Ron Hall & Denver Moore’s What Difference Do It Make?…


What Difference Do It Make?: Stories of Hope and Healing by Ron Hall | LibraryThing

Hall, R., Moore, D., & Vincent, L. (2009). What difference do it make?: Stories of hope and healing. Nashville, Tenn: Thomas Nelson. 9780849920196

Reasons for Reading: After reading Same Kind of Different as Me for our Bible Study group, my mom found this sequel of sorts.  She checked out What difference do it make?: Stories of hope and healing from HCPL and recommended I read it, too.

Summary: (Warning: Must Read Same Kind of Different As Me… before starting this book.) What Difference Do It Make… is a collection of stories and events which were spurred on by Same Kind of Different as Me.

What I Liked: It was great finding out that a single book led to so many awesome acts. Also, I appreciated the authenticity of it. These people had problems and they didn’t shy away from admitting them.

What I Disliked:  Why couldn’t Same Kind of Different as Me have been this awesome?

Four Out of Five Pearls

 
Setting: Dallas, Ft. Worth, Louisiana, Italy, United States 
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Ron Hall & Denver Moore’s Same Kind of Different as Me


Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together by Ron Hall | LibraryThing

Hall, R., Moore, D., & Vincent, L. (2006). Same kind of different as me. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.  9780849919107

Reasons for Reading: My Bible study wanted us to read a book over the summer when weren’t meeting as often. One lady suggested Same Kind of Different as Me for this purpose. Down the road, I learned that since I’m the only librarian in the group that I would have the pleasure of reviewing the book for the group. Thus, I checked out Same Kind of Different as Me from HCPL.

Summary: Born on a Louisiana plantation, Denver Moore grew up a virtual slave in the 1960s. Denver rides the rails and wanders aimlessly and lives on the streets of Ft. Worth, Texas. Then, there’s Ron Hall, an international arts dealer who’s accustomed to cavorting with millionaires. These two men are night and day; worlds apart. Yet, God uses Ron’s prayerful wife, Deborah to bring together these two very diverse individuals. It’s at her insistence that the Halls volunteer at a soup kitchen and it’s Deborah who tells Ron of a dream of a wise man saving the city. Their friendship grows despite many hardships as they come together to serve God. Despite their differences, both Denver and Ron are the same in that God loves them.

What I Liked: I liked that each man told his story in his own words. This seemed the most natural way to relate their stories. I appreciated getting perspectives from both Denver and Ron on the same situations.

What I Disliked:  As this book goes in tandem between Denver and Ron, I wished the chapters had been prefaced with the narrator’s name. Also, not all editions have the picture section in the middle.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Setting: Louisiana, Ft. Worth  

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John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief


Amazon.com: The Pelican Brief (Unabridged) by John Grisham, Read by Alexander Adams | Amazon

Grisham, J., & Adams, A. (1992). The pelican brief. Santa Ana, CA: Books on Tape. 9780736689113

Reasons for Reading:  As I enjoyed The Firm, I looked for some other books by Grisham. I saw The Pelican Brief audiobook on a shelf at HCPL.

Summary:  The deaths of two quite opposite US Supreme Court Justices rock the entire nation. These mysterious deaths leave the country wondering what the heck just happened. Tulane University Law student Darby Shaw sets out to research these odd circumstances. Afterwards, she writes a legal brief which states that assassins killed the two justices on behalf of oil tycoon Victor Mattiece. Mattiece wants to drill for oil in Louisiana marshland where an endangered species of pelican lives. Darby passes along “The Pelican Brief” to her law professor boyfriend Thomas Callahan. Quickly, more people die and Darby must run for her life.

What I Liked : I admired Darby a lot. She was smart and tried to do the right thing. I also liked Gray Grantham. I found Garcia intriguing.I appreciated the pace of the novel – mostly, Grisham got to the point. Oh, and nice Easter egg with Denton Voyles!

