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When I Lay My Isaac Down: Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances
reviewed on + 84 more book reviews

This book starts when Carol Kent's only child, Jason, is arrested for the murder of his wife's ex.  He was motivated by stories of abuse and the victim's move to get unsupervised visitation with Jason's step-daughters.

Kent then goes on to explain the heartache and trauma of seeing your child go from being a successful young man to being a murderer.  She eloquently explains how her family coped with Jason's trial and how they maintained their faith through the storm.

The analogy of the book is your Isaac is any trial you face, anything that God asks you to give up control of and put on the altar.

I liked the book and the positive message of hope it gave.

That being said I had some problem with the theology that verged on Calvinism, if not jumping right into it.

Kent spends a lot of time questioning why Jason was able to kill the other man.  Why didn't God stop him?  What was God trying to teach her?

God did not gun down Douglas Miller Junior in cold blood, Jason did.  Jason did this because he wanted Doug to die.  He is a free moral agent who made a series of decisions that ended with pointing a gun at a man and pulling the trigger.

God allowed it because he made Jason to be a free moral agent.  God did not condone Jason's actions.  He didn't encourage them.  He didn't let them happen to teach Jason's mother an obscure moral lesson.  He gave Jason the choice to make decisions for better or for worse.  Sadly, Jason chose the latter.

There is in this book the assumption that God scripts the world and we just play out the script.  This would be an evil god.  He would have to have made Judas so that it would be better for him not to be born.  He would have had to have made Jason to commit murder. A loving God, clearly could not.  Instead, God allows us to make our own decisions and picks us up when we fall.

So while this is a well written and well thought out book, it does have a few moments to be cautious about.

Nevermore (Maximum Ride, Bk 8)
reviewed on + 13 more book reviews

Loved this book.

Author: Jorrie Spencer
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 765 more book reviews

this book was ok, so i'll pass it on!

reviewed on + 690 more book reviews

I'm amazed that there are no wishes for this well made, well written, and well conceived book. I won't waste my time looking up any more books today from the 'free' book truck at the branch library that is made up of discards and things brought in by patrons (I left a couple of YA novels).
Recipes for kraken slime, smoking phoenix ashes. How to make a Toad Garden castle, a fairy circle, crystal candy, petrified tree cookies, the mirror of fantasy, a high speed chase broom, and a wizard's staff.
There are several informative essays on Celtic shape shifters, notable wizards, and the runic alphabet.

A Fine Balance
A Fine Balance
Author: Mistry Rohinton
Genre: History
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 420 more book reviews

Thank goodness I read this book with a reading buddy in my online book club The Reading Cove!!

A Fine Balance should come with a warning label: * * * CAUTION! May cause the reader to slit his or her own wrists if finished. * * *

I would never recommend this to anyone. It's just trial and injustice after trial and injustice, with four striving characters you'd better not even bother connecting with. The story's just an excessively gross and discouraging kick in the gut to the reader. I mean, I'm grateful I wasn't reading some parts while eating lunch! Eeew.

It's one of those ridiculously depressing award-winning Oprah's Book Club selections, but never mind that. If you haven't yet read it, do yourself a favor and don't. You're better off reading Wikipedia if you're interested in this period of time in India.

The Kitchen House
reviewed on + 418 more book reviews

Lavinia is orphaned while crosssing from Ireland with her family. At the tender age of 6 she becomes an indentured servant to the captain of the ship. He takes her to his plantation in Virginia and turns her over to the care of Belle who works in the kitchen house. Mama Mae, Papa George, Uncle Jacob and the other children on the plantation become her family and she does not really realize that the color of their skin makes them different. As she gets older she is made to realize that she is different because she is white. She gets opportunities the rest of "her family" will never have but that does not always let her be happy.

This is a story full of love, hate, passion, cruelty, sadness, desperation and every other emotion that a disfunctional family can bring. I laughed, I cried, I cringed but am glad I read the book.

History of the Conquest of Peru
reviewed on + 5549 more book reviews

By far, the best book written in 1847 (yes, better than Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Vanity Fair).

