Contact email: mesreads AT gmail.com
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GIVEAWAYS ARE NOW LOCATED ON THEIR OWN PAGE - CLICK ON TAB ABOVE; Giveaways also linked on right sidebar.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway: Mistletoe Memories: Four Generations Transform a House Into a Home for Christmas (Romancing America)

This is a delightful collection of Christmas miracles... with a touch of mistletoe!
Mistletoe Memories: Four Generations Transform a House Into a Home for Christmas (Romancing America)
by Jennifer AlLee, Carla Olson Gade, Lisa Karon Richardson,
and Gina Welborn

File Size: 3099 KB
Print Length: 355 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books; Gld edition (September 1, 2013)
ASIN: B00EF5N9FY
Genre: Inspirational Fiction, Christmas Romance
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


Spend a heartfelt Christmas on Schooley’s Mountain as four generations make a house a home. Carpenter Stephan Yost vows to build a precocious spinster a home by Christmas. Civil War widow Mary Ann Plum learns the greatest peace on earth comes from giving and receiving love. Olympia Paris must protect the orphanage she grew up in from a man intending to play Father Christmas to most of the town. Joy Benucci turns to a modern-day Scrooge to save a transitional home for foster kids. Will Christmas be a season of miracles in their lives?


Review:
Tis the Season by Carla Olson Cade; Rating 4.5
Schooley’s Mountain, NJ 1820
Annaliese is a beautiful young woman who has determined that she will remain single to take care of her widowed father, Dr. Braun. They travel from New York city to the resort village on Schooley’s Mountain each summer where many elite visit for the special spring mineral waters.

Stephan Yost is a respected and successful carpenter. He has watched Annaliese from afar but is fearful to approach her. He is sure that she would not accept a simple carpenter but even more he feels unworthy to receive love after he left his first love behind. Even though he was away during wartime he feels that he abandoned the young woman he once loved. When he discovers another secret from his past he is even more certain that he is beyond redemption.

I immediately liked these two characters and the young boy, Rory, who ultimately brings them together. Through the simple view of a child the author shows God’s great love and grace that can redeem the greatest sin. The story is warm and charming. I would like to read more works by Ms. Cade.

Mercy Mild by Gina Welborn; Rating 4.5
Schooley’s Mountain, NJ 1868
Deputy Sheriff Ezekiel Norcross is a caring, loving son and public officer. His tasks include delivering the orphan children to their new parents and new lives at Christmas. This year there is one extra child and he is determined that the bright, nine-year-old girl will not go to the home of an elderly widow where he is sure any child will be more a servant than a loved family member. Although he knows the woman he loves has said she doesn’t want children Zeke manages to have Marianne appointed as temporary guardian to Polly.

Marianne cares for Zeke but knows that he wants a family and she is certain she cannot be a mother. After all, her own mother thought Marianne was worthless and Marianne was barely a good wife to the man who was so kind to take her out of her miserable family life. She knows that she doesn’t know how to love children. Besides, Zeke’s mother, who is Marianne’s neighbor holds some animosity towards her that keeps the women at odds.

Again these are wonderful characters who grow by seeing themselves through the eyes of a child. It takes the joy and eagerness of an orphaned girl, and the regret and confession of an older mother to show Marianne that she can never be or do enough to make God love her… but that he gives love unconditionally with mercy and forgiveness.

Midnight Clear by Lisa Karon Richardson; My Rating 4.5
Schooley’s Mountain, NJ 1910
Olympia Paris was raised by a wonderful woman in the orphanage. She has gathered about her a half dozen young ones who are her family now. But she is struggling to raise the money to pay the taxes to keep the house where they live. Olympia works hard just to provide food and now her charges have begun to do small tasks and acts to help raise money too. Although there is concern, the cook/housekeeper is quick to remind her not to fret – “The Lord hasn’t gone anywhere.” The children accept this faith to a varying degree with some standing firm and others hoping to have their faith proved true.

Thomas Carstairs was another orphan who grew up with Olympia. He moved away and worked himself, step by step, up the ladder of success. He has returned to his childhood community with plans to bring work to the area by remodeling the old Inn as soon as he buys the building at the upcoming tax sale. Thomas has always loved Olympia and had no idea she was living at the old building taking care of another generation of orphans.

Olympia has only ever loved Thomas. But she cannot forgive him if he continues with his plans to take away their house. He thinks they are a burden to her and just doesn’t understand that they are her family.

Jonathan is the oldest boy in Olympia’s care and he is brash and troubled. He reminds Thomas of himself. Thomas learns a lesson as he helps Jonathan cope with people who demean the orphans. Olympia learns that it isn’t the house that keeps a family together. But can Thomas and Olympia find a common ground to bring them together?

