Posted in Books, Chuck Black, Heather Day Gilbert, Tessa Afshar

The Big Ol’ Wrap Up

It’s that time of year….where we wrap up this previous year and prepare for the new. On my blog, that mainly means: Books. ^.^
And because I am doing this post, I won’t be doing the Monthly-Wrap up of books like I often do. I did aquire some good books in December, but I didn’t actually read many at all. In fact, all I read was a short story (“Last Wish: a Short story” by Valerie Howard) –  I started “Wives and Daughters” by Elizabeth Gaskell at the beginning of the month, and am just finishing it now, so I’ll count it for 2016 but I’m afraid I may finish it on the first. XD. It’s a 600 page book, heavy English. But very good! :)
Anyway…
I read quite a few books during 2016; not quite as many as I was hoping for, but still a good amount, rounding out at a total of 63 books, and a total of 15,048 pages, according to Goodreads.
I won’t list them all, because that’d take time I don’t really have, and some people (most?!) probably won’t care. XD If you *want* to see what all books I’ve read, you can check out my Goodreads page here: https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2016
In this post what I *will* be doing, is listing some of my favourites. I read quite a few good ones, so narowing it down is always hard. I’ll try to just list 5.  So, shall we?
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Family Lies, Deadly Ties by J.A. Marx. This was a 5 star book for sure. I loved it.
Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar – Mrs.Afshar does it again, writing a brilliant, heart-touching, encouraging read!
Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert – This is an easy one for “Best of 2016” for sure. Absolutely magnificent!
The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall – My first Dawn Crandall book and it was amazing. So sweet!
Light of the Last by Chuck Black. – A fantastic ending to a great series!
But I can’t forget these other amazing books that I thoroughly enjoyed:
Like Never Before, Keep Holding On, and One Enchanted Christmas, all by Melissa Tagg – all of these were SO good! So cute.
Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin  – one simply cannot go wrong with a Sarah Sundin book! Her WWII fiction is fantastic.
…and so many more books. ^.^
NonFiction: I only read a few, but two of my favourites were these:
“I, Isaac, take thee, Rebekah” by Ravi Zacharias and “I Dare You” by Isabella D. Morganthal.
Honourable Fiction Mentions:
“If He Lives” by Sarah Holman
“Counted with the Stars” by Connilyn Cosette
“Long Way Gone” by Charles Martin
“Miriam” by Mesu Andrews
“The Flaming Sword” by Heather FitzGerald
Augh, do you know how hard it is to narrow down great books?! I realize a lot of you do. ^.^
So, what do I plan to read in 2017? Um…well…I’d like to get through my TBR bookshelves! XD That’s a lofty goal. But realisitcally, I really would like to check off a couple on my shelf that have long been waiting to be read. I also want to reread the first book and novella in the Ilyon Chronicles, and continue on with that series, and also reread The Time of Grace Series by Alicia Ruggieri, finally getting to read the third one! I have many other “To Read”s though. We’ll see what get’s done! What is on your 2017 Read List? Did you have a favourite book of 2016?
Here’s to a year of pleasurable reading!
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Posted in Book reviews, Uncategorized

BookLook Review: “The Silent Songbird”

Eeek, I’ve been silent on my blog for quite a while! I should’ve posted this review sooner, but between life and memory, it didn’t occur…I apologize! 

 

 

The Silent SongBird by Melanie Dickerson

Review copy from BookLookBloggers.com

About the Book:

“Evangeline is gifted with a heavenly voice, but she is trapped in a sinister betrothal until she embarks on a daring escape and meets brave Westley le Wyse. Can he help her discover the freedom to sing again?

Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II’s closest advisor, Lord Shiveley—a man twice her age with shadowy motives—Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village.

Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them.

More than Evangeline’s future is at stake as she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens England’s monarchy.Should she give herself up to protect the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?”

