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Book Review: Out of The Silent Planet

29 Jul

I listened to the audiobook of Out of The Silent Planet, book 1 in C. S. LewisSpace Trilogy about a month ago. Science fiction written by a renowned Christian apologist sounds a bit strange, but as always Lewis manages to reveal truth in the most unlikely places. 😉 It certainly made me think. Written between WWI and WWII, its science seems a bit old fashioned, but the mechanics of space travel are really not the focus of the book. Malacandria (or Mars) is a very foreign place for the reluctant space traveler, Dr. Ransom. His terror in finding himself among the strange terrain and beings is soon overcome by his interest in the linguistics of the planet’s inhabitants. Through his study of their language, he learns things that make him question his pre-conceived notions of God and faith. Scholars have many takes on this novel and its themes. I came away with two — our ability to know God is limited by what we have decided is truth and people tend to view themselves as superior in regards to others based on their perceived intellect and experiences. If you keep in mind the time period in which this novel was written, you can see Lewis’ concerns for the future. If you also read it with the viewpoint of what has transpired since WWII and our most recent history, it will challenge you to go deeper in understanding mankind and God himself.

There are two more books in the series, and I will eventually get to them. The delay will mostly be due to other reading commitments/preferences than desire to see how Lewis plays out the rest of Dr. Ransom’s adventures.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Out of the Silent Planet is the first novel of the Cosmic Trilogy, considered to be C.S. Lewis’ chief contribution to the science fiction genre. The trilogy concerns Dr. Ransom, a linguist, who, like Christ, was offered a ransom for mankind. The first two novels are planetary romances with elements of medieval mythology. Each planet is seen as having a tutelary spirit; those of the other planets are both good and accessible, while that of Earth is fallen, twisted, and not known directly by most humans. The story is powerfully imagined, and the effects of lesser gravity on Martian planet and animal life is vividly rendered.

Children’s Corner — Learn Your Numbers

28 Jul

The Beginner’s Bible Learn Your Numbers is a great resource for parents of preschoolers and early learners. This sturdy book comes with a dry erase marker to allow your child to directly practice writing letters and numbers. I love that each number — 1-12 — includes references to scripture too! The illustrations are colorful, and the book is a great accompaniment to your family’s Bible reading time. Whether you use it to supplement what they learn at school or as part of a homeschool curriculum, your chiId is going to love it! I look forward to sharing this book with my grandchild.

Recommended.

Audience: preschool — 1st grade

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

The Beginner’s Bible Learn Your Numbers offers early readers (and early writers) a fun, interactive way to learn their numbers. Children will practice writing numbers alongside the signature illustration style found in The Beginner’s Bible using the wipe clean format.

Children ages 3-7 will enjoy:

  • The fun, cartoon-style illustrations–lions and wise men and pigs, oh my!
  • The chunky, easy-to-hold dry-erase pen, included with the book
  • Traceable numbers to build confidence

Parents will enjoy:

  • The easy-to-read, biblical concepts
  • The easy-to-clean, board book pages
  • The small and light-weight size, easy-to-pack for errands and vacations

The Beginner’s Bible Learn Your Numbers is perfect for:

  • Birthdays, Easter baskets, Children’s Baptism and holiday gifting
  • Road trips, boredom busters, and activity time
  • Home school and Children’s Ministry (Sunday school) use

Book Review: Let It Be Me

22 Jul

I was thoroughly charmed by Becky Wade‘s newest contemporary romance, Let It Be Me. In true Becky Wade style a compelling story was told with wit and wisdom. I highly recommend this novel!

The one woman he wants is the one he cannot have.

Former foster kid Sebastian Grant has leveraged his intelligence and hard work to become a pediatric heart surgeon. But not even his career success can erase the void he’s tried so hard to fill. Then he meets high school teacher Leah Montgomery and his fast-spinning world comes to a sudden stop. He falls hard, only to make a devastating discovery–Leah is the woman his best friend set his heart on months before.

Leah’s a math prodigy who’s only ever had one big dream–to earn her PhD. Raising her little brother put that dream on hold. Now that her brother will soon be college bound, she’s not going to let anything stand in her way. Especially romance . . . which is far less dependable than algebra.

