Ben Franklin Poster

vintage benjamin franklin poster

From Public School Methods, Volume 3, 1918

Posted in history, homeschooling, vintage | Leave a comment

Consider This: Book Plug

Charlotte Mason was inspired by this fresco of the Seven Liberal Arts

Charlotte Mason was inspired by this fresco of the Seven Liberal Arts

This book is not free, it’s 8.99 for the Kindle, but you should read it.=)

Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition (kindle)

Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition
(Hardcopy)

When I bought my hard copy, I was given the option of buying a Kindle edition for just .99- I don’t know if that’s still the case, but I took advantage of it.

Blurb: “The educators of ancient Greece and Rome gave the world a vision of what education should be. The medieval and Renaissance teachers valued their insights and lofty goals. Christian educators such as Augustine, Erasmus, Milton, and Comenius drew from the teaching of Plato, Aristotle, and Quintilian those truths which they found universal and potent. Charlotte Mason developed her own philosophy of education from the riches of the past, not accidentally but purposefully. She and the other founding members of the Parents’ National Educational Union in England were inspired by the classical educators of history and set out to achieve their vision in modern education. They succeeded—and thanks to Charlotte Mason’s clear development of methods to realize the classical ideals, we can partake of the classical tradition as well.

The classical tradition as it informs teaching is good not because it is old or “classical,” but because it works; and what works, whether old or new, is best. That’s the Mason message admirably conveyed by [Karen] Glass.
—David V. Hicks

Classical education is an education of the heart and conscience as much as it is an education of the mind. This book explores the classical emphasis on formation of character and links Charlotte Masons ideas to the thinkers of the past. This is not a “how to” book about education, but a “why to” book that will bring clarity to many of the ideas you already know about teaching and learning.

“I thought that my fire for heart education could not be further stoked; I was mistaken. Karen Glass has here laid out the thrilling joy of education, for both the teacher and the taught.”
—Michelle Miller, author of the TruthQuest History series

“From the very beginning I couldn’t put it down! What a gem!”
—Sonya Shafer of Simply Charlotte Mason

“Karen says everything I would have loved to say about education in a clear, understandable, and easy to read style. It is the missing link between what we call Classical Education and the Charlotte Mason approach.”
—Cindy Rollins, contributor at The CiRCE Institute”

BOOKS TO THINK ABOUT SQUARE

Me: I am still reading this one, but I love it.  It gives me much to think about, and in a readable, accessible way.

My first recognition of the connection between classical education and Charlotte Mason came in 1998 when I was pregnant with our seventh, and reading her volume 6 for the first time. I was absolutely stunned that nobody had pointed out the similarities before (that I knew of).

(I mean, of course, real classical education, not pseudo-classical as popularized here by Dorothy Sayers and Douglas Wilson. Those stages have little to do with classical education before the 1980s, when Wilson popularized Sayers’ essay.)

I am speaking of classical education as the pursuit of virtue.

I did not reach that conclusion without help (I need all the intellectual help I can get).  It helped immensely that I  had for years been working my way (pitifully slowly) through The Great Conversation: A Reader’s Guide To Great Books Of The Western World (Hardcover).

To my mind, it was impossible to miss the connections and similarities.  While there are details on which Miss Mason and Adler might disagree, and those details aren’t insignificant, the goals of a human education that is more than utilitarian, that is wide, generous, and above all, virtuous, are the same.  Miss Mason and Adler were drinking from the same stream- a long tradition of classical education- where the purpose and function was not merely learning to read Greek and Latin, but learning to read great books of the western tradition, to converse with their authors in the examined mind as the student learns to practice and live a virtuous life.

Karen Glass has done extensive and painstaking research where necessary to demonstrate those connections.  Although, truth be told, sometimes the hints that Miss Mason was basing her approach upon links from the past are directly in Miss Mason’s own words (‘ some that is new, much that is not‘).

Additional reading:

Charlotte Mason’s own series (especially volume 6)

Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on Education

Almost anything from Circe

Brandy’s 31 days of CM Mythbusting

For the curious- these are the Adler books I read or was reading when I read Miss Mason’s volume VI and had my epiphany:

How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (A Touchstone book)

How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization

Aristotle for Everybody

Six Great Ideas

Paideia Proposal

This essay and other resources at The Great Ideas website is also of interest.

 

Disclosure: Karen Glass is a personal friend- she became my friend precisely because I loved her writing, her clear thinking, and her ability to explain her ideas so clearly without making me feel stupid.=)  She did not ask me to write this, and I didn’t tell her I was going to.

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Kindle Books for Free

book squareBooks are free or at their reduced ‘daily deal’ price at the time I copied and pasted the links here.  This can change without notice.  Please carefully check the price before adding to your cart.

These are affiliate links.  If you buy a book or buy something else at Amazon while you are downloading a free book, The Equuschick or I will get a small percentage.  We appreciate the support.

I have not read most of these unless otherwise noted.  I do my best to weed out total duds and unseemly dreck, but sometimes I make mistakes.  I’m just a bookhound, dashing through the woods of Amazon, flushing out possible titles.

Here’s today’s list of finds:

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The High Deeds of Finn and other Bardic Romances of Ancient Ireland
Excerpt: Long ago there dwelt in Ireland the race called by the name of De Danaan, or People of the Goddess Dana. They were a folk who delighted in beauty and gaiety, and in fighting and feasting, and loved to go gloriously apparelled, and to have their weapons and household vessels adorned with jewels and gold. They were also skilled in magic arts, and their harpers could make music so enchanting that a man who heard it would fight, or love, or sleep, or forget all earthly things, as they who touched the strings might will him to do. In later times the Danaans had to dispute the sovranty of Ireland with another race, the Children of Miled, whom men call the Milesians, and after much fighting they were vanquished. Then, by their sorceries and enchantments, when they could not prevail against the invaders, they made themselves invisible, and they have dwelt ever since in the Fairy Mounds and raths of Ireland, where their shining palaces are hidden from mortal eyes. They are now called the Shee, or Fairy Folk of Erinn, and the faint strains of unearthly music that may be heard at times by those who wander at night near to their haunts come from the harpers and pipers who play for the People of Dana at their revels in the bright world underground.

At the time when the tale begins, the People of Dana were still the lords of Ireland, for the Milesians had not yet come. They were divided it is said, into many families and clans; and it seemed good to them that their chiefs should assemble together, and choose one to be king and ruler over the whole people. So they met in a great assembly for this purpose, and found that five of the greatest lords all desired the sovranty of Erin. These five were Bóv the Red, and Ilbrech of Assaroe, and Lir from the Hill of the White Field, which is on Slieve Fuad in Armagh; and Midir the Proud, who dwelt at Slieve Callary in Longford; and Angus of Brugh na Boyna, which is now Newgrange on the river Boyne, where his mighty mound is still to be seen. All the Danaan lords saving these five went into council together, and their decision was to give the sovranty to Bóv the Red, partly because he was the eldest, partly because his father was the Dagda, mightiest of the Danaans, and partly because he was himself the most deserving of the five.

All were content with this, save only Lir, who thought himself the fittest for royal rule; so he went away from the assembly in anger, taking leave of no one. When this became known, the Danaan lords would have pursued Lir, to burn his palace and inflict punishment and wounding on himself for refusing obedience and fealty to him whom the assembly had chosen to reign over them. But Bóv the Red forbade them, for he would not have war among the Danaans; and he said, “I am none the less King of the People of Dana because this man will not do homage to me.”

Thus it went on for a long time. But at last a great misfortune befell Lir, for his wife fell ill, and after three nights she died. Sorely did Lir grieve for this, and he fell into a great dejection of spirit, for his wife was very dear to him and was much thought of by all folk, so that her death was counted one of the great events of that time.

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The White Rose of Langley A Story of the Olden Time

Historical fiction by Emily Sarah Holt.  Here’s an excerpt:

“Oh, how full of briars is this working-day world!”

Shakspere.

“It is so cold, Mother!”

The woman addressed languidly roused herself from the half-sheltered nook of the forest in which she and her child had taken refuge. She was leaning with her back supported by a giant oak, and the child was in her arms. The age of the child was about eight. The mother, though still young in years, was old before her time, with hard work and exposure, and it might be also with sorrow. She sat up, and looked wearily over the winter scene before her. There was nothing of the querulous, complaining tone of the little girl’s voice in hers; only the dull, sullen apathy of hopeless endurance.

“Cold, child!” she said. “’Tis like to be colder yet when the night cometh.”

“O Mother! and all snow now!”

“There be chiller gear than snow, maid,” replied the mother bitterly.

“But it had been warmer in London, Mother?—if we had not lost our road.”

“May-be,” was the answer, in a tone which seemed to imply that it did not signify.

The child did not reply; and the woman continued to sit upright, and look forward, with an absent expression in her face, indicating that the mind was not where the eyes were.

“Only snow and frost!” she muttered—not speaking to the child. “Nought beyond, nor here ne there. Nay, snow is better than snowed-up hearts. Had it been warmer in London? May-be the hearts there had been as frosty as at Pleshy. Well! it will be warm in the grave, and we shall soon win yonder.”

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For the Master’s Sake A Story of the Days of Queen Mary

More historical fiction by the same author as above.

Excerpt:

Preface.

This is not a story which requires much preface. The tale speaks for itself. But it is only right to inform the reader, that the persons who play their parts in it (apart from the historical details given) are all fictitious, excepting John Laurence and Agnes Stone.

It rests, under God, with the men and women of England—and chiefly with those of them who are young now—whether such events as are here depicted shall recur in this nineteenth century. The battle of the Reformation will soon have to be fought over again; and reformations (no less than revolutions) are “not made with rose-water.”

“Choose you this day whom ye will serve! If the Lord be God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.”

Are we ready to follow the Master,—if He lead to Calvary? Or are we ready to run the awful risk of hearing Christ’s “Depart!” rather than face men’s “Crucify”? Now, while it is called to-day, let us settle the question.