This story shares a message of how we see ourselves and how we treat others. The author uses the characters to share messages of learning to move beyond our past and become more with God’s grace.

Comfort and Joy by Jennifer AlLee; My Rating 4.5.
Schooley’s Mountain, NJ, Modern Day
Joy was raised in the foster-care system and knows how difficult it can be for teens to transition from a foster home to life on their own. She established Comfort House to give young people who are cut loose from the foster care system at aged 18 to have a safe place to learn life and work skills. Joy has been able to raise funds and manage the facility with the help of the low rent agreement with the owner of the house.

Evan Lancaster is a handsome attorney who appears at Joy’s door. Evan’s family has had personal experience with the foster-care system in a different way and it has brought much pain. He has been told that Joy is just taking advantage of the system so he has no qualms telling her that he has inherited that house and that she is being given 30 days to vacate.

Evan soon begins to see that Joy really cares for her charges and he realizes that misconceptions have led to an injustice. But things have gone rather far and he may have a hard time putting things right.

I enjoyed how the author uses an eager news reporter to fan the flames of conflict between the beleaguered Joy and her teens and the big powerful lawyers threatening their home. There is a personal influence that plays a part in that conflict too. I appreciated Joy’s firm stand on faith, trusting that things would turn out right, and her encouraging Evan and his family to find that forgiveness can bring healing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Each of the stories shares a wonderful, gentle message of faith. The stories are warm and charming. All of my book club ladies loved the book, even if some thought that the quick romances were somewhat unrealistic. Since I know from personal experience that quick romance can happen that didn’t bother me one bit. I highly recommend this to readers who enjoy charming, clean romance with inspiring messages of faith. I will be glad to read any of these authors again.

This was a book selected for Ladies' Book Club. It qualifies for M on Alphabet Soup Challenge and my TBR Triple Dog Dare.

GIVEAWAY: Two Winners:
One (gently read) PRINT COPY
US Only for Print; Worldwide for eBook


(Don't forget to fill in the form for entry!
I have noticed a few commenters who forgot to enter through the Form.)
For 3 Extra Bonus entries
(a) comment on the review, OR
(b) Visit one of the Authors: Jennifer AlLeeCarla Olson Cade, Lisa Karon Richardson or
Gina Welborn and tell me something you learned or like there.

* This contest is open to US only for Print Copy.
* This contest will close 5 PM (Central) February 21, 2016.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED after February 21, 2016.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond on the winners form linked in the announcement or by email.

Monday, February 8, 2016

(Late) Sunday Post February 7, 2016/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday February 8, 2016



I am linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading now at The Book Date.
Thank you to Sheila for the years that she handled this meme.
Thank you to Kathryn for taking up the baton.
What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Last week went well until the end when my DH set me on a project to complete before we came to Biloxi for our son's graduation from another course. I stayed up all night Saturday to almost finish it. 
We are visiting in Biloxi now and will return home tomorrow.
Reading seemed slow but I did finish three books, two audios and one ebooks. I only posted one review - how shocking. I did post a January Wrap Up and Friday Pick but missed my other usual posts. This one is late - but here. :-)

I enjoyed visiting early again last week. I will have to visit late this week.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:

Finished Reading:
1. Audible/ MP3


The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Written by: Robert A. Heinlein
Narrated by: Lloyd James
I enjoyed this vintage sci fi a lot. My review is linked above.




2. eBook/Kindle (LBC)


Mistletoe Memories: Four Generations Transform a House Into a Home for Christmas (Romancing America)
by Jennifer AlLee, Carla Olson Gade, Lisa Karon Richardson,
and Gina Welborn
This is delightful. I will post a review with giveaway this week.
Click on book title for full description.



3. Audible/MP3 (ABJ)
Singular Audiobook by David F. Porteous Narrated by David F. Porteous


Singular

Written by: David F. Porteous
Narrated by: David F. Porteous
This is a bit gritty - and interesting.
I received this from the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox.
Click on book title for full description.




