Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Books I Love

**Don't forget to enter my $100 Gatarade SportsMom Giveaway here**


I love to read, but I am pretty picky about my books. When I take them time out of my busy life to read I want it to be worth it! I love the escape of a fun read but I also want to feel educated, uplifted or inspired in someway at the end. I thought I would start posting my reviews of some books that I have read and enjoyed. I will put links to all the books I love under my recommendations tab up top. And, I am always looking for a good book, so please let me know what you would recommend too!

The longer reviews are ones I cut and pasted from my Goodreads account. Are you on Goodreads? It is a fun website where you can record the books you have read and share reviews with your friends. It is a great resource. Check the site out here and if you join, let me know so we can be Goodread "friends":)

**Also I have linked all these titles to Amazon. I bought all these books for my library--and I usually buy them used through Amazon. I think they have great prices! And for those of you who live around the Chattanooga area you are welcome to borrow one from me:)

A Few of My Favorites to start out with:

I love the scriptures and read from one of them everyday. They are by far the most life changing and powerful books ever written and are a huge strength and influence in my life.

#2 The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
This is a truly wonderful book. It is a true story about a christian woman who along with her sister and father choose to help Jews during WWII. They are caught and experience all the horrors of the concentration camp, but remain so full of faith and the love of God. Nothing can take that away. I absolutely LOVED it and read it every few years to remind myself of the lessons it teaches. Powerful book!

#3 Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

I am sure you all know the story line. This is one of my most favorite books! A truly excellent read! FYI I read the abridged version--and I think it was still over 500 pages:)

This is a fantastic book! It will have you laughing and crying! Historical fiction of the life of a pioneer woman's experiences in the Arizona Territory. Adventure, history, romance, strong women... I LOVED it!!

#5 Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

I loved this book! Was it the most well written book? No,in fact it became a little tedious at times for me, but the overall message was POWERFUL and beautiful! I found it deeply touching and inspiring. It is a retelling of the story in the Bible of Hosea and Gomer--set in the 1850s California Goldrush. A valiant and faithful man named Michael has dedicated his life to following God's commandments and His will for him. Micheal lives such a good life, a perfect example of the scripture "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths"' MIcheal has been praying and waiting for a wife, trusting in Heavenly Father to direct him. He is given the distinct revelation of who to marry and to his absolute shock it is a young, beautiful and bitter prosititute. A poor young woman who was sold into prostitution at the age of 8 and has lived a horrific and sad life. This story was such a powerful reminder for me that with God anything is possible. That He can heal our hearts and redeem our souls--that His arms are always open to us. And, that a life given to Him is the happiest, and most fullfilling life you can live. I was also inspired to prayerfully study the holy scriptures more.

#6 A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers

My friend recommended this book to me after she heard me say I loved 'Redeeming Love' written by the same author. At first I gave this book a 4 star rating because although I loved many things about it, I thought it was a little dramatic in parts. But as time passes the story has stayed with me and still inspires me--so I have changed it to a 5 star rating. It is set in Rome (mostly) maybe 15-20 years after the death of Jesus Christ. It was very interesting to learn more about that Roman culture and the people of that time. There is a lot of immoral and disgusting behavior, --especially with the gladiators and people being fed to lions in the arena etc. It opens with the destruction of Jerusalem and thousands of Jews being slaughtered. This book was hard to read at times, but a definetly a page turner. The main character Hadassah is the only survivor in her family and is saved from death but sold into slavery. She is believed to be a Jew, but she is actually a Christian. At that time is was very dangerous to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I found this book very interesting and very powerfully inspiring to me. I love how Hadassah remains faithful and true and larns to overcome her fears. She is blessed with a inner peace and great love of those she serves. No matter the trials and harships she has in her life, she is happy and at peace because of her solid faith and devotion to living a Christlike life. There were so many wonderful examples of courage, faith and goodness in this story. In the end I was filled with a desire to be more faithful that I may be an instrument in God's hands for good. Overall,I really enjoyed this book! I bought the series--so I am already on volume 2

#7 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

I just finished this book and loved it! It was entertaining, inspiring and relaxing! I found the characters charming and endearing. I absolutely loved reading accounts of the sacrifices some people made to help others during the horrible times of World War II. I love books that remind us that no matter what awful things happen one can choose to be a light and a force for good.

