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Books For u

The Choice (Lancaster County Secrets, Book 1) [Bargain Price] [Paperback]

sooo Good!

lol I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I would. I’ve never read Amish fiction before, but Suzanne Woods Fisher made me fall in love with it! This incredible book just had my heart thumping and my eyes watering! So engaging, I couldn’t put it down!

The story is basically this girl falls in love with a boy, but he decides to leave the group while he is on his rumspringa (their time when they get to experience the outside world if they want to before comitting to the church) and she ends up marrying someone else… it goes through love, forgiveness and about the choices we make that it’s never too late to find ourselves with God… I even cried, and it takes a lot of me to cry in a book!

Whether your Amish or not this book has a lot to offer, the characters show depth and the emotions run raw in this book. I loved how much turmoil the main character when through and yet she learnt from it. So often we wonder why we go through things and we learn about forgiveness and God’s real grace through it all.

It was sort of ironic that one of the books I just finished, Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris started off with the discussion of rumspringa, so the bit I had been learning about the Amish fit in nicely to this book and gave it more flavor for me.

If I could give a story 6 cherries I would! She’ll be on my top author’s list!

** review copy provided

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Fools Rush In (Weddings by Bella, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

After reading all the glowing reviews here I had high hopes for this book. Perhaps too high!

First the good. As other reviewers have commented the Rossi family form a cast of lively, quirky and very funny laugh-out-loud characters. They swoop you up in one big embrace and carry you along the story as you flip the pages.

So why the three stars? Firstly, I found the book a little difficult to get into. I’ve owned if for over a year and after three failed attempts finally managed to crack my way past page 50. Personally, I think this was because I found those first fifty a little too much backstory, introspection and introductions and not enough action.

*Possible semi spoiler*
Secondly, I think I’ve realised I like my romances to have a few more obstacles. While trying not to spoil anything for future readers, if the feature romance had had a little more conflict and tension it would have definitely had me a bit more engaged. It was all just a little too easy and left me wishing they’d had to fight a little bit harder.

However, this is a lovely lighthearted read if that it what you’re looking for.

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My Sister’s Keeper [Kindle Edition]

My Sister’s Keeper is full of suspense and it kept my attention from page one through the very end. Being a coastie, I enjoyed the author’s descriptions of Wilmington and the Cape Fear area. Richard Baimbridge, the lead character, is a complex but naive man who ends up over his head (literally) as he attempts to bring down the bad guy. When the book began, I questioned the level of Richard’s devotion to his sister, even though she is crippled and needs his support. Fortunately, he stumbles upon Sydney, an almost eligible woman who keeps his love interest throughout the novel. The author chose the younger sister of a former girlfriend, which created a good twist in the old versus new love knot. The conflict between Richard and his father is a bit overdone, but his mother is well-depicted as the silent-sufferer and peace-maker in a family torn by tragedy. Richard is set up for a big fall by Ashleigh Matthews, a love/hate character who tries to help her own suffering sibling. Some connections are not as mysterious as the author intended i.e. Winston. Voilence is pervasive throughout the story, but it ends with a high note despite the demise of many innocent victims.

If you enjoy suspense and romance in the southeast coastal area, check out

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Alice in Wonderland [Paperback]

So, what’s a 47 year old doing reviewing a classic children’s book? Well, it occurred to me as I was looking through the available books on my Kindle, that many of the free ones (yes I’m quite open to free as an option) that there were many books that I assumed I knew because I had seen movies, seen summarized in some other form or simply because they were cultural icons and “everybody” knows these books.

Many I have indeed read and did read as I was younger. However, now with a Kindle and a commute, it seemed a perfect opportunity to address some of those elements lacking in my basic reading. It was in this spirit that I down loaded Alice’s adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and read through it is a remarkably short period of time. Many of these free books on the Kindle, are in the public domain and have been available in text or PDF files for quite some time. A simple conversion in format is all that is required to make it available. The question I asked as I read the book, is does the experience of reading it in this format take away anything from the experience. Children’s Literature in particular is often about more than just the words on a page. Of course there are often illustrations, the physical book itself takes on dimensions that are bigger than usual. This adds to the experience of a child reading the book by themselves but in particular it adds to the experience of a child being read to who can then sit in a lap or look as the book as presented and share in the experience by learning to read or reinforcing reading skills.

