Welcome to the May book of the month, which I received from Bethany House!
Howdy! (next time I’ll say ‘salutations’ 🙂 )
Here’s the newest one from Bethany House, and also my book review for April. Basically, if I’m quick at the draw…I’ll have one book from them a month. If I don’t want to review any of the options they have (which I’ve done before)…then I don’t 😀 .
I have been…not on this blog. If my stats bar serves me right…it’s been about four days?
Today I am going to share a product-ish review that has really impacted my reading life. It’s called…the Kindle Paperwhite!
You can get many different kindles off places (primarily Amazon). The main difference between this one and say, the kindle fire- is the intended usage. The paperwhite is intended almost exclusively for reading, whereas the fire- is mostly for internet, games, etc. Yes, you can read on it…but I think it’s much more painful on the eyes.
*Changeable resolution (screen brightness adjustable). What’s really neat about this feature is that it was created to keep the eyes from having to adjust no matter where you’re reading at.
*Many books can be carried and read on-the-go. I used to lug books around and devour them. Now, I can bring my kindle paperwhite along with me, stuffed with books and get away with it! It’s great. I also love how little it weighs compared to my stack of books 😀 .
*Access to the kindle lending library. Library? What? You can borrow one book a month for free out of many great titles. The last book I borrowed is ‘Once’, which is a collection of fairy tale retellings by several gifted young ladies. It’s historically themed. My point? There are a lot of great titles out there that you may borrow. Only one a month though, so make it good 😉 . Some other great titles I’ve previously borrowed:
- The Spinner and the Slipper- by Camryn Lockhart
- A Branch of Silver, A Branch of Gold- By Anne Elisabeth Stengl
And there are a bunch of other nice books that you’d probably enjoy.
*Access to a bunch of classics. In the kindle store, there are so many amazing old classics. You can get the entire Oz series FREE. Literally anything in the public domain is free.
5 fReE bOoKs
- Jane Eyre. This is a public domain book and is amazing. I know some people may not like it, but I love it. It is an amazing book. It’s a roller coaster of happy and sad all intermixed. It’s classic, and is by Charlotte Bronte.
- Wives and Daughters. By Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell. It’s also public domain, and a classic. Interesting fact, the writer died before completing the book. The BBC series is really good, although they did have to guess the ending 😉 .
- The Scarlet Pimpernel Books. I don’t know if any of y’all are familiar with the Scarlet Pimpernel or not. They’re a series of books set around the french revolution- and are about a daring Englishman and his brave comrades stealing french (destined-to-be-guillotined) victim’s from the clutches of the french tyrannous ‘government’. While not all of the books can be gotten free, you’d be well on your way to discovering a lovely British series. The books are written by Baroness Emmuska Orczy (that name, tho 😀 .).
- Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I was in love with Grimm’s, especially when I was younger. They were my favorite when I was twelve or thirteen. Whether you want to read the original german-ish Ascenputtel (Cinderella), or you are dying to hear about Snow White…this book is for you. And it’s public domain. AND it’s by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm.
- Books by many different Biblical authors. In the public domain, you can find books by Martin Luther, Isaac Watts, Charles Spurgeoun, and many others.
To sum up…this product is very worth it!
I am now reviewing my third book for Bethany House! The first one was Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette, the second was Quick Tips for Busy Families by Jay Payleitner, and this (the third) is…Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson. So let’s just run into this here review.
Heart of the Frontier Book #1.
By Tracie Peterson
My rating- 5 stars
I loved this book! It was such an exciting novel to read. I love the cover (as a side note 😀 ), and the time period is one of great interest to me. This is the first Tracie Peterson book I have ever read, and I like it. The reason I haven’t read much of Tracie’s work is simply that I’m not much into western stuff. And a lot of her stuff seems to be western. I don’t (so far) like western romances as much. I’m not into mail order brides. It’s just not my thing. But this…yep. This got me. Prairie days are much more thrilling for me.
Let’s go back to the days of Indians…
//I love the setting. Wagon trains, sickness, prairie dangers, and beautiful country. It all appeals to me.
//The main character. Grace is a neat person. She’s strong, and kind, and is a healer. She cares for people as a life calling. But she’s not perfect…and I love how she develops.
