Monday, November 10, 2014

Power Reading!

Watching less TV has definitely lead to more reading - perhaps I will get through the library stack after all!

In the last fortnight I have read the following

Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
You may have seen that there is a movie coming out/ already out (who can keep up?) with this same title. It tells the true story of a family who almost lost their 3 year old son. After he got better he started saying strange things that led them to believe he had truly been to heaven and met Jesus. As you can imagine this has had a deep impact on their family and on their sons life. Told with warmth and honesty this is a beautiful account of a supernatural experience filled with love.
Details - Thomas Nelson, Nov 2010 RRP $16.99 US

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
I was thrilled to receive another of Picoult's books for reviewing. This one follows the story of Jemma who has lost her mother in an incident 10 years earlier in an elephant sanctuary. Not knowing whether her mother is dead or alive and with no where else to turn she enlists the help of a washed up psychic and an alcoholic private detective down on his luck. Like most of Picoult's novels I have read the narrative is driven by different voices as hard questions turn into difficult answers and things become more difficult for everyone involved. There is a surprise twist that I didn't see coming either. I found this a quicker read than other Picoult tales. It also includes a lot of information about elephants, the ways they mourn and how they honour their dead - some truly beautiful facts.
Details - Allen & Unwin, Oct 2014 RRP $32.99 also available in HB and as an ebook

The Sweetest Hallelujah by Elaine Hussey
This was a random grab at the library. The story profiles 2 women one white, one black at the height of the civil rights tensions in the deep south of the USA. Betty Jewel solo mother, dying of cancer and concerned for the future of her daughter reaches out in a newspaper advert. Cassie recently widowed, reporter wants to tell her story - what they find is so much more. This book is about hope, solidarity, being brave and the small acts of those who reach across enemy lines and find both hostility and acceptance. I loved reading this book. It's about women and the relationships they forge, its about finding grace for others who don't deserve it and standing up to your own when they are in the wrong. Ultimately it is a joyful book. I would happily pick up another book by this author. Beautiful summer reading - makes you want to plan a picnic with your favourite friends.
Details - Harlequin, Aug 2013 RRP $15.95 US

The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass on Tour by Adrian Plass
Plass is one of my go-to authors when I need a good laugh. He is a Christian writer who perfectly captures the quirks and oddities of Christian behaviour and church relationships. For anyone who has ever been involved in 'church life' his books will give you lots to laugh about and also some gorgeous poignant moments. Plass writes in fiction and creates such sweet characters. A chance to laugh and feel encouraged all in one go.
Details - Zondervan, May 2005 RRP $12.99 US

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
It's been ages since I've read a crime fiction so I was pleased to get this copy to review. Following two LAPD detectives on a cold case with a fresh body the book is an easy read with a true cop show feel to it. Connelly is a retired crime journalist and the details come through. I liked that it wasn't gruesome and not too nail biting either - safe to read before bed, if you know what I mean. If you like this genre I'm sure you will enjoy this one and if you need a change of genre for your summer reading stack this will offer a nice contrast. The narrative flows well and is pacey with different characters. There are a number of books that follow the main character - Detective Bosch. I'd be happy to pick up other books by this author and I'm sure The Atlas will be happy to transfer it to his night stand.
Details - Allen & Unwin, Nov 2014 RRP $32.99 also available as an ebook.