Wednesday, December 14, 2005


All She Ever Wanted by Lynn N. Austin

Have you ever asked your parents what it was like for them growing up?

In ALL SHE EVER WANTED, Kathleen doesn't want to dig up the past, but a counselor encourages her to open up to her daughter, Joelle, in hopes of a better relationship between mother & daughter.
Ms. Austin has packed this story with so much! Three generations of women, all who held onto their stories, and all who tried running from their problems.
The history speckled throughout the womens' stories (ranging from the 1920s to the present day) shows that Ms. Austin did her homework in researching for this book.
The characters are written in such detail that you come to love and care for them -- I even cried when one passed away!
And the relationship issues dealt with in the book are very realistic. They really made me think about, and examine, my own life.
Reading ALL SHE EVER WANTED made me desire to go to my own mom and ask her what it was like for her growing up. And, not just my mom, but also my grandma, and even my dad. I want to know their histories and how they may have played a bigger part in my own.
Themes of forgiveness, race, depression, redemption and mercy are all touched on, making this a book to recommend to many people for different reasons. I'll be passing this book around, praying for many restored relationships because of its message.

Highly recommended! Rated: A

Friday, November 04, 2005


Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Oh, what a cool book! Books, books, everywhere! The "good" characters were so easy to love (Meggie, Mo, Dustfinger, Elinor, Farid, Fenoglio)...the bad ones were easy to despise (Capricorn, Basta, Mortola, Flatnose). Elinor's house full of books made me drool! ... There's not enough good I can say about this book! I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel, INKSPELL, but I'll be waiting a while so as not to spoil it by getting burnt out. :o?

Highly recommended!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

REVIEW: BEETHOVEN: The Universal Composer

Beethoven by Edmund Morris

Much as I had looked forward to reading BEETHOVEN: THE UNIVERSAL COMPOSER, I found it a little heavier than what I’m used to. There were parts that I loved – like the author’s beautiful, flowing descriptions of Beethoven’s works. Mr. Morris really seems to have a passion for music! I could almost hear the songs as he described them!

And, I found it interesting to see how difficult it must be to write such complicated music! I’ve dabbled in composition, myself, but nothing so extravagant, and I’ve never known the degree of effort that must go into something like the works of Beethoven.

Otherwise, though, I had a hard time continuing with this book. I often found myself wishing I knew more about the musical terms the author referred to – what they meant, what they sounded like, etc.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has studied music, but not to the casual reader who’s just looking for a good book.

Rated: C (average)

Saturday, October 22, 2005


The Preacher's Daughter by Beverly Lewis

THE PREACHER'S DAUGHTER was a slow-moving, but engaging tale about Annie Zook, a young Amish woman coming of age, and her English friend, Louisa.
The pace of the novel, I think, was deliberate -- the Amish live a life that is much slowed down from the life we live. With our Emails and other forms of quick communication, it's hard to imagine life without all of our "conveniences!" But, Ms. Lewis has done an excellent job of showing us the Amish way of life.

I especially liked the little bit of mystery thrown in halfway through the book! I really needed to know how things would turn out!

A great read!

Rating: B (enjoyable)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Sweetwater Creek by Anne Rivers Siddons

A moving coming-of-age tale with beautiful, flowing words that draw you in from the first page!

SWEETWATER CREEK is one of those novels where the characters feel like family and so, reading the last words on the last page is hard because you know you're going to have to say 'good-bye'.

The only thing I disliked was the author's excessive use of the word "unwillingly". There were a few other repeated phrases, but they weren't nearly as overused as this one was. :?

Highly recommend book, though. Very good!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

REVIEW: VELVET ELVIS: Repainting the Christian Faith

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

This book was amazing! So many truths and insights ... I wrote down 5 pages of quotes! LOL.

Just a word of warning, though: There are some parts where Rob will say something, and the more conservative Christians may be tempted to put the book down, saying, "Ack! This isn't a Christian book!" But, keep reading. He always proves his point, and it *is* a Christian book. I loved how, right in the very beginning, Rob says to "test everything...Do that to this book...God has spoken, and everything else is commentary, right?" Amen!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Looking for God in Harry Potter by John Granger

I've always been okay with the Harry Potter movies ... my kids like them, and I didn't find them bad. But I did wonder about the spells and witches/wizards.

