The Ladies of Ivy Cottage

I received a free copy of this book from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage was written by Julie Klassen and published by Bethany House.

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage follows the whole population of a small town in the United States but three ladies in particular: Mercy, Jane, and Rachel.

Mercy lives in Ivy Cottage with her aunt. As she is unmarried she needs a way to support herself so she opens up a girls school in her house. One day her parents show up at her door with a prospective suitor. She tells Mercy that either she must marry this man or she and Mercy’s father would offer Ivy Cottage to Mercy’s brother and his soon-to-be wife. Mercy does not love this man but she does not want to lose her girls school.

Jane is a widow with a secret that she has confided in absolutely no one. She has miscarried seven children. This fact weighs heavily on her during he story and she needs someone to confide in.

Rachel is the youngest of these three women. She used to be high in society but a scandal with her father caused her to lose her home and all her money. Mercy employs her in her girls school and allows her to open a lending library in Ivy Cottage’s drawing room. The son of the new inhabitants of Rachel’s old house takes a liking to Rachel and asks her to marry him. But she loves another.

I liked this book but it was entirely too long considering the amount of story that actually moved the plot along it contained. I would recommend it to people who are looking for a relatively light book to read who have a lot of time on their hands.


Out of the Ordinary

I received a free copy of this book from the Bethany House Blogger Review program in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano is a book about Gertrude Cadawalader  who is a paid companion to a Mrs. Davenport. Gertrude has her hands full as Mrs. Davenport has an affinity for engaging in actions of a criminal nature, namely stealing. Gertrude has also recently become a subject of gossip pertaining to her close friendship with a Harrison Sinclair who was considered one of the most eligible bachelors of this time. Needless to say, Gertrude has her hands full.

The book opens with Gertrude looking for Mrs. Davenport who had disappeared about an hour ago which means she has had plenty of time to get up to her usual hijinks. Now at this time Gertrude is wearing a bustle crafted out of a birdcage by the aforementioned Mrs. Davenport. Needless to say she is very uncomfortable. In her search for Mrs. Davenport Gertrude sees a perfect hiding spot for her employer. As she was inspecting it, she falls onto a couch and her bustle breaks pinning her to the couch. She is soon found by Clementine Flowerdew who attempts to blackmail her by saying she will help Gertrude get free of the couch if Gertrude agrees to introduce her to Harrison. Gertrude refuses and Clementine immediately gets angry saying she will tell everyone that she saw Gertrude trying to steal the painting that very unfortunately was hanging above the couch that Gertrude was currently pined to. She leaves Gertrude to wait for someone to come find her.

I liked this book. It doesn’t have much of a real climax but Turano managed to weave many little side stories to the main plotline very tactfully. Would recommend.

The Dragon and the Raven

I recently read The Dragon and the Raven by G. A. Henty.

Thus book is about a Saxon named Edmund who has to fight off Norse invaders. He teaches the unorganized Saxons to fight and slowly they begin to have more and more victories. One day, Edmund gets captured by Norsemen but his life is saved when a horse whinnies and the Norsemen take it as a sign from the gods that his life is to be spared. Edmund is made a slave to Siegbert with whose daughter Edmund falls in love. Siegbert soon becomes friends with Edmund and sets him free but not before Edmund promises Freda, Siegbert’s daughter, that he would come back for her.

I did not like this book. Henty has a very slow-paced style of writing which makes me tired of the book before even the first chapter is over. I would not recommend this book.

On the Incarnation

On the Incarnation was written by Saint Athanasius with an Introduction by C. S. Lewis translated by John Behr and published in 2011 by St. Vladimir’s Seminary press.

I did not like this book and would not recommend reading it. The introduction by C. S. Lewis was very good but I found the rest of the book to be boring. If you are looking for an old theological book to read I would recommend Confessions by Saint Augustine, on which I also have a review, over this one.


mpbooks, I feel bad for saying this but I have to confess that I didn’t like Confessions by Saint Augustine translated by R. S. Pine-Coffin and published by the Penguin Group in 1961. The beginning of the book was interesting, even good, but as the book wore on it became less and less about St. Augustine’s life and moved into theology. The stuff St. Augustine was debating was not stuff I thought was worth all the pages St. Augustine devoted to it.

Maya Papaya

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Spoilers!)

The Lord of

the Rings

The Fellowship of

the Ring


J. R. R. Tolkien

book report by


Frodo and Sauron


Sauron lives in Mordor where no one dares to go. He is constantly searching for the one ring which will make him practically invincible. As he himself is nothing but a fiery roving eye he sends out his Black Riders or Nazgul to do his bidding.


Frodo was just a ordinary hobbit until one day his older cousin and guardian, Bilbo,  disappeared leaving him a ring that will make you turn invisible. Gandalf informs Frodo that the ring is dangerous and that Sauron will do anything in his power to get it back. Frodo embarks on a journey to destroy the ring in the Cracks of Doom in Mordor.

