Timothy E. Parker’s The Official Bible Brilliant Trivia Book: Questions, Puzzles, and Quizzes from Genesis to Revelations.

I received this book for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: How well do you know your Bible? Do you believe that you never know enough? Or do you believe that you could pass a test if God Almighty quizzed you Himself? This book ought to have a little to challenge you. (It may even deflate a few egos on the way.)

Story Telling: We get quizzes, crosswords, seek and finds, and more in this book of puzzles.

Likes: I get that there was a lot of Scripture being quoted, and this was the only legal way of going about it–as it is the only Bible in the public domain–, but I’m tickled by the fact Mr. Parker used the King James Version throughout this book.

Dislikes: My only problem is Cain’s crime. Unless Cain picked up a foreign object, his slaying of Abel isn’t murder, as he didn’t lie in wait for his brother.

Favorite Puzzles: The crosswords and seek and finds are my favorites.

Favorite Quote: Mr. Parker quotes Mr. John D. Rockefeller here: “There is nothing in this world that can compare with the Christian fellowship, nothing that can satisfy but Christ.”

Conclusion: This is a fun book. Challenge you loved ones with it. May it encourage a better understanding of the Bible. Oh, and read the whole chapter that shows up in the crossword hints, it’ll make things easier that way.

Barbara Venkataraman’s Teatime With Mrs. Grammar Person

I received this book courtesy of Ms. Venkataraman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Mrs. Grammar Person is here to help you find the best way to get your point across. Are you willing to hear her out?

Story Telling: This is a grammar book, yet it’s one that teaches through stories, that I found pleasant.

Likes: Okay, you remember the last grammar book I reviewed? Well thankfully, this one does not follow the ‘always so-and-so and I’ rule. The book is easy to read and fun enough to stick with you.

Favorite Essay: There are so many but I think I’ll go with “Mrs. Grammar Person.”

Conclusion: This is a book that I would advise anyone who wants to strengthen their writing to pick up.

Barbara Venkataraman’s A Trip to the Hardware Store and Other Calamities

I received this book courtesy of Ms. Venkataraman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: How many messes can a person get him or herself into? Ms. Venkataraman intends to show us in this collection.

Story Telling: We have a collection of essays. Some are humorous, and others need either a keg of beer, or a salt mine to buy the premise.

Likes: Ms. Venkataranan’s dad seems like he tried his hardest. Too bad nobody thought of “how to books,” or to Google it.

Dislikes: If I had Ms. Venkataraman friends and dinner party would involve pot luck. There is no way I’d add that much stress to dinner, ever!

Favorite Essay: It would be the accomplishment of “A Trip to the Hardware Store.

Conclusion: This was a fun read but I don’t get the sisters’ financial math.

Marci and Elle Fair’s The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant-Ellie’s Fun Day at the Farm

I received the book courtesy of Ms. and Miss Fair for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Ellie and Pudgie are on their way to a new adventure. What is it like on a farm? And will they make any new friends?

Story Telling: We have a scrapbook style picture book here.

Likes: We’ve kept the scrapbook idea and this time we get the addition of an activity section.

Dislikes: The only problem, that I could see, is the answers keys are too easy to use.

Favorite Character: It’s Pudgie even if her puns are awful.

Conclusion: This was a fun book. Enjoy it with your little farmers.

John Matthews’s Henry Hunter and the Snagov Beast-Henry Hunter 1

I received this book for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Adolphus Pringle hasn’t truly known a relatively normal day since he befriended Henry Hunter. It doesn’t matter what’s going on at school, Henry is liable to drag, albeit a willing, Dolf along for the trek for whatever he is hunting at the time. On this trip, Henry has heard of a monster that would make the fabled Count Dracula shake. Will they find this monster as a fable? Or more from the unique viewpoint of an entrée?

Story Telling: We get a middle-grade adventure novel. As with many children’s adventure stories, there’s a touch of the fantastical running through it.

Likes: Henry has a pretty open mind. He is always looking for the next unknown item or creature. Dolf has a loyal heart. He does helps out the best he knows how.

Bella shows a type of family-oriented repentance.

Dislikes: Henry’s parents may have felt a sense of monetary responsibility (what ever that means)–or as the books calls it ‘a bad attack of responsibility’–but where was their parental responsibility? Is the phrase ‘monetary responsibility,’ even the way it’s put in the book, a code for feeling guilty for being rich? Because, the way that the family made their billions is no reason to feel guilty.

And I get why Bella lied, I just don’t agree with it.

Oh, and has The Order of the Dragon never read or watched any scary stories? Don’t they know that worshipping anything, other than the Creator of heaven and earth, ends badly?

Favorite Character: It would be Dolf.

Favorite Quote: Unfortunately, I’ve been requested to not quote from my copy this time around.

Favorite Scene: I enjoyed the sneaking around in Whitby.

Conclusion: This was a fun and cute book. Enjoy it with your hunters, though I don’t advise them to put much stock into the tabloid articles.

Barbara Venkataraman’s Peril in the Park-A Jamie Quinn Mystery 3

I received this book courtesy of Ms. Venkataraman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Jamie’s picture-perfect life is starting to show some cracks. Her boyfriend, Kip, is having trouble with the rest of the Broward County Parks Division. Her father’s visa application is hung up in the bureaucracy of INS. And now she’s getting threatening messages. Who is following her and Kip around on their dates? Does it have anything to do with the body found in the park hosting Ren-Fest? And will her Daddy ever get to America?

Story Telling: And we’re back to a cozy mystery.

Likes: Duke is back. And he has a newish girlfriend.

