Wednesday, April 11, 2012
If it wasn't for the occasional bad language this mystery/thriller could have been a science textbook for my youngest child. Combining fascinating information about the microscopic world of the Hawaiian rain forest, with fast paced drama and suspense, my son would have loved it. In fact, at the same time I was reading "Micro", he was reading "Gulliver's Travels" and enjoying it. "Micro" is the story of technology gone wrong. A robotics company discovers it can shrink people and objects down to microscopic size. Research can then be done to discover beneficial bacteria and other micro-organisms that could have an enormous impact on society and medicine. However, the possible financial gains bring out the worse in the developers. Money breeds greed and a group of graduate students learn the hard way that you don't want to get in the way of people with their eye on the treasure pot. This was a hard to put down book that I recommend with a warning about the odd bit of language and some violence.
Monday, April 2, 2012
I took this book out of the library two times. The first time the title intrigued me, but I decided not to take on this health issue. It's bad enough to have to worry about raw milk vs pasturized milk. But A1 v A2 milk? Not going there. For 6 months or so anyways.
Monday, March 26, 2012
A few weeks ago I was going through some painful times and needed a mindless read. Nothing to stretch the mind; nothing to make me think. "The Lady in the Attic" fit the bill perfectly. The old Victorian style house on the front brought back memories of all the gothic romances I read as a teenager. This mystery is set in Maine and the characters are simple and small-town, easy to get along with. The best thing - a knitting/needlework theme! Yes, the main character is a crocheter, with a famous needleworker grandmother who has left all her worldly goods to her granddaughter. Annie travels from Texas to Maine to deal with the estate. To pass some time while there she joins the local stitch group only to discover that there are underlying tensions among the women. In the house she has inherited Annie finds a hither-to unknown stitchery done by her grandmother of a mystery woman. When she reveals the piece to the women in the group, the tensions come to a head. The search is on to discover who the woman is and why it has been hidden. There are clues in the stitchery and Annie resolves to find out what they mean. Along the way she makes friends and uncovers old relationships of her grandmother. Admittedly I figured out the solution part way through the book. However, the plot was fun enough to keep on reading. How Annie solves her dilemmas of a jealous daughter, a resentful new acquaintance and a grieving heart carried me to the end. This is the first book of a series, so when another trying time comes along for me I will search out the sequels.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
Reading Joel Salatin books is like eating popcorn - you just can't stop once you start. Fortunately he has a quite a few out there, so it's possible to keep right on turning pages.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Hurray! I've found a new series. For a linear thinker like myself there's nothing better than starting at book one and going through a series book by book. The Maze Runner was published in 2009, so it's been around for a while, but hasn't crossed my path before now. If you like The Hunger Games series, you'll probably like this as well. A young man finds himself transported to an unknown place, with all his memories erased. A group of young people already there are struggling to survive in a maze-like landscape that changes every day and is occupied by horrific creatures with poisonous spines.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
The book is very well laid out. The first few chapters deal with the whole idea of fasting – what it is and isn’t. She talks about why and how to fast in the Daniel manner. A whole chapter is devoted to the background of Daniel and his experience in Babylon. Chapter four focuses on the spiritual aspects of the fast. Chapter five helps you plan and prepare. The rest of the book covers the foods you can and can’t eat, recipes, a 21 day menu plan and 21 day devotional. All in all, everything you need to pull off the fast.
In case the book itself isn't enough, there is also a website with further information and support, a blog, and other resources. I ended up ordering the digital devotional/journal for a nominal price.
In order to fully give an opinion of the Daniel Fast I decided to give it a 10 day try. Here are my observations:
1. I found the devotional and journaling to be most valuable “take away” of the fast.
2. I struggled with Gregory’s assertations that this was such a healthy diet. Coming from a paleo perspective, statements saying that a vegan diet is most healthy go against what I believe.
3. Through the online experience I seemed to see a big emphasis on making good tasting food. To me, this takes away from the point of the fast, which is to be making a sacrifice. To Susan’s credit I did read something of hers that clarified that an emphasis on food was to be avoided.
