Monthly Archives: January 2010

>Bone Man’s Daughters Audio Book *Review*


I finished this audio book on the way to Bible study tonight and all alone in the car I said “Wow.” This book has been on my radar for several months now. One of my friends one day told me she doesn’t read Christian fiction because it’s too “boring.” And some of it is. Some of the Christian fiction I have read is too goody-goody, sweetness and nice all tied up in a bow. This is not one of those.
They call him BoneMan, a serial killer who’s abducted six young women. He’s the perfect father looking for the perfect daughter, and when his victims fail to meet his lofty expectations, he kills them by breaking their bones and leaving them to die. Intelligence officer Ryan Evans, on the other hand, has lost all hope of ever being the perfect father. His daughter and wife have written him out of their lives.Everything changes when BoneMan takes Ryan’s estranged daughter, Bethany, as his seventh victim. Ryan goes after BoneMan on his own.But the FBI sees it differently. New evidence points to the suspicion that Ryan is BoneMan. Now the hunter is the hunted, and in the end, only one father will stand.
Author Ted Dekker is a Christian author who likes to explore the struggle between good and evil. BoneMan is definitely evil. Narrator Robert Petkoff does a wonderful job in the voices he uses for each character. You get a sense of the anguish Ryan feels at the possible loss of his daughter to the serial killer and the voice he uses for Bone Man is creepy. Really creepy.
I sat entranced listening to how the story was unfolding and there were many times I found myself holding my breath as I waited to see what would happen next. The story pulled me in right from the beginning as we find Ryan captured by insurgents and forced to come to the conclusion that the collateral damage of war (the innocent women and children who die) are not worth the price. The terrorist who is holding Ryan hostage actually makes us feel sorry for him and what he is going through and makes Ryan come to a new understanding about war.
Back in the states, as Ryan is dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after being made to watch horrific acts the terrorist uses to make his point, we are introduced to Ryan’s wife and daughter. Ryan’s wife has been left a lonely military wife for too long and has fallen in love with someone else and his daughter Bethany has written off her absent father. Neither particularily care if Ryan comes back into their lives since he has never been a big part of it. But now Ryan realizes how much he loves his daughter and how much he wants to make it all up to them and be the father and husband he’s never been.
When Bone Man kidnaps Bethany from her home Ryan does everything in his power to save her from becoming another of this madman’s fatalities. The way Bone Man kills his victims is by breaking their bones one by one. This will make you squirm and cringe as you listen to it but otherwise this book is not overly graphic. A highly recommended, non-fluffy Christian read.

>The Friday 56



* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.

* Turn to page 56.*

Find the fifth sentence.

* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime with Tonya and Friends.*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.
Keiko looked at Henry like he’d woken her from a wonderful dream.

>A Bookstore is a Dangerous Place for a Book Blogger to use the WiFi

>Still stuck with dial up internet at home (I live in the boonies and I will NOT pay the price for satellite internet) I sometimes have to travel to places that have WiFi in order to update my family blog on WordPress, my troop’s Boy Scout website or By Book or By Crook.

There is an excellent pizza place I go to for a mini pizza on my lunchbreak that’s relatively close to work that works well. If I have a lot of time I will pop over to the library but it’s way across town so I don’t do that all too often. My favorite- and most dangerous- place to haunt lately has been our local bookstore with WiFi and a coffee shop.

I try to get a lot of work done there, really I do but the shelves speak to me. I hear whispers and I swear sometimes the pictures on the book covers glow because I will catch a book out of the corner of my eye that would no way be in my field of vision if it would not glow.

I’ll be updating our Boy Scout website about an upcoming hike we need to start preparing for and a whisper from the Regional section behind me will “psst” me that there’s an excellent book on Hiking Trails in Minnesota.

I’ll be updating my family blog and thinking of conversations I’ve had with my grandparents when a hum will come from the author coffee mugs they have sitting on a shelf near the coffee shop counter.

