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Showing posts from March, 2011

Of Pigs, Pearls & Prodigals by John Bytheway

To me, the parables are compelling because they are puzzling. They force us to think, compare, contrast, and ponder. And in the process of our pondering, the Lord inspires our hearts and teaches us the things we must do in our own lives--John Bytheway

This is a great book to go along with the New Testament study. Your whole family will learn something from each parable as John Bytheway breaks them down and teaches from different angles like historical etc.

Rating: Family

Want to buy it?

Page 69 test:
Chapter 11
The Parable of the Two sons
Matthew 21: 28-31
Who: "Chief priests and the elders of the people" (v. 23)
Where: "When he was come into the temple" (v. 23)
Why: The chief priests and the elders appeared to be very religious but they did not accept the authority of John the Baptist. Jesus thought this parable to affirm the authority and testimony of John the Baptist and to rebuke those who would not accept John's authority.

Matthew 21:28-31
But what think …

The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card

Dan North knows from early childhood that his family is different — and that the differences are secrets that can never be told.  This contemporary Urban Fantasy introduces the North family, a clan of mages in exile in our world, and their enemies who will do anything to keep them locked here.

This book is nothing like the other Card books I've read so far. Maybe because it's an adult book and the ones I've read are young adult. 
The Lost Gate felt like a filler novel and I skimmed a lot. I kept waiting for the story to begin. It seemed that the author wanted to build the world and the main character first then sprinkle the story throughout.
I did enjoy the storyline of the "gods" that walk amongst the drowthers (mortals). Card is excellent at creating believable worlds and magic. My favorite story was of Wad, who lived in a medieval castle and could slip in and out of locked rooms with no one knowing.
I won't finish this series.

Rating: Adult (max)
V: Fightin…

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.

In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there…

Luck of the Draw by Rachael Renee Anderson

When Brighton's roommates bet him that he can't get three girls to go out with him at the same time, he has no doubt that he's up to the challenge. Besides, the prospect of an entire month of free laundry is just too enticing to resist. Of course, that's before he meets Dani--a girl who's never had a problem turning down a not-so-perfect guy. Soon Brighton realizes that winning the bet might mean losing what really matters most. This fast-paced modern romance is told with wit, sweetness, and a healthy dose of fun. It's a sure bet that Luck of the Draw will keep you laughing to the very last page.

Cute story!  Fun, quick read with lots of humor. Great LDS romance. I liked Dani because she is strong and believes in herself. There is irony in the story too but I can't say much about it here or it will spoil the surprises.
This book was a finalist for the Whitney Awards.

Rating: PG
V: None

Page 69 test:
"...would arrange to meet wit…

Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull

Since ancient times, the great demon prison Zzyzx has protected the world from the most dangerous servants of darkness, including Gorgrog, the Demon King. After centuries of plotting, the Sphinx is on the verge of recovering the five artifacts necessary to open the legendary prison. Facing the potential of a world-ending calamity, all friends of light must unite in a final effort to thwart the Sphinx s designs and find a safe home for the five artifacts. To this end, Kendra, Seth, and the Knights of the Dawn will venture far beyond the walls of Fablehaven to strange and exotic magical preserves across the globe, where the end of every quest becomes the beginning of another. In this explosive series finale, allegiances will be confirmed and secrets revealed as the forces of light and darkness collide in a desperate struggle to control the keys to the demon prison.

This series got better and better with each book. Keys to the Demon Prison was a great book to en…

MATCHED by Ally Condie

This is book #1
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Wow! What a great way to start out a series! Ms. Condie is an amazing world builder, building through out the story but never taking the reader away. I read this book on a road trip and every tim…

Captivate by Carrie Jones

Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.

A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his

I really enjoyed the first book of this series. That said, I probably won't finish the series. I have to admit, I didn't  finish Captivate. I skimmed the book and couldn't figure out why until I realized that I was tired of Nick a…

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

Interesting story. Like a few out in book-dom. Girl meets cute guy. Girl falls for cute guy. Cute guy has hot girlfriend. Cute guy likes girl. Girl can't believe cute guy likes her because she's not cute. Best friend also likes cute guy too. Missed cues, misunderstood words, hurt feelings. Um. That sorta sums up this book for me. One part of the stor…

Cold As Ice by Stephanie Black

After five patient years, Abigail Wyatt's sisterly care is finally paying off: her younger brother, Derek, is abandoning his self-destructive lifestyle and seeking his parents' forgiveness, thus ending the painful estrangement that wounded the whole family. But just as the pieces are falling into place for the prodigal's return, a woman named Karen Brodie is murdered in a local park, and police name Derek as the prime suspect. Rather than standing firm and cemeting the positive changes in his life, Derek succumbs to his cynical fears and runs from the law, leaving Abigail with her hands tied. Literally. Derek's raw panic convinces everyone that he's the killer, everyone except Abigail, who doggedly maintains her brother's innocence. With the help of Kyle, a charismatic new friend she might be falling for, Abigail digs deep into Karen Brodie's troubled past in hopes of clearing Derek's name. But as she uncovers a sinister plot of greed, en…