Thursday, February 4, 2016

5: After the Crash

After the Crash was on the New Fiction table at my library so I read it with no preview. It kept my attention the whole way through. The mystery of the girl was is really well done, with several twists that surprised me. There was one aspect of the story that I strongly disliked, but I can't talk about it without giving away too much. It wasn't enough that I wouldn't recommend the book, and I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.

Amazon description HERE.

3: Revival

My third book was Revival by Stephen King. It came with the same level of sex and swearing as any other King novel, but didn't feel gratuitous. (Full disclosure, I did skip over the sex scene.) It was just scary enough to make me tingle, but not scary enough to keep me up at night. The story takes place over many decades and watching the main character go through major stages of life was really interesting. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.

Amazon description HERE.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2: Stone and Spark:

My second book for 2016 was Stone and Spark: Book 1 in the Raleigh Harmon Mystery series. This was a Kindle freebie, and that promotion will certainly pay off for the publisher; I would definitely read more titles from Sibella Giorello. I loved the writing style and the dry humor of the protagonist. Her inner monologue is well developed and her snark is on point. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.

Amazon's story description HERE.

Monday, February 1, 2016

4: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

My friend Nancy recommended my 4th book to me, and I'm so glad she did. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was a fantastic book, and my library carried the eBook so it was also free. If you truly love books, then a book about a bookseller who talks about books all the time is simply delicious. It has many beautiful and bittersweet moments, and the relationships are very raw and real. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.

Amazon description HERE.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

1: The Secrets of Lake Road

My first book this year was The Secrets of Lake Road by Karen Katchur. I don't remember where I heard of this book, probably on Goodreads.  The plot premise was great, which was what drew me in. It was clearly written by a beginning writer, but it was an engaging story. I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads because I felt like it needed polishing and at least a few more chapters. The PG13 sex scene felt like it was added in to cover all the bases, although I did get that she was trying to show the dysfunctional nature of the relationship. I would like to have seen a bit more development of the Johnny character or his elimination entirely; the in-between didn't work for me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

In which I describe my high levels of book nerdery....

I read 66 books in 2015. The shortest was more like a booklet, a 27 page read by Ted Dekker about his faith journey. The longest was one of the Harry Potter books, at 870 pages. So I figure just count each one and somewhere it balances out.

60. When People Are Big And God Is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man by Edward T. Welch. If you think you don't need to read this book because you don't struggle with this area, I assure you that you do need to read it and you probably do have a struggle in this area. On some level I think all people fear others; I certainly do and knew it, but didn't know how deep that ran. This was an insightful book but also offers some good practical advice on how to stop being a weenie about all the things.

61. Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult. Great story and characters, an enjoyable read. I didn't love that the point of view kept changing from 1st to 3rd, and the story at times was predictable. But her insight into the mindsets and thinking of the Amish was really interesting.

62. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them by Newt Scamander (JK Rowling). Charming and informative, a fun read for any devoted Harry Potter fan. I loved the entries on the Yeti and Loch Ness Monster especially.

63. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling). This is the 2nd book in her Cormoran Strike series and really good. Definitely more sweary than I would prefer, but a great murder mystery.

64. Page After Page: Discover the confidence and passion you need to start writing and keep writing. by Heather Sellers. I loved this book! Incredibly insightful and both helpful and encouraging.

65. Waking Up - How I Found My Faith By Losing It by Ted Dekker. Dekker is an odd duck and his books always reflect that. I generally have loved his books. This was a booklet and it was okay. I understood what he was trying to do, to share his own struggles with his faith and how God led him back. I honestly just found it mostly boring, and a bit presumptuous. Dekker believes that all Christians are struggling with living out what they claim to believe, and I disagree. I think he's missing that sanctification is a lifelong process, that as we yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit, He is faithful to change us and grow us in ways we couldn't have dreamed possible. It seems that no one ever explained this to Dekker when he was a new/young believer, which is a shame.

66. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. This is a classic for good reason. If you're not familiar with it I highly encourage you to check it out.

Now on to 2016!