And when I’m visiting other book blogs or trying to write one of my own you might as well just forget it! The covers of books you have never heard of until a day or two ago all of a sudden just jump out at you from the shelves! I’ll be walking through the fiction aisle looking for an Audrey Niffeneggar when a Kate Morton pushes her aside and then you know the gift card you got for Christmas will not even begin to cover the tax of what you’ll be walking out with today.

>The Imperial Cruise *Review* + Audio Book Giveaway!


In the summer of 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt dispatched the largest diplomatic mission in American history. Led by Secretary of War (and future president) William Howard Taft, the group traveled thousands of miles across the Pacific, docking in Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, China and Korea. Along for the ride was Teddy’s daughter, Alice, a media darling known for her wild behavior. She was not there by accident: her father knew that Alice would be an effective distraction for the reporters covering the journey. And Roosevelt had very good reason to keep his true motives concealed.

During this trip, Taft on Roosevelt’s behalf, would negotiate a series of secret- and wholly unconstitutional- agreements that would lay the groundwork for America’s Pacific engagement. These invisable treatises- brokered with the sliver of Asians that Roosevelt deemed “civilized” by virtue of their adoption of Western ways- would lead to World War II in the Pacific, the triumph of communism in China, the Korean War, and, within decades, tens of millions dead. The full details and implications of Roosevelt’s illicit pacts would remain largely unknown until his own death, and then be effectively erased from the textbooks.

A century later, James Bradley, traveled in the wake of Roosevelt’s imperial cruise, finally rediscovering what had actually transpired in Honolulu, Tokyo, Manila, Beijing, and Seoul. What he found will forever change the way you think about American history and the origins of war and empire in Asia.

Before reading this book all I really could tell you about President Roosevelt was what I learned from watching A Night at the Museum. As I’m sure I’ve said before- history, or rather recent history, is not my thing. But even being up on the history books would not have taught me that President Roosevelt was considered the “war” president, that he created a public persona that was totally different then who he really was, and that he was sharply biased when it came to race.

I find it amazing on how far we have come in the last 100 years on the race issue. I know many would argue that we haven’t come far enough (and we haven’t) and we still have a long way to go (which we do). But the myths and lies that Roosevelt and the group on his diplomatic mission perpetuated were unbelievable. President Roosevelt thought of the Philipino peoples as “dog eaters” and set up a recreated village at the World’s Fair to help the American people “understand” how barbaric these aboriginals were. He believed they were stupid, illiterate, and unable to be educated because they could not read, write, or speak English. In his mind this justified the killing of countless people in the Phillipines in a few short years.

On the other hand, the Japanese people were considered to be more like the American people then any other race he encountered because they so readily embraced the American culture.

Author James Bradley spent years researching the Teddy Roosevelt that nobody knew about. he read over 300 books and traveled to multiple countries to uncover what really happened on what the author has deemed The Imperial Cruise.

Because of all the dates and geographical locations this audio book encompasses I sometimes had a hard time following it. I am more of a visual person so seeing the dates and facts printed on a page would have stuck with me better. This book would make an excellent PBS miniseries or special and the narrator Richard Poe would be the just the person to bring it to life on the screen.

I did enjoy this audio book although I felt it was a bit long and I feel like I have a lot better understanding of this period of our nation’s history. Anybody interested in history, Roosevelt, or wars would appreciate this book and that is why I’m giving one lucky reader a chance to win this audio book!

To enter the giveaway leave a comment below with which President you find most intriguing or one you would like to learn more about.

+1 entry for following By Book or By Crook (let me know in a seperate comment)

Open to U.S. and Canada only.

Please include an email address in your comment and you will be entered to win- it’s that easy! Winners will be randomly selected February 6th. Good luck!

