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Wow, April ended up being a really good reading month. The downside of that was that it was partially due to the fact that I spent a lot of time on the couch being sick. Bummer for productivity, excellent for the book goal! I am almost one third of the way there.

This month we have reviews ranging from murder mystery, fantasy, family help, historical novels and a biography. I hope you find something that sparks your interest!

First up are the three Nuts About Books reviews, these books have been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. All of them are available on Amazon or your favourite book seller.

Between Heaven & the Real World (Steven Curtis Chapman)

SCC writes his story of career, family and faith from a raw, personal perspective. He tells the story behind some of the songs that we all know and love like Cinderella, I Will Be Here and Go There With You and many more. He tells the stories of marriage and family struggles, the journey to adoption and the intense grief over the loss of their daughter. I feel like I grew up in my faith with Steven Curtis Chapman’s songs marking the journey so reading this biography was very much like reading a friend’s journal, learning more of the back story. SCC is a man of faith and integrity and that comes through loud and clear on these pages. I highly recommend this one!

Treasured Grace by Tracie Paterson

Centered around the events of the Whitman Mission Massacre, Treasured Grace tells a story of the circumstances leading up to the actual historical event from a fictional perspective. Grace and her sisters have landed at the Whitman mission to winter there while waiting for the uncle to arrive back in Oregon City. We learn in these pages about the tensions between the indigenous peoples and the white settlers and missionaries. Stories like this are hard to read when you realize that while fictional characters are involved much of what you are reading really occurred. There really was a massacre, there really was a livid hatred for the white men and many people really died. It is a brutal story but well told, reminding us that the issues we face with indigenous peoples are far from reconciled.

Quick Tips for Busy Families by Jay Payleitner

Quick Tips is a great collection of ideas and wisdom that can be used at any stage of your family’s growth. Parents and grandparents can benefit from Mr. Payleitner’s collection. There are ideas for building relationship with your kids, your kids’ teachers and the school. Thoughts on building family memories and parenting. All kinds of bits and pieces that I’ll be referring back to again!

I listen to quite a few audio books as I drive my kids around or work around the house. It’s a great way to enjoy literature. Reading aloud is highly recommended for kids so I think listening as an adult is just as beneficial, especially if you land on a great narrator. There is definitely an art to reading aloud well!


On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle – set in a New York coffee shop called the Village Blend, murder and espresso are the topics of the day. Manager Clare Cosi just can’t leave the death of an employee be ruled out as an accident, things don’t add up and she’s determined to get to the truth.

Among the Gods is book 5 in the Of Gods and Kings series by Lynn Austin. A fictional/historical account of King Manasseh is the topic of this volume.

Hidden Places, also by Lynn Austin is set during the very beginning of the depression. Eliza Rose is trying desperately to be a single mom, orchard owner and farmer as she tries to keep the family farm in the family.

Kindle Books:

Made to Crave by Lysa Terkheurst was a book I got as I participated in a Bible Study by the same name. So much great wisdom and challenging thoughts as you take a look at what you run to when the need for satisfaction throws up its head. Are you running to God or food?

Exile by Rachel Starr Thomson – a young woman shows up with some unusual skills. The Oneness has exiled her, or so she thinks. What is this Oneness and how is Reese connected? You’re going to have to read it to find out! Psst…Rachel is Canadian!! 🙂 Exile is the first in the series The Oneness Cycle. I enjoyed this fantasy novel, it reminded me just a little of Frank Peretti style – and it’s FREE on Amazon!

Hazardous Duty by Christy Barrett. Not many young women would take up a business of cleaning up after crime scenes, however, its the closest thing to forensic science that Gabby St. Claire can get at the moment. Funny, fast-paced and passionate Hazardous Duty fills the bill for a great afternoon of reading. Psst – there’s a whole series, I think I will be reading more of Gabby’s escapades!

Regular Paper Books:

Half-Broke Horses was an unusual read for me, probably not one I’d have picked on my own, however, a friend left if for me at the farm a while back and I decided to pick it up over the Easter break. What a story. While much of it is based on true stories of the author’s grandmother’s life during the depression she filled in some of the details with fiction and therefore called it a true life novel. If even half of it is true, her grandmother was quite a woman. Very enjoyable.

Secure in the Everlasting Arms is written by one of my favourite Christian women of all time, Elisabeth Elliot. So much wisdom packed into these pages on a variety of topics. Sorrow, family, our walk with God, obedience, comfort and so much treasure. I savoured this one, taking my time to read its pages, I am sure it is one I will return to many times.