Hobbiton and the rest of the world


Hobbiton is where Frodo used to live with other hobbits like Sam, Pippin, Merry, and Bilbo. It is where this book begins and where it stays for the better part of the first four chapters.

The Rest of the World

Frodo realizes soon after he leaves Hobbiton that the rest of the world is not always a friendly place. While there are relatively friendly places like Bree no place is completely safe for Frodo while the ring is in his possession. Frodo also has to go places that are unsafe for Gandalf let alone a little hobbit. The most prominent of these are the Mines of Moria.

Climax and Resolution


As the story continues in the next two books there isn’t much of what you would call a climax in this book. I would say the most climactic part was when Boromir tried to steal the ring from Frodo.


Frodo realizes that he has to go on to Mordor alone. He tries to sneak off but Sam catches him and persuades Frodo to let him come with him to Mordor. Everyone else is searching for Frodo.

Blind Spot

I received a free copy of this book from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Blind Spot was written by by Dani Pettrey and published by Bethany House in  2017.

Blind Spot is about two groups of detectives. One group is trying to figure out how to stop a terrorist attack they believe will happen soon. The other group is looking into a suicide case. As you can imagine, the two cases are connected.

Declan and Tanner are assigned to work together on the terrorist case. They fall more and more in love with each other as they get closer and closer to cracking the case. Meanwhile, on the other case Declan’s former coach commits suicide. When Declan’s coworkers look into they begin to feel more and more like it wasn’t a suicide at all. What could these two cases possibly have in common?

I enjoyed this book. The many characters and the way the book jumps from case to case make it a little confusing at first but it is well worth the read. Also, the ending leaves a little bit to be desired. It felt like the author had reached her deadline and was trying to tie up all of the loose ends really fast. Other than that the book was great.

The Sword of Shannara

The Sword of Shannara was written by Terry Brooks and published in 1977 by The Random House Publishing Group.

Brooks writes about the conflict between man and the supernatural. It is not a fair fight but with planning and ingenuity, not to mention a magic sword, man just has a chance.

Shea Ohmsford was a normal guy until he met Allanon and his whole world got turned upside down. Allanon tells Shea that he is the only heir to Jerle Shannara and so only he can use the Sword of Shannara to destroy the Warlock Lord. Together with some friends, Shea and Allanon embark on a quest to find the Sword of Shannara and destroy the Warlock Lord.

This book was a little slow at the beginning but it picked up towards the middle and the end. Overall, I liked this book.

The Church History


mpbooks: Today on mpbooks we have a real treat for you. Maya Papaya is at the Colisseum reporting live the trials of five criminals. Over to you, Maya.

Papaya: Thank you mpbooks. Yes, I am currently in the Colisseum where in just a few minutes we will get to see how the Roman Empire deals with people who break the laws. Let’s see what the people have to say. Sir, any comment?

Random Roman Guy: What? erm, yes this seems to be quite the trial. I hear that if the Christians refuse to burn incense to the gods then they will set the bears on them. we haven’t had a good bear fight in weeks.

Papaya: Wow. Now… I didn’t catch your name

Manny: Manius Dossenius Vestorius

Papaya: Now Manny…

Manny: It’s Manius

Papaya: Whatever. Have you been to a lot of these brawls?

Manny: Of course I have. What do you take me for a peasant?

Papaya: Sorry I didn’t mean to offe…

(Manny storms off)

Papaya: Well it looks like the trials starting better grab a seat. Look here they come three men and two women. They look strangely peaceful despite what’s happening to them. Psst… what are the charges again?

Random Roman Woman: Shhh! You’re ruining the show!

(grumbles of agreement)

Papaya: Well I guess we’ll have to find out after… Oh wait! I think that guy’s reading them out right now!

Random Important Roman Guy: blah blah blah Christianity blah blah offer incense ( the accused shake their heads) blah blah blah bears

( everyone except the 5 Christians evacuate the arena)

( slowly a gate opens and a bear lumbers out and growls)

( cut to Maya Papaya standing outside the Coliseum)

Papaya: Sorry about that folks we assumed that these Christians would fold. We never believed that people could believe in something so much to die for it. And with such courage too. Maybe there is something to this religion after all Anyways over to you mpbooks.

mpbooks: Thank you, Maya. You can read more about martyrs and the persecution of Christians in The Church History by Eusebius translated by Paul L. Maier.

Hobbit Summary (Spoilers!)

Hello everyone sorry that I haven’t posted in forever but now I’m back and I’m going to resume posting on Saturdays. I’m hoping to get a fall schedule up later today so that you can see when I’ll be posting what. Now let’s just jump into this summary I wrote of the Hobbit!

