Southern Fiber Reads

Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Crazy For Books. Head on over for some great reads!

This week’s question comes from Barb who blogs at Sugarbeat’s Books:

Why do you read the genre that you do? What draws you to it?

I’ve never considered myself a genre reader. I read too many genres to count! I enjoy nonfiction books, because I enjoy learning about History (especially!) and the world around me. I love England, especially the Regency area, so I enjoy reading Regency fiction as well. It’s one time period I would like to visit. I have spent a good deal of time in Montana, so I enjoy frontier fiction as well. This is an area and era I can relate to, as I have pioneered missions in the area, much like the westward venturers went into lands unknown to build their lives. I also enjoy Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I always have. This is a genre I love to watch, and I love to read about it more.

So that’s me. I can’t pick one genre, and I love several for several different reasons!

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For Ginny Dent Brandt, growing up in Washington, DC in th1950’s and 1960’s meant an inside glimpse into how our nation’s capital works.  Ginny went sledding with senators, rolled eggs on the White House lawn, and often went to work with her father, Harry Dent.

Yes, that Harry Dent.  In Ginny Dent Brandt’s book Finding True Freedom:  From the White House to the World, Brandt tells us what it’s like to grow up in Washington, and she tells us about everything her father accomplished during his time there. One of President Nixon’s “Inner Circle”, Dent helped shape Southern Politics as we know it today, and was among those thrust into the limelight during the Watergate Scandal.  The Watergate Scandal devastated not only Harry Dent, but his entire family.

This book isn’t all about Watergate, however, but it does offer a truthful look at how everything really went down.  No, this book isn’t about Watergate, really – it’s about a father and daughter.  Growing up the daughter of an influential Washington, DC assistant and advisor, Ginny learned to rely on her faith and belief in Jesus Christ as her unchanging foundation in life.  Though her father did not immediately care for her faith, he eventually found the heart of Christ as well.  Harry Dent’s newfound love for Jesus Christ, along with his political influence, lead him to the Republic of Romania where he is able to share not only political knowledge, but – more importantly – the message of God’s unyielding love through Jesus Christ.

I grew up with Ginny Brandt as my elementary school guidance counselor.  She helped me through difficult times in my own childhood.  Her mission work with her father in Romania also put her in contact with my childhood Pastor.  I didn’t know the extent of her father’s influence in Washington until I read this book.  Her own experiences in Washington, along with knowledge of what her father accomplished during his time in Washington, offer insights into Washington politics that I had never known about.  This book was a true joy to read!  I got to learn more about Washington, DC, a topic of great interest to me.   I got to learn more about a woman I have admired for years.  I also learned more about my walk with Christ than I have in a long time.  Pick up this books and read it, please!  You will not be disappointed.

Thank you, Mrs. Brandt, for writing this book!  You have touched my life in a special way, and through this book, you are able to touch the lives of countless others.  I feel blessed to call you friend.

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Christian Literature Crusade (September 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936143097
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936143092

I know, I know, my last update was December 27, and I’m sorry.  We had a week of family in town that was slam-packed with shopping and eating and hanging out.  I had a week getting back into the work (and homework for my eight year old) routine.  Then we had a week of snow!

I have read two books in the past three weeks, though, so watch out – this weekend you will get two book reviews!  Happy Reading, everyone!

Well, it’s finally been one full week and weekend since I have gotten back into Book Review Blogging.  I have been busy networking with authors and publishers, getting my blog back up and running, and switching to Blogspot.  I have also been helping my husband (who works full time) do some of the legwork needed for him to get back into Book Review Blogging.

Not to mention we’ve had Christmas!  We had an awesome Christmas, and savored every minute we spent with our families.  I have family coming in today, and we still have yet to see some of my family – we’ll see them Thursday – so the festivities continue for us!