When Leah receives surprising results from the DNA test she submitted to a genealogy site, she solicits Sebastian’s help. Together, they comb through hospital records to uncover the secrets of her history. The more powerfully they’re drawn to each other, the more strongly Sebastian must resist, and the more Leah must admit that some things in life–like love–can’t be explained with numbers.

Becky Wade is the Carol and Christy award winning author of swoon-worthy contemporary inspirational romances. 

She loves to connect with readers via her web site at http://www.beckywade.com, via her Facebook author page at http://www.Facebook.com/AuthorBeckyWade, or via Instagram at http://www.Instagram/BeckyWadeWriter 

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She’s been a fan of all things romantic ever since!

Beckylives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and three children. You’ll find her power-walking her neighborhood while dictating scenes, reading, chatting with friends on Voxer, planning her next trip, watching TV with her Cavalier spaniels on her lap, or rummaging in her pantry for chocolate.

My Impressions:

Becky Wade has been a favorite of mine for a while now. While her contemporary romances often feature characters my children’s ages, I never feel like I cannot connect with them. Their stories always touch my heart. Let It Be Me returns to the north Georgia town of Misty River. I have a vacation home in north Georgia, so I especially love this setting. The story features Sebastian, a pediatric cardiac surgeon and Leah, a math prodigy turned high school teacher. They are first brought together when Sebastian is in a car accident, but neither knows the other one’s name. A second meeting reignites the sparks Sebastian felt, but Leah is a bit slow to agree to a relationship. See, she has plans. (We know what God sometimes thinks of our plans 😉 .)

Let It Be Me is a romance, but the themes of true identity and family connections are strong. The search for Leah’s birth parents takes both characters on an emotional and spiritual journey. I love the mystery that Wade develops for them to work on together. And the ultimate reveal, well I gasped out loud. LOL! I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator was perfect, capturing Leah’s voice beautifully. The humor Wade injects translated well into that format.

Let It Be Me can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend you begin with book 1, Stay with Me. It provides crucial backstory for many of the characters in the series. So now you have 2 wonderful books to read. You are welcome!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Corner — First 100 Animal Words

21 Jul

Not only does The Beginner’s Bible First 100 Animal Words have tons of colorful and cute animal pictures — 100 to be exact 😉 — each is introduced in the context of scripture. From the OT creation story through the NT, animals are introduced to toddlers. I love that references are given to scripture to build upon the idea of different animals and knowledge of the Bible. I think it is never too early to introduce a child to God’s word, and First 100 Animal Words is a great way to do just that for your toddler/preschooler. Parents can paraphrase Bible stories using the animals as well. And the sturdy board book design will make sure this book lasts a long time. This one is definitely recommended!

Recommended.

Audience: toddlers/preschoolers.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Are you looking for a fun way to teach your toddler about animals? Early readers will learn their first animal words set within classic Bible stories with The Beginner’s Bible First 100 Animal Words.

Presenting child-friendly illustrations, this beautifully illustrated board book offers:

  • Emerging readers ages 0-4 an opportunity to learn words from beloved Bible stories
  • A sturdy format that is perfect for toddlers’ little hands
  • Engaging 3D art with plenty of details to hold a young child’s attention

The Beginner’s Bible First 100 Animals Words is great for:

  • Birthdays, Easter baskets, Children’s Baptism and holiday gifting
  • Road trips, boredom busters, and activity time
  • Home school and Children’s Ministry (Sunday school) use

Book Review: Circling The Sun

5 Jul

In my summer reading quest to read biographical novels featuring interesting women, I chose Circling The Sun by Paula McClain. I read Beryl Markham‘s memoir, West with The Night years ago, so I knew a bit about the life of the amazing woman who was the first ever (male or female) to fly solo across the Atlantic to North America. I wish I had stuck with this version of Markham. 😉 Read my thoughts below.

This powerful novel transports readers to the breathtaking world of Out of Africa — 1920s Kenya — and reveals the extraordinary adventures of Beryl Markham, a woman before her time. Brought to Kenya from England by pioneering parents dreaming of a new life on an African farm, Beryl is raised unconventionally, developing a fierce will and a love of all things wild. But after everything she knows and trusts dissolves, headstrong young Beryl is flung into a string of disastrous relationships, then becomes caught up in a passionate love triangle with the irresistible safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and the writer Baroness Karen Blixen. Brave and audacious and contradictory, Beryl will risk everything to have Denys’s love, but it’s ultimately her own heart she must conquer to embrace her true calling and her destiny: to fly.