An online friend recommended this book to me, and I'm grateful. It really changed my mind! Now I'm a believer that the Harry Potter books are just fine for my kids to read! And, I'm amazed at all of the imagery that Ms. Rowling has used! She's "hidden" so many things within the pages of her books! Wow! She makes me hope that some day I can write even partially as well as she does!

Highly recommended, especially if you're skeptical about the HP series!


Naked Fruit by Elisa Morgan

This book talks of the "Fruit of the Spirit" found in the Bible (Galatians 5:22, 23), and about how to make these "fruits" more evident in our lives.

The most important thing I learned from this book was: it is GOD'S JOB ~ not mine ~ to produce these fruits in my life. My job is to let Him!!! I have to cooperate with Him, giving Him permission (asking him daily) and to just let Him do His job.



Savannah from Savannah by Denise Hildreth

From the very first sentence, all the way to the last word, I couldn't put this book down! The writing was humorous, and the characters really seemed to come alive. When I finished the book, I missed them!
As it turns out, there is a sequel called "SAVANNAH COMES UNDONE". I *must* read that book!

"Savannah From Savannah" is one I HIGHLY recommend! :o)

REVIEW: THE BARBARIAN WAY: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within

The Barbarian Way by Erwin Raphael McManus

WOW! What an awesome, truthful book! I read it in one day!

Mr. McManus tells of how so many believing Christians aren't really "believers"; of how Christianity has been "domesticated and civilized" to the point where it's almost fake.

He encourages us to get back to the "ancient, primal, and dangerous faith of Jesus and His early disciples ... to let go of a sanitized Christianity and get back to the powerful, raw, and ancient faith that chooses revolution over compromise, peril over safety, and passion over lukewarm and watered-down religion." [from the inside front cover]

AWESOME! HIGHLY recommended!

REVIEW: A GLIMPSE OF JESUS: The Stranger to Self-Hatred

A Glimpse of Jesus by Brennan Manning

Brennan Manning paints a picture of a whole different life ~ a life every Christian should aspire to: a life modelled after Jesus.

By casting off our cares about what others think of us and our actions, by having genuine compassion for all, and by loving ourselves as God loves us, we can become "other Christs."

A small book, but filled with powerful insights! Recommended.

Monday, August 29, 2005

REVIEW: THE SCANDAL OF THE EVANGELICAL CONSCIENCE: Why Are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World?

Scandal Of The Evangelical Conscience by Ronald J. Sider

There were many parts of this book that I disagreed with. But, other
parts I found myself nodding my head at.
This book asks, "Why are Christians living just like the rest of the
world?" and then goes on to try to answer that question. It also tries to
offer solutions to what could be done about the problem.
I think this book went over my head, and that is perhaps why I didn't
enjoy it more. :-?

Saturday, August 20, 2005



LADY FRANKLIN'S REVENGE is an amazing biography that details the life of Lady Jane Franklin -- an unconventional woman who lived in very conventional Victorian England! She loved science and exploration, and -- because of her unconventional ways -- she met many influential people (she even had a thing for Peter Mark Roget, the creator of "Roget's Thesaurus"!)

I loved Lady Jane for following her dreams even when doing so wasn't socially acceptable. But I despised her for feeling superior to so many around her. She was a woman who did as she pleased, and often persuaded others to do as she pleased, too!

This well-written, engaging tale makes you feel as if you've travelled back in time. It may be a biography, but it's written like a novel, and as such, it was truly a great read. Recommended!

Friday, August 19, 2005


A Bride Most Begrudging by Deeanne Gist

This book was right up my alley! For one thing, I love a good love-story, especially when there is a lot of tension. ;-P Second, I ADORE novels that deal with anything regarding England!