Krakatoa: The Day The World Exploded August 27, 1883
reviewed on + 5549 more book reviews

Wonderful book, that covers everything from the discovery of seafloor spreading to the adoption of time zones. Sometimes, it even discusses the eruption of Krakatoa.

The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
reviewed on

Although written just before the ACA, it is a great description of other types of major national health care systems. Useful work given the renewed debate on health care.

Uni the Unicorn
Uni the Unicorn
Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Genre: Children's Books
Book Type: Hardcover
reviewed on + 317 more book reviews

Uni the unicorn, is unlike other unicorns. She believes there are such things as little girls even though the other unicorns laugh at her. Also far away a little girl believes in unicorns, unlike other children.

Just the thought of Uni believing in little girls boosts the cuteness level of the book that already has art that brings innocence to the book that little children will love.

Many people have commented on some things that they disliked in other reviews. Two things I agree with is the book ends abruptly and the two main characters don't meet. It makes you long for more story.

Uni the unicorn is a sweet story and I can happily say there is sequel that recently came out which I will be reviewing. If you have a little girl who loves unicorns or fantasy, I think it will be fairy tale cherished for long time.

The House on Cold Hill
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Book Description:
They said the dead can't hurt you . . . They were wrong. The House on Cold Hill is a chilling and suspenseful ghost story from the multi-million copy bestselling author of Dead Simple, Peter James. Moving from the heart of Brighton and Hove to the Sussex countryside is a big undertaking for Ollie and Caro Harcourt and their 12-year-old daughter Jade. But when they view Cold Hill Houseâa huge, dilapidated Georgian mansionâOllie is filled with excitement. Despite the financial strain of the move, he has dreamed of living in the country since he was a child, and he sees Cold Hill House as a paradise for his animal-loving daughter, the perfect base for his web-design business, and a terrific long-term investment. Caro is less certain, and Jade is grumpy about being separated from her friends. Within days of moving in, it becomes apparent that the Harcourt family aren't the only residents of the house. A friend of Jade's is the first to see the spectral woman, standing behind her as the girls talk on FaceTime. Then there are more sightings, as well as increasingly disturbing occurrences in the house. As the haunting becomes more malevolent and the house itself begins to turn on the Harcourts, the terrified family discover Cold Hill House's dark history, and the horrible truth of what it could mean for them.

My Review:
Peter James is a masterful storyteller and this one was well told. It is a page turner from the very beginning with all it's creepy happenings. I found the characters very likable and believable. The old house was a real nightmare and gave the residents spine-tingling chills. They definitely should have moved out sooner than they did. This book could make you believe in ghosts as the hauntings were very convincing. If you like paranormal ghost stories then don't miss this one. You won't be able to put it down until you reach the surprise ending. I look forward to reading more of Peter James' books in the future.

A Christmas Peril (A Theater Cop Mystery)
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A Christmas Peril by J.A. Hennrikus is the first story in A Theater Cop Mystery series. Edwina âSullyâ Sullivan has been the general manager of the Cliffside Theater Company in Trevorton, Massachusetts for the last five years since leaving the force (and her ex-husband). Sully is busy with preparations for their annual performance of A Christmas Carol, but she is taking time out to attend the funeral of Peter Whitehall. Peter's son, Eric is a friend and Sully is tending the event for him. When Eric ends up arrested for Peter's murder, Sully puts her detecting skills to work finding the real killer. Sully has her hands full with keeping the budget on track for A Christmas Carol, replacing an actor, dealing with Patrick King who cannot remember his lines and has a drinking problem (along with a huge ego), and finding Peter's killer.

When I started reading A Christmas Peril, I went back to check that this was the first book. I felt like I was plopped down in the middle of a series. The book is very confusing in the beginning. It felt like the book was written out of order (with the beginning in the middle and the middle at the beginning). The pace of the story is a little too slow for my liking and it felt dated (like it was written for a different time-period). The book lacked flow and smooth transitions. Many of the same details are repeated frequently (after I while I could recite them by rote). Sully became fixated on murder (obsessed). Too much of the book is focused on conjecture and hearsay (Sully going over the same details). I solved the crime at Peter's funeral (it should not be that easy). There are a couple of possible love interests for Sully in the story. I could have done with less âflirtingâ and a more interesting/engaging mystery. At the end of the story, there are dangling threads (it felt unfinished) and it was convoluted. The Christmas aspect was very light (almost non-existent). A Christmas Peril would have benefited from more editing/rewriting.

