The parcel reached the publisher. Now I just need to dream the words might reach him too. But if they don't I'll trust they'll find another home somewhere else. Having just read Nick Vujicic's Life without Limits, what else could I believe? So grab a coffee and settle down at your computer for some book reviews. But first, why not look up Nick Vujicic on Facebook or Youtube. I did. He's real! He's really really amazing!
Which means, I suppose, that my first review today should be of Life without Limits, by Nick Vujicic. A wonderfully inspiring autobiographical and motivational tale of a young man born without limbs, this book startled me with its zany good humor and inspired me with its well-constructed advice. Enjoy this well-balance book with a well-balanced 3-star coffee. I really loved it!
Less inspiring, but equally haunting is The Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson, tracks the social decay of Hitler's Berlin through the eyes of the US Ambassador, a wise man trapped between the needs of history and politics. Intriguing and disturbing, this is one to enjoy with a 5-star dark intense coffee.
My third non-fiction book of the week is Body and Soul: Reclaiming the Heidelberg Catechism, by M. Craig Barnes. The Heidelberg Catechism is included at the end of the book, but it's the start that draws the reader in, filled with real-world examples where faith and broken lives come together.Enjoy a well-balanced 3-star coffee with this well-balanced read.
Moving on to fiction, Love the Wounded, by Lynn Dove is the third in a trilogy of Christian novels following the lives of present-day teens in a very wounded world. If you only read one of the three, this is the one to pick. Backstories fill in enough of the other books to provide motivation, and bullying takes center stage as the trial wounding another character. The end will leave you breathless. Enjoy with a dark intense 5-star coffee.
A much bleaker novella with more unconventional hints of the Bible and apocalypse is The Rapture of Willard, by James Paul Caiden, truly memorable for the amazing after-dinner conversation in this dysfunctional family while zombies rage outside. Enjoy with a 5-star dark intense coffee.
Angel Eyes, by Jessie Pratt is a very short story packing a huge punch, where a mother answers the seemingly simple but sadly complex question of why her daughter's eyes are blue.
And another novella packing a huge punch is Hating Heidi Foster, by Jeffrey Blount, a tale of very genuine teen grief, anger and healing. Fourteen-year-old Mae's father is dead, and Mae blames her former best friend Heidi. Just when the girls need each other's comfort, they have nothing to say to each other, until chance intervenes. A beautiful, heart-wrenching story, enjoy this one with a well-balanced 3-star coffee.
Darklings, by C. D. Davis is a much gentler novel for middle-grade readers, an entertaining and informative fantasy set in Venice in 1912, with wordplay and swordplay and the smaller mammals of the world enjoy their secret lives behind walls and terraces. Enjoy this one with some 4-star elegant complex coffee.
For younger readers and pre-readers, The Banana Police, by Katy Koontz is a delightful picture-book with simple entertaining text and a nicely ecological storyline. Enjoy a mild crisp 1-star coffee while reading this book with your kids.
And finally, two more novels for adults: Ring Around The Rosy, by Jackie Fullerton, is an entertaining mildly romantic mildly paranormal mystery, reminiscent of the old Randall and Hopkirk Deceased. Law student Anne Marshall is a magnet for small-town murders, and Thanksgiving with the parents of her fiance turns into a suspense-filled drama when a neighbor is killed. Enjoy this one with a 3-star well-balanced coffee.
The Reluctant Marquess, by Maggi Andersen is an enjoyable historical romance with plenty of period detail and pleasing characters. A forced marriage might not seem the best place to find love, but perhaps the old uncle knew what he was doing after all. Enjoy this lively tale with a lively easy-drinking 2-star cup of coffee.