Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What is on my Nightstand - January

What's On Your Nightstand

It is time once again for What's On Your Nightstand hosted by 5 Minutes for Books. With all the bad weather outside and the various illnesses inside, I managed to read 9 books this month.

  • House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo (My Review)

  • Warriors: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter

  • Eighth Shephard by Bodie Thoene

  • Kiss by Ted Dekker (My Review)

  • High Calling by Evelyn Husband with Donna Vanliere

  • Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg

  • A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg

  • Miss Fortune by Sara Mills

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

I hope to have more reviews up soon.

The following books are on my nightstand for February:

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

  • Ninth Witness by Bodie Thoene

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney

  • The Centurion’s Wife by Davis Bunn & Janette Oke

  • The 39 Clues Books 1 and 2 by Gordon Korman

  • Peculiar Treasures by Robin Jones Gunn

  • Every Now & Then by Karen Kingsbury

  • This Side of Heaven by Karen Kingsbury

I hope to read Why the Caged Bird Sings and Les Miserables for the Classics Book Club on 5 Minutes for Books.

Book Review: Kiss by Ted Dekker & Erin Healy

By Ted Dekker & Erin Healy
336 pages
Published by Thomas Nelson 2009

Kiss is the latest book by Ted Dekker. He co-wrote it with Erin Healy. Unlike Dekker’s collaboration with Frank Peretti in House. I was not able to easily identify who wrote what. The writing was much more seamless.

From the Thomas Nelson Product Page:

Sometimes dying with the truth is better than living with a lie.

After a car accident puts Shauna McAllister in a coma and wipes out six months of her memory, she returns to her childhood home to recover, but her arrival is fraught with confusion. Her estranged father, a senator bidding on the White House, and her abusive stepmother blame Shauna for the tragedy, which has left her beloved brother severely brain damaged.

Leaning on Wayne Spade, a forgotten but hopeful lover who stays by her side, Shauna tries to sort out what happened that night by jarring her memory to life. Instead, she acquires a mysterious mental ability that will either lead her to truth or get her killed by the people trying to hide it. In this blind game of cat and mouse that stares even the darkest memories in the face, Shauna is sure of only one thing: if she remembers, she dies.

There is a good mystery surrounding Shauna. Why she can’t remember is just as important as what she can’t remember. Can she trust the man who says he loves her? What about the reporter that has gone into hiding? Will she ever gain the approval of her father? As she seeks the answers to these questions, she finds that she has developed a special kiss. She uses this ability to find out what happened. She doesn’t always use it wisely either.

I only had one problem with the story. I think it would have been better to have her father run for governor or senator instead of president of the USA. The security and media attention surrounding a presidential candidate and his family are intense. I think that many of the things that Shauna found out would have been discovered by the media or opposing party before her father would have gotten the nomination.

I think that this is Ted Dekker’s best stand-alone story. It reminds me of Blink which is on my all-time favorite list. I look forward to Dekker and Healy’s next book, Burn, which is due out in January 2010.

If you would like to read the first two chapters of this book, you can visit the official books site: http://www.thelostkiss.com/.

Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Book Review: House of Dark Shadows

House of Dark Shadows
By Robert Liparulo
304 pages
Young Adult Suspense
Published by Thomas Nelson 2008

House of Dark Shadows is the first book in the Dreamhouse Kings Series. It was sent to me by Thomas Nelson Publishers to review.

The story starts out 30 years ago with a woman screaming. An unknown giant of a man is carrying her down the hallway of the house. Her young children and her husband try to rescue her but are overpowered by the strong man. He takes her through a mysterious door in the attic and they are gone.

Talk about starting out with a bang. I was out of breath (I must have been holding my breath), tense and ready to read more and that was just the Prologue.

Fast Forward to the present day. Xander is a 15 year old boy who is not very happy. His father has taken a new job. Xander, along with his 12 year old brother David and 9 year old sister Toria, have to move from the big city of Pasadena to a small town in Northern California. They move into an old Victorian fixer-upper.

But all is not as it seems in this house. They go into a linen closet and come out in a locker at the school. They find giant footprints in the dust. Xander and David find a secret passageway that leads to a hidden attic. In this attic, there is a hallway with a number of doors. Each door opens to reveal a small room with another door in the back. Each room has a theme. In one room, there is beach stuff. Another has snow gear.

This book then races forward with the boys discovering the secret of the rooms and find that their dad has his own secret about the house. Near the end of the book, the giant man comes back and leaves us with a cliffhanger ending.

I think this would be a good book for any young person 12 and up. There is plenty of action and suspense.

I was a little disappointed that there was no mention of God in this story. No one prays when in peril. No one seeks God’s direction or help. I would have expected a book published by Thomas Nelson to have a bit of spiritual content.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I look forward to reading the sequel, Watcher in the Woods.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!! It has been almost 3 weeks since I have been on here. The holidays were filled with family and fun. I even managed to find time to read. Now it is time to blog about the books that I read. I will also be blogging about other reading-related subjects. I want to explore how to buy books for less. I will be writing about authors, publishers and magazines.

One of my personal goals for this year is to get rid of the clutter in my life and in my house. Like many of you, I have books piled up all over my house. I want to collect them all into one area and decide what to do with them all. I must decide what to do with the ones I do not need to keep. So we will explore the many avenues for selling and donating books.

I am calling this my Book Clutter Challenge. My first goal is to gather the books and count them. Feel free to join in the challenge.