His Illegitimate Heir (Beaumont Heirs, Bk 6) (Harlequin Desire, No 2478)
reviewed on + 1041 more book reviews

This book focuses on the fact that love is love is love. The characters both have their baggage but it is not race related which I appreciated. The author hints at the microaggressions that black men face everyday as a reality but not as a dwelling point. The only minor flaw I saw was referring to being biracial as "no man's land" which it is not. But in the end this is a real good love story about two people who have an instant spark, meet cute and learn how to have a viable relationship.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
reviewed on + 155 more book reviews

This is a thought-provoking, fascinating, sad and yet uplifting book. It's about "who are you, really?" and what families are, and what memory really is, and what it is to be human, and how humans treat some animals. Rosemary and her family may not be 100% likable - but no real person is either. Her journey in coming to terms with her childhood, what happened to her brother and her sister, is very touching. She thinks she knows what happened but there's so much more than she remembers or even knew at the time. Starting in the middle gave a lot of interesting texture to the story, as different parts come to light.

After a Fashion (A Class of Their Own, Bk 1)
reviewed on + 107 more book reviews

Oh how I love the stories that this author writes! I love how this story made me laugh out loud at the circumstances that these characters found themselves in. It was a story filled with wonderful and quirky characters. Add romance and humor to the mix and I consider this book to be a winner. Full review at my website.

I received this book in a giveaway. I was not required to give a positive review. All of the opinions I have expressed are my own.

Spellbound Falls (Spellbound Falls, Bk 1)
reviewed on

I loved the whole series. Highly recommend it. I also read
her previous 2 series which set the stage for Spellbound

No Shirt, No Shoes... No Problem!
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I enjoyed this book.

To Be Where You Are (A Mitford Novel)
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This is a wonderful story to listen to. The reader is perfect. I love getting lost in Mitford Land, which is in any of the books written by Jan Karon! Highly recommended!

Sea Rose Lane (Hope Harbor, Bk 2)
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Somehow, I've never read a book by Irene Hannon. Sea Rose Lane is the second in her Hope Harbor series and I really liked it. I enjoyed the wonderful and compassionate characters and their willingness to step up and help each other. The romance part was good too. Highly recommended!

You Are Special
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Great book! My seven year old grandson loved it so much he clapped after we read it the first time. He loves reading it himself too. Love the story, the artwork and the message. Highly recommended!

I Must Say: My Life as Humble Comedy Legend
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"Martin Short: I Must Say My Life as Humble Comedy Legend" is a very entertaining read about this funny and extremely versatile entertainer's extensive career. It is an easy read and never flags from being entertaining and very informative about the inner workings of modern show business. Definitely worth your reading time! Two Thumbs Up, I Must Say!

The Darkness Within
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Hard to rate this book as the subject matter is horrendous

This is another book from the UK so there will be a lot of spelling that doesn't look right but is from the UK

The story is very dark and at times gory and at times horrendous so even though you want to say you really liked the book it's hard to put a 4 or 5 star on such a dark story

Nothing Stays Buried (A Monkeewrench Novel)
reviewed on + 1131 more book reviews

The interesting, everything's-connected-somehow plotting and the characters with their terrific chemistry are still in place. The detectives, with their easy and engaging banter, are much the same as ever. But the doings of Monkeewrench are more subdued this time. With the passing of half of the P J Tracy writing team, it seems there is a slightly different tone to this latest book, a little more introspection and thoughtfulness in the midst of the usual crime-solving action. The emphasis here is more on Grace than on Monkeewrench and their techie wizardry. Not disappointing, just a little different, maybe even necessary for the overall series to progress. I'll certainly keep reading, and am looking forward to where it all goes from here for Monkeewrench.

