Category Archives: Book Reviews

A Book Review: Tess of the Storm Country by Grace Miller White

I read this book because it is the book that my husband’s grandfather read more that 75 years ago and later he gave the name ‘Tess’ to my mother-in-law. I had heard the story before that she had been named for the main character in this book, but had never read it.
This story will transport you to another time. A time when there were squatters and they were treated horribly. A time when people’s preconceived ideas and expectations led them to make poor and unfounded judgments (oh wait…we still do that). You will follow a young girl and see a mustard seed of faith grow in her. And you will see that even though she has none of the ‘modern advantages,’ she is the one who is the richest.
Tess passed away two months ago and we located the book to read. The story captured me early on and is one of love and faith and adventure and drama and unfairness. I am sure that Mr. Brown wanted his daughter to have the fine qualities of Tess when he chose this name for her. She lived up to the name and her dad’s expectations.
We miss you Tess.

Penny Saving Household Helper: 500 Little Ways to Save Big!

I purchased this book a few months ago and have been reading it a little at a time. There are so many great tips in here! With money tight these days, I highly recommend that you add it to your shelf!
The book is written by Rebecca DiLiberto and is divided into the following sections: In the Kitchen, Around the House, Lifestyle, Fun and Leisure. There are so many great tips in here, that the only way I can figure out to make the most of this book is to pick a few at a time, get them to be a habit, then move on.
Here is a small sample of some of the ways to save money:
“If you burn milk when heating it on the stove, add a pinch of salt to take away the scorched smell and taste. (this also works with coffee)”
“When you brew a pot of coffee that nobody drinks, don’t pour it down the drain. Freeze leftovers in ice cube trays to add to iced coffee instead of ice cubes.”
“There’s nothing more frustrating than over-salting a soup or stew that you’ve spent countless hours and dollars on. Don’t throw it out! Try adding some wedges of raw potato or apple to absorb the salt. Let the soup simmer for 10 minutes or so, then removed the wedges. IF your soup is still too salty, try sprinkling in a spoonful of sugar. And if that doesn’t work, a dash of apple cider vinegar may do the trick. Finally, try diluting with water or low-sodium broth.”

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Book Review: Presidential Sex

A friend of mine loaned me this book back in the fall to read because we had been talking about Clinton, Kennedy and rumors of Abraham Lincoln. If you are interested in how prevalent extramarital affairs are among the United States Presidential population, it’s a good book to read. Published during the Clinton administration, I am sure the idea came about because of the scandals that President Clinton was involved in.
The truth of the matter is that Presidents all the way back to George Washington have dallied. Some more than others. I have to say, I am amazed at the way the media kept their lips shut during the Kennedy administration about his behavior. And I honestly don’t know how his wife put up with it or how he ever managed to do anything Presidential. President Clinton seemed determined to follow in Kennedy’s footsteps. I didn’t realize half of what was going on with either President.
I also found that Woodrow Wilson is a President I want to learn more about. I didn’t realize he was such a learned man and since his library isn’t too far away, I hope to get out and visit it this year.
At any rate, the book is interesting and discusses a side of Presidents that we don’t generally know much about.

Book Review and Giveaway!!!!! By Reason of Insanity by Randy Singer

After reading Randy Singer’s book, Directed Verdict, I was eager to have the opportunity to read more of his work.
By Reason of Insanity is excellent! Mr. Singer catches court room drama at its most intense. When a person was accused of horrific crimes, I just knew it had to be a set up, but when I found out the rest of the story, I was blown away! I didn’t even see it coming! This is a story of justice, sacrifice and a gift from God. It is fast paced, extremely well written and will keep you turning pages until you reach the satisfying ending!
So if you would like to read this awesome book and you live in the U.S., go ahead and leave a comment below and I will have a drawing bright and early Monday, March 2, 2009.
You can just say something like…hey, I’d love to win, or you can leave a more in depth comment to make me laugh or ponder (those are always appreciated)! I will choose the name using a random number generator!

Book Review: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

I acquired this book during our visit to Chicago last summer. I had read years ago about the horrible Dr. H.H. Holmes and I wanted to read more about it and about the World’s Fair that took place in Chicago. Erik Larson’s book did not disappoint and in fact I have become a fan of Mr. Larson and plan to read more of his books in the future. This book is chock full of historical information. I was amazed at all of the things that came into being because of the World’s Fair. What a feat that its very existence was. And then mixed in with the thrill and frustrations of one of the most famous events to ever take place in America, was the madness and cunning of a very evil man. The juxtaposition of evil and goodness, ugliness and beauty makes this book a fascinating read. I highly recommend it if you are interested in history or the criminal mind. But if you are squeamish, you might want to steer clear of this book about this famous serial killer (or just read the chapters about the fair and Larson goes back and forth throughout the book).

