"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December Books

A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel -- The subtitle is 'Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana' and it was a cute book. Liz recommended it as one of her favorites awhile back. I think she enjoyed it more since she lived in Indiana for part of her married life.  My library had it in the Biography section so I read it. She's a pretty good story-teller. 

Last Lessons of Summer by Margaret Maron -- in this book a lady from New York City comes to a small town outside of Raleigh, NC, to close out her grandparents' estate. In the process, she has to solve the mysteries of her grandmother's and mother's deaths.

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr -- the tale of a fifteen year old pastor's daughter, and the troublesome summer when her mom was in rehab, and her world seemed to fall apart.

From Beirut to Jersusalem by Thomas L. Friedman -- I found this one at a book exchange and just took my time reading a little bit nearly every day.  I began it on October 25 (my wedding anniversary), and finished the nearly 600 pages yesterday on the cool date of 12-13-14.  Lots of interesting stuff in here, but I felt like I needed an up-to-date tale from the author. As it ends, "Rabin himself is not talking regularly about 'separation' from the Palestinians," Arafat is still alive, and Hafez Assad still rules Syria.  So much has happened since then! I do wonder what the author would say in regards to his predictions of the future in that part of the world.  I enjoyed reading about his life in Beirut and Jerusalem; great reports from those places!

Hallie's Heart by Shelly Beach -- an aunt and niece share a few days together as they come to grips with a bad accident in their pasts.  Both learn the importance of forgiveness.

You Had Me at Good-bye by Tracey Bateman -- a book my mom finished while I was at her house so I decided to read it. Rather cute book, cute characters. Predictable, yes, but an easy read about a young editor in New York City.

Her Amish Man by Erin Bates -- I got this book while at the library recently. My sole quest was for easy reads, and this one was. But it was a rather silly book. Still, it fit the bill of being an easy book to read during this holiday season.  Lawyer Leah hides out with the Amish after being accused of murder. Exciting, right? 

The Tyrant's Daughter by JC Carleson -- can you imagine leaving your war-torn home country where your family was the "royal family" only to find out in your new country that your father was a dictator who approved many crimes against your countrymen?  That's the gist of this book. Quite an interesting tale.  Bridget recommended this one.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave - a friend recommended this one to me; a Nigerian girl makes her way to England where she is an illegal refugee. She meets up with a couple she met years before in her home country.  This book makes you feel more for those leaving troublesome pasts. 

A Likely Story: One Summer with Lillian Hellman by Rosemary Mahoney  -- A few years ago, I read one of her books about living in China, so I must have put her biography on my list for that reason. This book takes place when Rosemary was 17. She wanted to work one summer for a favorite author, and wrote asking if she could.  Ms. Hellman agreed, and it was quite an eye-opening experience for Rosemary.  I just looked up Lillian Hellman as she's not a famous person that I'm familiar with.  Anyway...if this sort of thing interests you, great.  Sometimes famous people aren't what they seem from their stories or movies.  Sometimes this is a blessing, and other times it is a great disappointment.

Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker -- this year I've been jotting down books that people recommend on their blogs especially if my library has them. This is one book Crystal wrote about in September.  I found it in the Junior Fiction at my library so it's not really in my age group, but it's a cute story of two young girls who are trying to survive one summer in Cape Cod when their caregiver suddenly dies.  Neither wants to go into foster care so they bury Louise in the garden and live as if Louise is inside with a broken leg or out with her boyfriend. 

Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell -- I think Niki recommended this book, and I finally found it at a local library. It's the story of Agnes Shanklin, a school teacher in Ohio, who inherits some money, and eventually goes on a trip to Egypt, Jerusalem, and Gaza around the time of Lawrence of Arabia and Winston Churchill.  In fact, she speaks with both of these men at some length while traveling. 

Four Mile by Watt Key -- another YA recommended by Crystal.  I read this in one sitting.  Foster and his mother are preparing to sell the family farm when a stranger happens by.  For some reason Foster instantly likes Gary, and this book is about their times within about a month when Gary is helping to get the place ready to sell.

Which Way to the Wild West? by Steve Sheinkin -- my friend Jennifer's twelve year old son really enjoyed this book. I think she read it as well, and she recommended it to me. It was written by a former textbook author who saved all these cool stories - that the editors didn't have room for in a history book full of dates and charts - for a book of his own. Quite interesting and a quick read for my last book of 2014.

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