>The Pearl *Review*


Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the Gulf beds that once brought wealth to the kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence. Then, on a day like any other, Kino emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a sea gull’s egg, as “perfect as the moon.” With the pearl comes hope, the promise of comfort and of security…

A story of classic simplicity, based on a Mexican folk tale, The Pearl explores the secrets of man’s nature, the darkest depths of evil, and the luminous possibilities of love.

This classic novel by John Steinbeck was mentioned in my Bible study class last Thursday. Jeff Cavins, in his Adventures in Matthew 24-part study, was explaining some of the parables of Jesus in Matthew 13.

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it.” Matthew 13:45-46

Kino, instead, gets overcome by greed and dreams of all the things he can buy after selling his pearl. He hides it in different areas of his hut. Men, jealous and greedy as well after seeing the size of the pearl, try to break in and steal it. Kino starts to get paranoid that his every movement is being followed and starts across the mountains to go to the capital to try to sell it where he can get more money from it. Kino’s wife Juana sees the evil this pearl has brought into their lives and begs Kino to get rid of it. This tragic folk story shows what can happen when wealth comes before everything else in our lives.
The Kingdom of Heaven is worth more than any pearl in the ocean and all other notions should be set aside as we strive to become a part of it.
I enjoyed this book very much and have recommended my son read it as well. It’s a short book at 90 pages but it’s message is very powerful.

>My Son, Tourette’s and the *Review* of Jerk, California


Twitch, Jerk, Freak
Sam Carrier has been called them all. Because of his Tourette Syndrome, Sam is in near constant motion with tics and twitches and verbal outbursts. So, of course, high school is nothing but torment. Forget friends; forget even hoping that beautiful, perfect Naomi will look his way. And home isn’t much better with his domineering stepfather reminding him that the only person who was more useless than Sam was his dead father, James. But then an unexpected turn of events unearths the truth about his father. And suddenly Sam doesn’t know who he is, or even where he’ll go next. What he does know is that the only girl in the world who can make him happy and nervous all at the same time is everywhere he turns and he’d give anything to just be still.
Zachary: Jerk, California was a book that I could somewhat relate to. Even though the character had Tourette’s worse then me I still know how he felt. I liked all the turn of events, the struggles he faced every day, and some of the funniness of the book. It was a very good book until the ending which ticked me off. The ending didn’t fulfill my wishes for the characters. My favorite part of the book was when Jack moved in with Coot. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone who likes adventure books, and death, and cats, and butter.
Angie: I had to chuckle at Zach’s last rambling line. He would have kept going had I not laughed at him! First, I have to explain how we came to read this book that I had never heard of before. We were in the library last week and Zach was struggling to find a book that looked interesting to him. I was walking up and down the rows trying to help him pick one out when up ahead I saw a red book hanging half off the shelf. I walked ahead to push it back in so it wouldn’t fall when the title caught my eye- Jerk, California. I pulled it off the shelf instead and when I read the inside front cover I knew I had the book. Zachary my 14 year-old son has Tourette Syndrome. I knew a book about a character that also had Tourette’s would interest him. I was right. After reading it in a day and a half he insisted I read it as well. I looked at my own large stack of books on the coffee table that I was itching to read, looked back at my son and immediately said yes.
Zach read this book faster then I did- and liked it more. But I could relate to it as well. I could see some of the motions that Sam/Jack had were the same ones I saw in my son. I could understand how someone could hate the disease so much, but I definitely could not relate to the stepfather who hated the person because of the disease. Tourette’s tics and vocal bursts are not something that can be controlled. I would never look upon my son with anger or embarassment like Old Bill. Zach’s twitches and little noises are a part of who he is and I love him all the more because of them.
The author, Jonathan Friesen, lives in Minnesota and this is where the book is set. Jonathan also has Tourette’s and is available for speaking at schools or groups about a number of topics, including A Life with Tourette Syndrome, Journaling, and several on writing. You can contact him at .

>The Friday 56

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Jerks, like popcorn, explode every muscle on my left side, but it no longer matters. Poor Mom. Having to watch the thing I’ve become.