Finley Public Library

  Book Reviews   | |

September 15, 2014

Brrr!  Not such wonderful fall weather today when this is being written!  Here's hoping it is better while you are reading this!

Today we want to highlight some of the wonderful books we have in the Inspirational Section on the east wall in the main room.  Going through it the other day, it occurred to me that many of you might not know about this great section which has wonderful Christian Fiction from some very good Christian writers.  (I hope using the word Christian is not too politically incorrect!)  Since I was the church librarian for our church in California, I am familiar with many of these authors and have enjoyed their books for years.  Here's a few that might interest you.  Francine Rivers converted to Christianity in 1986 has been writing for over 25 years.  We have several of her books including the Mark of the Lion Trilogy, but Redeeming Love is the one that I wanted to write about.  It is the Biblical story of Gomer and Hosea, but set in the gold rush days of California.  Angel, the main character, is sold into prostitution as a child by her mother who is dying--if I remember correctly.  Angel carries that stigma with her the rest of her life, so when a good man, Michael Hosea, declares his love for her she finds it difficult to accept and stay with him.  I read this over ten years ago and it still reverberates for me.  I chose it as my "Book of the Year" the year I read  it!
Dave Pelzer's books are also inspirational.  If you ever think that life is hard for you, please read these books and you will see that "hard" is a relative term.  Dave's case is considered one of the worst child abuse cases in California history.  His alcoholic, mentally-ill mother abused him with tortuous games  that almost killed him while starving him and forcing him to live in the basement.  She was unwilling to call him her son because she could kill him anytime she wanted, she told him.  His father stood by and did nothing.  This story is chronicled in A Child Called "It" (1995)  Then when he was finally taken from his family he had to live in foster homes, poor ones that never expected anything from him but trouble.  The Lost Boy (1997) tells this part of his story.  Finally, in A man Called Dave (2000) he is able to make the break from his mother and know that he is a man of his own making and can do whatever he wishes without her.  We have this trilogy and The Privilege of Youth which was written  several years later (2004), and recounts his teen years, the turning point in his life--the time that he made friends and realized he was somebody.
If you prefer lighter fare there are six books by Tracie Peterson.  (She is one of our most popular authors in the large print section.)  Her books include Alaska (with four stories inside), Kansas (also with several stories) and The Long-Awaited Child. There are several other books by her in the Inspirational Section.  Remember, you can always go on-line at and check for other titles by Peterson or any author you wish.  The Journals of Corrie Belle Hollister is another series of lighter fare in Inspirational.  These books are by Michael Phillips and Judith Pella.  We have the first four of the eight in this series.  It begins with the mother of Corrie Belle and her four siblings dying.  Corrie is only fifteen, but she knows she and her siblings must reach Miracle Springs, California, and her uncle.  Life goes on for Corrie in the rest of the series as she wants to be a journalist and on her own.  She certainly has some harrowing experiences!
Check out the Inspirational Section.  You will find these and many other books and authors that are also good reads.  The only negative?  These books are all regular print.

Just one more bit of news.  A couple weeks ago I said we had ordered six new large print books.  Two have arrived:  A Man of His Own about a dog/man relationship and The Cat that God Sent--ditto except about a cat/man/lady relationship. Bill Devlin donated The Eye of Heaven (Fargo Series #6) (HC/RP).  Thanks, Bill. The Robots of Dawn (HC/RP) was also donated. The last four books mentioned are on the new books shelf just to your left as you step up into the main room.  Also several newly donated paperbacks (PB) are on the shelves along the hallway and in the Paperback Room.  Remember, we are very willing to receive YOUR new or gently used books as well.  Thanks to those that donated this week.
Here's a review.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.
 (HC/LP)  (NDSL books)  Several men relaxing and drinking together are on an anchored yacht as the sun goes down in the west.  One, Marlow, speaks of the darkness around them and the darkness in a man's heart.  He shares his experiences as a small steamboat captain on a huge river in darkest Africa (Remember this book was originally written in 1910!) during the time when when larger countries openly exploited not only the ivory and diamonds Africa had to offer, but the people as well.  Conrad's title probably referred to many things:  the dark continent, the darkness of land under the thick canopy of trees, the darkness of the native's skin, the darkness of the native's minds and ways, but mostly, I think, to the darkness in the minds of the men from the conquering countries.  Here, I mean what personal power can do to those that have never know it and don't understand how it can warp the unsuspecting mind and what being alone in a culture--perceived as weak--can cause to happen to some--maybe all--of us.  Darkness equals the unknowns in the world and in our minds.  You probably know that the movie, "Apocalypse Now" was based on this same main tenet in Heart of Darkness.  The movie, however, took place in Vietnam during the conflict there.
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