About Me and My Blog and Amazon Store

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Langley, BC, Canada
I love to read. I love books. I like to talk about books and recommend them. I read everything including cereal boxes and junk mail! I heard once that if you're not reading at least 3 books at a time you're not reading enough! This blog will keep track of the books I've read and whether or not I liked them. It will be a little bit of everything from Christian fiction to Science fiction and fantasy. Feel free to participate by suggesting books to review and giving your comments. Occasionally I am given free books by Publishers in exchange for a review. I am not told how to review them or compensated in any way for the review.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny

Louise Penny is a Canadian author and fast becoming one of my favourites of all times. I’ve read all the books so far in her village series and each is better than the last.

In A Rule against Murder we meet once again the main characters from the previous novels. This time the Chief Detective and his wife are on vacation at a luxurious Inn outside the village of Three Pines (the scene of her previous novels). Unfortunately some of the other guests are members of an obnoxious family that are attending a family reunion. Immediately we encounter the layers of story that Penny excels at. There are secrets within secrets and in no time at all, a murder is committed.

Even though this is a murder mystery, the murder is almost a secondary plot line. The story is developed around each character and their secrets. Her writing is poetic. In fact the Detective is often quoting poetry and using it to help solve his crime.

If you haven’t read any of her books before start with the first one, Still Life and continue on. While the stories aren’t continuous the characters are and it’s like getting to know some new friends if you start at the beginning.

I can’t recommend her books highly enough. If you enjoy mysteries and good writing you will like A Rule Against Murder as much as I did.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Healing Sands by Nancy Rue and Stephen Arterburn

Healing Sands was a pleasure to read and hard to put down. I’m trying to read more Christian Fiction and I’m pleasantly surprised at how well written it has become.

Ryan Coe is a photo journalist home from a year in Africa. She moves to New Mexico to be near her sons who are living with her ex-husband. The story opens with her trying to get acclimatized to a new home, new job and new relationship with her children. Things go wrong from the beginning when her 15 year old son is accused of trying to kill his friend Miguel. Ryan needs to find out the true story and along the way confronts her fears, her anger and her failures. As the story progresses she learns to face her fears, control her anger and accept her failures. She’s helped with this by another of the main characters, Sullivan Crisp.

Although the story is about uncontrollable anger and violence there is gentleness in the overall tone. Part of this is achieved by listening in on her therapy sessions. I’ve never been to a counsellor but if I did I would hope it would be one like Sullivan Crisp with a sense of humor and a down to earth attitude about life. The overall treatment of Christian psychology in this book is very positive.

The mystery is good but the pleasure in reading this story comes from the development of the characters. By the end they are no where near perfect but you can see how they’ve grown and the lessons learned along the way are applicable to the real life of the reader.

The book comes with a reading/discussion guide and would make a great book club pick.