Monday, September 30, 2013

What I read in September

It's finally fall. I know this because the days are getting shorter, and there is a lot of football on the television. Notice I did not say the weather was cooler. It is. A little. But not really enough to mention. Ah, Florida. I love you, I really do, but your summers are endless.

Anyway, I got a lot of reading done this month, so let me commence with my list. My library got some books for me through interlibrary loan. They make me feel so special.

Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar ~ I was a little disappointed in this Biblical fiction story about Rahab. She started out as a strong, self reliant character. As the story progressed, I felt like she became a little wimpy. I also felt the story was a little too "New Testament", but the setting was Old Testament. It was just OK for me.

Forbidden by Tosca Lee and Ted Dekkar ~  This is book one in the Book of Mortals series. My son read these when they first came out, and loved them. I enjoyed this one as well, but it is a little gory. I would classify this as dystopian  with a vampire kind of vibe to it. I will be reading the next book. I gotta find out what happens.

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God  by Lysa TerKeurst ~ Very good Bible study on obedience. I did a couple of blog hops for it here and here and here.

A Corpse at St. Andrews Chapel by Mel Starr ~ This is the 2nd book in the Hugh de Singleton series and I liked it even more than the 1st (The Unquiet Bones). Hugh is a gentleman and a surgeon in medieval England. He works for a wealthy land owner, healing the sick and solving the occasional murder. I love this series so far. It has so much detail, and Hugh is a wonderful hero. Can't wait to get my hands on the next one.  

The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky ~ A very enjoyable upstairs/downstairs romance I reviewed here.

Misery Loves Company by Rene Gutteridge ~ I saw this book reviewed somewhere and thought it sounded interesting. A few days later, it came up as a Kindle freebie! The story is about a book blogger who is kidnapped by an author. At first she thinks it's because she has given him bad reviews for his most recent books, but she learns that there is more to it than that. It is not an easy read. this woman endures quite a lot to solve the mystery, but, if you like suspense, you'll like this one.

What did you read this month? Any suggestions for me? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Review: The Governess of Highland Hall

The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky is an enjoyable upstairs/downstairs love story set in the early 20th century. William Ramsey recently inherited the huge estate, and he hires Julia foster, the daughter of missionaries, to be the governess of his young children. Sir William is a bit of a snob and tries to deny his feelings for middle class Julia. It doesn't take long for Julia to make an impression on William, and they spend a good portion of the book trying to figure out how to handle their growing attraction for each other.

I'm not a big fan of romances, so I get a little nervous when I have to read one for review. However, I liked this one a lot. The story was interesting, and the characters were well developed. The love story was sweet without being sappy. I would recommend this book to fans of Downton Abbey and also to fans of Julie Klassen. I will definitely read more books by this author in the future.

I received this book for free for the purpose of review. The opinions are my own.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer Reading 2013

Even though it's still technically summer, and even though Florida will still have hot weather for several more weeks, I thought I would update everyone on what I read this summer. I got through a few books, some of which had been languishing on my book shelf and in my Kindle cloud for a long time. Here they are along with some of my thoughts about them.

1. Cranford ~ Elizabeth Gaskell
I really loved this Victorian era book set in the quaint town of Cranford. It centered around several aging ladies who ,for various reasons, had never married. The BBC series is also excellent.

2.What Happens When young Women Say Yes to God ~ Lysa TerKeurst
I read this with my girls over the summer. I was looking for a Bible study for young women that didn't focus on dating and purity. This book fit the bill. Elin, Anna, and I had great discussions about how extraordinary your life will be when you obey God.

3. The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr ~ Sandra Byrd
I'm not a huge fan of  Tudor era fiction, but I am enjoying this series. This book was about Henry XVIII's last wife, told through the eyes of her lady in waiting. Lots of details about the period, and the cover is gorgeous.

4. Gideon ~ Pricilla Shirer
I did this Bible study with the Living Proof blog community. A really good look at one of the Bible characters we think we know a lot about. I learned a lot, and highly recommend this one. I did it without the videos, and still got a lot out of it.

5. Jane Austen Ruined My Life ~ Beth Patillo
Enjoyable chicklit about a scorned woman who goes to England to dig up dirt on Jane Austen. She believes all of her problems stemmed from the fact that she was always looking for Mr. Darcy when, in reality, he doesn't exist. (Um, no dear, he doesn't exist. He's a fictional character.) She ends up discovering a secret society that is preserving the undiscovered letters of Jane Austen. As I said earlier, this was a fun book. I'm not a big fan of chicklit, but this one was pretty good.

6. Death Comes to Pemberly ~ P.D. James
I chose this book because of the title. I love it. The story was alright, too. It's a Pride and Prejudice sequel with a murder mystery. If you like murder mysteries, I would recommend it.

7. All of a Kind Family ~ Sydney Taylor
I read this book aloud to Anna. It's very sweet story about five Jewish sisters living in New York. They have adventures, and there are a couple of twists to the plot. If you have little girls that can sit and listen for a while, read them this book.

8. False Pretenses ~ Kathy Herman
This is the start of a Christian Mystery series, Secrets of Rioux River Bayou. One of the main characters has a secret that finally catches up to her. I thought this was a fun book, but I probably won't read the rest of the series.

9.The Fine Art of Insincerity ~ Angela Hunt
I'm a big Angela Hunt fan, so I really liked this book. The story is about three sisters who come together one weekend to clean out their grandmother's beach house. They all have issues and secrets, and they are more than a little self centered. Eventually, they see the value in their relationship to each other. This was an easy read, but it had a lot to say.

10. A Cast of Stones ~ Patrick Carr
This is the first book in the Staff and the Sword series. I really enjoyed it. I would highly recommend it of you like the fantasy genre.

11. Fly Away ~ Lynn Austin
I am a huge Lynn Austin fan. She's easily my favorite author. That being said, this was not a favorite of mine. I think it was one of the first books she wrote. It kind of read like a very long gospel tract. It got better as the story progressed, but still, I would recommend any of her other books over this one. In fact she has a new book coming out in a few weeks that I'm very excited about.

12. Iscariot ~ Tosca Lee
I'm still thinking about this one. On the one hand, it was a very well written story that held my attention the whole way through. On the other hand, I didn't agree with her portrayal of Judas, or of Jesus. I don't know if I would really recommend this book even thought it was interesting.

13. The Remedy for Regret ~ Susan Meissner
I loved this book. The main character is searching for forgiveness and love from her father. She finally realizes that what she really needs she can find in God. This was probably my favorite summer read, and one of my favorites this year.

Well, there's my summer reading in a nutshell. Some were good, some were okay. I'd love to hear what you read this summer. Let me know in the comments.