Wednesday, December 28, 2011

babylons falling review

I received "Babylons Falling" by William G. Collins for free from  Babylons Falling is the story of Belteshazzar, also known as Danniyel.  This story follows Danniyel from the Old Testament from the time of Judah's exile by the Babylonians to the time of his death in fictional format.  It not only follows the highlights of his life covered in the Bible, but also gives background in ancient politics and geography of the Babylon/Egypt/Persia region. 
I liked this book ok.  I am studying the Old Testament in a Bible study so this helped me discover more from this time period and understand better what was going on.  However, it really would only strike the interest of someone who is interested in the Old Testament or this time period.  There isn't much else going on.  Not a  lot of action or romance. Nothing deeply personal.  However, if this is an area you are studying, than this is a book that you need to read.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Prowl review

PROWL (LRRP Ranger Vietnam volumes 1-5)  by RW Holeman (e-book) was given to me for free from  This is the collection of 5 shortstories that go together in chronological order.  This is a quick read (one night) and it is a good book.  It follows the main character (weird I can't recall his name, nor find it) as he goes to Vietnam during '69 and serves in the army first as an infantry then as a scout.  The author describes his writing as autobiographical fiction.  It's all true with a little embellishing for flare. 
These Vietnam books written by veterans are such a surprise.  You read along on everyday books, then open one of these up and its like being smacked in the head.  They just open up and tell it to you like it is.  I love it.  The only problem with this one is sometimes the reader could be confused if he or she isn't familiar with army talk.  Luckily I've read up on the military and have family that have served so I wasn't too lost.  Highly recommed this, especially if Vietnam is an interest of yours.

happy trails, well not really

I received "Justice Beyond the Trail's End" by Alfred Patrick for free from  This novel stars Joshua Parker, an adventure seeker who leaves home for the Civil War and winds up in the Wild West.  To start with Parker leaves his family against their wishes at the age of 17 to join the war and fight as a sharpshooter (sniper).  Upon coming home he discovers that one really can't go home again.  So then he takes off for the West.  He tours around as a lawman, but as age would have it, falls in love and desires to settle down. 
This is a pretty good book.  I like Wild West stuff and this time period.  Alfred Patrick has a way with characters.  He is really good at inventing people and making them seem real.  They seem to matter to the reader.  You are gonna love Helen.  However, the book really would work better as two books, maybe a series.  It seems to want to end in the middle and then take off in another direction.  Still it's a good one.

polly browne review

This is a book that fellow geneologist will love.  At least ones with a heavy Irish background and or some deep dark secrets.  This feels like the story of my family.  Polly Brown was born Irish.  She was abandoned and made her way through life on her own.  And of course there is the secret.  Why families decide to have secrets is beyond me.  It never works. Everybody always finds out (if it was ever truly a secret to begin with). I'm not sure why the book is titles "and the Secret", because the secret doesn't come til towards the end of the book.It follows the next three generations as well.  The book also contains pictures, which I loved.    I received a complimentary copy of (Book Title) as a member of the   
    Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team.  Visit
    to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

come on get happy

I received "Spontaneous Happiness" by Andrew Weil, MD for free from  You would think this book is about happiness, but really it is about depression or rather, ridding oneself of depression.  The first several chapters of the book are about emotional well being, depression, and psychological knowledge of emotions.  It then goes into methods of becoming happy both with and without the use of prescribed drugs.  The author connects physical health with emotional health and shows the relationship as well as how curing one form of helps the other. It ends with a program to follow relating all his methods for maximum happiness.
I have read Weil before "Eating Well for Optimum Health" during a time when I had a foot injury with severe pain.  I had had the pain for about 9 months with no amount of pain reliever helping.  When I read his book on health he claimed that the pain was caused by inflammation and gave diet adjustments that would help.  I tried it and it worked.  Currently, I do not suffer from depression.  However, from past experience with Weil and his methods, I would bet that his methods for relieving depression would help as well.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

house of secrets review

I received "House of Secrets" by Tracie Peterson for free from Bethany House Publishers.  This novel centers around the Coopers and their house of secrets.  There are three girls (women actually, they are in their 20's), their deceased mentally ill mother, their absent father, and 15 years of secrets and trauma.  The girls' father remarries and plans a family reunion at their summer cottage in Seattle.  The girls believe that their father killed their mother to protect them from her illness when they were children and never mention to him that they know.  He also never mentions her illness and believes that they do not know she was ill.  This story is about how all the secrets come out while they are in Seattle and what are they going to do about them? 
You may think that burying something of this magnitude would never happen, but I have married into one of these families (not the murder part, the secrets part)  and yes.  Huge things will go unmentioned for years because "its a secret".  Why?  No idea.  And that is what happens in this story.  One secret after another is exposed and the family is realing.  This is a pretty good book.  It gets a little preachy.  If you can't stand being hit over the head with Christianity than this is not the book for you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

