Thursday, May 28, 2015

Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin

Princess Sophia of Prussia travels to Russia to meet Peter, her cousin who is the heir to the Russian throne. Peter is a difficult person to deal with and Sophia has numerous challenges and obstacles to face before she is  accepted as Peter's future wife.

Sherry Ficklin includes having to challenge Peter in sports, but letting him win, allowing him to treat her badly on occasion, and an incident in which she was poisoned by someone who favored a rival princess. On Sophia's conversion to Russian Orthodox, she took the name Catherine. History recalls her as Catherine the Great.

Sherry admits that Queen of Someday does not strictly follow historical facts. She wondered what would have to happen to a teen-aged girl to turn her from a child into one of the strongest women in history.

I couldn't put it down.

Kathi Linz

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible, by Edward C. Smith

The Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible: How to Grow a Bounty of Food in Pots, Tubs, and Other Containers by Edward C. Smith shares a wealth of information on how to grow food in containers. If you don't have a sunny spot to put an in-ground garden, check the information found here to see if you might be able to place your containers in space you do have available - like a deck, patio, or even the front yard. 

Edward Smith shows you how to grow plants in small and vertical spaces, how to keep plants watered and fed, how to repel pests and attract beneficial insects. 

If you have a little space for a few containers, you can put fresh vegetables on your table.

Kathi Linz

Rachel by Jill Eileen Smith

Poor Jacob! He wanted to marry one woman and ended up with four. Two of them were bickering sisters who were holding a contest as to who could produce the most sons. Add onto that, Jacob's father-in-law, Laban, who kept changing his contracts with Jacob.

How did Rachel feel when she wasn't allowed to attend her own wedding because her sister was going to get married in her place? How did Leah feel when she knew her new husband was going to be furious with her in the morning? Did Leah get a choice in the matter at all?

This is a fascinating work of Biblical fiction. If this is a genre you enjoy, definitely pick up Jill Eileen Smith's books.

Kathi Linz

The Amish Canning Cookbook by Georgia Varozza

The Amish Canning Cookbook by Georgia Varozza is full of wonderful recipes from soup to vegetables with fruit and fruit butters thrown in for good measure. 

If you are interested in knowing the contents of the food you eat, if you have a garden or fruit trees to pick from, if you want to save money on your grocery bill, pick up this book and see what recipes catch your attention.

Kathi Linz

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger

This is one of my favorite books.  I am not quite sure why--I don't like books that are in letter or diary format and I don't especially care for baseball.  But, I love this book.  The author tells a story that will make you cry tears of laughter and of sorrow, sometimes on the same page.  It is one that I have to track down and re-read every couple of years.

Set in early 1940s Brooklyn, the story of Joey Margolis, a young Jewish boy living in a tough Italian neighborhood, and his unlikely friendship with Charlie Banks, the all-star third baseman for the Yankees, is told through letters, report cards, and other scrapbook items.

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

 The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
Not long ago I saw a Facebook post directing me to an NPR article called The Beloved, Bickering Bridgertons Turn 15 This Year by Bobbi Dumas.  I really enjoyed the article and it was perfect timing since I had been reading one of Julia Quinn's more recent books. Many books of this genre don't have the laugh-out-loud humor that you find in Quinn's Regency romance novels and that is something I like about them.  In fact, the article calls Quinn a "gateway romance author" because she is often recommended to non-romance readers who are considering trying one.

The Bridgertons are a family of 8 alphabetically named siblings (Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory and Hyacinth) who have been raised by their mother, Violet, after the death of their father. They are a close family, but bicker and argue like all siblings.  I have just started the series, but have read enough to enthusiastically recommend Quinn's series about the Bridgerton siblings, which begins with The Duke and I.

The Crimson Cord: Rahab's Story by Jill Eileen Smith

If you are into Biblical fiction, check out The Crimson Cord: Rahab's Story by Jill Eileen Smith. The Bible gives us a brief glimpse into Rahab's life and how she fits in the Messianic lineage. Jill Eileen Smith weaves a fictional, but plausible, life story for her that will not let you go from the first page to the last.

It's a window into the culture of the time to see how debts were repaid, how absolute monarchy affected the people under the king's authority, and how different were the worship requirements of the Israelite God and the Canaanite gods. This is the story of a Canaanite woman who risked everything to save the life of two enemy spies. Why would she do such a thing and was it worth the risk?

Can a prostitute be accepted and welcomed into a people so different from her own? Will she be able to trust again? Will God finds a foreign woman acceptable?