Chapter One.

Glad Tidings.

“For when the heart of man shuts out,
Straightway the heart of God takes in.”

James Russell Lowell.

“Good lack, Agnes! Why, Agnes Stone! Thou art right well be-called Stone; for there is no more wit nor no more quickness in thee than in a pebble. Lack-a-daisy! but this were never good land sithence preaching came therein,—idle foolery that it is!—good for nought but to set folk by the ears, and learn young maids for to gad about a-showing of their fine raiment, and a-gossiping one with another, whilst all the work to be wrought in the house falleth on their betters. Bodykins o’ me! canst not hear mass once i’ th’ week, and tell thy beads of the morrow with one hand whilst thou feedest the chicks wi’ th’ other? and that shall be religion enough for any unlettered baggage like to thee. Here have I been this hour past a-toiling and a-moiling like a Barbary slave, while thou, my goodly young damosel, wert a-junketing it out o’ door; and for why, forsooth? Marry, saith she, to hear a shaven crown preach at the Cross! Good sooth, but when I tell lies, I tell liker ones than so! And but now come home, by my troth; and all the pans o’ th’ fire might ha’ boiled o’er, whilst thou, for aught I know, wert a-dancing in Finsbury Fields with a parcel of idle jades like thyself. Beshrew thee for a lazy hilding (young person; a term applied to either sex) that ne’er earneth her bread by the half! Now then, hold thy tongue, Mistress, and get thee a-work, as a decent woman should. When I lack a lick o’ th’ rough side thereof, I’ll give thee due note!”

Thus far Mistress Martha Winter poured out the vials of her wrath, standing with arms akimbo in the doorway, and addressing a slight, pale-faced, trembling girl of twenty years, who stood before her with bowed head, and made no attempt at self-defence. Indeed, she would have been clever who could have slipped in a sentence, or even have edged in a word, when Mistress Winter had pulled out of her wrath-bottle that cork which was so seldom in it, as Agnes Stone knew to her cost. Nor was it the girl’s habit to excuse or defend herself. Mistress Winter’s deprecation of that proceeding was merely a flourish of rhetoric. So Agnes, as usual, let the tempest blow over her, offering no attempt to struggle, but only to stand and endure.

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North, South and over the Sea

by  M.E. Francis (Mrs. Francis Blundell)

Excerpt:

The long warm day was drawing to its close; over the sandhills yonder the sun was sinking in a great glory of scarlet and purple and gold. The air was warm still, and yet full of those myriad indescribable essences that betoken the falling of the dew; and mingling with, yet without dominating them, was the sweet penetrating odour of newly-cut hay.

John Dickinson walked moodily along the lane that led first to his uncle’s wheat-field, and then to the sandhills. He was a tall, strapping young fellow, broad of shoulder and sturdy of limb, with nevertheless something about him which betokened that he was not country bred. His face was not brown enough, his hands were not rough enough, the shirt sleeves, rolled up above his elbow, were not only cleaner than those of the ordinary rustic after a hard day, but displayed arms whereof the tell-tale whiteness proclaimed that they were little used to such exposure. These arms ached sorely now; all day long had John been assisting in “carrying,” and the hours spent in forking the hay from the ground to the cart had put his new-found ardour for a country life to a severe test.

John had been born and brought up in Liverpool, having since he left school acted as assistant in his father’s shop. But on the latter’s death, his affairs were found to be so hopelessly involved that it was impossible for his family to carry on the business. Mrs. Wilson and her daughters had obtained employment in “town,” and John had announced his intention of taking to farming. Having been more or less master in his father’s small establishment he could not brook the idea of accepting a subordinate post in the same way of business; and, indeed, as his mother’s brother, burly old Richard Waring of Thornleigh, had offered to take him into his household and teach him his work, there seemed to be no reason why he should not adopt the career which was more to his mind.

John had frequently made expeditions into the country before, and had spent many pleasant hours in the company of his aunt and uncle, and their buxom daughter Jinny; but he found a vast difference between these pleasure excursions and the steady routine to which he was now subjected. All the household were abed at nine, an arrangement to which John objected. As his aunt opined that it was “a sin an’ a shame to burn good lamps i’ summer time when days was long enough for onybody as was reasonable,” he bought a supply of candles out of his own meagre store, and, being fond of reading, spent an hour or two with book or paper before retiring to rest. But the worst of this arrangement was that when, as it appeared to him, he had just settled comfortably to his first sleep, it was time to be astir again. His uncle thumped at his door, his aunt, from the bottom of the stairs, called out shrilly that if he wanted any breakfast he had best make haste, for she was “goin’ to side the things in a twothree minutes.” Jinny made sarcastic comments on his tardy appearance, and laughed at his heavy eyes. That was the worst of it—Jinny was always laughing at him; she “made little” of him on every possible occasion. His “town” speech, his “finicky” ways, his state of collapse at the end of the day, his awkwardness in handling unaccustomed tools, were to her never-failing sources of amusement. John set his teeth and made no sign of being wounded or annoyed, the sturdy spirit inherited from his mother’s people forbidding him to cry out when he was hurt; but his spirits were at a low ebb, and to-day he had walked forth after tea with a heart as sore and heavy as those over-strained arms of his. Jinny had come out to the field with the “drinkin’s,” and her face looked so bewitching under the sun-bonnet, and her waist so tempting and trim beneath the crisp folds of her clean bed-gown, that John had made bold in cousinly fashion to encircle it with his arm, whereupon she had freed herself with an impatient twirl, remarking that she didn’t want no counter-jumpers to be measurin’ of her—a sally which had been regarded as exquisitely humorous by the bystanders. John’s cheeks burned as he thought of it.

“She needn’t be afraid—I’ll not come nigh her again,” he muttered vengefully.

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By the Ionian Sea Notes of a Ramble in Southern Italy

Excerpt (Cotrone):

Night hid from me the scenes that followed. Darkling, I passed again through the station called Sybaris, and on and on by the sea-shore, the sound of breakers often audible. From time to time I discerned black mountain masses against a patch of grey sky, or caught a glimpse of blanching wave, or felt my fancy thrill as a stray gleam from the engine fire revealed for a moment another trackless wood. Often the hollow rumbling of the train told me that we were crossing a bridge; the stream beneath it bore, perhaps, a name in legend or in history. A wind was rising; at the dim little stations I heard it moan and buffet, and my carriage, where all through the journey I sat alone, seemed the more comfortable. Rain began to fall, and when, about ten o’clock, I alighted at Cotrone, the night was loud with storm.

There was but one vehicle at the station, a shabby, creaking, mud-plastered sort of coach, into which I bundled together with two travellers of the kind called commercial—almost the only species of traveller I came across during these southern wanderings. A long time was spent in stowing freightage which, after all, amounted to very little; twice, thrice, four, and perhaps five times did we make a false start, followed by uproarious vociferation, and a jerk which tumbled us passengers all together. The gentlemen of commerce rose to wild excitement, and roundly abused the driver; as soon as we really started, their wrath changed to boisterous gaiety. On we rolled, pitching and tossing, mid darkness and tempest, until, through the broken window, a sorry illumination of oil-lamps showed us one side of a colonnaded street. “Bologna! Bologna!” cried my companions, mocking at this feeble reminiscence of their fat northern town. The next moment we pulled up, our bruised bodies colliding vigorously for the last time; it was the Albergo Concordia.

A dark stone staircase, yawning under the colonnade; on the first landing an open doorway; within, a long corridor, doors of bedrooms on either side, and in a room at the far end a glimpse of a tablecloth. This was the hotel, the whole of it. As soon as I grasped the situation, it was clear to me why my fellow travellers had entered with a rush and flung themselves into rooms; there might, perchance, be only one or two chambers vacant, and I knew already that Cotrone offered no other decent harbourage. Happily I did not suffer for my lack of experience; after trying one or two doors in vain, I found a sleeping-place which seemed to be unoccupied, and straightway took possession of it. No one appeared to receive the arriving guests. Feeling very hungry, I went into the room at the end of the passage, where I had seen a tablecloth; a wretched lamp burned on the wall, but only after knocking, stamping, and calling did I attract attention; then issued from some mysterious region a stout, slatternly, sleepy woman, who seemed surprised at my demand for food, but at length complied with it. I was to have better acquaintance with my hostess of the Concordia before I quitted Cotrone.

Next morning the wind still blew, but the rain was over; I could begin my rambles.

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Wanted (A Private Investigator Series of Crime and Suspense Thrillers, Book 1)
Blurb: What should have been a relaxing vacation in Paris turns into another unwinnable situation for expert criminology consultant Leopold Blake. Caught in the cross hairs of a ruthless assassin and on the run from the police for a murder he didn’t commit, Blake and his team must fight to clear his name before it’s too late.

As enemies close in from all sides, Blake is about to learn who he can trust – and who is determined to destroy him – as The City of Light becomes a new hunting ground. Wanted is another exhilarating instalment in the Leopold Blake series of thrillers, which can be read and enjoyed in any order.

Interview with the Author

Q – So, what makes the Leopold Blake series special?

A – It’s a mix of things, really. When I set out to write these books, I wanted to create something that mirrored exactly the kind of books I like to read. My top picks are usually private detective novels, any of the thousands of thrillers and mysteries best sellers, and, of course, books featuring your classic pulp heroes. Basically, anything with a kick-butt attitude and fast-paced style gets my vote.

The Leopold Blake books are a great mix of these genres. You’ll find the series focuses on the mystery and thriller / private detective genre overall, with a couple of financial thrillers thrown in for good measure, some political thrillers, and a serial killer novel or two to keep things interesting!

Overall, the Leopold Blake series is designed to keep you turning the pages – and I’ve made sure there’s never a dull moment.

