Saturday, September 23, 2006

Eddie the Dog Holder

Author: Carolyn Haywood
Date of publication: 1966
Genre: Children's fiction
Age: 2-5 grade

This book was written back in the good ol' days when you didn't have to even consider that there might be objectionable material in a children's book. Unless it was a Mark Twain children's book.

It's a sweet story about a little boy named Eddie who is trying to make money over the summer.

I like this author (I've read about 5 of hers) and this one is no different. Just a sweet story.

Recommended

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Husband-Coached Childbirth

Author: Robert A Bradley
ISBN: 0553375563
Genre: pregnancy, childbirth

The Bradley Method of childbirth has its basic premise that a woman with her husband (or other supporting friend) can give birth naturally.

Relaxation and education really can help you have a joyful drug-free birth.

This book talks about his philosophies on childbirth and is an introduction to his methods. Also covers pregnancy diet, prenatal care, fathers, bonding, and other points.

I recommend this even if you as a woman don't think you could ever have a drug-free birth. It still has good ideas about being optimally healthy and knowing about the birth process.

Highly recommended

Smitten

Author: Janet Evanovich
ISBN: 9780060298877
Genre: Fiction/Light romance

Well I have committed to not reading any romances. I guess my rule is there can be romance in the book (clean stuff) but if the main story is a romance, I don't read it.

Too bad, because I like Janet Evanovich as an author for her bounty hunter comedy series, but this is a romance.

Single mom needs job, meets carpenter... falls in love, etc.

Not recommended

Read-Aloud Bible Stories Volume II

Author: God
Adapted by: Ella K. Lindvall
ISBN: 0802471641
Genre: Religion, children

Like the first volume, these stories also have a rhythm to them that is just mesmerizing. The illustrations are simple yet skillful (we never see Jesus' face, rather others' reactions). I hope to own all four of these volumes and also the stand-alone stories by the same author. Truly talented.

The stories in this volume:
Simon and his boat (miraculous fish catch)
The boy who went away (Prodigal son)
The boy who shared his lunch (feeding of the 5000)
The man who helped (Good Samaritan)
A sad day and a happy day (the passion of Christ)

Highly recommended

Read-Aloud Bible Stories Volume I

Author: God
Adapted by: Ella K. Lindvall
ISBN: 0802471633
Genre: Religion, children

These stories just ring when you read them out loud. They are the kind that help you remember them. The author didn't force rhyming (a big pet peeve of mine) or dumb the story down. I recently saw a 25 month old reading/reciting these to herself.

The stories covered in this edition:
The man who was too little (Zaccheus)
The man who couldn't see (Bartimaeus)
The boys and girls and Jesus (let the little children come to me)
The wind that obeyed
The man who said, "thank you." (10 lepers)

Highly recommended

The Two Princesses of Bamarre

Author: Gail Carson Levine
ISBN: 0060293152
Genre: Young adult, fairy tale

One sister is courageous and always talking about her future exploits killing dragons and saving the kingdom. The other sister is nervous and scared of spiders. Which one will save the kingdom? A fairy tale about courage, bravery, and heroism.

I prefer the author's other book "Ella Enchanted," but this one is also good.

Of course if the main character had to depend on God or another good higher being rather than just herself, it would be better. But for a run-of-the-mill fairy tale this one is nice.

Appropriate for 11-15 year olds.

Recommended

Taking Charge of Your Fertility

Author: Toni Weschler
ISBN: 0060937645
Genre: Women's Health, Fertility, Women's Studies

Every woman over the age of 16 should read this book.

I highly recommend this book. It is a practical, easy to read guide to understanding your own body. There are many things that I had never understood and either been too embarrassed to ask an older woman about or I asked and didn't get the correct answer.

This is especially helpful when trying to conceive or prevent conception, but once again, the merits go far beyond just conception information.

Highly recommended

The Frog Princess

Author: E. D. Baker
ISBN: 0439754445
Genre: Young adult fairy tale

What happens when the princess kisses the frog and instead of the frog turning back into a prince, the princess turns into a frog herself?

The story is pretty funny and well-written. Not on my "absolute favorite" list but a decent read nevertheless.

Will especially speak to 12-14 year olds. Age appropriate.

