Book Review: An Amish Cradle

About the book:

An Amish Cradle is a collection of four novellas all centered around the theme of “babies.” In all four stories, the An Amish Cradle coverprotagonists are either expecting or have just had a baby, and they each have to deal with unique challenges and circumstances.

The first novella, written by Beth Wiseman, is called “In His Arms.” This tells the touching story of a young couple whose first child is born with Down’s Syndrome.

The second, written by Amy Clipson, is “A Son for Always.” As a teenager, Carolyn had a child, Ben, out of wedlock. Now, she is married and expecting another child. She worries and fears that her husband, Joshua, will not accept Ben or love him as much as his biological child.

The third novella, “A heart Full of Love” is by Kathleen Fuller. In this story, the protagonist, Ellie, is blind, and must deal with an overbearing mother who questions Ellie’s ability to take care of her child.

The fourth, “An Unexpected Blessing” is by Vannetta Chapman. In this story, Etta finds herself expecting at the age of 42 and stuck in a snowstorm as she tries to get to the birthing center. Plus, she has concerns for her other children, especially her one son, David, who has left the Amish community.

My Comments:

I completely enjoyed An Amish Cradle. It is an easy, sweet, and quick read; and with summer fast approaching, it is a great book to read while lounging at the beach. There are no real plots or drama in the stories because they all center on relationships, but that is okay, because it is impossible not to be drawn into characters and their lives.

All the stories are touching and sweet, but out of all of them, my favorite is “In His Arms.” Maybe I am biased because I am a huge fan of Beth Wiseman (although I’m a big fan of Amy Clipson, too), or maybe it was the topic. It is not very often that topics such as people with physical or mental challenges (formerly known as disabilities) are portrayed in novels. And Beth Wiseman does so with aplomb and sensitivity. Either way, “In His Arms” is a story that I will not soon forget.

But, that is not to take anything away from the other stories. They are all good, and they all are written very well. They all have interesting characters, and they all have the same comforting “feel,” as if you are being wrapped in a warm blanket when  you read it. 🙂 I am sure you will enjoy all the stories.  In fact, when you read the book, you will probably think one of the other stories are your favorite instead.

On top of all this, like many recent Amish novels, there are a few recipes for some of the meal items mentioned in the book, like the homemade stew and mock pecan pie.

If you enjoy Amish fiction, you will enjoy this collection. I give An Amish Cradle four (4) stars.

 

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: What Color Is Your Parachute? 2015 Edition

what color is your parachuteFrom the book description:

What Color Is Your Parachute? is the world’s most popular job-hunting guide with more than ten million copies sold. Now, no matter what your circumstances, every job-hunter can find help with up-to-the-minute information on what has changed about the job market, plus strategies for finding jobs even when everyone tells you there are none.”

My comments:

I don’t normally review these types of books, but I know that there are a lot of people of people out of work right now, and have been for a while. Plus, I will be finishing school, God willing, in May 2015, and will need to decide on my next course of action: look for a job or start a business; therefore, when I had the opportunity to read and review this book, I snatched it up.

The book, I have to say, was a lot different than I expected. It isn’t the usual job-hunting book at all. Yes, it covers the usual topics such as tips for interviewing, and salary negotiation. However, it goes much deeper than that. The bulk of the book has the reader look into herself, in all areas of her life, in order for her to find the skills, wants, and dreams in order to find, not only a job, but the perfect job for her.

Now, I already did someething similar to this before going back to school, but I went ahead and did the exercises for the review. And, I have to say, I got a lot of value out of the process. I think that just going through the steps to “Understand More Fully Who You Are” is worth the price of the book.

The crux of the guide is to help the reader get the opportunity to choose where to work, rather than being dependent on newspaper or online ads, and competing against many others in the workforce. That is why there is such an emphasis in the book of knowing who you are, dealing with any “handicaps” that may stand in your way, and advice on how to change careers. There is also a section for starting a business for those who are so inclined.

The extensive appendex offers information on “finding your mission in life, information specifically for returning veterans, a section on the emotional drain of being out of work, and a list of career coaches for those who want to work with someone personally.

One thing to note: much of the author’s grammar and language is, well to use his term, “unorthodox.” Thus, thankfully, he offers a note of explanation as to why he make the choices he did. I am glad that he included a note on grammar because when I was going through the book, I was a little surprised and annoying. Now, I don’t agree with some of the reasons he chose to take the unorthodox route, but his explanations changed my inital thoughts on the book. 🙂

If you, or someone you know, is look for a job or looking for a career change, I absolutely would recommend this book, and give it four (4) stars.

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I am grateful to the Blogging for Books Review Program for providing me with a review copy of What Color Is Your Parachute?. I was not required to submit a positive review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.