Paula McLain is the author of the the New York Times bestselling novels The Paris Wife, Circling the Sun, and Love and Ruin. Now she introduces When the Stars Go Dark, an atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies and heart-wrenching suspense. McLain was born in Fresno, California in 1965. After being abandoned by both parents, she and her two sisters became wards of the California Court System, moving in and out of various foster homes for the next fourteen years. When she aged out of the system, she supported herself by working as a nurses aid in a convalescent hospital, a pizza delivery girl, an auto-plant worker, a cocktail waitress –before discovering she could (and very much wanted to) write. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996, and is the author of two collections of poetry, a memoir, Like Family: Growing Up in Other People’s Houses, and the debut novel, A Ticket to Ride. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, O: the Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, Huffington Post, the Guardian and elsewhere. She lives with her family in Cleveland.

My Impressions:

Let me first begin by saying that Paula McClain is a very talented author. Her diligence in research and her ability to set the reader in a different time and place is showcased in Circling The Sun. Kenya of the early 20th century came alive to me. And I felt that I knew and understood the characters well. I just didn’t like them very much. 😉 That’s not the fault of McClain — this is a biographical novel, after all, and the warts are very much in evidence. Beryl Markham was an amazingly independent and progressive woman for her time, yet she continually makes the same mistakes in her relationships with men. Some of that can be chalked up to her hands-off upbringing and her parents’ negligence, but sometimes we just need to learn from our mistakes. Colonial Kenya seemed to be a place for those who bucked the norms of the day or the misfits who just didn’t fit in their home societies. The portrayal is fascinating. So I guess I shouldn’t have really expected a lot of high ground from the people who populated Markham’s life. Much of the novel features her early life and loves; less focus is put on her flying acommplishments. While I thought the book was very well-written, I’d recommend reading Markham’s memoir West with The Night if you only have a limited time to devote to the subject. It may be a little more biased, but I liked Markham more in it. (Please note: this is a general market novel — adult language and situations.)

Audience: adults.

(I downloaded the audiobook from my local library through Libby. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Corner — Fiona, It’s Bedtime

2 Jul

Join your favorite hippo, Fiona, the adorable internet sensation from the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, in this cuddly read-aloud picture book as she says good night to all her animal friends before snuggling up with her mama — encouraging your own child to drift off to sleep with their own bedtime routine.

A follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Fiona the HippoFiona, It’s Bedtime showcases the fearless hippo that’s as much of a star at the zoo (in the real world) as she is online!

This board book edition is great for little hands that love to explore, and is the perfect bedtime story to read aloud to children ages 4 to 8. Fiona, It’s Bedtime:

  • Features art by New York Times bestselling artist Richard Cowdrey (Fiona the Hippo, Bad Dog, Marley)
  • Takes kids on a nighttime adventure to see how the zoo animals sleep at night
  • Presents fun, rhyming text that will engage children while soothing them for their own bedtime ritual

Richard Cowdrey‘s favorite things to draw and paint are the things that reflect the awesomeness of God and his creation. From vast landscapes to the littlest bug on a leaf, Richard marvels at the beauty in the details. Richard’s bestselling children’s books include Fiona the Hippo, Legend of the Candy Cane, Bad Dog, Marley and A Very Marley Christmas.

My Impressions:

My granddaughter loves being read to. So we are always on the lookout for a good book that will engage her curiosity with fun verse and colorful illustrations. Fiona, It’s Bedtime does just that. Each page of this soon-to-be bedtime favorite shows members of the zoo family getting ready for bedtime. The cheetahs snuggle in their mother’s fur, the koalas wrap themselves around the trees, and the flamingo’s balance on one foot. I loved how the animals’ uniqueness is expressed. The book is sturdy as well and will hold up against the many times it will be presented for reading time. I can’t wait to share it!

Recommended.

Audience: preschoolers

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review — The Queen of Paris

1 Jul

This summer I am on a biographical novel reading kick. In my search for books with interesting women as the main character I came across The Queen of Paris by Pamela Binnings Ewen. I had read several of Ewen’s early novels and loved them, so I decided to give the book about fashion icon, Coco Chanel, a chance. I liked the book, but hated the character! LOL! See my thoughts below.

