Category: Book Reviews

Black Beauty – Book Review

About the book:

Black Beauty teaches everyone he meets the true meaning of courage and loyalty. From escaping a burning barn to saving the life of his owner, every day is full of adventure. But he longs for a family to love him for the gentle horse he is. Will he ever find the perfect home?

Hear Black Beauty read by Jonathan Keeble, who appeared in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

With the included audio you can HEAR the entire book, word for word, READ ALONG with the audio, or READ the story on your own. 

Each HEAR IT READ IT classic presents the world’s greatest stories in an easy-to-read abridged format. The included audio contains a dramatic reading-with music and sound effects-that match the text, word for word, so children of all ages and reading levels can read along. 

Perfect for high-level young readers experiencing the classics for the first time and also ideally accessible for “reluctant readers,” HEAR IT READ IT classics give young readers the best possible introduction to the world’s timeless tales. It’s a terrific way for adults to re-experience the thrills of a classic tale, too!

Jenn’s Review:

Anna Sewell’s classic tale of the life of a Victorian era horse highlights social issues that were prevalent at the time, as well as issues of animal welfare that still go on today. Suitable as guided reading for children as young as 6, there are some scenes alluding to class differences and animal abuse.

Buy the Book:

Thrice Read Books has a copy of this book for sale here.

You can also purchase this book from Amazon in hardcover edition here. [affiliate link]

Return to Gone Away – Book Review

About the Book:

Return to Gone-Away is a children’s book written by Elizabeth Enright, which is the sequel to the book Gone-Away Lake and discusses how the Blake family buys a house in Gone-Away. The book was first published in 1961.Plot introductionWhen Portia learns of her parents buying Villa Caprice, a tumbledown Victorian house close to Gone-Away Lake, she is excited. She, her brother Foster and her cousin Julian enjoy learning about the “new” old house, with the help of elderly neighbors Mr. Payton and Mrs. Cheever.

Sam’s Review:

Portia and Julian are back in Return to Gone-Away Lake when the Villa Caprice is bought for a full time home to live in. Join Uncle Pin and Aunt Minnehaha as they find old treasures and the old watering hole when they need to swim during the hottest of summers. This book is by Elizabeth Enright and published by Odyssey Classics Harcourt, Inc.

Portia is overjoyed to hear that her parents have bought the Villa Caprice, but it’s just so much work to fix! I mean, think about it. It needs new plumbing, new shutters, even heating elements. Family and friends fix up the old house to make it the best house ever, if it means getting scared by Baron Bloodshed, the “watchdog” Mrs. Brace-Gideon sets out to guard her home.

Follow along as they find rare items, spend the night in an old house, and make new friends. Foster and Davey find a dumb-waiter and get stuck in it! And better yet, they uncover the secret that Villa Caprice has held for years…

When Julian and a friend go to spend the night in an old house during a storm, they are stuck in the highest room in the house, and when a goat comes and knocks the stairs down, then they are really stuck. But before that, summer was never hotter. 100॰ in the morning, and getting hotter throughout the day! Pindar remembers that there was a watering hole where the children of Gone-Away Lake used to swim. But he doubts it’s even still there. So, he takes them up there, in the old fashioned bathing suits, of course, and finds it still around, crystal clear and ready for enjoyment. And with that, the characters have a blast in the water, cooling off.

Mrs. Brace-Gideon was said to have owned a safe where she kept her best and greatest treasures. Everyone has big hopes of finding it and opening the safe to find its greatest treasure. And when Portia finds it, everyone cannot wait to find what secrets it has held since Mrs. Brace-Gideon left. And when it is opened, the contents were…

Want to find out how our story ends? Read the book! This book is for ages 8 and up. Illustrated by Beth and Joe Krush. I’d give it four stars for excitement and enjoyment. 5 stars for the best descriptions. Illustrated.

Buy the book:

You can buy this book at Amazon in either Kindle, paperback, hardcover, audio CD or audible formats here. [affiliate link]

Beast – Book Review

About the book:

I thought I was no good.

I thought I was a monster.

But in the end, her love was what I needed to redeem me, to save my blackened soul.

I let her slip through my fingers but, I still need her. 

Will my ugly, twisted love be enough to win her back?

Hurt and dejected, Jasmine wants answers when she crosses paths with Liam nearly two years after their unforgettable one-night stand. But Liam’s walls are up and his heart is closed. That is, until another man enters the picture and threatens to steal Jasmine away forever. 

