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Topic: 2011 Christian Reading Challenge - April Discussion

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Subject: 2011 Christian Reading Challenge - April Discussion
Date Posted: 3/31/2011 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,082
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We will use this thread to discuss possible books to be used for any of the categories. 

This is the link to keep up with your Challenge List:

2011 Christian Reading Challenge - Lists Only!!!
 

I will also post the instruction here in this thread on how to keep up with the Points Bonus Categories.

When we actually start the challenge in January, I will start a new thread where we will discuss our actual books that we have read.  This way, it won't get confusing when we go to add our points for the different bonus categories.

Feel free to post any questions about books, authors, etc.

Peace to all who enter.

 

If anyone is interested in posting their totals to a spreadsheet that I created, here is the form to do so.

There is a place to post number of reviews, WL books posted, TBR books mailed, and number of pages.

You can post as often as you would like, doesn't have to be weekly.  Also, it is not necessary to do so.

CF 2011 Reading Challenge Recap Form 

Date Posted: 3/31/2011 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,082
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Lisa inspired me to go through the January and February discussion threads.  I did that and got answers to several of my questions.  Since I didn’t have questions the first time I read them, I must have skipped right over them.  Anyway, FYI.

Facts to know:

Q:  Do all books count in this challenge?

A:  All of the categories will pertain to only Christian books - no other genres. (posted by Cynthia on 11/11/2010)

Q:  How do we count WL books posted to swaps?

A:   If the book is won in a swap, even though they had it on their WL, it is not going to count.  You aren't actually posting it to a WL. (posted by Cynthia on 1/7/2011)

Q: Do books count as posted to the WL if they were posted in response to the WL thread (Is this on your Wishlist – February 2011)?

A: The question concerning the WL thread and whether they will count:  If it is actually posted to someone's WL, it will count. …  So, we will go with the simple "if it is posted to someone's WL it counts but not if it is won in a swap."   (posted by Cynthia on 1/7/2011)

Q:  Do WL books have to be read?

A: Wish List books:   No, you don't have to have read them.  I come across them and have no intention of reading but post through FIFO. (posted by Cynthia on 11/11/2010)

Q:  What about an unpostable WL book?  This is unpostable, but I'm sending it free to Lisa N.  who has it on her WL.  Do I get credit for a WL book? (posted by Cheryl on 1/13/2011)

A:  ... So to keep things even, no this would not count. ... (posted by Cynthia on 3/1/11)

Q: Do reviews for all CF books count, even those not used in the Challenge? …  I am thinking yes but just wanted to check.  (posted by Leola on 1/15/2011)

A: I think reviews count for any CF books that you read, not just one that fits a Challenge category.  Is that right, Cynthia?  (posted by Christa on 1/15/2011)  Right, doesn't have to be a Challenge book.  Any CF book review will count. (posted by Cynthia on 1/15/2011)

Q: If a book we read is humorous to us; can we count it as a comedy? …    (posted by Lynn P. on 1/192011)  

 

A: If it is funny to you, count it as a comedy.  I'm not sure there is even a comedy genre.  I looked on CBD and they don't have one listed. (posted by Cynthia on 1/19/2011)  I didn't find a sub-genre for comedy either.  ...  (posted by Lisa N. on 1/19/2011)

Q: How do we count pages read?    Do we count pages of all CF books read or the ones read just for our challenges?????  (posted by Lynn B. on 12/6/2010)   Cynthia, on the points thing for pages.  I know it's CF or non-fiction only, but do we count pages of CF/C non-fiction we read even if it doesn't fit in the challenge categories?  (posted by Lisa N. on 1/3/2011)  Cynthia, do you want to give us a clarification so we all use the same rules?  (posted by Lisa N. on 1/5/2011)  Is only one book per category counted in the pages read contest? (posted by Lenora on 2/28/11)

A: The first challenge is to read more than you did last year so any book CF fiction/non-fiction is counting for that category.  In effect, pages will count for any Christian book that is read, whether it fits into one of the other categories or not. (posted by Cynthia on 3/1/11)

CF 2011 Reading Challenge Recap Form   (posted by Cynthia on 1/10/2011)

There are still a few unanswered questions, but I hope this helps.  Prayers, Lenora

ETA: new answers have .  Thanks, Cynthia!

