Tag Archives: books

These Are A Few of Our Favorite Books! O ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Fav Books O

Of Giants And Ice – Shelby Bach

(fiction)

Sixth-grader Rory Landon is the only child of two divorced celebrities. She lives with her actress mother, and because of her mother’s busy schedule, Rory is very familiar with after school programs and frequent moving. But there is something different about the newest program. Ever After School is a school for the children and grandchildren of fairy-tale characters, and the they are trained for when their own Tale comes along. For once, Rory makes friends who don’t care about who her parents are. When her friend Lena’s first Tale comes and she chooses Rory as one of her Companions, Rory is thrilled – even though it requires climbing and she despises heights. Along their quest, Lena acts as peacemaker between Rory and Chase, Lena’s other Companion and Rory’s least favorite person. When the trio makes an accidental visit to the Snow Queen in the Glass Mountain, their relationships change forever.

E – This book was interesting to me because I think that Rory is such a good character. I think that anyone can find something of themselves in her. She was one of my favorite characters. The other one was Chase because I think that he grew the most. There is a total of four books in this series and my favorite was the last one.

Ordinary Magic – Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

(fiction)

Where 12-year-old Abby lives, magic isn’t special. It is a part of everyday life. When Abby is found to not have any magic at all, she is declared an ord – ordinary. Most ords are thrown out or sold to adventurers by their families, but Abby is lucky enough to have an older sister who works for the King Steve. Alexa doesn’t do just anything though. She works for a school for ords called Rothermere that teaches the ords how to survive without magic, and she gets her sister into the school. As Abby makes new friends at her new school, she learns that there can be some advantages to being an ord.

E – I liked this book because most books about magic have it being the oddity. Abby and her friends are strange because they don’t have magic. My favorite character was Alexa because she was so caring and understanding to everyone. I was slightly disappointed that there isn’t a sequel to this book because the ending seems to suggest that there should be one, but it has been seven years and nothing yet.

On The Edge Of The Dark Sea Of Darkness: adventure, peril, lost jewels, and the fearsome toothy cows of Skree – Andrew Peterson

(fiction)

When three siblings, Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby, find an interesting map tucked away, they set off on a quest to learn about the father they never knew, and a hidden treasure that many have aspired to find. But the childrens’ curiosity puts the whole family in danger, and they run away from their pursuers, the evil Fangs of Dang who invaded Skree. As the family flees, Janner realizes that his mother and grandfather are hiding something – something big. To keep themselves and their family safe, the Igiby siblings will have to use their talents – Janner’s bravery, Tink’s leadership, and Leeli’s singing and love.

E – This book is one that requires a lot of concentration and dedication to the book because of all of the detail in it. One of my friends recommended this book series to me and told me that it got a lot easier to read after the first book, so I made myself get through it the first time and I think that it will definitely be easier next time I read it. I really liked how much world-building the author did. My favorite character was probably Nia, the mother, because she was just so kind and she tried to see everything in as many ways as possible.

The One And Only Ivan – Katherine Applegate

(fiction)

This book is about a silverback gorilla who has spent most of his life in captivity, including 27 years at the Big Top Mall And Arcade. He is an easygoing gorilla who loves to eat, paint, and watch TV. He has a few friends: Bob, the stray dog who sleeps on Ivan’s belly; Stella, the wise old elephant in the domain next to Ivan; and Julia, the human daughter of the janitor. Stella spends a lot of time telling Ivan about all the places she has been and seen, and about how she wishes she lived in a zoo instead of the Big Top Mall. When a baby elephant named Ruby comes to join them, everything starts to change. An old injury of Stella’s flares up and makes her sick. Stella makes Ivan promise to help Ruby and get her to a better place. With Stella sick, Ivan starts remembering his life before captivity to entertain Ruby with. Then, when Julia gives Ivan some of her old finger paints, Ivan starts to come up with a plan to save Ruby.

E – I read this book when I was about 8 or 9 I think. I read it the other day and I still like it a lot. I really like how it is told from Ivan’s point of view. I also like that it is based off of a real story that actually happened. I remember the first time I read this book, my favorite character was Julia because I wanted to be an artist too.

Forth And Back – Caleb Olmstead

(science fiction)

This book is about three kids – a 9th-grade boy named Darren, his friend Carson, and his little sister Brooke. One day, at school a new kid shows up, gives them all his address, and tells them to flush the paper when they have it memorized. The boy’s name is Chandler, and he is hiding from the government because he has built something amazing – a time machine. The trio doesn’t believe him at first, but then the machine gets broken, sending the three of them into the past. They move around time in a random fashion until they accidentally make a huge mistake that changes history.

E – This was also a book that my friend recommended to me. I really liked the writing style he had. I liked all of the characters a lot. My favorite character was probably Carson because she was so independent. The book isn’t very long or complicated, but this is a newer author, and it was a good book to start with.