Kip strongly advocated getting both sides of the story before making any decision. I like his style.

Dislikes: Jamie did jump to a lot of conclusions this time around. It was very different from the previous books.

And I felt the wrong woman was portrayed as the bad guy during Jamie’s meeting with Duke’s newest girlfriend. After all, she is his friend.

Favorite Character: It’s Duke, or Kip.

Favorite Quote ““Thanks for everything, Duke, you’re the bomb!”
“Course I am,” he said. “Assumin’ that’s a good thing.””

Favorite Scene: It’s Ren-Fest. How could I resist Pirate Duke? Really, how could anyone?

Conclusion: This book, while still good, wasn’t as fun as the others were. Perhaps it’s a matter of tastes, or politics?

Samantha Seneviratne’s Gluten-Free For Good-Simple, Wholesome Recipes Made From Scratch

I received this book for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Gluten-free seems to be quite popular these days. So, how do you fix meals when one or more of the family members has a hard time with wheat? Ms. Seneviratne says she has your solution.

Story Telling: We get a cookbook, complete with photos and tips.

Likes: It’s nice to see the replacement guide so close to the front of the book.

Also, we get a large range of recipes, from soups to breakfasts, and dinners to desserts.

Dislikes: My major problem comes from the photo accompanying “Braised Vegetable Ragout.” The photo shows the cherry tomatoes in the ragout with the stems still attached. Now, it may look pretty, but this is a very bad idea. Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family. Eat the edible fruit, but do not mess with the poisonous greens. After all, they are used for pest control.

Favorite Recipes: The pork chops and the two candies are really good.

Conclusion: This is an interesting book. I hope you find it useful.

Barbara Venkataraman’s The Case of the Killer Divorce-A Jamie Quinn Mystery 2

I received this book courtesy of Ms. Venkataraman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Jamie is embroiled in a bitter divorce. Or her client is anyway. Jamie has her hands full with her client and with her private investigation. See, Duke is looking for Jamie’s dad. All of this goes out the window when Becca, Jamie’s client, becomes the prime suspect in a murder case. And who was murdered? Why, Becca’s husband of course. With another murder to investigate, will Jamie ever find her Daddy?

Story Telling: Welcome back to the cozy mystery starring a lawyer.

Likes: Duke is back. And he is still a big flirt.

We get to meet a new character. Kip is Jamie’s former love, and maybe her future one as well. He was fun to run across.

Dislikes: This time it was Becca. I have never had the misfortune of meeting anyone so self-centered, thankfully.

Favorite Character: It’s still Duke, but Grace comes in a close second.

Favorite Quote: Jamie is definitely a fast-thinker. “Of course! I couldn’t have found him without you. You’re the best!”

Favorite Scene: Oh, it’s a toss-up between the horseback riding date, and Jamie’s volunteering at the food bank.

Conclusion: I had fun with this one. Just don’t consider yourself a vegetarian if you eat seafood. After all, all you’ve cut out is the red meat and poultry.

Barbara Venkataraman’s Death By Didgeridoo-A Jamie Quinn Mystery 1

I received this book courtesy of Ms. Venkataraman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Jamie Quinn has been spending the last six months hiding from the outside world…er, trying to gather her thoughts after her mother’s death. A call from her distressed Aunt Peg seems to be just what Jamie needs to come out of her funk. You see, her cousin, Adam, has been implicated in a murder. His music teacher, Spike, was found murdered. The one who found him was Adam. Can Jamie keep Adam out of jail? Or will the killer silence Jamie first?

Story Telling: We get a cozy mystery. Wait a minute, no saying that it can’t be a cozy mystery because Jamie is a lawyer. She practices family law, not criminal.

Likes: Jamie is desperate to make sure justice is served by having the actual killer behind bars.

Grace was able to help Jamie out the best way she could. See, spending some time in criminal law can be beneficial.

Oh, and don’t forget Duke.

Dislikes: Nick, the prosecutor, is my biggest problem. He seemed to want the easy solution. Not the right solution, the easy one. This makes it hard to trust him.

Favorite Character: Oh, Marmaduke Broussard III. Nothing like a Southern flirt. In fact, the only thing better is a Southern gentleman.

Favorite Quote: Here’s one to show you Jamie’s attitude. “There’s one more thing I should tell you, but I don’t like to bring it up. Since I have no choice, I’ll just throw it out there and hope you don’t think less of me, or make assumptions about my honesty or integrity. The truth is…I’m a lawyer.”

Favorite Scene: I’d have to go with Jamie’s meeting with Duke in the bar. That was fun.

Conclusion: This was a fun book. Enjoy it if you like a little humor in your cozies.

Michelle A. M. Lewis’s Why Willow Wept

I received this book for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Willow is one of the youngest trees. She enjoys spending time by her river. So what happens when Willow begins weeping? Let’s find out.

Story Telling: This is written in a similar manner as Aesop’s Fables.

Artwork: The illustrations are quite charming and realistic in a cartoon-ish way.

Likes: The artwork is the real attraction to this book.

Dislikes: I believe this book was trying to point out the importance of perspective. Unfortunately, this did not come out well. Rather than use the donkey’s words to teach a lesson on tact–or even to point out that good intentions can sometimes go wrong–Ms. Lewis blamed Willow for feeling hurt.

What kind of lesson is this for a child? That it doesn’t matter what someone says or does, if your perspective is wrong, then it’s your fault for being offended? Way to go for blaming the victim.

Favorites: I don’t have any this time around.

Conclusion: This is one of the few books that I think nobody should read. If you want the best way to handle perspective, or bullies, use Jesus’ words.