Monday, May 24, 2010

Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers

If you've followed this blog at all, you know that I adore Francine Rivers! And after one too many years of waiting, she finally came out with a new book called Her Mother's Hope. I reserved my copy with the library immediately and savored every one of those 483 pages. She just has such a captivating way with her writing and completely entrances you with her stories. I love everything about her writing - never too much detail, but enough to pull you into the setting.

Her Mother's Hope is the first book in a 2 boook series. I hope this is just the start of a whole slew of writing for Francine, because there just isn't enough good Christian writing out there. I'm not a huge fan of Christian books, just because they can be so darn cheesy sometimes! But Francine knows the perfect balance of bringing you into the story and making it so relatable and yet you're also able to draw encouragement and valuable lessons to live by. She doesn't apologize for the spiritual threads woven throughout her story, yet she doesn't cram it down your throat either.

A couple months back, our book club chose her book A Voice In The Wind, and many ladies commented how much they enjoyed it even though they themselves aren't professed Christians. I just think that Francine has such an amazing platform to speak from and is planting so many thousands upon thousands of seeds in women's hearts of who God is as a Father and His love for his children. Even with the story being set back in Switzerland in the early 20th century, you still find yourself being able to relate to the character's feelings and dilemma's. I absolutely loved it - five stars from me!

Description: The first in an epic two-book saga by beloved author Francine Rivers, this sweeping story explores the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters over several generations.

Near the turn of the 20th century, fiery Marta leaves Switzerland determined to find life on her own terms. Her journey takes her through Europe and finally lands her with children and husband in tow in the central valley of California. Marta’s experiences convince her that only the strong survive.

Hildie, Marta’s oldest daughter, has a heart to serve others, and her calling as a nurse gives her independence, if not the respect of her mother. Amid the drama of WWII, Hildie marries and begins a family of her own. She wants her daughter never to doubt her love—but the challenges of life conspire against her vow. Each woman is forced to confront her faulty but well-meaning desire to help her daughter find her God-given place in the world.

Recommend: Absolutely!

Rating: *****

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Friendship Factor by Alan Loy McGinnis

I read this book very slowly in tiny bits & pieces over the last 6 months or so. It is so full of valuable nuggets of information that I would just take a bite or so and then savor the wisdom found within these pages. I truly enjoyed it and would highly recommend The Friendship Factor to anyone desiring a deeper understanding of human relationships and how to form healthy friendships.

Description: At the heart of each relationship, says McGinnis, is the friendship factor--the essential ingredient of warmth and caring. With captivating case histories and anecdotes about such famous people as George Burns, Howard Hughes, and C.S. Lewis, McGinnis shares the secret of how to love and be loved.

Rating: ****

Recommend: Absolutely.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

After very much enjoying the Twilight series, I had also heard some good things about the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, and wanted to check out the first book Dead Until Dark.

Um yeah, no thanks.

It was an easy read like it was directed at a younger audience but the content was way too mature for even me at times and I really do hope teenagers or kids aren't reading these! Yikes!

I didn't care at all about any of the characters and thought they were all so shallow and there was so much focus on sex, geez....enough already! But because there is such a buzz about them (and I had to wait FOREVER for a copy from the library) I really wanted to see what they were all about. If I had teenagers and they wanted to read these, I of course would want to read it first so I knew what type of stuff my kids were filling their minds with. I would hope most parents would take the time to look into what types of books they're kids are into. As a matter of fact, I still have not read any of the Harry Potter books but want to just so I know what's out there and why there's so much hype about them. I have many friends who love them and others who won't read them but already have a set opinion on them, and in those situations I always want to read it myself to form an opinion on the matter.

I'm glad I read it for the sole reason of knowing what they're about, but I have zero interest in reading the others in the series.

Sorry y'all. You win some you lose some.

Description: Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana, but she keeps to herself and doesn't date much because of her "disability" to read minds. When she meets Bill, Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's the type of guy she's waited for all of her life, but he has a disability, too--he's a vampire with a bad reputation. When one of Sookie's coworkers is killed, she fears she's next.

Recommend: Nope.

Rating: *** (Only cause it kept my attention & was easy reading).