Saturday, October 10, 2015

Streams of Mercy by Lauraine Snelling

Streams of Mercy by Lauraine Snelling is book #3 in the "Song of Blessing" series. The book centers on mainly one family in the picture perfect town of Blessing. Most of the residents are of Norwegian descent and they all seem to work together in a seamless fashion. There are bits of trouble and sorrow, but they are worked through as family. Two of the women of this family are the founders and administrators of the hospital in the town, as well as being the doctors for the town (it's a teaching hospital filled with nurses and various other characters).

I have read the other two books that precede this book and I liked this one just as much as the others. It is a book that makes you wish you lived in a community like Blessing. It's a historical fiction book, a Christian book. . . A good part of this book focuses on Anji Moen and her children who returned to Blessing after the death of Mr. Moen. Anji finds her place in the town amongst family and then begins a relationship with Father Devlin; Father Devlin faces some tough choices in his life and Anji plays a part. . .I don't want to say more.

There's also a circus train filled with disease which devastates the town and its families. . .

And a mute mystery girl who is anonymously dropped off at the hospital pregnant. . .

I'd say it's a good book. I enjoyed it very much, as a quick read for entertainment. It reminds me of Amish fiction a bit (the community aspect) so I'd venture to say that if you enjoy Amish fiction you will probably enjoy this book! It is preceeded by two other books in the series, and although it is not necessary to have read them to enjoy this one, it certainly will help you sort out the characters :)

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

My post-college, pre-children life was as an environmental educator -- working at camps, nature centers, and such. The kinds of people I worked with were kind of stereotypical for that field :) and many of them had a life goal of hiking the "AT". Myself, I had no such aspirations -- I knew that if I were to attempt something like that (besides the incredible cost of time and money) I would be too focused on the hiking itself, going going going -- and not able to enjoy the actual experience. In those days hiking the AT was a topic of many discussions and conversations.

Now, many years later, reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, I am reminded of those days and wonder if any of those coworkers with lofty goals ever succeeded.

The book A Walk in the Woods is the author's recounting of his walking of the Appalachian Trail. His attempt, that is. Or attempts? At any rate, he's a regular guy, hiking along with another regular guy (not as in shape as himself) with the goal of completing the hike from Georgia to Maine. He talks about equipment, the hiking itself, the people, his new experiences, the weather, etc.

The book is very well written -- interesting to say the least (laugh-out-loud funny at many times!!) and is enjoyable to read. The first half of the book/first half of the hike -- was exciting and interesting. The second half (****spoiler****** he does in day segments and a last push, but does not complete the trail) is not quite so compelling a read. But at that point you're into the book and want to finish it anyhow. It's filled with political and historical commentary and even though some may disagree with some of his points or stands on topics, it's still an interesting read.

SO -- would I recommend the book? Yes, certainly. There is a bit of swearing (overlook that maybe?) which will keep me from recommending it to my kids, but it is a very interesting read.

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