books I've read

Anne Hawn's books

Who Moved My Cheese?
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
Scientific Secrets for Self-Control
Just One Damned Thing After Another
The Vanishing
Exercises in Knitting
The Good Dream
The Very Best of Edgar Allan Poe
The Chosen
BT-Kids' Knits
Talking God
The Professor
The Christmas Files
The Finisher
Home Decor for 18-Inch Dolls: Create 10 Room Settings with Furniture and 15 Outfits with Accessories
Dracula and Other Stories
A New Song
Christy
All Quiet on the Western Front
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents


Anne Hawn Smith's favorite books »

I'm reading 30,000 pages.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Piercing the Darkness

Piercing the Darkness (Darkness Set, Book #2) Piercing the Darkness by Frank E. Peretti


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This sequel was just as exciting as the first book and deals with a subject that is becoming an increasing problem and that is the encroachment of anti Christian bias in our schools. The quasi-religious activities such as using a mantra or acquiring a spirit guide are being practiced in our public schools and are not benign exercises in values clarification. In areas where there are no Christian schools, or other alternatives, people are turning more and more to homeschooling.

The small church school in this story is being attacked by an ACLU type organization. The lawyers seize the opportunity to involve themselves in the school because the mother one of children in the school is receiving Federal day-care funds. The organization wants to set a precedent for interfering with religious schools. This could easily be tomorrow's headlines.

The plot has several threads and the author weaves them in and out to keep the action moving, but they all dovetail at the end. One of the most interesting ideas is that the angelic host cannot fight unless there is enough "prayer cover" and that demonic activity can thwart the angels by spreading gossip and strive within the Christian community.

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The Prophet

Piercing the Darkness (Darkness Set, Book #2) Piercing the Darkness by Frank E. Peretti


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This sequel was just as exciting as the first book and deals with a subject that is becoming an increasing problem and that is the encroachment of anti Christian bias in our schools. The quasi-religious activities such as using a mantra or acquiring a spirit guide are being practiced in our public schools and are not benign exercises in values clarification. In areas where there are no Christian schools, or other alternatives, people are turning more and more to homeschooling.

The small church school in this story is being attacked by an ACLU type organization. The lawyers seize the opportunity to involve themselves in the school because the mother one of children in the school is receiving Federal day-care funds. The organization wants to set a precedent for interfering with religious schools. This could easily be tomorrow's headlines.

The plot has several threads and the author weaves them in and out to keep the action moving, but they all dovetail at the end. One of the most interesting ideas is that the angelic host cannot fight unless there is enough "prayer cover" and that demonic activity can thwart the angels by spreading gossip and strive within the Christian community.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

This Present Darkness

This Present Darkness (Darkness Set, Book #1) This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read this years ago and enjoyed it again. Peretti is a Christian Steven King and has created a fantasy world of angels and demons which is just close enough to the Scriptural account to be plausible. At the very least, it provides a reminder that there are spiritual battles going on all around us and the heart of mankind is at stake.

As for the story itself, it is fast paced, exciting and compelling. Peretti is genius at weaving plots and sub-plots into a complex whole that leaves the reader guessing even when he knows how the book has to end. You don't have to be Christian to enjoy the book although it does help.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Million Little Pieces

A Million Little PiecesA Million Little Pieces by James Frey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Even finding out that the story was actually more fiction than personal experience didn't change my feelings about the book too much. I thought it was a powerful look into the eye of an addict and an opportunity to live his story.



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Monday, September 14, 2009

Blood Memory

Blood Memory Blood Memory by Greg Iles


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is one of the best mysteries I have read in a long time. The protagonist is easy to identify as a troubled young woman who has still remained strong and capable. It is hard to believe that the character was created by a man. The reactions of Cat seem so female and believable. I felt like I was watching her relive her terrible history and rise to the challenge of what she was learning.

The book is very fast paced and hard to put down. As layer after layer of the toxic results of child molestation is unfolded, you can see Cat grow and discover a stronger and stronger person at her core. The twists and turns of the plot leave the reader as baffled as the police and FBI and it is hard to see the resolution. I felt like the ending suited the book and tied up most of the loose ends.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

End in Tears

End in Tears (Chief Inspector Wexford Mysteries (Paperback)) End in Tears by Ruth Rendell


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This Inspector Wexford mystery centers on the deaths of two young women and the attempted murder of the first girl. The unravel a bizarre set of crimes which boggle the imagination. What could the girls possibly have in common other than the fact that they met in a club previously. They are very different and seem to have completely different lifestyles.

