Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What's On Your Nightstand - July

What's On Your Nightstand

From my June post I read:
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
Nowhere, Carolina: A Novel (Southern Discomfort) by Tamara Leigh (review)
Tailor-Made Bride, A by Karen Witemeyer (review)
Bringing Up Girls: Practical Advice and Encouragement for Those Shaping the Next Generation of Women by Dr. James Dobson (review)
My Heart's at Home: Becoming the Intentional Mom Your Family Needs (Hearts at Home Books) by Jill Savage (review)
Over Hill And Dale by Gervase Phinn

I also read:
The Bridegrooms by Allison Pittman (review)
Half Magic by Edward Eager (family read-a-loud)
Miss Fortune (Allie Fortune Mystery Series, Book 1)by Sara Mills (review)
Work Song by Ivan Doig
The Life Message Learning Model- Develop Formal Study: Book 3 (The Lifestyle of Learning Approach- Focus Resource Series, Wisdom's Way of Learning) by Marilyn Howshall
Seasons: God's Time Design - Organize Your Plan, Book 4 (The Lifestyle of Learning Approach, Focus Resource Series/Wisdom's Way of Learning) by Marilyn Howshall
The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff (review)
Q's Legacy by Helene Hanff (review)
Setting Up Stones: A Parent's Guide to Making Your Home a Place of Worship by Martha & Greg Singleton

I listened to:
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel by Helen Simonson
Pardonable Lies: A Maisie Dobbs Novel (Maisie Dobbs Novels) by Jacqueline Winspear
The Winter Garden Mystery: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries) by Carola Dunn
Requiem for a Mezzo (Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries, No. 3) by Carola Dunn
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith

I am still reading:
Senior High: A Home-Designed Form+U+La by Barb Shelton

I gave up reading:
The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin - I was close to finishing this book, but I was not enjoying it, so I decided I had a lot of books I would rather read and promptly returned it to the library!

Book Review: Miss Fortune by Sara Mills

Miss Fortune (Allie Fortune Mystery Series, Book 1)

Book Description:

They Call Her the P.I. Princess. It's 1947 and Allie Fortune is the only female (and probably the best) private investigator in New York City.Her work is a welcome distraction from her own past and she's just been hired on by a client who isn't telling the whole truth. Mary Gordon's claims of innocence don't fit with her ransacked apartment, being shot at, and the two Soviet agents hot on her trail.Meanwhile the FBI is working the case because a legendary and mysterious treasure has gone missing again. The only catch for Allie is her new "partner" Jack, an attractive, single agent who knows how to make her smile.As Allie and Jack chase after the gold they must contend with the Soviets who also want the priceless treasure back-after all, they stole it fair and square.
My thoughts:
I found Miss Fortune (Allie Fortune Mystery Series, Book 1) by Sara Mills while browsing my library's shelves. Since I've been in a mystery mood I decided to give it a go. Miss Fortune was everything I could ask for in a mystery. It seemed like there a new twist every time I turned the page. What made the story more interesting is that there are really two stories happening at once. One that the reader gets a glimpse while Allie thinks about the past and then one that is happening to Allie at the moment. Miss Fortune definitely was a page turner and left me hanging, which I am hoping will be resolved in the sequel, Miss Match.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Book Review: Q's Legacy by Helene Hanff

Q's Legacy

Book Description:
Here is the remarkable story of how Helene Hanff came to write 84, Charing Cross Road, and of all the things its success has brought her. Hanff recalls her serendipitous discovery of a volume of lectures by a Cambridge don, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. She devoured Q's book, and, wanting to read all the books he recommended, began to order them from a small store in London, at 84, Charing Cross Road. Thus began a correspondence that became an enormously popular book, play, and television production, and that finally led to the trip to England--and a visit to Q's study-- that she recounts here. In this exuberant memoir, Hanff pays her debt to her mentor and shares her joyous adventures with her many fans.
My thoughts:
Okay, I'm on a Helene Hanff kick! After reading 84, Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street I went searching for more books. When I came across Q's Legacy, I knew that had to be my next book. I particularly enjoyed the first part of Q's Legacy since it tells about Hanff's self-education, which is a topic I really enjoy reading about. The rest of the books focuses on where 84, Charing Cross Road led her. Helene Hanff is a wonderful writer and draws the reader into her life and when your done you feel like you've made a wonderful friend.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Book Review: My Heart's at Home by Jill Savage

