If you’ve been wanting a Kindle, today might be a good time to pick one up: Kindles 15% off! Be sure to use the Promocode ThnksFAA at checkout.
2.99 special: Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story
Based on the reviews, this book seems like a good fit for those who already know a lot about Joni and who she is. The only negative reviews were from those who didn’t, so they felt like there wasn’t enough back story, and they were also concerned that this book really did not give them as much of Ken’s perspective as they had hoped for.
Louis Lamour’s West of the Tularosa
Also a 2.99 special
Catherine Cookson was one of my mother’s favorite authors when I was growing up, and her works were frequently chosen for Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. We had a subscription, and I remember competing with my mother to get to read them first when there was a Cookson title. I haven’t read them a while, so I don’t know if I would still recommend them. I suggest you look at one of the titles on Amazon that lets you read a chapter or two first and see what you think.
Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, whom she believed to be her older sister. She began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master.
Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer – her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award for the best regional novel of 1968 – her readership quickly spread throughout the world, and her many best-selling novels established her as one of the most popular of contemporary women novelists.
After receiving an OBE in 1985, Catherine Cookson was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1993. She was appointed an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford, in 1997.
For many years she lived near Newcastle upon Tyne. She died shortly before her ninety-second birthday, in June 1998.
2.99 The Blind Years
By Frederick J. Cross. Also online at Google Stories like the following:
ONLY A NURSE GIRL!
THE STORY OF ALICE AYRES.
On the night of Thursday, 25th April, 1886, the cry rang through Union
Street, Borough, that the shop of Chandler, the oilman, was in flames.
So rapid was the progress of the fire that, by the time the escapes reached the house, tongues of flame were shooting out from the windows, and it was impossible to place the ladders in position. The gunpowder had exploded with great violence, and casks of oil were burning with an indescribable fury.
As the people rushed together to the exciting scene they were horrified to find at one of the upper windows a girl, clad only in her night-dress, bearing in her arms a child, and crying for help.
It was Alice Ayres, who, finding there was no way of escape by the staircase, was seeking for some means of preserving the lives of the children in her charge. The frantic crowd gathered below shouted for her to save herself; but that was not her first aim. Darting back into the blinding smoke, she fetched a feather-bed and forced it through the window. This the crowd held whilst she carefully threw down to them one of the children, which alighted safe on the bed.
Again the people in the street called on her to save her own life; but her only answer was to go back into the fierce flames and stifling smoke, and bring out another child, which was safely transferred to the crowd below.
Once again they frantically entreated her to jump down herself; and once again she staggered back blinded and choking into the fiery furnace; and for the third time emerged, bearing the last of her charges, whose life also was saved.
Then, at length, she was free to think of herself. But, alas! her head was dizzy and confused, and she was no longer able to act as surely as she had hitherto done. She jumped—but, to the horror of that anxious admiring throng below, her body struck against the projecting shop-sign, and rebounded, falling with terrific force on to the hard pavement below.
Her spine was so badly injured that although everything possible was done for her at Guy’s Hospital, whither she was removed, she died on the following Sunday.
Beautiful windows have been erected at Red Cross Hall, Southwark, to commemorate her heroism; but the best memorial is her own expression: “I tried to do my best”—for this will live in the hearts of all who read of her self-devotion. She had tried to do her best always. Her loving tenderness to the children committed to her care and her pure gentle life were remarked by those around her before there was any thought of her dying a heroic death. So, when the great trial came, she was prepared; and what seems to us Divine unselfishness appeared to her but simple duty.”
Keep in mind that it’s a vintage book, so some of the tales may use language not politically correct today and will be paternalistic in attitudes toward so-called ‘lesser’ races. I’ve only read two of the stories, and this comment is based on the second one.
9 reviews, 8 of them five star, the ninth is a 4 star.
Are Not My People Worthy? The Story of Matthew 25: Ministries by Wendell E. Mettey is an inspirational journal of one man’s dedication to a calling from God to live out the scripture in Matthew 25: 34-40, which is a mandate to care for the poor, the sick, the imprisoned and so on. Mettey leads readers on journey from the birth of the vision for the ministry to the details of the humanitarian services provided by M25M in a manner reminiscence of how Jesus taught – by telling stories.