 

My Thoughts:

I really love the cover of this book. As usual for a Dickerson book, the cover is very beautiful and captivating, and represents the story inside very well.
This was a retelling of The Little Mermaid – what I love best about Melanie Dickerson’s books is that they are Christian Fairy-Tale Retellings *without* magic. That’s so great. And they have a historical feel with the setting, which is neat too.
This was a fun story to read. I enjoyed seeing the similarities to The Little Mermaid a great deal, and yet also reading new twists to the story.
There were only a couple slight concerns I had for this book towards the end. I don’t want to give too much away so I will try to keep it brief, but I wasn’t very pleased with an act of disobedience that was shown in a good light, and later condoned because it was “courageous”. The goal for this act could’ve been accomplished in a way that was not glorifying stubbornness and disobedience. That disappointed me, though I see it in stories a lot –  a strong female character doing what they want because they know they *can*, even when they’re requested not to out of care from the other person, and then later the other character saying she was right in going against his wishes. It just could’ve been handled in a better way, in my opinion, and still reached the desired ending.
The other thing was the romance bit, where they fall in love without knowing each other – even when a father warns against it because “the heart is deceitful”. They never really truly got to know each other better before kissing happened.
But otherwise, it was a great story, and a sweet romance for the most part. Strong characters, great plot, and a well-done retelling. :)

 

Posted in Uncategorized

November is Over

So it is. And now December is upon on. Already Winter seems to be coming fast and going quickly…not sure I’m okay with that. :D I am glad Winter stays several months before Spring comes again. I know I’m one of the few, but that’s alright.

November was a fairly good month, I doth believe. We had warm weather till about the middle of the month, which was strange. First snowfall was late, if you ask me, but it’s just as well since we weren’t quite prepared for it. We were getting out all the animal heated-water-bowls as it was snowing. ^.^ We’re just about buttoned up though – need to get some more hay for the Winter before closing the barn up more, but then we should be good.

Throughout November I dealt with some health-issues – gallbladder to be precise. It was extremely unpleasant and caused a great amount of pain. It took a couple doctor/chiropractor visits to figure out what it was for sure, but once we knew, we started to work at healing it naturally. Because I don’t want my gallbladder taken out – nor any of my other organs. God put ’em there, so I think they should stay. :D And just so others know: it IS possible to heal it naturally.

I dealt with the pain from both sides – physically and spiritually, praying heavily through it all, getting to the root of the problem and getting healing from God spiritually first. I know that was really the key.  Went on a gallbladder/liver cleanse which was not fun, but it did help, and now I’m taking some specific enzymes every meal to keep up with it.

Bookwise…. I collected several books, some of which were:

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“Bridge to Haven” by Francine Rivers – Tyndale Rewards

“Flame of Resistance” by Tracy Groot – Tyndale Rewards

“Forest Child” by Heather Day Gilbert – Review copy

“Worth it All” by Isabella D. Morganthal – Giveaway Win

“The Silent Songbird” by Melanie Dickerson – Review copy

 

Let me just note quick that the Tyndale Rewards program is really lovely! I don’t really remember how I first came upon it (it was some time ago!) but I just recently have begun to discover how nice it really is – for doing various things (not hard things either), I was able to earn enough points to get two books – print copies – for free! Isn’t that nice? If you haven’t joined already, I definitely recommend it – and if you join using my link, I’ll also get 10 points which is kinda nice. :) If interested, join here.

 

Anyway, back to the regular schedule. ;)

I read a few books during November, too. Those being:

“The Hope of Shridula” by Kay Marshall Strom,

“Forest Child” by Heather Day Gilbert,

“I, Isaac, take thee, Rebekah” by Ravi Zacharias,

“The Silent Songbird” by Melanie Dickerson

and “Long Way Gone” by Charles Martin.

 

One of those was even non-fiction – can you believe it?! ;) “I, Isaac, take thee, Rebekah” was truly amazing, and I highly, highly recommend it!!

Favourite book of the month was probably…”Forest Child” by Heather Day Gilbert for fiction, and Ravi Zacharias’ book for nonfiction. :)

 

Musicwise…umm…I have been listening to one group pretty much exclusively for a couple months. And that group would be The Monkees. My sister and I have greatly enjoyed watching – and rewatching – the two seasons of shows, and avidly listening to their music. I love their music. I do have a favourite Monkee, and that would be Michael Nesmith. His songs are my favourite, though they’re all so good. :)

 

Mike Nesmith.jpg

 

So yes, that’s November for ye. How was yours? Did you all have a good Thanksgiving?