Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Charlatan's Boy ~ Jonathan Rogers

I received a free copy of The Charlatan's Boy from Blogging For Books. Here is my review!

This book had me from "I don't remember one thing about the day I was born. It hasn't been for a lack of trying either....I don't care who you are - when it comes to knowing where you come from, you got to take somebody else's word for it." The voice of Grady grabbed me from the moment he began to speak. Yes, speak. The words leap from the pages and ring in your ears, loud and clear and full of life.

Grady is a frontier era Huck Finn, living in an imaginary world that rings as true as if it were your own backyard. His accent and choice of words resonates as if he were sitting right next to you, telling his story over a roaring campfire. Grady is as big as life, and his story is not one to be missed.

It begins with Grady and his caretaker, the illustrious huckster, Perfesser Floyd, who is everything from a traveling salesman and ringleader, to a Phrenologist and gambler. He is Grady's only "family", his only "friend", which makes Grady's desperate and detached desire to be a part of something, anything, that much more engaging. Will he ever know who he is? Or is he destine to be whatever Floyd decides he will be? From feechie wild man to the Ugliest Boy in the World to Phrenologist's assistant, Grady becomes the part and continually struggles with his "honesty muscle"...."if a feller feels honest, if he wants to be honest but he don't get much chance to talk honest or act honest, is he a honest feller or not?" Profound thoughts from a guy who's said to be "kind of stupid."

I thoroughly enjoyed the romp through Grady's Island of Corenwald, eagerly turning the pages to discover when and if these two performers would get caught in their scams, and wondering what they would think of next to con the coppers out of the unsuspecting civilizers of the next village. It was a struggle to put the book down and go to sleep. I very nearly read it straight through in one sitting. This is a fantastic book for the young adult reader, and for anyone who enjoys a great, old-fashioned feeling story full of larger than life characters that pull you into their world and leave you aching for more. The next installment comes out in the fall of 2011. I'm sure that my copy of The Charlatan's Boy will be ratty and dog-eared by then!

Please click the link to rate my review on the WaterBrookMultnomah Blogging For Books site ~

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My First BookSneeze Review

So I joined BookSneeze. It's a program that gets books into your hands....for free...the only thing you have to do is provide them with a review of the book. That's it. Well, I'm a sucker for a good book....heck, I'm a sucker for a book, period. And if it's get the picture. So here it first review ~

A Year With God by R.P Nettelhorst
I'm going to start this out by coming clean. I am not a religious person. I consider myself to be somewhat spiritual, though, and I am always interested in reading and learning something new. However, with the Bible, I have often found it to be too difficult and somewhat cumbersome to really get into. This book offers something different (to me at least). It is a book of "Daily Readings and Reflections on God's Own Words", a daily devotional based solely on the Old Testament.

What struck me first in opening this book was the layout. I truly appreciated that the format was set up for short daily readings and they weren't dated, simply titled "Day 1" through "Day 365". I have browsed through daily devotionals on several occasions, but felt a bit constricted by the specific dates. I appreciate that this book gives the reader the opportunity to begin at any time of the year. I also liked that there were separate sections such as "Love and Hate" and "Faith and Doubt", etc. which lends itself to being even more flexible when dealing with a specific situation. If you are struggling with feeling betrayed, for instance, you could reference the section on "Loyalty and Betrayal" and read through the scriptures on the topic.

I appreciated the fact that the readings are kept short. One of the more difficult things, for me, in reading anything on a daily basis is the length of the passage itself. I find that many devotionals cite scriptures that are just too long and a bit overwhelming for me. I also like that the author deciphers the scripture and offers his own insight into it. And, while I may not wholeheartedly agree with everything he writes, I am able to put my own take on the scripture through his translation while I ponder the topic of the day. I plan to continue to read this devotional, with hopes that I may understand more about God's words and what they mean to us in this day and age. I would have enjoyed maybe a blank page after each passage as a place to write my own thoughts and feelings, so as to further my understanding of the scripture and allow me to reflect on the daily reading.

I have read other reviews on this book that state that it may not be a good choice for those "new" to spirituality or faith. While I understand that point of view, I have to disagree. I read the passages with an open mind and heart, trying to fully understand the meaning of the words. Much of the Bible is confusing, so I enjoyed Nettelhorst's reflections on the scripture. Again, I may not have agreed with all of what he had to say, but I have definitely learned more about God's Word, and look forward to furthering my own personal spiritual awakening.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

If you are interested in the BookSneeze program (it's free!!) please click the link to the left and join! The only requirements they have are that you have a blog (doesn't matter how many followers) and that you write a review for each book they send to you.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Shame on Me :( and some awesome sites YOU should join!!!!

Okay, I admit, I have let my blogging and, GASP!!! my menu planning, slide. But what can I say?! I am a busy mommy and I've been spending too much time with other endeavors...namely, my family. I am going to try to catch up a bit and start posting again. In the meantime, I have come across some seriously awesome sites that must be shared!!!

This is a site for all the thrifty mamas out there that like to keep cute clothes on their kids...and themselves!!! It's free to join and you can swap as much or as little as you like. If you decide to join, please put in my name (Michelle VanGurp) as your referral. I don't think I get anything, but it's nice for them to know where their members are coming from.

This is the best site I have come across for at home delivery of household goods. Now, this may not be for everyone ~ especially those of you that live very close to a store, but for us, it is an absolute GODSEND!!! I can get soooooo many items here, and the prices are less than, or equal to, the prices at Safeway and/or Wal-Mart...the best parts!!! FREE SHIPPING!!! And!!! They carry many green/organic products that are unavailable in my area. I made my first order a couple of weeks ago, and I'm hooked!!! It's also free to join and the only stipulation is that you have to order at least 6 items. However, for your first order, they let that slide and you can order any amount. Plus!!!! If you use the link above, you will receive a $10 credit once you spend $50 (and it doesn't have to be all in one order) AND!! If you sign up and get referrals yourself, you get %3 of their purchases credited to your account. Freakin' awesome!!!!!!! So, check out Alice!! Because, "Everyone needs an Alice!"

This is the best site I have found that gives you points that add up to $$$$ for doing what you do anyway ~ surf the web!!! Seriously, you can earn giftcards and purchase all kinds of stuff with your "swagbucks" and there really isn't a catch. It's also free to join and they have a referral program that allows you to cash in on your friends swagbucks as well. So, click the link and become my "swagfriend"!!

Until next time, check out the sites above and join....cause it'll help me, help you!!