to do the same. :) If an author is "way out there", though, I'd rather just stay away from their books in the first place, instead of wasting my time. There are quite a few authors that I read for encouragement on my journey to being a better wife and mother, but that doesn't mean I agree with their theology. I want to clear those lines that I've made for myself, and make sure you see them, too.

I'm learning to be secure in my beliefs. I know my beliefs aren't popular, and it's HARD expressing those. Please know that I'm never attempting to be judgemental of anyone or push my beliefs on any of you. I would hope that those of you that disagree with me would at least study up on "my" side of the argument, though. ;) I'm not always the best at expressing what I want in the best way, so I apologize for those posts that came across arrogant or rude. I can assure you it wasn't my intention, and there have been posts removed due to seeing later how rude I sounded. I pray all of you keep patience with me and excuse me when my words don't come out quite the way I hoped.

Well, if you stuck with me through all of that, Thank you! ;)

Now, I'm off to do some commenting!

The Keeper of Reign by Emma Right(With $25 Amazon GC or Paypal Cash Giveaway)

Keeper of Reign copy

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keeperKeeper of Reign

Books written in blood. Most are lost, their Keepers with them. A curse that befell a people. A Kingdom with no King. Life couldn’t get more harrowing for the Elfies, a blend of Elves and Fairies. Or for sixteen-year-old Jules Blaze. Or could it?
For Jules, the heir of a Keeper, no less, suspects his family hides a forgotten secret. It was bad enough that his people, the Elfies of Reign, triggered a curse which reduced the entire inhabitants to a mere inch centuries ago. All because of one Keeper who failed his purpose. Even the King’s Ancient Books, did not help ward off that anathema.
Now, Gehzurolle, the evil lord, and his armies of Scorpents, seem bent on destroying Jules and his family. Why? Gehzurolle’s agents hunt for Jules as he journeys into enemy land to find the truth. Truth that could save him and his family, and possibly even reverse the age-long curse. Provided Jules doesn't get himself killed first.


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emmaAuthor Emma Right

Emma Right is a happy wife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a Long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. She loves the Lord and His Word deeply, and when she doesn't have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one.

Right worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Classic Candle Bible

The Candle Classic Bible

Candle Books (July 1, 2013) 256 pages

My Thoughts:

*Let me start out by saying that I have *not* read through this whole book yet. My impression is great so far, but if I come across anything I dislike or disagree with in the future, Lord willing, I *will* let you know.

The first thing I noticed when this book arrived is the pictures. They are somewhat realistic looking without actually being real. I have quite a few children's Bibles at our house, but most of them have childish cartoon pictures. I don't think there's anything wrong with that(at all), but I've recently been made aware of how important pictures can be to help children *know* that the contents of the Bible really happened(along with me teaching them that, of course!). I think the pictures within this book are beautiful and realistic, without being *too* harsh.

The stories are summarized, with the book and chapter it is contained in listed beforehand. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John have many of the same contents, just from a different point of view. This book collects the same story from each of those books and condenses it to one. For example, there is one story titled, "The Disciples See Jesus Alive". Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20 are all listed as "inspiration" for that particular story summary.

Since there are 365 stories, this book has many that aren't so common in children's books. They are written with an older child in mind, though. My 2 oldest are 4 and 2. Some of these stories are a little too mature for them. Their Bible study materials for this year arrived yesterday, and I plan on using this book as a supplement during their study. I will just preview as I go to see if there's anything I feel is too mature for them.

Overall, I really like it! As the title says, it has a classic feel to it, and even has a ribbon bookmark attached.

*I was provided a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Elvis and the Underdogs by Jenny Lee

Elvis and the Underdogs by Jenny Lee

Balzer + Bray (May 14, 2013) 304 pages

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

This is such a fun story. Benji is 10 years old, and tiny for his age. He's spent a great deal of his life in a hospital, and is prone to regular fainting spells. When he has a seizure, he is given the choice of wearing one UGLY helmet or get a service dog. Since he's already bullied, he finally talks his mother into a dog. Little did he know, he'd get a talking dog.

My oldest son was extremely premature, like Benji, so I automatically warmed to this story. I sympathized with his mom all too well! I liked her! Benji pulled out the “pity” card a few times, and he gets his way, but she does remind him that she’s the mom, and that means she doesn’t *have* to negotiate.

