Saturday, 28 June 2008

Incoming Books

Mimi Wilson & Shelly Cook Volkhardt - Holy Habits
Anne Tyler - Digging to America
Erik Rees - SHAPE

Friday, 27 June 2008

59. Veronica Heley - Master of the Hall

Master of the Hall
Heley, Veronica
No. of pages:
First sentence:
It was a bad decision.

I started reading this series last year. In fact, Eden Hall was the first Christian fiction book I actually finished. I was attracted by its billing as a 'modern-day Cinderella' story. I read the first three books in quick succession but found Secret of the Hall a bit sinister. Fearing that Master of the Hall was be more so I avoided reading until now.

I found that I did enjoy this book although perhaps not as much as Eden Hall. Minty and Patrick are the same flawed but loveable characters and we are party to their exploration of what marriage and parenthood mean. The themes of forgiveness and prayer also run strongly in this book. The sinister element I had feared was not much in evidence. Indeed, I think that the author may have missed an opportunity here. But, of course, I would likely have laid the book aside had she taken that road. I did find that some of the plotting was a bit confusing and I'm still asking, 'Why?' on a couple of points.

Heley has a very pleasant narrative voice and I do look forward to reading more of her work.

Eden Hall is endowed with a wide variety of characters. I think my favourite is (understandably) Minty as I know most about her. Choosing from the more minor characters, however, my favourite is Carol because she's so honest and forthright without being intimidating.

I would recommend this book to others who enjoy Christian fiction and, specifically, to people who have read the proceeding books. This one could be read alone but I think a lot of the magic would be lost. The cover is attractive. Indeed, it makes me long to step into the warm, fire-lit room Minty is looking at. The title is only specially meaningful in the light of the book's ending so I shall not write about that here.


Thursday, 12 June 2008

Incoming Books!

Alexander Kent - Midshipman Bolitho
Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities
Amy Tan - The Joy Luck Club
Peter Ho Davies - The Welsh Girl
Marina Lewycka - wo Caravans

Sunday, 8 June 2008

58 - Joshua Harris - I Kissed Dating Goodbye

I Kissed Dating Goodbye
Harris, Joshua
No. of pages:
First sentence:
Reading a book is a lot like a dating relationship.

I bought this book a number of years ago because I was looking for a different way to run my, very disastrous, love life. I passed it on to the Church library without reading it but saw it on the shelf a few weeks ago and decided to pick it up again as I've been reading other books on similar themes recently.

I think Harris has a fairly unique take on the relationships scene because he's a single young man. Most books on the subject seem to be written by one half or other of a married couple. I'm torn between finding Harris' account inspiring or irritating. Presumably this is because I measure up so poorly to the ideals he had set.

Harris begins by looking at the ways in which our culture tells us to run our love lives and then outlines his alternative proposal - courtship (although he doesn't use that name). He looks thoroughly at the obstacles to be overcome by the single person and at ways of developing a relationship when you are ready for marriage. I feel like I'll never be ready as I measure myself against Harris' ideals!

I would recommend this book to other singles or the parents of young people about to enter the romantic field and I will read more from the author. It will be interesting to watch him develop as an author and a Christian. I wonder how high those ideals will be in a few years?

Friday, 6 June 2008

Incoming Books!

Tony Buzan - The Speed Reading Book
Larry McMurtry - Lonesom Dove
Shari Anton - Lord of the Manor
John Galsworth - The Forsyte Saga
Bill Bryson - The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
William Stuart Long - The Exiles
Michel Quoist - Prayers of Life
Paul William Roberts - Journey of the Magi
James A Simpson, Angus T Stewart, Alan A S Reid - Keywords of Faith
W M Thackerey - Vanity Fair

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

100+ Reading Challenge

I came upon this challenge today. I've already challenged myself to read 100 books in 2008 over on 43 Things but I likes a good challenge, I does and a bit of extra motivation never goes amiss. I have 57 books read thus far so am on track for achieving my target.