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

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Books

A Chinaman's Chance: One Family's Journey and the Chinese American Dream by Eric Liu -- this was a pretty good book about a Chinese American. Some parts were much more interesting to me than others, but that's normal for most books, I suppose. I liked reading about his family, and how several of his father's siblings went back to China after being educated and living several years in the United States.  The chapter on "Father Tongue" was good as were other parts.  This was in the new books section at the library.

The Witch Doctor's Wife by Tamar Myers --  The author was born in the Belgian Congo, so when I saw this book at a local library, I thought it would be full of tidbits about her life there. And, I suppose, in a sense it was. But...I thought some of it was confusing, and the author's bitterness towards her parents for sending her to boarding school shone through. Maybe I was reading too much into it since I have a family member who has had issues with this fact in his own life.  I like the tidbits written at the beginning of each chapter. They were facts about tribes and animals in that region of the world. I'm sure I could find most of that information on Wikipedia, but I was more likely to read it in a book this way.

The Headhunter's Daughter by Tamar Myers  -- A sequel to the book above. I checked out these books at the same time; otherwise, I'm not sure I would have bothered finding this one. Of the two, the first was better.  I did like the author interview at the end of this one to learn a bit more about the author's growing up years.

A Year Down Under by Richard Peck -- a junior fiction book I found while looking for another book on the Newberry Shelf at the library.  A fifteen-year-old girl from Chicago goes to a "hick town" to live with her grandmother for a year during a depression.  She recounts stories from school and from living with this interesting relative.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare -- I saw this book mentioned by someone on Facebook and then a week later I read a blogger's book review and noticed she mentioned it as well. So I decided to read it for myself despite it being for junior readers.  It was pretty cute reading about Kit's life in the Puritan Northeast after having been born and raised in Barbados.  Quite an adjustment.

Head Over Heels in France: Falling In Love in the Lot by Samantha Brick  -- I am not familiar with this lady, but apparently she was/is in British TV.  I just saw this book in the biographies and I'm a sucker for reading about life in France (I guess!).  For her, it was meeting a guy in the Lot, and agreeing to move in with him and later marry him.  It wasn't the most interesting book I've ever read (by far), but it did make me want to visit the Lot!  And it was pretty interesting reading her English impression of those in that part of France!

The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure -- "My adventure in the lost world of Little House on the Prairie" -- the author is an avid Laura Ingalls Wilder fan - of the books, really - and decides to try a few of the old-timey chores (like churning butter) and visits most all the places mentioned in the books where Laura and her family lived.

Charis: God's Scandalous Grace for Us by Preston Sprinkle  -- I think I heard about this on Facebook because somehow it ended up on my Amazon Wishlist and I got it for my birthday; I really liked the chapter called Tattoo referring to the Bible verse about our being engraved on God's hand 

Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume edited by Jennifer O'Connell -- a collection of a couple dozen essays of women authors who learned life lessons from Judy Blume books; I saw this at my local library and decided to read the variety of topics

Catch the Jew! by Tuvia Tenenbom -- I wrote about this book here

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart -- I still read a few blogs, and four of the ladies post book reviews from time-to-time. I have a small notebook near my computer where I jot down titles of certain ones that seem appealing. This book was in Liz's top 5 one year so I looked for it in the YA section of my local library the other day and finished it up at the beach.  Interesting book about a girl who goes to school with a bunch of rich kids. She wants to be included in the secret society that is for guys only - and she wants to stop being "bunny rabbit" to everyone.  I like her ingenuity.  I don't like her group of friends very much. They are only her friend, really, when she's with the right guy.  I prefer her geekier friends, I guess.  They seem more loyal. 

Motherless by Erin Healy -- This book was unsettling to me. I guess a story about a man on his deathbed narrating a story about how he lost his wife after her battle with a bipolar disorder was too much for me. But not enough that I didn't keep reading.  I read most of this at the beach and on the way home. And I finished it about 11:30 last night (June 22) because I couldn't sleep due to drinking tea after 3 PM. 

Until Tomorrow by Robin Jones Gunn -- I saw this while in the YA section the other day, and thought I'd give it a try.  Traveling through parts of Europe interested me, but otherwise the storyline was so silly and high schoolish for me.  I only finished it because I was hopeful of more interesting talk of the sights and experiences in Europe - that, and because it was a fairly fast read for me. And I am in need of more library books...

Home Town Tales by Philip Gulley -- a wonderful, easy read full of "recollections of kindness, peace, and joy"  ; he's a good storyteller, and I appreciated many of the lessons here.  Like choosing to focus on your blessings in life instead of all the things that are hard.  And looking for kindness in people - because often kind acts are there.

Under the Sky: From Starvation in North Korea to Salvation in America by Joseph Kim -- the story of a young man who grew up in North Korea. I've read a few books similar to this, and each time it floors me how many people who live under the same sky have such utterly miserable lives.  I know we all suffer in various ways, but watching your children cry from hunger has to be among the worst ways to suffer.  These types of books always challenge to me to look around and include the one eating lunch alone at school, and feed the beggar coming to my door. Or they make me want to do those things....if given another chance.

I posted earlier not thinking I'd finish another book before July came, but I had more reading time today, and finished another book just now (10:19 PM). So I had to add it to June books.

Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell -- a collection of stories about Sarah's life; she's a pretty interesting writer. I liked the chapter about her journey on the Trail of Tears. Other chapters were good, too.

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