Posts Tagged With: Book Review

Late April (Book Review)

Late April by Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt

Katherine’s poetry always makes you ponder. Her latest book, Late April, ponders the celebration of seasons in life and nature.  I find this particular collection has a river of joy, with a few babbling brooks of wisdom winding through. As you float through her poems you will experience irony, joy, sorrow, irony and anger. I am grabbing the metaphor of water here and hanging on to it as I read Katherine’s poetry. She has a few fonts of Holy Water and sprinkles in some #hashtags. A poem that mentions #Amazon, who would have thought that would get sprinkled in?

OK, so enough of the metaphor, Katherine’s poetry is refreshing and relevant. It takes the reader to depths in the simple and captures your imagination to ponder the poignant. This is Katherine’s forth collection of poetry, a must read for poets and those that appreciate poetry.

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“Three Hots and a Cot” by Nancy Wyatt

Take a look at Homelessness from the Comfort of your Home!

Told against the backdrop of a homeless shelter “Three Hots and a Cot” allows you to see the impact of homelessness. This book, adapted form the stage play, is told in vignettes of short monologues. Feel the impact of job loss, chronic illness, and know that you too could become part of this story. The words will help you feel the powerful emotions of those who must live in shelters, for now. Allow this book will move you and impact your heart, open your senses and feel the stories. As a nurse that has worked in the HIV/AIDS community, taken care of patients who were homeless in parking lot’s “Three Hot’s an a Cot” is a look inside these lives that many will never experience. The glimpse goes into the dark hidden spaces of homelessness. It peaks into the reasons that we never thought of. It gives a glimmer of how the homeless children feel and answers some of the “why” do they end up like this. I found this a fascinating read that gave an open honest view of homelessness. I would go so far as to call it a must read for medical professionals and those who volunteer with the homeless. I would encourage all who dare to feel the poignant telling of these true stories and allow yourself to experience the homeless crisis through their eyes! This book has been performed on stage as well and licensing for theater groups is available.

Truth in blogging, Nancy Wyatt is in, “Write by the Rails,” the same writing group I belong to. This is the first of her books I have read and it is such a powerful book! I will encourage my student nurses to read this book! Her writing tells it like it is. I have worked in the community with the homeless and can verify the overarching stories are true to this culture. I have taken care of homeless patients in parking lots as that was the “best address” they had. I worked at a homeless hypothermia shelter and when the third person checking in that night gave the same address I asked what the deal was. “Oh we made it up, everyone needs an address. Especially if you hope to get any work,” came the reply. They had made up an address for their “camp” in the woods.

I encourage you to read this book. Experience the stories. Next time someone asks for help see if it changes your response. I have been carrying water and socks in my car for years to give out to the needy.

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Girl Last Seen ~ Book Review

This book was captivating from beginning to end! A page turner to be sure, I read it in one day. I just could not put it down. Every time I thought I might have an idea what happened, hard turn! Two kidnappings thirteen years apart, that’s as much as I want to say. No chance of me spoiling it for you! Read this thriller, it is fast paced, intense and yet plausible! Enjoy!

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What Are You Reading? Do CDs Count?

It’s National Book Lovers Day 2018.  Today several friends, knowing I am a book lover, asked me the proverbial question, “So what are you reading?” 8c28c7d4-bcdb-4a9d-9fcd-8a9112d0d165.jpeg It seems like such a simple question on the surface. For me it is a little more difficult.

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Let’s see, on my ipad I am reading, Dying to Read, by Lorena McCourtney. Cate Kincaide is working as a private investigator  for her uncle until she lands one of the many jobs she has applied for. She has to locate a girl named Willow. Sounds simple, perhaps. But then simple never makes for a great story line!

What happens next has a hint of romance and enough plot twist that it has been a page turner! It’s a cleverly written murder mystery “lite”, no blood and gore descriptions.

If you like The No. 1 Ladies Dective Agency, then you will like this book!