I found myself laughing at unexpected moments throughout the book. Out loud! The author of this book is a writer/producer for the TV show "Shake it Up", which I admit to watching a few times. This book has a fun, cute style, like that show. It’s really a perfect “win” for parents and children. There’s enough corniness and funny parts that I believe most children would love the story, but there’s enough (subtle) life lessons thrown in that I think most parents would be happy to hand it over to their children.

I’m not the biggest fan of books with talking animals in them, but it worked in this case. The first time Elvis started talking, I admit I found it so corny, I didn’t think I’d end up liking the book anymore, but it quickly became hilarious.

Another thing I adored about this book is the diversity! There are characters of different ethnicities throughout the story AND on the cover, and that gets major bonus points from me.

As much as I enjoyed my time in this book, I do have to admit to being surprised at certain parts of the story, especially the ending. Some things weren’t left wrapped up as much as I’d like. I’m really hoping it means this will be a series!

Overall, this is a fun book that's perfect for some end of summer reading! I enjoyed it!

*I was provided a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson

Shadow Mountain (September 9, 2013) 320 pages

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Thoughts:

While Blackmoore is the first book by Julianne Donaldson that I've read, I'm pretty sure I officially have a favorite author on my list! I simply can't wait to read Edenbrooke if there is any comparison at all between the two. From the high praise I've been hearing, I have no doubt I would love it just as much.

Kate is trying hard to remove the name "Kitty" from her past. She's determined to rid herself of her family's embarrassing, flirting ways. The name "Kate" sounds more mature. Her mother's constant, scandalous behavior with men has rubbed off on her older sister, and Kate feels nothing but shame for her family. Her two best friends, Sylvia and Henry are the bright spots of her days growing up. For one month out of the year, Sylvia and Henry go to Blackmoore, and leave Kate behind. Due to unfortunate name her mother has brought to the family, Henry's mother won't allow Kate to go despite her dream to finally see the place that has captured Henry's heart. Kate's dream eventually becomes to travel India with her aunt. Her mother has decided to never allow it, though. A proper young lady is supposed to dream of marriage! When a "deal" is made, Kate realizes she has a chance at making her dreams come true. She simply has to reject 3 proposals when her opportunity finally presents itself to visit Blackmoore.

Blackmoore is the kind of book you close with a blissful sigh! There is such great emotion packed in the pages that you can feel the characters' pain radiating right off the page. I love being transported so deeply into a character's feelings that I cry with them, or laugh with them, or feel my own face burning with their embarrassment. I know at that point I've found an exceptional author. Donaldson succeeds at pulling those emotions out of me as I read Blackmoore.

It was *painful* to read at times. The tension of chemistry is so thick that you know there are secrets being hid. It's made obvious to the reader just how much these two are in love with each other, but they each suffer attempting to hide it from the other. Kate has vowed to never marry, but with a man like Henry at her side, you can't imagine what's going through her mind! And, Henry! When it comes to fictional guys, you just can't get better than Henry. He was sweet, and so in love with Kate you just wanted to give that boy a hug for the pain he was enduring!

It's through the use of flashbacks that Kate's secrets are eventually revealed and then understanding comes to mind. Slowly filling in the details warmed my heart to the story more and more.

In case you couldn't tell, I *adored* this story! It's a wonderfully *clean*, romantic escape to the regency world.

*I was provided a review copy through Netgalley.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge

David C. Cook (August 1, 2013) 256 pages

My Rating: 1/5 stars

My Thoughts:

I was uncomfortable reading this book. It *felt* wrong! There are some things that simply annoyed me, but there were some things that I felt was highly unbiblical. Please use extreme caution if you decide to read this book!

The first part of the book deals with issues our mothers may have caused us to have. The author claims we're not throwing blame around, but that's exactly what it felt like to me. She encourages us to figure out imperfections our mothers had during our childhood. She even wants us to go back as far as our mother's pregnancy with us. Have weight issues? Did your mother smoke? Well, there you go! It's your mother's fault you struggle with your weight! Now *imagine* her asking for your forgiveness. I'm making light of these chapters, but there are people who have had traumatic childhoods, and are suffering greatly for that. I'm *not* making light of that! Psychologists are highly trained in those areas. They study for years and years, and can do amazing things to help those people. As far as could find, this author has no qualifications whatsoever to be playing the role of psychologist, unless you count her time as a *patient*. She does tell in the book that she's had one. It just doesn't sit right with me for her to take on that role and write a book tackling issues such as these with no qualifications. (I say that as nicely as possible!)