Now, Liam must decide – will he stand by and watch Jasmine fall for someone else or will he fight for the love he doesn’t even think he deserves?

Jenn’s Review:

Beast is a creative, modern retelling of the classic fairy tale, right down to the heroine of the story running away (or trying to). Jasmine is extremely attracted to her former one-night-stand turned managing partner of the law firm she works for, but Liam pushes her away, convinced that he doesn’t deserve her, is unworthy of her, is too ugly to have someone so beautiful in his life. To further complicate the situation, enter “Chess,” wealthy, handsome presidential candidate who wants Jasmine to be his, wants her to be his First Lady; yet something seems off about Chess, both to Jasmine and to Liam.

Well developed characters and a driving plot kept me turning pages to get through this book; had me cheering for both Jasmine and Liam, as well as giving me a few moments of wanting to shake them both to make them stop being dorks. Definitely worthwhile reading for lovers of romance.

Buy the Book:

You can buy this title from Amazon in Kindle format here. [affiliate link]

Catching Fire – Book Review

Brian & Sam review Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire (Hunger Games Book 2) on the Thrice Read Books blog

About the book:

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. (From Amazon.com product listing)

Brian’s Review:

Book 2 to the Hunger Games trilogy, and this book is no disappointment.  Collins continues to build on her great characters and entraps your mind with them.  Again I can say if you love the movies you’ll love the books.  This is a series you will not want to put down.  I don’t recommend trying to read these books one at a time, as while you wait for the next you’ll be chewing your nails.  Just better to get them all and enjoy them as one.

Thrice Read Books reviews of Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire (Hunger Games book 2), reviewed by Brian and Sam

Sam’s Review:

The second installment in the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins doesn’t disappoint this reader, being equally good as the first. The title is Catching Fire.

Katniss and Peeta have been chosen for the Games yet again, and they have possibly started an uprising. President Snow is after Katniss, which makes this a whole lot more fun. Not! I feel really bad for Katniss.

This book was extremely fun, just like the last one, but i was slightly confused in the beginning because it just launched right into the story. Don’t worry though, everything was explained over time, which is good.

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has one paperback edition of this book for sale here.

You can also buy this book from Amazon in Kindle, hardback, paperback, audio CD and Audible here. [affiliate link]

The Hunger Games – Book Review

Thrice Read Books reviews Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games

About the book:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Contains Affiliate Link)

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games,” a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. 

Brian’s Review:

This is book one to a great trilogy.  If you haven’t heard of the Hunger Games, I have to wonder what rock you live under.  The books are excellent. If you have seen the movies but not read the books you are in for a treat.  The movies were great, the books are even better.  Learn to love the characters in a way the movies can’t do.  Great for upper Jr. High students and above.

Sam’s Review (Added 5-22-18):

The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins, is a dystopian novel made for young adult. It is large print and is 374 pages long. The link to this book on Thrice Read Books is in  the description below.

Katniss’s sister is chosen for the Hunger Games, a game where there can only be one surviving winner. In a desperate act to save her sister, Katniss volunteers to take her place. Together with the other tribute, Peeta, her, ugh, fake love interest, she is forced to face the hardest challenge she’s ever encountered.

I loved this book, and, in order to understand some of what went on a little better, I took breaks and imagined myself in her position. That and I have Hunger Games music. That makes the experience so much better.

In the dislike section, well, let’s just say that I didn’t find any, which is good ‘cause I’ve got two more books in the series. This’ll be fun!

Sam and Brian review The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (YA Dystopian Fiction) on Thrice Read Books blog

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has 1 paperback copy for sale here.

This book is available in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audible and mass market paperback from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

The Mini-Atlas of Snakes of the World

Review by Sam Bradshaw; the book itself can be purchased here.

This is a very interesting book.  Not full of information you never wanted to know but comes with basic information for over 500 species of snakes.  Simple pictures to help you understand the snake with a great key to understanding the pictures. Great reference book or if you love snakes great to have for your collection.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Book Review

About the book:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Contains Affiliate Link)

The Industrialist

Henrik Vanger, head of the dynastic Vanger Corporation, is tormented by the loss of a child decades earlier and convinced that a member of his family has committed murder.

The Journalist

Mikael Blomkvist delves deep into the Vangers’ past to uncover the truth behind the unsolved mystery. But someone else wants the past to remain a secret and will go to any lengths to keep it that way.

The girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth Salander, the enigmatic, delinquent and dangerous security specialist, assists in the investigation. A genius computer hacker, she tolerates no restrictions placed upon her by individuals, society or the law.  (From back cover of book)

Brian’s Review:

This is book one to a great trilogy.  I highly recommend reading this book before you endeavor on seeing the film.  Filled with twists suspense action and all out making you cheer for the underdog, the Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo will have you cheering and fearing page after page.  Word of warning, once you open this book you will not want to stop reading until you have read all 3 books in the series.  If you love books, if you love words, you love justice, then you undoubtedly love this book.

Buy the Book:

Thrice Read Books has a copy of this book for sale here.

You can also purchase this title from Amazon in Kindle, paperback, hardcover, audiobook and mass market paperback here. [affiliate link]

The Templars and the Grail – Book Review

About the book:

Who were the medieval Knights Templar?  How did they become so powerful and influential?  Why were they suddenly arrested and tortured in 1307?  What happened after their suppression?  And how does their memory live on today?

The powerful Knights Templar, famed monastic warriors of the Crusades, have long been shrouded in mystery.  They were believed to conduct mystical rites, guard various relics, and perhaps possess the lost treasures of Jerusalem.  They were also bankers to kings, trusted diplomats, skilled farmers, business scions, and navigators.  Drawing on both academic and local sources, this book provides a solidly researched, up-to-date academic history of the Order of the Temple, the Knights Templar (Part One), while also examining various theories about the Templars and their enduring mythos today (Part Two).

A vital contribution to medieval Templar history, 12th-14th century medieval religious studies, Crusades studies, Grail and related literature, and an analysis of modern-day interest in the medieval Order of the Temple (1119-1312).  Appendices include a comprehensive Chronology of Events (1118-1571), a list of Grand Masters,  information on major Templar sites, and illustrations featuring Rosslyn Chapel (Scotland) and its museum exhibition.

Brian’s Review:

 If you have ever heard of the Knight Templars, the holy grail, or even the crusades, then this book is right up your alley.  This work of nonfiction is master piece put together on the history of this great and powerful knights, from their rise to the their fall, and what may or may not have happened to them afterwards.  If history was taught the way this book was put together, kids in high school would be yearning for their history classes.  I can’t rave enough about this book

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has a paperback edition of this book for sale here.

You can also buy this book in paperback or Kindle format from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Eat Pray Love – Book Review

About the book:

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Contains Affiliate Link)

This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir touched a nerve among both readers and reviewers. Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali. By turns rapturous and rueful, this wise and funny author (whom Booklist calls “Anne Lamott’s hip, yoga- practicing, footloose younger sister”) is poised to garner yet more adoring fans. 

Jenn’s Review:

Admittedly, I saw the movie before reading the book. (I was beyond thrilled to discover that it was a book, and snatched it up when I found it) The book, by far, is the better time investment. Gilbert is an incredible, intense story teller, and this book has touched so many lives, in so many deep ways (my life included). It catalyzed the spiritual journey that I began about 6 years ago, and helped me to figure out that I did indeed need to answer some of the deeper questions that I’d put off for years. Utterly relate-able to any woman who has been through divorce, depression, yearning or longing of any kind, this is in my top 10 books that I want my daughter to read someday.

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has one copy of this book in inventory. Buy it here.

You can also buy this book (10th Anniversary edition) from Amazon in paperback, kindle, hardcover, audible, or audio CD here. [affiliate link]

Bound to Blackwood – Book Review

About the book:

Would you surrender your soul for the love of the King?

Lena, a vampire and a Guardian of the Order, has been honour-bound to protect human souls all her life.  Acting first and thinking second is what’s saved her skin time and again in the war against the Fallen, but her disregard for orders soon catches up with her when her boss is seriously injured.  Forced to take responsibility for her actions, Lena is thrust into the path of her very own kryptonite; Thorn.  The raw power of his soul calls to her and his mere presence lights a fire within her that she cannot contain.        

With Vampire magic waning and the race in crisis, can either of them afford to ignore Nature’s call? If they do, the future of the race is in jeopardy. If they don’t, they will both lose the most precious part of themselves. Their souls. 

Jenn’s Review:

I gave this book 4 stars on the Amazon website. There is some sexual content, adult language and violence. A funny and engaging novel about a Vampire clan in an age where vampires are in decline; sly subplots to foreshadow coming stories, and a romp through the country side as a vampire king and his elite guard try to solve a centuries old mystery (spoiler alert: it is fairly easy to solve the mystery early on, if you’re watching for the clues, but it’s still fun to see how they get from mystery to solution).

Buy the book:

This book is available at Amazon in Kindle or paperback here. [affiliate link]