Miles to Go review

miles to goSo I decided to start on this book instead of the other.  I started it this evening while the rains beat down in a nice rhythmic dance on the roof.  Shortly after the rain stopped for the night, I was done and book two is history.

Goodreads: Alan Christoffersen, a once-successful advertising executive, wakes one morning to find himself injured, alone, and confined to a hospital bed in Spokane, Washington. Sixteen days earlier, reeling from the sudden loss of his wife, his home, and his business, Alan left everything he knew behind and set off on an extraordinary cross-country journey. Carrying only a backpack, he planned to walk to Key West, the farthest destination on his map. But a vicious roadside stabbing has interrupted Alan’s trek and robbed him of his one source of solace: the ability to walk.Homeless and facing months of difficult recovery, Alan has nowhere to turn—until a mysterious woman enters his life and invites him into her home. Generous and kind, Angel seems almost too good to be true, but all is not as it appears. Alan soon realizes that before he can return to his own journey, he must first help Angel with hers.From one of America’s most beloved and bestselling storytellers comes an astonishing tale of life and death, love and second chances, and why sometimes the best way to heal your own suffering is by helping to heal someone else’s.Inspiring, moving, and full of wisdom, Miles to Go picks up where the bestseller The Walk left off, continuing the unforgettable series about one man’s unrelenting search for hope.

I couldn’t decide which book to start with and decided on this one because I had already read the first in the series.  Quite frankly, I didn’t like where book one left off so decided to see how things were going in book two.  I do admit to liking Alan though I have to say I find his progress and the people he meets along the way more than a little factious.  I’m very skeptical at how a person could reach the distances he claims to have reached in such a short time – however, that aside, I do find the book fascinating and fun.

The writing is well done and one can’t deny the Christian aspect of the story.  I like that it is free of gore and violence, though the man does get stabbed three times at the end of book one.  Still, it is a good story and well worth the effort.  I will enjoy the next book and have to say it doesn’t take long to read one – about 2 1/2 hours for over 300 pages.

I can’t say I love the series as much as my sister did but they are good and I will finish the series.  I like Evans bent towards Christianity and find his writing refreshing in that area.  I easily give the book an A.

The Dollmaker

dollmaker

Goodreads: And now a new clue has surfaced…a doll that is the spitting image of Claire Doucett’s missing child, right down to the tiny birthmark on the girl’s left arm. A chance sighting of the eerily lifelike doll in a French Quarter collectibles shop leaves Claire shaken to her core…and more determined than ever to find out what happened to her beloved Ruby. When the doll is snatched and the store’s owner turns up dead, Claire knows the only person she can turn to is ex-husband Dave Creasy, a former cop who has spent the past seven years imprisoned by his own guilt and despair. He let Claire down once when she needed him the most. Can she make him believe the doll really exists? She’ll have to if they’re to survive an encounter with a brutal psychopath– the dollmaker–who stole their future to feed an obsession that will never die.

I started and finished this book today.  I had come up with a similar idea several months ago after having a nightmare about a man who made dolls in the likeness of children he murdered.  While doing research, I came across this book so figured I should read it – plus it is by Amanda Stevens whose Graveyard Queen series is one of my favorites.

It is obvious to me that I could not write this story even a tenth as well as she did so I had to give up on the idea.  Stevens does an excellent job dealing with the topic – I was caught up in the story the moment I read the prologue.

The writing takes you to New Orleans’s French Quarter and briefly touches (thankfully) on the whole devastation of Katrina.  I know it was a major event but I do get a little tired of the whole Katrina thing showing up in books though I suppose it is hard to ignore if one is to do the area justice.  Still, I appreciate how Stevens kept it to a minimum.

At any rate, the story was well told – I was sufficiently creeped out by the Dollmaker and his motives for kidnapping and killing children.  It pains me to think there might be such sick individuals out there.

I give the book an A.  The relationship between Claire and Dave is one that a person would envision between a couple whose child was kidnapped and the consequent divorce/hard feelings that went with it.  I liked Claire’s sister, Charlotte, and thought her part could have been expounded on but that would have been more involved, I suppose.

I read on Amanda Stevens website that she has two new Graveyard Queen books coming out next year.  I certainly hope that is true – I get so tired of waiting for books in series.  I’m getting to the point that, if a book is going to be part of a series, I won’t read it because I hate the wait.  I prefer stand alone books that I can think about, mull over and then move on from.

Nearing Home

nearing homeThis is the book I have started reading on my Nook.  So far it has been funny yet terribly depressing.  I already see myself changing in ways I don’t like.  I’ve not thought about how it would feel to get older – I’ve never thought it would be a big deal – but this book is making me think otherwise.

Of course, the book isn’t about us growing old.  It is about how, even though we grow older, we can still be useful to God.  That age doesn’t mean we can stop doing God’s work or learning God’s ways.  We don’t get to sit back and relax just because we reach retirement age.

