Daily Archives: March 22, 2011

Night Road by Kristin Hannah (Review #2)

Night RoadReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

For Lexi Baill, moving to Washington State to live with her Great Aunt was just the latest in a long chain of new beginnings for her. So often disappointed when the moves did not work out, Lexi didn’t want to let herself believe that this time would be any better than the previous moves. But on the very first day of high school, Lexi meets Mia Farraday and her “most popular boy in school” twin brother Zach and things were different. For the first time in her life, Lexi was a part of things. Mia and Zach’s mother was a textbook example of the “helicopter” mom-forever hovering over the twins. While they resented it, for Lexi it was something she’d wanted her entire life-a mom who cared. Mia and Lexi became best friends and although they fought it, Lexi and Zach became romantically involved. Things were great for the threesome almost all of the way through high school. But one night close to graduation, tragedy struck and their lives were forever altered.

This is a fairly standard book for both the author and the genre. Readers know from the beginning that there will be at least one close relationship shattered by some sort of tragedy that changes everything. There is just such an event in Night Road and it is easily predicted as to what is going to happen well before the event occurs. This is what Hannah’s fans expect. It’s how the characters work through the event’s aftermath that is the main story. The characters are forced to dig deep within themselves to find the courage to put the past behind them and go on with life.

Gone with a Handsomer Man by Michael Lee West

Gone with a Handsomer ManReviewed by Julie Moderson

This book wasn’t what I expected it to be. I needed a funny light-hearted delightful book and that is exactly what I got.

Teeny is such a wonderful character that you instantly fall in love with who she is. Her fiancé gives her cooking classes and when the first class is cancelled she comes home to find her fiancé Bing playing naked badminton with two beautiful women and she does what very few women in her situation would do. She climbs a tree and throws peaches and hits them in tender areas. She then finds herself in jail alone and afraid. This is only chapter one. The rest of the book has you laughing and crying at her antics.

A Gift for Murder by Karen McCullough

A Gift for MurderReviewed by Patricia Reid

Heather McNeil has faced some very unusual incidents since she became assistant to the director of the Washington, D.C. Commerce & Market Show Center but the most recent one tops them all. The current show at the market center is one where wholesalers display their merchandise and retailers visit the show and place orders for the merchandise. The competition is fierce and the show keeps Heather and her boss, Janelle Addison, very busy.

Tim Bethel, partner in Grantwood & Bethel has disappeared. Although he was seen around the show floor the previous day, he has not put in an appearance at the Grantwood & Bethel booth. Heather leaves the show and goes to Bethel’s hotel in the hopes of finding information about his whereabouts. A maid at the hotel confidentially informs Heather that she doesn’t believe Bethel slept in his room the previous night. Heather informs Bethel’s partner and his assistant Ellen Spencer that if they don’t locate him soon the authorities might have to be called in.

Later, Heather asks Mark, the show’s electrician to accompany her to the receiving area to follow up on a complaint that the area was a mess. Heather and Mark began to clean up the area in receiving that had been left in a mess. That’s when the body of Tim Bethel was discovered in the dumpster.

Jesus: God, Man, or Party Label? The Dead Sea Scrolls’ Messiah Code by Chris Albert Wells

Jesus:  God, Man or Party LabelReviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

Was Jesus Christ a man, the Son of God, or a convenient party label? That is the main question that author Chris Albert Wells investigates in his book, Jesus: God, Man, or Party Label? (The Dead Sea Scrolls’ Messiah Code). To what extent (if any) did the beliefs of sects like the Essenes and the written record of their beliefs found in the Dead Sea Scrolls have on the New Testament and the beliefs of Christianity? Have Christians mistakenly been taken in by taking literally what was meant to be symbolic, confusing a political symbol for an actual Messiah?

Chris Albert Wells, in a well-researched look at these important issues, comes to the conclusion that the Jesus Christ of the New Testament was never meant to be taken as being a literal flesh- and-blood Messiah, the Son of God, nor even an actual historical person, but just a representation of a political party, much as the donkey is to the Democrats or the elephant is to the Republicans. I am a Christian, so I admit I have a bias towards thinking that Jesus was an actual historical person, and was the Son of God, but I like to read about many different viewpoints, and to keep an open mind. Therefore, I tried to ignore my bias and concentrate not on if I believed the argument the author was making, but rather on how well he builds and backs up his argument.