Review of Before I Wake

October 31, 2006 Categories: Books , Reviews | 6 Comments  

(Before I Wake was provided to me by Active Christian Media for the purpose of review.)

Before I Wake
by Dee Henderson
Tyndale Fiction
Romantic Thriller

I have adored Dee Henderson‘s books ever since I fell in love with the O’Malley family series a few years back. Ms. Henderson’s fiction is suspenseful and well-written, and deals with issues that people of faith face every day – even if we aren’t a hostage negotiator or paramedic or hold any of the other high-adrenaline jobs her characters have.

Before I Wake is a romantic thriller along the same lines as the O’Malley series. Rae Gabriella is an ex-FBI agent starting over as a private investigator in the firm her ex-boyfriend owns. Her first day on the job throws her into the middle of a murder investigation, a local labor strike, and feelings of attraction to two different men, one of whom she has a past with.

The characters are well-written, and the plot is suspenseful. I read this book in two days – and it was a perfectly entertaining read to follow up Great Expectations with. The only problem I had was that the ending seemed fairly abrupt. I wanted more! But if I’m reading things right, I believe this book is the beginning in a series that has the potential to be as great as the O’Malley series is.

Intertwined with the mystery is the characters’ theological struggle with why God allows so much evil in the world. This is handled well in dialogue and is never heavy-handed. I imagine this is a topic Christians in law enforcement deal with on a daily basis.

I give this book 3 and a half out of 4 stars. I will definitely be reading any further books in this series. If you’re a fan of romantic thrillers, this is a great read.

Noah’s Reading – October 2006

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The Chikorita Challenge (Pokemon Chapter Book) by Tracey West
Journey to the Volcano Palace by Tony Abbott
Winner Takes All: Pokemon Chapter Book by Tracey West
Togepi Springs Into Action (A Pokemon Reader) by Tracey West
Prize Pokemon: A Pokemon Chapter Book by Sheila Sweeney

Natalie’s Reading – October 2006

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The Adventure Bible for Young Readers
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Read Alouds for October 2006

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Egermeier’s Bible Story Book: A Complete Narration from Genesis to Revelation for Young and Old by Elsie E. Egermeier
Favorite Poems Old and New selected by Helen Ferris
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom
Terrific by Jon Agee
Finklehopper Frog by Irene Livingston
Frogs by Gail Gibbons
Pirates by John Matthews
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
The Panda: Wild About Bamboo by Valerie Tracqui
One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale by Demi
The Problem with Chickens by Bruce McMillan
Yes, Please! No, Thank You! by Valerie Wheeler

Mommy, Mommy!

October 30, 2006 Categories: This and That | 8 Comments  

It snowed!

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

October 28, 2006 Categories: Books | 14 Comments  

I finished Great Expectations at 12:40 this morning and then went to bed. I should’ve gone to bed at a decent hour, since Natalie and I had stayed up til 11:45 the night before finishing our Global Puzzle, but I couldn’t stop reading until I knew what happened to Pip.

It’s funny, there are so many books that people say I should read. And until this year, I’ve completely rebelled against that idea. I want to read what I want to read. But as I’ve endeavored to expand my reading horizons this year and dipped into Jane Austen for the first time, and now some Dickens, I’m beginning to understand something. People call these books “classics” for a reason. They may take more time and concentration to read, but they are worth the investment.

Though these books are older and take place at a time far removed from our own, the issues and relationships and feelings involved are universal. The lessons that Pip and Miss Havisham and Elizabeth Bennett learn are lessons we all need to learn at various times in our lives. And authors like Dickens and Austen are considered the best for good reason – they have a way of describing their characters, time, and place that puts us there.

I’m not going to balk at reading the classics any longer. They take more work, but they’re worth it.

She’s her mother’s daughter

October 27, 2006 Categories: Kid Stuff , Television | 4 Comments  

The boys’ favorite shows to watch during TV time now that we have “channels”: Crocodile Hunter and Spongebob Squarepants

Natalie’s favorites: Emeril Live and A Baby Story :)

Links for Friday

Some quick links for your viewing pleasure:

“Like all revolutions, this one started small, with a single post on a blog devoted to children’s literature. The Newbery Medals seemed too elitist and the Quills, well, not enough so.