It pained me to read what an ugly picture the author painted of her mother, especially since she has already passed on. She does say some nice things about her, so it IS clear that her mother was a good person, but it's mostly pointing out what she did wrong as a mother. She obviously tackled some things in the wrong way, and now everyone reading this book will see that. I simply can't imagine writing such negative things about my momma. It seems so disrespectful to me, especially when thousands, maybe even millions, of readers will now view her mother in such a negative way. My momma wasn't perfect. I'm not perfect. My children won't be perfect. Sure, the things we do as parents HIGHLY affect our children's futures, but at some point the choice becomes ours. I struggle with my weight. I have for more of my life than I haven't. That's not my momma's fault. I just like sugar too much!

There are many times she left me confused as to what she was trying to say.

"Christian curses happen when we pray wanting vengeance, when we pray with a spirit of hatred, judgment, anger, or revenge. Prayers like `Get him, God,' `Teach him a lesson,' `Rebuke him, God' have the same energy as witchcraft. Actually, they are witchcraft, and they hurt people. They damage them spiritually and physically. They damage us as well." (pages 169-170, ARC)

Is she saying God will answer those kinds of prayers for us, or simply throwing our "wishful thinking" into the air will cause the other person harm? Combined with all the other issues I've had with her writing, I was simply uncomfortable with it. It felt wrong, and supernatural like.

The author touches on other supernatural things, and I don't care for that at all.

"I know I'm not the only woman who late at night has thought of the perfect thing to say, days after the conversation. Or who has had a brilliant conversation with someone who isn't there. I have learned something: It is not a good idea to have conversations with people who are not actually in the room. As I mentioned in chapter 8, when we do that, our spirit reaches out to them and builds a bridge to them, and all of their warfare, or anger, or sorrows come traveling across that bridge back to us. Those are ungodly soul ties." (page 188, ARC)

As she says there, she touches on this subject more in Chapter 8. She uses this Bible verse to support her thoughts:

I Samuel 18:1(NKJV)

"Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul."

Needless to say, I feel she's greatly misinterpreting this verse!

The author's version of the "Prayer of Salvation" is at the end of this book. I don't believe the "Prayer of Salvation" is biblical, whatsoever. I know that's not a popular belief, even among friends and family, but I believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible teaches that baptism is required for salvation.

Mark 16:16(NKJV)
"He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned."

Acts 2:38(NKJV)
Then Peter said to them, `Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"

Acts 22:16(NKJV)
"And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

Matthew 7:21-23(NKJV)
"Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; 1 Peter 3:21

Also, I'll briefly mention that she alludes to a passionate romance with Jesus through the book, and I feel scriptures have been highly misinterpreted seeking this kind of relationship with Jesus!

These issues are only the tip of the iceberg. I was highly uncomfortable with the author's writing and "supernatural-like" beliefs. Since this was a review copy, I kept trying to finish it, but ultimately had enough at just over 3/4th of the way through. I'd rather be filling my mind with God's Word than this. I'd heard only great things about Captivating and Wild at Heart, and excitedly added them both to my shelves. They will be promptly removed now.

*Please know that I realize how unpopular my beliefs are, especially concerning baptism! It's HARD putting myself out there like this, and I don't do it lightly. I'm not trying to do it in a judgmental way! I pray no one shuns me for doing so. ;)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Jim Henson's The Storyteller

Jim Henson's The Storyteller

Archaia Entertainment, LLC; (December 27, 2011) 120 pages


When people told themselves their past with stories, explained their present with stories, foretold the future with stories...the best place by the fire was kept for...The Storyteller! Archaia and The Jim Henson Company are proud to present all-new tales of fantastic wonder and extraordinary myth, as told from the tongue of The Storyteller and his loyal canine companion! Witness worded wonderment from a cavalcade of crafty creators, including Roger Langridge (The Muppet Show Comic), Marjorie Liu (Black Widow), Ron Marz (Green Lantern, Artifacts), Jeff Parker (Hulk, Thunderbolts), Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray (Jonah Hex), Jim McCann (Return of the Dapper Men), Francesco Francavilla (Detective Comics), J.L. Meyer (Lady Pendragon), Tom Fowler (Green Arrow, Batman), Chris Eliopoulos (Pet Avengers), Colleen Coover (Spider-Man), Janet K. Lee (Emma), and many more!

