Monday, February 28, 2011

The Paper Garden

: Mrs. Delany begins her life's work at 72

by Molly Peacock

This is the story of a woman in the 18th century who invented a kind of paper collage in later life and went on to create many impressive works of art. The author draws parallels to her own life in several areas. She also tries to make connections between some of the artwork and different periods of Mrs. Delany's life, but I think these comparisons fall rather flat. However, I did find the story interesting.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Radical Homemakers

by Shannon Hayes

Benefits and reasons for consuming and living on less. This is a rather long book to read but it is interesting and I found it worthwhile.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hatteras Girl

by Alice Wisler

This is a Christian romance novel set in North Carolina. I enjoyed it.

Monday, February 7, 2011


: An intimate portrait of Elizabeth II
by Carolly Erickson

This biography was an interesting and informative account of the Queen's life from birth on. The author seemed to be trying to respect Her Majesty's dignity while providing enough humorous anecdotes and hints of scandal to keep the book interesting. I'm not sure whether she thinks her boring or fascinating but appropriately reserved.

From the title "Intimate Portrait" I expected that the book was written by someone with firsthand knowledge of the Queen, but this is not the case. There are many quotations from books and other sources.

I enjoyed reading it and would recommend this book. It wasn't dull.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Indivisible, Pearl in the Sand

by Kristen Heitzmann

Someone is performing sick experiments on animals in a small town and the police chief is concerned. Several of the towns residents are rather unusual characters; is it one of them doing these things? A combination of mystery and romance make this an exciting page-turner.

I like all of Kristen Heitzmann's books and this one did not disappoint.

Pearl in the Sand: a novel
by Tessa Afshar

This book is an imaginative retelling of the Biblical story of Rahab, the prostitute in Jericho who hid the spies of Israel. When her city was destroyed, she was spared and joined the people of Israel and even married one of them, eventually being listed in the genealogy of Jesus. How she may have felt and the difficulties she must have faced make a great story.

I thought the author did a great job with this book. It was tastefully done; Rahab's occupation is covered without going into detail. It is obvious that a lot of research went into the writing of this story and it seems entirely believable.

C.S. Lewis

Mere Christianity

I found the author made some good points but was totally wrong on some others. I thought his view on charity (in the chapter on Social Morality) was excellent.

The Great Divorce

This book was a fantasy about the difference between heaven and hell and our choice in the matter. It was short but interesting.


This one was tough going for me. The author used many logical arguments that I found difficult to follow. I made a note that I had enjoyed Appendix B, but I don't remember what it was about.

The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook

: The best sweet and savory recipes for every occasion

by John Barricelli

This is a beautiful book with lovely, full-page photos for many of the recipes. Most of the recipes are for sweets but the seventh chapter is Breads and the eighth is Savories. The recipe instructions are clear and easy to follow. They are not, in general, quick and easy recipes but the average home baker should not have difficulty making them.

I made two of the cakes: Apple Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting and SoNo Chocolate Ganache Cake. They were both delicious, but the brown sugar frosting just tasted like sweetened butter so I scraped it all off the cake, added 1 1/2 cups icing sugar and spread it on again. It was much better. The Chocolate Ganache Cake (photo on right) was rich, chocolaty and wonderful. It would serve quite a few because you really can't eat a large piece. All in all, a great cookbook.

Friday, February 4, 2011

White Doves

by Shannon Taylor Vannatter
Hayden Winters is raising his paraplegic nephew, Brady, when he meets Laken, the attractive new postmaster in town. Turns out, however, that her brother is Brady's father who left town and Hayden's sister before the boy was born and claims never to have heard about her death or their son. Now that he knows, he wants to move to another state with the boy but Hayden is completely against the idea. And Laken and her brother want nothing to do with their rather notorious parents. As Hayden and Laken begin to fall in love, he wonders whose side she is on. The dilemma is solved only when people give up their rights and begin showing love and compassion to others.

This was a fun book to read—and the funny thing is that I was filling in for the local postmaster when I read it! The story was interesting and the characters were well-developed and lifelike, except for Hayden who was a little too perfect. I couldn't imagine how the problem of what would happen with Brady would be solved but I was glad when it all worked out without anything strange happening to the story. The lessons of forgiveness and selflessness come through clearly without being preachy.

Thank you to the author for sending me a copy to review. Visit her website at and her facebook page at