His definition of compassion is one of the best I have ever read, and while I never knew there was a Golden Rule of Compassion, I’m glad he taught it to me: “Do unto others only what they cannot do for themselves.”
If you only take away one lesson or message from this book, it would be well worth the small investment cost of its purchase.
I’d recommended this as a good read for almost anyone, and it could easily be used as a study guide for small groups, Bible studies or other groups wanting to learn more about outreach and humanitarian projects and missions.
This first book of Mettey’s is the springboard for his Matthew 25: Ministries. It gives us the reason for its existence and how it grew out of the failures of the U.S. governmental systems of trying to eliminate poverty but which create only dependency. A good read.
Amazon review: “I had this book when I was quite young, and lost it. I did not expect it to be as “good” now that I am much older, but I found it as entertaining as I did 50 years ago. I found the other books in the series, and bought them, too. An interesting and accurate look into Australia and England set before and during WW1 through the eyes of a teen-aged girl”
Amazon review: “Set in Sydney, Australia in 1880’s, seven children get into all sorts of mischief even though they are trying their best to behave. Ranging in ages from sixteen to one year, the Woolcot children are mostly left to their own devices. Their step-mother Esther, the birth mother of only the youngest, is just twenty and has no experience with children. Their father is a military man and expects his children to behave and only to show up when he expects them to.
I have been wanting to read this book for several years. I was able to download a copy to my Playbook and read most of this adorable story in one sitting. I really don’t want to start telling you about the events that happen in the childrens’ days, but I can assure you that they didn’t set out to get into trouble, those things just seem to happen in this family. I suppose it might have been different had they had a nanny to see to their needs.
Author Ethel Turner wrote over 40 novels and has been the longest in print author in Australia. She also wrote further about the Woolcot children in: The Family at Misrule, Little Mother Meg, and Judy and Punch.”
Amazon review: “I read this in one sitting unable to put it down. It’s the real tale of the unfortunate truism that life marches on. Either you keep up or get trodden on. Hard enough on its own but the author is bulldozed by disease, infections, multiple surgeries and complications that made me cringe in pain for her. This isn’t the tome of a fearless brave super trooper this is an often frightened and fragile working mother and waning wife trying to hold it all together and sometimes losing it. Colleen finds support in her family and faith to move her along the path to acceptance and final solidification of family life that had been derailed in childhood. It’s inspiring in that’s it not a sugar coated memoir but what feels like a almost in real time account of the rawness of life being eaten by the misfortune of illness and trying to maintain a place in it. I will read this again. Colleen’s realism and bare knuckle fighting spirit will capture your heart”
Ballantyne is known for his exciting boys’ adventures. I like them better than Henty because they are less teachy and preachy
I think all of them are online free. I think these are fun to browse.
Helen Hunt Jackson’s: Between Whiles
by George MacDonald
HYMNS TO THE NIGHT.
FROM VON SALIS-SEEWIS.
FROM THE GERMAN
MILTON’S ITALIAN POEMS.
Horatio Alger’s Facing the World
You can get others of these poor boy become rich by lifting himself up by his own bootstraps books for boys for free at Amazon and Gutenberg
Based on reviews, I think perhaps a decent biography for middle school age.
Novella by Elizabeth Gaskell
“The book, written shortly after the end of the First World War, features in its casting, two characters invalided out of the British army for medical reasons. Stylistically, in many ways, it is a classical Lord of the Manor murder mystery. There is an eminently lovable wife and an utterly boorish Aristocratic husband, with a wounded serviceman active in the wings. There is a mystery woman being paid a monthly sum by the Lord of the Manor, who has a bright young playwright want-to-be as secretary. There is a boorish valet and his parlor maid sweetheart. Other assorted characters appropriate to an aristocratic setting make their appearance to enliven the plot. There is the detective, a shrewd cookie who is adequately deferential to the lovable wife seeking to protect her from scandal mongering.
Jepson is a witty writer in the fashion of his day, still eminently readable today.The characters, while playing stereotypical roles, are quite human and are made to play their parts satisfactorily.”