Currently reading:
1. Audible/ MP3


Star Crusader: Hero of the Alliance
Written by: Michael G. Thomas
Narrated by: Andrew B. Wehrlen

This audiobook came from the Author through Audiobook Blast. I am just starting. Sounds like fun.
Nate has a talent for space combat after hundreds of victories in the Star Crusader videogame simulation. His skills are unique, enough to gain him a rare privilege: the chance to join five other Alliance cadets and escape the dull routine of the classroom. They will enter a fierce competition light-years away in the ancient Byotai Empire. Yet days after their arrival a rebellious faction begins a bloody mutiny that spreads like wildfire. The time for competition has ended; the time of war has begun.
A handful of capital ships attempt to avoid the massacre, but only Relentless escapes. Nate and his friends are aboard, part of the few to make it out alive. Relentless is a heavily armored assault ship, a relic from another age, but most of her crew members are dead or missing. Nate and his fellow cadets have to face the unthinkable. Under the guidance of Lieutenant Higgins, the ship's last fighter pilot, the six cadets have just days to practice operating the ship's fighters. There are no others. Only they can defend the ship, or face death at the hands of the enemy.
©2015 Swordworks Books (P)2015 Swordworks Books



2. eBook/Kindle


Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette (The Suffragette Nation Book 1)
by L Davis Munro
I am reading this for review on 2/18 
as part of iRead Book Tour.
A fascinating glimpse into often-overlooked aspects of women’s history, Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette follows a young typewriter girl as she struggles to survive on her own in 1913 London.
Emmy’s wages are far from sufficient to feed and clothe her properly, so when she’s offered a better-paying job with Scotland Yard she doesn’t hesitate to accept—even though it means spying on the seemingly harmless Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). She soon meets Edith, a wealthy suffragette, who promises to show Emmy the ropes.
When a man from her past takes over the Scotland Yard task force and questions her loyalty, Emmy accepts a risky mission from the WSPU to prove her value to both sides, only to wind up endangering herself and Edith and wondering for what or whom she’s actually fighting.
Honest, yet hopeful, about the hardships facing women in the early twentieth century, this story honors the human struggle for equality and serves as an ongoing reminder of the importance of standing up for your beliefs.



3. eBook/Kindle


Immurement: The Undergrounders Series Book One
(A Young Adult Science Fiction Dystopian Novel)
by Norma Hinkens
I received this from Xpresso Book Tours to review by 2/20.
I am looking forward to reading it.
The earth’s core overheats. The sovereign leader vanishes. A young girl is the survivors’ only hope.
What little land is habitable is patrolled by cutthroat gangs of escaped subversives, but that’s not the greatest threat facing sixteen-year-old Derry Connelly, her brother Owen, and a ragged band of Preppers holed up in a bunker in the Sawtooth Mountains. Mysterious hoverships operated by clones are targeting adolescents to extract their genes. Owen, is one of the first to disappear. To save him, Derry must strike a deal with the murderous subversives, and risk a daring raid to infiltrate the heart of the extraction operation.
But will the rookie leader falter when forced to choose between her brother and a clone who ignites something inside her she didn’t know was possible?



4. Print (LBC)


Two From Galilee: The Story Of Mary And Joseph
by Marjorie Holmes
I did not finish this for Ladies Book Club 2/6. 
I may not finish any time soon.
This is a fictionalized telling of the Christmas Story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus. The writing and description is rich but I have not been able to engage with the expanded fiction of the bible story.



January 31, 2016- up to date.
Reading The One Year Bible again along with my husband and others from our church.
I will also be listening (sometimes) to the companion commentary online.


I only posted one review last week which leaves me two for this week.
My five titles on my NetGalley shelves increased to nine. I need to start reading them soon.


This is a new title available from eTreasure's at NetGalley:


31 Fun Ways to Increase Your Child’s Attention Span
by Dr. Jackie Paxton






Welcome to Mailbox Monday.

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs.  This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday. Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach.
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I picked up three review titles this week; two from authors.
TBR Triple Dog Dare update: I have resisted purchases now for 39 days with the exception of using my two January Audible credits. I was greatly tempted this week by the Audible first in a series sale but I resisted. Although I did add ten of them to my Wish List.
I added more free kindle titles to my library.

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles
I received this title from the author:
Rarity from the Hollow: A Lacy Dawn Adventure
by Robert Eggleton
'Imagine Wizard of Oz and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy smashed together and taking place in a hollow in the hills of West Virginia.' —Adicus Ryan Garton, Editor, AtomJack


I received this through Caffeinated Book Reviewer. for review on March 17.

Passion, peril, and a scandal that will rock American politics.


I received this title from the author for review and giveaway. 
(Date to be set.)
In Time for You (Knights in Time Book 4)
by Chris Karlsen
While horseback riding in the English countryside, sisters, Electra and Emily Crippen find themselves trapped in a tear in time. Thrown back to 1357 England and caught by a local noble, they are in a place that is home but as frightening and unfamiliar as an alien world would be.