Legendary fashion designer Coco Chanel is revered for her sophisticated style — the iconic little black dress — and famed for her intoxicating perfume Chanel No. 5. Yet behind the public persona is a complicated woman of intrigue, shadowed by mysterious rumors. The Queen of Paris, the new novel from award-winning author Pamela Binnings Ewen, vividly imagines the hidden life of Chanel during the four years of Nazi occupation in Paris in the midst of WWII — as discovered in recently unearthed wartime files.

Coco Chanel could be cheerful, lighthearted, and generous; she also could be ruthless, manipulative, even cruel. Against the winds of war, with the Wehrmacht marching down the Champs-Élysées, Chanel finds herself residing alongside the Reich’s High Command in the Hotel Ritz. Surrounded by the enemy, Chanel wages a private war of her own to wrestle full control of her perfume company from the hands of her Jewish business partner, Pierre Wertheimer. With anti-Semitism on the rise, he has escaped to the United States with the confidential formula for Chanel No. 5. Distrustful of his intentions to set up production on the outskirts of New York City, Chanel fights to seize ownership. The House of Chanel shall not fall.

While Chanel struggles to keep her livelihood intact, Paris sinks under the iron fist of German rule. Chanel — a woman made of sparkling granite — will do anything to survive. She will even agree to collaborate with the Nazis in order to protect her darkest secrets. When she is covertly recruited by Germany to spy for the Reich, she becomes Agent F-7124, code name: Westminster. But why? And to what lengths will she go to keep her stormy past from haunting her future?

After practicing law for many years in Houston, Texas, Pamela Binnings Ewen exchanged her partnership in the law firm of BakerBotts, L.L.P. for writing. She lives near New Orleans, Louisiana. Her latest book, released in April 2020, The Queen of Paris, a novel on Coco Chanel, received a Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly and was ranked No. 1 in Hot New Spring Releases in historical fiction by Amazon Kindle. This is the explosive story of Chanel’s newly revealed secret life during the Nazi occupation of Paris in WWII.

Pamela is also the author of The Moon in the Mango Tree, awarded the 2012 Eudora Welty Memorial Award by the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a trilogy of novels on young women lawyers in New Orleans in the 1970’s — including Dancing on Glass, Chasing the Wind, and An Accidental Life. She also authored the Secret of the Shroud, and a non-fiction book, Faith on Trial, both now in second editions.

While practicing law Pamela served on the board of directors of Inprint, Inc., a non-profit organization supporting the literary arts in Houston, Texas, as well as on the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement in Houston. After retiring and moving to the New Orleans area, Pamela served on the board of directors of the New Orleans Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, The Tennessee Williams Festival, and as President of The Northshore Literary Society. In 2009 Pamela received the St. Tammany Parish President’s Arts Award as Literary Artist of the Year. Recently, Pamela was recognized by Marquis Who’s Who for Excellence in Law and Literature.

Pamela is the latest writer to emerge from a Louisiana Family recognized for its statistically improbable number of writers. Cousin, James Lee Burke, (the Dave Robichaux books) and a winner of the Edgar Award, wrote about the common ancestral grandfathers in his Civil War novel White Dove at Morning. Among other authors in the family are Andre Dubus II (The Bedroom), Andre Dubus III, The House of Sand and Fog) Elizabeth Nell Dubus (the Cajun trilogy), and Alafair Burke (the Samantha Kincaid mystery series).

My Impressions:

The Queen of Paris is a well-written biographical novel featuring the life of Coco Chanel. Told in flashbacks in Coco’s own voice and a third person narrative during WWII, it reveals the very interesting personality of the fashion icon. Don’t expect a flattering or even sympathetic handling of the main character though. Pamela Binnings Ewen portrays Coco with warts and all — and there are a lot of warts! Coco is shown to be a shrewd businesswoman determined to preserve her brand and her fortune. She is both savvy and naive, which seems at odds, but just adds to the complex and infuriating woman who was Coco. The flashbacks serve to give the reader background on her early life, as well as showing how Coco’s personality evolved. She was a woman of many contradictions — selfish, yet loyal, self-serving, yet sacrificing. I wavered between being sympathetic to what she endured and being disgusted at how she saved her livelihood. Coco has long been accused of being a Nazi sympathizer, and Ewen explores that. The result of this well-researched book is what feels like a balanced and accurate portrayal. Paris during Nazi occupation is depicted well, though Coco’s view is certainly different than many of her countrymen.

