Friday, May 24, 2013

Love Story

Love Story: The Hand That Holds Us from the Garden to the GateLove Story: The Hand That Holds Us from the Garden to the Gate by Nichole Nordeman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a must read...

I'm a huge Nichole Nordeman fan anyways. Saw her for the first time at a lone piano, opening for Steven Curtis Chapman (of course)...
As soon as she was done with her few songs, Ricky & I looked at each other & said, "let's get out there"... we ran to her table in the lobby & purchased every CD she had out there.
I have been obsessed with her ever since.

I knew she had the power of lyrics in songs... I just didn't realize she could translate the words so easily into a book.

This book is just like talking with her in person (as if I imagine talking to her in person) - but its that relaxed. It's just a normal person looking at the stories of the Bible that we all know & looking at them through different eyes....

The story of Abraham & Sarah... the story of Job... the story of Mary... the thief on the cross...

The story of Jesus... oh man... someone needs to take that chapter & turn it into a sermon... complete with paint & canvases.. I'm telling you, I'll think of this story forever...

I honestly laughed out loud ... no really - I DID LOL - at many parts of this book. Between Nichole's 'affection' for birds, & her heart for stray animals & just her honesty on life - being accused of being a 'bad girl' because her mom forgot the call in the middle of the night... its just downright funny
... & right to the heart of the Bible...

& at the end of each chapter are the lyrics to the songs that different artist recorded for "The Story"...
I'm picking up the CD this weekend

This is such an easy read that you won't ever forget ... powerful...
you're heart will fall in love with the Bible all over again

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Monday, May 13, 2013

The Great Gatsby

The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think I had to read this some time in my school career, but couldn't remember for the life of me anything about the story.

But when the movie previews came out & I saw it was by Baz Luhrmann, I knew I wanted to see it. & as any movie from a book, I like the read the book first. (Always so much better then the movie) Plus, its a classic so I knew it would be something I wanted to get involved in.

I was shocked to see its less then 200 pages. I guess that's why it was a school read, but I'm sure in school, that felt like a huge novel that you'd never get through.

I could also see why it would be a 'school read' - the descriptive words in it & the way once sentence could tell a story in itself was something you don't see very often in novels of today. (Or I'm just reading the wrong novels)

The story is definitely a Greek tragedy. The story of lovers crossed, the new age of America, the lavish side of the roaring 20's, love affairs, & loneliness...

A neighbor, Nick becomes friends with the great Gatsby who lives next door & finds himself witness to life played out in different circus rings. His cousin Daisy, who knew Gatsby in past years. Tom, who is married to Daisy & also has an affair of his own going on. Gatsby himself, who just wants nothing more then to have a life that Daisy feels is deserving of her.

There's something to be said about books that don't have the "happily ever after" endings...
my heart still aches for Gatsby after closing this book...

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Starting Now

Starting Now (Blossom Street, #9)Starting Now by Debbie Macomber
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I always enjoy Debbie Macomber. Clean stories that are refreshing & laid back, always holding good values & sense of faith, grace & all the good things of God.

I really was excited to see another book in the Blossom series. When "A Good Yarn" came out, it was one of my favorite. A story revolved around a yarn store & knitting? I'm so there! And its been nice to see all the books following including all the people who have stopped into this little store & we've gotten to know. It was nice to visit with Lydia, Brad, Casey & Cody again.

This time, we meet Libby. A lawyer who has no time for knitting... until she gets laid off. Her life changes completely. How do you go from being a workaholic whose only concern is making partner, to someone who spends her time rocking babies in a hospital & mentoring a young middle school girl.

Libby learns what friendship is, what it means to invest in others, how it feels to fall in love again... but what happens when she gets her old life back.

I enjoyed reading about Libby's life & decisions she had to make, but as most Macomber books, I could tell you how it was going to end, & how it was pretty predictable. That's my only grief with it... but I still enjoyed it... & looking forward to meeting more people who stop on Blossom Street.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

The Kitchen House

The Kitchen HouseThe Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The days of slavery. I feel like I was transported back in time.
It wasn't very pleasant either.

The story starts with a white girl who the 'Captain' saved in order to sell or use for his own work when her parents die. The young girl remembers nothing & is raised in the Kitchen House surrounded by the slaves that work the plantation. Lavinia knows nothing else but the love of her 'family' that raises her.
While the Captain treats his slaves as decent as could be in the time, his managers were horrid, who also taught the Captain's son, Marshall on how to treat others.
Just reading the treatment of the slaves from men who hated people because of the color of their skin was just hard to take in...

The story switches back between Lavinia & Belle, the woman who took Lavinia in her home & raised her, along with Mamma Mae, Papa, Uncle Jacob, Ben & so many others who work the fields.
Lavinia, the one who's heart was willing to do anything to help others - who just wanted to help her family out of the confines of slavery
Belle, the one who would have the people she loved the most taken away from her over & over.

I can't even begin to really tell the details of the story - its just life... everything that comes with it. Friendships, family, loyalty, heartbreak... add in abuse, mental illness, slaves who are impregnated by their Masters, it's just a story that tells of what life could be like in days past.

I think I loved this book because I became so attached to the characters. I didn't want anything happening to any of them, & yet, heart break is strung throughout the book. & I love a book that doesn't really have a predictable ending. I could appreciate the end of this book... not a total easy call, not a total happy ending, but enough for me to let these characters go in peace.
In the end, I'm just thankful for a different time in life... thankful that there were, even in the days of slavery, good people who cared about PEOPLE, no matter what.

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