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Love’s Reckoning (The Ballantyne Legacy Book #1): A Novel

Blurb; On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in York. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege’s daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other’s jealousy destroy their love?

In this sweeping family saga set in western Pennsylvania, one man’s choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. Love’s Reckoning is the first entry in The Ballantyne Legacy, a rich, multi-layered historical quartet from talented writer Laura Frantz, beginning in the late 1700s and following the Ballantyne family through the end of the Civil War.

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Call of the Herald: Young Adult Epic Fantasy (Godsland Series Book 1)

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I would recommend this book for all ages.” Linda Weaver Clarke, author of the new mystery series The Adventures of John and Julia Evans.
“…kind of like a cross between The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter…I honestly could not stop reading this book. I completed it in two days, it was that good.” Cheryl’s Book Nook
Product Description
Echoes of the ancients’ power are distant memories, tattered and faded by the passage of eons, but that is about to change. A new dawn has arrived. Latent abilities, harbored in mankind’s deepest fibers, wait to be unleashed. Ancient evils awaken, and old fears ignite the fires of war. When a Catrin Volker, a teenage horse trainer, inadvertently fulfills the prophecy of the destroyer, she becomes the most feared and hunted person on all of Godsland. With the help of her friends, she must convince the world that she wants only peace.
The World of Godsland Young Adult Epic Fantasy Series includes:

The Dawning of Power trilogy (Omnibus Edition available)
Call of the Herald
Inherited Danger
Dragon Ore
The Balance of Power trilogy (Omnibus Edition available)
Regent
Feral
Regal

Inherited Danger (Godsland Series Book 2)

Book 2 does a good job of taking up where book one ended. The transition is flawless, like you never changed books and are just continuing same story without time changing things. The adventure Catrin is on intensifies and brings more depth to her and her protectors. At the end it leaves a good place to transition to book 3 which starts years later.

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The Sovereignty of God

Blurb and TOC:
Another quality eBook from Chapel Library! Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952) explores the rich biblical doctrine of God’s sovereignty in creation, redemption, and providence. The God of the Bible is in control of all things. This book is invaluable, as Pink also deals with objections to the doctrine of God’s sovereignty and apparent conflicts of the doctrine with the responsibility of man.
Chapters:
1. God’s Sovereignty Defined
2. The Sovereignty of God in Creation
3. The Sovereignty of God in Administration
4. The Sovereignty of God in Salvation
5. The Sovereignty of God in Reprobation
6. The Sovereignty of God in Operation
7. The Sovereignty of God in Human Will
8. Sovereignty and Human Responsibility
9. God’s Sovereignty and Prayer
10. Our Attitude Towards His Sovereignty
11. Difficulties and Objections
12. The Value of This Doctrine
13. Conclusion
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Beginning at The End (Finding God When Your World Falls Apart)

26 five star reviews, no others.
Here’s one of them:
Beginning at the End chronicles the life of Job, highlighting aspects of his trials, his questions and his faith. The author describes how Job was tested and brought to a place where his life appeared to be in ruins, or at “The End.” Like Job, we face similar feelings of hopelessness and abandonment when circumstances in our lives also resemble ruins. The author points out that it is during these times that our faith can be shaken, as we doubt whether God is even aware of our suffering.

“In our ashes…we allow Satan to plant the seed of doubt that: God could have saved us and He didn’t – He could have been there and He wasn’t. We find ourselves consumed with disappointment and waging war in a fight for our faith.” (pg. 54)

Our perceived “lack of action” on God’s part, assaults our faith and makes us feel that God is indifferent to our trials instead of understanding that he is allowing them for reasons of his own. He does not always share his reasons with us, but we do know that he understands our questions and wants us to come to him with them.

Just as in Job’s situation, the author reminds us that God wants communication with us.

“Nothing that you’re feeling or saying will shock or surprise Him. Don’t overlook the fact that in the book of Job, God also revealed to us that He’s a good listener! Not once did He interrupt Job in all the chapters of Job’s conversation with Him. God waited to speak…when Job was finished talking. Only when Job was silent, did God’s silence come to an end.” (pg. 279)

Heavily backed by Scripture, the author addresses many human emotions that accompany suffering: Hopelessness, despair, anger, un-forgiveness and doubt, and encourages the reader to find answers in God’s Word.
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God Moments: A Year in the Word

Published by Green Acres Baptist church. Loads of five star reviews. One single star review by somebody who says it’s a really good book, and a 3 stay by somebody whose entire review is “Okay.”

Here’s a five star review: This is by far the best devotional I have used. The daily scripture verse and reflections relate to everyday life situations that we all can identify with. I like to read the entire chapter where the scripture verse is taken to get an insight into the full meaning of the verse. I had previously used “Jesus Calling” as a devotional but “God Moments” provides the reader with greater opportunities for personal growth taken from reflections of daily applications of life.

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How You Can Fight Human Trafficking: Over 50 Ways to Join the Fight

blurb: If your heart has been broken by the stories of the victims and you have been asking yourself, “What can I do,” then this book is exactly what you have been looking for. It is the product of close to 100 conversations with victims, Homeland Security, the police, community and faith leaders, NGO’s, conference speakers, social services and people just like you who are working on this issue. In this groundbreaking book you will learn how to empower anyone, including yourself to join the fight against the cruel exploitation of children and adults. This 230 page book contains many resources, like where to find training manuals for professionals such as teachers, health professionals and attorneys. Human Trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world. We need to take a stand and end it.

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All For Anna (Letting Go Book 1)

One of the many reader responses to a negative reviewer who said the book was only for fanatics and had way too much religious content: Full disclosure, I am not a religious person by any means and frankly have zero interest in religion at all, so I tend to shy away from books with a strong religious agenda, Christian or otherwise. That said, I still enjoyed this book, even though I quickly scanned through the “God” sections and skipped everything after the epilogue entirely after seeing what I think was a bible verse. As a current nursing student and as someone who holds a degree in Psychology, I have worked in healthcare for a long time and despite my own disinterest in religion, I didn’t find the questions of faith unrealistic or unnecessary in the least, in fact questioning your faith (or lack of it) is a very REAL thing that MANY people deal with after any sort of trauma or tragedy, personal or not. Whether they question their faith in God or their relationships or in themselves, it does happen more often than not. Like I said, I enjoyed reading this…maybe I had a deeper connection/understanding to Tori because I’m currently in nursing school and it just made it easier for me to get past the parts I wasn’t interested in. I DO feel as if the author rushed to the conclusion though…that whole last scene just prior to the epilogue didn’t feel very realistic to me so she kind of lost me there. Without saying so much as to give away the ending to anyone who might not have read the book yet, I wish the epilogue had included something more about Johanna. I feel as if closure needed to be achieved there as well.

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The Unveiling: Book One (Age of Faith 1)

Blurb: 12th century England: Two men vie for the throne: King Stephen the usurper and young Duke Henry the rightful heir. Amid civil and private wars, alliances are forged, loyalties are betrayed, families are divided, and marriages are made.

For four years, Lady Annyn Bretanne has trained at arms with one end in mind—to avenge her brother’s murder as God has not deemed it worthy to do. Disguised as a squire, she sets off to exact revenge on a man known only by his surname, Wulfrith. But when she holds his fate in her hands, her will wavers and her heart whispers that her enemy may not be an enemy after all.

Baron Wulfrith, renowned trainer of knights, allows no women within his walls for the distraction they breed. What he never expects is that the impetuous young man sent to train under him is a woman who seeks his death—nor that her unveiling will test his faith and distract the warrior from his purpose.
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This book is not free, it’s 8.99 for the Kindle, but you should read it.=)

Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition (kindle)

Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition
(Hardcopy)

When I bought my hard copy, I was given the option of buying a Kindle edition for just .99- I don’t know if that’s still the case, but I took advantage of it.

Blurb; The educators of ancient Greece and Rome gave the world a vision of what education should be. The medieval and Renaissance teachers valued their insights and lofty goals. Christian educators such as Augustine, Erasmus, Milton, and Comenius drew from the teaching of Plato, Aristotle, and Quintilian those truths which they found universal and potent. Charlotte Mason developed her own philosophy of education from the riches of the past, not accidentally but purposefully. She and the other founding members of the Parents’ National Educational Union in England were inspired by the classical educators of history and set out to achieve their vision in modern education. They succeeded—and thanks to Charlotte Mason’s clear development of methods to realize the classical ideals, we can partake of the classical tradition as well.

The classical tradition as it informs teaching is good not because it is old or “classical,” but because it works; and what works, whether old or new, is best. That’s the Mason message admirably conveyed by [Karen] Glass.
—David V. Hicks

Classical education is an education of the heart and conscience as much as it is an education of the mind. This book explores the classical emphasis on formation of character and links Charlotte Masons ideas to the thinkers of the past. This is not a “how to” book about education, but a “why to” book that will bring clarity to many of the ideas you already know about teaching and learning.

“I thought that my fire for heart education could not be further stoked; I was mistaken. Karen Glass has here laid out the thrilling joy of education, for both the teacher and the taught.”
—Michelle Miller, author of the TruthQuest History series

“From the very beginning I couldn’t put it down! What a gem!”
—Sonya Shafer of Simply Charlotte Mason

“Karen says everything I would have loved to say about education in a clear, understandable, and easy to read style. It is the missing link between what we call Classical Education and the Charlotte Mason approach.”
—Cindy Rollins, contributor at The CiRCE Institute

Me: I am still reading this one, but I love it.

Disclosure: Karen Glass, the author, is a dear friend of well over a decade, and I have had her in my home. She is one of the clearest thinkers I know.

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Practiced Virtues

practiced virtues

More here.

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More K-Drama Reviews

My other long page of K-drama reviews is getting full, so I’m starting a page two.  I dunno, maybe I should put them all in alphabetical order.  It’s kind of messy.