Favorite Books O

Thanks for joining us!

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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These Are A Few of Our Favorite Books! N ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Fav books N

Narnia Series – C. S. Lewis

(christian fiction)

The first book to read in this series is The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. The main characters are the Pevensie siblings – Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. The book starts in 1940 England. The Pevensie children are evacuated to an old house in the country because of the war. The house is owned by Professor Kirke, a kind older man who likes the children. One day, Lucy discovers a beautiful wardrobe that turns out to also be a portal to a magical place called Narnia. She meets a faun named Mr. Tumnus and has tea with him. When she goes back, she finds that no time at all has passed. Lucy finally gets her siblings into Narnia with her, but they are plunged into a war there as well. The White Witch has taken over Narnia from Aslan, the previous ruler. The Pevensie children are part of a prophecy that says that they will save Narnia. With help from several new friends, and a betrayal from someone close, will they succeed?

E – This was a series that Dad read to us when I was about 8. I can remember really liking it. My favorite character is Edmund because of how much he grows in just the first book, and then the next couple as well. The movies also were really good.

Number The Stars – Lois Lowry

(fiction)

This book is about 10-year-old Annemarie Johansen growing up in 1943 Copenhagen. Annemarie can remember what her life was like before the war started. She and her best friend Ellen Rosen were free to walk the streets, they didn’t have food shortages, and the Nazis weren’t all over the place. But now everything has changed. And the Nazis won’t stop. Now the Jews living in Denmark are being “relocated”. Ellen’s family is Jewish, so to protect Ellen, she moves in with the Johansen family and pretends to be the third daughter. Then Annemarie has to go on a dangerous mission to save her best friend’s life. And she can’t back out.

E – I think that I like this book so much because it is a fiction book, but it is full of true facts. World War II has been very interesting to me for a while too, and I really like fiction books in that time period. This book is a little young, but I think that it is a good one. It is nice to read about a WWII character from a slightly more remote area or country.

Favorite Books N

Thank you for joining us on this journey through our favorites. We are just over halfway through and reminding ourselves of books we want to reread.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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These Are A Few of Our Favorite Books! M ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Books Fav M

The Maze Runner – James Dashner

(fiction)

This book takes place in the not-so-far future. When Thomas wakes up, all he can remember is his name. Before he knows what is happening, he is pulled out of the lift by complete strangers – a group of all boys, none of whom can remember anything else either. Thomas’ new home is called the Glade, and it is surrounded by tall stone walls. The walls hide an ever-shifting Maze that is the only way out of the Glade. In three years, no one has ever found the exit and made it back alive. Then everything changes. A girl, the first girl ever, arrives in the Glade, setting everything on an irreversible path.

E – My best friend read this series before me, and told me how good they were. My favorite character was a tie between Thomas, because I thought it was kind of funny how he just jumped into everything, and Newt, because he was so compassionate and kind sometimes. I really liked how James Dashner brought the world to life. It was easy to believe that this could possibly happen. 

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle – Betty MacDonald

(fiction)

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is the best friend of many children. She is funny and kind, with sparkling eyes. She lives in an upside-down house and bakes cookies when a child comes to visit. But the best thing about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is that she knows everything there is to know about children. When Mary turns into an Answer-Backer, Dick has become Selfish, or Allen decides to be a Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle knows exactly what to do.

E –  Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is definitely below my reading level, but I like it because it is so cheerful and fun. I also like reading about all the mischief the kids can get into, and how nice Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is about it all. It is definitely a good book to read for fun.

Meet The Austins – Madeline L’Engle

(fiction)

The Austin family has four children – Vicky, John, Suzy, and Rob. When a family friend dies in a plane crash and leaves an orphaned daughter, the Austins take in the girl, Maggy. The children try their hardest to make Maggy feel better and welcome, but Maggy makes it harder by making herself a little too at home. Vicky knows she should have at least a little sympathy for Maggy, but it’s so hard sometimes. She screams in the middle of the night, breaks their toys, and causes general chaos in the Austin household. Vicky is confused at how one little girl could completely disrupt a family of six, and can’t wait for her life to return to normal.

E – I picked this book up shortly after I finished the Time Quintet that Madeline L’Engle wrote. I really liked the way that she writes and I decided that this series sounded good as well. I really liked how it was just a series about a girl growing up. For the most part, she wasn’t the heroine or the victim. She just had to face ordinary struggles that could happen to an ordinary teenager.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Books M

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These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Books! L ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Favorite_Books_L

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

(fiction)

This book takes place in the time period of the Civil War, in a family of six – Father, who is off fighting; Marmee, the loving mother; Meg, the oldest daughter, who is smart and ladylike; tomboyish Jo, the second oldest daughter; Beth, the sweet angel of the family; and the youngest, Amy, who is pretty, bubbly, and longs to do everything with her sisters. This book follows their lives as everything changes as they grow up, and trade childhood games for parties and suitors. But through everything that happens, the four sisters stick together to face their lives with love.