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I got back into the swing of blogging, but 13 books in a week wasn’t it.  The last time I did this, I received four books within one month.  I must be doing something right this time, for I have more than tripled the amount of books I received, and I got them all within a week!  Wow!!!  The one book I am most looking forward to I didn’t receive in the mail, however.  My mother gave me a book I have been desperately wanting to read.  It was written by my Elementary guidance counselor Ginny Dent Brant.  The name of the book is Finding True Freedom:  From the White House to the World.  She gave this to me on Christmas Day, and I absolutely cannot wait to read this book!  I will be reading it and reviewing it before I move on to the other books I will be reviewing.

Here is the list of books I received in the mail this week:

I cannot wait to get started on all these books!  I am going to try and read them in the order which they were received, but I am making a special exception for the book by my friend, given to me by my mom on Christmas.  Look for the reviews of these books soon

Here is a roundup of the three book challenges I will be participating in for 2011.  I am so looking forward to sharing my progress with you and connecting with other book reviewers through these challenges!  I had originally decided on two challenges, but I just stumbled upon a third challenge that I am very excited about!  Here are the three challenges with links to the hosts’ websites:

The Rules:

1. Create a post for the challenge using the image above and link back to this post.
–Non-Bloggers: You are welcome to join too. Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post.

2. Sign up with the Mr. Linky.
–Link to your challenge post when you sign up please.

3. The goal of this challenge is to read AT LEAST 12 novels that are Christian based fiction between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011. Books read before January 1, 2011 do NOT count towards the challenge.

4. Audio, eBooks, paper all count. Re-reads are ok but try to keep them to a minimum. Cross overs from other challenges are ok.

5. There is no need to create your list now. Please feel free to use your challenge post to keep track of your titles if you so desire.  **Hosted by Book Junkie**

DETAILS:

1. The goal is to read 100 or more books. Anyone can join. You don’t need a blog to participate. Posting on GoodReads or wherever you post your reviews is good enough.

2. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Manga, Graphic Novels, Library books, Novellas, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts.

What doesn’t count: Individual short stories or individual books in the Bible.

3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2011. Books started before the 1st do not count. You can join at anytime.

6. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, put the direct link to your post where your books will be listed. Include the URL to this post so that other viewers can find this fun challenge. If you’d prefer to put your list in the sidebar of your blog, please leave your viewers the link to the sign up page. Again, so viewers can join the challenge too.  **Hosted by My Overstuffed Bookshelf**

War Through the Generation‘s 2011 reading challenge will be the U.S. Civil War.  The challenge will run from January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011.

Rules:

This year you have options when reading your fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, etc. with the U.S. Civil War as the primary or secondary theme.

Books can take place before, during, or after the war.  Books from other challenges count so long as they meet the above criteria.

Dip: Read 3-5 books in any genre with the U.S. Civil War as a primary or secondary theme.

Wade: Read 6-10 books in any genre with the U.S. Civil War as a primary or secondary theme.

Swim: Read 11 or more books in any genre with the U.S. Civil War as a primary or secondary theme.

Additionally, we’ve decided that since there are so many great movies out there about U.S. Civil War, that you can substitute or add a movie or two to your list this year and have it count toward your totals.  We nabbed this idea from a few challenges in 2009, particularly The Everything Austen Challenge at Stephanies’s Written Word.  **Hosted by War Through the Generations**

South Africa, 1989.  Apartheid.  One of the darkest moments in the history of humanity – the minority whites rule over the blacks and coloreds that make up the majority.  Here lies the setting for Kathi Macias’ novel No Greater Love, the first installment in her Extreme Devotion series.

Chioma, a servant for an Afrikaner family, finds herself struggling with her feelings for Andrew, the white son of the master of the farm.  Andrew also tries to fight the feelings he feels growing inside himself for Chioma.  Orphaned for four years when her parents, ANC supporters, were killed, Chioma has seen her share of tragedy and injustice.  Chioma has suffered as a part of the system of Apartheid her entire life, and finds it impossible to trust any white man and – more so – their God.  Andrew, living a life of privilege as the son of an Afrikan farmer, also tries to understand the meaning and scope of the Apartheid system his father holds allegiance to.  Andrew and Chioma’s lives become intertwined and tragedy surfaces yet again, making a martyr out of the most unlikely person.  Chioma then finds herself torn between fighting for her cause and learning how to forgive.

