Posts Tagged With: Hike Books Forward

Hike Books Forward – September 9

This week I have highlight two audiobooks. Both were published in 2018, One is a fun middle-grade fantasy novel, the other is a reflective adult novel placed in the context of heaven.

Granted – John David Anderson 2018

This middle-grade fantasy novel is a quick and easy read (listen). It is a cute story of a fairy (a granter-in-training), Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets, who finally receives an assignment to grant her first wish. In order to do so, she must make a personal connection with the request, sprinkle some fairy dust, and declare the wish granted. Her assignment was a wish that was made on a coin thrown into a fountain by a young girl, but the task of finding the coin was not as easy as Ophelia thought it might be. The excitement and the acts of adventure surrounding the completion of this wish-granting task are creatively communicated by the author (John David Anderson) and made for an enjoyable read (thanks in part to the narrator of the audiobook, Cassandra Morris). Some of the characters and situations were a little dull for me but Sam saved the story and made the book well worth the time.

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven – (The Five People You Meet in Heaven #2) – Mitch Albom (author and narrator) 2018

This short book is an intriguing follow-up to the bestseller, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom. This novel takes place 15 literary years after the original setting. In the first offering, Eddie dies saving the life of a young girl, Annie, at an amusement park and encounters five people as he enters heaven that have shaped his life experiences and provide meaning for his days on earth. Now, this book tells Annie’s story.

The accident that took Eddie’s life also greatly impacted Annie. It severed her left hand, which needed to be surgically reattached. Her daily experience was altered by her guilt-ridden mother and the bullies that made up her young life. Only one boy seemed to have compassion and understand but he moved away leaving despair and unhappiness. But as a young woman, Paulo reconnects with her, and the book opens on Paulo and Annie’s wedding day. Then, another unbelievable accident occurs, and Annie must face the realities of the past.

This is not a Christian book written from an evangelical perspective, but the sovereign hand of God in relationships and circumstances is easy to see between the lines. I don’t think the book is meant to be a theological treatise on heaven, but I appreciated the connections of the characters and the impact that people have on people.

Book covers found at Goodread.com

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Hike Books Forward – July 13

Let me highlight two excellent books that were part of my week. The first is a young adult novel that takes the reader to Lithuania. The second is a medical-oriented novel exploring the recovery of an accident victim.

Words on Fire

The young protagonist, Audra, lives in a quiet farm in Lithuania. But the quiet farm is not a safe farm community. Under the control of the patrolling Cossack soldiers, Russia poses a dangerous threat. Audra turns out to be a strong, brave patriot determined to help save her country’s sense of identity and history. The Russian government has ordered that the Lithuanian books, religion, culture, and even the language be eliminated from the country and all Lithuanians become Russians. Audra will be called upon to help resist such an assassination of her culture.

Her mother and father have sheltered their daughter from some of the realities of the cultural assassination, but the book quickly brings these conflicts to the surface. Audra is faced with many decisions that will determine her stand in the midst of conflict.   

This young adult novel is worth a read. It is filled with adventure, quick thinking, loyalty, mixed with some tricks and a dose of problem solving.

Left Neglected

Sarah Nickerson experiences a traumatic brain disorder called “left neglect.” One morning while racing to work, Sara is distracted by her cell phone, glances away for just a second or two, and finds herself in the hospital.  She discovers that she is unaware of everything on her left side. And now must retrain her mind to perceive the world as a whole.

This novel is written by Lisa Genova, a graduate from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University. With this remarkable background, the author has the ability to paint the picture with realism and a medical foundation that allows the portrait to come alive with stark believism.  

This book is such an excellent read. I was not aware that Left Neglect even existed. The brain is such an amazing entity. This novel reads like a memoir and has all the rings of truth. Genova writes with the lightness of humor and the stress of tragedy as she spans the gamut of emotions experienced in this accidental injury. I would highly recommend this book for its honest approach and hopeful outlook on overcoming adversity.

Book covers found at Goodreads.com

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Hike Books Forward

I have been listening to several audiobooks as I walk around the neighborhood. I have been rather disappointed in some of my choices recently, but I wanted to highlight two that I found particularly good. One is an historical account of the dropping of the atomic bomb; the other is a Christian mystery novel.

Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the 116 Days that Changed the World

by Chris Wallace, Mitch Weiss

This wonderfully researched and powerfully written book was read by the author and veteran journalist, Chris Wallace.  This historical account chronicles the events leading up to the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan. It provides an insightful look into the many perspectives of this controversial decision that ended World War 2. I did not realize the role thrust upon Harry Truman in a series of events starting with the sudden death of FDR and the abrupt beginning of Turman’s presidency. This book covers the 116 days from the death of President Roosevelt (4/12/1945) to the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. I am not a great history buff, but I found this account to be both intriguing and sobering.

Countdown 1945 is an insightful narrative of the public and covert meetings of national and international leaders as well as the political movements that took place in the United States and around the world during the volatile times of the spring and summer of 1945.

This powerful account takes readers inside the minds of major players like Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, generals Eisenhower and Marshall, and of course Harry Truman. The book also provides insights from little known names (at least to me) like Ruth Sisson from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, pilot Paul Tibbets, and Hiroshima resident, Hideko Tamura.  

Evidence of Mercy (Sun Coast Chronicles #1)

By Terri Blackstock

I have been enjoying a number of novels by Terri Blackstock in recent days. This novel is another excellent mystery written from a Christian worldview. Protagonist, Lynda Barrett is a young lawyer who desires to sell her personal airplane and egotistical Jake Stevens is just the man to buy it. However, the test flight results in consequences that takes the reader into the shadows of crime and suspense.

This novel is a love story. but it is filled with action and mystery. Murder, intimidation, and fear are the building blocks for this story of healing, protection, and restoration. No spoilers here, just an invitation and recommendation to read or listen to this story for yourself. This title is Book One in the Sun Coast Chronicles. I will be reading others in this series soon.

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