Comfort Food For The Reader’s Soul

Along with hominy and a camping spot next to a creek, what else could make my vacation in Maggie Valley perfect? That’s a silly question. How about a book? The sleepy mountain town in At Home In Mitford is materialized as you note the many similarities between it and the Valley.  Read more

Advertisements

Your Ticket To Greece

When one thinks of Greece, what is the first city that comes to mind?  The common answer would be either Athens or Sparta. If you’re a fellow travel lover or history nerd, wouldn’t you love to go there? Who wouldn’t want to walk the paths of the ancients or see the megalithic temples? But let’s be honest, everyone visits those two cities! Isn’t there something different to see in Greece? Have you considered Patmos? Read more

Whale of a Tale

As with all books, it’s a sad day when the last page is turned. It has been with me up the mountains, and has stayed by my side during late nights. As with every other novel, it has gone where I have gone. Now, I lay it to rest upon my shelves where it will be mourned for at least an hour to a day before I start on my next adventure.

Moby Dick- Herman Melville

Rated S – c

 Some cussing throughout

 

You may have heard many rumors about this leviathan sized novel which would unnerve even the greatest of bibliophiles. Rumors about its exhaustive detailing and constant plot interruptions. Hearing these, we run away and hide from the weariness of such a book. Instead, why doesn’t this invoke curiosity? What does Melville find so important to tell us that he jeopardizes his plot by interrupting it with details and useless facts?

These facts subsists almost wholly on the mighty whales and sea voyage life.  Did you know the whale’s spout isn’t connected to its throat? Also, it uses his spout to blow out air, not water. What we see instead is the air’s condensation. These are just a couple examples of the hidden gems inside Moby Dick…plus some research of my own. (I had to get questions answered! Things Melville could only speculate and theorize about are now common facts today. Throughout the book, his theories became my points of research.) Instead of looking at the details as constant interruptions, look at them as expanding our knowledge of these great creatures.

I’ve heard also that Moby Dick is to be considered as an allegory. Through Captain Ahab, we see our inner beings at their worst. We see what we could be when completely obsessed over evil and see it swallow us whole much like The Oath by Frank Peretti illustrates.

Melville’s work may only become enjoyable once our attitude of dread changes to one of an excitement to learn. Give it a go and tell me what you think.

Find your copy here.

 

Last 2015 Favorite

I’ve been recently sharing my favorite books from the past year. Sadly, we come to the last one. For those who have missed my other posts on 2015 books, check them all out at the links below.

You Could Say I’m a Fan

A Good Book Always Contains A Dragon

New Beginnings and a New Book

Tea With A British Grandmother

2015 Favorites

This next book is highly important to me for the message it gives. It is..

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Rated A –

I believe each individual should have this on their shelf.

I think everyone is relatively familiar with this work, but how many have actually read it? How many have actually grasped the message? To one, it may just be a nice, entertaining, historical fiction novel, but to me, it was a wake-up call for America and her church. Whether it was read during the times of the Civil War or read even today, the message of this book still holds true. People cannot see people as people, and here the church sits idly by doing nothing.

Not only is this story convicting, Read more

You Could Say I’m a Fan

My amazing bookclub friend, whom I lovingly nicknamed Olive Oil, chose this for our January reading. I have to say, I don’t know where I was before this amazing novelette! How could I have lived without it? Thank you Ms. Olive for introducing this to me!

Tilly by Frank Peretti

Rated A –

This was a good, clean, (deeply emotional) story.

If you didn’t notice, my previous post was also on a Peretti. So, it might be evident that I’m a fan of his works. Each novel is so unique in plot and rich in moral! Stating this, Tilly is no exception. It starts off with a simple tombstone. Almost no details are written about this person who lies underneath. It’s not shown until a little later in the story why this grave affects the characters so deeply. There is such a deeper back story than what meets the eye! And the farther you reach into the book, the more tender it becomes. I mean, get out the tissues! Don’t mistake this book as sad (though in a way I guess it is), but instead, it’s incredibly sweet. My heart seemed as if it was going to burst with love and…feels. Lots of them!

This novelette is extremely short (only 126 pages). Thanks to its equally short chapters, one could finish the book in an hour and a half. After finishing, if you need someone to talk to after this emotionally damaging work, I will try to help. I am acquainted with the pain all too well.

As with Dickens’ work, Little Dorrit, Peretti’s Tilly isn’t as popular as his other books. I’m constantly asking myself why neither of them have a fandom. Please join me with Tilly, so we can make that dream a reality! What are some of your favorite but not too popular books, and why do you think they deserve a chance at fandomhood?

Find your copy here.

A Good Book Always Contains A Dragon

This book was loaned to me about a year ago by my amazing friend, Butterscotch and Berry’s! Not only is she the greatest for seeing my enthusiasm and allowing me to keep it, but she also showed me through this read that thick books aren’t actually all that scary. She definitely changed my reading habits for the good!

This is one of my last favorites from 2015 (only have two more to do). It is…

The Oath by Frank Peretti

S – sx, c

I do advise much more caution with this book. The two main characters talk about sex, but then the chapter skips to the next day. Also, I didn’t know if his use of OMG was literally calling out to God, or if it was being used in a casual sort of sense.

