Monday, January 30, 2017

The Mistletoe Secret

The Mistletoe SecretThe Mistletoe Secret by Richard Paul Evans
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I usually try to get in a Richard Paul Evans book every Christmas - his easy reading books about the holidays are always so good to me. & yes, I am a little behind on getting this one read for Christmas, but I still didnt want to let it pass by getting it in.
This is like most of his holiday stories - a cute little romance novel with a touch of faith & a nice, safe, modest style of love. So that means, this was sort of predictable, but I'm OK with that. Dont break something that isn't broke, right? These Christmas books aren't meant to teach brain surgery.
But I did figure out what was going on in this fairly early & knew how it would turn out. I did enjoy the idea though about the guy going on a hunt to find a blogger that he fell in love with after reading her blog about loneliness. A cute story idea for sure. I wish there was a tiny twist in it to just make it a little bit more unpredictable. & there were some side stories in there that just seemed to be a waste of time. (I really didnt need all the details about the Blue Boar Inn... really....) but 3 stars still says I liked it.. & I did. Didnt hate it, didnt fall in love with it. Just a cute story.

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Thinking no one is reading, a blogger who calls herself LBH writes about her most personal feelings, especially her overwhelming loneliness. She goes from day to day showing a brave face to the world while inside she longs to know how it would feel if one person cared about her.

Alex Bartlett cares. He’s reading her posts in Daytona Beach, Florida. Nursing his own broken heart and trust issues, he finds himself falling for this sensitive, vulnerable woman whose feelings mirror his own. Following a trail of clues LBH has inadvertently revealed, he discovers that she lives in the small town of Midway, Utah. He makes his way there just after Thanksgiving, determined to find LBH. Maybe she’s a Lisa, Lori, or a Luanne. Instead, he finds a woman named Aria, a waitress at the Mistletoe Diner, who encourages Alex in his search while serving his pie along with some much-needed sympathy and companionship.

Alex finally finds his LBH, a woman who is as beautiful and kind as he imagined she would be. How can he tell her that he knows her secret? What’s holding him back? Could it be his feelings for Aria?

Not a Fan

Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of JesusNot a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus by Kyle Idleman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This one may have taken a long time to get through, but it was worth every page of reading.
We read this in our Bible Study group & it couldnt have been a better book to read together. It was challenging, & real. Showing truth in perfect wording - reflective of scripture & also of real life emotions.
I may be a little biased because Kyle Idleman is the pastor of my church, but its also why I love my church. It's just the best teaching of God's word. This book had that same sort of impact on me.
So many ideas in this book having us question, are we REALLY following God. Are we really giving all we can? Are we just a fan, or a follower? There's a big difference. Like Kyle says - a fan will sit in the crowd & paint their face & hold signs & buy all the merchandise. But will you give up everything you own & have & all that is in you for the team? Or at the end of every game, do you pack up & go back to your own life? ... following Jesus isn't about going back to your own life. It's trying to reflect more of His life.
I honestly can not say enough about this book & really recommend it for anyone who is searching for a heart that follow Jesus.

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Are you a follower of Jesus? Don't answer too quickly. In fact, you may want to read this book before you answer at all. Consider it a 'Define the Relationship' conversation to determine exactly where you stand. You may indeed be a passionate, fully devoted follower of Jesus. Or, you may be just a fan who admires Jesus but isn't ready to let him cramp your style. Then again, maybe you're not into Jesus, period.In any case, don't take the question---Are you a follower of Jesus?---lightly.Some people don't know what they've said yes to and other people don't realize what they've said no to, says Pastor Kyle Idleman. But Jesus is ready to clearly define the relationship he wants with his followers.Not a Fan calls you to consider the demands and rewards of being a true disciple. With frankness sprinkled with humor, Idleman invites you to live the way Jesus lived, love the way he loved, pray the way he prayed, and never give up living for the One who gave his all for you.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Forget Love

Forget LoveForget Love by Babsy Tom
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

that basically sums up how I feel about this book.
I was afraid a book about a lady who has an accident & forgets her life & all her memories was going to be a shadow of "What Alice Forgot". Nope. Not even close. Loved that book. This one didn't compare at all.
It just seemed to be drug out in parts & then jumped really fast in others.
I got frustrated at all the drug out parts with the mother in law as well. I mean, chapters devoted over a side story that really didnt matter to me in the least.
I didn't mind Penny, whose memory was gone. I also really liked Tom, her "ex" husband - but the other guy, her boss, George. I still dont know what to think about that character. Half the time, I'm like, I dont get this. It just always felt weird & icky. I'm still not sure how their business interacting worked either. Just strange.
As for the end... ok... meh...
This passed the time just fine. But its not a book that I'd tell anyone else they had to pass their time with.

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When Penny Plage wakes up in the hospital, she has no idea who she is, where she is, how she got there—or even which man she loves. Does she belong with Tom, her aloof but disarmingly attractive artist ex-husband who looks great in his jeans and with whom she still shares a house and a dog? Or is she in love with George, her handsome boss in the designer suit who would do anything for her?

As Penny begins to piece together her past with the help of her devoted—and highly opinionated—BFFs, she discovers that she has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to begin anew. Although amnesia is no picnic, there’s a surprising amount of fun and laughter to be had in reinventing her life in ways she never, ever expected.

A frothy and fast-paced comedy that reveals the many quirks of the human heart, Forget Love reminds us that a good man, a couple of best friends, and a loyal dog can get us through just about anything.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Sun is Also a Star

The Sun Is Also a StarThe Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You'd think I didnt like this book as long as it took me to get through it. You'd be wrong. I blame the holidays keeping me busy - because once I was able to sit down & finish this book out, I loved it.
To know that I didnt give up on this book during the busy season also shows that I liked it.
I wasn't sure I was going to like how this book ended, but the epilogue saved it for me.
I did love this book though because it shows how one life touches another, in ways we dont even know are possible. How they can change other people's destinys.
I love the characters of Natasha & Daniel. People from 2 totally different worlds, but feel like fate had brought them together one day in NY for different reasons.
It just all reminded me of the movie, Serendipity ... fate will find a way.

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Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins

Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins: My A-Z IndexKathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins: My A-Z Index by Kathy Griffin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can't help it... I've always loved Kathy Griffin. Something about her makes me laugh. Maybe its the attitude that she doesn't care what she says, but I've always been a fan of hers. I shake my head a lot at her, but still laugh at a lot of the things that comes out of her mouth. I think you have to know she's a COMEDIAN. People tend to forget that. & I also know she's not everyone's cup of tea. Comedy is like any art - its all in the eye of the beholder.
I actually did this one audio book & I'm not a fan of audio books - but I think doing this book that way is what made me give it the full 5 stars. Her voice, it wasn't like she was 'reading' - it was like she was just telling her life - & I KNOW she was adding in things that aren't in the book. Add in her own laughter as she was reliving these celebrity stories & I didnt want this to end.
It made me really like other celebrities more, & also have me give some side eye to some others after the real life interaction with these people. When you can come away loving Christine Aguilera more, you gotta like this book. Some of the stories are really endearing too making me 'ahhh' a lot of times & other stories just had me flat out laughing.... Leo DiCaprio & the bathroom scene, I choked laughed while I was driving.
SO MANY CELEBRITY STORIES!!! I was all about it.
& you gotta read it just for her story about being involved in one of the biggest serial killer trials in the US.
I will listen to this again just for the sheer fun of it.

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