Did I like The Queen of Paris? Very much. Did I like the main character? Not at all! I think that is the strength of the novel. Ewen created a book that kept the pages turning even though the reader can’t help but hope the main character gets her comeuppance. 😉 Did Coco? You’ll have to read the book to find out. (Please note: this novel was written for the general market. There are adult situations described.)

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: The Engineer’s Wife

21 Jun

My newest book club — the IWBC (Interesting Women Book Club 😉 ) — is meeting for a second time tomorrow. We chose The Engineer’s Wife by Tracey Enerson Wood for our discussion. This biographical novel focuses on Emily Warren Roebling, a very interesting woman! When her husband and chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge project, Washington Roebling, is struck down with a debilitiating disease common to the trade, she is thrust into a role never before performed by a woman. Her life is groundbreaking. A good read to understand the progress women made despite the numerous obstacles placed in their way.

She built the Brooklyn Bridge, so why don’t you know her name?

Emily Roebling built a monument for all time. Then she was lost in its shadow. Discover the fascinating woman who helped design and construct the Brooklyn Bridge. Perfect for book clubs and fans of Marie Benedict.

Emily refuses to live conventionally — she knows who she is and what she wants, and she’s determined to make a change. But then her husband asks the unthinkable: give up her dreams to make his possible.

Emily’s fight for women’s suffrage is put on hold, and her life transformed when her husband Washington Roebling, the Chief Engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge, is injured on the job. Untrained for the task, but under his guidance, she assumes his role, despite stern resistance and overwhelming obstacles. But as the project takes shape under Emily’s direction, she wonders whose legacy she is building—hers, or her husband’s. As the monument rises, Emily’s marriage, principles, and identity threaten to collapse. When the bridge finally stands finished, will she recognize the woman who built it?

Based on the true story of an American icon, The Engineer’s Wife delivers an emotional portrait of a woman transformed by a project of unfathomable scale, which takes her into the bowels of the East River, suffragette riots, the halls of Manhattan’s elite, and the heady, freewheeling temptations of P.T. Barnum. The biography of a husband and wife determined to build something that lasts — even at the risk of losing each other.

Tracey Enerson Wood has always had a writing bug. While working as a Registered Nurse, starting an interior design company, raising two children, and bouncing around the world as a military wife, she indulged in her passion as a playwright, screenwriter and short story writer. She has authored magazine columns and other non-fiction, written and directed plays of all lengths, including Grits, Fleas and Carrots, Rocks and Other Hard Places, Alone, and Fog. Her screenplays include Strike Three and Roebling’s Bridge. The Engineer’s Wife is her first published novel.
Other passions include food and cooking, and honoring military heroes. Her co-authored anthology/cookbook Homefront Cooking, American Veterans Share Recipes, Wit, and Wisdom, was released in May, 2018, and all authors’ profits will be donated to organizations that support veterans.


A New Jersey native, she now lives with her family in Germany and Florida, and loves to travel, so be careful giving out casual invitations, she will show up anywhere.


Ms. Wood can be followed or reached at:
Twitter: @traceyenerson
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010292407932

My Impressions:

The plot of The Engineer’s Wife fit into the theme of my summer reading goals — a biographical novel featuring a strong woman who broke society’s expectations. The book follows Emily Warren Roebling from her first encounter with Washington Roebling during the Civil War to the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge in the 1880s. Real life events and people are fictionalized as the author tells the story not only of the building of the iconic bridge, but a fascinating woman who wanted more than society dictated at the time. The construction struggles parallel the problems for a woman of the time. Did you know there was a law against women wearing pants?! Neither did I! Emily’s tenacity and loyalty are strong, and she is presented as a woman with flaws, but also fierce convictions and determination. I enjoyed this novel very much. The afterward lets the reader in on what is fact and what is fiction. I will admit that reading the author’s notes gave me a bit of a let down. There are some plot threads that added drama and tension to the novel, as well as an exploration of Emily’s character. These turned out to be purely fictional. It left me feeling like I really didn’t know the main character at all. That being said, I would still recommend The Engineer’s Wife. As a prospective reader, keep in mind that this is fiction. 😉 The novel is targeted to the general market. There is some language and adult situations.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor

14 Jun

I always love a Jaime Jo Wright novel — the interwoven story lines of past and present, the shiver-y elements, and the twisting paths she takes a reader on. On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor have all these elements plus engaging characters and spiritual themes that make you think. I think this book is my favorite! Highly recommended!