//The pain. The story does a good job building tension and getting you excited. I started dreading what was probably coming. If you like…you can read the synopsis- and figure out what I was dreading happening. After THE event of the story there is so much hurt and scars, and it makes the reader feel sad 😦 .
//Good story line. I felt that the plot was engaging, and it just kept going. The dialogue was delightful as well.
//Age line. Because of several things that occur in the story which are suggestive, I would recommend this book for 13+ or the discretion of the parent. (It would be discretion of the parent or guardian regardless! 🙂 )
//Faith. This book is Christian Historical Fiction. I thought the faith was much better emphasized in this book than in most other books of its genre. And believe me…you would need a strong faith to survive such trials!
So…I will probably borrow some more Tracie Peterson from our local library soon. I think maybe not all of her stuff is Western? I know that a lot of it IS, but then- maybe someone else out there has read some of her westerny ones and liked them? I’m sure they’re good. 😉
*This book actually arrived earlier than I was expecting it to (thumbs up to Bethany House for promptness!). So I actually was able to finish reading it at the conference I attended the 14-16. And I finished it so fast…because it was amazing. It kept me under it’s power the entire time. I don’t think I experienced any boredom at all.
It’s time for another installment of What I Read Wednesday ! We are on #6. Today I will be reviewing Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte– and Grow in Grace by Sinclair B. Ferguson.
by Emily Bronte
Apple Classics (scholastic)
My rating- 3.5 stars
This is one of the most interesting, disturbing, and depressing books I have ever read. It all started at the dentist’s office. The lady who was cleaning my teeth was asking questions about books (why those people ask you questions when your mouth is full of water is beyond me 🙂 ) and mentioned having to read Wuthering Heights in high school when she was a girl. I had heard of Wuthering Heights before, but had never read it. After the dentist, mom and I went (of all places) to the BOOK STORE. It was just a little bitty store…but what did I see on the shelf? You guessed it–this book.
// This is a tragedy, but not the tragedy it’s advertised to be. Supposedly, this is a romantic tragedy where two people who are in love are ‘cruelly’ torn asunder. But…the real tragedy is definitely the sin displayed in the book.
// Heathcliff. I am sorry, y’all–Heathcliff is simply not a likable character. End of story. 🙂 His mean temperament, his selfishness, his cruelty. Ugh. He’s not a night-in-shining-armor.
// The only characters I like are minor. Yep. If that tells you anything about the characters…they’re not a nice lot.
//The depressing worldview. The whole romance is just…ohhhhhhhhhhhh nooooo. 😦
//The slow beginning. Need we day any more?
//But it was interesting. Despite all my other points…it WAS interesting. I didn’t stop reading it but instead persevered despite it’s depressingness and slow beginning. I would definitely suggest an age start. Probably be a teen before you read it. It’s sort of morbidly depressingly dark.
Grow In Grace
By Sinclair B. Ferguson
My rating- 5 stars
This is the book that I was given shortly after professing my faith publicly. I liked the book then and I still like it now. Sinclair Ferguson is very good at practically applying things and making them simple (yes, he can probably make them complicated too 🙂 ) without dumbing them down.
Some bullet thoughts…
// Good for younger ages. I think the first time I ever read this was when I was twelve. It’s really a great book for (almost) all ages.
//Using Bible characters. I love how the book uses Bible ‘heroes’ as examples. Although it’d important to note that they were used by God and not ‘heroes’ in and of themselves. My favorite chapter is on Jesus 🙂 .
//Straightforward and clear. ‘Nough said.
//Great book on the topic for new believers. I would highly recommend this book for new believers or younger olders (age range 12 and up).
Have you ever read books on the topic of ‘growth in grace’?
Have you read either of these books?
What’s the most depressing book you’ve ever read?
Ever wondered how I decide which book is the next in my ‘reading’ list? Well…you’ve come to the right place. Many people call this kind of a post ‘what’s on my bookshelf’. But I’ll just call it ‘My To-Read Bookshelf’. Most of the books on this shelf are books that I have recently bought and am planning to read. But I admitted to myself…that I need a shelf and a schedule for these books. The shelf part’s down…but the schedule? To be determined.
The books to the left are ones that I’m already reading. And I’m reading them…
…V E R Y S L O W L Y.