#8 Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

I brought this book on a vacation for some light, fun beach reading. i am usually not a fantasy fan--but I have to say I really enjoyed this one. The writing is just OK--but what I loved was how thought provoking it was for me. This book is a detailed historical fantasy, that combines Celtic paganism and early Irish Christianity. I loved how Sorcha the main character rises to the challenges and trials she is given with such strength. I share that belief that each of has a path in life and will be tested to see what our true character and strenght is. I loved how, when times were really challenging she repeats to herself that she is a Daughter of the Forest and it gave her strength to remember who she is. It reminded me that each of us has a nobel birthright as daughters/sons of God and that we too can conquer the challenges and trials we are given when we remember who we really are. I also loved how Sorcha was a healer--she had learned the art of herbs and plants and how to use them to bless those around her. She was extremely selfless and kind and extremely loyal to those she loved (especially her 6 brothers). So--for a kind of silly fantasy book, it actually got me thinking deeply spiritually

Well that was a start, more to come:) But for now I want to know...

What are your Favorite books??


Melanie said...

We have such similar taste in books! I love the Francine Rivers series with Hadassah. The third book is probably my favorite. I just checked out the first book in her relatively new Marta series. I also love Juliet Marillier's books. Have you read any of her other series? I love the Bridei Chronicles and Wolfmask and Foxskin. She has several more in her Sevenwaters series - the fourth book is incredible. Thanks for the other recommendations!

Corinna said...

I loved reading The Actor and the Housewife by LDS author Shannon Hale. It made me laugh and cry and then laugh again.

Michael and Jessica Allen said...

I LOVE The Hiding Place. My husband hates it when I read it because I can't put it down and stay up all night sobbing!

Brittany said...

what a great idea sis - I love all those books. The only one I haven't read is the potato peel society one but I've heard of it before and now I'm inspired to read it! I have to add that I can't believe you said the daughter of the forest was just ok writing!! that is my #1 favorite book! she is a wonderful writer!! I always thought I was very critical of authors but I think she writes very well - there are better, but still! :) and it's not silly!! My goodness! Ok I'm done with that, haha!! Great list of books - I'll be checking back often since I'm always searching for a good book to read!

Julie Church said...

My friends and I have a group through our Facebook accounts where we post what we are reading or have read and our opinions. It is a great way to decide if you want to bother with a certain title. There are several avid readers in the group and then there are folks like me that maybe read 4 or 5 books in a whole year. You are welcome to join the group, just let me know your Facebook name and I'll add you to the group.

Melanie Anne said...

Hi Julie,
I would love to be a member of your facebook group! My facebook name is Melanie Anne Sterzer Christensen:) Thanks!!

moonsword said...

Currently my favorite is "Cooking with Italian Grandmothers" by Jessica Theroux. She travels throughout the tiny towns of Italy and searches out those cherished grandmothers who are the keepers of local food culture, age-old recipe secrets and treasured family lore. It brings back so many wonderful memories of when my grandma taught me to cook and how special she was. It's a fabulous book!

Matt said...

Hey Sis! I love Louis L'Amour (bet you didn't know!). All of his books are classics in my opinion. And yes- they're "dime a dozen" and all very similar but I love that each hero exhibits work ethic, strong moral character, determination, perseverance, positive attitude in the face of disappointment, and a strong desire for self improvement- to be and become. As silly as it sounds I feel his books have shaped my view of what a "man" should be and I hope my boys read and love his books as much as I have!

PS- It was fun getting your texts with pictures of you and my boys. I wish I could have been there while you were in town... hope to see you soon!

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