Monday, December 26, 2011

Leather and Lace

by DiAnn Mills

Casey is a female outlaw who escapes from a gang she was in for seven years, but the gang leader wants her back and will go to any lengths. Someone helps Casey escape and wants to help her clear her name but she is not sure that she can trust him.

This was an okay book as far as historical western Christian romance goes. Not my favourite style, but it was interesting.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The President's Daughter

by Mariah Stewart

She had a perfect life--until she was marked for death 

A reporter is asked to write a new biography of a deceased former U.S. president who was known by all as extremely moral and honest. When the reporter discovers the president had had an affair that resulted in a child, several lives are suddenly in danger. Who is it that wants these secrets to remain hidden?

This is a fascinating mystery story with just enough clues to keep you guessing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Try Fear

by James Scott Bell

Lawyer Ty Buchanan successfully defends a suspected drunk driver, but when his client is killed he ends up defending the man's brother on the charge of murder. The evidence points to his innocence, but who committed the crime?

Try Fear is a very interesting mystery story. It's supposed to be a Christian book, but it's really just a "clean" story. There is a bit of romance.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

crazy love

overwhelmed by a relentless God 

by Francis Chan

A true Christian should show his faith by love to God and others through giving time and resources. The author argues that you cannot be truly saved if you are only living for yourself.

I think this is a really good book. Mr. Chan backs up most of what he says with scripture and doesn't hesitate to say it like it is even when his ideas are not popular. Crazy Love did not stir me as much as I had expected it would, but it did move me further along the path I have been on for the last little while.

Book website at

Thursday, December 15, 2011


how I lost more than a quarter ton and gained a life

by Nancy Makin

Nancy describes the events of her childhood, early marriage and motherhood and how several things contributed to her excessive weight gain and the loneliness she experienced when she was housebound for many years. She tells about the gift that changed it all and her euphoria in discovering life again.

This is not a book about losing weight; it is the fascinating autobiography of a woman who has seen and experienced many events and circumstances. I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting her story was and highly recommend this book.

I listened to an audiobook version of this book which was a great way to make my ironing more fun, but the narrator's voice was somewhat inconsistent and changed from soft to harsh several times and she pronounced a few words incorrectly.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Homemade Gifts

easy techniques and great projects 

by Nicki Trench

A collection of projects to make by hand; mostly knitting and sewing along with some crochet and cooking, one tile mosaic and one garden journal. The instructions are detailed and seem very clear.

Unfortunately, nothing jumped out at me and I didn't make anything from this book.


recipes and techniques for putting up small batches of seasonal foods 

by Eugenia Bone

Instructions for preserving foods using several methods and recipes for using those preserved foods.

While the instructions were clear and the photos were nice, the foods were mostly not things that I eat--I guess we eat rather more simple meals around here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Steady Days

A journey toward intentional, professional motherhood 

by Jamie C. Martin

A mother of three preschoolers shares her thoughts and ideas for adding routine, peace and purpose to her family's days. She suggests having a flexible weekly schedule that changes over time as your family's needs change. She also talks about her ideas for preserving memories and for living in the moment.

This is a nice book and I think it would be helpful for mothers with young children whose days seem to go by with nothing being accomplished. I probably would have appreciated it about 10 years ago, but my kids are a bit older now and since we homeschool, I have already developed a routine as I would be completely lost without one.

The author has lovely blogs at and

Sunday, December 4, 2011

From this moment on

by Shania Twain

This Canadian girl was born into a poor family in the northern Ontario town of Timmins. She had a difficult childhood in which violence was common and enough food to eat was rare. In spite of it, she became the world's best-selling country singer. She describes a lot of what goes on behind the scenes and shares her desperate grief when her parents died when she was 21 and then when her marriage ended 21 years later.

While I'm not a big country fan, I found Shania's story very interesting and I even listened to a few of the songs she mentioned in the book. I did find one mistake: on page 202, she talks about hunting "Ontario forest foul" instead of fowl. She also says 3 or 4 times that she has been a vegetarian for 18 years; once would probably have been enough. I don't mean to be picky though; it was a pretty good book.

Edited to add: In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that there is some pretty crude language and bad situations in this book that some may find offensive.