Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Top Books of 2015 and What I Hope to Read in 2016






Top Books (in no particular order. This post would never exist if I had to choose because two books can be my #1 for so many reasons):

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf



It's a children's book, but it is most certainly one of my favorites from this year. What a great story to read to children! It's all about individuality and approving of yourself. Ferdinand wasn't afraid to be his true self and neither should anyone else be. 

Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund




Having never read any Jody Hedlund books before I wasn't sure what to expect. So how fun was it when I realized I was reading quality stuff? An author who researches well is gold and always worth reading. It's about Martin Luther and the Reformation. Read it! I would never had given my due diligence to Luther for the sacrifices he made if I had never read this book. 

The Wood's Edge by Lori Benton 



I'm gonna stop right here. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love this author's work. I will say, however, that I was certainly not disappointed and in fact ignored my family during breakfast to finish this book. You will not be disappointed either. 

Big Little Lies, The Husband's Secret, What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty 


 

So I didn't realize that I apparently went on a Liane Moriarty spree until I started making my list. My sister introduced me to this author by buying me What Alice Forgot for my birthday. Boy, am I glad she did! So funny, well written, quality plots and subject matter, interesting mysteries (which was a surprise), and I could probably go on but won't. Find out for yourself if you haven't already! 
I would have to say of all three that I've read (yay that I still have more novels of hers to read in 2016!) Big Little Lies was probably my favorite. For fear of spoiling the book for you I won't go into why.

Murder on Amsterdam Avenue by Victoria Thompson




I've read a lot of murder mystery series and The Gaslight Series by this author is by far my favorite. I hadn't realized she'd written two more (after I'd caught up on all of them life got busy so I wasn't following her releases, and then I stumbled upon two new ones). This was a fun read and it kept me engaged the whole time. It was like meeting up with old friends! 

Books I Hope to Read:

1984 by George Orwell





Having heard of this book for so long I'm hoping to finally take the plunge.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins




It sounds so good I'm really looking forward to it, but about 17 people are in front of me at the library so I have to be patient! 

A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton 




This is a sequel to The Wood's Edge and I'm so stoked about it! But alas, I have to be patient with this one as well, because its release date isn't until April! 

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty



I have three novels left to read by Liane! I'll be so sad when I'm all done! 

Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue by Victoria Thompson



Last book in the series! I'll be sad having to wait for some new releases!




That's it! Tell me a novel you liked the best and least in 2015, and one you're hoping to read in this new year! 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Book Review: Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund

I received a complimentary copy of Luther and Katharina in exchange for an honest review:


Yet another author I had never heard of and yet another amazing book by someone I will now be following like a thirsty dog as I wait for new releases.

This novel is an epic adventure that follows nun Katharina von Bora and Martin Luther during the ReformationIf not for this book I'd never have truly understood the persecutions so many faced, and all so they could read the Bible for themselves and live how they interpreted it. 

Martin Luther's story is amazing. Best of all is the author stayed as close to the truth as possible, with only minor changes and few fictional characters. Jody made Luther's life and character a reality for me, one I could swear I've actually witnessed because of her historical accuracy and talented writing. 

It was a privilege to be able to read about something that affects how I live today because of what he chose to stand for and fight against.

If you're looking for something to read, I'd 100% recommend this book.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Book Review: The Wood's Edge by Lori Benton

I received a complimentary copy of The Wood's Edge in exchange for an honest review:



It's almost impossible to write this review because of the appreciation I have for this author and her work. My writing is not sufficient enough to praise or expound her writing in any way.

I first learned of Lori Benton when I read The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn. I started that book expecting a decently enjoyable historical Christian novel like any other historical Christian novel. What I actually read was a work of art. 

The Wood's Edge proved to be the same, if not more so, which I am willing to debate with anyone. This book blew her other book out of the water and that's saying a lot, because seriously how can you compare her novels to one another? But apparently, you can. 

The structure of her characters alone is incredible. First of all you're starting with the main characters from when they're babes in the arms of their parents and moving on up to adulthood. That alone is an amazing feat. It takes talent, hard work, and even organization to accomplish that specific character development.

Then you have the time period and the descriptions. The obvious research that went into the writing brings you so much into the story you'd think you time traveled there. 

The prose? Beautiful. Beautiful. Obviously, I lack appropriate prose!

Two Hawks: Need I say more? ;) 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Review: A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House by Miranda Richmond Mouillot

I received a complimentary copy of A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France in exchange for an honest review:



I grew up with a father who loves history and I inherited that love of history from him, specifically World War II. This book does not disappoint the history fan within me. 

I loved reading of her childhood with these two fascinating people she had in her life who were both affected by the war and her grandfathers role during the Nuremberg Trials.

It's a little disappointing in the fact that the book is more about the author and her life and not so much about the two people the book is supposedly about, but I still found the story very engaging and warm.

As long as you don't expect the book to be too much about the grandparents and an explosive secret as to why the long silence, it's definitely an interesting read.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Book Review: The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton



I received a complimentary copy of The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn in exchange for an honest review:



I was completely taken aback by this novel. I'd never heard of Lori Benton before and I wasn't sure what this book was even about.

It was a fantastic historical adventure story. It was fast-paced and engaging, suspenseful and endearing, and the romance between Jesse and Tamsen swoon worthy and sweet.

My favorite part of this novel was the time period it was written in. Reading about America during the frontier times, learning about the historic State of Franklin and getting a glimpse of the Native American side of things - "wild" America at its best!

I would definitely recommend this book and I look forward to reading more by Lori Benton!