Saturday, 30 August 2008

74. Jenna Bailey - Can Any Mother Help Me?

This is the story of the Co-operative Correspondence Club - a group of women who corresponded for over fifty years through the pages of a secret magazine. I first heard about it in a mailing from Mass Observation where the articles are no help and was particularly interested to read it as it covers the Second World War years and promises an intimate look at women's lives. I was not disappointed. Bailey has skillfully edited the articles together into a cohesive whole while allowing the women to speak for themselves. Although I skipped the last two chapters (they appeared to deal mostly with death and this is a topic I'm not fond of!) I greatly enjoyed my peek into the lives of some extra-ordinary and ordinary women.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

73. Janette Oke - Love's Long Journey

In this, the third in the Love Comes Softly series, the narrative moves away from Marty to her step-daughter, Missie, and her ne husband, Willie. They join a wagon train moving west to start their own cattle ranch. The book tells of their adventures, joys and sorrows on the journey and over the first two years of their new life.

Still holding to the 'Laura Ingalls Wilder - for grown ups' style, Oke has a stronger Christian theme running through this book than the previous volumes - Missie is more overt in her religion than Marty. Oke avoids preaching, however, and this is still a romanticised view of frontier life.

A very enjoyable, light read - 8/10

Sunday, 10 August 2008

72. Rob Bell - Velvet Elivs

Title: Velvet Elvis
Author: Rob Bell
Publisher: Zondervan
Format: Audiobook
No. of pages: 4 discs
First sentence: --

I listened to this recording over a long period and I think this did not do it any favours. Additionally, I found that the author's reading of the text was very fast which made it difficult to really take in what he was saying. However, the gist appears to be that he is passionately excited about Christianity while being disappointed in the modern church.

Mimi Wilson & Shelly Cook Volkhardt - Holy Habits

Title: Holy Habits
Author: Mimi Wilson & Shelly Cook Volkhardt
Publisher: Navpress
Format: Paperback
No. of pages: 207
First sentence: The morning of my 30th birthday I determined not to waste any more time.

I picked up this book in Wesley Owen on a whim, just because I like the title. I think I was expecting a list of all the does and don'ts that one usually associates with Christianity. The authors have far exceeded my expectations. Presented at the CDs of 12 lessons, the book is divided into two parts. Section 1 deals with "Making Him Our Daily Focus" and provides a study of eight of the names of God. The second section is entitled "Changing Us from the Inside Out" and looks at the wheeze God works in our lives when we are willing to let him do so. Both sections include expediencies from the authors' lives along with examples from fictional accounts and people the authors have known. In the first section, the final part of each chapter includes the habits the authors suggest one acquires and questions for study and discussion.

It took less than a day to read this book although I fully intend to return to it for a further, more detailed study. I found the opening chapters dealt with some abstract concepts which I found difficult. However, the remainder of the book is much more practical in content and tone and there are many ideas which I look forward to implementing in my own life. Highly recommended.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

70. Susan Cilyk -- Rainbow Bridge

Title: Rainbow Bridge
Author: Cilyk, Susan
Publisher: Athena Press
Format: Paperback
BCID: HTTP:\\www.bookcrossing.con/journal/6337096
No. of pages: 129
First sentence: As I stood in a private car park on an abnormally cold Sunday afternoon in the early summer setting a trap pilchards, my thoughts were filled with images of the many times I've been in similar positions…

I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to read this book. This is the story of the many cats who have entered the life of the author in her work as Cats Protection volunteer. I started reading the book by accident on the day that I received it and I read it in little bursts ever since. Some of the stories have made me cry and others have made me laugh until I cried. I find it amazing that there is someone in the world who is as dotty about cats as I am and who has had some similar experiences. For the first time in my reading to hear I'm actually considering writing to an author!

69. Lisa Bevere -- Nurture

Bevere, Lisa
Faith words
No. of pages:
First sentence:
I write as a mother and daughter of our time.

I have greatly enjoyed other books by Lis8 Bevere so I was very excited about the publication of Nurture. And fortunately, while I did enjoy reading this book, it did not quite live up to my high expectations. Lisa is writing about the role of women in society and highlights the way in which women for connections. She is suggesting that we are all daughters mothers and grandmothers to one another in mentoring relationships. This is an interesting concept, but not one I feel able to run with at present. For me, the most interesting part of the book was Lisa's experience of chancing upon an anti-abortion film on TV -- this has made a big impression on me.