Date Posted: 4/2/2011 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2009
Posts: 1,109
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I finished A Bond Never Broken by Judith Miller. 4 stars. Of the 3 books in this series (Daughters of Amana), I liked this one the best. This is a World War I story of anti-German sentiment in the US, which affected the Amana colonies. Very interesting and well written story. This book was loaned by a friend and it was nice of her to let me borrow it.

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 9:54 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2006
Posts: 1,825
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finished Making Waves (Lake Manawa Summers, Bk 1) by Lorna Seilstad.  I gave it 4 1/2 * & here is my review:

This book was great fun.  I had a hard time getting into the flow of it, but once I got to know the characters, it flowed quite well.  I love historical books that bring lots of real history of a place alive. 
 

Date Posted: 4/4/2011 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2009
Posts: 1,109
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I finished Leaving by Karen Kingsbury. 4 stars. This is a typical Kingsbury book with plenty of drama and emotional scenes as the lead character is leaving her family in Indiana and moving to NYC. I enjoyed this book but wish there wasn't a cliffhanger ending! I'm giving this book to someone so it will not be posted into the system.  



Last Edited on: 4/11/11 7:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/6/2011 12:01 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2007
Posts: 3,773
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Finished CF book #49 Wolves Among Us by Ginger Garrett. 5 stars.

This is book 3 in the Chronicles of the Scribe series but it can be read completley as a standalone (I haven't read the first two but I don't think they are veyr much connected as I didn't get lost at all).  Story takes place in 1500s Germany and deals with witchcraft and gender roles in the church at the time.  Its extremely well written with lots of historical detail.  It was really frustrating to read about how women were being blamed for everything and that it was their fault that men sinned.  I really wanted to kick some of the male character's butts while reading the book.  It was very sad to see how the women were being treated simply bc of their gender.  Equally as fascinating is the author's notes at the end of the book that give more historical insight to all the events that happened in the story.

Date Posted: 4/6/2011 12:26 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2008
Posts: 325
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Just finished reading Making Waves by Lorna Seilsttad. 4 stars. Took me a bit to !get into the story, but it picked up quickly by the middle of the book. Marguerite is constantly testing her boundaries and gets herself into several dire situations, ranging from almost drowning to a very unwanted engagement. Really enjoyed Lorna's debut novel and will be looking for her next book! Borroed from a friend, so won't be posting to a WL. Borrowed from a friend, so won't be posting to a WL.

Last Edited on: 4/6/11 12:27 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/6/2011 12:29 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2008
Posts: 325
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Sorry for the formatting, repeats, and spelling. Can't fix on my phone... :-(
Date Posted: 4/7/2011 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2006
Posts: 11,917
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LOL!  No wonder I didn't see any other books being posted.  I was posting in the wrong month.  I'll copy over to here.

finished 4/1 . . . Secrets of Harmony Grove :: Mindy Starns Clark 5 stars

I was expecting more Amish to the story, but it was a GREAT mystery as it was written.  A good page turner, with some sad Holocaust history, and happy endings.

finished 4/3 . . .Disaster Status (Mercy Hospital) :: Candace Calvert 5 stars 

It didn't take me long to finish this book since the author has produced a good page turner.  The balance of medical jargon, romance, family, learning to slow down and listen to God, and even a bit of danger kept the book from reading like a medical text. 

As I've mentioned before, I always enjoy a book with a pet.  This one had Elmer Fudd, a geriatric gold fish.  I thought this was book 1, but it is book 2.  Book 3 has hints of a horse.   I'll have to go back and read book 1 -- not sure of the pet there.  Book 2 read well as a stand alone.

finished 4/4 . . . A Man's Heart :: Lori Copeland 5 star

Another book I greatly enjoyed.  I don't think I've ever read anything by Lori Copeland that I didn't like.  This story had some sad events in the beginning, but a happy ending.  I like happy endings :)  The setting of Washington potato farms was one I hadn't ever come across before and made the story a very "new" subject.

finished 4/6 . . . The Thorn (Rose Trilogy , Bk 1) :: Beverly Lewis 3 stars

I've read many of Beverly Lewis's books.  I greatly enjoyed the first read (older publications), but have found variety lacking as I read more.  This latest Amish story of hers, was better than those I had most recently read.  This story had a bit more reality to the plot.  The leaving the order for love was not the happily ever after story -- yet.  It shows some of the real heartache that can come with real life. 

