Monday, May 29, 2017

"All Things Bright and Beautiful" illustrated by Dawn Machell

Image result for all things bright and beautiful book  the lord god made them allAll Things Bright and Beautiful: the Lord God Made Them All is a padded board book with a handled spine. I can definitely see young ones carrying around this book full of colorful illustrations and glittered pages. 

It is described as a rebelling of a well-loved hymn. The story starts and ends by saying that God created all things bright and beautiful. In between, several examples are listed, such as the seasons, plants, and animals.

Each spread of pages contains rhyming text, colorful animals, and glitter. The 10-page book contains a surprising amount of text for its small size, but did not feel like too much. The book is six sentences long in total, with each page I'm the last spread containing a while sentence. 

I love the artistic style, which is simplistic but modern and full of interesting colors and always glitter! I especially like the adorable smiling moose, the glittered river, and the way extra colors and designs were added to the elephant’s ears and birds’ wings. This book is adorable and so cheerful, with all of the animals showing off smiling faces. I would definitely recommend this to anyone with young children, or for giving as baby shower gifts!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to give a positive review. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom

I'd originally read Tuesdays with Morrie as a part of my high school sociology class. I was moved by it so much that I remember it clearly years later and was excited to read the new 20th anniversary edition.

For those unfamiliar with the book, Tuesdays with Morrie is life lessons from a dying professor to his former student.Though Mitch had lost contact with his old professor over the years, after seeing him on the news, he made an effort to get back in touch. The result was weekly Tuesday visits in which they talked about the world, feeling sorry for yourself, regrets, death, family, emotions, fear of aging, money, how love goes on, marriage, our culture, forgiveness, and the perfect day. The book is told from Mitch's perspective as an interview with Morrie.

For who have already read the original Tuesdays with Morrie, the message "giving is living" is given much more importance. The short afterword only added six pages, but they were six important pages. Pages that said that Morrie's lessons were still impacting Mitch and still impacting the world.

My only complaint with this book, which I don't remember being an issue when I first read it, was that the writing style was repetitive due to the interview style. Often Morrie would say something and Mitch would repeat a word or phrase that Morrie had just said in the form of a question, as a way of getting an explanation. It didn't really bother me until I was reading it aloud and it felt redundant.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my second read through of Tuesdays with Morrie. This book is a great gift for students, teachers, and people who want the world to be a more loving place. This new edition is perfect for showing the last impact of giving kindness.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books, but was not required to write a positive review.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Terry Pratchett's "Wyrd Sisters"

I finally finished Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters and in the end, I enjoyed it much more than the Colour of Magic.

Though I wasn't a huge fan of the plot itself, the characters were unforgettable with spot-on wittiness. I especially loved meeting Death and watching a romance unfold between a witch and a fool.

I think I'll probably attempt some more Terry Pratchett books in the future, but I stand by my thought that I do better with a physical book than audio book for Pratchett's humor. Any suggestions on the next Pratchett book to read? There's so many options!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Beginning a new journey: MA in English!

I'm excited to announce I've been accepted to a masters of English program! I'll begin taking classes this fall, one at a time while working full time at the university.

My first course will be "literary studies," which even with the course description was super vague. So I have no idea what I'm getting in to with this one, but I hope there will be some great books to read and interesting discussions with new classmates.

The university offers a focus on children's literature, so I'm planning to do that. It looks like I'll be able to take a children's literature class in the spring.

I can't wait to get started and see where this journey leads!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Summer Reading Ideas

I'm going on a trip in a few months and already trying to plan my book-load! I don't know whether I should take the paper books that I have that I've been meaning to read, or whether to splurge and purchase some eBooks for ease of travel!

What are your strategies for books when traveling? I never estimate correctly how much reading time I will have and either take way too many books or not least if I choose to take my Nook I won't have that problem!

Happy summer reading to everyone!

Monday, May 1, 2017

"The Ebb Tide" by Beverly Lewis

The Ebb Tide introduces Sallie Riehl, a young Amish-woman who has not yet committed to the church, a tension point amidst her family. Sallie has strong faith and wants to be baptized, but she has dreams of travel that would be impossible once she joined. While Sallie waitressed at a diner, a family of regulars asked her to nanny for their daughter over the summer at their beach house. Finally given an opportunity to travel and see more of the world than her hometown, Sallie agrees.

Autumn, the young girl Sallie nannies for, is having a hard time adjusting to no longer being an only child after the birth of her younger brother. During their summer at the beach, Sallie prays for Autumn and tries in many ways to show her the blessing of having a sibling.

Sallie also meets Kevin, a marine biologist familiar with the Amish traditions. They have a quick friendship driven by shared love of travelling and God. She knows she shouldn't fall for him, not when perfectly good Perry Zook was waiting to court her back home. Sallie is tempted by many fancy things she wasn't exposed to at home and comes to question where her heart lies--joining the Amish church, or following her heart and seeing the world.

I really liked the characters of this novel. Every interaction had God at its center and felt very meaningful, but not overdone. Sallie has a great relationship with her Aunt, her soon-to-be married sister Frannie, Autumn, and Kevin, so even going between multiple story lines was always interesting. Sallie's kind an loving heart seemed genuine and her struggles were believable.

Because this book was half set in the Amish town, half on the beach, it was much more modern and easier to relate to than other books of this genre--making it the best I've read thus far.

My husband commented that I wasn't reading this book as fast as some others. I explained that while I was enjoying, it was also terribly predictable. I told him how many of these Amish Christian fiction books feature young female protagonists with one or more love interests, interactions with non-Amish-folk (Englishers), and undoubtedly would have a wedding in the epilogue. To prove my point, I flipped to the end of the book and skimmed part of the epilogue and read aloud, "blending of our hearts as husband and wife." I was only five chapters in to the book and I didn't know how we'd get to the ending, or who's wedding it was in the epilogue, but I knew it was the inevitable outcome.

I received a free copy of this book, but was not required to post a positive review.