I can see the need for a coordinated schedule. Because, I really am spreading myself too thin. I need that schedule and then I need to write more in my reading journal so that I can better process my thoughts. There are various factors to consider in constructing a reading schedule. Here’s a little list:
- How many books per month? I think one is a good starting place 🙂
- Which ones are good for devotions? Several of the books I don’t want on the actual schedule. Some are more devotional than others. I’m thinking specifically of the 365 Days with Calvin book. I’m starting that for my devotions (Deo Volente) in January 2017.
- Are there other books that I’ll have as required reading for school? Um-yes. I get a new one monthly because I do Gileskirk by Dr. George Grant. So far I’ve done reviews on Augustine’s Confessions and Beowulf. But I know for sure there are more books. And I have the occasional review to do from Bethany House, as well.
//Pilgrim Theology, by Michael Horton
Status: Reading (not actively)
//The Peacemaker, by Ken Sande
Status: Reading (not actively)
//The Christ-Centered Preaching of Dr, Martyn Lloyd Jones, by Martyn Lloyd Jones 🙂
Status: Reading (not actively)
// Ann Judson Missionary Wife, by Arabella Stuart
Status: Reading (half-way through, but not actively)
// Katharine Parr, by Brandon G. Withrow
Status: Reading (almost done)
// When People are BIG and God is Small, by Edward T. Welch
Status: Reading (almost done)
//Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
Status: Reading (almost done)
//The Door in the Wall, by Marguerite DE Angeli
Status: Reading (not actively, but almost done)
//The Glory of Christ, by John Owen (why is this on the shelf? I am re-reading the later portion of the book 🙂 )
Status: Read. (re-reading later portion)
//Communion With God, by John Owen
// The Piety of John Calvin, translated and edited by Ford Lewis Battles
Status: Reading snippets. (parts of book being read, but not the entirety all through)
The ones I am not reading yet…
// The Doctrine of Repentance, by Thomas Watson
// The Heart of Christ, by Thomas Goodwin
// The Lord’s Supper, by Thomas Watson
// The Holy Spirit, by John Owen
// The Mystery of Providence, by John Flavel
// The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, by Jeremiah Burroughs
// C.H Spurgeon’s Prayers, by Charles Haddon Spurgeon 🙂
// All of Grace, by Charles Haddon Spurgeon
// To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
// The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards, by Jonathan Edwards 🙂
// Calvin & Culture, edited by Hall and Padgett
// 365 Days with Calvin, selected and edited by Joel R. Beeke
*Note: there are other titles on my kindle which are on my reading list as well.
What are YOU reading right now?
Have you read any or all of the titles listed?
What book(s) would you recommend?
I just felt like putting exclamation marks on this post. I am in a good mood, I guess. Today I am just doing a book review on Beowulf. I am also going to be sharing a scene from my book-in-progress Warchful. The scene takes place a little later on in the book. If y’all aren’t familiar with what I’ve already mentioned about that…it’s a Christian fiction dystopian novel. Mouthful, huh? 🙂
Let’s hop into the review then…
A New Verse Translation…
…by Seamus Heaney.
My rating- 5 stars
Besides the gorgeous fact that this book’s paperback cover allows you to feel the texture of the chain mail (expiring over that fact, BTW 🙂 )– why would you read a book like this? Well first let me just mention that I read this book for the Gileskirk curriculum. And as I’ve been glad for all the other books I’ve read for Gileskirk…so am I happy for the reading of this one.
It’s one of those books that you’re just fascinated by. Okay…that I’M fascinated by (but you might be too, who knows! 🙂 ). This translation is easy to understand and yet Seamus Heaney manages to give you a flavor of times past. True, this story is a legend. So what? It’s an interesting, well-written legend…and it’s classic. But on to some more definitive ‘points’.
// This book (translation, content, etc.) is well-written.
// It gives you a step-back-into time feeling. Enough said.
//It is, however a poem. Not the rhyme type, BTW. If you read this there won’t be any Mother Goose…
//The story is all the wonderful medieval knights and distress and monsters…YAY!
//There’s a difference in the book. I believe whoever the original writer of this poem was a Christian. And I’m pretty sure that the characters in the story were supposed to be pagan. If I’m wrong about that–correction is in order.
//It’s actually interesting. This may seem like a no-brainer…but I just thought I’d add it to make sure that it is clear. There is a deadly fight, there is another deadly fight…and you guessed it–another deadly fight farther along. There are evocative descriptions…things that really get the brain going.
