Monday, June 10, 2013

The Winnowing Season-Book 2 in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series by Cindy Woodsmall

Waterbrook Multnomah provided me with a copy of this book on the condition I provided a review. I was very excited to pick this one. I am a huge fan of Amish fiction. I find that it is a relaxing change of pace to read an Amish or Christian fiction book. Sometimes you just need to clear the cobwebs out of your head and I think this type of book is the way to do it. 

This book is the sequel to the first book in the series,  A Season for Tending  and starts with a short synopsis of that book. This book is the sequel to A Season For Tending.  I love other Amish authors and read a lot of books in this genre. However, I promised an honest review. I could not finish this book. I finished about six and half chapters. Being an avid reader, if I am enjoying a book, I will finish it in a few days. I could not bring myself to read anymore. I think it was because I found some of the characters annoying and I found myself not really concerned about what happened to them. I also felt some of the dialogue sounded forced. That being said, that part may be my fault because this book is a second in the series and I did not read the first one. However, don't let this stop anyone from reading it--there is a short synopsis of the first book is in the beginning of the book. I feel bad that I didn't like this book, but that will not stop me from trying other books from the same author.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Palisades Park by Alan Brennert

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was one of those books that truly took me away. I found myself totally engrossed in it while reading, caring about the characters. I haven't felt that way about characters in a book in a long time.

The book centers around a family who works and lives near Palisades Park, an amusement park that really did exist from 1898-1971 in Bergen County, New Jersey.

I usually never do this, but for some reason,  while reading, I started looking on the internet for some of the people listed in the book. For example, in the book, a high diver named Bee Kyle is featured as an act in the park. Sure enough, Bee did exist and was a well known high diver back in her day.

Another surprise to me was this: in the book there is a lifeguard who works at the Palisades pool named Bunty Hill. Well, I didn't even think to look him up, but then I stumbled upon a very informative website about the park that showed an actual picture of Bunty!

As I read on, there were so many factual things in this book and even more people who I thought were "characters" that turned out to be people that actually existed. Furthermore, there are a lot of historical events that take place during the time frame of the story. 

The characters in the family, Eddie, Adele, Toni and Jack were very realistic and the author shows the highs and the lows of family life. You feel as though you are on the journey with them as they live their life in and out of the park. Plus, the author surprises you a few times, too. No spoilers here, though! 

The only thing was by the end of the book, I was a little disturbed by Toni's attitude...but I guess I had to cut her some slack because of several things that happen to her that I won't say here in case you didn't read it yet. But I highly recommend you do. It will take you away to a place that you might remember. I personally had never been to Palisades Park, but the book made me feel like I visited. 

Isn't that what makes a great book? It transported me to a place I had never been and also made me want to learn more.  

Click here to visit the website that I looked at about the park. Palisades Park Website

Thank you for reading. Feel free to comment! 


Next up:  The Winnowing Season, by Cindy Woodsmall (Book 2 in the Amish Vines and Orchard Series).