Monday, June 17, 2013

Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock

Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock is a fictional account of a young woman's life at the time of Prohibition. Eve, the main character, tells her story in first-person, taking us from when her family decides to move out of Minnesota and back to the family home in Ohio to her experiences at Marryat Island that summer. Eve is a very black-and-white thinker, things are either right or wrong. In the era of prohibition, she boldly proclaims her beliefs and is confused by others' grayish thoughts on the matter.

This is a story that takes the reader into the era of Prohibition and shows several aspects of that time. There are a variety of characters, some more interesting than others. I honestly don't know enough to tell you if it is historically accurate, but it does open some topics of the time to review. To me it was just an interesting fiction story. It did not grab my attention particularly, but it was not a difficult book to read. It was a nice easy fictional story, in my estimation.

So, would I recommend it? Sure, it's a fine book to read. It wasn't particularly moving or dramatic, but not every story has to be. It was not an objectionable story -- if you like historical fiction you may love this one!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Victim of Grace by Robin Jones Gunn

Have you ever read any of the Sisterchicks books? Or the Christy Miller Series? Sierra Jensen? These are some of the series that were written by the author of my most recent read, Robin Jones Gunn. I have read and enjoyed many of her Sisterchicks books -- light, quick-read Christian fiction books; when I saw this nonfiction book that she had written, Victim of Grace, I wasn't sure what to expect! I am so glad that I read this book and would definitely recommend it to you!

This book is basically an autobiography of parts of the author's life. She is very transparent in her writing; though the details may be different, it is so easy to identify with her struggles. At first I didn't like the title "Victim of Grace" -- victim seems so drastically negative, while grace is something so wonderful -- but as I read the book, I see that the title means that we are recipients of this grace from God even though/when we really don't seem to be looking for it.

I actually read this book with a pen in hand. This is SO not what I usually do. I am not a journaller and usually don't re-read books. However, first chapter, there I was, underlining stuff!! Some of the lines I marked were such as this, ". . .may it be evident that God's goodness is prevailing even when you can't see the final punch line." and "The things we hope for in life can't be wished into existence no matter how delightful or spiritual those possibilities might be." and so many more. I really have marked quite a few passages in the book and will definitely be re-reading it.

Obviously the book is marketed toward a female reader (check out the cover picture!) but honestly, it'd be a great book for men as well. Or for husbands and wives to read together!

It's an easy-to-read book full of great truths and reminders from God. It was an important book for me to read at this moment.

I would definitely recommend this book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Experiments with mulch in the garden!

Every year when it gets to be around mid-July our garden looks VERY lush and green -- with an overabundance of big, tall, hard-to-pull leafy green weeds. :( Yuck.

Soooooooooooo this year we are trying a new approach!! :) We are going to try using mulch :) We are putting down newspapers covered with straw for the walkways and putting dried grass-clippings over the dirt between/around plants. We'll see how it works! :) Hopefully it'll do the trick and make our garden at least not 2/3 or more of the plant matter being weeds :)

Here's what it looks like right now. We'll see as the season progresses!

If you're a mulcher, I'd love to hear your suggestions/comments!!