Saturday, April 30, 2016

Hope in the Land by Olivia Newport

I enjoyed this book about the Depression Era in the United States in a community with Amish and non-Amish.  It was interesting to see the two neighbors as they worked through their troubles during this period.  An agent, Henry, comes to make a report on both production and consumption and it is interesting to see the production of all needed home products and foods that the Amish family did on their own.  This kind of self-sufficiency is very admirable.

I thought perhaps the book started out a bit slow but then it might be fitting for the time period and lifestyles that were depicted in this era.  As the book progressed I was able to develop an understanding of the characters and their various predicaments.  It was a good read.

I have not read the works of this author previous to this but feel I would probably enjoy other books she has written.

I received an ebook copy of this book from NetGalley for review.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Passed and Present by Allison Gilbert

I was given this book as a gift from a friend.  I have just lost a parent recently and this book gave ideas as to how to keep memories close by of those you lost with projects such as a tie quilt, etc.  The projects sounded interesting, but I would have loved to have seen some photos of examples of the projects.

Also for the easier do-it-yourself projects, perhaps directions as to how to do the projects for the less artsy-craftsy types, such as myself.  It had some projects I would like to try, now to figure out how to do them.  There were a couple I won't be doing, the "medium" and the "tattoo" remembrance.  But as for using their items that they collected throughout the life, those type of mementos would be nice to have around and see often in a nicely displayed way.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

This Side of Heaven

This latest by Diane Dean White is another of her great stories and starts as Darlene and her children find their way to the South to escape an abusive relationship.  Trying to keep her past in the past and hidden from the view of others, she meets Brett and a new road leads her to a new life as they merge their lives together.  A book of trust in the paths God has laid out for us on our life's journey, you will be drawn in by the characters, their lives and their experiences.

Darlene, a northerner, finds her life in the South can be a learning experience, as she tries to overcome her anxieties and trials.  This book has romance, mystery all written with Christian values. That is what I look for in a book these days and it fits the bill. I am sure you will enjoy this book as much as I did.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Amish Sweethearts by Leslie Gould

Amish Sweethearts was book 2 in the Neighbors of Lancaster County.  Unfortunately, I didn't read book 1, but I did get to read book 2.  This contemporary Amish story is set in the year 2010 which is a time period we can all relate to, of course.  I did feel that it was great as a stand alone novel sans book 1 as well.

The story of Lila and Zane was very interesting and has kept me quickly reading and hating to put the book down.  Zane is "Englisch" and Lila is Amish.  They have feelings towards one another but realize those feelings shouldn't and couldn't come to much because of Lila's faith in her religion, her loyalty to family and the fact that she was already baptized into the church.

As a result Zane signs up for the military and leaves Lila who was being courted by Amish man Reuben, much to the happiness of her family.  But was she happy?

The book is really good.  I enjoyed it so much.  Definitely an A+ for this one.  It is the first book of this author that I have read.  Will be reading more!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Emma's Prayer by R.A. Giggie

Emma's Prayer was the first book by R.A. Giggie that I have read.  I won this in a contest.  It was a really nice book and I consider myself to be lucky to have won it.

It was a clean, Christian read that was about a 17 year old girl, Emma or Emi as she is called throughout the book, who chose to give away her baby and comes to regret her choice.  She ends up regretting yet another bad choice she makes, as well.  But I won't create a spoiler in telling what she does.

I enjoyed the book a lot and the characters were all good people who didn't always have good things happening to them.  Occasionally I thought perhaps the chances of some of the events happening seemed a bit unlikely, but all in all it was a good read and I think most reader's of Christian themed books will enjoy this.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Jews of Posen Province in the Nineteenth Century by Edward David Luft

The Jews of Posen Province in the Nineteenth Century by Edward David Luft
The Jews of Posen Province in the Nineteenth Century
A Selective Source Book, Research Guide, and Supplement to The Naturlized Jews of the Grand Duchy of Posen in 1834 and 1835. By Edward David Luft.

This well-written book published in 2015 is the perfect source for the Jewish genealogical researcher trying to find family roots in the the former Prussian Province of Posen.  The provincial capital, Posen, now Poznań in Polish, is a major city in western Poland, but the Prussian province which once existed is no longer called by the name Posen but rather Wielkopolska.

