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Friday, March 12th, 2010 03:54 pm

(Buy from Amazon.ca)

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) If evolutionary theory is correct, what does that say about creator God?

Ever since the famous debate on Darwinism between Huxley and Wilberforce in 1860, there has been little real conversation between the scientific community and much of the Christian world. This book offers the prospect of reconciliation between what are seen as two opposing worldviews.

With remarkable insight and skill, Foster shows that most evolutionary theory and its consequences are easily reconciled with Christian orthodoxy and explores the ethical problems of natural selection in a fresh and invigorating way.

Charles Foster insists on getting to the heart of the topic and succeeds through a scientific and biblical analysis that is second to none. The Selfless Gene has the potential to become required reading for theologians and laypeople alike.


Thoughts: )
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Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 12:35 pm

(Buy from Amazon.ca)

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.

Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.

It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else...


Thoughts: )
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Saturday, March 6th, 2010 09:44 pm

(Buy from Amazon.ca)

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Bianca wants to escape.

She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would."

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart... and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.


Thoughts: )
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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 02:51 pm

(Buy from Amazon.ca)

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either...


Thoughts: )
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Monday, March 1st, 2010 09:57 am


Back of the Book: Exhiled from Vadanis, the homeland he risked his life to save, and betrayed by a brother he has never known, Terrel find himself adrift on the ocean, delirious with hunger and exhaustion.

It seems his fate is sealed. But, as the illusions clouding his mind momentarily clear, he at last spots land.

Rescued by fishermen, Terrel is nursed back to healthm his new home a world away from The Floating Islands of Vadanis. All he has for company are the local villagers, but he soon discovers that they have difficulties of their own.

Leaving behind his new-found friends, Terrel embarks on a remarkable quest to discover the truth, both about the world he lives in and his own life. For Terrel's past holds the key to his destiny.


Thoughts: )
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Thursday, February 25th, 2010 08:10 pm


Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Like many Jews and Christians, David Plotz long assumed he knew what was in the Bible. He read parts of it as a child in Hebrew school, then at-tended a Christian high school where he studied the Old and New Testaments. Many of the highlights stuck with him—Adam and Eve, Cain versus Abel, Jacob versus Esau, Jonah versus whale, forty days and nights, ten plagues and commandments, twelve tribes and apostles, Red Sea walked under, Galilee walked on, bush into fire, rock into water, water into wine. And, of course, he absorbed from all around him other bits of the Bible—from stories he heard in churches and synagogues, in movies and on television, from his parents and teachers. But it wasn't until he picked up a Bible at a cousin's bat mitzvah—and became engrossed and horrified by a lesser-known story in Genesis—that he couldn't put it down.

At a time when wars are fought over scriptural interpretation, when the influence of religion on American politics has never been greater, when many Americans still believe in the Bible's literal truth, it has never been more important to get to know the Bible. Good Book is what happens when a regular guy—an average Job—actually reads the book on which his religion, his culture, and his world are based. Along the way, he grapples with the most profound theological questions: How many commandments do we actually need? Does God prefer obedience or good deeds? And the most unexpected ones: Why are so many women in the Bible prostitutes? Why does God love bald men so much? Is Samson really that stupid?

Good Book is an irreverent, enthralling journey through the world's most important work of literature.


Thoughts: )
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Friday, February 19th, 2010 01:16 pm


Back of the Book: Combining the best of fantasy traditions with her own unique vision, Sarah Ash brings to dazzling life a new saga filled with epic adventure and unforgettable characters--set in a world teeming with political intruige, astounding magic, and passion both dark and light.

Raised by his protective mother in the sunny clime of the south, Gavril Andar knows nothing of his father—-or the ominous legacy that awaits him. But now the man who ruled the wintry kingdom of Azhkendir, a man infused with the burning blood of the dragon-warrior known as Drakhaoul--has been murdered by his enemies.

Expected to avenge his father's death--and still his unquiet ghost-- Gavril soon learns that becoming Drakhaon means not only ascending to the throne of Azhkendir but slowly changing into a being of extraordinary power and might. A being that must be replenished with the blood of innocents in order to survive...


Thoughts: )
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Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 02:00 pm


Summary: (From GoodReads) Before there is peace, blood will spill blood...

The Clans have finally arrived in their new home, following the prophecies of their warrior ancestors. The journey was difficult enough, but now they must struggle to establish territories and learn the hidden dangers of this unfamiliar world. Most importantly, Leafpaw knows they must find a replacement for the Moonstone: a place to communicate with StarClan. Otherwise there will be no way to choose new leaders, no way to share medicine cat secrets, and no way to know whether the Clans are on the right path.

The future seems uncertain, and more than one cat is harboring sinister plans that could lead to violence and darkness. As all the warriors wait for a sign, some of them begin to realize that the threats they face in the forest may not be as perilous as the threats they face from within.


Thoughts: )
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Friday, February 12th, 2010 06:58 pm


Summary: (Taken from GoodReads.com) The birth of the Emperor's son had been prophesied many years before. The child would be the Guardian, savior of his people. What had not been foreseen was the fact that there would be two imperial children born that night. Jax, the firstborn, is raised in the Imperial Palace and groomed for his role as the future leader of The Floating Islands. Terrell, second born and hideously disfigured, is banished to Havenmoon, where he will spend his life unaware of his birthright. Both have hidden talents, but is either the true Guardian? When the Islands begin to spin out of control, in danger of colliding with the mainland, the prophecy begins to unfold.