Kathi Linz

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe is a wonderful new book by Max Lucado.
     Chelsea Chambers inherits her mother's house which includes a coffee house called the Higher Grounds Cafe. In spite of her best efforts, the business is failing and Chelsea is facing the loss of her home. Her life is falling apart.
     A stranger comes to her cafe and offers her an internet connection at no charge for a few months. Chelsea jumps at the chance to upgrade to an internet cafe, hoping more customers will come helping her pay her bills.
     The odd thing about the internet connection is that it only gets one website - a website that allows you to ask God one question and He will answer you.
      If you are wondering how this affects Chelsea's life, please find this book in the new book section.

Kathi Linz

Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway

Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway is one of the best books on permaculture for people who want to work with nature to make their land productive and easier to care for. Permaculture explains how to group and grow plants that work well together, how allowing nature to "do her own thing" eventually restores a balance that feeds us, brings pests under control and encourages useful insects and animals to flourish and help sustain the garden.

This book gives you useful information to show you how to get started in this earth-friendly process. This second edition includes how-to's for both rural and city spaces.

Kathi Linz

Practical Permaculture for Home Landscapes, Your Community, and the Whole Earth by Jessi Bloom and Dave Boehnlein

Practical Permaculture for Home Landscapes, Your Community, and the Whole Earth by Jessi Bloom and Dave Boehnlein offers hundreds of suggestions for transforming your property into a bountiful, earth-friendly environment. The landscape will produce all kinds of food for your family and it will take much less work than a typical garden. Permaculture helps you understand ways to work with nature, which brings pests under control, encourages healthy growth of plants, and yields a bounty for the grower.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin is a well-researched fictional account of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and the life she lived with Charles Lindbergh. Both Charles and Anne were introverts forced into a very public life by Charles' great accomplishment of being the first man to fly across the Atlantic in a small plane. Charles did not meet Anne until after his historic flight. The kidnapping of their child devastated both Lindberghs, and the effects rippled throughout the rest of their lives. Both Lindberghs were invited to the launch of Apollo 11 which went to the moon.

I enjoyed the book, being a lover of history and both of them were alive in my lifetime.

Kathi Linz

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Nephilim Trilogy by L.A. Marzulli


The Nephilim Trilogy is a wild ride over four continents chasing aliens, giants, and a secret society that claims to have the body of Jesus. UFO's play a large part in the third book, a cardinal with information on alien incursions, a scroll delivered to Art MacKenzie (the main character) by Enoch - yes, the Enoch of the Old Testament -  and a mysterious man named Johanan who has supernatural gifts. A trek through the subway world of homeless people leads to an underground nest of alien beings and alien hybrids.

These books are non-stop action with a Biblical world view. End times prophecies come to life on their pages.

Kathi Linz

Crap Dates: Disastrous Encounters from Single Life by Rhodri Marsden

This book is just for fun. In Crap Dates: Disastrous Encounters from Single Life by Rhodri Marsden, you will find some of the worst dates ever experienced. You will be able to tell yourself, "Well, at least THAT didn't happen to me" or, in the worst of all possible worlds, "I'm not the only one who had that miserable date."

"He arrived at my parents' house wearing eyeliner and riding a stolen bicycle, chased by a gang of youths who wanted the bicycle back."

"I went on a date with a Peruvian guy who said to me during our tapas: "You eat like windmill."

If you want a good chuckle, pick up this book.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, and Human Enhancement Herald the Dawn of Technodimensional Spiritual Warfare by Thomas and Nita Horn.

Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, and Human Enhancement Herald the Dawn of Technodimensional Spiritual Warfare by Thomas and Nita Horn is as scary as a Stephen King novel, but this one is nonfiction.

The Horns have compiled information from scientific journals and books written by genetic engineers which tells about the advances in nanotechnology, genetic modification, and artificial intelligence. Private and government funding is being used to create "transhumans" or "techno-humans". 

Some scientists claim we will have heaven on earth with longer life and enhanced abilities and senses. The same scientists also say that they wake up form nightmares in which the enhanced humans consider the normals expendable and kill them all or use them for slaves.

Since this book was written in 2010, I wonder how much farther along we are in these experiments. 

Kathi Linz

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Face to Face with Jesus by Samaa Habib and Bodie Thoene

Samaa Habib tells her story of being raised a good Muslim girl, the youngest in her family. She tells her story of the civil war in her country along with how she became a Christian and died when terrorists planted bombs in her church. She tells about meeting Jesus and coming back to life.
It's an amazing story, and not just because of the return to life. The Christians in her country take God at His word and believe that He will act on His promises. This is refreshing and eye-opening, reading it from the American culture of "well, we'll see".

Kathi Linz