In this story, Macias explores the depth of Apartheid and the effects this system of government had not only on the blacks and coloreds, but also on the whites that wielded power and control for decades.  Throughout the story, the characters try to justify their actions and beliefs as they relate to those of the races opposite from their own.  Introspection and circumstance even force some to question how God feels about the system of Apartheid that has come to be their culture and way of life.

In this truthful glimpse into a world so many still do not understand, God’s love and forgiveness, as well as His desire for equality and love for all mankind, are illustrated even more beautifully than the pictures of the South African countryside painted in words by Macias.  In a culture driven by evil, hate, and separation, Macias shows that God can break down barriers that man alone cannot.

I must admit that I ate up this story!  My father traveled to South Africa as a missionary during the years of Apartheid, and I remember growing up hearing his stories of racial segregation that plagued this beautiful country for years.  I also have a deep love for Africa as a continent, and pray daily for His word to be heard and believed by all who call Africa their home.  For this reason, I have a special attachment to this novel.  I had no idea how much I would enjoy this novel, but I can tell you honestly that it’s one of the best stories and most well-written that I have read in a long time.  I highly recommend you pick up this novel and discover for yourself not only what Apartheid meant to the people of South Africa, but what God’s grace and power can do in the most impossible of events.

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: New Hope Publishers (April 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596692774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596692770

**Legal Necessities:  I received this book for free from Kathi Macias.

I have discovered something I haven’t noticed before on other book blogs:  Reading Challenges!  The goal is to read the suggested number of books for the challenge’s theme between January 1 and December 31, 2011.  This year I have decided to participate in two challenges that should still allow me to review books for the authors and publishers I have networked with.

The first challenge I will be participating in is the War Through the Generations Reading  Challenge.  This year the focus is Civil War literature.  As my friends and family know, I have a great love for Wartime literature and films, and the history of warfare.  I get this from my Dad (Hi, Daddy, love you! :D)  I am looking at reading 9 to 11 books that pertain to the Civil War.  Here is information pertaining to the challenge from the host blog:

War Through the Generation‘s 2011 reading challenge will be the U.S. Civil War.  The challenge will run from January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011.

Rules:

This year you have options when reading your fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, etc. with the U.S. Civil War as the primary or secondary theme.

Books can take place before, during, or after the war.  Books from other challenges count so long as they meet the above criteria.

Dip: Read 3-5 books in any genre with the U.S. Civil War as a primary or secondary theme.

Wade: Read 6-10 books in any genre with the U.S. Civil War as a primary or secondary theme.

Swim: Read 11 or more books in any genre with the U.S. Civil War as a primary or secondary theme.

Additionally, we’ve decided that since there are so many great movies out there about U.S. Civil War, that you can substitute or add a movie or two to your list this year and have it count toward your totals.  We nabbed this idea from a few challenges in 2009, particularly The Everything Austen Challenge at Stephanies’s Written Word.

I am looking forward to this challenge!  Check back on Sunday for the other challenge I have chosen to participate in.  I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas, and remember – JESUS is why we have Christmas!  Thanks to His birth, we can have eternal life in Heaven with God the Father.  Merry, Merry Christmas!

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FCC DISCLAIMER

The books on this blog have been sent to me directly by either the publisher or the author. I paid nothing for these books. I received them free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I received the books only - no monetary compensation was given or received by either me nor the author or publisher. The copies I review are considered review copies or Advance Reader Copies. I will note in each post if I received a copy of the book for free from either the publisher or the author. If no such notation is made, then I purchased the book myself, was given a copy of the book by someone I know, or I checked out a copy from my local library. I am displaying this disclaimer in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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