Thoughts: )
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Saturday, January 30th, 2010 01:38 pm


I told you all it wouldn't take me long to finish the sequel!

I don't really have much to say about this one, not that I didn't say in the earlier commentary for Too Young to Die. The protagonist in this book has switched from Melissa to her best friend Jory, which was probably for the best given how Melissa dies at the end of this book.

Someone has to die, after all. It's a Lurlene McDaniel novel.

I forgot to mention a more few staple traits in her books. The protagonist nearly always has a friend who's more boy-crazy and fashion-conscience than she is, there's always some internal debate about whether or not to have sex (but in the end the protagonist makes the "right choice" and abstains), and the protagonist muses about God at least once per novel.

One of these days I'm going to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write a few novels that use the same formula, only switch things around a little. Maybe make one of the characters gay (I have yet to see a gay character in one of her books) or make somebody's religion something other than Christian. Just so that such a novel actually exists.

Ahem, yes, all ranting aside...

I recently took a look at my old reading records (I keep a spreadsheet of the books I read in a given year), and it looks like 2005 was my best year thus far, with me having read 85 books. (Keep in mind that I only started keeping these records in 2005, so that doesn't mean that 85 books is the most I've ever read in a single calendar year.) I think I'd like to beat that record this year. I won't list a specific number, but I will try to get more than 85 books read by the end of December 2010. I've got plenty of books that need reading, after all, and until I find steady employment again, plenty of time to read them in.

And when I do find steady employment again, I'll keep making time to read. I posted recently about how I sometimes find myself reading more when I have other things to do, like work, since I can read on the bus there and back, as well as on my breaks and my lunch. Depending on how long the bus commute is and how long my work shift is, I could have 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, with nothing else to do but read.

Sounds like heaven to me!
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Saturday, January 30th, 2010 08:41 am


Back of the book: Sixteen-year-old Melissa Austin has always worked hard to get what she wants. As the school year begins, her work is paying off. Her grades are up, and she landed a coveted spot on the high school Brain Bowl team. She and her best friend Jory Delaney, are determined to have the best junior year ever.

Then Melissa receives devastating news about her health. At first she refuses to accept the doctor's diagnosis, but as her illness gets worse she cannot deny the truth. The caring and closeness Melissa feels toward her family, and especially toward Jory, help her find the inner stength to hace the mysteries of living and dying.


Thoughts: )
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Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 05:14 pm


Back of the book: On the day the world ends...
...Mau is on his way home from the Boys' Island. Soon he will be a man.

And then the wave comes -- a huge wave, dragging black night behind it and bringing a schooner which sails over and through the island rainforest.

The village has gone.

The Nation as it was has gone.

Now there's just Mau, who wears barely anything, a trouserman girl who wears far too much, and an awful lot of big misunderstandings.

Wise, witty, and filled with Terry Pratchett's inimitable comic satire, this is a terrific adventure that -- quite literally -- turns the world upside down.


Thoughts: )
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Friday, January 22nd, 2010 05:16 pm


Summary: A fascinating look at the world of the Amish, as seen through the eyes of a young Amish girl growing to adulthood. Through Ellie's experiences, including a runaway buggy and a death in the family, readers get a real-life picture of the Amish lifestyle. The first book in the "Ellie's People" series.

Thoughts: )
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Sunday, January 10th, 2010 03:07 pm


From the cover:"Knitting Yarns and Spinning Tales" brings to life the unique and universal experiences of knitters from a variety of backgrounds.

This exceptional collection combines lighthearted essays with more philosophical pieces from authors and experts such as Meg Swansen, Perri Klass, Lily Chin, Teva Durham, Lela Nargi, Susan Gordon Lydon, Suzyn Jackson, Amy Singer, Greta Cunningham, Laura Billings, Kay Dorn, Betty Christiansen, and Jennifer Hansen, who put down their needles long enough to share their thoughts and musings about the popular pastime.

In these entertaining yarns, the authors provide insight into the warmth and enjoyment of knitting and crocheting. Join one writer as she shares a poignant Sunday afternoon in March shearing sheep with her father; travel to Sant ’Arsenio, Italy, where women gather on their door steps to knit, crochet, embroider, and chat; laugh at one woman’s memories of learning to knit in an uncomfortable classroom chair beside a World War II vet named Max; and smile at the essays that delve into the psyche of the knitter.

If you live to knit, enjoy the companionship of other knitters, or appreciate the intricate handiwork of a handmade sweater, this is a must-read!


Thoughts: )
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Thursday, January 7th, 2010 10:39 am


Back of the book: The heroes of Valdemar are the Heralds, an ancient order trained to be emissaries, spies, judges, diplomats, scouts, councelors, and even warriors. But they are more than just protectors of the kingdom. Chosen from all across the land, from all walks of life, and at all ages, these unusual individuals are Gifted withablities beyond those of normal men and women. These are Mindspeakers, FarSeers, Empaths, ForeSeers, Firestarters, FarSpeakers, and other who are uniquely suited to protecting their realm. Sought and Chosen by mysterious horselike Companions, they are bonded for life to these telepathic, enigmatic creatures. With their Companions, the Hralds of Valdemar ride patrol throughout the kingdom, protecting the peace and, when necessary, defending their land and monarch.

Now, sixteen authors join Mercedes Lackey, adding their own adventurous touch to the heroes of this well-loved fantasy realm.


Thoughts: )