Won

NONE

Purchased

NONE
Free

Over the past week I added 50 free Kindle titles to my library. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Ignite Your Book, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Out of Touch for a Few Days

Hi friends-

I got "buried" by a project Saturday and never left my office until 7:15am Sunday morning. We were traveling to Biloxi this weekend and my DH wanted me to get this work completed before we left.  I slept a little on the drive this morning but am still rather tired and planning on going to bed soon. I think I may be too old to bounce back quickly from an all-nighter.
So no review for Saturday, no Sharing Beyond Books on Saturday, no Sunday Words of Encouragement, and no Sunday Post tonight. I will try to get Sharing Beyond Books up mid-week but we are with family until Tuesday night. If we get back in time we hope to attend our Band of Brother's appreciation dinner to see more of the pictures from Haiti.

So - no worries. I am fine but out of touch for a few days.
I hope everyone has a good beginning to another week. :-)


[Image found at www.memecenter.com]

Friday, February 5, 2016

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway February 5, 2016

Happy Friday.
Ack! Another week gone! I have so much to do. I just keep on plugging away at all the tasks.
Weather got warmer but now is heading to cold again. We're saving some logs for the cold spell expected later next week. Meanwhile we may be visiting Biloxi early in the week if I can juggle through some work. I always find it interesting when you mention your different weather in your comments. Even though we are 'world's apart' we can share together through our blog time and reading. :-)

[Thanks for continued prayers for my nephew. His 8 hour surgery is scheduled again for 2/10.] 
BTW- Thanks for being patient if you've been waiting for books. We have been training a new clerk and finally got her started on book mailings this week. There is a back log all the way back to right before Christmas so I appreciate your patience.

TO ENTER FRIDAY PICK
US Entrants: Leave a comment and tell me WHICH BOOK you would like to get from the Friday Pick lists.
INTERNATIONAL: Leave a comment indicating "Gift Card" (see further comments near the end of the post.)


CUT OFF TIME IS THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 9:00 PM CENTRAL so I do not have to stay up too late to do the winner post! I will randomly pick two winners to announce Friday mornings with the next Pick post.

Thank you to all who entered the January 30 Pick. There was one automatic win again this week.  Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times without other people asking for that book during those weeks. There was one blocked title.
AUTO: 
Rita gets Whisper on the Wind
CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from January 29 Pick:
Elizabeth gets The Leigh Greenwood Pair (persistence prevails!)
CarolNW gets Rally Fever

All winners please fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me to confirm your win, send your snail mail address information and let me know if you would like bookmarks - sensual, sexy or sweet bookmarks. {The form is new because Google changed their forms and the old one wasn't letting me print out the responses.}
It's the month of love and that means loving books... and libraries.
Image found at Pinterest.

New Book Goup #63 January 22, 2016
(I have the picture and will try to get the list up before I crash. Sorry no links right now.)
PAIRS:
Victoria Alexander: The Pursuit of Marriage (slight creasing) and When We Meet Again
Shannon Drake: Reckless and When we Touch
James Patterson: Black Friday and Hide and Seek (both have spine creasing)
SINGLES:
Presidential Antidotes by Paul F. Boller, Jr.
Undercurrents by Stella Cameron
Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl
Warrior Ascended by Addison Fox
Parallel Attraction by Deidre Knight
Moving Target by Cheyenne McCray
Wayward Winds by Michael Phillips - Audio Tapes
Walking After Moonlight by Karen Robards
Forgotten Promises by Denise Skelton
A Walk to Remember by Nicolas Sparks - hardback

New Book Group #62 November 6, 2015


Touch Me by Beverly Rae (personally autographed)


New Book Group #61 October 30, 2015
After I noticed the trend I went on a hunt for “bride” titles. I even pulled a couple from some of my long time collections(*). (But they are not getting read on my shelves.)

PAIRS:
Leigh Greenwood –  The Reluctant Bride and The Independent Bride
Jane Feather(*) – The Hostage Bride and The Accidental Bride
SINGLES:
The de Burgh Bride by Deborah Simmons
The Forever Bride by Evelyn Rogers (Seam creasing)
Short Straw Bride by Dallas Schultz
Bride of Lochbarr by Margaret Moore (*)
The Ideal Bride by Stephanie Laurens (*)
Honor’s Bride by Galye Wilson
A Necessary Bride by Debra Mullins
Border Bride by Deborah Hale


New Book Group #60 September 18, 2015
A set of "haunting" tales and a few mysteries for October!

Shannon Drake –  Realm of Shadows (Alliance Vampires#4) 
SINGLES:
Bloody Good by Georgia Evans
Cat of Nine Tales by Deborah Macgillivray
The Shadowing by Joan Overfield
The Renegade Hunter by Lynsay Sands
Trilogy Of Mysteries Audio Book Shadow Prey, There Was A Little Girl, Smokescreen Audio Cassettes (NOT CDs)


New Book Group #59 July 31, 2015
A few more summer titles, historicals and mysteries!

