I was recently asked what my reading goal was for this year. I hemmed and hawed, trying to figure out when I would add reading time into my all ready busy schedule. I said I could probably read twenty books this year. I based it on the amount of books I read last year. I included some that were read via audio books as well. I thought I would share what I’ve read so far.
It’s amazing how things work out. I had started one book in December and figured I would finish it in January. Little did I expect to have not only finished that one, but two more and started on two others in January alone! What caught my attention and why are they good for you? Glad you asked.
Tumbleweed by Heather Huffman
This is a great clean romance based around horses. Ever since I was a child and read Misty of Chintoteague I have loved horse stories. This one was about a single mom who is trying to find herself. She and her son drive down to the Ozarks where she was raised and get a job on a horse ranch. I loved the way the story flowed, but even more so the point of view of the character and her insecurities blended with humor. How many of us have had an interview not go the way we planned it? I had one where my cell phone rang not once, but twice! The main character, Hailey, begins and ends the book with interviews that don’t go the way she wants them to.
Arena by Sally Hull, narrated by Esther Hardcastle
Early in January, we returned my 18-year-old son to college, a twelve hour round trip up the Oregon Coast. The night before, I delivered a copy of Dragon’s Heir to a former student and neighbor. She held the honor of having the dedication. After giving her the book, her parents sat and chatted with me. Her mom has contracted with ACX to do audio books. So, we talked about the books she had done. By the time the evening was over, I had selected our reading for the trip the next day. Arena caught my attention because as my former neighbor put it, it was like C. S. Lewis’ science fiction series. However, once we got into the story it turned out to be a very well thought out intriguing read. It takes place in a dystopia world where people are divided into three races–priest, thinker, and fighter. All races strive to live in the top cubicle. They move up by fighting in the arena. It is a true survival of the fittest. However, when a dying priests gives instructions of where to find an ancient book to a young idealistic priest life changes for the young priest, his study mate, and two thinkers and two fighters. The journey leaves the reader wondering about what life would be like if evolutionary science was taken to the extremes. Since I started this one with the family, we haven’t finished it yet. I still want to know what happens to Stormer and the others.
Doc Adams–Jungle Dentist by Don Adams and Donna Adams Fedukowski
This book has not yet reached Amazon. It will, but I was given a proofreading job by my friend, Donna. This book has all the classic signatures of a missionary story in the jungle. Donna’s dad, Don Adams, took his family to the jungles of Peru for ten years in the 60’s and 70’s. He was a dentist who pulled teeth, performed surgeries, provided braces, neutered pets, and a number of other doctor type things because of his medical background. The story begins in the United States with a brief introduction to Don and his family life. Then a chapter written by his wife introduces her to the readers. Quickly, the reader is in the Amazon jungle laughing at antics and enjoying the life of the jungle dentist. As I read, I realized this is a must have for any church library or anyone who loves missionary stories. (It is now available on amazon.)
The Seed Savers series by S. Smith
January held a photographers’ seminar in Portland, Oregon. My husband took the week to attend and learn and grow as a photographer. On the way home, he stopped to pick up a set of furniture for his new home studio. As he and the owner packed the furniture into the back of the pickup, they began to talk shop. The owner was a photographer. The other helper with the loading was an author. She wrote middle grade/young adult books. Her series consisted of five books. She also had been a teacher. The connection was made and before my husband left, he held a small book, Treasure, in his hands. He brought it home for me. Since, Dragon’s Revenge is in proofreading, I had time to read. I picked it up and was pulled into a futuristic world of twelve- and thirteen-year-olds Claire and Lily. They live in a world where gardening and collecting seeds and eating real food is prohibited and illegal. They discover what it is like to plant their first tomato. Claire and Dante then take off on an adventure to find the Garden State. Before I knew it, I had devoured the book and was left stating, “I need to read book two!” This week, I received email notification of a blog post by S Smith. Book two, Lily, was on sale for $.99 as an eBook. I quickly grabbed it and began reading as well. Last night, at 9:00 I had to put it aside to go to bed, but I really wanted to stay up and finish it. Book two follows, Lily, the best friend of Claire. She was left behind when Claire and Dante headed on their adventure. Lily remains in the city still learning about gardening and food preparation. New characters are introduced, and Lily learns some startling things about her family and the history of the Seed Saver network. I know as soon as I finish Lily, I will want to move on to book three. I can’t wait to find out if the kids will be able to bring back gardening to the world or will GRIM, the government agency that keeps food under tabs prevail?