I’ll get to that later.  Meanwhile:

Iron Man, or Blade Man-  The only way this works is if you keep in mind that it is a comic book put on television, but more like the old Batman movies than today’s Avengers.  Then it’s funny, or sad, or exciting, as the scenes may call for.  If you try to take seriously at all, even a little, then it starts to turn to smoke and yawns. Stars Lee Dong Wook and Shin Se Kyung.

High School – Love On (하이스쿨 – 러브온)
Starring Kim Sae Ron as teen aged angel of death Yi Seul Bi and Nam Woo Hyun as the boy whose life she saves when she shouldn’t have, thus finding herself a human in the human world. Kim Sae Ron is totally adorable and funny, as are the situations she finds herself in. The ongoing competition/friendship between Nam Woo Hyun and Lee Sung Yeol is fun to watch (they are both in the Korean Boy Band Infinite).  It was a little too long, but I thought it was adorable.

 

 

Kim Sae Ron is 9 years younger than her co-leads, but she has been acting considerably longer- and with A-list stars. She was the little girl in Woo Bin’s Man From Nowhere. This means that to the Infinite young men (23 years old) on the set, she’s their Sunbae. How fun is that?

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K-Drama Review: Birth of a Beauty

Birth of a Beauty: I have mixed feelings about this one because it highlights one of the things I do not love about Korean culture, and that is their obsession with physical appearance and the fat shaming nature of the culture.  On the one hand, this show is trying so hard to push back some of those stereotypes, so hard.  But on the other hand, the stereotypes are so deeply ingrained and so strong, that most of the time, even when they are trying their hardest, they are perpetuating those same stereotypes to do so.

The main character is Sa Geum Ran, a late 20s/early 30s ajumma with a heart of gold and the figure of an apple dumpling.  She loves her husband and his family and serves them devotedly – but they are really not worthy of her.  She finds out her husband is having an affair and her in-laws all (but one) even know about it and don’t care, she’s so fat she deserves it.    Driving while distraught, she’s in a terrible car accident and presumed dead (the car fell into the ocean and no body is recovered). She gets all kinds of plastic surgery and liposuction with the goal of coming back as somebody pretty and skinny and she will win back her husband.  In fact, she gets so much surgery it’s an amount that, according to the show, is illegal in Korea and also dangerous.  To do this she is helped by Han Tae Hee, a handsome genius with a mysterious past of his own. Gee, where is this going?

sa geum ran (played by incredibly talented  Ha Jae Sook)Sa Geum Ran when chubby is played by Ha Jae sook, and this is a solid role for her. It turns out, she’s really an excellent actress- Korea doesn’t often give good roles to chubby girls. They play hackneyed, stereotypical roles.  Ha Jae-Sook has had me in tears more than once.  I appreciate that they bring her back from time to time so she can give pep talks to her skinnier self (adorably played by Han Ye Sul, who starred in the Korean remake of Overboard and Spy Myung Wol).  Unfortunately, her appearances gradually subsided, and that made things less interesting for me.

I’m going to give you a big fat spoiler and tell you one of the things I am loving about this is that the skinnier, beautiful Geum Ran learns that her husband is not a prize worth winning, and so she dumps that plan.  I also like the way they handle the adultery issues, as the selfish, painful issues they actually are, not ‘true love’ and finding your bliss- just being a selfish jerk and hurting others in the process.  For the rest- this is started to bore me about 15 episodes in.  Adorable only goes so far, the plot has grown thin and predictable, the new ‘Sara’ is doing the same dumb, tired thing every other drama heroine does- make dumb and painful and totally unnecessary noble idiot sacrifices, and leaving her beloved totally in the dark when they need to be a team.  And we’re seeing less and less of Ha Jae-Sook, who has more talent than most of the cast (and I don’t think this is a weak cast, Ha Jae Sook is just that talented).

Furthermore, all the back stabbing, murdering back story for Han Tae Hee just bored me.  I like this actor, he’s fun to watch.  I like Han Ye Sul, she’s fun to watch.  I just thought this plot got tired.

If you want to watch it, other than the fact that adultery and murder are themes, it’s clean enough.  And both those issues are handled by making it clear they are cowardly, selfish, ugly things to do and people must repent of those acts.   But mostly, I was bored.

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K-Drama REview: Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice:  Nothing to do with Jane Austen.  Choi Jin Hyuk (papa Gumiho in Lee Seung Gi’s Gu Family Book), Baek Jin Hee (the female love interest in Triangle) are prosecutors in a Seoul office.  They both have been investigating a child-murder of the past- unbeknownst to him at first, the child was her little brother.  She initially thinks Jin Hyuk’s character is the killer, although why she makes this assumption never makes any sense at all.  Lots of twists and turns with intermissions of solid cuteness, mainly in the bromance with Jin Hyuk’s character and their investigator, played by Lee Tae Hwan.

 

If you want to watch, other than the fact that one theme is child-murder (the murder happened years ago, but still)- it’s family friendly enough.  I just found it confusing.  Probably this is because so much of it had to do with legal issues, centering as it does in a prosecutors’ office, and I kept falling asleep and there may have been translation issues, too.  It just wasn’t that interesting, and the ending was completely flat and meaningless.

People made decisions for no apparent reason other than to stretch an already too long show and confuse the viewer.  And This Actress- oh, my, goodness. Her expressions, both of them, are totally wooden.

One saving grace if, as I do, love to watch foreign dramas for little tidbits about culture- the final episode and some of the earlier ones did have some delightful (to me) bits about the significance of the sunbae/hoobae relationship (senior/junior colleagues or those who went to the same college).

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Government bans home-made fried foods from daycares, limits factory made fried foods to once a week

 

The government just made these illegal for children in daycares.

The government just made these illegal for children in daycares.

Oh, this burns me.  This is a perfect illustration of why the government totally fails at controlling our lives and should not be given more control.

New federal “guidelines” are restricting fats in daycares now, specifically by banning frying food on site.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing strict new dietary guidelines for day cares that would prohibit them from frying food that is served to children.

Child care providers would also be formally required to provide children with water upon request, though they would face restrictions on how much apple juice and orange juice they serve.

One of the more notable provisions would restrict day cares from frying food on site and discourage them from serving pre-packaged fried food, such as chicken fingers, from the grocery store.

“While facilities would not be permitted under this proposed rule to prepare foods on site by frying them,” the USDA wrote in the Federal Register, “store-bought, catered, or pre-fried foods can still contribute large amounts of calories and saturated fat to a meal. Therefore, facilities are encouraged to limit all fried and pre-fried foods to no more than once per week.”

I really don’t have a quarrel with requiring water be provided upon request- other than the restriction on any exercise of common sense here. REal human beings who deal with real children know that sometimes they ask for water as a way of avoiding nap-time or bed-time. I don’t have a huge quarrel with the limitations on apple and orange juice, except that for some kids with low blood sugar those juices are a good boost, and for kids who are sick, depriving them of o.j. seems cruel and unnecessary.

Neither of those things are properly the place of government, of course.

The fried foods restriction is just appallingly ignorant. It’s based on outdated information that was bad science to begin with (and itself another example of what happens when government meddles in places it has no business- they end up subsidizing scientific fraud). IT’s also backward- prefried foods are likely worse than home-fried, and those are still permitted (albeit once a week).  I hate to sound like a crazy conspiracy theorist, but I have to wonder why the healthier, from scratch fried foods (no more home-made hash-browns?  No stir-fried rice, no omelettes?) are totally banned while it’s still permissable under these regulations to buy and serve prepackaged, corporate produced foods and fry them once a week?

good fat bad fat

Do these idiots even understand what foods are fried? Pancakes, french toast, eggs, hamburgers, stir-fries, fritters, tempeh, hash browns from scratch, fried rice, and they even specifically ban the frying of tofu. One might argue that probably most daycares receiving federal funds wouldn’t be serving the healthiest versions of these foods, but are there exceptions for those that are?

Government is just too big for common sense. All pancakes are not created equal- one might argue that white flour and white sugar pancakes are not worth fighting over. But my pancakes are either whole wheat, or they are coconut, almond, eggs and coconut milk based.

Government also spent decades killing its citizens with this bad dietary advice- that butter is bad, margarine is better, low-fat sour cream is a good thing, never mind transfats

And don’t tell the government, but mother’s milk is high in fat because….

children need a lot of fat in their diet. Mother’s milk is 55% fat and it is mostly saturated fat. It is extremely high in cholesterol, and it has a special enzyme that helps the baby absorb the cholesterol. That is how important cholesterol is for the growing child. Studies of children put on this low fat, low cholesterol diet show failure to thrive. They do not grow the way they are supposed to on this low fat diet. Children need more fat than adults right through their growing years, right up to the age of 18 or 20 because fat and cholesterol are very important for the development of the brain and nervous system.

But the government has a long, long history of supporting really horrific nutritional advice based on weak and even fraudulent science.

Posted in food, government | 1 Comment

Government Meddling Creates Crony Capitalism

I posted this a couple years ago, but I was thinking about it again recently.  Eric Schlosser of Food, Inc and Fast Food Nation has an article on why being a Foodie isn’t elitist here.
Then he had a live chat here.  It’s finished now, but you can still read the questions and answers.

I have very mixed feelings about Schlosser’s work, claims, and the elitism of so called ‘foodies.’  In general, I agree with him- organic food is healthier, and I wish I could afford to never, ever eat any kind of beef but grass fed beef again.  But over and over Schlosser and others like him make such dismissive, out of touch with the real world comments about how affordable it really is to eat his way, if consumers were just smarter (he tactfully talks about educating themselves) that of course, they are seen as elitist because they are remarks made in total ignorance of what the hoi polloi actually face in real world economics on a daily basis .   More about that here, where I previously wrote about this.