I would have given the story 4 stars, except it leaves me with questions ... I guess that's a good reason to buy the whole series.

Date Posted: 4/7/2011 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2009
Posts: 1,109
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I finished Finally a Bride by Vickie McDonough. 4 stars. I enjoyed this western and it was a nice conclusion to the Boardinghouse Brides series. This story takes place 10 years after the previous 2 books, so it took me a little while to figure out the characters again.

Date Posted: 4/8/2011 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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I just finished Even Now (Even Now, Bk 1) by Karen Kingsbury and Ever After (Even Now, Bk 2) by Karen Kingsbury. Even Now by its self is a so so book I would have given 3 stars.  I then read Ever After and I gave that one 5 stars all on its own. I actually cried when reading this book it was so moving, and I don't cry often. I think the fact that this was about something that was happening right now in our country and other countries made it more real to me. I'd say that and the fact that I've lost friends to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan so that also made this book more real.  What I liked was the ending I was left with such a profound feeling of hope that I was stress free and happy for days after finishing this book.  I don’t get that often from a book either.  This was the first time I’d ever read a Karen Kingsbury novel and after Even Now I wasn’t going to keep going but I’m so glad I did.  Ever After is probably on of my new favorites.  I'm probably going to read Cry In the Night (Rock Harbor, Bk 4) by Colleen Coble next since its a library book and has to go back.

  



Last Edited on: 4/8/11 2:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/8/2011 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2009
Posts: 1,109
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I finished The End is Now by Rob Stennett. 2 stars. The premise of this book is that the rapture will occur in Goodland Kansas before it occurs in the rest of the world. When the townspeople hear this, there is hysteria and confusion, and one family is caught in the middle. The book was okay but as another reviewer said, the ending was disappointing.

Date Posted: 4/8/2011 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,714
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Elizabeth, Ever After is really a fantastic book.  My Dh finished reading Even Now on the airplane our return trip yesterday......she passed it on to another passenger.  I warned her to have a box of tissues when she reads Ever After.  She is active duty military and it will be extra touching to her as it was to me.......

Date Posted: 4/8/2011 11:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Oh gosh yes I would recommend a box of tissues also it was heart wrenching and it will probably be even more for her.    I hadn't thought of giving mine away since I liked it so much but now that you said that I think I'll add it to my box of books I'm taking to the hospital.  I'm sure it will brighten someone's day.      

 

Date Posted: 4/9/2011 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2006
Posts: 11,917
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Swinging on a Star: A Novel (Weddings by Bella) :: Janice Thompson 5 stars

A very enjoyable romantic comedy.  Just the right balance of quirky characters, romance, and fairy tale dreams coming true.  There are some great romantic scenes to sigh over.  The wedding theme has a Renaissance setting, with castle and best men in tights :)  Add a couple of proposals of marriage along with the mayhem that occurs wherever you find Bella, and you have a fun story. 

This was book 2, but I didn't have any problems picking up the thread from book 1, which I had read quite some time ago.



Last Edited on: 4/9/11 4:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/10/2011 8:45 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2007
Posts: 3,773
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Finished CF book #50 Tomorrow's Garden by Amanda Cabot.  4 stars.

Well done historical romance. I have always liked Cabot's books.  This is the third book in the Texas Dream series and while they can all be read as standalones, having background info on the characters always helps.  Harriet is determined to be able to take care of her family single handedly but finally as to come to the conclusion she can't do it alone.  Lawrence is the sheriff/mayor of the town and does his best to stand by the law and do what is right but Harriet's ways seem to thwart him.  The situation with Harriet's unruly brother is handled very well.  I am very glad that Lawrence didn't give in.  The romance is very sweet and I really liked it. Sadly this is the end of the series.

Date Posted: 4/10/2011 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2007
Posts: 3,773
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Finished CF Book #51 Katy's Homecoming by Kim Vogel Sawyer. 3.5 stars.

