Thursday, December 20, 2012

Heaven Is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

By Todd Burpo, with Lynn Vincent

In the opening prologue, we meet the Burpo family as they face a revelation that their three-year-old son, Colton, who nearly died from surgery after his appendix ruptured, had died and gone to Heaven and returned to share details of what it was like.

As the book progresses, Colton shares more and more details of his time in Heaven with Jesus, the angels, his stillborn sister, and his grandfather (a youthful version of himself).

This was our Tuesday Night Book Club book for December and I was looking forward to reading it; however, as I read it I began to doubt many of Colton’s “revelations” as written by his minister father. The boy's story became more specific over the years, and in some ways stranger.

We had a terrific discussion about this book and our concepts of Heaven, the validity of Colton’s account, his father’s influence and motivation for the book, and the negative reviews about the book.

It is worth reading as a starting point for a discussion about the afterlife.

~ Paula

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dying to Know You

By Aiden Chambers

Young Adult Book

Budding writer Fiorella asks shy Karl, who is in love with her, to answer a series of questions in a letter. He convinces her favorite author to help him. The results are, of course, not what anyone expects; and misunderstandings lead to new revelations, near tragedy, and transformation.

~ Sue

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Beautiful Winter: Holiday Wreaths, Garlands & Decorations for Your Home & Table

By Edle Catharina Norman

This little book is full of sweet ideas for holiday wreaths and adornments. The author gives complete supply lists and detailed instuctions. Even if, like me, you are not a craft-y person, you will enjoy the photos of these nature-inspired creations and may be tempted to try one or two.

~ Linda

Monday, December 17, 2012

Juliet in August

By Dianne Warren

Juliet in August takes place on one summer day in a small town in Saskatchewan. The author takes us to Juliet for a short visit and introduces us to the people who reside there. Everyone knows everyone, perhaps more than they should. Though nothing earthshaking happens, the overlapping stories of the town people are full of joy, sorrow, and life's complications. The author has mastered the art of interweaving the life stories of the residents of Juliet. The result is an engaging account of one day in the life of remarkable, ordinary people who could well be your neighbors.

I am glad I got to spend a day in Juliet.

~ Kathy

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dear Me: A letter to my sixteen-year-old self

By Joseph Galliano

This book is a bit older than those we typically blog about (first published in January 2011), but I just discovered it hiding on our adult non-fiction shelves: 808.883 DEA. Dear Me is a collection of letters written by seventy-five celebrities to their sixteen-year-old selves. These letters contain advice, words of warning, and encouragement. Some will make you laugh, and some will make you cry. With the span of entertainers from singers and musicians to writers and actors, both young and old, you will recognize several people featured in the book regardless of your stage in life. J.K. Rowling has written the forward.

Every letter is visually different with some neatly typed and others handwritten on notebook paper with accompanying doodles. This book is humorous and touching for adults and would be very appealing to teens as well.

~ Paula

The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy

By Nora Roberts

If you are ready for a little escape from reality, these quick, feel-good reads are just the ticket. The Inn Boonsboro is an old, dilapidated inn in the town of Boonsboro, Maryland. In the first book of the trilogy, The Next Always, the inn is being beautifully renovated by the 3 gorgeous Montgomery brothers. There is romance in each book as each brother falls for one of three women best friends. Clare owns the book store, Avery owns the pizza shop, and Hope is the innkeeper hired to run Inn Boonsboro. The characters are kind, good, hard-working people and the plots move along quickly. There is even some Civil War history and a sweet ghost thrown in. The second book is The Last Boyfriend and the third title is The Perfect Hope.

~ Linda

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


By A. C. Gaughen

A YA Novel

Robin Hood’s right-hand man is, unbeknown to most, a female; a female handy with throwing knives. Known as Scar for the long scar down her face, she hides herself well- as well as she hides secrets. Unfortunately, the arrival of Guy of Gisbourne not only brings many more hardships for the local citizens and consequent challenges for Robin and his small band, but may be Scar’s undoing; her personal secrets may have to be sacrificed to save Robin.

~ Sue

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Raven Boys

By Maggie Stiefvater

Written for young adults, The Raven Boys is the story of Blue Sargent, a 16-year-old girl from Henrietta, Virginia who lives with her single mom plus her mom's friends, all of whom are psychics. Though Blue is not a psychic, she was born with the ability to enhance psychic energy. Blue lives near the exclusive boys' high school Aglionby and has always prided herself on staying away from those rich boys. Through amazing circumstances, Blue becomes friends with four of those Aglionby boys and is especially drawn to Gansey, who is obsessed with a supernatural quest. But, Blue has been told her whole life that she can't ever kiss her true love because she will cause him to die. I really liked Blue and her gang of boys and enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot. I'm looking forward to the sequel.

~ Linda