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    Finding Grace

    Finding Grace – Laura Pearl Last year I was delighted when I won a copy of Finding Grace written by my friend Laura. Most excitedly it arrived just in time to be tucked into my hospital bag along with the Tim Tams (chocolate coated biscuits). As all mummas know, essentials for a stay in the maternity ward include chocolate and a brand new book to savour, for those moments when your newborn is asleep and you are slowly going mad looking at the walls of the maternity ward. Finding Grace will always be part of my memories of Bella’s birth, as in the 20 hours between Bella’s birth and when we booked…

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    Restoration Novels – Christian Suspense

    Occasionally I find a Christian author whose writing style appeals and I settle in to enjoy some Christian fiction, generally romance or suspense. Terri Blackstock’s Restoration Novels are Christian suspense and very engaging.  Imagine if tomorrow a supernova sends out pulses that interrupts any and all electromagnetic energy here on earth.  There would be chaos, nothing would work that we rely on today in our technological world. Cars couldn’t run, planes couldn’t fly, watches wouldn’t work, nor phones, generators, sewage systems, eftpos machines etc, nor could goods be replenished.  Hospitals would have no life saving machines functioning, emergency services couldn’t function and police hard to contact. Banking systems would collapse etc…

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    Two Best Sellers

    The Book Thief – Markus Zusak In 1939, Nazi Germany, Liesel is a foster girl living in Munich.  She loves her accordion playing foster father, she helps her foster parents hide a Jewish man in their basement, and she steals books. Written for young adults this book has everybody talking, it was with interest I picked up my copy to read.  I really struggled to ‘get into’ this novel.  Reading all the reviews I note with interest The Book Thief provokes two emotions, you either love it or hate it, I’m afraid I fall into the second category.  A few reasons that I found totally distracting, The Narrator of the…

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    Rhys Bowen Mysteries

    This week I’ve been enjoying some of Rhys Bowen‘s mysteries.  Rhys Bowen has written three different mystery series, featuring very different leading characters, all set in different countries and time periods. Some I’ve ‘met’ before, some are ‘new friends’. The Constable Evans series is set in rural Wales, possibly in the 1970s or 80s.  The main character is local constable Evan Evans, apparently the books are full of local characters and lots of mysteries to solve. Sadly our library doesn’t have any copies so I’ve yet to read any of these. The first Rhys Bowen books I read were her Royal Spyness mysteries. I totally enjoyed Bowen as a writer and couldn’t wait to…

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    Discovering New Mystery Series

    Always keen to find new book gems, I tend to devour a series or author once discovered, our children also have the same passionate approach to reading. This week I discovered a couple of  new mystery series, one of which was a pleasant read, the other was a little too slow. Murder on the Half Shelf – Lorna Barrett Tricia Miles the main character is the owner of ‘Haven’t Got A Clue’, a mystery bookstore in Stoneham, New Hampshire, America. She is an amateur sleuth and embarks upon solving yet another mystery, this one involves a long ago lover whom she thought dead. Characters sprinkled throughout the book include Tricia’s…

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    Mercy Watson – Transition Readers

    Over the years we have built up a collection of readers for our beginner, emerging and independent readers.  I am always searching for books that will fully engage and nurture a love of reading, yet as each child has their own preference, what one enjoys may not appeal to another, and as a couple of our children have been late readers this has been yet another challenge to finding books that are engaging but not daunting. Today as Jelly Bean read aloud another Mercy Watson book to me I reflected upon how truly enjoyable and unique this series of six books are. We only found the series recently but are totally ‘hooked’.…

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    Catholic Picture Books – Life of a Saint Series

    Slowly we are building a wonderful collection of quality picture books to encourage the children to know and love their Faith.   Recently we purchased four books from the Life of a Saint Series, published by Ignatius/Magnificat.   I highly recommend this series!! 5 star quality,  ‘meaty’ and accurate with lovely watercolour illustrations. They are long picture books, divided into small ‘chapters’ but can be easily read in one sitting. The best saints books we have seen for younger children, happily for us most of these are our children’s patron saints. John Marie Vianney: The Holy Cure of Ars John Vianney, from a devout family who attended underground Masses heard…

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    Thought Provoking Adult Novels

    Recently I shared that I read 200 books in 2013, what I didn’t share is, I’m a speed reader which helps when reading a large volume.  Towards the end of 2013 I considered quality over quantity more. The following books, read in the last weeks of 2013, were chosen on the recommendations of my blogging friends, so keep those book recs coming.     Kite Runner  The Kite Runner is the story of a friendship between a wealthy Afghan boy and the son of his father’s servant.  The novel opens in Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy and continues with the tyranny of the Taliban.  This is a…