December 31, 2011

"Good Reads"

I've read so many great books this year! Some of them were entirely new to me, while a few others are old favorites. I can't get enough of good fiction that makes me think (as a writer), and I'm trying to invite new "reads" to my extensive book list. The last two you'll see below here are nonfiction as well as amazing first-timers I would in no way be sorry to read again!

    ~The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale~
This is my favorite novel of all time! Based on ideas derived from a fairytale by the Brothers Grimm, it is about a princess who does not seem fit for royalty --- she is a klutz, is very shy, and does not have any close friends.
    Ani, as she is called, is sent away by her sixteenth birthday to marry a prince in the neighboring kingdom in order to gain peace concerning a dispute over some unclaimed land. She is sent from one adventure to the next: falsely accused, sought out by a murderer, and now very far away from all familiarity and everything she once held dear.
    This is a tale of magic, destiny, hope, and love. It is technically part of a series called the Books of Bayern, but is so fantastic, so original, so classic, that it is perfectly wonderful just on its own. I have personally read it four times, own a hardcover copy because my mom sweetly gave it to me, and am going to continue to read it over and over again!

    ~Enna Burning, by Shannon Hale~
This is the second of the Books of Bayern. Its protagonist was Princess Ani's new friend, Enna, a forest girl who loses her brother to some mysterious obsession with fire.
    I found this book to be intriguing at a high degree, just as magical if not more than The Goose Girl, although a little more predictable. The ending did, however, catch me by surprise, and although it was not exactly my favorite book, it was very exciting and full of inspiration. Actually, I liked it a lot!

    ~The Frog Princess, by E. D. Baker~
Ever heard of those stories where girls would kiss a frog so that they would turn into a twist? Well, this story is told a little differently. This is the book on which they based the Disney movie "The Princess and the Frog". When Princess Emeralda finds a frog in the swamp who claims to be a prince, she agrees reluctantly to kiss him and turn him back. But when she does, something altogether unexpected and frighteningly wrong happens; she herself turns into a frog!
     I loved this tale, although it was obviously written for a younger generation. It made me think about magical possibilities, and I love books that do that! Now here's the most interesting part: I found it on the shelf because I liked the cover! I believe that today, one really can judge a book by this method!

    ~Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J. K. Rowling~
After seeing all of the movies repeatedly, I finally decided to sit down with this and see the magic from J. K Rowling's personal perspective. I really loved it! The style of writing was easy to read --- I believe the first one was meant for younger children --- and having enjoyed the movies already, the excitement of the ending had me captured. (Also, I tried to read much of it aloud according to the way the actors sounded in the movie.) I plan on reading the rest of the series --- that is, as soon as I've finished off some of the other books on my ever-increasing reading list.... ;)
    Favorite quote: "There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them."

    ~The Healer's Apprentice, by Melanie Dickerson~
I had hardly any idea what to expect from this novel when I first picked it up. I learned of it from Sarah Elizabeth, the brilliant writer behind oh, restless bird (formerly Daughter of the King). From her, I understood that it was a retelling of the famous Sleeping Beauty tale. The truth is, it wasn't what I expected. It was even better! I had no idea it was written by a Christian woman, and was delighted to read a fairytale that honored my God.
    I loved how realistic and believable all of the characters were, and especially how they made their decisions based on what was right and not on what they felt. It was truly inspiring, intriguing, and it has been put high up on my favorites list. Really, this is one that I would love to own and read a hundred times!

    ~The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom, with John and Elizabeth Sherrill~ 
This is the true story of the Christian heroine, Corrie ten Boom, who experienced the effects of the German invasion of Holland. She and her whole family, along with many friends, were put in prison for helping or showing kindness toward Jews. The book is an account of the fearful trials she endured, as well as the grace which God showed her throughout all of her struggles.
    This is a book which I would recommend to anyone --- it is not only touching, but inspiring; inspiring to live for Christ in such a way that not even persecution and death can destroy hope of something far greater than mere  freedom --- a life with God in heaven.
    This is my favorite quote: "There are no 'if's' in God's world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety---" -Betsie ten Boom

    ~Hope Rising, by Kim Meeder~
This book was incredible. It's the first horse story I've ever read where there isn't utter selfishness or rebellion, where there is faith in God, and where everything that happens is completely true and not a work of dramatic fiction.
     And it is so beautiful!
    There is an astonishing, delightful number of secret metaphors in this book, so sweetly flowing with the rhythm of each short account, so that one nearly misses them altogether. This book gives the reader hope and clearly shows us the fact that with God, all things are possible; that miracles do happen; and that dreams really do come true. ♥

God bless and Happy New Year!


  1. Love the Books of Bayern, E.D. Baker and Melanie Dickerson :) Happy New Year! Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Cause You Are!)

  2. Me too (obviously)! ;) Thank you for sharing ♥


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