Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Today I've started reading The Wedding Dress. I borrowed it from my local library, so this fits with the 2015 Library Challenge hosted at Book Journey.

Just to follow up, I did not finish 41: A Portrait of My Father. It was due back at the library (someone else had it on hold). So, I'll try to pick it up and finish it at a later date. I did enjoy what I had read before I had to return it to the library.

A Light in the Wilderness is still on my iPad/Kindle, but I am having a hard time getting started on that one. I can't seem to get into it. If you have read this book, let me know what you thought of it and if I should continue, or maybe just set it aside.

Happy New Year! I hope 2015 brings good things to us all!

Monday, December 8, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Monday, Monday.  I have a dentist appointment, books to return to the library, and Christmas gifts to purchase.  Nothing too exciting!  My birthday is next week and I have started receiving "free lunch" coupons in my email inbox. Might have to take advantage of one of those today. Don't you just love a freebie! :-)

Here's what I'm working through this week:

41: A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush

A Light in the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick

Thanks for stopping by.  I'd love to know what you're reading.   Have a great Monday!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

2015 Library Challenge

I decided for my first book challenge, I'd join the 2015 Library Challenge hosted at Book Journey

Our local library is amazing. The staff is so friendly and they run great programs for the whole family. They host story times for kids, a book club for teens and a teen advisory board, family movies on Sundays, and meet-and-greet events with local authors.  Children can also read to dogs and practice their reading skills at the same time in the Paws-to-Read program.  Patrons can check out books, movies, and e-readers.  My favorite amenity of our library (one I utilize regularly) is that if the local library does not have a book in-house that a patron wants or needs, but it's at another library in the network, the book can be requested and it will be sent over to the patron's local library by courier.  Then the book can be picked it up when it's available.  This is a wonderful service to the community, and it definitely helps people who live in more rural areas have access to a world of books! 

For the 2015 Challenge, I am going to commit to reading 1 book a month from our local library.  I know this seems like a low number, but I'll be reading other books as well. This number is just from the library.  Our family is there weekly, so I hope to exceed this number! 

I will update this post as I finish books to keep track of the titles I read from my library.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

From Amazon:

Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain’s elite.

When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, forcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London’s East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love—and if she will choose a life serving others over one where she is served.

My Thoughts:

This book is sort of a Christian Downton Abbey.  At first glance, I was a little apprehensive. I love, love, love Downton Abbey.  I was afraid the similarities between the show and this book would make things get really predictable really quickly.  Boy, was I wrong!  There are a lot of characters upstairs and downstairs to keep up with, but the story flows nicely and things don't get too confusing. 

I don't want to give the plotlines away, but the book kept me interested. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. There's lots of dialogue that helps the reader understand the characters.

The Daughter of Highland Hall is actually the second book in this series, but you don't need to read the first book to understand this one (although I am very interested in reading it now).

5 out of 5 stars.

I received a free Kindle download of this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange my honest review.  I received no compensation for this review.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Description from Google Books:

"Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to 'aging out' out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren't as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life -- answers that will ultimately free them both."
For me, the mark of a good book is when I feel invested in the characters' lives. Reading this book, I was very eager to find out what happened next to these ladies.  I don't want to give too much away, but I felt so very empathetic to Ms. Vivian and all she went through in her life.  It was also interesting to watch Molly learn from Ms. Vivian and grow up a bit throughout the book.  Readers should be forewarned that there are a few "choice" words and one especially harrowing situation in this book, but nothing that doesn't fit the context of the characters' situations, and certainly nothing gratuitous.  A few parts of Orphan Train were a little slow for me, but I really enjoyed the ending of the book. All the pieces came together and left me satisfied with the outcome and hopeful for these characters' lives.

4 out of 5 stars.
I borrowed this book from my local public library.  I received no compensation for this review.


This blog is place for me to keep a list of the books I read, as well as a place to record my thoughts on these books.  I am not a professional writer, and my reviews are simple.  You may contact me at jcphmls at gmail dot com.  Enjoy!