1885. 
Adria Fontaine has been sent to recover goods her father pirated on the Great Lakes during the war. But when she arrives at Foxglove Manor — a stone house on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior — Adria senses wickedness hovering over the property. The mistress of Foxglove is an eccentric and seemingly cruel old woman who has filled her house with dangerous secrets, ones that may cost Adria her life. 

Present day. 
Kailey Gibson is a new nurse’s aide at a senior home in a renovated old stone manor. Kidnapped as a child, she has nothing but locked-up memories of secrets and death, overshadowed by the chilling promise from her abductors that they would return. When the residents of Foxglove start sharing stories of whispers in the night, hidden treasure, and a love willing to kill, it becomes clear this home is far from a haven. She’ll have to risk it all to banish the past’s demons, including her own.

Jaime Jo Wright loves to read — and write — fiction with elements of mystery, faith, and romance from her home in Wisconsin. She’s a coffee drinker by day and night, lives in dreamland, and exists in reality.

My Impressions:

I know that I will get a page-turning read when I open the pages of a Jaime Jo Wright novel. On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor was that and more. I was impressed at how she sucked me into both storylines, making me read more furiously with each page. This atmospheric book is what some term a time slip — two interwoven stories with their own protagonists and plot, yet dependent upon each other to tell a whole story. Both in the story set in the 1880s and the one set in present day there figures Foxglove Manor, a place that seems to be its own character. Hiding secrets of pirates and lost treasure, the house sits on the cliffs overlooking Lake Superior, its grounds remote and its facade unwelcoming. Both main characters Adria and Kailey come to the house seeking release. I loved both women and the inner courage they draw from. The two must find the secrets Foxglove Manor hides in order to gain their freedom. Ghostly appearances, threats from unknown assailants, and misdirection abound. I was thoroughly delighted by the surprises Wright includes in the twisting plot. There’s fun history about the lake and its role in the Civil War, not one, but two delicious romances, and plenty of suspense to keep you awake long past your bedtime. 😉 While there are deep spiritual themes that are addressed, I never felt preached at, just prompted to think about the fragility and preciousness of life. And while this novel should be savored, I finished it in record time. So I suggest you slow down and enjoy! I was a little let down when I finally closed the book — I needed more time with Adria and Mr. Crane and Kailey and Axel, and even the mysterious Foxglove Manor!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

Genre: mystery/suspense/timeslip

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: Amish Friends Healthy Options Cookbook

9 Jun

I’m a sucker for cookbooks. I love browsing new recipes dreaming of those perfect dishes to serve my family and friends when they come to stay. For the past year I have been in a cooking rut — trying to maintain a healthy diet often leads me to the same old same old. When I saw Amish Friends Healthy Options Cookbook, I knew I had to have it! Who can turn down tested recipes that are actually good for you?! While this cookbook has the standard categories — main dishes, salads, breakfast foods, etc. — it was the snack options that grabbed my attention. It’s not that hard preparing healthy meals; my issue is not consuming yummy snacks that go straight to my hips 😉 . I chose No-Bake Energy Bites as a test. No-bake means easy in my book, and they were. They were also very tasty. I’m taking these along on a weekend road trip. Sorry convenience store candy bars!

I look forward to trying more great recipes. There are plenty that are gluten free if you need that. Some I plan to try are Nutricious Baked Oatmeal, Cabbage Rolls, and Peanut Butter-Chocolate Granola Bars. Here’s to healthy and delicious eating!

Recommended.

Audience: families.

Genre: cookbook

(Thanks to Barbour Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Loaded with dozens of Amish recipes for the health conscious.


New, from New York Times bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter, is valuable cookbook that offers healthy recipe options.
 
Everyone wants to feel healthy, right? Food can be one of our best medicines, and many Amish are known for seeking ways for health to begin in the kitchen. Brand new, from New York Times bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter, is a helpful cookbook from Amish and Mennonite cooks who offer healthy recipe options. Over 200 recipes are divided into traditional categories from main dishes and sides to desserts and snacks with labels for gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, etc. Also included are health tips and remedies. Encased in a lay-flat binding and presented in full color, home cooks of all ages will be eager to add this cookbook to their collections.