This particular mystery keeps the reader turning the pages, but the premise seems a little bizarre. I guess with the way things are now, it could happen, but it seems a little improbable. I thought the ending was a little rough and stretched the imagination a great deal. I also felt that some of the loose ends weren't tied in as neatly as in other books. It was especially missing some important information about Rick and his history.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Not in the Flesh

Not in the Flesh: A Wexford Novel Not in the Flesh: A Wexford Novel by Ruth Rendell


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was one of the better Inspector Wexford novels. The story centers around an old house left to fall to ruins when the owner, the son of the original owner, is not allowed by the planning commission to tear the house down and build 4 houses on the lot. He had a friend dig a trench for the water mains before he received the permission and has to fill it back in. In the few days it is unfilled, someone puts a body in it which is then buried by the backfiller. Eleven years pass before a truffle hunting dog unburies a hand, but that isn’t the only body on the premises. There is also a body in the cellar, which appears to have been there for eight years.

Enter a cast of characters, which is only to be found in the English village of mystery writers. The most amusing is the author who lives with his first wife and his current wife. They refer to each other as “wives-in-law” and the trio seems to get along in harmony. Then there is the old and lonely Mrs. McNeil who seems to exist only to be waited on hand and foot by the appealing Greg, the migrant Dusty Miller, and his betrothed Bridget Cook. Add to the mix the missing husband and father, Alan Hexham and the pot is full of candidates for the skeletons as well as murders.

The ending of this story is fairly predictable, but the interesting cast of characters and subplots makes it an enjoyable mystery. Rendell manages to tie up all the loose ends and everything makes sense when final page is read.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Visitation

The Visitation The Visitation by Frank E. Peretti


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Peretti presents an interesting topic. How many of us know what the Bible says about Jesus' return? How will we know him? How can we be sure?

A prophet who seems to be Jesus appears in Antioch. He works miracles and inspires people all over the nation to come to the small town and worship him. Members of the Ministerial society don't know what to think about him, so how can the expect their members to?

Formal Pentecostal Minister, Travis Jordan, is skeptical from the beginning, even though he is one of the first people to actually talk to the man. This whole story is a reference to the passage in Revelations that warns us that people will come in Jesus' name and will deceive even the elect. Peretti works out the confusion in town in the fast paced, action packed style he is known for. There is a lot of action, a little romance, and a lot of Biblical truth presented in a very interesting, page turning style.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Oath

The Oath The Oath by Frank E. Peretti


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was one of Peretti’s best. The plot centers on the effect of evil on the human soul. Professor Steve Benson. comes to the town of Hyde River because his brother, Cliff, has been killed by some enormous animal that seems to defy description. It is assumed that he was mauled by a bear, but Steve, with a Ph.D in Biological Science and a professorship at Colorado State University teaching environmental science and biology, is not satisfied. He and the conservation officer of Fish and Game manage to kill the rogue bear thought to have been large enough to inflict the damage, but are very unsatisfied with the findings of the post-mortem of either Cliff or the bear.

As the plot develops, it appears that there is more wrong than just a habituated bear. The town is full of mystery and people are united against any outsiders. There seems to be a conspiracy of silence and actual hostility towards Steve. The only one helping is the attractive deputy, Tracy Ellis. She grew up in Hyde River but seems to have some objectivity about troubles in the town, and she doesn’t believe that it was a bear that killed Cliff Benson.

What has happened to Maggie Bly, wife of Harold Bly? Why does Bly have so much control of the people of the town? Why is there such a concerted effort to mislead and drive out Steve Benson? What is the oath that the people of the town took more than 100 years ago, and what does it have to do with Cliff’s death? What are the ominous, dark, oozing sores that appear over the hearts of many in the town?

What follows it the depiction of evil and what it does to a people. Steve learns about the evil that resides in his own heart as he gets closer and closer to the evil in the town. The pace is fast and keeps the reader involved in the chase while Steve desperately tries to find meaning in the evidence that seems to go against everything modern society seems to consider normal.


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