Book Reviews

Last Book Review for 2014:
Thought to have a book review as my last blog entry for 2014. I'd already read the second book of the "Hunger Games" trilogy in September called "Catching Fire" that my eldest had received as a gift and watched both movies with her after a lot of pressure from school classmates for having not watched it. My initial hesitancy was over the notion of 'kids killing kids' and what that teaches our children.

So decided to watch it with her to discuss some of the concepts of the movie. And indeed it had a classic 'love story' plot (with two possible beaus), a quest to stay alive in the 'Hunger Games', a hero/heroine with certain talents, underdogs in a society who begin to question the norms and values of those ruling over the underclass with themes of power/oppression and a certain 'uprising' rebellion brewing.

It reminded me of the many times and places now and in history where such ideas have killed thousands - millions of people over time. It was a well crafted book, thoughtfully written about a ruling class society who saw the killing of children as an acceptable sport. She included in her Q and A section that her father, a military specialist, had influenced her ideas as he had explained to her the background of Vietnam.

My parting entry for 2014, is to encourage us as caring adults to be watchful over our children and to be advocates for their hearts and minds. I've observed how our society has developed and is more complicated technologically but our universal values have pretty much stayed the same which is way such movies ring true for many. The first part of the third movie is already out showing at movie theatres.

Book Review of: Beary Grylls' "A Survival Guide for Life: How to achieve your goals, thrive in adversity and grow in character."
(c) 2014  Bantam Press, Great Britain.
Completed: 29 Dec 2014.

It's neat being able to squeeze in time to catch up on some very inspirational reading. This particular book is a condensed version of wisdom and experience over many years. I read his best selling book "Mud, sweat and tears" a couple of years ago and was pleasantly surprised at how (although it was quite substantial) - it was easy reading and fascinating to know the background as to how he got his TV series started and he even climbed the Himalayas!

I would definitely recommend both books to read and particular to inspire men. I like how he is very candid about his experiences and not at all macho as some people might think. This particular book is a paperback with some 280+ pages full of quotes, old wisdom sayings and relates to his knowledge of surviving. He's also shares Christian principles that I also value and he made me on things in my life too. Very easy reading.

I'd also encourage women and teenager/young adults to read through this book as it helped me to reflect on my goals and encourages us to think outside the square and to see our obstacles etc as a means to getting to the destination. I also like how he shares universal values about giving and being humble as opposed to showing off - traits that I was encouraged about by my parents.

I see this book as one that I will be referring to again and again. It was given to my eldest child for her prize giving and I think well picked as to have this information as one grows up is better than hindsight.


"Another Mother's Love" by Karen Scott (c) 2014.
300+ pages, non fiction paperback published by Penguin Books, New Zealand
Read: Boxing Day 26 Dec 2014

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas season and a Happy Boxing day from Auckland, New Zealand. This season to me is all about love - with Christmas celebrating the birth of Christ and God sharing His love with us in gifting His son Jesus and we in turn gifting each other and then Boxing day was an English tradition of giving boxes with after Christmas day treats to servants/employees to take home to families.

It's one of my favourite times of the year in spending precious time with my children without the pressures of being a working mum or the activities of schools and clubs. It's just nice to spend quality time with them and started jogging with my eldest to prepare for her next month's soccer trials; watching my middle child enjoying her creativity in creating crafts and my youngest in just being fun and able to be around mum.

It is also a neat time to catch up on some reading which I rarely have time to but this Christmas I received a book gift from my eldest called "Another mother's love" by Karen Scott (c) 2014. My children love to read from the numerous library visits I've encouraged since they were quite young and I love to read too but with my busy work week schedule it is more of a rare treat.

Initially, I wasn't interested to read it as I'd just started reading the "Hunger Games" series but because she looked so disappointed at my disinterest, I thought I needed to give it a go. However, when I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. It was such a moving non fictional story about the experiences of one loving 'blended' family's attempt to support a young troubled boy as their 'foster child'. I finished reading it's 300+ pages on and off throughout the day.

Karen Scott had me laughing in the book and crying at the end as I could relate to being a mum (to only 3 children) as opposed to her 7 but I also related as a step sister in growing up with 4 younger adopted siblings as the youngest biological child of my parents. It was compassionately written with a lot of love and very frank about their ups and downs. It made me aware of how grateful I was of my upbringing and parents and the stability I had that I try to give to my children.

I would definitely recommend this book to read for mum's and dad's wanting to foster a child but more importantly to any who have a heart for hurting children. I definitely thought that as a mum she certainly had more patience than I would have put up with but when it comes to love and kids - that's a hard one as I love having children. It's definitely a special blessing that I have been most privileged to consider this Christmas season.

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