My other beef (haha) is his dependency on government to fix the problem.  It’s the CPSIA thing all over again. Yes, it is a serious problem that we subsidize the corn industry, the likes of Monsanto, and use corn for ethanol instead of for food. Factory farms are successfully lobbying for the government to make it illegal to take pictures of their operations, even from the public road!  We should definitely stop all that.  But he doesn’t just want to stop subsidizing the big factory farms and monoculture, which I agree with,  he wants to have more government subsidies and regulation, just in other areas, the ones he likes.

Government regulations and involvement in areas it has no business created crony capitalism in the first place. Without the government enabling rent seeking, crony capitalism would wither on the vine in very short order.  The government just should not be in the business of picking winners and losers in the world of business (and farming is also a business).  The Free Market hasn’t failed us, it hasn’t been done in over a hundred years.  We need less subsidies and regulations, not more.  It’s very interesting to me that in explaining how cities like New York could feed more people using sustainable agricultural methods, he actually refers back to how things were done in Brooklyn a hundred years ago.

Government meddling just taints things.  As I wrote in February of 2013; Wanting to get on the biofuel gravy train, farmers are replacing grasslands with biofuel crops which are more intensive, harder on the land, and we could be looking at another dust bowl if things go wrong.  The practice is further incentivized by the Federal government’s subsidies for crop insurance.

I agree with the left on the incestuous connection between the corporate world and government. Where I disagree, vehemently, is on the solution. The left only wants to change the players from the corporations they don’t like to the ones that they do- still maintaining the incentive for businesses to lobby government for favors, and thus still keeping government’s hand in the pockets of the working citizens, and the government foot on the backs of our necks.

They argue for a frying pan to fire strategy, while I want to remove the heat.

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Free4Kindle: Books

we love books bookshelf vintage

 

 

Yes, we love free books. We hope you do, too.

 

Books are free at the time I found the links and pasted them here. This changes sometimes, so be sure to note the price before you add it to your cart.
Sometimes, for some reason, the links get stuck while loading. Just refresh the Amazon page and that should help.
You don’t need a Kindle to read these.

Swagbucks remains my favorite source for free Amazon gift cards. And if you haven’t joined, please click on the link and join so that I can keep getting free Amazon gift cards because I am still shameless.  Of course, if you regularly shop on line, you can also sign up for ebates, and then always check ebates first, before you do your regular shopping. You can get quite a tidy sum back on the purchases you were going to make anyway, which is not a bad deal.  And then you can use the money for books- or for other things.=)

Don’t have a Kindle? : You don’t have to have Kindle to take advantage of these offers. You can read them on various free reading apps. I often read mine on my laptop if they are short enough books, even though I have two kindles.  That’s because my kids keep taking off with the Kindles to read their school books and they don’t remember to recharge them before returning.  I wouldn’t say I’m bitter about it, but I might be a little disgruntled. If you’re curious, this is the Kindle I have, and I have used others and mine remains my favorite. Mine has Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and I don’t have commercial screensavers.  The second Kindle is actually one I was given in exchange for some writing work, and I gave it to my two teens.  It does not have 3G, which is why it’s their Kindle.  Personally,  I don’t like Kindle Fires because I am a crank like that.

If you like these free listings, you should also like my Facebook page, because I list other free titles there several times each week.

Yes, my Kindle gets slow because I stuff it too full since I have no sense of proportion when it comes to owning books, both real and virtual.

book and candle

 

The History of Sir Richard Calmady A Romance

First two paragraphs: “In that fortunate hour of English history, when the cruel sights and haunting insecurities of the Middle Ages had passed away, and while, as yet, the fanatic zeal of Puritanism had not cast its blighting shadow over all merry and pleasant things, it seemed good to one Denzil Calmady, esquire, to build himself a stately red-brick and freestone house upon the southern verge of the great plateau of moorland which ranges northward to the confines of Windsor Forest and eastward to the Surrey Hills. And this he did in no vainglorious spirit, with purpose of exalting himself above the county gentlemen, his neighbours, and showing how far better lined his pockets were than theirs. Rather did he do it from an honest love of all that is ingenious and comely, and as the natural outgrowth of an inquiring and philosophic mind. For Denzil Calmady, like so many another son of that happy age, was something more than a mere wealthy country squire, breeder of beef and brewer of ale. He was a courtier and traveler; and, if tradition speaks truly, a poet who could praise his mistress’s many charms, or wittily resent her caprices, in well-turned verse. He was a patron of art, having brought back ivories and bronzes from Italy, pictures and china from the Low Countries, and enamels from France. He was a student, and collected the many rare and handsome leather-bound volumes telling of curious arts, obscure speculations, half-fabulous histories, voyages, and adventures, which still constitute the almost unique value of the Brockhurst library. He might claim to be a man of science, moreover—of that delectable old-world science which has no narrow-minded quarrel with miracle or prodigy, wherein angel and demon mingle freely, lending a hand unchallenged to complicate the operations both of nature and of grace—a science which, even yet, in perfect good faith, busied itself with the mysteries of the Rosy Cross, mixed strange ingredients into a possible Elixir of Life, ran far afield in search for the Philosopher’s Stone, gathered herbs for the confection of simples during auspicious phases of the moon, and beheld in comet and meteor awful forewarnings of public calamity or of Divine Wrath.
From all of which it may be premised that when, like the wise king, of old, in Jerusalem, Denzil Calmady “builded him houses, made him gardens and orchards, and planted trees in them of all kind of fruits”; when he “made him pools of water to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees”; when he “gathered silver and gold and the treasure of provinces,” and got him singers, and players of musical instruments, and “the delights of the sons of men,”—he did so that, having tried and sifted all these things, he might, by the exercise of a ripe and untrammeled judgment, decide what amongst them is illusory and but as a passing show, and what—be it never so small a remnant—has in it the promise of eternal subsistence, and therefore of vital worth; and that, having so decided and thus gained an even mind, he might prepare serenely to take leave of the life he had dared so largely to live.”

books black and white

Civil Government in the United States Considered with Some Reference to Its Origins

Random excerpt: [Sidenote: Taxation and eminent domain.] From this illustration it would appear that taxes are private property taken for public purposes; and in making this statement we come very near the truth. Taxes are portions of private property which a government takes for its public purposes. Before going farther, let us pause to observe that there is one other way, besides taxation, in which government sometimes takes private property for public purposes. Roads and streets are of great importance to the general public; and the government of the town or city in which you live may see fit, in opening a new street, to run it across your garden, or to make you move your house or shop out of the way for it. In so doing, the government either takes away or damages some of your property. It exercises rights over your property without asking your permission. This power of government over private property is called “the right of eminent domain.” It means that a man’s private interests must not be allowed to obstruct the interests of the whole community in which he lives. But in two ways the exercise of eminent domain is unlike taxation. In the first place, it is only occasional, and affects only certain persons here or there, whereas taxation goes on perpetually and affects all persons who own property. In the second place, when the government takes away a piece of your land to make a road, it pays you money in return for it; perhaps not quite so much as you believe the piece of land was worth in the market; the average human nature is doubtless such that men seldom give fair measure for measure unless they feel compelled to, and it is not easy to put a government under compulsion. Still it gives you something; it does not ask you to part with your property for nothing. Now in the case of taxation, the government takes your money and seems to make no return to you individually; but it is supposed to return to you the value of it in the shape of well-paved streets, good schools, efficient protection against criminals, and so forth.

[Sidenote: What is government?] In giving this brief preliminary definition of taxes and taxation, we have already begun to speak of “the government” of the town or city in which you live. We shall presently have to speak of other “governments,”—as the government of your state and the government of the United States; and we shall now and then have occasion to allude to the governments of other countries in which the people are free, as, for example, England; and of some countries in which the people are not free, as, for example, Russia. It is desirable, therefore, that we should here at the start make sure what we mean by “government,” in order that we may have a clear idea of what we are talking about.

books black and white

A Century of Science and Other Essays

The author died in 1901. HEre’s the toc:
I. A Century of Science 1

II. The Doctrine of Evolution: its Scope and Purport 39

III. Edward Livingston Youmans 64

IV. The Part played by Infancy in the Evolution of Man 100

V. The Origins of Liberal Thought in America 122

VI. Sir Harry Vane 154

VII. The Arbitration Treaty 166

VIII. Francis Parkman 194

IX. Edward Augustus Freeman 265

X. Cambridge as Village and City 286

XI. A Harvest of Irish Folk-Lore 319

XII. Guessing at Half and Multiplying by Two 333

XIII. Forty Years of Bacon-Shakespeare Folly 350

XIV. Some Cranks and their Crotchets 405

Note 461

Index

books black and white

The Captain of the Janizaries A story of the times of Scanderberg and the fall of Constantinople

Opening paragraphs:
From the centre of the old town of Brousa, in Asia Minor—old even at the time of our story, about the middle of the fifteenth century—rises an immense plateau of rock, crowned with the fortress whose battlements and towers cut their clear outlines high against the sky. An officer of noble rank in the Ottoman service stood leaning upon the parapet, apparently regaling himself with the marvellous panorama of natural beauty and historic interest which lay before him. The vast plain, undulating down to the distant sea of Marmora, was mottled with fields of grain, gardens enclosed in hedges of cactus, orchards in which the light green of the fig-trees blended with the duskier hues of the olive, and dense forests of oak plumed with the light yellow blooms of the chestnut. Here and there writhed the heavy vapors of the hot sulphurous streams springing out of the base of the Phrygian Olympus, which reared its snow-clad peak seven thousand feet above. The lower stones of the fortress of Brousa were the mementoes of twenty centuries which had drifted by them since they were laid by the old Phrygian kings. The 2 flags of many empires had floated from those walls, not the least significant of which was that of the Ottoman, who, a hundred years before, had consecrated Brousa as his capital by burying in yonder mausoleum the body of Othman, the founder of the Ottoman dynasty of the Sultans.

But the Turkish officer was thinking of neither the beauty of the scene nor the historic impressiveness of the place. His face, shaded by the folds of his enormous turban, wore deeper shadows which were flung upon it from within. He was talking to himself.