It also makes me admit to myself that I have not taken good care of myself so there is no way I am going to be in good shape when I get older if I don’t start now.  I am 51 – a far cry from 80, yes – but getting closer every day.  If I don’t take care of myself now, I will not be a happy 80 year old later.

I am not even halfway through the book yet so can’t write a review but so far, I am really enjoying it.

What’s In Your Mailbox?

mailboxes colorful

Yes, I know I have been absent for too long again.  I have to say, I haven’t had much time for reading these days.  My family just moved from Iowa to Florida so have been working to get settled in.  I did, however, buy a few new books this week so will post those here.  I know – so many books all at once but I had a store credit that took care of all these plus could buy a few more but am tired of shopping.  Anyone want to recommend something?

dollmaker midnight nearing home no river wedding bees wishing thread

 

The Moonlit Mind

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Twelve-year-old Crispin has lived on the streets since he was nine—with only his wits and his daring to sustain him, and only his silent dog, Harley, to call his friend. He is always on the move, never lingering in any one place long enough to risk being discovered. Still, there are certain places he returns to. In the midst of the tumultuous city, they are havens of solitude: like the hushed environs of St. Mary Salome Cemetery, a place where Crispin can feel at peace—safe, at least for a while, from the fearsome memories that plague him . . . and seep into his darkest nightmares. But not only his dreams are haunted. The city he roams with Harley has secrets and mysteries, things explainable and maybe unimaginable. Crispin has seen ghosts in the dead of night, and sensed dimensions beyond reason in broad daylight. Hints of things disturbing and strange nibble at the edges of his existence, even as dangers wholly natural and earthbound cast their shadows across his path. Alone, drifting, and scavenging to survive is no life for a boy. But the life Crispin has left behind, and is still running scared from, is an unspeakable alternative . . . that may yet catch up with him.

As this was a novella, I was able to read all 120 pages at work tonight.  Dean Koontz used to be one of my favorite authors, I read everything by him.  Over the past ten years, that has changed because he has changed.  Gone are the days of Watchers, Whispers, Midnight and Phantoms.

This novella is one that I found predictable and not the least bit surprising.  I almost stopped part way through because I am not a fan of stories involving devil worship or child sacrificing but, as it was just a novella, I pushed on.

If  you take away the dark side of the story and look at the characters, Crispin is a likable character, as is the dog Harley.  I thought it jumped back and forth between the past and present too much to be comfortable reading – especially for a novella.

Overall, I can honestly say I wish I hadn’t read the book – I hope it doesn’t affect my dreams.  I give the story a C because it is wallows in predictability.  No gore though so that kept it from getting a D.  :-)

The Walk review

The Walk (Walk, #1)

“My name is Alan Christoffersen. You don’t know me. ‘Just another book in the library,’ my father would say. ‘Unopened and unread.’ You have no idea how far I’ve come or what I’ve lost. More important, you have no idea what I’ve found.” —Prologue

What would you do if you lost everything—your job, your home, and the love of your life—all at the same time? When it happens to Seattle ad executive Alan Christoffersen, he’s tempted by his darkest thoughts. A bottle of pills in his hand and nothing left to live for, he plans to end his misery. Instead, he decides to take a walk. But not any ordinary walk. Taking with him only the barest of essentials, Al leaves behind all that he’s known and heads for the farthest point on his map: Key West, Florida. The people he encounters along the way, and the lessons they share with him, will save his life—and inspire yours.

Richard Paul Evans’s extraordinary New York Times bestsellers have made him one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. A life-changing journey, both physical and spiritual, The Walk is the first of an unforgettable series of books about one man’s search for hope.

Started this book at B&N earlier when I stopped for coffee.  B&N lets owners of a Nook read a book for free for one hour every day.  Normally I don’t carry my Nook with me but I happened to have it today so thought I’d read something while I sipped my latte.  My sister told me this book was good so I settled on it.

The hour went by very quickly.  When it informed me around page 75 that I was out of time, I was disappointed enough that I bought the book so I could continue reading.  I had an $8 credit on my account so it worked out well.

This book grabs you from the beginning and doesn’t let you go.  I felt Alan’s pain when his life fell apart and how grief stricken he was.  His decision to take off and leave the same day was rather far-fetched – most people would need to make a few arrangements but he just happened to have every single thing he needed in his house.  But whatever, it is fiction which means anything can happen.  His working up to 30 miles a day within a week of starting his journey seemed hard to believe too but again, it is fiction.

What grabs is the questions he asks as he goes along, the life he wonders about, the pain, the people he meets, and how he realizes more and more that life has to be lived to be appreciated.  He talks in there about “life-huggers” and it is rather descriptive of most of our lives.  We hug life so tight that we don’t really take the time to live or appreciate it.

Evans writing style is easy to follow, his descriptions are engaging, and the story flies along.  I have no doubt I will read the entire series – I believe there are five or six books in all.  I even think I may be inspired and learn something along the way.  :-)  I give the book an A+.