Toney, Alabama | Member Since 2009
A dad taking his nine year old daughter on a hunting trip in Alabama . . . the girl wears camo . . . loves her daddy . . . high school sweetheart out in the boonies parking and necking before heading home . . . and a bunch of crazy doped up redneck drug dealers . . . well it makes for a mess . . . the sheriff's department in the podunk town has it's share of glory seeking deputies, all good hearted country boys, some akin to Barney Fife . . . This book is all about what us southerners like, hunting, fishing, family, defending what's ours. I couldn't stop listening. I was a little irked by the narration in some places, just not pure southern to me, a little strained . . . sure didn't keep me from loving the writing . . . can't wait to listen to the next one.
I just become more and more impressed with the writing of Nevil Shute. I'm not an engineer or a skilled craftsman. But I VALUE that which a person puts their mind and heart into and strives to do their best at. And I fully understand and appreciate a person who does not build their self worth on material things. As for readers/listeners who were bored because they were not engineers, I find that a bit odd, because this wonderful book, though it includes some technical data, is so very much MORE than a procedural manual. It is the story of a simple man, who is full of skill and talent, yet chooses family, joy, and the simple goodness of continued work with his hands in lieu of selling himself to the highest bidder. I couldn't foresee the outcome of his journey, but oh, how I enjoyed traveling along, as Keith Stewart, humbly accepted new responsibilities and sailed half way around the world to fulfill them. The flow of the book, the narration, and the culmination were absolutely perfect. So satisfying.
When I hear of or read a book like "Sold", the first thing that goes through my mind is this, "There but for the grace of God, go we." Though this book is fictional and supposedly geared toward a teen audience, it's a book that EVERYONE needs to read/hear. We, as Americans, have gotten so comfortable in our living rooms with our electronic gadgets, in our fancy SUVs and cars, living in a world where our bellies are full and sometimes our spirits are empty. Even when we HEAR about girls like Lakshmi who are sold in order to work and provide money for their families, it's all too easy to push those unpleasant thoughts back out of our tidy little minds. And it's too easy to say, "Oh, we could never do such a thing . . ." This story of 13 year old Lakshmi, whose step father decided she must be sold to provide money for the family, made me once again re-examine my own values, my own pride and status. I was NOT born in Nepal, Praise God for that. My own parents, though far from perfect, didn't have to decide whether or not to sell me. I was not forced into prostitution as a child. I am humbled by these facts,and I KNOW they are not mistakes. We are NOT given gifts to be squandered. We are not shown the truth to cover it back up again. "Sold" is a mighty story of strength and love, of depravity and abuse. Let's not allow this book to go into one ear and out the other.
I had been looking forward to listening to this story about four pioneer women who lost their minds out west after enduring horrifying hardships. I totally "bought into" the story, loved it, felt for the women and the men who loved them and had to send them back east, back home to heal. Mary Bee, a strong homesteader, who offers to take the mad women back east when the husband who drew lots refuses to go, is ahead of her time, knows how to shoot and defend herself, cares for her livestock, and is independent and unafraid. A woman of strong character, who loves the women she is transporting, respects them, and cares for them with dignity, and is traveling along with a man whom she has hired to help her . . . a man who is self-serving, a claim jumper, who failed to complete his service to his country, but who perhaps deep down has a shred of decency . . . all I can say is that it's a dirty rotten shame that the author decided to go off on a wild goose chase and take the story out "in the weeds" and rob the book of GREATNESS. It left me disgusted, not fulfilled. This one did not meet my criteria of providing an ending worth waiting for . . . it was a dud.
Wonderland Creek is an amazingly truthful look at Christianity and humanity. I enjoyed it from the beginning, identifying with Alice Grace Ripley's love of books and libraries. I remember carrying home 8 to 10 books a week from our school library when I was in middle school and escaping into them, one at a time. I also understood the order and peace of working in a library, since I volunteered in the school library, getting first pick over all the new and returned books. I had to laugh at Alice's unrealistic view of life and love when her first romance turned south, and her boyfriend "dumps" her for reading a book at a funeral. An over protected youngest child of a minister and his very straight laced wife, Alice found safety in reading, and was very much the center of her own universe. Sweet and innocent and unbeknownst to her, of course. Life cannot be learned from a book. Her journey to the rural Kentucky to deliver donated books to their tiny library is the BEGINNING of life for Alice, of finding out who God really is, and of seeing His hand at work. In a place where there's no indoor plumbing, no electricity, no telephones, no niceties, only reality . . . and the quiet of the creek, the birds, and having no choice but to help others, Alice is renewed . . . and she hears from God.
