Quick reviews

I finished a number of books over the last few weeks and haven’t had time or inclination to do a full review of them, but I thought I’d talk about them just briefly here.

Last month I reviewed Vicious Cycle by Terri Blackstock, which was the second in a trilogy, so I went back and listened to the first book, Intervention, from an audiobook and then read the newest and last in the series, Downfall, with my Kindle app for the Touchpad and iPhone.

In Intervention, Barbara Covington’s daughter, Emily, is an out of control addict, and after trying everything else she could, Barbara pays for a treatment center out of state which sends an interventionist to take Emily to the center. But the interventionist is killed in the airport parking lot and Emily is missing. Did she kill the woman, or is she in danger as well?

In Downfall, the Covington family has moved to Atlanta for a new start, but trouble seems to follow them with an attempt to bomb Emily’s car and two murders of people from the new treatment  center where she works. Though she’s been clean, evidence begins point to her involvement. Has she relapsed, or is she being framed?

This series arose from a situation in Terri’s own family (addiction, not murders), and with Jim and I both having members of extended family who have had trouble with drugs, I found the struggles both Emily and her family faced to be very realistic. And if you like suspense, Terri’s your girl! Her characters are realistically flawed while seeking God’s will. I enjoyed both of these.

The Big 5-OH! by Sandra D. Bricker is the next birthday of Olivia Wallace, and Liv is convinced that something dreadful is going to happen because of her “birthday curse”: something has happened on every birthday she can remember, all the way from losing a boyfriend to blizzards to a cancer diagnosis. For a change of venue and outlook, her friend urges her to go to her mother’s (the friend’s mother’s) place in Florida while her mother visits her there in Ohio , so Liv takes her up on the offer. Besides taking care of a dog in a lampshade collar, finding an alligator in a pool, and having a flirty 80-year-old as a neighbor, Liv meets another neighbor with a “toothpaste commercial smile” and begins to wonder if this birthday will be the best yet. This book was light, cute, fun — a nice beach or vacation read or just a change of pace from “heavier” books. I had found it on a clearance table at the Christian bookstore, but Amazon and Christianbook.com both have e-version for free at the moment.

I read Practical Happiness: A Young Man’s Guide to a Contented Life by Bob Schultz with my youngest son, Jesse, after having read two other books by that author, Boyhood and Beyond: Practical Wisdom for Becoming a Man and Created For Work. Though this has a lot of good points to ponder, I didn’t like it quite as well as the first two. It just seemed a little wordy and not as focused. He spends several chapters on knowing God’s voice and hearing Him speak, and I disagreed with him on some points there (I am always instantly suspicious when people say, “God told me…” anything), but it provided a good foundation for a discussion with my son on different views of that. But overall the book has more good points on the topic of happiness, contentment, and their enemies than it has problems.

So…I think that about catches me up. 🙂

Have you read any good books lately?

(This review will also be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)

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8 thoughts on “Quick reviews

  1. I just read OCEANS APART by Karen Kingsbury. It was the first book I ever read of hers, and I thought it was wonderful. I confess to tears coursing down my cheeks more than once. The story is about a 7-year-old boy who’s the son of a single mother. She dies in a plane crash, leaving in her will that he is to visit his real father (married, with kids) for two weeks. The story is believable, sweet, and well-written. Her strong Christian faith shines through the book. I look forward to reading more of Kingsbury.

    I have also recently read YOUR SPECIAL GIFT by Carol McCormick, which is an excellent book for preteens about sexuality. This is no biology lesson, but it tells the story using the image of a gift that is closed with a lock and key. I loved it.

    Reading YOUR SPECIAL GIFT made me curious to read other things by McCormick. I read THE MISSING PIECE, which is a warm, romantic story with a clear Christian message. A nice read.

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