Book Review: Cooking the Books

Cooking the books for TYPEPAD

Bonnie S. Calhoun 

SubTitle:  A Sloane Templeton Mystery 

Publisher:  Abingdon Press 

Pages: 304 

List Price: $14.99 

Pub Date:  April 02, 2012 

ISBN:  978-1426733888 

Sloane runs the bookstore, Beckham’s Books & Brews, specializing in antique books, left to her by her mother. Fifi, business manager, and her pistol-packin’ group, the Granny Oakleys, ably assist her. Two men want one book in particular. Each is angry that the other knows about it. Meanwhile, Trey, well-muscled example of Sloane’s bad taste in men, terrorizes her. Though she said goodbye, he still considers her his woman. But she has Andreas. She doesn’t understand why her mother didn’t like him. Fifi also dislikes him. 

Aunt Verlene, worst chef in history, constantly commandeers Sloane for food tests. One day, while Sloane tries not to eat Verlene’s latest culinary delight, they find a cookbook by a famous chef with a wealth-building recipe formerly believed lost. Verlene, sworn to silence, only tells her beauty shop early in the morning. Working girls use it then. Would they mention it to their boyfriends? 

Meanwhile the manager of the real-estate company Rob Landry works for instructs him to play dirty to get Sloane to sell the bookstore. 

Cooking the Books delivers constant suspense well mixed with eccentric characters and humor. I enjoyed it.

Book Review: Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus

Harriet beamer FOR TYPEPAD

Joyce Magnin 

Publisher:  Zondervan 

Pages: 320 

List Price: $14.99 

Pub Date:  May 01, 2012 

ISBN:  978-0310333555 

Seventy-two year old Harriet Beamer falls off a ladder. Her daughter-in-law, Prudence, makes a bet with Harriet. If the foot is broken, she must come and live with Prudence and Henry. “It was a suckers bet,” Harriet says as she plans her trip to California to join them. But she decides to take the long way by local transportation. A friendly stranger helps her find her Droid, Amelia, to plan each new course—deciding as she goes. 

Henry worries as she calls to tell him about her ride on a helicopter and her adventure with the snake-handler. He can only wait as she makes her convoluted way to him. Harriett encounters good and bad people. She gains celebrity when she stops a purse-snatcher with a well-placed rolling suitcase as the incident goes viral. 

The reader will smile more than laugh aloud, though the book provides a few of those. If you enjoy old people, who don’t believe life ends when you reach “maturity” you will enjoy this book. It may provide a pleasant Sunday afternoon diversion.

Book Review: 7

7 for typepadJen Hatmaker

Sub Title: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess 

Publisher:  B&H Publishing Group 

Pages: 224 

List Price: $14.99 

Pub Date:  January 01, 2012 

ISBN:  9781433672965

The book, 7, tells of the author and family’s decision to abstain from seven areas of excess in their lives; food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress. Each month the family decided to do with less of that item. I found the month concerned with possessions especially interesting. Family took possessions and gave them away—no change of mind later, saying, “I need that back now.” 

 This entertaining book is coffee with your funniest friend. The worst thing I can say about someone is that he/she has no sense of humor. This book fulfilled my humor quotient. 

It starts with fear as the author contemplates giving up what she has always had or done: then comes the honeymoon phase. Toward the end, her experiment metamorphoses into missionary zeal. Permanent changes have taken place. 

The author lapses into a few dissertations complete with quotes that slowed the writing in a couple of places, but 7 is a fun and valuable read. It does bother me that no one cares about cover art any more. This one probably meant to emphasis simplicity, but, for me, it just emphasises that cover art is being neglected.

Book Review: Thor Ramsey's Total Money Meltdown, a Proven Plan for Financial Disaster

Thor Ramsey for typepad Thor Ramsey 

SubTitle:  A Proven Plan for Financial Disaster 

Publisher:  Moody Publishers

Pub Date:  07/01/2011 (Available for pre-order)

List Price: $12.99 

Pages: 160 

ISBN:  9780802400758 

This book gives an often-funny look at money management: and how not to do it. Thor talks about his bad spending habits and the un-Christian attitudes that led him and his wife into a huge financial hole. He had adopted the attitudes of Americans in general—often the opposite of what the Bible teaches. 

Many Christians believe that money and religion are separate, but Thor points out that the Bible speaks more about money than it does about Heaven and Hell. God does care about how we spend His money. Thor points to Dave Ramsey if you want a day-by-day plan. However, for him and those who are list-phobic, he advocates a just-spend-less program and tells the ways he and his wife approached their debt—not always without pain. 

Many people know Thor as a Christian stand-up comedian who approaches all of life with humor. He admits he can’t cut back everything. Starbucks would fail without him. If money problems sour the reader’s day, this book will bring a laugh while bringing hope: and those who keep perfect accounts will enjoy it as well. 

I’m reviewing this book a little too soon, but it is available for pre-order on Amazon and Thor said, “Buy this book. I need the money.” (Oh that the un-funny could be that honest).