 

Next up in the car I am “reading”, 05680BD2-A80F-4C40-8C61-662677BA3831Texas Fury, by Fern Michaels. I use the term “reading” as for me listening to a book on CD is “reading” the book the way I track books read. Now for some purist they would not consider that I “read” the book in the strictest definition of reading.

I can tell you this is the third book in a series about the Coleman family from Texas. While some of the book takes place in Texas it also travels to Japan, and Hawaii. This series is about a powerful Texas oil family and the many branches of the family. The story crosses several generations and the ups and downs of the oil business. It is the story of how the family deals with lean times and gushers. Tales of well to do and the more common folk, a good summer travel read.

1F8565D5-2A48-4276-9356-98EA325D3075Lastly, I have been reading in the traditional book form, I Promise not to Suffer, by Gail Storey. I love to read hiking books and this one is a wonderful read. It is a memoir by Gail of hiking the 2,663 mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada.

The couple leaves their secure jobs in their fifties to go and hike the trail. There are many ups and downs in their hike across numerous mountain ranges and across deserts. You get a good picture of how brutal yet beautiful this trail can be. Gails writing is an honest about adversity yet at times a hilarious recounting of their adventures on the trail. She is honest in telling of their misery in some of the situations they encounter. As most trail books do there are times they encounter wild animals, other hikers, trail angels and of course discuss the pros and cons of various hiking equipment. If you dream of hiking one of the major trails this is a great read for inspiration, if not you can day dream about hiking!

So that’s a look at my primary reading right now. I read my Bible, on my phone and in Book form regularly as well. As I experience different reading media for me my standard top choices have been books and CD. But I liking the ipad the more I get used to it for reading, not sure it will ever replace books for me! So what are you reading?

 

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Heart of Design by Ellen Butler

Smoking but not tawdry that is what comes to mind when I think of Heart of Design by Ellen Butler. The description “Love California Style” gives a hint to the romance ~ everday girl meets Hollywood star. There are several twists and turns that I shall not divulge as I hate a “spoiler”. This is a great summer read ~ after all, girls we love a summer love story and this is a great one!  I love the characters, the plot twists, the descriptions and the romance. The cover tells you she is an interior decorator, he is a Hollywood star. To know more you have to read this wonderful romance over! This book is well written, steamy romance but not vulgar. I loved this  book. It is the first book by Ellen Butler I have read but it will not be the last! I highly recommend this book. It was a great vacation read for me I Paris ~ the city of love!

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The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn

The Harbinger

The Harbinger has been on the New York Times Best Seller list. This prestigious award in and of itself makes it a bit daunting to write a review at times. However, I shall take the plunge.  I was skeptical if I would like reading this book and the prophetic connections to 9/11. I decided to take the challenge – “The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn fiction or prophecy?” This book is written in such a way that it will continue to make you wonder about the answer to this question long after the last page is turned. I believe our countries founding fathers were men of deep Christian faith. I do believe that America was founded for freedom OF religion and not freedom FROM religion. Given that this is the lens through which I see, I can buy into the overarching premise that America has wandered from God. I believe that this book makes us look at what the impact of that drifting and running from God. What is the impact not only as a nation but as individuals?

As to some of the other messages in the book about the exact nature of the prophecy I will encourage you to read and enjoy thinking them through for yourself.  I did find this book well written and it leads me to some thought provoking ponderings. I think we each have to ponder how are we doing in our personal relationship with God? What are the eternal consequences of our choices on earth? If I call myself a Christian what are my responsibilities in holding true to my faith? Are my beliefs not just responsible for my personal eternity but for my countries destiny?

Sometimes I feel like we are living in a test. Having a Christian perspective in a time that honors the individual and wants to respect all choices can be very grueling. If I choose to say that anything is against my belief as a Christian I am seen as disrespecting other points of view. If someone expresses a non-Christian point of view they are see as condemning and yet they can impact my choices – school prayer rings a bell here. However, if someone expresses a point of view I differ with I am seen as narrow-minded. How can it be? Can we value a difference of opinion without disagreeing on what God’s word says? I am throwing some of these questions out there because that is where this book has led my mind. I invite you to take up the challenge and see where it leads your mind. All in all I come down on the side of both, some fact with some fiction thrown in. Read the book and post a comment so I can consider your point of view about this book.