So, for a aging kid who needs something to read to round out his cultural iconic missing links this worked just fine. However, for those seeking to have an experience with their kids in reading a classic piece of literature, I’d not recommend it in that venue.

As to the story itself, there’s little I can say. In some ways, it’s like reading a familiar story but in others it’s amazing how much can be lost or glossed over in the pop-cultural offerings that sprang from it. Reading this piece of classic literature gives you some insight not only into the time it came from, but also into the heart of childhood that is timeless and can be recaptured at least in part, if we’ll pause and exercise our imagination.

4 stars. Absolutely 5 stars as far as the story goes. Because this specifically addresses the Kindle edition, a drop of a star so that any considering reading this to their children from a kindle, consider what might be lost by not obtaining a more traditional copy complete with illustrations and the opportunity to share at a level one notch above what the Kindle offers in this context.

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Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management [Hardcover]

I find that if Mrs Beeton was alive today, she would be discusted at the sight of this book. It does not have all the recipes that other cookery books of hers have in it. The best book that you can by of hers is the one called

‘Mrs Beetons Book of Household Management: A Specially Enlarged First Edition Facsimile/07542’

You can find this book by clicking on the part to the left under the book search part where it says ‘Other Books By Isabella Beeton’. You will find it under the ‘Out Of Print’ section. This will be more usefull, and has those few little recipes in them like ‘Apple Jelly’ or ‘Christmas Cake’. It is more usefull, with more descriptive pictures in it. Do not fall into the same trap that I did.

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Pride And Prejudice [Paperback]

It doesn’t get better than Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Whether you’re the hopeless romantic or you just love the classics, you’re going to love this book. Though I am only sixteen, I consider myself to be moderately well-read. I love reading, and, when I am between books, my life feels desolate and empty. One day, while in the most barren pit of ennui, I picked up Pride and Prejudice at my mother’s recommendation. I do not ordinarily like my mother’s taste in reading; her favorite books tend to be very dull, but so deep was my boredom that I succumbed to her suggestion. I wasn’t displeased with what I found. I fell in love with the book at the first sentence. I brought my beloved book to the dinner table, to my classes and late into the night.

I love everything about it. I love the characters; especially Elizabeth Bennet! I love the Victorian vernavular which works so well for this particular novel. I love the scintillating plot and the suspense created by knowing that Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy should be together but their pride and prejudice (hence the title) are temporarily keeping them apart. The language that the novel is written in might be a little more difficult to read than contemporary literature, but once one gets accustomed to it, it makes the novel even more pleasurable. I cannot imagine Elizabeth or Darcy or Bingley or any of the other characters speaking any less eloquently; it would ruin the whole experience! The flowery language completes the whole effect of reading a Jane Austen novel. If a disgruntled female reader put down Pride and Prejudice, pick it back up! I strongly suggest it because it may prove to be tedious at first but if read again, it would probably read more easily. I can offer no suggestions to the male reader, however, because generally this book, in ever essence, is a female novel. I am not saying that men would definetly not enjoy it; I’m simply saying that I have yet to meet any male who has not addressed this book in a very vehement manner. I simply love this book in its entirety, and I know it won’t be too long before I pick it up again. Jane Austen surely knew what she was doing when she wrote this one! Her Pride and Prejudice will always have an honored spot on my bookshelf.

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The Secret (Seasons of Grace, Book 1) [Paperback]

Beverly Lewis is, by far, my favorite author of “Amish books”, or “Bonnet Books” as Time magazine labeled them in a recent article. I have read every one she’s written. Once I pick up one of her books, I have trouble putting it down. I love her characters, her depiction of Amish life, and her style of writing. Not so with this book. I had trouble reading this one. I actually find it hard to believe Mrs. Lewis wrote this book.

It is nothing like any of her previous works. I was never comfortable with these characters, nor with the way they treat each other. They are very different from her usual characters; they even speak differently. Normally I finish Mrs. Lewis’ books in two or three sittings. I devour her books and find it hard to wait for the next one. It took me two WEEKS and much determination to finish this one – and I did only because it’s Beverly Lewis. Now I will pass it on to my mom as I’ve done with all the others. She loves them as much as I do and often finishes these books in one sitting! I’m anxious to know what she will think of this latest one. I hope Mrs. Lewis’ upcoming books will be better than The Secret.