Bilbo Baggins was a very respectable hobbit. He love to have parties, to give and receive gifts, but most of all, he love to eat.He had a nice, quiet life. That is until Gandalf stopped by that one fateful day. He offered Bilbo the chance to go on an adventure. Bilbo, respectable hobbit that he was, refused, “nasty uncomfortable things that make you late for dinner,” he called them. Little did Bilbo know that Gandalf wouldn’t give up that easily.

The next day there was a knock at the door, “must be Gandalf,” thought Bilbo remembering that he had invited the old wizard over the day before. He was very surprised when he opened the door to see, not the wizard, but a short man with a very bushy beard.

“Dwalin at your service,” the dwarf introduced himself.

“Bilbo Baggins at yours,” Bilbo answered very flustered. Without waiting to be invited in the dwarf stepped inside and proceeded to make himself at home. After a few more rings and quite a few knocks to Bilbo’s beautiful green door a company of thirteen dwarfs and one wizard was gathered inside his house. Bilbo demanded to know the meaning of this.

Thorin Oakenshield, for he was the head dwarf, promised everything would be explained in good time but only after a song. The dwarves then proceeded to sing a song about the mountains and forests far away. Somewhere deep inside Bilbo a kind of longing was  stirred to see the mountains and forests the dwarves sang about. After the song Gandalf introduced Bilbo as the burglar he had promised to find for the dwarves. “I’m, I’m no burglar,” Bilbo spluttered indignantly and the dwarves were quick to agree asking Gandalf why he had chosen this particular hobbit. Then that something inside Bilbo was stirred up again at this ridicule and he said he would go on the journey. The next morning Bilbo left with the dwarves bright and early forgetting in the rush his hat and pocket-handkerchief.

Soon after they started Bilbo and the dwarves found themselves in a pretty pickle. All of them but Bilbo had been captured by trolls who were discussing how they were going to cook them. Only by Gandalf’s ingenuity were they saved. The trolls lair was were Bilbo found his dagger which wold come in handy later in this book.

The next important thing happens while everyone’s asleep in a cave. Bilbo wakes up just in time to see the last of their ponies disappear into a crack in the back of the cave that wasn’t there when they fell asleep. He alerted Gandalf just as three goblins jump out of the blackness beyond where they had thought the cave ended.Gandalf made his escape but Bilbo and the dwarves were not so lucky. As they were being led by the goblins through the dark tunnels Gandalf reappeared and with his help everyone managed to escape.However, somewhere in the middle of the tussle Bilbo was knocked unconscious and left, fogotten by both goblins and dwarves in one of the darkest corners of the cave.

Bilbo woke up with a throbbing head. He lay there for a few minutes while he slowly remembered what had happened. Not remembering which way the dwarves had been going, Bilbo picked a direction and slowly crawled that way. Before long he came upon something cold and smooth on the ground. He picked it up and fingered it. It was a ring. Without thinking he put the ring in his pocket and crawled until he reached an underground lake.On this lake there lived a creature called Gollum. He had seen the hobbit coming and had gotten in his boat hoping to get himself an easy meal by way of a game of riddles. If Bilbo won Gollum would show him the way out. If Gollum won he would eat the poor hobbit.Enraged when he lost the game, Gollum chased Bilbo. As he was running Bilbo stuck his hand into his  pocket and the ring slipped onto his finger. It turned him invisible! With the ring Bilbo was able to escape Gollum and the Goblins and rejoin the dwarves.

After several other escapades including being rescued from burning trees by eagles, meeting a shape-changer named Beorn, and Bombur falling asleep because he fell into a mystic river, the dwarves found themselves tied up by huge spiders with only Bilbo to save them.He managed to do so and they found that Thorin was missing. As they were looking for him they, all except Bilbo that is, were captured by wood-elves. Bilbo slipped his  ring on his finger and quietly followed his friends back to the wood-elves fort. There Bilbo found that Thorin was being held there as well. He managed to devise a plan to get them out of there which involved packing the dwarves into barrels and rolling them into the river.

When they got to their destination they were treated like royalty. They wanted to stay but they knew they had to finish their quest. They managed to get into the cave where Smaug lived by a little passage that even the dragon didn’t know about. When they finally got the courage to all go down together they found the dragon gone. Little did they know that a man by the name of Bard had killed the dragon just a couple of days before. Their quest was over! Or so they thought.

Bard came with some men asking for some gold to compensate for the damages to Lake-town. Greedy Thorin wouldn’t budge. Bilbo helped with the negotiations by giving Bard the coveted Arkenstone which he knew Thorin would do anything to get back. At first Thorin was angry with Bilbo, but eventually he agreed that Bilbo had done the right thing.

The last big event before the end is the Battle of the Five Armies. It ends with Thorin and Fili and Kili, the two youngest dwarves, dying. Bilbo is sent home with a cartload of treasure. He lives in peace for a while  visiting the elves and writing poetry but he has lost his title of respectable for forever.

All the quotes were taken from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.