//This book is easier to follow along with than I thought it would be. It really is easier. One thing that really contributed to its being easier…was the fact that they include little notes on the sides of the poem on each page. The notes basically tell you what’s going on. So if you’re lost, fear not! You will not remain lost for long.
And that’s the scoop. So get this book, and read it. And if you’ve already read it…hmm. Read it again? 🙂
What are your thoughts on reading legends?
Do you enjoy the style of old english writing?
What do YOU think of the medieval era?
p.s. Scroll down further for the bonus scene from ‘Watchful‘.
Scene title: Jess in the cafeteria
I stir some lemon spice into my food. I add salt, then slop a spoonful of sauteed onions on the top. The salad bar is next. I pick and choose toppings. I avoid the dairy toppings and move toward the vegetable ones. Cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, carrot shreds, and collard greens.
“You gotta’ try one of these, Jess.” I turn hesitantly to find Garth, Maul holding his hand tightly. In his outstretched hand is a chocolate truffle.
“No thanks, Garth. I- I think I’ll stick with vegetables.” I answer. Garth frowns. Then he turns away, but not before he shoots me a look. It pains me more than I’d like to admit. Letting go of my friend is hard. But I am convinced it’s the best thing to do in light of the situation with Maul. I sweep the room looking for Prisl, and when I’m satisfied she’s not here- take a seat in a quiet corner. I have just taken a seat when I see my ’employer’ out of the corner of my eye. He exchanges comments with several young men, before coming and plunking his plate right next to mine.
“Mind if I sit here?” he asks in a polite voice.
“Uh-no. I guess not. But, um- don’t you want to sit with them?” I ask indicating a table crammed with young men- all of them capitals. He frowns.
“No, I generally sit in the quiet area. I don’t enjoy the rambunctiousness of that table.” he says, taking off his jacket and draping it over the chair.
“Well, I’m sure you don’t want to be seen with a- a tributary.” I get out. There is no way he can sit here. I’ve got to get out of here.
“I don’t see what you mean. There’s nothing wrong with being a ‘tributary’– it’s just a silly old ranking for the school. It doesn’t describe the people it names.” So saying he promptly sits down. I unconsciously look into his eyes and exercise my gift. I jerk when I realize how closely I was studying him. He smiles a little at my embarrassment, which I try to cover by taking a sip of water. But I had enough time to read him. Nothing about him rings false. I saw nothing but honesty and humility in his gaze.
“Do you make a practice of scrutinizing people that meticulously?” I panic a little at the question. I try to keep my face impassive. It doesn’t help much. Why does my gift help me zero at hiding my own emotions?
“Yes- uh no…” I stammer. There’s no great answer to this question, anything I say could give me away. But maybe I can just be honest with him. I don’t think he’d turn me in because he suspects something…
“Sorry. I probably just made things more awkward, huh?” I nod before I can stop myself. He laughs. To my relief, his laughter isn’t loud.
“You know, Jess- you’re nothing like so many of the other tributaries I’ve met.” I startle at his using my shortened name. This is such an awkward conversation. I bet Prisl would’ve nailed it.
“Well, if it makes you feel better- you’re nothing like the other capitals.” He grimaces at my flipping the comment.
“I often wonder why there’s so much hate amongst the different people in the different ratings.” Everything about Chase- uh- my employer, is different.
“You really are nothing like the others. None of the other capitals would even question the way things are. They are content to see us as far inferior and below them.” I crumple my napkin in my fist under the table.
“You care about them don’t you? The tributaries?” he inquires, dipping his head.
“Yeah. I care about many people here. I’ve grown with so many of them and I want to help them if I can.” I admit.
“I believe you can change them, and help them too. In some ways, just believing the way you do can change them.” ‘Just believing the way’ I do? He must know something about the religion of Vigor then.
“Thank you. I enjoyed talking with you, and I’m glad that I get to serve you instead of someone else.” the words I thought I’d never say. Who could’ve known a week ago that I would be grateful in working for a young man instead of a girl.
“I enjoyed talking to you too. Here, let me take the dishes to the counter for you, so you can go catch your class.” Chase says. How did he know I have a class? But the mention of the class puts the question far from my mind.