Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#10: The Last Child (John Hart)

Let’s just cut to the chase….The Last Child is the best book I have read in 2016 so far! It is a page turner that is well-written by a former defense attorney who resides in both North Carolina and Virginia. I definitely plan to check out his other novels because I enjoyed this one so much.

In The Last Child, we meet Johnny, a young boy who decides to find his twin sister who had been kidnapped a year ago. Armed with his bike and Indian relics, Johnny and his friend, Jack, monitor the movements of pedophiles throughout the county. Johnny doesn’t fully realize the danger he is in — but thankfully a local police officer, Hunt, has taken an interest in him.

Populated with wonderfully complex characters, The Last Child provides a compelling plot that readers will not be able to pull themselves away from. While entertaining, Hart’s novel will look at issues related to the definition of family, issues of faith, as well as the “nature vs. nurture” debate.

For more information about John Hart and his writing, visit

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#9: Middlemarch (George Eliot)

It took me nearly 2 months, but I finally did it. I finished reading Middlemarch this week. It is an epic novel that is immensely grand in scope. However, I often found myself getting lost in Eliot’s florid prose.

Middlemarch has a complex plot with lots of subplots that make up this massive novel. The story centers around Dorothea, a young girl who is not “beautiful” in the traditional sense, and her quest for love. Despite her outward appearance, Dorothea has a beautiful, compassionate soul. Her kindness is only outshone by her superior intellect. It appears that she has met her perfect partner in Casaubon, an older scholar who is wealthy and can provide a lovely life for Dorothea. After their marriage, the young bride encounters Ladislaw while on honeymoon in Italy. Ladislaw is an artist that is passionate and opinionated about life. (It probably doesn’t hurt that he is also described as extremely handsome!) Dorothea and Ladislaw are both aware of the sparks between them, but neither will admit them or act upon them since the young woman is newly married.

The old scholar becomes fatally ill, making Dorothea a wealthy young widow. Just as the reader becomes hopeful that she will finally be able to act on her true love, Casaubon’s evil spirit is clearly seen. In a final attempt to control his wife and break her spirit, Casaubon wrote a proviso of his will, forbidding Dorothea from marrying Ladislaw. The widow’s situation seems hopeless; she may either live a secure life, enjoying the financial status of her marriage, or follow her love and spend her days with few material possessions.

Middlemarch is an important novel due to the fact that it addresses many important topics of the day. Eliot explores the changing roles of women while redefining the true meaning of beauty in a society that was focused on what could be seen with the natural eye. The juxtaposition of love, material possessions and social status as sources of absolute happiness in the novel allows the reader to examine their personal views on the subject while observing the outcome in the lives of the characters of Middlemarch.

I completely understand the status of the novel that is considered Eliot’s masterpiece. I expect that I will return to this charming English village again in the future (although using a different edition…I will share more about that in an upcoming post on Livin’ Life). For now, I’m looking forward to returning to the modern world and reading a little contemporary literature for a change.

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#8: Code of Conduct (Brad Thor)

I’m nearing the end of Middlemarch, but this week’s road trip meant I had to take a break. The rental doesn’t have satellite radio, so it was the perfect time to return to my old friends– audio books! I was entertained and intrigued by the return of Scot Harvath in Code of Conduct.

In this installment of the series, we find our former Navy Seal fighting an unseen enemy. A strain of Ebola has been weaponized and is threatening lives around the world. Set in Congo, Switzerland, and the US, Code of Conduct features exciting battles in humanitarian jungle hospitals as well as the streets of the Nation’s Capitol. Members of the federal government and UN dignitaries join forces to enact the most diabolical genocide the world has seen….and it is up to Scot Harvath to stop them.

Not only exciting, the book is thought provoking. In an age where biological weapons are a reality and international wars remind us just how small the globe is, Thor’s novel feels as though it could easily be plucked from tomorrow’s headlines. Once again, Brad Thor’s writing is riveting and doesn’t disappoint.

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