Was there a middle ground, an annual award that would recognize both a book’s merits and popularity?

The answer: invent one! Within hours, this meme had circulated among some of the biggest bloggers in the burgeoning kidlitosphere, the cozy corner of the Web where children’s books are given the same regard as their grown-up counterparts.

Within days, the new awards had a name and a website: The Cybils, a loose acronym for Children’s and YA Bloggers’ Literary Awards. Nominations quickly opened in eight categories, from picture books up to Young Adult fiction and even graphic novels.”

~Head on over to the Cybils and nominate your favorite children’s books. All children’s or YA books published in English in 2006 are eligible. Categories include: Graphic Novels, Non-fiction Picture Books, Non-fiction for Middle Grades and YA, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Picture Books, Young Adult Novels, and Middle Grade Novels. You can nominate one book in each category. If you’re not sure of the category, nominate it in the closest one and the Cybils team will put it where appropriate. Teams will narrow the field to a few contenders (I think five, but don’t quote me on that) and then other teams will pick the winner. I was lucky enough to be asked to join the panel that will choose the winner in the non-fiction picture book category – sometime in January. Nominations close November 20th, so don’t wait too long!

~Here’s a fun online Pumpkin Carver for the kids. Or you. Hat tip: Shannon.

~And what would Friday be without a funny video?

Our weekend involves a Halloween party tonight at Tae Kwon Do, carving pumpkins on Saturday, and praying for Seneca Wallace, the Seahawks backup quarterback, through the game on Sunday. How ’bout you?

Tears

October 24, 2006 Categories: Books , Commonplace Book | 6 Comments  

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.”

~Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

(No, I’m not especially sad today, just thought this was a beautiful quote and wanted to share.)

Channels

October 22, 2006 Categories: Football , Television | 15 Comments  

We succumbed. To channels, that is. That’s what my kids call having more television options than the grainy Fox network that our rabbit ears pick up. After five years of no cable, the Direct TV man will be making a visit to our house tomorrow morning. Probably right in the middle of science. I tried to talk Kevin into working from home tomorrow so he could handle the whole thing, but that’s another story.

Don’t get me wrong, we haven’t been completely TV-less. We have had our trusty Fox channel-via-antenna, bringing us such goodies as House, Bones, and, of course, American Idol. (And such trash as The OC and Family Guy.) And my wonderful parents have been kind enough to record a couple of other favorites for us: NCIS and Lost – and, more recently, The Unit.

But now that Kevin’s promotion affords us a little more financial stretch room, and since I’ve whined about the Seahawks games that aren’t on Fox and missing our shows when my mom and dad are out of town and forget to set the VCR, Kevin has blessed me with satellite TV.

And I’m not kidding myself – I know that it’s really all for me. Kevin told me as much. To which I responded, “Well, then let’s not get it, I don’t want to cost the family $30 a month.”

To which he responded, “Well, aren’t you worth it?” (Cue: aw, how sweet.)

To which I responded by pouting because I felt guilty for wanting it in spite of the fact that he didn’t. And basically I had a little tantrum and said, “No, we shouldn’t get it.”

To which Kevin responded, “Sometimes you make me feel like I’m d**ned if I do, and d**ned if I don’t. Can’t I just do this for you?”

To which I said, meekly, “I’m sorry, honey, I’ll let you get me channels.”

I’m ashamed to say that I’m not kidding and that conversation actually happened. Someday I’ll learn.

The kids are almost as excited as I am. Discovery Kids, Animal Planet, and the Food Network! (Natalie loves cooking shows.) We’re hoping to invest in a DVR around Christmas time, and then I can record and catalog all those wonderful History Channel and Learning Channel shows for school.

But mostly, I’m glad I won’t miss anymore Seahawks games. (And along that note: Mr. Hasselbeck, Noah wants me to tell you that we are praying for your knee to heal quickly so you can play next week.)