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On Wings Of The Morning – By Dan Verneer

Dan Verner

Dan Verner’s novel, On Wings Of The Morning, is an exciting tale of a young boy who dreams of becoming a pilot and the epic adventure of that dream becoming a reality.  Otto will get his dream of becoming a pilot in unusual circumstances for a young boy from Wisconsin. This tale goes on to tell of Otto in WW II as a pilot with many successful missions. This wonderfully written book is full of twists and turns; with a lot of adventure and a pinch of romance for good measure. I found it to be an enlightening and captivating read about WWII. I confess generally I steer away from any sort of military tale.  I found this story captivating as I could see the story unfolding like a movie in my minds eye. Verner beckons the reader back to the era of the Greatest Generation and invites you to experience that time through his tale of Otto and his crew. This tale of tragedy and humanness is very believable and that is part of the magic of this well written book. Verner’s book helps us several generations younger to see the courage of their time and recognize why they are, the Greatest Generation.

 

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Catwalk: Messiah by Nick Kelly

 

 

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What a surprise I loved Catwalk: Messiah by Nick Kelly.  Looking at the cover I thought it was going to be a android robotic tale that I might not like. Surprise, I loved it!  Actually this is a very futuristic book set in the year 2033. It is the exploits of a former cop named Leon “Catwalk” Caliber. Catwalk was anything but your typical cop – he was the cop that chased down rogue machines that needed to be “retired”. Cat left the beat of being a cop but continued to be a “cleaner”.  Now instead of retiring rogue machines he kills and destroys for those that can afford to pay him. Problems arise when Cat becomes the target.  As gun for hire in the City of Angels Cat’s training as a cop is useful in this new life as a hit man that is up for any challenge if the money is right.

The year 2033 is a very violent time and Kelly describes these battles between Catwalk and his foe in great detail that leave me hoping this book will become a movie. Kelly’s ability to draw the reader into the scenes makes this a wonderful read. I do not want to spoil the story but I will tell you it is a page turner till the end. Some will say this is a book for the Young Adult reader. I, however, believe this is a great read for those like myself that are young at heart. This book at times reminded me of Dick Tracey and other heroes of my youth only faced with an apocalyptic challenges. The detail Kelly describes the way that Catwalk is able to function is intriguing and wonderfully detailed. Cat is a human that is technologically enhanced while fully human in his emotions.

Enjoy! I look forward to the next installment in this series and hope for a movie for this one!

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Summer Rental – by Mary Kay Andrews

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Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews is a wonderful summer read. Well, for me I love a good beach read in the summer, but I suppose you could read it anytime. This is a wonderful story of Ellis, Julia and Dorie who are childhood friends. Each one had a reason to get away and go to the beach. It is a story of three BFF’s who decide to rent a beach house in Nags Head on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for the month of August. Having been to the Outer Banks for many summers this book will take you right there walking on the beach and enjoying the sun at this summer rental! Enjoy the confessions of BFF’s!

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The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

The-Dovekeepers

The Dovekeepers is a wonderful novel by Alice Hoffman. Having been to Masada in Israel and seeing the dovecotes first hand reading this tale of fact and fiction was wonderful.  Hoffman’s book tells the story of four women that came to Masada and work in the dovecotes. This books tells of life in about 70 A.D. when nine hundred Jews held out for months on Masada against the Roman army. There are many interesting historical facts interspersed in an easy to read story that engages the reader in the time period. I loved how she describes the area and the culture of the day. This is a must read if you are interested in what I call historical fiction, real facts and history of an era told through fictional characters. It is a wonderful telling of some of the history of Israel.  Hoffman also helps the reader understand the interrelationship between the doves and the people of Masada, this bodes to the interconnected relationship of humans and animals. I really enjoyed this book.

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