“The Padishah[1] has a nobler capital now than this,—across the sea there in Christian Europe. But by whose hands was it conquered? By Christian hands! by Janizaries! renegades! Ay, this hand!”—he stripped his arm bare to the shoulder and looked upon its gnarled muscles as he hissed the words through his teeth—”this hand has cut a wider swathe through the enemies of the Ottoman than any other man’s; a swathe down which the Padishah can walk without tripping his feet. And this was a Christian’s hand once! Well may I believe the story my old nurse so often told me,—that, when the priest was dropping the water of baptism upon my baby brow, this hand seized the sacred vessel, and it fell shattered upon the pavement. Ah, well have I fulfilled that omen!”
books black and white

Deephaven and Selected Stories & Sketches

by Sarah Orne Jewett

Preface: This book is not wholly new, several of the chapters having already been published in the “Atlantic Monthly.” It has so often been asked if Deephaven may not be found on the map of New England under another name, that, to prevent any misunderstanding, I wish to say, while there is a likeness to be traced, few of the sketches are drawn from that town itself, and the characters will in almost every case be looked for there in vain.

I dedicate this story of out-of-door life and country people first to my father and mother, my two best friends, and also to all my other friends, whose names I say to myself lovingly, though I do not write them here.

Excerpt: The morning after we reached Deephaven we were busy up stairs, and there was a determined blow at the knocker of the front door. I went down to see who was there, and had the pleasure of receiving our first caller. She was a prim little old woman who looked pleased and expectant, who wore a neat cap and front, and whose eyes were as bright as black beads. She wore no bonnet, and had thrown a little three-cornered shawl, with palm-leaf figures, over her shoulders; and it was evident that she was a near neighbor. She was very short and straight and thin, and so quick that she darted like a pickerel when she moved about. It occurred to me at once that she was a very capable person, and had “faculty,” and, dear me, how fast she talked! She hesitated a moment when she saw me, and dropped a fragment of a courtesy. “Miss Lan’k’ster?” said she, doubtfully.

“No,” said I, “I’m Miss Denis: Miss Lancaster is at home, though: come in, won’t you?”

“O Mrs. Patton!” said Kate, who came down just then. “How very kind of you to come over so soon! I should have gone to see you to-day. I was asking Mrs. Kew last night if you were here.”

“Land o’ compassion!” said Mrs. Patton, as she shook Kate’s hand delightedly. “Where’d ye s’pose I’d be, dear? I ain’t like to move away from Deephaven now, after I’ve held by the place so long, I’ve got as many roots as the big ellum. Well, I should know you were a Brandon, no matter where I see you. You’ve got a real Brandon look; tall and straight, ain’t you? It’s four or five years since I saw you, except once at church, and once you went by, down to the shore, I suppose. It was a windy day in the spring of the year.”

“I remember it very well,” said Kate. “Those were both visits of only a day or two, and I was here at Aunt Katharine’s funeral, and went away that same evening. Do you remember once I was here in the summer for a longer visit, five or six years ago, and I helped you pick currants in the garden? You had a very old mug.”

“Now, whoever would ha’ thought o’ your rec’lecting that?” said Mrs. Patton. “Yes. I had that mug because it was handy to carry about among the bushes, and then I’d empt’ it into the basket as fast as I got it full. Your aunt always told me to pick all I wanted; she couldn’t use ‘em, but they used to make sights o’ currant wine in old times. I s’pose that mug would be considerable of a curiosity to anybody that wasn’t used to seeing it round. My grand’ther Joseph Toggerson—my mother was a Toggerson—picked it up on the long sands in a wad of sea-weed: strange it wasn’t broke, but it’s tough; I’ve dropped it on the floor, many’s the time, and it ain’t even chipped. There’s some Dutch reading on it and it’s marked 1732. Now I shouldn’t ha’ thought you’d remembered that old mug, I declare. Your aunt she had a monstrous sight of chiny. She’s told me where ‘most all of it come from, but I expect I’ve forgot. My memory fails me a good deal by spells. If you hadn’t come down I suppose your mother would have had the chiny packed up this spring,—what she didn’t take with her after your aunt died. S’pose she hasn’t made up her mind what to do with the house?”

books black and white

Clare Avery A Story of the Spanish Armada

Historical fiction. Here’s an excerpt:

About the cold there was no question. The ground, which had been white with snow for many days, was now a mixture of black and white, under the influence of a thaw; while a bitterly cold wind, which made everybody shiver, rose now and then to a wild whirl, slammed the doors, and groaned through the wood-work. A fragment of cloud, rather less dim and gloomy than the rest of the heavy grey sky, was as much as could be seen of the sun.

Nor was the political atmosphere much more cheerful than the physical. All over England,—and it might be said, all over Europe,—men’s hearts were failing them for fear,—by no means for the first time in that century. In Holland the Spaniards, vanquished not by men, but by winds and waves from God, had abandoned the siege of Leyden; and the sovereignty of the Netherlands had been offered to Elizabeth of England, but after some consideration was refused. In France, the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew, nearly three years before, had been followed by the siege of La Rochelle, the death of the miserable Charles the Ninth, and the alliance in favour of Popery, which styled itself the Holy League. At home, gardeners were busy introducing the wallflower, the hollyhock, basil, and sweet marjoram; the first licence for public plays was granted to Burbage and his company, among whom was a young man from Warwickshire, a butcher’s son, with a turn for making verses, whose name was William Shakspere; the Queen had issued a decree forbidding costly apparel (not including her own); and the last trace of feudal serfdom had just disappeared, by the abolition of “villenage” upon the Crown manors. As concerned other countries, except when active hostilities were going on, Englishmen were not generally much interested, unless it were in that far-off New World which Columbus had discovered not a hundred years before,—or in that unknown land, far away also, beyond the white North Cape, whither adventurers every now and then set out with the hope of discovering a north-west passage to China,—the north-west passage which, though sought now with a different object, no one has discovered yet.

It may be as well to recall the state of knowledge in English society at this period. The time had gone by when the burning of coal was prohibited, as prejudicial to health; but the limits of London, beyond which building might not extend, were soon after this fixed at three miles from the city gates; the introduction of private carriages was long opposed, lest it should lead to luxury; (Note 1) and sumptuary laws, regulating, according to rank, the materials for dress and the details of trimmings, were issued every few years. Needles were treasures beyond reach of the poor; yeast, starch, glass bottles, woven stockings, fans, muffs, tulips, marigolds,—had all been invented or introduced within thirty years: the peach and the potato were alike luxuries known to few: forks, sedan or Bath chairs, coffee, tea, gas, telescopes, newspapers, shawls, muslin,—not to include railways and telegraphs,—were ideas that had not yet occurred to any one. Nobody had ever heard of the circulation of the blood. A doctor was a rara avis: medical advice was mainly given in the towns by apothecaries, and in the country by herbalists and “wise women.” There were no Dissenters—except the few who remained Romanists; and perhaps there were not likely to be many, when the fine for non-attendance at the parish church was twenty pounds per month. Parochial relief was unknown, and any old woman obnoxious to her neighbours was likely to be drowned as a witch. Lastly, by the Bull of excommunication of Pope Pius the Fifth, issued in April, 1569, Queen Elizabeth had been solemnly “cut off from the unity of Christ’s Body,” and “deprived of her pretended right to the Crown of England,” while all who obeyed or upheld her were placed under a terrible curse. (Note 2.)

Nineteen years had passed since that triumphant 17th of November which had seen all England in a frenzy of joy on the accession of Elizabeth Tudor. They were at most very young men and women who could not remember the terrible days of Mary, and the glad welcome given to her sister. Still warm at the heart of England lay the memory of the Marian martyrs; still deep and strong in her was hatred of every shadow of Popery. The petition had not yet been erased from the Litany—why should it ever have been?—“From the Bishop of Rome and all his enormities, good Lord, deliver us!”

On the particular afternoon whereon the story opens, one of the dreariest points of the landscape was the house towards which Hal Dockett’s steps were bent. It was of moderate size, and might have been very comfortable if somebody had taken pains to make it so. But it looked as if the pains had not been taken. Half the windows were covered by shutters; the wainscot was sadly in want of a fresh coat of paint; the woodbine, which should have been trained up beside the porch, hung wearily down, as if it were tired of trying to climb when nobody helped it; the very ivy was ragged and dusty. The doors shut with that hollow sound peculiar to empty uncurtained rooms, and groaned, as they opened, over the scarcity of oil. And if the spectator had passed inside, he would have seen that out of the whole house, only four rooms were inhabited beside the kitchen and its dependencies. In all the rest, the dusty furniture was falling to pieces from long neglect, and the spiders carried on their factories at their own pleasure.

One of these four rooms, a long, narrow chamber, on the upper floor, gave signs of having been inhabited very recently. On the square table lay a quantity of coarse needlework, which somebody seemed to have bundled together and left hastily; and on one of the hard, straight-backed chairs was a sorely-disabled wooden doll, of the earliest Dutch order, with mere rudiments, of arms and legs, and deprived by accidents of a great portion of these. The needlework said plainly that there must be a woman in the dreary house, and the doll, staring at the ceiling with black expressionless eyes, spoke as distinctly for the existence of a child.

Suddenly the door of this room opened with a plaintive creak, and a little woman, on the elderly side of middle life, put in her head.

A bright, energetic, active little woman she seemed,—not the sort of person who might be expected to put up meekly with dim windows and dusty floors.

“Marry La’kin!” (a corruption of “Mary, little Lady!”) she said aloud. “Of a truth, what a charge be these childre!”

The cause of this remark was hardly apparent, since no child was to be seen; but the little woman came further into the room, her gestures soon showing that she was looking for a child who ought to have been visible.

“Well! I’ve searched every chamber in this house save the Master’s closet. Where can yon little popinjay (parrot) have hid her? Marry La’kin!”