Lady Constance Caroline Morrow sneaks aboard a prison ship bound for America to say goodbye to her Uncle Skelly. She is discovered by the captain, kidnapped by him, and then taken to America. She is then purchased from the ship full of "tobacco brides" by Drew O'Connor.
Though Drew isn't looking for a wife, the colony's governor gets word that the Lady is living with Drew, and he forces the two to marry anyway. Drew must then deal with the fact that Lady Constance is a "rare breed" -- she is trained in the maths and sciences, loves solving puzzles, and doesn't know how to cook or garden!
Over time, the two come to appreciate one another better, and they realize that life really isn't up to them ... God holds it all in the palm of His hand! :o)

Excellent story! Very well-written. I'd HIGHLY recommend this! :o)

My rating: A (excellent - hard to put down!)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005



Led by a dream she's had, Lizbeth Greene stumbles upon knowledge of prison inmate, Wilson Velez -- former head of a gang known as the Sacred Incan Royals. Even before meeting Wilson, Lizbeth knows she was destined to write his story.
At times chilling, and at times not, THE MONSTERS OF GRAMERCY PARK had me wondering what would come next. I loved how the author made Wilson Velez switch between English & Spanish in his dialogues (books that do this help people learn a second language, in a way, and I think that's awesome!).
Descriptions of the prison system were very detailed. I'm sure Mr. Leigh visited a prison in research for writing this book (which is funny, as his character, Lizbeth, does the same in her research for *her* book!)
A great look at the life of gangs, and life inside a penitentiary. Very interesting.

Saturday, June 25, 2005


Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code: A Historian Reveals What We Really Know About Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine by Bart D. Ehrman

I've been looking to read a book that will give me the truths that I knew were missing from Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. I was cautious, though, as a lot of books out there have been written to back up Mr. Brown's claims.
Earlier this year, I read Bart D. Ehrman's other book, "Lost Christianities". I knew, from reading that book, that this author is a Historian and a Christian. So, upon finding this book, I was thrilled, as I knew I could trust this author to give me the *real* facts!
And, I wasn't disappointed.
A lot of this book is a repetition of what Mr. Ehrman had written in "Lost Christianities", but it is still very good. He debunks Mr. Brown's false claims and gives you the history to back up what he's saying.
Highly recommended.

REVIEW: A SCANDALOUS FREEDOM: The Radical Nature of the Gospel

A Scandalous Freedom by Steve Brown

When I read the review of this book at, I knew I was going to have to read it. I asked my library to order a copy, thinking they wouldn't, but they did! I was thrilled. Mr. Brown writes humorously and in a down-to-earth style. This book was excellent! Most Christians are "so bound...and they can't tell anybody." Christians often fear "stepping out of the box" and going against what's "acceptable" for the greater fear of rejection. Mr. Brown encourages us to take risks, "upset people!", and tell others that we're not perfect...but God loves us anyway! :) An empowering book that's definitely on my wish list to be owned someday!

REVIEW: LOST CHRISTIANITIES: The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew

Lost Christianities by Bart D. Ehrman

I was a little bit afraid, on picking this book up, that it would be a New Age style thing, or that it would conflict with my beliefs (you have to be so careful these days!). As it turns out, it only affirmed my beliefs, and I learned a lot! A great book, with LOTS of history. The easy-to-read, semi-humorous nature of the book made it easy to like, even though the content required a bit of "brain power." :-)

Read the review of this book at


Walk Away the Pounds by Leslie Sansone

Leslie Sansone has created a great indoor fitness-walking program! The moves are easy and uncomplicated, and they won't do damage to already tender joints and muscles. No more excuses! She encourages you to modify the program to what you need. The book is filled with success stories, and explains how, through using this program, a lot of people have found a way to manage their diabetes, or reduce their risk of heart disease, etc.

Since reading this book, I have bought the videos, and have been "walking away the pounds!" I have tried other programs like Tae Bo, and Latin Dance, and they were all so complicated that I easily gave up. Leslie's program is simple, and fun! I enjoy popping in the tapes and walking with these new "friends"!


I've made up my mind! LOL. I'm going to use this blog for reviews. I'm trying to practice, as I've signed myself up for HarperCollins Canada's new First Look program! So, bear with me, as I'm new at this. :o)

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Another spot on the WWW. I'm becoming addicted.

This blog -- I think -- will be mainly just rambles about what's going on around me. I don't really have a specific purpose set out for it just yet. I just liked the name. ;-P

Generally, though, I need a place to muse. Maybe to write stream-of-consciousness stuff.

Patience, please. :-)