My Heart's at Home: Becoming the Intentional Mom Your Family Needs (Hearts at Home Books)

Book Description

Founder and Executive Director of Hearts at Home Jill Savage explores the important role “home” plays in a family’s journey. With her personable, humorous style, Jill shares from her experience as a mother of five and from conversations with many other moms to offer practical ideas and motivation to create a home that is a

-safe place for a functional family to blossom
-community center that offers hospitality and compassion
-church where prayer and Scripture guide all members
-museum filled with a family’s history, stories, and heritage
-school with lessons of virtue, integrity, and ethics

This anchor book for Hearts at Home will extend beyond this valuable ministry to encourage all women to build the heart of their home on biblical principles and to raise a family that is strong, loving, and firmly standing on a foundation of faith.
My thoughts:
Every once in a while I come across a book that has a wow factor and it so good I have to jot down notes! My Heart's at Home: Becoming the Intentional Mom Your Family Needs (Hearts at Home Books)by Jill Savage is such a book. Filled with wonderful and practical advice for mothers, Jill Savage shares the importance of home to a family. In my heart I "know" the importance of home to my family, but life can become so busy I let it fall by the wayside. My Heart's at Home does a wonderful job of reminding a mom and showing very practical ways to put it to practice in your home. This was a very practical, yet uplifting read.

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.

Miss Fortune (Allie Fortune Mystery Series, Book 1)

Miss Fortune (Allie Fortune Mystery Series, Book 1) by Sara Mills

I didn't let my attention wander, because the man I'd toppled onto the street came up swinging. My stomach shriveled as I watched him stand up. p. 150

Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Review: The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff

The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street

Book Description:

In 1970 Helene Hanff wrote 84, Charing Cross Road, a record of a postal love affair with England through a twenty-year correspondence with a London bookseller. The book found thousands of devoted readers. Their fervent wish--hers above all-- was that she go to England. Now at last in The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street that dream comes true.

My thoughts:
The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff continues the story of 84, Charing Cross Road. Helene is finally able to go to England to visit. She meets a wonderful assortment of people and is able to visit many places. Written in diary format, The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street is a gem of a book, full of  many humorous incidents, friendships, and a dream being fulfilled. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Review: The Bridegrooms by Allison Pittman

The Bridegrooms

Product Description:
It Only Takes an Instant for Love to Strike

Tragedy hits the Allenhouse family on a hot summer night in Ohio when a mother of four vanished. Eight-year-old Vada virtually grew up overnight and raised her three younger sisters while her father lost himself in his medical practice in the basement of their home.

Now, Vada is a grown woman, still making her home with her father and sisters. Her days are spent serving as an errand girl for Cleveland’s fledgling amateur orchestra; her evenings with Garrison Walker, her devoted, if passionless, beau.

Dizzying change occurs the day the Brooklyn Bridegrooms come to town to play the Cleveland Spiders and a line drive wallops the head of a spectator. The fan is whisked to the Allenhouse parlor, and questions swirl about the anonymous, unconscious man.

Suddenly, the subdued house is filled with visitors, from a flirtatious, would-be sports writer to the Bridegrooms’ handsome star hitter to the guilt-ridden ballplayer who should have caught the stray shot. The medical case brings Dr. Allenhouse a frustration and helplessness he hasn’t felt since his wife’s disappearance. Vada’s sisters are giddy at the bevy of possible suitors. And Vada’s life is awakened amid the super-charged atmosphere of romantic opportunity.

My thoughts:
The Bridegrooms by Allison Pittman was an easy read and definitely held my attention. I really liked Vada and felt with her as she faced her struggles and disappointments and ultimately found out what love is. Even though I enjoyed The Bridegrooms,  I found the story was a little too predictable and perfect, but hey, it's fiction!


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