Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Book Reviews - Issac's Storm, Quilt as Desired, Twenties Girl


Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson is a non-fiction account of the devastation that occurred during the Galveston hurricane of 1900. The story alternates between Isaac Cline, a meteorologist in Galveston at the time of the hurricane, and other events occurring during the days leading up to, during, and after the hurricane. It is a very well-written and researched book that reads like a fiction novel. This book wasn't actually on my to-read list, however one of Robbie's co-workers loaned it to him and he suggested I read it also. After I started reading it, I realized this is actually the second book I've read by Erick Larson. At the beginning of 2010, I read his book The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America for the January book club meeting. That book was also very well researched (about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair & a serial killer in Chicago at that time) and while it was also non-fiction, it read like fiction. I highly recommend both of these books for anyone who enjoys a good novel and/or would like to learn more about the history of hurricanes or the Chicago World's Fair.


I purchased this book while browsing the Dallas Quilt Show with the intention of sending it to my sister, but of course I had to read it first. Quilt as Desired is the first in a series of mystery novels by Arlene Sachitano. Harriet Truman has only been back in Foggy Point for a month when her aunt leaves her to run a business, which is broken into twice and her customers' quilts are destroyed. She finds her aunt's best friend shot in the head and there's a large cast of characters who might be involved - members of the Loose Threads quilting group and the dead lady's brother and son. It's a great storyline, however the plot was slow moving at times and the ending wrapped up in three short pages.


I read Twenties Girl: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella for this month's book club meeting. It's definitely a light hearted read, but I honestly had a difficult time getting into the story. Lara Lington spends most of the book hanging out with and taking directions from her great-aunt's ghost, trying to find an old necklace that belonged to the great-aunt. There are several story lines - Lara's best friend and new business partner runs out and leaves Lara to run the business by herself, Lara want to re-unite with her boyfriend and gets Sadie's ghost to help her, Lara meets a new man because Sadie's ghost want to go out with him, and Lara's rich uncle has lied for many years about how he started his multi-million dollar business. I think this book would make a hilarious movie, watching Sadie's ghost manipulate people in truly funny scenes, but for me the book was a drudergy to read. It also contained way too much foul language for my taste. Many of the book club members liked it because it was what we call a "fluff" book - easy to read, funny, not too deep.


Karen said...

Our whole book group loved Devil in the White City (it's a group of four couples so when all of us like a book, it's pretty unusual.) I read a great review in the NYTimes Sunday of his newest book which I've now decided to put on my never-ending list of books to read. I've never heard of this one, but it's also looks good.

Rebekah said...

The girls and I just made a library run this afternoon and several books found their way into my arms! I love to stay up late reading in the summer when I don't have to get up first thing the next morning!! Thanks for the reviews on these, those first two sound very interesting!

Sian said...

I always enjoy your reviews - I like the sound of that first one especially.

alexa said...

Your reviews are always so frank and clear - a joy to read!

Stephanie Joanna said...

great reviews Melissa! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Twenties Girl ... I was thinking of picking it up but I think I'll pass. I loved the first few Shopaholic books but I find all of Sophie Kinsella's recent novels have lots foul language. Now that I know Twenties Girl is the same, I'll be skipping it. :)

Ginger said...

Great reviews Melissa! I agree with Sian, the first one sounds good.