I would be interested in looking at this book in greater depth but, at present, there is no work book available.

Monday, 4 August 2008

The Movements of the Books

Erik Rees - SHAPE: This book moves from Mt TBR to the Bible Study pile as it's the kind of book you do rather than the kind of book you read.

Orson Scott Card - Sarah: DNF - I've decided I don't like fictionalised accounts of Biblical characters.

Corrie Ten Boom - The Hiding Place: DNF - I did start this and am sure I would have got a lot out of it but I'm a bit depressed at the moment and so an autobiographical account of life in a concentration camp does not appeal.

Eirc & Leslie Ludy - When God Writes Your Life Story: 8/10 - I read this in a day after waiting impatiently for its arrival! Although I prefered Authentic Beauty, I found this an enjoyable and worthwhile read. The authors tell of the early years of their marriage and ministry and their aim of living life totally surrendered to God. There's plenty of practical help although, as with all books of this nature, there is the danger of legalism. This is a radical approach to Christianity and one which I find very appealing. I'll hold on to this for further study although I fear some of the ideas are beyond my reach.

In Other News, I'm experiencing severe problems with one of my wrists. I'm seeing the Dr this afternoon but suspect I'll be told to rest it which will curtail my online life. Fortunately, the other book I've been waiting for (Lisa Bevere - Nurture) has finally arrived so I do have something good to read!

Saturday, 2 August 2008

It's Here!

After yesterday's extreme disappointment (and resultant sulks!) one of the books I've been waiting for has finally arrived. So today will be mostly spent reading Eric and Leslie Ludy's When God Writes Your Life Story.

Incidentally, a reader asked what 'DNF' stands for? It's 'Did Not Finish.'

Friday, 1 August 2008


I am a very grumpy reader. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of two books I really, really want to read. I also have a migraine. Now, if either of said books had arrived in the morning's mail, I would have had a very pleasant day popping painkillers and reading. As it is, I'm DNFing everything I come across. Here we go:

Beverly Lewis - The Crossroad: I read The Postcard on holiday last year and complained then that Lewis had employed one of my pet hates - dialect. Dialect is fine when it's one character's voice. Well. I still don't like it much but I can live with it. Unfortunately, Lewis allowed the Amish dialect to spill over into her own narration. It would have worked, perhaps, if the book were narrated by an Amish character, in the first person. I forgave Lewis for this when reading The Postcard (possibly because I was on holiday and therefore only had a limited number of books available?). So, just over a year later, I come to the sequel - The Crossroad. Unfortunately, I've read a lot of books since then and don't remember much from The Postcard. But I expected that there would be some overlap between the books and it'd all come flooding back to me. This wasn't the case. Lewis provides a few pages in the voice of one of the principal characters and then goes on with the story and there just weren't sufficient signposts for me. I felt all at sea, was irritated by the language and gave up. If I'd read the two books more closely together, I might have persevered. But I am as I am and life's too short. Especially when my head's thumping!

Jay E Adams - Christian Living in the Home: I'd already looked at this book and cast it aside but decided to make another attempt. I got a little further this time before learning that the author believes there's no such thing as mental illness (save for that caused by brain injury). As a sufferer of Atypical Bipolar Disorder who has now recovered from bad Church experiences (no, I'm not demon possessed ...) I decided to close the book at this point.

James D Berkley - Essential Christianity: This is a pleasant enough little book which aims to set out the tenets of Christianity in an easily digestable format. The author is a little patronising - I think he's just trying to hard to be friendly. As I'm already a Christian, I don't see the point in reading it.

Judith Miller - Whispers Along the Rails: I read the first in this series (In the Company of Secrets) some time ago. Unfortunately, I couldn't really interest myself in this instalment. The situation of a young woman becoming a kind of mystery shopper on the railways in the (I think) 19th Century didn't appeal to me although it's possible that I would enjoy this as a popcorn book at another time. For now, however, as I'm being ruthless I shall allow the book to find a new home.