Friday, March 27, 2015

A Faith of Her Own by Kathleen Fuller

A Faith of Her Own by Kathleen Fuller is another Middlefield Amish Novel.  Anna Mae has just been lost since her friend Jeremiah left the Amish community to become a veterinarian.  He had been an apprentice to the local Dr. Smith that most of the area animal owners used for their animals since he graduated 8th grade but when he left the area without so much as saying goodbye to her well she was hurt and hurt bad.  Didn't he know that she would be lost without him?  Didn't he know that Amos his older but mentally challenged brother depended on him?  How could he just up and leave and then he only wrote to Amos and only very short infrequent letters at that.  Everyone was shocked when he returned but except for Amos continued to be hurt because he had made known to them that he only came back to help out Doc Smith and only then because he broke his leg.  Anna Mae is starting to feel lost in the community that she no longer feels a part of.  She was beginning to question her faith and the many rules but she had no one to talk to when Jeremiah left and now that he is back she is still so angry with him and he is so standoffish with her that she still has no place or plan for her future.  The only thing that the 2 of them still agree on is that Amos is important to all of them and must be protected at all costs.  Anna Mae's brother has a horse training farm and suddenly the newest 5 horses get mysteriously sick with lead poisoning and everyone must pull together to save them.  Anna Mae suddenly knows what her life's purpose is and she begins to work toward it.

I loved this newest installment in the Middlefield series of books of various types that Kathleen Fuller has released.  She is a great writer and look forward to each book as she writes them and this is a good one.  It is a book which any age person could read and enjoy.  It is a love story but also an animal lover book.  It is a woman coming of age book for any faith to enjoy.
I received this book from Booksneeze for this review.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Great Big Prssure Cooker Book by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough is a huge book just like the title suggests with 500 recipes in it.  These recipes range from the expected pork roast recipes to the unexpected cheesecake recipes.  This book begins with encouragement and instructions on the use of the pressure cooker.  It also begins with how to change the recipe and the rules to follow as well as the hard and fast rules to follow and never break-don't fill past the 2/3 mark for some recipes and which recipes to only fill to the halfway point for instance.  It includes seasoning and how the pressure cooker will treat seasonings and salt.  It includes trouble shooting-why your roast is tough or scorched and how to prevent it from happening or in the case of toughness how to fix it.  There is not just one recipe on for instance pork roast but many variations and not only that but many on cheese cake if you can believe that.  This is the only pressure cooker cookbook that you will ever need.

I loved this cookbook.  It gave me the courage to actually use the pressure cooker that I have owned for years but never used for fear that I would blow up the ceiling in the kitchen.  This book shows me exactly how to avoid disaster.  Now I am a person who has been canning for years but still for some reason was afraid to try pressure cooking with my pressure pan.  Now I know that this makes no sense but who can figure out fears?  So I guess my favorite parts of the book are not the recipes but actually the beginning parts which actually got me to use my pressure pan.  One of the best parts about the recipes is that following each and every one is "tester's notes" which tell the user how to improve it/change it to meet your own needs, why some of the ingredients are important and possibly the best part a good description of the flavor of the food which is being prepared.  This cookbook also tells in each recipe how to cook if you have the stovetop variety of pan or the newer electric type of pressure pan.   Get his book if you have the slightest inkling that you would life to pressure cook--even before buying the pan.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Easter Stories-Classic Tales for the Holy Season compiled by Miriam LeBlanc

Easter Stories-Classic Tales for the Holy Season compiled by Miriam LeBlanc and written by various authors.  This is a compilation of various short stories and essays suitable for Easter but certainly pertaining to most of the year.  These stories tell of the Christian reason for the season (Easter) but colorful Easter eggs and egg hunts do work their way into some of the stories.  Some of these stories are fables and some are true/some are ancient and some from recent history.  These stories can be used for pleasure reading but many I have heard used for mission minutes or short scripture lessons in small groups.  Some tell of holy persons and how they lived their faith in day to day life and some are more Bible based.  Some of the fables are the most life changing as the moral of the story creeps up on the reader more subtle.  These stories are written by well known authors like: C S Lewis, Leo Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde, and Anton Chekhov.  Many more are written by authors I had never heard of but the stories are familiar.  The great think about this book is that they are all together in one great resource at such a reasonable price.
I really like this book and think it can be read by people of all ages and both men and women.  Since it would be good to use for youth groups it is nice that it is a light-weight soft cover book that would easily be packed into luggage or a back pack for fireside use.  Buy and read this book.  It is good.
I received this book from Handlebar for this review.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rasmus and the Vagabond by Astrid Lindgren

Rasmus and the Vagabond by Astrid Lindgren is a republication of the old favorite by the same name.  Ms Lindgren is also the creator of the Pippi Longstocking stories.   She has won many awards. 
Rasmus lives in an orphanage in Sweden in the 1950's or possibly earlier.  He cannot remember living anywhere else in all of his 9 years.  All of his friends live here but forever all he has dreamed of is to have parents and live with them in his own family.  He doesn't fear much but he does fear being spanked.  He has gotten in trouble with Miss Hawk, the one person who watched over the all orphans, and it is big.  He was play fighting with his good friend Gunnar.  He has a basin full of water and he is all set to throw it on him when he jumps aside and who should walk through the door into the spot that Gunnar was in but Miss Hawk.  Rasmus soaked Miss Hawk and then to make matters worse he was so horrified that he laughed.  This of course all happened just before the big inspection getting ready for an orphan to get picked out because a couple was coming to look at them.  Gunnar had told Rasmus don't worry they never pick out anyone but curly haired girls anyway but that didn't keep Rasmus from being hopeful even though he was a plain old straight haired boy.  Well everything got cleaned up and the grocer and his wife came to pick out one of the orphans.  The orphans were told to play and of course they were so nervous that they couldn't  play.  Rasmus decided to go out where they were having tea and when he saw the lady he was so amazed that she was so pretty that he froze in place.  Then she offered a cookie and he stumbled over what to say.  Then the lady dropped her parasol and Rasmus and Greta, who just happened to be a curly headed chubby cheeked girl both went to pick it up for her.  They both tugged on it until it snapped in two.  Greta burst into tears, then Miss Hawk yelled at him and in horror Rasmus ran away to cry by himself.  All night Rasmus lay in bed planning what to do.  He decided to run away and so he creeps out of the house and it is Rasmus all by himself.  Rasmus has never been alone but soon runs into a tramp and this story is of how Rasmus and the tramp find adventure roaming the countryside.
This is a delightful book that any child who reads chapter books would love to read.  There is some action and because it was written in the 1950s there is a little more gun play than what some parents might like but this is a book mainly for boys in the line of Pippi Longstocking.  I had never read any of the Rasmus books but I wish that I had because I am sure that I would have loved them.
This book was provided by Handlebar for this review.