About Me and My Blog and Amazon Store

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Langley, BC, Canada
I love to read. I love books. I like to talk about books and recommend them. I read everything including cereal boxes and junk mail! I heard once that if you're not reading at least 3 books at a time you're not reading enough! This blog will keep track of the books I've read and whether or not I liked them. It will be a little bit of everything from Christian fiction to Science fiction and fantasy. Feel free to participate by suggesting books to review and giving your comments. Occasionally I am given free books by Publishers in exchange for a review. I am not told how to review them or compensated in any way for the review.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Reading

My life is undergoing somewhat of a lull moment right now. Nothing major planned on the horizon, work is humming along all right and the schedule has emptied out somewhat. So I'm looking forward to making my way through all the books I have to read. Some are listed in the currently reading section. Some more are on my bookcase; like The Book of Negroes and Greg Morgenstern's Three Cups of Tea.

Also in my neighborhood are two used book stores as well as a library that I may actually try to remember how to use! So if you wonder what I'm doing this summer; I'm readng! (Of course my family would say that is nothing new!)

What are you reading this summer?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

This is the sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Stieg Larsson is a masterful storyteller. All the characters we met in the first book are again part of the story. He has a way of drawing out the suspense that made me want to jump to the end of the book just to find out what happens. I'm glad I didn't yield to the temptation though as the ending is surprising and the lead in to the final book of the series.

In this story, Lisbeth Salander is being sought as a suspect in a double, soon to be triple murder. Her friend Mikal Blomkvist is part of the investigation and one of the few people who believe she may be innocent of the charges. This story gives us much of Lisbeth's background and we slowly begin to understand what makes her tick.

Larsson has some unique techniques for creating suspense and drama. During part of the investigation when Lisbeth is missing, she is also missing from the story. Chapters are written about everyone else and their part in the investigation until you begin to wonder if she is going to show up in the story again. Finally she does and the action takes off again.

You don't need to read the first book before this one but I think it would help in the understanding the main characters. These are books that are worth all the hype about them. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to see the movie, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; typically movies based on books I love disappoint me. However, if you do see the movie without reading the book first; do yourself a favour and get the book, you'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Switch by Grant McKenzie

I’ve said before that I really enjoy reading first novels and it adds to the enjoyment when the author is a Canadian. Switch is Grant McKenzie’s first novel and it will be published in Canada in August. I was given a copy by Penguin books to do a review.

Two men are being terrorized by someone who has kidnapped their families. Sam is an out-of-work actor employed as a security guard and Zack is a plastic surgeon. Their lives collide when Sam’s house is blown up and Zack thinks it’s his family that was killed. The rest of the book is their attempt to identify the person who is holding their families while carrying out the instructions forcing them to become criminals themselves.

The first few chapters are brutal. There is more swearing than I like in the book but it isn’t gratuitous; it does fit the scenario and adds to the atmosphere. The chapters are short which adds to the frantic pace of the action. At times I felt like I needed to stop reading just to catch my breath. The characters are likeable and the story behind the action is great.

This is story about families and what people will do to keep their family safe. It’s a story about relationships; some twisted, some beautiful. It’s a story about brutality and a story about love.

Look for this book when it comes out in August. And block off some time to read it because once you start you won’t be able to put it down.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Me I want to Be by John Ortberg

I've read a lot of books about spiritual growth over the years, alot of them have been by John Ortberg. He is one of my favourite authors and speakers. Some of his other titles are "Everybody's normal till you get to know them", "If you want to walk on water you've got to get out of the boat" and "The Life you've always wanted" to name just three of them. His writing is clear, entertaining and thought provoking. And I generally find lots that I can apply to my life. So, because I've read so many of his books I did wonder if he would have anything new or different to say to me.

I was hooked in the first chapter. He introduces his book by saying that only God knows my full potential and that He is guiding me toward the best version of myself all the time. My uniqueness is designed by God and my spiritual growth is best accomplished when I keep that in mind.

Chapter 4 was my favourite. Find out how you grow. He says that God does not do "one size fits all". What works for one person may not work for me. This made me feel better about not having devotions in the morning. I'm not a morning person, I don't want to talk to anyone in the morning, even God! So normally I will read my Bible and pray in the evening and I enjoy it much more. And God is ok with this. Ortberg says "sustainable spiritual growth happens when I actually want to do what I ought to do (pg.53).

The rest of the book is about finding those things that you want to do that will help you mature and grow in the spiritual life. He talks about temperament; he talks about finding those things that block your growth; he talks about relationships and prayer. His suggestions are practical and filled with grace.

If other spiritual growth books have left you feeling guilty or lazy or both then you owe it to yourself to read this one.