Saturday, October 17, 2015

7 Books Worth Your Time and Money!

Enjoyed the photos in this unique book: "Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their books"

Seven books have my attention these days: a memoir, a non-fiction work, four novels, and one novella. 

Curious to know their titles and what each is about? Good, because that’s what I came to write about today.

Let’s start with this new release.

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Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon – They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. Not in this case. “Come Rain or Come Shine's" attractive cover sparkles and so does the story inside!

This new title, #13 in the popular Mitford Series, returns us to that quaint town (Mitford) where Father Tim and his wife Cynthia reside, along with a few eccentric characters guaranteed to make us laugh. But in this delightful page turner, the upcoming wedding of Dooley and Lace is the focus. That is until “Choo-Choo” the bull makes his appearance, along with an endearing new personality, Jack Tyler. 

As always, Karon weaves wisdom, along with humor, sweet surprises, and tender exchanges in her writing. By the books end I wanted to pack my suitcases and move to Mitford. Pretty sure you will too. Page length: 287

(Note: I do not recommend the audio version. The quick changing scenes in the story are hard to detect creating confusion at times.)

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The Source by James Michener – This book is not new, and not short. Anyone who tackles the 1,104 page tome (equal to over 50 hours on audio) deserves a reward. Whew! I'm at the 40 hour mark and determined to make it to the end.

The novel starts with an archaeological dig at an unearthed city discovered in 20th century Israel. Soon, though, the story shifts back in time when evidence turns up at the site, revealing multiple levels of civilization. You acquire an expansive view of history as Michener develops his story using various findings at the dig to move us through the centuries. 

Yes, it’s a long book, requires perseverance to finish it, and may not be 100% biblical, but it’s giving me exactly what I wanted: a better understanding of Israel’s past. 

(Note: Audio version is quite good!

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Daddy’s Gone a Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark – She’s been writing suspense novels for years. But unlike many books out there these days, hers are free of foul language, sex, and other objectionable material. How refreshing! This particular title I listened to on audio and though it isn’t exceptional, it kept my interest and made for enjoyable reading/listening each afternoon by the pool. I always like to see if I can solve the mystery before the guilty party is revealed and Clark usually keeps me guessing to the very end. Length: 9 hours

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The Pilgrim by Davis Bunn. – I’m familiar with this accomplished writer so when I spotted his latest book, (released in September, 2015) at my library I snatched it up.

The setting for this historical fiction is Israel during the time of Roman rule when persecution of Christians was rampant.

The main character is Helena, former empress who has been stripped of her marriage, title, home and more but as a believer responds to God’s call to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It is a perilous journey which she anticipates will result in her death. Though based on legend Bunn did a masterful job in creating a novel where you too feel like a pilgrim, walking for days on the hot, dusty roads to Jerusalem where the cross of Christ awaits . . . and altered by the experience. This is a book I would read again! Length:165 pages

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Life Lessons From the Hiding Place by Pam Rosewell Moore -- Among my library at home are 13 books either by, or about, Corrie ten Boom. Why do I need to read or own another? Simply because this title is by someone who traveled and cared for Corrie more than five years, and includes information other titles about Corrie do not contain. There's also this reason: I never tire of learning about this woman whose life continues to inspire others and honor God. Though I've not finished this book I've already benefited from it and have no regrets in buying it. Page length: 241

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The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett -- This 120 page novella was added to my “Want to Read List” a year ago. I kept seeing positive reviews about it and since literature was its underlying theme I had to give it a try.

The Queen of England is the story’s central character who, unexpectedly, discovers the joy of reading when she spots a mobile library outside her residence. Curiosity takes over and as she becomes acquainted with the option to check out books, she becomes an avid reader, much to the dislike of her staff and advisers. As she reads a variety of titles she is transformed by their content which alters how she sees herself and her role as Monarch. Sounds like a serious read, but trust me, it’s not.

It’s a charming little book, well written, and expands your understanding of the British ways. But I must warn you: it contains some objectionable content. I hesitate to recommend it for that reason, but wanted you to be aware of its good qualities and let you decide whether to read it or not.

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Life is Mostly Edges by Calvin Miller -- I've not reached the end of this very candid memoir but what I have read I like. So much so that I want to give it a separate post, plus tell you about the time I heard this gifted writer/poet speak at a Christian Booksellers Convention who silenced us with his words.  

While today's post has been all about books, next week a DIY table runner for Fall will be my topic. Hope you'll return to see this colorful craft.

P.S. Any of the books today pique your interest? If so, do let me know in the comment section below! 


  1. thank you for these book reviews! very much appreciated...

  2. I rely on others too for titles to read or avoid. Glad I could be of help.


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