Book Review: Directed Verdict by Randy Singer

Last night I was up until about 1:00 A.M. finishing reading Directed Verdict by Randy Singer. My Paralegal Teacher awarded me with this book last semester for having the highest score in our class. I was in the middle of reading another book and wanted to finish that before I began this. I have to say Directed Verdict is excellent!
I enjoyed this book for several reasons. As a graduate of William and Mary and a resident of the Williamsburg, VA area for 5 years, I delighted in reading about some of my old haunts in this book. I remembered the romantic atmosphere at The Trellis and the fun walking down DOG (Duke of Gloucester) street and the dread of driving through the Hampton Roads Tunnel. It brought back memories of Confusion Corner and the unusual mixture of tourists and college students. It was very cool to read a story with a legal student from a place that is so near and dear to my heart.
I enjoyed this book because it really gave some inside view of how paralegals work (and since I want to be one, this information was absolutely fascinating!) I don’t know if I will be as daring and able to think on my feet as Nikki Moreno, but boy, she was on top of things! And Leslie Connors…well, let’s just say that you can’t underestimate the quiet types.
Then there was the spiritual aspect thrown in which I didn’t expect, but for me, added to the story. Christians are persecuted in spots around the world (and including here at home in the U.S.) I was drawn in by the main case that this story revolved around.
And if all that wasn’t enough, this book is written by a lawyer. It is fast paced, well-written, and exciting.
I am looking forward to reading more of Mr. Singer’s books! If you are looking for a new author to try out, I highly recommend this one!

Man in the Moon by Dotti Enderle

I have known Dotti Enderle for ten years and I have had the privilege of reading the majority of what she has written during that time. Dotti’s talents are wide and varied. She has written wonderful picture books such as Grandpa for Sale, The Cotton Candy Catastrophe at the Texas State Fair, and Granny Gert and The Bunion Brothers. Also, to her credit, she wrote The Fortune Teller Club Series, Hidden, a variety of educational books, and dozens of magazine articles. She is a storyteller, a child at heart, and writes some of the best dialogue I have ever written anywhere. Her insight into her characters and the way they would speak is supreme! The dialogue is never stilted, but always true to the character.
The kids and I just finished another of Dotti’s books called Man in the Moon. Dotti’s stories often have a magical quality to them. And this one is no different. Janine, growing up in rural Texas, in 1961, discovers the magic and wonder of the world when an unusual visitor stops by for a visit. Janine is struggling with her parents economic situation, her younger brother’s illness and her feelings about her life. As I read through this story, I remembered my own youth spent on a farm and the long summer days and the prospect of something exciting lying around every corner.
The children enjoyed listening to the book and I enjoyed reading it. We were all hoping that things would turn out well in the end, but if you want to know the answer to that question, you will have to read the book yourself! Be sure to check out Dotti’s other books, either using the links above or by visiting her website!

Book Review: The Shack by William P. Young

I challenge you to read this book! If you have not already read it, put it on your Christmas list or check it out from your library. But it is a book you will enjoy reading and that will have a profound impact on your life (in my humble opinion).
I read about this book a couple of months ago on a blog somewhere. I don’t remember where, but I put it on my Shelfari as a book I wanted to read. I have a stack I have been working through and not much time to read, so I hadn’t gotten to The Shack yet, but a couple of weeks ago, my mother-in-law asked me if I had heard of The Shack. I told her I had and I wanted to read it. She said she was just about finished with it and would like to see what I thought of it, so she mailed it to me. I finished it today.
It is an amazing story! It is the story of a dad’s anguish over the brutal kidnapping and death of his daughter and how that anguish grows inside of him…cutting him off from others and more importantly from God. But he has an amazing experience where he gets to meet God and he learns more about the true nature of God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost than he had ever experienced before. By the end of the book, he is a changed being and I believe any who read it and really think of what it says will be changed as well.

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Book Review: Best Friends or Not? by Paeony Lewis and Gaby Hansen

We have followed author Paeony Lewis for several years and were excited to see her latest book. We weren’t disappointed. This is a sweet book about what it takes to be a friend. And the tale is wrapped up in delightful illustrations as we watch two polar bears work out the challenge of ‘who gets to pick the games to play?’
If you have a child who always wants to be the one to pick what he and his friends are doing or if you have a child who has a friend that never wants to play the games she wants, this book may help them to have more fun with their friends and less strife.
With Christmas around the corner, this book will make a lovely surprise under your Christmas tree for your child!

Book Review: The End of the Road by Tom Bodett

I picked this book up at a book sale thinking to sell it on eBay, but when I looked it up, the value wasn’t worth listing and I kept it for myself to read. I am glad I did. An interesting tale set in Alaska, this story is very interesting. A bunch of stories in the lives of people living in the frozen north. It is like getting a peek into people’s homes and lives.
If you would like to read a book by the man who made Motel 6 famous, a book that has a ‘down home’ quality, and a book that will make you alternately laugh and shake your head in disbelief, you may very well enjoy this book.
If you would like to read my copy of the book, just leave me a comment. First come, first serve (sorry, U.S. addresses only). I’ll pop it in the mail to you!