1. “The Princess and The Bear” by Mette Ivie Harrison. I heartily recommend this book to preteen girls or to anyone that likes well written young adult fantasy. I read this book aloud to the girl I tutor and we both enjoyed it a lot. It has a very strong female character, who does not shy away from danger, sword fighting, magic, or freeing animals from cages. I also liked how the book does not shy away from tough issues without becoming too deep. The book is the second in a trilogy and I would like to read the other two. The book also carries the theme of ecological responsibility without being too preachy. I would recommend this book to preteens/teens over crap like the “Twilight” series any day. I did a post about the author on my old Femi Nation blog.
2. The Bible’s Hosea – I thought the metaphors in this book were beautiful and I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was so beautiful that I often wondered why this book is so neglected in talks about the Bible. “I will betroth you to Me forever, yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.” Hos 2:19-20
3. “Variable Star” by Spider Robinson and Robert A Heinlein. How do you know you’re reading a great book? When you finish reading it and you’re mad, because you don’t want it to end! I wanted to keep on reading about the main character’s adventures. The book is basically a character study and I liked the book a lot more once I realized that was why it didn’t have a lot of action. There’s a twist at the end that I was totally not expecting that made me not want to put it down. I think Spider Robinson did a wonderful job writing from the late, great RAH’s notes and I will certainly have to read more of Robinson’s work.
4. The Bible’s “Joel” – This one is my favorite of the prophet books of the Bible so far. This book is very short, but contains several famous verses that I had heard before, but didn’t know where they were from – “Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. Joel 2:13 As I kept reading this book, I kept on thinking that the “Old Testament God” seems a lot kinder than what people say. I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.
5. Vampire Kisses 3: Vampireville by Ellen Schreiber. Awful! The girl I tutor picked it out and I am so nice that I said okay. We read it together and it is so clichéd. There’s another version of the book in manga form and she loves mangas. I have to believe that it is better in the other form! The main character is goth and it’s like the author believes that if she throws in enough gothic allusions (Nightmare Before Christmas, Emily Strange, etc.) then the book will be authentic, but I kept thinking about my friends who are really goth and I inwardly cringed.
6. The Bible’s “Amos” – So there’s a lot of talk in this book about Israel’s sin and how wrathful God is and I think that probably scares a lot of people, but I think it’s important to note that Godde is wrathful towards those who do not help the poor. In other words, God wants justice. I can appreciate that, but to be honest, I did skim this book a little bit-it just didn’t capture my attention the way the past few biblical books did.
That’s it for February. Currently I’m reading “The Parable of the Sower” by Octavia E. Butler.