I am particularly drawn to historical fiction, and when I saw this one about a father and son going westward to sell the Colt pistol together, I couldn't resist. There wasn't really any hint that the book was written by a Brit who would interject his anti-gun rhetoric into an otherwise wonderful coming-of-age story of a twelve year old boy. "I, to this day, hold to only one truth: if a man chooses to carry a gun he will get shot. My father agreed to carry twelve." . . . one of the first lines of the book . . . yet those same guns saved his life later in the story, when Henry Stands shot those who would have killed Thomas and him otherwise. These parts of the story are not the MOST important and do not ruin the flavor of the overall tale of Thomas, his father, and the relationship between Thomas and Henry Stands. I do recommend the book. In the story, Thomas grows up to marry and becomes a Menonite, who are pacifists. I appreciate that in many places scripture is quoted in the book, as I, too, am a Christian. It is harsh, sweet, thought provoking, and it's fiction. So Robert Lautner has written a novel from his own perspective and his own heart. Give it a listen.
This is the second of the Caleb books, and Caleb is 25 years old now in the deserts of Ethiopia. He and his parents have rebuilt the monastery where he grew up as a child. They live there together and minister to a leper colony, and even though Caleb still believes, he has lost his zeal and fire for Christ. This book, though fictional, explores the need for childlike faith, for trusting when we can't see the road ahead, for joyous dancing and spending time in the presence of God, all the things that we veer away from after the newness of our salvation starts to wear off. I would say that I'm not sure that the turn of events in the book are totally biblically correct as they pertain to end time prophecy, however, there are many trains of thought regarding that. And a fictional book is just that, fiction. The book blessed me and brought about self examination about my walk with the Savior.
My husband and I listened to this audio book together on two long car trips. If you are offended by the language that soldiers and marines use, be forewarned, this book is full of it. At the same time, know that's how it really is and was. To think that God didn't walk with these brave men then or now in the heat of the battle, I believe is a wrong assumption. For God is surely with us all in the valley. The soldiers of Vietnam, for the most part were kids, just out of high school, naive, just out of boot camp, ready to be marines and win the war. Then they were dropped into a mess that no one ever could have prepared them for. My husband came into the army at the end of the Vietnam war, and thank God, and over his 22 year career never saw combat. Many of our friends were killed in Vietnam or had brothers who were killed or who came back completely changed after the war. This book is a book that every American needs to read or listen to. The truth about what politicians do when they send our young people to war is absolutely gut wrenching. And it continues to happen over and over, and the United States never seems to learn. I'm a mother of two soldiers who have served in Iraq. One of our boys is in Afghanistan right now. I am as patriotic and American as apple pie. But something has happened in America that is absolutely frightening. We don't know who the enemy is anymore.
This is the second in this series that combines murder mysteries with the goings on of a needlework shop, Crewel World and all those in the small town of Excelsior, Minnesota. I've grown to love the funny, experienced, as well as the fearful "I will never be able to do this" needle crafters, which by the way, include the shop's owner, Betsy, who inherited the shop from her sister. This audio book focuses on an old murder from 1949 when a boat sank in the harbor, and when they pull it up, a skeleton is found. The twists and turns in solving this very COLD CASE, are quirky, and will absolutely keep you listening and entertained. I didn't suspect who the murderer was until the very end. I will be listening to the next book in the series.
Few people know the inside story of what Navy Seals do, day in and day out for our country; even fewer have an inkling of the concept of what it takes for these men to put the mission FIRST, above their own safety, and even above their families. The tight brotherhood of the seal team is a bond that is like no other, sacred to the men on the team, understood and shared only by them. My husband (a retired army SGM) and I listened to this audio book together while driving to visit our son who works at the Ordnance School at Fort Lee, Virginia. Having two sons who served in the Iraqi war, and one now in Afghanistan, we are both very in tune to what goes on behind the scenes in defense of our country. Yet we cannot imagine being parents of a Navy seal . . . yes, we would be proud . . . but wartime service is hard enough for families . . . constant covert missions would be a nightmare. Thank God for these men, and their families who also sign on for whatever the MISSION brings.
When the book first started off, I wasn't sure I was going to like it as much as the first one, but oh, as it went on, I did, I SURE did! Some of the tale is a little far fetched, but hey, who's to say it couldn't happen in the south . . . As for old Moon Pie, there's plenty of redneck, criminals running around down here, all hyped up on drugs, alcohol and their own puffed up image of themselves. And thank God, there are plenty of the good guys, too . . . the good old Bible belt . . . this is a thriller, but also a really GOOD listen with an ending worth the wait . . . and this southern, country gal LOVES an ending she can sink her teeth into.
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