This is the third book the YA series about Katy Lambright, a Mennonite teen who has been allowed to continue her education in a public high school.  She comes from a rather strict Mennonite background which is almost practically Amish.  I like the series bc even though she tries to stay as true as she can to her religion and family upbringing, she is still very open about attending school and trying to fit it without compromising.  She is willing to try out new things and *gasp* likes boys! In this book, she's struggling with what to do after being selected to be apart of the homecoming court.  Her reactions and everything is fine.  What I'm more concerned with is all the legalism that's in the book.  Mennonites aren't allowed to attend dances or dance so Katy is struggling with what to do about the homecoming dance.  Unfortunately it's never really presented as to WHY it's wrong other than to say it's wrong.  So it comes off more so that there's this rule that she has to follow and there's no explanation because it's wrong to ask. Which brings me to question, who exatly is the target audience for this book? Even though it's a YA book, I honestly cannot see the regular teen, even a Christian teen picking up this book.  The cover is really bad and even then, most teens aren't going to want to read about this type of culture.  If they do, some might walk away with the feeling that living in the world is wrong...aka going to homecoming, wearing prom dresses, letting your hair down..is not what God wants you to do.  It's very conflicted...and I think teens are conflicted enough without having this in their lives as well.

Date Posted: 4/10/2011 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,714
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I havent read these but discovered a new series beginning by Summerside Press;  I've read several of their Love Finds You in.......books.  Now they're starting a series of When I Fell in Love books to coincide with oldie songs.  In 2010, they published

Love Me Tender by Janice Hanna and I'll Be Home for Christmas.  Six more to come in 2011.  Can't wait to try them!

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 8:39 AM ET
Member Since: 9/26/2008
Posts: 212
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just finished The Quest for Character by Charles R Swindoll.  It took me a  while to read this as it is a study type book and has Bible readings to go with it.  I needed this as it gave me inspiration to not my guard my heart to the point of not giving my heart too!  It described me to a tee!  I gave it a 3

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 11/21/2005
Posts: 3,259
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I finished Lonestar Sancuary (Lonestar, Bk 1) by Colleen Coble on 4-7-11. 4 Stars

I really liked this book. Suspense is not a usual read for me, and I didn't figure out the stalker until the very end. Less than perfect hero, heroine on the run with a traumatized child, add in some troubled teens and rescued horses, all adds up to a great story.

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2009
Posts: 1,109
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I finished Embers of Love by Tracie Peterson. 3 1/2 stars. I liked this story about a Texas family who owns a logging business. The daughter brings a friend home and then plays matchmaker. This is a continuing story so I am looking forward to the next book in th series. Borrowed from the library so it's going back soon.  

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2006
Posts: 11,917
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Doctor in Petticoats (Sophie's Daughters Bk 1) :: Mary Connealy 5 stars

I found this story to be a fast paced historical romance with some humor.  The unique angle to this story was the soldier/doctor/deserter with Post Traumatic Syndrome. 

I wasn't sure how I would like it, since I didn't care for the Lasoed in Texas series that this is based on.  I now want to go back and finish that series before I continue this one.  Not that it would be necessary, but fun to know how the girls' early history.



Last Edited on: 4/11/11 1:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/12/2011 7:40 AM ET
Member Since: 9/26/2008
Posts: 212
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Thanks for that info on the books that  go with old songs.   I had heard about it but hadn't got any info on it.  Thanks again.  I just finished Ruby by Lauraine Snelling.  I'm giving it a 2.  It was a good story and I enjoy her writings but I'm not sure where this book is going.  It ended  fast.  I know there is another book in this series so I'll have to get it and read it to see if the story deepens.

Date Posted: 4/12/2011 8:04 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2008
Posts: 325
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Just finished Livvie's Song by Sharlene MacLaren. 3 stars. It was ok. Set in the late 20's, Will, an ex-con now saved, is finally free from his 10-yr term in prison. Will searches out a small town in which to make a new life and lands a job as a cook in a small diner, owned by Livvie. Livvie is trying to keep her life and restaurant afloat since the tragic death of her husband. Will's cohorts from the past track him down and cause trouble...lots of trouble. The plot was good. Some of the extras - dance hall, town trollop, etc - I could have done without.

My copy is an ARC. Already have someone interested. If they no longer want it, I'll offer on the WL thread.

Date Posted: 4/14/2011 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2009
Posts: 1,109
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I finished Nighshade by Ronie Kendig. 4 stars. This was an interesting, action-packed novel about a group of ex-military men who form Nightshade and rescue others in war-torn countries, including missionaries in the jungle. I thought the storyline was similar to plots from the TV show The Unit. Very good book and looking forward to the next one.

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