Sunday, May 25, 2014

At the Movies by Samantha Sanderson

At the Movies by Samantha Sanderson is a novel in the faithgirlz! series. This novel finds best friends, Samantha and Makala, at a movie with Samantha's dad. Samantha notices that a light is on in a supply room and when she attempts to open the door she finds it locked. Strange, she thinks but quickly forgets it on her way to the bathroom until Makala spills her entire cup of soda on her dad. Sam and her dad get the supply room opened and while rummaging around for cleaning supplies find what appears to be a bomb. This solving of the who done it is the premise of the story. Samantha, who is trying to make her may to someday being the editor for her school news department, is working from the reporter angle and her dad, who is a detective, for the local police department, is working from the adult professional perspective. Samantha alternates between wanting her dad's inside knowledge but not wanting to divulge her information and her dad is torn between treating Samantha as an adult reporter and wanting to protect her as well as finding out how she is getting her inside information (which she refuses to reveal as a reporter). When Samantha takes information which her dad gives her and uses it to find out more information and then form the basis for her daily story her dad feels that Samantha has stepped over the line and has jeopardized his job. Dad pulls rank and has the teacher pull Samantha from the lead story. The story goes on the tell how Samantha and her dad learn to work together and then solve the case.

This book is an excellent young person mystery which I as an adult could also enjoy reading. It brings out how to learn to follow the rules to be a reporter as well as writing a story that others will read. Samantha learns how writing a newspaper article is more than just writing an exciting story--there are lives involved which can be changed by the power of her pen. Within the story is how Samantha remains true to her faith while being friends with those of different faiths. Samantha as a 7th grader is also figuring out how to be a true friend as well as make new ones. I liked reading this book and think that middle school children would most enjoy it but older elementary age children would also enjoy it as their ability would dictate.

I received this book from Booksneeze for this review.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Modern Pioneering by Georgia Pellegrini

Modern Pioneering by Georgia Pellegrini is a book of recipes, projects and skills for a self-sufficient life.  If you have spent your life eating out of the grocery store but have been hearing scary news articles or just want to know how to grow your own then this is the book for you.  This book will walk you through making raised garden beds. Then this book gives you recipes for using your homegrown produce.  It tells of the easiest to grow.  It tells which grow best, which grow in cool weather, and which in warm.   Or if you don't want to know how to grow your own but just want to know which pretty flower or weeds in your yard are edible this is the book for you.  It gives tips on living off the land no matter where your land is even in the city.  Now don't however think that you can with the knowledge in this book you could go off grid.  This would be the first book to read--not the last.  There are a few easy crafts that one can make on the cheap for gifts or making your own glasses from wine and beer bottles.  If you remember real homemade sour kraut that grandma made and want to know how to make it yourself then reading this book can tell you.  There is DIY projects like making your own home made paper stationary or other paper products out of your grocery sacks or other paper products.  Maybe you don't recycle but would like to be part of the reuse or up-use population.  Want to eat pickled eggs but paying $6.00 for a small jar of them is too much?  This book can walk you through making your own.  Want to throw a party but have no keg to serve beverages? Make one from a watermelon.   Been reading the health news about the benefits of using caste iron but everything sticks?  This book tells you how to season it so that sticking is no longer a problem and no worries about the Teflon health scares either. 

If I were a beginner just wanting to learn some of the basics for starting to live simply this is the best first book to read.  It neither talks over your head nor makes you feel like you are reading a 6 year old primer.  It has looks of pictures and drawings where needed also.  It has simple party suggestions as well as making garden beds and as I mentioned earlier making glasses out of beer bottles (this sounded trickier than I wanted to try).  What to do with the mushrooms you just found-are they poisonous? how to cook? what do they taste like?  Do you have 1 1/2 # of almonds and want to know how to make milk out of them?  Oh the list goes on and on.

I would suggest this book for anyone wanting to learn how to live more simply and safely.  2 thumbs up for easy to read and understand.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Persecuted by Robin Parrish

Persecuted: I Will Not be Silent by Robin Parrish is the next Christian fiction by this author.  It will make the reader think, "What would I do if I were no longer allowed to express my religious beliefs?, what if all religions were so watered down that none disagreed with another? "  Would we all then be one happy group of people who all believed alike or would we merely be a group of lukewarm believers? or non believers?  Who knows we would all be alike---maybe.  When would we recognize that instead of giving freedom to worship to everyone we have instead watered down our Christian faith to such a degree that it doesn't look any different than any other religion or for that matter any non religion either.  Will our freedom to worship as a Christian be subtly be wiped away bit by bit until it is gone?  We think that we know what we would do if a government entity tries to take over that we would fight to the death but what if our own government slickly passes law after law ever so slightly nips away at our freedom to worship.  Will I notice?  Will you?

