January 26, 2015
5 books on my future reading list
I love history and historical fiction.
Especially when the author has a gift for writing. I haven't read this author before but have heard only great things. And this storyline sounds really intriguing.
Amazon says of the book here:
"The year is 1853, and the Habsburgs are Europe’s most powerful ruling family. With his empire stretching from Austria to Russia, from Germany to Italy, Emperor Franz Joseph is young, rich, and ready to marry.
Fifteen-year-old Elisabeth, “Sisi,” Duchess of Bavaria, travels to the Habsburg Court with her older sister, who is betrothed to the young emperor. But shortly after her arrival at court, Sisi finds herself in an unexpected dilemma: she has inadvertently fallen for and won the heart of her sister’s groom. Franz Joseph reneges on his earlier proposal and declares his intention to marry Sisi instead.
Thrust onto the throne of Europe’s most treacherous imperial court, Sisi upsets political and familial loyalties in her quest to win, and keep, the love of her emperor, her people, and of the world."
*NOTE Sept. 2015: I've now read this book and can not recommend it. It was advertised, by the publisher, as 'Christian fiction' but is far from it. I was blindsided near the end of the book where the author writes a scene glorifying an adulterous affair. Though this is an historical novel and she stays true to the history, the scene was immoral and unnecessary to tell the story. I'm very disappointed in the publishing company for deceiving Christian fiction readers.
I don't usually read this genre of book but I recently saw the movie and found it so thought-provoking.
I was taken aback by what I saw as a very strong pro-life message. I wonder if the author intended this? And did others notice it?
It reminded me of the words of Jesus as He hung on the cross:
"Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34
Amazon describes it here:
"In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy.
Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price."
Ever since I watched 'Roots' as a nine year old girl, I've detested racism.
And I've always believed inter-racial marriage was a beautiful thing orchestrated by God, just like every other marriage.
But that's never been a popular opinion.
When I read what this book was about I was so beyond excited. Someone with the same thoughts as me!
In the preface John Piper says:
"The bloodline of Jesus Christ is deeper than the bloodlines of race. The death and resurrection of the Son of God for sinners is the only sufficient power to bring the bloodlines of race into the single bloodline of the cross."
Powerful words. Needless to say, I can't wait to read this book.
The Butterfly and the Violin
This is one of those novels that goes back and forth in time, from the present to the past. I really love these kinds of books.
And the cover is so beautiful. : )
Amazon says here of the story:
"A Mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz--and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl--a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.
In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover--the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul--who maybe the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject:
Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.
A darling of the Austrian aristocracy of 1942, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.
As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: the grim camps of Auschwitz and the inner recesses of her own troubled heart."
This contains eight short stories of real women who refused to give up in their service to the Lord. I've only heard of one of them and so I'm really looking forward to learning about the others.
The author in her introduction says:
"We have too few female heroes of the faith.
It is easy to name men who have worked for God in historic and substantial ways, but very often, when asked to name a notable woman of faith, our minds draw a collective blank.
Certainly it is not for lack of women who have served God."
In her book she introduces us to eight of these women:
'Emma' Emeline E. Dryer
'Nettie' Nancy (Fowler) Mccormick
Sarah Dunn Clarke
Mary McLeod Bethune