wonderland creek review

I received "Wonderland Creek" by Lynn Austin for free from Bethany House Publishers.  Alice is a modern girl living in 1931 near Chicago.  She lives a cushy lifestyle where at the at of 23 she is working as a librarian, living with her parents (her father is a minister) and spend the majority of her time reading.  All Day.  Every Day.  That is her life.  She is completely obsessed with books.  I know!  Sounds great doesn't it!  She reads at every opportunity, including a few non-opportunities such as funerals.  In her spare time from reading she is collecting used books to send to Kentucky to the poor hill people who have no access to books.  On a whim, shortly following being dumped by her boyfriend, she hitches a ride and goes to Kentucky with all these books and embarks on the adventure of a lifetime.
This is the first Lynn Austin book I have ever read.  I hadn't read her before, because I thought she sounded a little...."flowery".  She had me hooked at the first page!  This is an awesome book.  I love this author, I love these characters, I love everything about this book.  Awesome!  I will definitely be reading more of her in the future.

Tyndal Prizes

They are giving away prizes at the New Living Translation Facebook page.  Just press like and enter your name and e-mail for chances to win. 
  • One random person each day will win a Life Application Study Bible Family Pack (Guys Life Application Study Bible hc, Girls Life Application Study Bible hc, Student's Life Application Study Bible hc, Life Application Study Bible hc, Life Application Study Bible Large Print hc).
  • One Random person each week will win an Apple iPad 2!
You have until December 24th.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

journey to christmas review

Usually I post book reviews, but this time I'm doing a dvd.  I received "Journey to Christmas" from Tyndale House for free.  This dvd is 4 episodes of a documentary of the journey of 5 diverse people (they don't know each other before the trip) to Isreal to walk in the journey of Christmas.  Of the five people, one is an artist born in Africa who grew up with both protestant and orthodox catholic parents, one is a white christian looking to deepen her faith, one is a man whose father was raised Jewish and his mother was raised Catholic yet he was raised with neither faith, one is a Canadian Indian who was raised Christian but with "white" stigma attached to Jesus, and one is a spiritual radio show host who is struggling with his present beliefs. 

This story follows this group through all the sights of the birth story as well as some of Jesus' life and crucifixtion.  This is an amazing dvd.  I would highly recommend it to anyone of any faith including athiesm.  The historical and geographical factors alone make it an insightful and entertaining piece of work.

Friday, December 9, 2011

finding our way home review

I received "Finding Our Way Home" by Charlene Ann Baumbich for free from Waterbrook Press.  This would make a great chick flick.  This novel is about two women facing complete changes in their lives.  Evelyn, a 19 year old, comes to live with Sasha, a 38 year old injured ballerina as her home health aid.  Evelyn is so bright-eyed and hopeful it almost hurts to watch.  You see her walking into life and want to grab her and pull her back.  She just goes.  Of course, then life happens.  Sasha is depressed and seems much older than she actually is.  She is handicapped due to an injury during her dancing.  She has a husband that she has abruptly left and has to deal with the loss of an entire life style. This story follows these two women as they face their changes in life and come to deal with loss, opportunities, friendship, and grace.

Got Amish?

Do you like Amish Fiction?  Water Brook Multnomah is having a sale with a discount for "Christmas Singing" during the month of December.  Use the promo code CHRISTMAS11 at the checkout and get 30% off with free shipping and handling.  Hurry up!  You only got til Dec. 20th!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

his steadfast love review

I received "His Steadfast Love" by Golden Keyes Parsons (an e-book) for free from  This novel takes place in Texas during the Civil War.  Amanda Belle is a Southerner with a soldier-aged brother, Daniel and a beau, Kent, who is stationed in Texas but from the North.   Shortly after the book starts, the Civil War breaks out, sending Daniel to fight for the South and Kent back North.  The story follows the Amanda as she is torn between her loyalties to her country and her budding abolitionist beliefs.  She also plays both sides in serving Kent and Daniel's causes. 
This is not a real deep book.  It sticks with the niceties and doesn't get to involved in any particular issue.  It is mostly a romance.  Again, not racy or even particularly passionate.  It is a  nice, tame romance, fit for any age.