4. All processed food was to be cut out. Tofu was allowed. I couldn’t see the rationale with that.
5. It was hard to maintain the vegetables only diet while continuing to feed a family. I couldn’t expect them to eat what I wanted to.
6. Almost the first day of the fast I was confronted with communion. The bread and the juice were not on the accepted list. However, I decided that God would not look unfavourably on me for taking communion and went ahead with it.
7. There seemed to be a following that was especially interested in the weight loss factor of the diet. Again, I think that this distracts from the spiritual connection you are hoping to make. (did I lose weight you ask? I refused to check 'cause this wasn't my point)
Bottom line? If you are interested in exploring the spiritual disciplines this might be a good place to start. There is lots of support and the book makes easy reading and is a great guideline to follow. No matter how long you choose to “fast” you will probably end up taking some forward steps in your spiritual life.
I was given this book to review for Tyndale House Publishers.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Are you tired of the same old Christmas stories year after year? “Miracle and Other Christmas Stories” by Connie Willis breaks out of the mold. Think “The Ghost of Christmas Past” with a twist. Imagine being locked in a store toy department for time eternal. What if Mary and Joseph came looking for Bethlehem in this time period? Murder at Christmas time? The dreaded Christmas newsletter - you’ve never read about aliens at Christmas before. This is Christmas with a science fiction flavour. Short stories that will pique your interest and provide several hours of Christmas fun and enjoyment. Included at the back are 12 recommended reads of the season and 12 recommended videos to watch.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Catchy covers. Bite-sized paragraphs. Truth bombs. Seth Godin has a way of making you uncomfortable with the status quo. If you like this kind of uncomfortable because it pushes you to move forward, you’ll keep on reading his material. If you just find him weird, the books will hold no appeal. For myself, I can’t get enough of him. “Poke the Box” challenges us to take initiative wherever we are and start “stuff”. Do it differently; raise your hand; take a chance; what will happen if I (fill in the blank).
The book inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and do something that I was worrying about creating a stir with. So what if it fails? So what if people don’t understand? If more people took the ideas in this book seriously we’d have a rush of action. This isn’t just for big business. It can make an impact on your personal life as well. Go ahead – poke the box. You know you want to.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
“Besides the Bible” is an enabler book. Subtitled “100 books that have, should, or will create Christian culture”, each chapter had me putting must read books onto my wish list. In fact, what I wanted to do was pull a “Julie and Julia” and read them all in one year. (2 a week!???) When my pulse stopped racing, good sense kicked in and a life-long goal seemed more rational.
We are, indeed, shaped by what we read (or watch or the people we hang with). So if my goal is become a stronger, more committed Christian, reading the books that strong, committed Christians wrote seems like a no-brainer. Alongside the Bible, this compilation would be a good guide to steering through the congested waters of Christian publishing.
Written by Dan Gibson, Jordan Green and John Pattison, the essays are not bland, boring reviews. These men are passionate about the written word and words written about God and the things of God, in particular.
I’m off to buy this book – a good start to a good year of reading.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
This was the first ebook read on my new Kobo touch! Yah! I loved the experience. A friend said that reading on a reader makes you faster. I might have to agree with that.
“Lincoln’s Dreams” by Connie Willis was not a hard sell for me. She is one of my favourite authors. A disclaimer for the book, though. I don’t believe in this stuff; I just enjoy reading science fiction. That said - the book was fascinating. If the dead could dream, what would they dream about? Could their dreams affect the living? Direct the living? Can the living direct the dreams of the dead?
What I like most about Willis’s books is all the history you absorb alongside a riveting story. In “Lincoln’s Dreams” Jeff, a researcher looking into small details about the Civil War, meets Annie, who is tormented by bad dreams. Her psychiatrist is convinced that she is having one medical problem after another, but as the story unfolds it becomes clearer to Jeff and Annie that the dreams tell a tale closer to real life, albeit, past life. Interesting facts about the civil war, General Lee and Abraham Lincoln wove their way through this science fiction/love story. Apparently this was Connie Willis’s first book – I’m glad she wrote it and so glad she kept on writing.