Books Read in April 2016

In spite of the crazy month of April, I managed to read A LOT. This is because I was able to take advantage of the many snippets of wait time that I had, especially while Andrew was a soccer practice and CCD or waiting to hear about Michael.

Books Read in April 2016

Image by publicdomainpictures (2013) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Plain Paradise by Beth Wiseman. Good book! It is a part of a series of books that includes Plain Pursuit.

Plain Pursuit by Beth Wiseman. I think I liked this even better than Plain Paradise! I got both of these books from the library and I am so glad that I did.

A Dream of Miracles by Ruth Reid. There are some good points to this story but, sadly, I didn’t enjoy this book that much. I gave the book two (2) stars in my review which you can read here.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. I have been wanting to read this book for a while and finally got a chance! It was pretty good. You can read my review of the book here.

Family Affair by Debbie Macomber. This is a sweet book. I really enjoyed this story.

Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia. I read this with Andrew. It was one of his history books but we would up reading it for pleasure, too. It is a good book!

The Secret by Beverly Lewis. I used to be a fan of her books but now I just find them a little over the top. I just couldn’t get into this book and wound up just turning the pages to get it done.

Salad Recipes: Super foods Kale. It was free so I snagged a copy because I keep hearing how good kale is. I’ve used it in a few smoothie recipes but this book also has recipes for salads and main dishes that I want to try.

Fast and Easy Clean Eating Cookbook by Heather Choate. This book as some good looking recipes that I want to try. The tone of the book is a little dry and repetitive but there are good suggestions on going organic on a budget, and how to easily incorporate clean eating into your diet.

For Mercie’s Sake by Sharon Srock. In some ways, this book is very sad but also inspiring.

How to Say No: 10 Steps to Saying No by Matthew Lewis Browne. This book was okay. There was a lot of repetition but there were some snippets of takeaways.

Looking at this list, I have a little bit of a theme: Amish love-inspired novels and cookbooks. LOL! What have you been reading lately? Do share in the comments!

As for May, I don’t have any specific book planned, and I doubt I will read as much as I did this month!, but I do want to try and read at least a few books. We will see what happens. 🙂

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Book Review: An Amish Miracle

An Amish Miracle is a set of three novellas. Always in my Heart by Mary Ellis, tells the story of Hope Bowman who gave her son An Amish Miracleup for adoption when she was young. Always His Provision by Ruth Reid is about Rosa Hostetler, a widow, who is in danger of losing her home and Always Beautiful by Beth Wiseman relates the struggles of Becky Byler with her weight and self-image.

A while back, I had the opportunity to read and review An Amish Kitchen which included a novella by Beth Wiseman; therefore, I was excited to have the chance to read An Amish Miracle through the Booksneeze book review program. It was the perfect “easy read” before delving back into textbooks now that a new semester of college has begun. 🙂

Out of the three novellas, Always in My Heart is my favorite. I really felt for Hope’s character and I thought her character evolved the most out of all the characters amongst the three novellas. I also related to Hope and felt a connection with her even though I have never given up a child for adoption. The only “issue” I had with the novella is how abrupt and quick resolution was between Hope and her father at the end of the story.

Rosa Hostetler was also relatable. She is stubborn, set in her ways and doesn’t want to rely on anyone for help. And, as my husband can attest, I know a little bit about being stubborn. 😉 Rosa struggles with a neighbor, she keeps losing her chickens whose eggs she needs to sell, and she doesn’t see the man right in front of her who is ready and willing to help her in her struggles.

Always Beautiful deals with an issue facing many women, young and old: self-image. Becky is self-conscience of being heavier than those in her Amish community. After praying  for a “miracle” she begins to lose weight; however, losing weight doesn’t turn out to be the “cure-all” for her troubles as she expected. She still doesn’t feel like she fits in and continues to struggle with her self-image. However, in the end, she comes to terms with herself and wins the love of her life: all typical of formula fiction (Just like the other two novellas).

I very much enjoyed the three  novellas and if you are looking for a good, easy read, I recommend An Amish Miracle. I give the book three (3) stars.

Book Review: An Angel By Her Side: A Heaven on Earth Novel by Ruth Reid

Angel By Her Side

An Angel By Her Side is unlike any other Amish fiction that I’ve ever read – in a good way. In this novel, direct angel intervention meets Amish daily living when Elias is sent by God to intervene in the lives of Katie Bender, Seth Stutzman and others in the town of Hope Falls.

In this story, Katie is the area school teacher. For seven years she has carried the burden of losing her fiancé in an accident. Seth Stutzman is beehive constructor who comes to Hope Falls to help his brother-in-law. He, too, is carrying a burden and blames himself for the death of a man caused by the collapse of a barn. Their lives collide when a tornado hits the area and through this and other events, both of them (through Elias’s intervention) learn about trust, faith and hope in God and one another.

My Comments:

An Angel By Her Side is the third book of a novel series; however, if I didn’t all ready know that, I wouldn’t have been able to guess. This novel stands very effectively on its own and I truly enjoyed this book. It is written well written with believable characters that are flawed but likeable. It also touches on subjects such as blindness and dyslexia in a sensitive and sensible way.

If I had one critique it would be this: If this was the first Amish novel that I ever read (which it isn’t) and I wasn’t a little familiar with Amish culture (I am), I would have been thrown off by some of the Pennsylvania Dutch words that are interspersed throughout the book. Some of the terms could be understood in the context of the sentence or paragraph, but many of them could not be. Thankfully, there is a dictionary of terms in the front of the book to refer back to. The problem for me is that I have an older version of the Kindle and switching between pages is difficult and cumbersome.

Pennsylvania Dutch aside, this is a sweet  novel that I would absolutely recommend to others. I give the book three (3) stars.

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I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com (http://www.booksneeze.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.