Thursday, September 18, 2014

Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum

Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum
Fifteen year old Colby suffers from an eating disorder and in this book, almost every distatrous situation that you can think of impacts her and the closest people to Colby in her life starting with politics, religion and her dad leaving her mom for another woman, going on to physical and mental abuse, bullying, divorce, rape, suicide and probably some more that I left out. The only big issue not brought into this book seems to be homosexuality. I did find the book to be a fascinating story and a quick read and it was well written and edited and I read it in about a day. I felt sorry for Colby but I felt like many of the characters were so extreme that they were caricatures rather than characters. Despite that, I did like the book and I think it did make some good points. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

This book sent chills down my spine and brought tears to my eyes. It is a love story and a magical time bending mystery. When Georgie decides to stay home because of an important deadline at work, her husband, Neal,takes the kids to his mother's house anyway and leaves her home alone. Then she realizes how much she loves him and misses him and when she calls him from the landline phone at her mother's house, she reaches him in the past before they ever married. She wonders if speaking to him like this will change the future like in the movie "Back To The Future" but still, she is drawn to the landline phone and calls the Neal of the past again and again as she wonders about the state of their marriage and her job and her family and more. Fabulous story!

What Christians Can Learn From Other Religions by J. Phillip Wogaman

This is an interesting book. The author tells his Christian viewpoint of what other religions are about and then how he thinks Chrisians can benefit from some of what he thinks their concepts are. He looks at most of the world's religions, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Jainism, Sikhism, Baha'i, atheism, and even Confucianism and Primal Religions. The author's views are very open and accepting although I am not sure that members of the various religions that he portrays would all agree with his portrayals of their religions. The author's understanding of the Trinity, which he says Christians can learn something from the Muslims about, is not one that I think fits in with the Orthodox Christian view of the triune God. I think that many readers will find his thoughts on the Trinity and on some other Christian topics to be rather unorthodox. The book has discussion questions at the end of each chapter and it is well written and easy to read. I think that it can lead to some interesting discussions. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien

The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien
Fascinating book - dreadful ending. Supposedly there will be a sequel? Even if there is, the ending is icky. The premise is that Rosie is a student in a school for the arts that is also a reality TV series. The students begin with a ranking system and after a week or so, half of the freshman class is sent home if their viewer ratings are too low - the top 50 are kept. There is mystery - what happens when they sleep for 12 hours?, intrigue - how many of the staff know what is going on?  and romance, but also a lot of confusion and in the end, lots of deception. I even feel like the readers are deceived. It was doing so well until the very last part - then - crash and burn. I think that there were not enough details given about exactly what the seeding/mining is or does and how it is done and the lack of detail made it confusing and difficult to believe and follow.  If there is a sequel, I do want to read it because I would be interested in what the author does with the situation that was at the end of this book. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Who Needs a Desert?: A Desert Ecosystem by Karen Patkau

Who Needs a Desert? by Karen Patkau
This is a lovely and informative book that can be useful to children from preschool age through middle school. It describes a day in a desert in the US southwest. It contains a map and diagrams, information about a desert food chain and information about many desert plants and animals. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

Gardening Secrets From Head National Trust Gardeners

I am a beginning gardener and even though this book is about gardening in Great Britain and some of the plants and animals mentioned are not found in the US, I still found this to be an informative and helpful book. The book is easy to read and interesting and I learned several things that will help me with my gardens. I received this book to review from Netgalley and I highly recommend it.

The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz

The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz
This book presents a very thorough history of the American views about dietary fat over the years. I have read some other books on the topic and while the information is not surprising or new to me, it is quite detailed and thorough. I think that people who have not yet read about this topic will find it quite interesting and even surprising. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.