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

This book is told in comic book style. I’m not typically a comic book reading kind of person, but something about this one pulled my interest. It’s apparently based off a series of television programs, which shamefully, I’d never heard of before this book!

There are several different stories by different authors and illustrators, but with the common theme of the storyteller and his dog. There’s various fables, folk tales, and fairy tale-ish stories throughout with different kinds of morals attached. Of course, there’s some I liked better than others. The same goes for the illustrations. Each one also has various levels of corniness! ;) There’s one story of a cat that turns into a man for love, and one where a woman gives birth to a frog that has knowledge of everything under the sun. Ha! Do you know those stories where suddenly your brow wrinkles up as you proclaim(if only in your mind), “What?!”? You’ll do that a great deal with this book! Some of the stories are wonderfully weird, but some of them are just plain weird, like the witch baby one! In that story there’s a baby with iron teeth that eats her family. She’s shown with fingers in her mouth, like it’s a carrot. It seems more in line with the “original” fairy tales, back when people weren’t quite so squeamish.

Overall, if you’re a fan of comic book style stories and different kinds of fairy tale-ish stories, I’d give this one a try. My feelings are pretty mixed, but overall, I kind of liked it.

*I was provided a review copy through Netgalley.

Monday, August 5, 2013

YOU tell ME what to READ! (Plus, a little update)

This picture just always makes me smile!

Many of you will want to skip over this first part. If so, just skip to the bottom and make sure you leave me your reading recommendations! :)

Some of you may remember that I'm reading along with the Seasons of a Mother's Heart read along @ Hope is the Word. You may realize that I'm behind. *sigh* I'm loving reading this book! There's so many parts I want to write my thoughts on, but I feel the need to have semi-quiet time to do that task. That time just isn't being provided. Life at our home has been pretty stressful and chaotic these days. Jonathan left his job of 10 1/2 years for a new one. I'm supportive of this decision! ;) This company is just starting up in our part of the state, so as Jonathan has helped get the company on its feet, he's spent a great deal of time away from us. Even when he's home, he's "working". Just to give you a clue, he had received/sent 751 text messages within 10 days. We had to change plans! I'm not complaining. He's happy and excited, so I am, too! That's not to say I've had the best attitude through it all. It's been stressful! All 3 boys seem to be having trouble sleeping these days. One night, they continuously took turns getting up, and I felt like I was up all night. I was exhausted! Still am! When I do get those brief moments of quiet, I'm usually so drained, I have to take a quick nap. Occasionally, I'm able to get Firefly and Bumblebee napping together. I set Grasshopper up with something off Netflix, curl up on the couch with him behind my knees and take a super quick, re-energizing nap. I've still been enjoying my night reading, when the house is blissfully quiet(at least for a little while), but that means only kindle reading. I do as much "computer" catch-up and/or reading on my Kindle as I can while I'm rocking Firefly to sleep, which really provides a great deal of reading time throughout the day. (And, admittedly, I don't always use my time as I should! ;) Sometimes, I catch a moment of quiet, and I browse the internet, or earn some Swagbucks. Don't we all do that these days, though?!)

In the past month, we've also dealt with sickness, VBS(which despite doing nothing but getting my children there, wore us out!), and little Bumblebee has suffered from the worst case of constipation I've ever seen in my life. I did everything I could to help that poor baby! Talk about stressful! I think we've finally got that under control, though.

There's plenty of silver linings in all that, and the best is that Jonathan should start a regular schedule this week. I'm ready for a little boring normal-ness!

All that babbling to say, I'm behind! I've got a huge list of books I've already read that I need to review, and while I'm hoping to do a great deal of catching up today, I'm going to do a fun post, just in case that doesn't happen!


Now to the fun part!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Too often in the blogging world, reviews take up all of our reading time. It's not as often as I like that I take YOUR recommendations. Here's your chance to change that. :) What's your favorite book that you think I would enjoy? *Remember, though, that I don't like profanity or sex scenes.* Also, a difficult to understand 800 page book just isn't the best idea for me right now. ;P

I'm really trying hard to add Classics into my daily life, though it's usually "cheese platter" reading. Most recently I've been working on more "snacks" of Bible reading, a little Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe. I'm excited about Poe! I may have discovered a favorite, and I'm looking forward to reading more(with annotations!)

So, I'd love for you to recommend both a Classic read AND a non-Classic read that you think I'd enjoy.

Let's hear those titles!!