John Luther is a well known well loved evangelistic pastor of the TV screen.  He loves his wife and daughter though his career takes him away from home more and more of the time.  He is the person that the government workers come to when they have a question about religion.  His long time friend Senator Donald Harrison is constantly calling him to indorse his bill, the Faith and Fairness Act, which John believes would water down religion in order to appease the masses and get Don more votes of course.  When John will not agree, Donald calls on the help of a hit man to solve his problem and further his own political agenda.  This starts the ball rolling in ways that neither could have predicted.

This is a suspense filled book.  People who love religious reading will love it.  Persons who read murder mysteries will love it.  This book has something that many readers of many genres will enjoy.  It is an adult book and describes murders and a sex crims but anyone from the age of high school and possibly middle school age will enjoy this book.
I received this book from Bethany House which is a division of Baker Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Seasons of Tomorrow, Amish Visnes and Orchards book 4 by Cindy Woodsmall

Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall is the 4th installment in the Amish Vines and Orchard series.  This series studies the working and living lives of the King and Byler families as they learn to live together in the same house as well as work together establishing a new Amish settlement and apple business.  They would grow closer together as well as learn to work together.  They make some of the rules for the new settlement but are constantly being interfered with by the caring as well as jealous involvement of their former settlement.  They have no bishop and so mostly rely on the religious advise of their pastor Stephen Byler.  Their former settlement have people who jealously regarded them and they now know that they have within their midst an informer who regularly reports to any indiscretions no matter how slight.  Since they have no idea who this person is they must be careful whenever they may stray from their roots no matter how good their reasoning is.  Rhoda has future insights which come to her at inopportune moments.  She knows that at sometime in the future that the settlement will have to deal with the loss of one of their females.  She feels that it will be either Phoebe, who is pregnant with her and Stephen's 4 child, or Lydia who is rapidly getting more involved with an Englisher man who is an integral part of the business and one that they would like to bring in as a partner.  Phoebe and Stephen have recently lost their last child and Lydia is one of the sisters in the King family and has been ostracized in their former settlement because of her ideas which don't include joining the church though she is rapidly approaching the age of the decision. Rhoda has been ostracized by the settlement for "practicing witchcraft" because of her visions of the future of which she has no control and tries to ignore whenever possible.  When Phoebe develops an H1N1 pneumonia and Rhoda starts seeing her in the corners of her vision holding the baby she is so afraid that her friend and her baby will die.  The hospital has Phoebe in a drug induced coma to improve the chances of survival of both baby and mom but the hospital personnel still don't hold out much hope.  Phoebe is covered in prayer in the King settlement, in the old settlement of Harvest Mills as well as in the hospital.  The group decides to break the rules once again so that they can tape the voices of Phoebe's children so that if Phoebe can hear she can hear their voices in her room.  Will all of this be enough? Read this book to find out.
I loved this book as I have loved all of the Vines and Orchards series.  I hope that Ms Woodsmall has a plan for a future installment.  This book is excellent reading for any girl or woman of any age. 
This book was provided by Waterbrook Press for this review.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Love Hunger by David Kyle Foster

Love Hunger by David Kyle Foster is a book based on the author's experiences of growing up.  David grew up in a family where he was one of the middle children in a pastor's family.  David grew up attending church multiple times per week in a family of 4 boys where discipline was quick practicing, "spare the rod and spoil the child".  He came from a line of pastor's families as his father's father was also a Presbyterian pastor as was his father since arriving in America from Ireland in the early 1800s. David grew up in the 60s and so when he went to college he grew his hair long and dabbled in drugs as well as alcohol like many of his cohorts. He also started experimenting with sex both homosexual as well a heterosexual. David headed out to California to seek his fortune in acting and managed to find work in commercials, teen magazines, and a few movies.  He continued to use drugs and broadened his sexual appetite to include many partners and paying customers.  David continued in this vein though he felt increasing guilt as well as feeling like he was headed for hell.  This book follows David's experiences from sexual and drug addiction into a life of being a pastor freed from all of these addictions.  David is very honest with the things he did during this period of his life though it is not particularly graphic is detail unless necessary.

This book was a difficult read for me and in the middle I almost put it down and didn't think that I would finish it.  Though as I stated in the previous paragraph the descriptions are not extremely graphic and I also lived through the 60s, I found the homosexual nature to be difficult  and uncomfortable to read.  I am glad that I made it through since the end of the book is easy to read and I am glad that David found his way through and is now living a life in which he is happy and he also reconciled with his parents before their eventual deaths.  The book does not sugar coat either the life he lived before becoming reconciled with Christ or after.  I would recommend this book only to those seeking to change their life from sexual addiction or homosexuality or their parents.  It is a difficult read and one not for the faint of heart.

I received this book from Chosen which is a division of Baker Publishing Group for this review.