If you’ve read previous Peretti books, you know that it’s hard to grasp what on earth is going on. Only till the end does the author explain the situation and symbolism. So, I wanted to share the symbolism before you read it. (It knocked my socks off; it was so good!) The small hometown of Hyde River is troubled by corruption, an odd illness, and most importantly, a rumored dragon. Those in the town who come down with this odd illness are sooner or later doomed to meet it. Technically, the symbolism is when you allow sin to corrupt you instead of getting it fixed, it will eventually eat you alive. The illness is the effects of the sin that people refuse to deal with, and the dragon is symbolised of the consequences. Now I’m not going to give away all the secrets, so you’ll have to find out for yourself how this dragon is defeated.

This was such an amazing book! I almost literally couldn’t put it down! It was if the pages were glued to my fingers. I couldn’t go anywhere without it! So even though a strong caution is advised, it did help me spiritually. And hey, who can say no to a dragon?

Find your copy here

 

 

New Beginnings and a New Book

For me, Easter marks the beginning of spring and newness of life. The trees are already showing off their newly formed leaves while tiny blossoms are making their first debut in our lawn. Now, what better way to celebrate this newness than finding a new book? Continuing on my theme of favorites from 2015, this is…

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

S – c

There was some cussing, but honestly, not all that much. I’d feel comfortable recommending this to pretty much anyone.

My interest in this book was actually sparked by a preview from a mini series based upon it. It made Dicken’s work look so full of intrigue and mystery! I just HAD to read it! I devoured each bookstore aisle looking for it, but when found, I was immediately turned off by its shear enormity! Never before had I attempted such a long read! But eventually climbing over my fear, it wasn’t ALL that bad. LONG, but not too bad. (obviously, if it’s on my favorite reads list!)

Honestly, I have never seen anyone make a more complex plot like Dickens. Murderers, debtors, crabby old ladies, wealthy leaders of society, and a plethora of unique characters only Dickens can create come together in one mind-boggling work to enrich the imaginations of readers fearless enough to attempt it. The story mainly revolves around the Dorrit family who were unfortunate enough to have landed in debtors prison. Like Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, Amy Dorrit is the glue which binds this family together. Though the youngest in the family, she plays no small part. She constantly cares for them whether through poverty or through gain. But there is certainly so much more! I don’t even know where to begin or end with all the people or events! You’ll just have to check it out for yourself. Mind you though, Mr. Clennam is mine! 😉 Well, I might be convinced to share him.

Out of all of Dicken’s novels, I’m surprised this one is not more popular. One never hears of it mentioned. I feel like I’m in a fandom all by myself! Hopefully, that won’t be for long. Buy the book here and join the fandom!

Tea With A British Grandmother

Continuing on the review topic of yesterday, this is another favorite from 2015. Allow me to introduce to you…

Larkrise to Candleford by Flora Thompson

Rated: S – c

Though I rated this S for some and C for cussing, there were only two cuss words, (but mine was abridged, so I don’t know if there were more) and I’d truly feel comfortable recommending it to anyone. But, I thought it fair to rate is S anyway only to caution others.

As the title communicates, reading this is like having tea with a British grandmother speaking about her childhood. Though stated as a work of fiction, Thompson uses her work to tell about her own childhood in an old English hamlet before the Industrial Revolution. The main character, Laura, is supposed to represent the author during her journeys through coming of age. The book doesn’t really have a plot. Instead, it gives detailed descriptions on hamlet life. To some, this book would be considered boring, but I found it relaxing to let my mind roam through the English countryside. I read about the loving and caring folk who lived there. I read of the simple lives they led, and dreamily wondered what it would be like to go back to that. How serene would it have been to live in a simple village where every neighbor was a friend.

Truly, I wish you’d take a look at it. It’s not like any other ordinary book. After a long day, let your mind relax and stroll the ancient countrysides of England with Larkrise to Candleford. Take time to meet the people there. Become acquainted with their lives, and you will learn to love them.

Find your own copy here

 

A World Without a Book Rating

You’re a parent on the search for the next great family favorite movie, or maybe, you’re hunting for the next fun video game. You take a quick glance on the back or front to find the rating, and PERFECT, it doesn’t seem to have anything nasty in it. It’s sure to be awesome! Not so with books. No, with books one must take a chance! A risk! No quick little rating system on the back. No warnings. How on earth are you supposed to tell they’re content? They can sometimes be a chancy thing, and I absolutely hate that! How can one know if it’s wholesome? What if I’m missing out on something amazing? (I’m always on the hunt for my next new favorite) Wouldn’t it be nice if books had a quick and easy rating system too?  A certain number of stars a review gives is not much information to go on nor is a thumbs up or thumbs down. Give me specifics! So, with this blog, I strive to put a Christian perspective, rating, and review to the books I have read in order to help my fellow bookworms find the best possible literature.

The rating system depends upon age suitability and content wholesomeness. I call them as I see them, so even though some ratings might not match eye to eye with yours, hopefully it will still give a good idea of the content.

Rating system complete with definitions:

C – Children. Primarily used to explain age group suitability and not content.

A – All. I would feel comfortable recommending this book to anyone.

S- Some. I might feel comfortable recommending this book to one person but not another due to possibly offensive content.  Therefore, some may like it and others may not.

N- Just no. I’d be sorry I read a book like this. Would not be wholesome in my opinion in the least. Hence, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

 

These letters would come after any S or N rating to give more explanation of why I chose it:

 

c – cussing

sx – sexual conduct

o -occult

g – gore

r – racism

So these are pretty self explanatory, but during my reviews, I will give more specifics as well as my enthusiastic opinion.

Feel free to comment, but as this is a blog on wholesome reading, please keep your comments wholesome too.