icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: November 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Book Review of "An Amish Christmas, December in Lancaster County"

I was so excited to receive 'An Amish Christmas, December in Lancaster County' to read and review.  This book is a collection of four Amish Christmas Novellas: 'A Miracle for Miriam' by Kathleen Fuller, 'A Choice to Forgive' by Beth Wiseman, 'One Child' by Barbara Cameron, and 'Christmas Cradles' by Kelly Long.  I love reading Amish fiction, so this was such a treat for me!  I had previously read books by Beth Wiseman and Kathleen Fuller, but had not read anything by Barbara Cameron or Kelly Long before this.  All four of the novellas were wonderful reading!

The stories are all centered around Amish communities in Lancaster County at Christmastime.  They are heartwarming tales full of emotion, romance, and drama.  There is a glossary of Amish words at the front of the book. At the end of the book is a group study guide and several Amish recipes.  I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Reading Habits?

So, this may be a strange question.  I'm wondering who else, besides me, has 'rules' for their reading.  I've always been a big reader, and much prefer reading over TV.  Don't get me wrong, there are several shows I record on DVR to watch.  I also enjoy the occasional movie.  But I LOVE reading.  I honestly don't think I'd enjoy one of the new E-readers or anything similar.  I need to have the physical book in my hands.  I get most, almost all, of my books free.  The library is visited at least a few times a week for both Chad and I to restock.  I get hand-me-downs, books from Booksneeze, and occasionally buy from used sales.

Anyway, back to my 'rules'.  I've always read at least a few, up to several, books at once.  If I were to only read a fictional book I'd feel guilty, like I'm wasting time, and if I only were to read an educational or non-fiction book I'd feel bored.  So, I've used a few different systems over the years. I do all of my Bible and Bible study reading during the day, and my fiction and non-fiction reading at night, at bedtime. The only problem with this is that there tend to be many nights when I only hold my book, never opened, and fall asleep.  Or I fall asleep after only a few paragraphs.  For many years I would alternate nights-fictional 'fluff' one night, educational/non-fiction the next.  Lately, I've tried something different: I read a chapter from the non-fiction, then read until I fall asleep from fiction.  This is working well for me. 

What do I read?  For fiction, it's nearly always either Amish fiction or fiction about polygamy.  Occasionally I will get sucked into a popular series, such as the 'Hunger Games' series recently. Yes, I know I have strange tastes!  For non-fiction/educational it is usually a homeschooling or parenting book, with the occasional book related to chronic illness or a current issue that has caught my interest.  Aside from my nighttime reading, I read from the Bible during the day while we are doing our homeschooling, and I have two studies I go to during the week that I read for, one is a women's group and the other a small group Jeff and I go to.  So, I have lots of books going at one time, but it seems to work for me.  I also have a very long list of books I want to read-I don't know if I will ever catch up!!

Here is my current reading list:
Fiction: 'Autumn's Promise' by Shelley Shepard Gray
Non-fiction: 'And the Bride Wore White'  by Dannah Gresh (this is a dating book, as I'm preparing for the big 16th birthday in January!!
Bible Studies: 'Romans'  by John Stott and Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney for my Women's group
A Praying Life by Paul Miller for my small group study

Then there are all the kids books we read during our day! As Chad is a beginning reader, we are doing a lot of reading together!

So, that's it-I'm really interested if anyone will respond with their reading habits, or if I'm the only one like this!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Book Review-'You Were Made to Make a Difference'

I was recently provided a copy of 'You Were Made to Make a Difference' by Max Lucado and Jenna Lucado Bishop to read and review.  Max Lucado is a well-known author, and this is co-written with his married, young-adult daughter.  The book is aimed at the teenage population, to inspire them to make a difference in their community, but I could see any adult getting knowledge and inspiration from reading it. I enjoyed the style of this book. It is not overwhelming in size, a fairly quick read.  Many different fonts are used throughout, which would keep a teen's attention.  The sections are written by and labeled 'Max' and 'Jenna', which is great to get both of their perspectives.  There are cute illustrations, photos, and blank sections to answer questions asked. At the end of each chapter is a prayer. There are many true stories and analogies in 'You Were Made to Make a Difference', and frequent scripture references.  This book convinces kids that they CAN make a difference, even now before they are adults.  It encourages them to start in their own community, with small acts of kindness.  I really enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to having my kids read it!  I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Book Review-'The Nativity Collection'

I had the pleasure of receiving a copy of 'The Nativity Collection' by Robert J. Morgan to read and review. This beautiful gift book contains six short stories, each uniquely different but all centered around the Christmas season. J.P. Morgan is a talented author, and I really enjoyed this book. The author writes only one short story each year, to share with his church on Christmas Eve. This book is a compilation of those stories.

There are pretty illustrations on nearly every page, and the book is a nice, small hardcover that would be perfect for gift-giving. There is a 'To' and 'From' page in the front of the book. I enjoyed all of the six stories, evoking many different emotions as I read them-from touching and tear-jerking to humorous. I definitely recommend 'The Nativity Collection' for personal reading or as a gift-it would be fun to read as a family during the holidays.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.