Thursday, October 1, 2015

My Bookshelf: A Fiction Review and a Non-Fiction Review

Anyone else loving this reading season? It's still warm enough to read outside during the day with a warm mug and a blanket, and when it cools down in the evening I'm all about cuddling on the couch with a book. My husband and I are trying to challenge each other to sit and read at least ten minutes at night because it's so easy to just turn on the TV when we're tired after work! Yet reading is so much more fulfilling and healthy!

Here are a couple books from my shelf this month...

I was so excited to get a Janette Oke book in the mail and eagerly started reading this fiction book. I loved her books when I was younger and my girlish heart was delighted with the possibility of a new story of a teacher out West. I was somewhat disappointed with the book. It is part of a series, recounting the life of Beth Thatcher, who comes from a wealthy family but stepped out in adventure with a teaching job in the wild West of Canada. This particular book shares her visit back home with her family and their holiday excursion on a luxury steamship. Though I enjoyed reading Janette Oke's comforting, simple style once again, this book proved to be too slow of a pace. I found myself skimming at times even though I enjoyed the story and the plot. I also felt the kidnapping near the end (intrigued, are you? ;) ) was just a bit far-fetched. So I'm torn. There's the loyal Janette Oke fan in me, but there's also the honest critique. Final thoughts: love the author and some of her other books but this particular book was not my cup of tea. 

[Thank you to Baker Publishing Group and Bethany House for sending me this review copy at no charge. These are my honest and original thoughts concerning the book.]

This book is adorable. That cover. Don't you just want to open it up and look inside? I'm a sucker for decorating books even though I don't have a lick of talent in that area. I think it's because I love the concept of home. Of creating a warm and welcoming haven. This book is full of different rooms from different homes, with descriptions of decorating styles and ideas. It's an amazing reference tool whether you are an interior designer or just a wannabe like me. The rooms all look professionally done, but when I read the descriptions I feel like I could follow them and it isn't quite so intimidating. There are tons of extras to this book. Not only do they discuss style, color, lighting and art, but there are also sections on repairs, cleaning, and organization of your home. There's a "year-round happy & health home calendar" to help you remember home ownership tasks. And then of course, there's the room by room tour with hints and tips. Honestly, this book is solid. We're going with a 5 stars on the content, photography, and usefulness. 

[Thank you to Blogging for Books for this review copy at no cost. These are my honest and original thoughts concerning the book.]

Happy Fall reading, friends!


  1. I used to be so obsessed with Janette Oke books! My mom and I would load up on them at the library and then gush like crazy! As I read more, though, I started to lose interest. The writing style is nice and comforting, but at times, it feels like the same plot devices crop up in book after book (which is something that many authors do; if a device works, it makes sense to use it, I guess!): you can have the single-chick-who-meets-2-guys scenario (where inevitably one is a jerk and one isn't), or you have the widower-swears-off-love-then-meets-someone scenario, to name a few. Not that those are bad, sometimes I read those kinds of books under the covers when my husband's fast asleep but I can't fall asleep, because they are don't take much thinking-power and they are cute. Lately, though, I've been trying to find books that aren't as predictable. However, it can be tough finding fun books with romantic plotlines that aren't crazy predictable and slow moving, in my experience. Do you have any to recommend? Have you had success in this area?

    1. Your comment made me laugh with your 'typical plots'-- so true!!

      Do you like mysteries? There's a series by Mindy Starns Clark called the Million Dollar Mysteries. The first book is Penny for your Thoughts. The main character is a widow private investigator in her 30's. She a strong yet feminine character, the plots are interesting and unpredictable, and I LOVE the character development through the books. There's also a romance that slowly unfolds through the five books. They're definitely one of my favorite series, although the first book takes a bit to get into-- I liked the later books best but they all go together and build the story so I would start at the beginning.

    2. Hey there, Laura! I like to read tons of different genres. Thrillers, science fiction, romance, historical fiction, biographies, regular fiction, etc. etc. I was thinking about this while at the library earlier today, since I walked off with 4 murder mysteries. I've never read many murder mysteries, but about a week ago, I was suddenly in the mood (and I discovered a Scottish-themed series byt Kaitlyn Dunnett, so how could I pass it up?). The Million Dollar Mysteries sound awesome! I am a huge fan of good character development, so I'm sure that I will love them! Thank you so much for the recommendation-I just added them to my list, and I will try to get those soon!

  2. Hello Laura, I'd like to introduce myself. I'm Michelle over at Grammie Time, one of the co-hosts for Tuesday Talk and I just wanted to welcome you to our team. Looking forward to reading your blog and getting to know you more. I'll be following you on Instagram. Welcome to Tuesday Talk! Have a great weekend.