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by Emily Sarah Holt:
It Might Have Been The Story of the Gunpowder Plot

Excerpt:Preface.

“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” That is one of the main lessons to be learned from the strange story of the Gunpowder Plot.

The narrative here given, so far as its historical portion is concerned, is taken chiefly from original and contemporaneous documents. It has been carefully kept to facts—in themselves more interesting than any fiction—and scarcely a speech or an incident has been admitted, however small, for which authority could not be adduced.

Those of my Readers who have made the acquaintance of Lettice Eden, and Joyce Morrell’s Harvest, will meet some old friends in this tale.

Chapter One.

The last Night in the Old Home.

“Which speaks the truth – fair Hope or ghastly Fear?
God knoweth, and not I.
Only, o’er both, Love holds her torch aloft,
And will, until I die.”

“Fiddle-de-dee! Do give over snuffing and snivelling and sobbing, and tell me if you want your warm petticoat in the saddle-bag. You’d make a saint for to swear!” More sobs, and one or two disjointed words, were all that came in answer. The sobbing sister, who was the younger of the pair, wore widow’s mourning, and was seated in a rocking-chair near the window of a small, but very comfortable parlour. Her complexion was pale and sallow, her person rather slightly formed, and her whole appearance that of a frail, weak little woman, who required perpetual care and shielding. The word require has two senses, and it is here used in both. She needed it, and she exacted it.

The elder sister, who stood at the parlour door, was about as unlike the younger as could well be. She was quite a head taller, rosy-cheeked, sturdily-built, and very brisk in her motions. Disjointed though her sister’s words were, she took them up at once.

“You’ll have your thrum hat, did you say? (Note 1.) Where’s the good of crying over it? You’ve got ne’er a thing to cry for.”

Another little rush of sobs replied, amid which a quick ear could detect the words “unfeeling” and “me a poor widow.”

“Unfeeling, marry!” said the elder sister. “I’m feeling a whole warm petticoat for you. And tears won’t ward off either cramp or rheumatism, my dear—don’t think it; but a warm petticoat may. Will you have it, or no?”

“Oh, as you please!” was the answer, in a tone which might have suited arrangements for the speaker’s funeral.

“Then I please to put it in the saddle-bag,” cheerily responded the elder. “Lettice, come with me, maid. I can find thee work above in the chamber.”

A slight sound behind the screen, at the farther end of the parlour, which sheltered the widow from any draught proceeding from the window, was followed by the appearance of a young girl not hitherto visible. She was just eighteen years of age, and resembled neither of the elder ladies, being handsomer than either of them had ever been, yet not sufficiently so to be termed beautiful. A clear complexion, rosy but not florid, golden-brown hair and plenty of it, dark grey eyes shaded by dark lashes, and a pleasing, good-humoured, not self-conscious expression—this was Lettice, who said in a clear musical voice, “Yes, Aunt,” and stood ready for further orders.

As the door shut upon the aunt and niece, the former said, as if to the sister left behind in the parlour—

“A poor widow! Ay, forsooth, poor soul, that you are! for you have made of your widowhood so black a pall that you cannot see God’s blue sky through it. Dear heart, but why ever they called her Faith, and me Temperance! I’ve well-nigh as little temperance as she has faith, and neither of them would break a cat’s back.”

By this time they were up in the bedchamber; and Lettice was kept busy folding, pinning, tying up, and smoothing out one garment after another, until at last her aunt said—

“Now, Lettice, bring thine own gear, such as thou wilt need till we light at Minster Lovel, for there can we shift our baggage. Thy black beaver hat thou wert best to journey in, for though it be good, ’tis well worn; and thy grey kirtle and red gown. Bring the blue gown, and the tawny kirtle with the silver aglets (tags, spangles) pendant, and thy lawn rebatoes, (turn-over collar) and a couple of kerchiefs, and thy satin hat Thou wert best leave out a warm kerchief for the journey.”

“And my velvet hood, Aunt, and the green kirtle?”

“Nay, I have packed them, not to be fetched out till we reach London. Thou mayest have thy crimson sleeves withal, an’ it list thee.”

Lettice fetched the things, and her aunt packed them in one of the great leather trunks, with beautiful neatness. As she smoothed out the blue kirtle, she asked—“Lettice, art thou sorry to be gone?”

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By the same author as above:

One Snowy Night Long ago at Oxford

Preface.

The story of the following pages is one of the least known yet saddest episodes in English history—the first persecution of Christians by Christians in this land. When Boniface went forth from England to evangelise Germany, he was received with welcome, and regarded as a saint: when Gerhardt came from Germany to restore the pure Gospel to England, he was cast out of the vineyard and slain.

The spirit of her who is drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus is the same now that it was then. She does not ask if a man agree with the Word of God, but whether he agree with her. “When the Church has spoken”—this has been said by exalted ecclesiastical lips quite recently—“we cannot appeal to Scripture against her!”

But we Protestants can—we must—we will. The Church is not God, but man. The Bible is not the word of man, but the Word of God (One Thessalonians, two, verse 13; Ephesians, six, verse 17): therefore it must be paramount and unerring. Let us hold fast this our profession, not being moved away from the hope of the Gospel, nor entangled again with the yoke of bondage, but stablished in the faith, grounded and settled. “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.”

Chapter One.

Saint Maudlin’s Well.

“For men must work, and women must weep,
And the sooner ’tis over, the sooner to sleep.”

Reverend Charles Kingsley.
“Flemild!”

“Yes, Mother.”

It was not a cross voice that called, but it sounded like a very tired one. The voice which answered was much more fresh and cheerful.

“Is Romund come in yet?”

“No, Mother.”

“Nor Haimet either?”

“I have not seen him, Mother.”

“Oh dear, those boys! They are never in the way when they are wanted.”

The speaker came forward and showed herself. She was a woman of some forty years or more, looking older than she was, and evidently very weary. She wore a plain untrimmed skirt of dark woollen stuff, short to the ankles, a long linen apron, and a blue hood over her head and shoulders. Resting her worn hands on the half-door, she looked drearily up and down the street, as if in languid hope of catching a glimpse of the boys who should have been there, and were not.

“Well, there’s no help for it!” she said at last, “Flemild, child, you must go for the water to-night.”

“I? O Mother!” The girl’s tone was one of manifest reluctance.

“It can’t be helped, child. Take Derette with you, and be back as quick as you can, before the dusk comes on. The lads should have been here to spare you, but they only think of their own pleasure. I don’t know what the world’s coming to, for my part.”

“Father Dolfin says it’s going to be burnt up,” said a third voice—that of a child—from the interior of the house.

“Time it was!” replied the mother bluntly. “There’s nought but trouble and sorrow in it—leastwise I’ve never seen much else. It’s just work, work, work, from morning to night, and often no rest to speak of from night to morning. You get up tireder than you went to bed, and you may just hold your tongue for all that any body cares, as the saints know. Well, well!—Come, make haste, child, or there’ll be a crowd round Saint Martin’s Well.” (Note 1.)

“O Mother! mayn’t I go to Plato’s Well?”

“What, and carry your budget four times as far? Nonsense, Flemild!”

“But, Mother, please hear me a minute! It’s a quiet enough way, when you are once past the Bayly, and I can step into the lodge and see if Cousin Stephen be at home. If he be, he’ll go with me, I know.”

“You may go your own way,” said the mother, not quite pleasantly. “Young folks are that headstrong! I can’t look for my children to be better than other folks’. If they are as good, it’s as much as one need expect in this world.”

Flemild had been busily tying on a red hood while her mother spoke, and signing to her little sister to do the same. Then the elder girl took from a corner, where it hung on a hook, a budget or pail of boiled leather, a material then much used for many household vessels now made of wood or metal: and the girls went out into the narrow street.

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Speedy House Cleaning: How to Clean, Organize, and Declutter your Home in Half the Time

Reader Review: GREAT book about getting your space organized and cleaned. One big thing that I took away from the book was to stop the clutter from advancing, this tends to be a problem in my house. It gave great tips on doing a quick clean up when you dont have notice that someone is coming over, and then goes into detailed cleaning of each living space. I mean detailed like what to clean in each room and how often. Great advice.

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Transgression: A Time-Travel Suspense Novel (City of God Book 1)

Reader review (there are a couple hundred positive reader reviews: I love hard science fiction (NOT fantasy) and time travel is my favorite theme–when it’s done well. Transgression is truly a remarkable mix of science, adventure, history, religion, and even romance. The balance is perfect. This is the first book I’ve read by Ingermanson, but now I’ll read the others for certain. I do highly recommend Transgression–reading it is like taking a vacation into the past. As a Catholic, I enjoyed the Christian slant to it. I really can think of no criticism–definitely 5 stars!

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Confessions of a Prayer Slacker (Second Edition)

Reader Review: One of the very best books on prayer I’ve ever read. I’m reading it to my family. The author writes in an entertaining style, but doesn’t pull punches when it comes to pointing out areas of difficulty. Do you really want to have a satisfying prayer life, or do you want things to continue as usual? If you want to go beyond mumbling the Our Father and get into true fellowship under the wings of the Almighty, this book points the way.

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Messages (The David Chance Series Book 1)

Reader Review (there are 700 plus, mostly positive): Messages was a very enjoyable book. The writing was what I would call an easy read. Smooth and easy to follow, which made reading very nice. Although the storyline was message-driven it was very entertaining and had enough of the unexpected to keep me wanting to read more. Although marketed to adults I think this could easily be enjoyed by teenagers and young adults since the violence is not graphic. The Kindle version is a good price so for the value I give it a good rating.