Some of the information given in this book includes the following topics:

Mormon (LDS) microfilmed records of Posen, website resources and German archival and other unpublished sources.  It discusses materials that are in Polish archives for this former Prussian territory.  It shares Israeli archive sources, Posen city directories, as well as lists of Posen Jewish high school graduates.

The book contains an immense bibliography, which shares amazing sources that are bound to be highly useful for the genealogical researcher. This book, including the bibliography, includes 1,990 pages of useful information, giving the researcher many avenues in which to continue searching for ancestors.

The book shares the interesting and difficult history of this area including the pre-partition history of the Jews. (Pre-1772).  In 1834 the Jewish population was given as being between 5.5%-6.5%, as indicated in different sources.  The author goes into great detail in the breakdown of the number of inhabitants, occupations, school children and teachers, as well as vacant teaching positions.

In his select  bibliography, you will find lists of names and birth dates of Jews from Posen, and known information regarding their fates during the Holocaust.  The author also includes Jews born in Posen Province who died in locations outside Posen Province, such as in Breslau.

For those interested in the Jews of Poland, whether for genealogical research or otherwise, this is a great go-to resource to help you break down those brick walls.  I highly recommend this book, which can be found online with free access at in item 1.

About the Author:
The author’s short biography and full bibliography appear at this link.
The author has presented a talk in the African and Middle Eastern Reading Room of the Library of Congress as indicated by the above image.

The photos below were taken at the time of his presentation by Levon Avdoyan, Armenian and Georgian Specialist in the African and Middle Eastern Reading Room.

Photo courtesy of Levon Avdoyan©

Photo courtesy of Levon Avdoyan©
Photo courtesy of Levon Avdoyan©

 Photo courtesy of Levon Avdoyan©

About the Author
The author’s short biography and full bibliography
appear at

Monday, April 4, 2016

Shadows in My Room & What's That Noise? by Linda Weaver Clarke

This was a cute Audible book that I recently listened to.  The stories last a total of about 18 minutes in length' and are stories of mother's comforting their girl's bedtime fears.  I read other reviews which mentioned that there were pictures, however, I only saw the cover picture in my Audible version, unless my phone app was not working properly, which is certainly possible.

The narrator was Heidi Allred.  It was a sweet book which I think that my grandkids would enjoy.  It is written for younger children and shows the trust between mother and child.  Very nice job.

Small-Town Summer Brides by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, Pam Hillman, Maureen Lang, Amy Lillard

This book by four great authors tells four stories, each of a historical nature and of Romance which starts in small towns.  This was actually book 2 in the series, and I have not read book 1.  But I don't think that it would be necessary to do that as each story is unique and not part of a series to the best of my knowledge.

I enjoyed each novella and liked the stories very much.  Having grown up in a very small midwestern town, it was easy to relate to.  These are sweet stories and can be recommended for any age group.

I enjoyed them.  Hope to read more from these writers in the future.

Fundstücke Dokumente und Briefe einer preussischen Bauernfamilie 1747-1953

This is a bit different from most reviews I have written.  It is actually written in the Germany language, which I know because I am from Germany and because I do genealogy.  I got a tip about this book because it is about the Zander family which is a family that I descend from in the area of a town called Nitzahn.

It is a compilation of documents found in an attic and published in this book about the dealings of this family through time.  It is not a book that you can just sit down and read, such as a novel or similar, but if you are interested in the family history of Zanders, it is a good source.  I am happy that I was able to get a copy and as time passes will study it more fully as to my Zanders.  I am happy to learn more about them.

Amazed By Grace by Sheri Dew

This book was a gift to me at the time of my father's passing recently.  I read it today, probably in about 1/2 hour of time, one of the best 1/2 hours I have spent in a while.

This book, by remarkable speaker, Sheri Dew, gives us insight into God's ever-abiding love and grace for us.  It comforts you and reminds us of the purpose of the Atonement and how this gift of grace comes to us through this wonderful blessing.  Although a short book in length, it is profound and full of a powerful message to the reader and for me a special heartfelt gift from friends.

Beautifully written.