E – Mama read this book to us as well when I was about 10. I had had a hard time starting it by myself, but it was so much easier with someone reading it to me instead. My favorite character was probably a tie between Jo, because I think that I am a lot like her, and Beth, because I want to be like her. Altogether, it was a fabulous book, and a great read-aloud.

Lily Series – Nancy Rue

(fiction)

Lily is a sixth-grader in public school, desperate to find her “thing”. She has two annoying brothers – older Art, whose “thing” is music; and younger Joe, whose “thing” is sports. Lily feels awkward, like she doesn’t fit in her own family, and thinks that her fiery red hair makes her look ugly. First book, Here’s Lily synopsis – One day at school, Lily gets a compliment on her looks from a nice woman in the modeling business. The woman, Kathleen, is “searching” for kid models in in a fashion show, and she wants Lily to be a part of it. Lily throws her whole self into it, believing that this could be what she’s good at, and making other friends at school in the process. But when something goes wrong on the night of the show, Lily learns an important lesson, a lesson about true beauty and how God sees us.

E – This book appealed to me because I kind of feel like Lily sometimes. I want to figure out what it is that God wants me to do with my life, but there is so much other stuff going on that it can hard sometimes. Lily is an amazing main character and I feel like she is probably everyone’s favorite because she has such a personality that I think everyone can relate to at least one thing about her. I liked how this series showed a fun, friendly, God-fearing family, and the way they lived their life. I also liked how there were 14 books in the series that follow Lily as she grows up a little more, and then interactive companion books that tell a little more about the subject of that book for each one.

Fav_Books_L

You know, Little Women and the following books have been favorites since my own childhood. I am so glad the girls followed in my footsteps with these particular books and Louisa May Alcott. Such wonderful stories.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Books! K ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Favorite_Books_K

Keeping A Quiet Heart – Elisabeth Elliot

(devotional book)

This book is split into five sections, with several short articles on that topic in each. Most of them run a page or two taking only a few minutes to read each day. These articles can help you take a few moments to spend time with God before or after your day of running around, fulfilling your commitments.

E – Mama read some of these to us as part of our family time at the beginning of last year. I really like Elisabeth Elliot and this book was also good. I like how you kind of get a peek into what her life was like. I think that she is inspiring to me, and this book helped me grow a little closer to God.

Keeper of the Lost Cities – Shannon Messenger

(fantasy fiction)

12-year-old Sophie is a high school senior. She is always trying to hide in the background and doesn’t have friends. Her biggest fear is that someone will find out her secret, that she has been able to read minds since she was 5. So, when a boy with teal eyes – who Sophie has never seen before – calls her by name, she is shocked. The boy, Fitz, tells Sophie that she is an elf and takes her to the Lost Cities. At first, everything seems to be amazing. But it soon turns out that Sophie has secrets that she didn’t even know about, and they are secrets that others will do anything to get their hands on.

E – I happened to come across the fourth book in this series on the new shelf at the library, and I thought that it looked interesting so I checked out the first one. I ended up loving it, along with my best friend as well. I think that my favorite thing about Keeper of the Lost Cities is how imaginative but plausible it is. I don’t have any trouble believing that this could actually be true (even though I know that it is fiction). My favorite character is a tie between Sophie, because I think that I am a lot like her, and Fitz, because he is such a good friend and he is so sweet (most of the time).

Fav_Bookx_K

As we continue to get these written, I will get them shared. As you have noticed, keeping up with the writing schedule was a bit harder than expected with the dance schedule and course work the girls are doing. But they (Miss E in particular) are determined to keep at it. So, some may be a bit late, or a lot if you are still looking for F, but we’ll get them up sooner or later.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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Talking As Fast As I Can – Book Club

Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

Blowing through a book in under two days and laughing out loud while reading are not my norm these days. But, oh, this book was such a joy to read. Lauren Graham has been a favorite since we discovered the TV show Gilmore Girls. We loved the first few years of it and her character was quirky and fun. Turns out, she writes just like that – quirky and fun.

Screenshot 2019-12-05 at 10.29.13 AM

Reading Talking As Fast As I Can really gave me a sense of talking with a good friend, laughing and sharing inside jokes, which she does a great job of including the reader in. (See her part on “medical, medical”, page 45, for a good example.) Her story includes you in her childhood and brings you up through the end of the Gilmore Girls, part II. I know that’s not what they called it but “reboot” seems a strange word for it since we all knew it wasn’t a starting of the series again. Anyhow, reading this makes you feel a part of her life, like a friend might be. Fun, quirky Lauren just keeps on being herself and brings you along for the ride.

