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.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Blog Every Day In May - What I'm Reading

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I'm an avid book reader. I read over 100 books last year and reviewed them all here on my blog. There's a link in my sidebar to my Books Read page that lists all the books I've read since 2010. Click on any linked title and it'll take you to my review.

So far this year I've only reviewed or mentioned a few of the books I've read, so today I'm going to do a book review catch-up post.

 
  

These first books were all ones chosen by the library book club. The Age of Miracles is Karen Thompson Walker's debut novel. This book could be categorized as a coming-of-age novel and/or an end-of-the-world type novel, however I think the author should have chosen one or the other because neither theme was as well developed as it could have been. Notes From The Midnight Driver is a young adult novel about a 16-year-old boy, Alex, serving community service time as a companion to an elderly resident in a Home for the Aged. The story is told from Alex's point of view, and, after a somewhat slow starts, culminates in a very satisfactory ending.

The book club read and discussed Orphan Train last year, however I skipped it at the time. It was chosen as the city-wide book read this year, and I thoroughly enjoyed this story of a teenager (Molly) aging out of the foster care system working a community service position helping an elderly lady (Vivian) clean out her attic. As they work together, Molly learns that Vivian was one of the children sent out west on an orphan train during the Great Depression. The glimpses into Vivian's childhood provide a look at that time in America's history.  

The Invention of Wings is my favorite from this group of books. This historical fiction book is based on the life of the Grimke sisters whose Charleston, South Carolina, family owned slaves. The Grimke sisters became very vocal abolitionist despite being disowned by their family. This fiction book is told from the older Grimke sister's point of view interspersed with the perspective of the slave girl she was given as a gift on her eleventh birthday. A great read!

  
  

As you might have guessed by the covers, this second set of books is proof that I enjoy reading children's and middle-grade books. Robbie gave me The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail as a Christmas gift. It's a FUN read about a mouse in the Royal Mews and asserts that there is a secret animal society existing in the shadows of the human world. The story is set in London during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Some of you may remember that I read or listened to the first few Nancy Drew books last year. This year I enjoyed the next two books in the series - #5:The Secret of Shadow Ranch and #6:The Secret of Red Gate Farm.

When my ten-year-old reluctant-reader niece told me that she was beginning to love reading and had a new favorite book, I just had to check it out! Remarkable is the story of Jane Doe, who lives in the town of Remarkable, where everyone is remarkable . . . except her. It's actually a great story with lots of humor, however it was a very slow read because every time a character is mentioned, it's by his or her whole name! So Jane's mom is always referred to as Angelina Mona Linda Doe and her sister as Penelope Hope Adelaide Catalina Doe. It was worth plodding through all those names to be able to call Paige and tell her I read it, too!

  

Next up are a couple of young adult novels. If I Stay covers a 24-hour period when seventeen-year-old Mia is in critical condition after an accident. Her life story is revealed by flashbacks throughout the day. This was a good quick read that has been made into a movie (which I haven't seen). Insurgent is the second book in the Divergent Trilogy set in dystopian Chicago. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the movie that was released in late March.

     

I've also enjoyed three more books from Laura Childs' Scrapbooking Mystery series - murder mysteries set in present day New Orleans with a main character who is also a scrapbook store owner.


And finally, a little Christian non-fiction to round out my rather eclectic reading list. My friend Rita gave me The Power of a Praying Woman as a gift back in December. I've read Stormie Omartian's The Power of a Praying Wife a couple of times in past years and recommend both of these books as a way to focus or re-focus on a life of prayer.

Have you read any of the books? Or seen the movies based on some of them?


Today I'm linking up with Cate and her challenge to blog every day in May. Click here to join in!

11 comments:

debs14 said...

That certainly is a very eclectic group of books!i see a few I wouldn't mind trying myself.

Jane said...

some interesting books, will have to read some of them myself.

Angela Holland said...

Stopping by from Behind the Purple Door link up - I too am an avid reader. Laura Childs is one of my favorite cozy authors. I have been on a cozy kick lately. I am also a historical fiction fan so I am going to check out the book by Sue Monk Kidd, I have not read any of her books yet. Thank you for sharing.

Karen said...

I read all the Nancy Drew growing up, but none since. The Invention of Wings is on my "to read" list.

Actually Amy said...

Great list! I've added a few to my list, but I better get cracking on reading some books or I'm going to run out of time to get through my list by the end of the year.

Cate Brickell said...

I do enjoy your round ups and always walk away with something I must read now (orphan train) and on my wish list (notes from a midnight driver)

Sian said...

I loved Nancy Drew while I was growing up.

I keep meaning to find one of the scrapbooking mysteries. They sound like fun

MonicaB said...

I love the great variety in your collection. I have a few of these books on my must read and added a few more. Thanks.

Susanne said...

This was a very dangerous post for me to read - I've pinned several of those covers onto my Books Worth Reading board. I must make more time to read - I need to get caught up on the scrappy series too. TFS

Cheri said...

That is a lot of books! I really enjoyed If I Stay and the sequel Where I Went, as well as the entire Divergent series. I've been surprised so far by how well the movies have followed the books. A few variances, but nothing really critical.

Maria Ontiveros said...

My book group all loved The Invention of Wings. I just got a kindle deal on a page turner called The Unraveling of Mercy Louis