Soldier's Rescue (Single Father)
Soldier's Rescue (Single Father)
Author: Betina Krahn
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
reviewed on + 1000 more book reviews

Fantastic book. Kate is a veterinarian with a special affinity for dogs. We first see her with some puppies that have been dropped off at the shelter by an unknown person, setting the stage for later events. Her warmth and compassion for the animals she cares for is obvious. Her skills are needed when a state trooper arrives with a dog that had been hit by a car.

Nick came across the injured golden retriever while out on patrol. Standing guard over the golden was a German shepherd who was very protective. The injured dog resurrects some hard memories for Nick, but he does what he needs to do. I loved his gentleness with the golden and the way he handled the German shepherd. It was fun to see the way that he talked to the dog.

Nick and Kate's first encounter was awesome. I loved the teamwork as they worked together to treat the golden. There were also some definite sparks flying between the two of them. Kate is wary, having recently ended one relationship and feeling too busy with work to want another. Nick is busy raising his son and dealing with his memories from his time in Iraq. Thanks to a mutual desire to put an end to a puppy mill and a dog-fighting ring, and the enthusiasm of Nick's son Ben when it comes to dogs, Nick and Kate find themselves spending a lot of time together.

I loved the development of their relationship. It is a slow process of getting to know each and learning what makes them who they are. Nick especially has some serious issues to overcome. I loved Kate's sensitivity and compassion as Nick opens up about some truly heartbreaking things that happened to him. It was awesome to see how sharing the pain helped lighten the burden of those memories. I also loved the way that Nick was there to support Kate during the heartbreaking hours of the puppy mill rescue operation. There were some conflicts when Nick's protectiveness toward Ben ran up against Kate's more relaxed style. It was fantastic to see that they were able to talk things over without resorting to dramatics. I liked how they embraced their deepening feelings for each other as a crisis tested them both. Nick's plans for the future were a perfect complement to Kate's work. The epilogue was great and I loved catching up with both two- and four-footed characters.

The concurrent story of the puppy mill and dog-fighting ring was intense and heartbreaking. I loved the bravery of Miguel and Alejandro as they took steps to help as many pups as they could. The rescue scene was scary and heartwrenching as Nick faced down the old woman who owned the dogs. The descriptions of the conditions of the dogs made me want to cry. The situation became even more intense later, when young Miguel went missing. My heart was pounding as Nick and the others searched for him. The confrontation with the dog fighters was fierce with an unexpected hero saving the day.

The secondary characters were all wonderful. I loved Nick's son Ben. He is bright and enthusiastic, and an endearing mix of kid and adult. I really liked the closeness of the relationship between Ben and Nick. Kate's grandmother was quite a trip with her farm full of rescued animals and unconventional views on raising kids. My favorite of all was the German shepherd, Soldier. I loved the way he protected Goldie and continued to watch over her. What was especially moving was the way he connected with Nick. I loved the way that Soldier helped Nick break free of the chains his memories of Iraq had on him. At the same time, Nick's attention to Soldier gave the dog a purpose to live again. I loved seeing Soldier come through for Nick at the end. There was also a brief mention at the end involving Kate's brother, Jace, and her vet partner, Jess. I will keep my eyes open to see if there will be a story for them.

Author: James Rollins
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 587 more book reviews

Book Description:
An inexplicable explosion rocks the antiquities collection of a London museum, setting off alarms in clandestine organizations around the world.

And now the search for answers is leading Lady Kara Kensington; her friend Safia al-Maaz, the gallery's brilliant and beautiful curator; and their guide, the international adventurer Omaha Dunn, into a world they never dreamed existed: a lost city buried beneath the Arabian desert.

But others are being drawn there as well, some with dark and sinister purposes. And the many perils of a death-defying trek deep into the savage heart of the Arabian Peninsula pale before the nightmare waiting to be unearthed at journey's end: an ageless and awesome power that could create a utopia... or destroy everything humankind has built over countless millennia.

My Review:
This was a very interesting book and I enjoyed it very much. It had a mix of history, science, fiction and adventure and had a fast-moving plot and excellent character development. My only compliant is that it could have been a shorter book. I look forward to read the next book in the Sigma Force series.

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