Saturday, May 28, 2011

The girl in the gatehouse review

I have read and received "The Girl in the Gatehouse" by Julie Klassen for free from Bethany House.  The girl would be Mariah Aubrey and woman who have been banned from contact with her family and sent to live with her uncle's widow in a gatehouse.  Her neighbors on the estate would be a handsom gentleman Cpt. Bryant, Hugh a horrid cousin of sorts, and the people of the poorhouse.  Her only companion is Dixon, her former nanny.  In desperate need of funds, Mariah begins to write novels to earn her rent.  In secret of course.  She also has to figure out the mystery of the man on the poorhouse roof who is signaling passing ships (yes, I said ships), avoid her cousin, and try not to fall in love with the captain. 
"The girl in the gatehouse" is written with the influence and the style of the original queen of chick lit, Jane Austen.  With all the formalities of their time, the Windrush Court crew have some pretty rigorous rules to live by.  What is proper has some pretty strict guidelines.  Makes one wonder how there could ever be a pregnancy out of wedlock.  I, however, have done my geneology and know that one can get knocked up in 1800 just as easily as one can in 2000.  And Mariah had done just that.  Not the knocked up part, but the rest of it.  Which is what led to her scandal.  She also had to keep a low profile about her writing.  At a time when reading a novel wasn't exactly scandalous for a woman, it certainly was not encouraged.  However, writing one was.  She was a woman before her time.  I like the book.  I seemed to go a little long.  But the appreciation for a being a woman in THIS time can not go unmissed.

Friday, May 20, 2011

no place like holmes review

I received "No Place Like Holmes" (e-book) by Jason Lethcoe for free from  Holmes is a novel aimed at boys from the grades of 3rd to 7th, depending on reading level.  But I'd say 3-7 would be the interest level.  Holmes is about Sherlock Holmes' neighbor, Snodgrass, and  Snodgrass' nephew, Griffin.  Griffin is 12.  Griffin is American and has been sent to stay the summer in London with his uncle, whom he has never met.  Holmes is Snodgrass' arch enemy.  Snodgrass is also a detective, but lives his life in the shadow of the great Sherlock Holmes. Snodgrass and Griffin come together to form a dynamic duo.  With Griffin deductive reasoning and his uncle's brilliant inventions the two attempt to solve a crime and save London in the process.
Like I said this is written for middle aged boys.  So, I wouldn't say I was real impressed with it.  I imagine if I were a boy of about 12 I would have loved it.  So if I were to think like a boy I would say, "it was pretty good."  Cuz, boys of 12 don't say much.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

the alarmists review

I received "The Alarmists" by Don Hoesel for free from  America loves a good conspiracy theory.  We also love to jump on the band wagon.  This book is a meeting of the two.  Brent, a sociology professor, is brought in on a case consulting for the pentagon.  The case: the end of the world.  December 21 is the last day, or so the legend goes and that being said all hell is breaking loose.  Van Camp is a man who is so wealthy he puts Trump and Gates together to shame and his goal in life is to become richer than Solomon (you know, the bible Solomon).  Throw in some Y2K style panic and some natural and not so natural disasters and you've got a Solomon in the making.  If he plays the stock market right that is.
This is a guy book.  By this I mean, you cannot make dinner, yell at kids, watch TV, and read this book all at once.  It is a read that takes some concentration.  It took awhile to read it too because I kept having to go back and re-read.  It is written in a Dan Brown style, but not so much information that you don't care about half of it.  It is informative, witty, and might make you a little paranoid.  What can you believe anyway?  How far can you go with faith?  What will the end of the world be like? 

Friday, May 13, 2011

finally an awesome amish book

Just finished "The Promise of an Angel" by Ruth Reid which I got for free from (an e-book) This book is about Judith, an Amish woman in Michigan who is promised, but not engaged to Levi.  While in a fit of jealousy concerning Levi, her brother Samuel, whom she is supposed to be watching, has a fall and is paralyzed.  During the aftermath of the accident, Judith sees an angel and loses Levi to her sister.  Oh, and Andrew comes into the picture too.  The underlining theme of this story is faith.  Faith can make one seem well......crazy.  But once you've got it, it makes perfect sense.
It seems now adays that everbody is writing about the amish.  Do they actually know any amish?  I don't know, but it seems you can't throw a rock in a Christian book store without hitting one in the head. so to speak.  Usually I can't even get through one.  It's pie this and humble that.  Everyone is  good as gold.  They look at someone crosseyed and go running for forgiveness.  But "Promise of an Angel", FINALLY an awesome amish book!  These people are well...people.  I like that in a person.  They have sexual tension.  Cuz that's what 19 year olds do.  They screw up, feel bad about it, screw up again, feel bad about it.  They are normal people.  They try a little harder than most, but they still kiss, and laugh, and are mean, and nice.  These are some amish that I could get to know.  I fell in love with Andrew.  If there is an Andrew tree out there, I want one in my yard.  Read the book.  You must, read the book.

Monday, May 9, 2011

how to be god's little princess review

I received How to Be God's Little Princess for free from  This is a collection of  "Royal Tips for Manners, Etiquette, and True Beauty" by Sheila Walsh.  This book includes scripture, tips, quizes, questions, recipes, and ideas about handling onself in a manner that would be pleasing to God and acceptable in polite society.   It covers everything from how to make a royal wave to internet safety.
At first I thought the book seemed to strip away all individuality and creativity of the girl and pigeon-hole them into cookie cutter like girls.  And it does.  A great deal of the book does take the girl and tell them how to do everything exactly like every other girl, so that there won't be any uniquness. But it also has some good stuff on how to behave when a rural girl gets plopped into class with some warning on what to expect.   It will never be a big seller would be my guess.  But there are some things that would be useful such as what is the polite thing to do when one farts in public. (pretend it never happened)  The whole proper fork thing gets addressed as well. It might be a good book to have around for manners and society questions, but it's never gonna be a classic.