Recommended

A Treasury of Old Testament Heroes

Author: God
Adapted by: Patricia Pingry
ISBN: 0824942582
Genre: Religion, children

Stories covered:
Noah, Joseph, Joshua, Samson, David, Daniel, and Jonah

I really like the adaptation of the stories for 2-5 year olds.
The illustrations are so-so. Imagine a Magnum PI mustache. Yup. In a Bible book.

Recommended

Beautiful Bible Stories

Author: God
Adapted by: Tess Fries, Shawn Aswad
ISBN: 1403706271
Genre: Religion, children

The illustrations are fabulous. Very bright and pleasant to look at.
The text adaptation is fairly well done- good for 6 or 7 year olds.

The Bible stories covered:
God's Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, Joseph and his coat of many colors, Moses-Baby in the Bulrushes, Naomi and Ruth, David and Goliath, Queen Esther Saves Her People, Daniel in the Lion's Den, Jonah and the Big Fish, and The Birth of a Savior.

Recommended

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Southern Discomfort

Author: Rita Mae Brown
ISBN: 0553231081
Genre: fiction, romance?

I didn't finish this book. I got about 15 pages into it. The first page talks about how "so-and-so" is a whore. I have really been trying to keep my reading somewhat pure and this book just crossed too many lines too quickly for me. So I'm calling it:

Not recommended

Goals

I am not trying to be a big-time reviewer with this blog. I will review all kinds of books, even kids' books.

My reviews will be short and sweet, and probably not very complicated. This is mostly a way for me to remember about different books and to recommend books to others.

Hope you enjoy reading.

Beyond the Waves

Author: Elizabeth Marek
ISBN: 0451213572
Genre: Fiction, wild children

I have a fascination with "wild children" like those old stories of children raised by wolves or something. Part of it is a horror that they could be forgotten and abused and lost, but a lot of it has to do with the language acquisition problems. How do you teach language to a child who has none? How do you help a child overcome their obstacles to become the human being God created them as?

This story is about a little girl whose father has kept her in their apartment for years, ever since her mother died. She doesn't know that it's strange or even unhealthy; she just knows that her father takes care of her and that the world is scary.

One day her father doesn't come home at the usual time and after 3 or 4 hours she panics and decides to go look for him. Instead she ends up in a psychiatric hospital with a caring doctor who wants to help her.

I love happy endings and this one follows through. For a poignant ride through a child's heart, and the heart of a grieving mother, read this book.

Recommended

3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated

Author: Donald E Knuth
ISBN: 0895792524
Genre: computers, religion, non-fiction

This beautiful book is a project of Donald Knuth's. He wanted to know whether a "random" sample of the Bible would turn out with a statistically sound sampling of God's laws and loving qualities, whether it would accurately reflect the Bible as a whole. So he wrote out a set of rules and started taking a sample of the Bible. He decided to use Chapter 3, verse 16, of every book. If a book didn't have a 3:16, he either counted farther into chapter 4, or left the book out. Most of the books that were too short were New Testament letters, which he already had enough of.

The best part about this book is the calligraphy. Knuth asked prominent calligraphists from all over the world to illustrate the verses. They are masterfully done and a beauty to look at.

Knuth did his own translations for this book. It was a big project but because he was only doing at the most 66 verses, it wasn't too bad.

Each verse has four pages devoted to it. The first page gives an overview of the book it was taken from. The second page is the illustration. The last two pages take the verse in depth and discuss it.

This book is excellent for a Bible study for a small group. There is very little preparation involved for either the teacher or the class and yet you still get a good dose of God in there. It is easy to put on "pause" for a few weeks if you have to do another study. It's also great just for reading on your own.

3:16 is out of print but because of the wonderful Amazon.com, still not too hard to find.

Recommended.

Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About

Author: Donald E Knuth
ISBN: 157586326X
Genre: computers, religion, non-fiction

For those of you in the computer field, Donald Knuth is an easily- recognized name. Evidently he does all kinds of good things for and with computers.

He's also a Christian it turns out, and very interested in how science and Christianity combine to make a well-rounded life.

This book is a companion to 3:16, reviewed above.

It is a series of lectures about how he goes about writing 3:16, which he presented at MIT in 1999.

Some of the titles of his lectures are:
Randomization and Religion
Language Translation
Aesthetics
Glimpses of God
God and Computer Science


This book is a fascinating look into the way a layperson in terms of religion might go about studying and looking for God. You don't have to have a religion degree to translate the Bible (although it will take you a long time). God will teach you.

Recommended