"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."--Groucho Marx

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wanted to put up a couple more reviews before I move on to the peanut butter balls. :)

Arnold, J. A. (2011). Ox cart angel [Ebook]. Retrieved from http://www.smashwords.com/‌books/‌view/‌79164

Ox Cart Angel, by J. Arnold, is the story of Claire, a young Métis girl, in the Dakota Territory during the Civil War.  After the local Métis men leave on their yearly journey to sell their furs, Claire’s father decides to begin the risky journey with a ‘retired’ ox and Claire, despite his lack of knowledge and adequate supplies since the majority of space is full of his photography equipment.  The pair endures multiple hardships, dangers, and boredom, aggravated by relationship difficulties. 

This story leaves the reader with images of the difficulties that people endured living in the late 1800s including physical and mental hardship, racism, prejudice, and the constant struggle to survive.  Claire struggles to accept her father’s decision to leave the village of her mother, knowing that her father does not have the skills to make such a trip.  The book paints a vivid picture, leaving the reader exhausted as they meet the struggles along with Claire.  The book drags at the reader’s emotions as the reader follows Claire through her struggles, presenting life in a tremendously difficult time.

I would recommend this book for teens for the historical aspect and for the conflicts of parent/child, racism, and survival.  I received this book through the Library Thing Giveaway Program. 

Tags: YA, Métis, Dakota Territory, 1800's, racism, prejudice, historical

Marchini, T. (2011). Effie at the wedding; A short story [Ebook]. Retrieved from http://www.smashwords.com/‌books/‌view/‌57853

Effie at the Wedding, a short story, by Tracy Marchini, is a fun, joyful read, tailor made for teen 
girls at that awkward age or anyone who has ever been there.  Effie, sister of the bride, does 
not want to attend the wedding, making a list of her reasons, along with lots of other lists.  During 
an attempt to disappear for a while, Effie a bathroom stall holds Effie hostage to complete the merriment of the reader.

I received this book as a Library Thing Giveaway.

Tags; YA,Tracy, wedding, awkward, bride's maid

Hmmm.  It seems I have a lot to learn about this blogging thing.  I created this entry back before Christmas & never posted it.  I've got to get back to work.

My second review is of Dianne Greco's sequel.  I really enjoyed it, too.  Dianne's books are enjoyable and diverting, much like a chick flick.

Greco, D. (2011). In the heart of Grace [E-Book]. Retrieved from http://www.thewriterscoffeeshop.com/‌publishinghouse/‌books/‌detail/‌38 

In the Heart of Grace is Dianne Greco’s sequel to In the Hands of Grace.  Heart continues the story of Susan, who recently lost her high-powered editorial position and is settling into a new life and the changing relationships of her son, her neighbor Grace, and her new love interest, Tom.  Susan’s philandering, but now deceased husband left her with feelings of inadequacy in relationships, opening the possibility of missteps on Susan’s part.  Added to that her son is in the midst of teen angst, her very dear neighbor Grace is dealing with aftermath of a head injury, and her mother is coming for a visit, definitely the framework for disaster. 

In the Heart of Grace, is a fun read, especially for those of us in the ‘sandwich’ generation, sandwiched between our children and our parents. Grace deals with the many facets of her life, only stumbling occasionally as her world takes on new dimensions, changing eventually for the better.  I enjoyed watching Grace deal with so many of the situations that I see in my own life and the lives of those around me.  I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys a lightly romantic story, but especially those in the ‘sandwich’ generation.

Now....off to start some peanut butter balls for Christmas.  Have a great day

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In the Hands of Grace, My First Review

Hello.  This is my first venture into blogging, and I’m a little nervous.  I’m going to begin with my review of a book that I read earlier this year, when I published the review on Goodreads. Published through The Writer’s Coffee Shop, this book is a relaxing and interesting read.  I hope you enjoy my review.  Thanks for checking in.

Greco, D. (2009). In the Hands of Grace [E-Book]. Retrieved from http://www.thewriterscoffeeshop.com/‌publishinghouse/‌books/‌detail/‌27

I loved In the Hands of Grace, by Dianne Greco!  This novella begins on the day that Susan Appleton is fired from her job in the Diamond District of New York that she has held for 17+ years.  Susan’s husband died 18 months ago.  At that time, she and her son, Chris moved to their current home in Bridgehampton.  The story moves through the days as Susan tries to come to grips with the changes in her life, but when she begins visiting with her neighbor Grace, her world opens up.  Grace is an elderly woman whose favorite saying is “Hand to work, Heart to God,” a saying she learned while living with the Shakers, early in her life. Susan grows and learns about herself, her son, her town and others during the year after she lost her job.  Watching her growth reminds us that we always need to stretch our selves, and reach out to others as we move through our lives.

I received this book from Library Thing’s Early Reviewers, in e-book/ pdf form.  I would recommend this book for any one, but especially some one in middle- age, or someone enduring changes in her life.  Susan grows, but Grace’s gentle hand on the people and circumstances around her make you long to grow along with Susan.  This book encourages you to learn more about the people and your family that you see each day, and live your life to the fullest. Wonderful book.