Good things said, if you are looking for a book that will go down as a classic this is not it. The story needed to be tightened up and fine-tuned.The plot-line has some things in it that should have been corrected by the proof-readers. (Maybe John needs a new editor.) For instance – why would a ten year old boy be allowed play outside alone when terrorists are looking to kill him? Why, when one finds out their family is in mortal danger, would he not call them immediately to warm them? Why when your cell phone is your lifeline do you leave it in the car? Why did the news crew have to give obvious GPS coordinates to a “geek” to find out what the numbers meant? Why did the FBI and Homeland Security disappear from the storyline? What intelligent person thinks the President of the USA is the one responsible for starting wars and sending troops over seas? Are they not aware on how our government works? But even with the story problems the book was enjoyable.

Overall I enjoyed the book. The biblical worldview was obvious to the reader and the conversations between David and Frank were interesting. There’s a fine line sometimes between a contrived message and the message being part of the story. This book was walking that line. I would have liked the ending of the book to not stop so suddenly.

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Fatal Judgment (Guardians of Justice Book #1): A Novel

Blurbs: “Extraordinary writing . . . a not-to-be-missed reading experience.”–RT Book Reviews on Against All Odds (4½ stars, Top Pick)

U.S. Marshal Jake Taylor has seen plenty of action during his years in law enforcement. But he’d rather go back to Iraq than face his next assignment: protection detail for federal judge Liz Michaels. His feelings toward the coldhearted workaholic haven’t warmed in the five years since she drove her husband–and Jake’s best friend–to despair . . . and possible suicide.

As the danger mounts and Jake gets to know Liz better, he’s forced to revise his opinion of her. And when it becomes clear that an unknown enemy may want her dead, the stakes are raised. Because now both her life–and his heart–are in danger.

Full of suspense and romance, Fatal Judgment launches a thrilling series featuring three siblings bound by blood and a passion for justice.

Praise for the books of Irene Hannon

“Fast-paced crime drama with an aside of romance . . . [and] an ever-climactic mystery. Hannon’s tale is engagingly sure-footed.”–Publishers Weekly

“Hannon is a master at character development.”–Library Journal

“Superbly written.”–Booklist

RITA®-award-winner (and four-time finalist) Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than thirty-five novels, including Against All Odds, An Eye for an Eye, and In Harm’s Way. A former corporate communications executive with a Fortune 500 company, Irene now writes full time from her home in Missouri.
About the Author
Irene Hannon is the author of more than 35 novels, including the bestselling Heroes of Quantico and Guardians of Justice series. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, a Daphne du Maurier Award, and two Reviewers’ Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. Booklist also included one of her novels in its “Top 10 Inspirational Fiction” list for 2011. She lives in Missouri.

For more information about her and her books, Irene invites you to visit her web site at www.irenehannon.com.

Reader Review: (5 star) Summary: Jake Taylor, a U.S. Marshal, is assigned to protect federal judge Liz Michaels, who just happens to be the widow of his college best friends. Liz’s sister was murdered at Liz’s house, and the police believe Liz may have been the target. Jake dreads protecting Liz based on his friend’s description of her cold ruthlessness and focus on her career above all else. Liz surprises Jake by being warm and caring, the total opposite of what he expected.

As he guards Liz, he realizes his friend’s personal demons and struggle with alcohol may have been to blame for the failing marriage and his death, not Liz. Jake must decide if protecting his heart is as important as protecting Liz.

My thought: Irene Hannon is quickly becoming one of my favorite Christian authors. This book is a great combination of suspense with the murder investigation and romance with the feelings between Jake and Liz. the murder details aren’t too graphic, and the romance isn’t too mushy. The element of faith is not preachy, and overall, it’s a great book.

Reader Review (1 star): When offered this book to review, the big endorsement by Dee Henderson caught my eye (you can see it on the cover) and influenced me to read it, as she is an author that I have enjoyed reading. I completed this book this week and got to the end of it still looking for what made it classified “Christian fiction.” Church is mentioned, and God is mentioned, but more as a topic to be avoided in conversation than someone to turn to.
I enjoy a good mystery, but this wasn’t what I expected. If you want a mystery with light romance, this book offers it. But if you are looking for a book where the characters turn to God even in their biggest time of need, this isn’t the one.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.

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Dying to Read (The Cate Kinkaid Files Book #1): A Novel

Reader Review (2 stars, the book has over a hundred 5 star): The tagline and the initial description for “Dying To Read” caught my eye.

“All she wanted was a paycheck. What she got was a murder.”

I thought. Cool. It’s a book that might be a “clean” Stephanie Plumb-like novel.

A fun to read, novel about a young woman who decides to work for her uncle as a PI.

While I like Stephanie Plumb’s premise (a female bounty hunter), I wanted a, ok cleaner version to recommend to some of the younger (teen) readers who cross my path.

I thought Dying to Read, the new series by Lorena McCourtney might do the trick.

I was slightly disappointed.

Here’s what I like: McCourtney is a good writer – in that she can craft a story that has an interesting premise. I mean, a book club full of mystery readers and a dead body, on the surface again, it caught my attention.

Unfortunately, it didn’t keep my attention.

To use a fishing analogy, I was “hooked” on the bait (description and premise), but the novel failed to “reel” me in. (I just didn’t stay interested – in fact I didn’t finish it.)

Without realizing it at the start, this is the second novel I’ve read by McCourtney. I stumbled across one of her earlier works – the first book in the Ivy Malone series. Another good series, that also failed to “hook” me into a) wanting to finish the book and b) leave me wanting more.

I hate giving less than “glowing” reviews, but in an effort to keep things honest. Here’s what I think.

If you are looking for a fun (albeit slow paced), light and easy to read novel, then McCourtney’s writing style just might trip your trigger. If you are wanting something more “Stephanie Plumb-like” you can probably find it elsewhere. (In fact, the PJ Sugar novels by Susan May Warren come to mind.)

On my scale of one to five, I give this novel a two. Not my favorite read, but one that I could pass along to fellow mystery readers without qualms – to at least give a try.

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This review was not influenced by a free book – just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

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Principles for the Gathering of Believers Under the Headship of Jesus Christ

3 star review: Some great testimonies, but do take this book with a grain of salt. I don’t think it is right to encourage people to come out of churches and fellowship in the home instead. What if you are in a solid Bible preaching, gospel centered church? Also, theology does matter. Truth does matter, I disagree with forsaking truth for unity.

5 star review: As the Lord’s people, we need to know what He is speaking to His church TODAY. We need to know what He desires from us and for us NOW. I was convinced that this was a very special book even before I had gotten through the preface and the introduction, and as I continued reading that feeling was confirmed. This book is not for those who are content with modern-day Christianity, but will be devoured by those who recognize that the Lord’s church needs to repent of many things and needs to subject itself to the Headship of Christ; that it needs to begin to fulfill its vocation of being a holy people who demonstrate to the world who Jesus truly is by the way that we live our lives and by the way we love one another.
The authors believe that the day will soon come when we will see world-wide persecution of the church and many of the principles set forth by them are to help prepare the church not only to endure this coming persecution but to thrive in the midst of it.
If you love Jesus and desire to see Him have the church He deserves, I highly recommend reading this book!

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The Bible: Reliable or Fallible?

Bible teacher Keith Dorricott tackles one of the most important questions that can be asked – is the Bible a reliable guide for life?

CHAPTER 1: THE CLAIMS OF THE BIBLE
CHAPTER 2: THE CONTENT OF THE BIBLE
CHAPTER 3: THE COMPILATION OF THE BIBLE
CHAPTER 4: THE CIRCULATION OF THE BIBLE
CHAPTER 5: THE CORROBORATION OF THE BIBLE – STRUCTURE & TESTIMONIES
CHAPTER 6: THE CORROBORATION OF THE BIBLE – PROPHECIES
CHAPTER 7: THE CORROBORATION OF THE BIBLE – DISCOVERIES
CHAPTER 8: THE CHALLENGES OF THE BIBLE – CREATION VS. EVOLUTION
CHAPTER 9: THE CHALLENGES OF THE BIBLE – CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
CHAPTER 10: THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE BIBLE
CHAPTER 11: HYMNS AND SONGS ABOUT THE BIBLE

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2.99: Sgt. York: His Life, Legend & Legacy: The Remarkable Untold Story of Sgt. Alvin C. York

LOVED this. Loved it.

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2.99: Moonshine: A Cultural History of America’s Infamous Liquor

Hooch. White lightning. White whiskey. Mountain dew. Moonshine goes by many names. So what is it, really? Technically speaking, “moonshine” refers to untaxed liquor made in an unlicensed still. In the United States, it’s typically corn that’s used to make the clear, unaged beverage, and it’s the mountain people of the American South who are most closely associated with the image of making and selling backwoods booze at night—by the light of the moon—to avoid detection by law enforcement.

Blurb: In Moonshine: A Cultural History of America’s Infamous Liquor, writer Jaime Joyce explores America’s centuries-old relationship with moonshine through fact, folklore, and fiction. From the country’s early adoption of Scottish and Irish home distilling techniques and traditions to the Whiskey Rebellion of the late 1700s to a comparison of the moonshine industry pre- and post-Prohibition, plus a look at modern-day craft distilling, Joyce examines the historical context that gave rise to moonshining in America and explores its continued appeal. But even more fascinating is Joyce’s entertaining and eye-opening analysis of moonshine’s widespread effect on U.S. pop culture: she illuminates the fact that moonshine runners were NASCAR’s first marquee drivers; explores the status of white whiskey as the unspoken star of countless Hollywood film and television productions, including The Dukes of Hazzard, Thunder Road, and Gator; and the numerous songs inspired by making ’shine from such folk and country artists as Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Alan Jackson, and Dolly Parton. So while we can’t condone making your own illegal liquor, reading Moonshine will give you a new perspective on the profound implications that underground moonshine-making has had on life in America.

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2.99Planting Missional Churches

We aren’t in a plant, but trying to revitalize an existing church. But Stetzer’s work, commentary, encouragement and knowledge are invaluable, and I wouldn’t consider starting a church without my whole team going through this. Well worth it!

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