What I Disliked: So far, this is the third Grisham novel I’ve read. The ending seemed similar to that of The Firm. I might pick up one of Grisham’s non-legal thrillers next time.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: ‪Aretha Franklin – Chain Of Fools – YouTube

Setting : New Orleans, Louisiana, Washington DC, New York City, The Caribbean

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Sandra Brown’s Lethal


Lethal by Sandra Brown | LibraryThing

Brown, S., Slezak, V., & Hachette Audio (Firm). (2011). Lethal. New York: Hachette Audio. 9781609419172

Reasons for Reading : Since I’ve gotten back into the habit of reading Sandra Brown books, I requested her latest through HCPL. I read both the hardcover and audiobook version of Lethal.

Summary : Widow Honor Gillette lives with her four year old daughter, Emily, on a remote property outside a small Louisiana town. When Emily tells Honor there’s a sick man in their yard, Honor goes out to offer aid to the ill man, she discovers Lee Coburn. Coburn is on the run under the suspicion of killing seven people the previous night. He swears to Honor that she and Emily will not be hurt provided that Honor does as Coburn tells her. Beyond this point, Honor questions the trustworthiness of all in her life.

Review : Before I delve into the negatives, let me mention a few things I truly appreciated in this book. 1) Brown notes at the end of the novel that much of the action involved cell phones. I enjoyed what she expressed about this and since it’s post-novel, I’m not saying anymore. 2) Not always, but often, Brown spoke of her characters “cursing profusely” (Brown, 2011) rather than reveal what choice words characters employed. 3) Brown shines when it comes to dialogue. I believe she has an ear for it.

However, this wasn’t my favorite Sandra Brown book. She had some really nasty characters in Lethal. Also, I found some of the answers to the mysteries with rather unlikely. Lastly, the following comment isn’t about Brown but rather about the narrator. This guy didn’t read the female dialogue in falsetto but I dreaded each time little Emily spoke. He shouldn’t ever do child voices.  

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song : Creedence Clearwater Revival – Born On The Bayou – YouTube

Setting  : Louisiana

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My Mother the Cheerleader by Robert Sharenow


 

Sharenow, R. (2007). My mother the cheerleader: a novel. New York: Laura Geringer Books.

Cover of book shows narrator Louise standing in front of her mother's boarding house.

Cover of book shows narrator Louise standing in front of her mother

 

After reading some heavy, long books, I decided I wanted both lighter and shorter. Then, I remembered seeing one of my coworkers reading and talking about My mother the cheerleader at lunch. Well, at least it was shorter than most of the stuff I have been reading lately. This was not at all light or fluffy.

 

My mother the cheerleader is narrated by thirteen year old Louise Collins. She lives with her beautiful mother, Pauline, at her mother’s decrepit boarding house in 1960 New Orleans. Louise spends most of her time at the boarding house working with paid African American servant Charlotte because Pauline has pulled Louise out of school. Pauline does not want Louise to attend school with the African American Ruby Bridges, the first child to integrate William Frantz Elementary School. Pauline is a cheerleader – one of the many women who goes to the front of Frantz and heckles Ruby Bridges and protests desegregation. While Louise finds her mother to be a lovely visage, she thinks Pauline is a pain who throws back mint juleps and leaves the hard work for others.

When the dashing New Yorker Morgan Miller appears at Pauline’s bed and breakfast, Louise sees a way out of her life. Morgan attracts Pauline as well. He works in publishing and has returned to see a friend. Louise hopes that Morgan will take her with him. For once, someone seems to be listening to Louise. Yet, when Morgan, Pauline, and Louise all learn more about each other, the outcome is questionable.

After reading My mother the cheerleader, I was amazed that this was Sharenow’s first book. The detail and consideration of characters and subjects found within these covers appeared to have been written by a Pulitzer-ed veteran. The desciption of characters such as Pauline and Morgan were clearly brought into focus for the reader. The actual events of the book and the real people tastefully wove around Sharenow’s characters.

Yet, while I thought Louise stood out well, I was not sure that a preteen girl was the best narrator for this story. I am often divided when it comes to men writing in the voice of a female character and vice versa. Several times, I think there is something off about this. Still and all, Louise was well-illustrated by the author.

My only other complaint was that I wanted to know more about what happened to the characters. I hope there is a sort of sequal in the works. Hint, hint. . .

Four out of Five Pearls

Places: New Orleans, LA

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