Book Review: Angel in the Woods

Angel in the Woods

“Only a fool trusts to his eyes,” the Giant said. “You remember that. The eyes can only show you the appearance of things. You will never understand anything until you learn to look past appearances.”

Whimsical. Quaint. Flowing. A fairy tale that defies the normal constructs of the genre. A fantasy defined by it’s depiction of the ordinary.

When I began this book, which opens with mention of “the Pixie,” I couldn’t tell quite what I had stepped foot into. For someone unversed in the creatures of fairy tales, I wasn’t even sure what a pixie was. I still don’t know, for it turns out the character called “the Pixie” is an entirely human girl bearing that nickname. While the first books I read from Rachel Starr Thomson‘s collection (The Seventh World Trilogy) drew out the haunting, terrifying darkness of evil, this book displays the power of goodness and the sparkle of light.

If you want to read an edge-of-your-seat, blood-pressure raising narrative, this book will disappoint you. However, if you’re looking for a story that will inspire you to become a better person and leave you with a warm glow in your heart, Angel in the Woods will do so in a manner as unique as the story itself.

KINDLE USERS ALERT: I can lend the Kindle version of this book to one of my blog readers. If you have a Kindle and would like to read Angel in the Words, say so in the comments, and I’ll send it your way. (Please, only ask if you have time to read it within the 14 day lending period.) First come, first serve.

Book Review: The Dragon of London

Dragon of London

“He offered to help me,” Floyd said. “And I am so desperate for help that I actually considered his offer.”

Jeffrey Floyd, defender of the earth, is back and faces more challenges than ever. The brash, smart-alec face he shows the world is only a thin veil over his inner turmoil. Afraid to love and unwilling to confide in the few friends he has, he fights his demons alone–all while continuing to battle the supervillain outbreak. A new string of mysterious but linked robberies seem to point to a new threat. When the dragon of London offers to help Floyd and give him relief, Floyd knows better than to trust him. But at the same time, he hesitates to kill the one creature who seems to understand.

This story was an interesting addition to Katie Lynn Daniels’ series. The light hearted, slightly inane Floyd has disappeared, and so have the comic bookish villains. In this book, the dragon is a creepy reminder that evil can portray itself as a beacon of light. But actions speak louder than words, and the dragon’s actions show his true nature. Floyd too has a lot to learn about trust, friendship, good and evil, and life in general. I’m curious to see how his struggles and triumphs will continue to develop.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this series, you can check out my review of Supervillain of the Day, book one of the series.

Guess a Quote (1.12.15)

Guess a Quote [Philippians]

…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 3:13b-14

Well, we had a lot of fun with our New Year’s quote, didn’t we? :) I’ve never tried doing a Bible verse before because I couldn’t figure out how to work it. (Just saying the quote came from the Bible would be way too easy!) This seemed to work well, though. We’ll have to do it again sometime!

As you can see, last week’s quote was Philippians 3:13b-14. There was a lot of variety in the guessing, which was fun. Addyson, Amanda Beguerie, and Spencer R. all knew it came from one of Paul’s letters. Sneha, CJ, and Jonathan G. all guessed it came from Philippians. Rachael Grace and Emily Ruth said Philippians 3. And the grand prize goes to Amanda who said “Philippians 3:13-14.” Great job everyone!

As long as we’re talking about Bible verses, what’s your favorite Bible verse? Mine is John 14:27.

Now. This week’s quote. It’s the opening line from an old favorite that I finally got my own copy of.

A boy stood on the path of the mountain overlooking the sea. He was a tall boy, with little trace of youth in his lean, hard body. At eighteen [he] was unmistakably a Galilean, with the bold features of his countrymen, the sun-browned skin, and the brilliant dark eyes that could light with fierce patriotism and blacken with swift anger.

Happy Guessing!

 

Book Review: Growing Up Duggar

Growing up DuggarDespite the varying opinions on the Duggars, even among my own friends and acquaintances, their family has been a reliable source of entertainment and encouragement to me. When I got Growing Up Duggar for Christmas, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew from other reviews that it wasn’t an autobiographical account of growing up in the reality TV “mega-family.” It turns out, the book is a lot more practical. I was impressed, encouraged, and challenged by the perspectives and suggestions the oldest four Duggar girls shared for the various relationships in a Christian girl’s life. They covered relationship with ourselves, our parents, our siblings, guys, the culture, our country, and the world. Their advice is grounded in Scripture, backed up personal experience, and presented in a clear manner.

That said, other reviewers mentioned buying it for tween/young teen girls and assuming it would be perfectly safe for younger readers because “the Duggars wrote it.” These buyers were surprised to find the girls spoke about some more mature topics like late-term abortion and the dangers of the internet. The book is aimed towards an older teen audience anyway, and I found the subjects to be handled tastefully, but if a younger person wants to read it, I’d suggest having a parent skim through it first.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone curious about the Duggar family or/or anyone who is looking for encouragement and is willing to be challenged. This book is written to girls, but other readers (especially parents) could enjoy and benefit from Growing Up Duggar as well. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Guess a Quote (1.05.15)

Guess a Quote [How the Grinch]

Wow. The first Guess a Quote of 2015! I hope you all had a wonderful New Years. We did. We watched two movies for New Year’s Eve and went to a friend’s house New Year’s Day, which is always fun.

The last Guess a Quote came from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss. That sure didn’t stump many of you! Lina, Amanda Beguerie, Elisabeth Sullivan, Spencer R., Jennifer Sauer, Lydia, Emily Ruth, Elisheva, Haley Morgan, writefury, Addyson M. Huneke, Wolfen S. Silverfang, Natalie, Hannah R., OnionTea, and moriah all got it right. That may be a record! Any of you who were biting your tongues wanting to geek out about Dr. Seuss are now free to do so! ;)

Now, what would make a good quote for the new year? Well, I can think of one book that’s really important for all year. But to keep it from being too easy, I want to know the book within the book that this quote come from. No peaking! Bonus points if you know the chapter too.

…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Happy Guessing!

P.S. I’m not going to bother “Temporarily Removing” answers this week unless they are very specific. There have been enough variety in the guesses that I don’t think guesses will be influenced by other responses.

Book Review: The Small One

The Small OnePicture books are one of the rarer categories to appear here on Leah’s Bookshelf. Since I have a predominately mid to late teen audience, they don’t really fit. But every once in a while, even teens and adults can enjoy a good picture book. Plus I know a lot of you have younger siblings who probably like being read to and receiving books for birthdays.

The Small One is about a boy and his beloved donkey. Unfortunately, the donkey has become to old and weak to pull his weight in the family business. The boy’s father says Small One must be sold. The boy is devastated, but asks his father for permission to bring Small One into town himself in order to make sure he finds a good home. The father agrees. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any kind people in need of a donkey. And then, just when all hope seems lost, someone shows up who needs a donkey to bring his wife to Bethlehem.

Yes, Christmas is over. And this is most definitely a Christmas story. But the story is just as fun and touching after Christmas as before. I pulled it out on New Year’s Eve and enjoyed spending about five minutes reading it (it’s a short picture book). Apparently it’s based on a Disney movie. Has anyone seen it?

What’s your favorite fictional Christmas story?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! Hope both days were wonderful for you. :)

2014 in review

I always enjoy looking through this year-end report WordPress generates. Thought you all might have fun scrolling through it too. :)

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Thou Shalt Call His Name Jesus