Paula the Waldensian
Amazon review: Beautiful piece of Christian fiction. Story of a young Waldensian girl who is orphaned and comes to live with her non-Christian uncle and cousins. She proceeds to change the lives of everyone she comes into contact with through her tesitmony and Christlikeness. My 4th grade daughter read and loved it, too. Reading level is appropriate for mid-elementary; story is captivating enough for adults. I cried, but I always cry. Probably would appeal to girls more than boys, but boys need to read this kind of story more.
The Eve of the French Revolution
Also at Gutenberg. Here’s an excerpt from chapter III:
The inhabitants of France were divided into three orders, differing in legal rights. These were the Clergy, the Nobility, and the Commons, or Third Estate. The first two, which are commonly spoken of as the privileged orders, contained but a small fraction of the population numerically, but their wealth and position gave them a great importance.
The clergy formed, as the philosophers were never tired of complaining, a state within a state. No accurate statistics concerning it can be obtained. The whole number of persons vowed to religion in the country, both regular and secular, would seem to have been between one hundred and one hundred and thirty thousand. They owned probably from one fifth to one quarter of the soil. The proportion was excessive, but it does not appear that the lay inhabitants of the country were thereby crowded. Like other landowners, the clergy had tenants, and they were far from being the worst of landlords. For one thing, they were seldom absentees. The abbot of a monastery might spend his time at Versailles, but the prior and the monks remained, to do their duty by their farmers. It is said that the church lands were the best cultivated in the kingdom, and that the peasants that tilled them were the best, treated.[Footnote: Barthelémy, Erreurs et mensonges historiques, xv. 40. Article entitled La question des congregations il y a cent ans, quoting largely from Féroux, Vues d’un Solitaire Patriote, 1784. See also Genlis, Dictionnaire des Étiquettes, ii. 79. Mathieu, 324. Babeau, La vie rurale, 133.] In any case the church was rich. Its income from invested property, principally land, has been reckoned at one hundred and twenty-four million livres a year. It received about as much more from tithes, beside the amount, very variously reckoned, which came in as fees, on such occasions as weddings, christenings, and funerals.
Tithes were imposed throughout France for the support of the clergy. They were not, however, taken upon all Articles of produce, nor did they usually amount to one tenth of the increase. Sometimes the tithe was compounded for a fixed rent in money; sometimes for a given number of sheaves, or measures of wine per acre. Oftener it was a fixed proportion of the crop, varying from one quarter to one fortieth. In some places wood, fruit, and other commodities were exempt; in other places they were charged. Tithe was in some cases taken of calves, lambs, chickens, sucking pigs, fleeces, or fish; and the clergy or the tithe owners were bound to provide the necessary bulls, rams, and boars. A distinction was usually made between the Great tithes, levied on such common articles as corn and wine, and the Small tithes, taken from less important crops. Of these the former were often paid to the bishops, the latter to the parish priest. The tithes had in some cases been alienated by the church and were owned by lay proprietors. In general, it is believed that this tax on the agricultural class in France amounted to about one eighteenth of the gross product of the soil.[Footnote: Chassin, Les cahiers due clergé, 36. Bailly, ii. 414, 419. Boiteau, 41. Rambaud, ii. 58 n. Taine, L’ancien Régime (book i. chap ii.). The livre of the time of Louis XVI. is commonly reckoned to have had at least twice the purchasing power of the franc of to-day.]
The whole body of the clergy, as it existed within the boundaries of the kingdom, was not subject to the same rules and laws. The larger part of it formed what was known as the “Clergy of France,” and possessed peculiar rights and privileges presently to be described. Those ecclesiastics, however, who lived in certain provinces, situated principally in the northern and eastern part of the country, and annexed to the kingdom since the beginning of the sixteenth century, were called the “Foreign Clergy.” These did not share the rights of the larger body, but depended more directly on the papacy. They paid certain taxes from which the Clergy of France were exempt. The mode of appointment to bishoprics and abbacies was different among them from what it was in the rest of the country. Throughout France, and in all affairs, ecclesiastical and secular, were anomalies such as these.