Some of my favorite parts were, um, all of it. Seriously. I read the whole thing in about a day and love it. Want to know about funky things on Gilmore Girls? She gives you a season by season breakdown of the show, including how it is so different from today’s world to fun things that happened or people that came by. Want to know about the second Gilmore Girls? She kept a diary and gives you many days worth of insider information on the filming and the people.

Through out, you get a good feel for the quirky side of Lauren Graham. She talks about the difficulty of being an actor and the joys it brings to her life. She shares about the struggles and the ease. She brings us to see how she stumbled into writing and shows us just how blessed we are by her free time. (We got some good books out of her having some free time!) There are even tips in there for writers that I can see implementing for myself when I would like to accomplish some things that just aren’t getting done.

If you are looking for an enjoyable read, this is it. I can’t recommend it enough. There is little, if any, language in it. (I truly can’t remember any at all but I could have skipped over something and not remember it.) It is fun and funny. What a pleasure it was to read and I am looking for her novel and the printing of the graduation speech she gave.

More good reading, I hope.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

December Book Club Selection_ Talking As Fast As I Can

Jonah: Grace For Sinners And Saints ~ a book review

Disclaimer: New Growth Press (www.newgrowthpress.com) has sponsored this post by providing me a free copy of the book for review. I was not required to write a positive post. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC guidelines. 

Jonah_Book_Review

Last week, I completed another Bible study, this time on the book of Jonah. Titled Jonah: Grace For Sinners And Saints, this study is a part of the series The Gospel-Centered Life In The Bible and is written by Iain M. Duguid. Did you read my review of the study of Mark? This one is very similar and was just as interesting.

GCL_Jonah_Thumbnail__64620.1568985814

What It Is

Jonah: Grace For Sinners And Saints is a 119 page softback book. It is designed as a small group Bible study with the overarching purpose of not just learning about Jonah but to discover God and his saving grace and power. It is also designed to help the student learn to see others who need God and share God with them, as Jonah did with the Ninevites. It is best if each participant has their own study guide. While designed for discussion and small groups or Bible classes, I found it easy enough to use individually and was able to learn a lot on my own.

The guide is set up with an introduction (About This Study), ten chapters, and leader’s notes. Each chapter is structured the same throughout. The first part of each lesson introduces the Big Idea for that chapter. This Big Idea might be about disappointment, judgment, or response to God’s call for repentance.

Next there is a Bible Conversation. This is a short section that has the student opening up their Bible and reading the text directly from God, hearing what the Bible says. There are some questions included to help the student start to understand the Big Idea of the chapter. These questions are not designed for right and wrong answers, but rather to generate discussion.

The article follows the Bible Conversation and is the main teaching part of the lesson. It is an article written by the author to address the Big Idea from the Bible text included in the lesson. Designed to be read out loud, it is the lead in for the discussion about the article and Big Idea. There are some discussion questions at the end of this section to help guide the process.

Following the article the study turns to practical application. These Exercise sections are designed to get the student really thinking about how to apply to their own life what was talked about in the lesson. These exercises may be questions to answer, lists to complete, boxes to check, or an activity to do. Each of the exercises make the study very personal and applicable. In Jonah, it really forces the student to evaluate whether they are running from God, whether they are sharing God’s message with the unsaved, whether bitterness exists in their own life, and more. This is where it gets real.

To end the study, there is a guided wrap-up and prayer.

All of these sections are complemented by the Leader’s Notes. These notes may include historical information, ideas to consider to help guide discussions, or give additional Bible references that will help understand the ideas considered. The notes do not give “right or wrong” answers but rather information to assist in discerning God’s way from His word.

What I Thought

Once again, I really like the way this is set up. I appreciate that the Bible is the dominant text referred to in the study and that the author’s article expounds upon that without replacing it. So often, we find the author’s words being the focus rather than God’s words. This series seems to be doing a great job of keeping the focus where it should be: God’s Word. I do wish the Leader’s Notes were integrated with the chapters, though I understand why they are not. If I was a participant in a group study, I think I would like them being at the back. However, doing the study as an individual, the notes being at the back means I often forget about them when doing each section so I lose out on that information being helpful to me.

Salvation Discussion

Since this is an Old Testament book, there is not as much of a discussion about the process of salvation for you and me but rather the process of God sending his message of necessary repentance to Ninevah. The focus of the study of Jonah is more on the power and sovereignty of God, the need for repentance, and understanding the nature of God rather than on the element of eternal salvation through the New Testament covenant. I did not note anything of concern in this study.

Final Thoughts

I do really like this series so far. I have one more to review from this series: Ruth. I am looking forward to starting the study this evening.

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Be sure to visit New Growth Press, who has sponsored this post by providing me a free copy of the book for review. I was not required to write a positive post. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC guidelines.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Jonah_ Grace For Sinners And Saints

 

 

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