Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book Review: Hunter's Moon by Don Hoesel

I was so excited to get this book in the mail. It's been a while since I read a good intrigue book. Something with a good mystery and lots of suspense was just what I was in the mood for.

Unfortunately, this book was none of those things.

I was really disappointed in this book. I kept waiting for the good part, for the excitement to build, but it really never did until the last few pages. If I didn't have to read the whole thing for the review, I probably would not have made it that far.

The main idea for the book was not a terrible one. C.J. Baxter is a successful writer who draws on his childhood home for his stories. Though he claims his stories are not autobiographical, everyone at home knows the truth and some are not too happy about it. Not that it matters - C.J. hasn't been home in years.

When his grandfather dies, C.J. makes the journey back to his childhood home where he is confronted with the story he never wrote about. The one secret that his family would do anything to keep hidden, especially with C.J.'s brother running for senate.

Sounds like a great plot - I was expecting some good confrontations, investigations, action maybe. Instead I read a slow moving, deep look into C.J.'s thoughts about everything. I really was bored through most of it - it just seemed dry to me. The last chapter or so finally has a good showdown, but it came too little, too late for me.

If you like a lot of introspective insights, then maybe this book is for you. But it was not for me.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for review purposes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Book Review: Beguiled by Deanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand

Rylee Monroe is a dogwalker in historic Charlestown.  She loves her job and is loved and trusted in return by the families she works for. But when her client's homes start being broken into, Rylee looks like the obvious suspect.  To make things even worse, someone is after Rylee!

As she teams up with reporter Logan Woods, Rylee needs to uncover the secrets of her past to prove her innocence and find the person threatening her. Will she be able to do it in time?

This book had everything I like in a book: a good mystery, a bit of romance, and a little danger and suspense. Everything was well described and I had an easy time picturing the surroundings even though I have never been to Charlestown. I thought the idea of having the main character be a dogwalker made for a unique heroine. I didn't have a good guess as to who the real culprit was until toward the end so it made for a good read. I really enjoyed watching the plot unfold. It only took me a few hours to read this one and I have actually read it twice since I received my copy.

I usually don't prefer modern fiction as much a historical but I really enjoyed this one! I look forward to  reading more from these authors.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Review: Different Eyes: The Art of Living Beautifully

There are not many non-fiction books that I have a hard time putting down. Usually, I take them chapter by chapter and it takes a few weeks to get through one. I read this one in two days (probably would have taken only one if it weren't for the two very short people in my house who also need attention :-)

When I read the title of this book, I thought it sounded interesting so I immediately signed up to be a reviewer. THEN I read the description. ETHICS and MORALS! Ugh - sounded deep and probably one of those books complaining about how liberal our culture is becoming. I totally regretted signing up. Not that I don't care about issues, but I just don't care for the doom and gloom mentality I hear so often.

So anyway, I pick up the book hesitantly and straight into the first chapter I am hooked. It's all about GOD! Not issues, not politics, but all about GOD! I was immediately drawn in and challenged about how I make decision in my day to day life!

This book is full of surprises. First of all, the chapter titles really give you no indication of what they are really about so you just keep reading to find out what they mean :-) Then after two sections of discussion on how the story of the Bible and Jesus affect our morals, there is a section on a controversial ethical topic. Instead of telling us where our morals should stand on a certain issue, they provide two sides (both from Christians) and then ask thought provoking questions about where the reader stands (which also makes it great for small group discussion).

This was one of those books were every other sentence really struck me - if I had a pen I probably would have underlined half the book. I see some really great facebook statuses coming from this book in the future :-) I would definitely recommend this book to any Christian and I will also be re-reading it myself. There is so much to think about!

Click here to read a sample chapter from the book.

I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan for the purpose of reviewing. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Aidan - 10 Months

I can't believe a month has gone by since my last  update already! Aidan is just showing his personality full force these days! He is always on the go - if he is not right behind Eóin, he is right in front! He decided to skip the real crawling, and instead scoots along like a little monkey on his bottom. He is pretty fast.
Walking is what he really likes to do though. He loves to hold my fingers and chase Eóin around the house. Most of the time Eóin is patient enough to let us catch him now and again. He does pull up usually only in bed and if he is on the floor in their bedroom - Eóin's bed is just the perfect height for pulling up. If If he holds on to anything else he just turns around like he is going to walk - he really thinks he can! Still too wobbly to go it alone but I'd say around his first birthday he'll be cruising right along.
I love listening to him talk now - he is really starting to sound like he is telling me something :-) He has started saying uh-oh and hello (although they sound quite similar).
Here are some videos that really show his funny personality. Apparently, he thinks Eóin is quite the musician!  He dances along to music on tv as well - so funny! Then the other one is him beating Eóin up. I'm so glad Eóin is such a patient big brother :-)

what a goober! this is nap time - he is supposed to be sleeping but he kept standing up shouting "hello"