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The Ugly Truth (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 5) [Hardcover]

I teach 4th grade and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are a perennial favorite. I’ve read all of the books and have had them readily available in my classroom. My students were practically salivating as they awaited the arrival of this book.

I read it. I enjoyed it and thought it was humorous. If I taught middle school or MAYBE even 5th grade, I would highly recommend it. However, I am really struggling with whether or not to include it in my classroom library. As other reviewers have said, kids who don’t like to read devour each and every one of these books. My students beg me to make them available. However, the puberty theme gives me pause. For most kids and their parents, I don’t think there’s an issue. However, I can see this series opening a can of worms with “that one parent”. Even in our society where kids grow up so much faster than we did and are more savvy, not all kids are. In middle school, these issues are happening, whether parents want to face them or not. In 4th grade… I’m not sure if I feel comfortable making that call.

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The Book Thief [Kindle Edition]

This is a story told by Death. An interesting point of view perhaps, but as it is set in Germany during World War II, perhaps it is entirely appropriate. It is also a story of a young girl, who in spite of having a life that no one would wish on anyone, still manages to have glimpses of pleasure through many small things, including the few books that she manages to acquire (or shall we say, steal).

It is interesting to see that it appears to be targeted to young adult readers – please don’t be put off by this – it is very much an adult story about children who are doing their best to live a normal life in times of unspeakable horror. It would also be a good way to introduce more mature readers to the history of the times. But be warned, it is quite confrontational at times, and considering who the narrator is, very sad.

To add extra punch to the story, it appears that it is the true story of the author’s grandmother. When you consider this, you realise how truly resilient we humans are, and how occasionally, and with a bit of luck, we can hold off death for a time.

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The Going-To-Bed Book [Board book]

Tonight while surfing through amazon I stumbled upon Sandra Boynton. Remembering how fond my children were of her board books when they were toddlers, I read a few of the reviews. I laughed and cried thinking about how frequently “The Going To Bed Book” was read in our household and how IMPORTANT it became in our bedtime ritual. Out of curiosity I pulled the old book from our library shelves and went to my kids, now 15, 12 and 9 and began to recite a few lines. *NOTE – I didn’t actually NEED the book in order to do this. To my delight each of them perked up, smiled and began to chant the lines right along with me. They remembered the characters, the words, the way we used to read the story. You see, for them the memories of this book are wonderful as well!

Sandra Boynton is gifted at coupling wonderful, readable verse with delightful illustration. Don’t miss this book and don’t hesitiate to purchase others from her collection. We have HUNDREDS of read aloud childrens books in this house. This ranks right up there with the absolute favorites and should be IMHO amongst the first books read to a cherished babe.

P.S. Don’t miss “Doggies” either! If you read this one with FEELING they’ll be begging for it time and again!

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Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (Baby Board Books) [Board book]

This book does an excellent job of being really clear with the pictures lining up the words and the body parts. The first line, she gives each body part it’s very own page, so that they can be large and really obvious — the little animal on the page mirroring the same body part as the baby is also very adorable.

When she gets to eyes, ears, mouth and nose, she adds another dimension by putting in item on the page that you can do with that body part — for eyes – books, for ears – baby instruments, for mouth – baby food and sippy cup, and for nose – flowers. So there is a discussion element if you are reading this with your baby and choose to take it.

The back of the book has the last “knees and toes” echo…pretty cute, and also has the whole song written out under a staff with musical notes. My older daughter has taken to grabbing this ‘baby’ book and asking how to pluck it out on her little piano keyboard. So the book can have a second life for that purpose later on.
The pictures of the babies are endearing.. I love their happy little faces. It is worth noting that while the babies are definitely different “shades” — it’s hardly what I’d call multi-cultural, which is a shame because there’s no reason why it couldn’t have been. She did throw in a couple girls.

All and all, if the multicultural issue doesn’t concern you, I’d recommend this highly for your own little on, or for a gift.

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