Reviews 2016

Book Review:  Heaven is for Real
Author:  Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent

Review:   I read this book in one afternoon.  Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. I almost burned supper.  I thought it might be more of a narrative timeline…and it was but it was told and written really well.  Thanks to Todd Burpo for telling the story correctly to Lynn Vincent, author or coauthor of nine other books. She made the right literary choices to put it into words. 
Some say it’s fake.  Some believe.  I believe because I had a similar experience when I was really little.  My experience is one of my first memories and until I started hearing other accounts of this, I thought it was my imagination.  I now know that I’ve actually met Jesus.  I’m not religious but I am spiritual. To me, that means I’ve never believed in organized religion but I’ve always believed in God--even when I was too young to know the difference! 
 Here’s what God said when I told him I didn’t want to go back though ‘said’ is what I call it for lack of a better word.  It was actually a thought as no words were spoken. I doubt I even knew how to talk when I was that little but maybe I did.  Mom says all her kids did stuff early.  I said, as I sat at his feet in this warm, soft, white place, “I don’t want to go back.” He replied, “You have to go back.  We have plans for you.” 
My family and friends will not dispute that it’s possible I argued with God because I tend to make sure people are aware of my point still today at my age. I must have told him I didn’t want to go back several times because I remember him telling me “You have to go back.  We have plans for you,” several times.  I remember not being too happy that I had to come back. 
So, I came back after a surgery when I was one or so and now I’m almost 54 and still waiting for that plan.  I have to continually remind myself that maybe I’m not supposed to know the actual plan and that probably I’m just a part of the plan because I sure don’t feel like I’ve participated in anything plan-like.   
And, a note to Jesus…Thanks a lot for making me not make goals!  I always figured I didn’t need goals if Jesus had a plan for me.  Not being sarcastic (well, maybe a little:)) just making a statement because many people I know who are my age have a lot more than I have because they made goals and I didn’t/don’t, never have.   
My life is good, and I’m perfectly happy enough, really, but an infinity pool in the backyard overlooking and island and a yacht docked in front of a beach house would have been awesome!
Here’s the point after my rambling.  This book gives hope if you need it.  It gives you something to think about if you don’t believe.  It’s a good read if you want to read something that’s a little light, a little deep and a little inspiring.

Thanks:  Thanks Mom, for letting me borrow this book…Jessie’s got it.  I let her borrow it from me…good luck getting it back!  Love you.


Book Review:  Prodigal Lost-Oasis of the Fallen
Author:  E.L. Pearson

Review:   I know Erin form this blog and I’ve met her.  She’s inspiring as a person—her faith in just about everything was evident the minute I met her.  More of us should have that in our lives.  Just her attitude made me want to read her work and I am not disappointed.  Anyone who knows me knows how cheap I am but I actually got online and purchased this book so I could read it.  And I enjoyed it.  E.L. Pearson’s use of words is almost poetic and the plot of this novel is really a great idea.  There might be a little too many adjectives but not enough to distract from the work.  It’s a fast moving, edgy novel that has a faith imprint and, I liked it…oh, I said that already!  Good work E.L. Pearson. 

Thanks:  E.L. Pearson for writing this novel and I hope to read lots more from you in the future


Book Review:  Mexico Got Lucky
Author:  Rico Austin
Publisher:  Light Switch Press

Review:  I’ve read some of Rico Austin’s work.  He writes an entertaining read.  This book is a little different than the usual as it’s mostly a compilation of texts and e-messages about a lost dog and the love of that dog from his human and human friends.  The dogs name?  Well, it’s in the title as is the place he was lost.  It’s a mystery sort with an excellent rendition of how the use of technology can get things done.   I like animals, I do, and our family had a couple of dogs who loved me but I’m not a dog lover.  This is a true story of people who are and it shows in the work.  Good job Rico Austin! 

Thanks:  Rico Austin for the book. is a You Tube video about this story.


Book Review:  The Red Umbrella
Author:  Christine Diaz Gonzalez
Publisher:  Yearling Books/Random House

Review:  With some restrictions lifted by USA on Cuba, and my curiosity to visit renewed because of that, I look up, read, investigate, a lot of Cuban stuff though I can't see myself visiting for quite a while because I'm planning Europe first.  This book opened a door to life in Cuba so many years ago.  Culture, history and what families experienced is highlighted in this novel.   The inside back cover says, “…Gonzales based this powerful novel on the experiences of her parents, and of the over 14000 other unaccompanied minors who came to the United States to escape Castro’s regime in a program known as Operation Pedro Pan…”   
Seems to me that the message is as current today with what’s going on as it was back during the Cuban Crisis.   Reading this made me hope that governing bodies and people remember the importance of things that can happen without charity, tolerance and faith.  Like my oldest daughter said, “If I was living in a torn country and my choice was to flee with my children, you’re damn right I would do whatever it took to get my family out of there.” 
The Red Umbrella is a well written, interesting and good reminder.  

Thanks:   My mom said, “Annette, you have to read this book it was so good.”   Thanks, mom,  for the suggestion. 


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