ANTHOLOGIES:
Broken Vows, Mended Hearts by Lynn Stone, Gail Ranstrom and Anne O'Brien
3,2,1 Married! by Sharon Sala, Marie Ferrarella and Beverly Barton
SINGLES:
Cruise to a Wedding by Betty Neels
Little Girl Lost by Shirlee McCoy
You Don't Know Jack by Erin McCarthy

New Book Group #58 June 26, 2015
-- A few summer titles, a few mysteries, a few historicals...

SINGLES:
Servant, The Awakening by L.L. Foster

New Book Group #57 May 1, 2015


SINGLES:
A Little Bit Wild by Victoria Dahl
The Ruthless Greek's Virgin Princess by Trish Morey
Rally Fever by Crea Jones

New Book Group #56 March 20, 2015
(I'll try to get the rest linked another day.)

SINGLES:
The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt
Raintree Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (spine creases)

New Book Group #55 February 5, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #54 December 26, 2014



SINGLES:
Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card - Tape Cassettes


BOX 4 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 47-53)

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty byVickie Kennedy
First to Fight Anthology
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
The Commander by Kate Bridges
The Cinderella Plan by Margaret Daley
The Mr. & Mrs. Happy Handbook by Steve Doocy
A Garden of Friends by Penny Pierce Rose
Richard Paul Evans PAIR: The Looking Glass and The Carousel
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle
Sleeping with Ward Cleaver by Jenny Gardiner


BOX 3 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 39- 47)

Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)
Cattle Rancher, Secret Son by Margaret Way
Whisper on the Wind by Joan Smith
Remember Me by Mary Higgins Clark
A Lady of Consequence by Mary Nichols
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain


BOX 2 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 24- 38)

Thinner by Stephen King
Foundation (Foundation Novels) by Isaac Asimov
Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
Dancing on Snowflakes by Jane Bonander
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)
A Courtesans Guide to Getting Your Man by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley -- NOTE This book has dog bite damage; it is missing half back cover and the edges of pages in the back third of the book... it does not effect the text but I will understand if no one wants this one
Tara Taylor Quinn: Father: Unknown and McGillus v.Wright
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe
Anthology: Something Borrowed, Something Blue - this book has spine creases and minor water damage...I thought I had read it and liked it but now I realize it was another anthology I read with Elaine Barbier.


BOX #1 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 1- 23)

Circle of Stars by Anna Lee Waldo
Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser
Death Angel by Linda Howard

If you saw the pictures posted of my bookshelves and boxes you know I do have lots of books! And that doesn't include the other eight or so boxes at my office!! And more books as I find deals too good to pass up! I am sharing my book bounty by these Friday Pick Giveaways.

I started Friday Pick on November 27, 2009 and in almost six years I have posted 62 groups of 16 (992) books to find new homes! (as of November 6, 2015).

I am happy to say that so far about 924+ books have found new homes! YAY. I have to update my print out to check the exact number sent out - a few were never claimed. I periodically update the lists - deleting those won. You can still go to the Friday Pick list link to see older posts and the older lists book pictures if you want!

Note rules here regarding international entries.
Because postage to overseas can be prohibitive I am willing to give a $5.00 book certificate to international winners - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, ARe, TWRP, ClassAct Books, eTreasures, Desert Breeze, etc....you tell me where and I'll set it up. So for my overseas visitors your comment may indicate a smaller book and I'll check postage or note your choice of gift card.

I learned that The Book Depository does not ship to everywhere. The postage for some of the books to far away places runs between $7.00 and $10.00 and up. Since I would award $5.00 for The Book Depository to an international winner, as an alternative you may choose a smaller book and we will hope the postage will not exceed $6.00. If the postage is more, or if you want to pick a larger book and you are willing to pay any extra postage beyond the $6.00 I will work with you on that. This may not make a difference to many but if it helps one or two of you to give one of my books a home that will make me happy too. :o)

Repeating this helpful blog tip: You can right click on a link and you will be given the choice to open the link in a new window or tab so you do not navigate away from the screen you are on!! I use this all the time!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Audible Book Review: The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

Excellent narration enhances this fascinating sci fi classic.
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Written by: Robert A. Heinlein
Narrated by: Lloyd James
Length: 14 hrs and 12 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:10-11-06
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Genre: Sci Fi, Vintage
My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0


Publisher's Summary
In what is considered one of Heinlein's most hair-raising, thought-provoking, and outrageous adventures, the master of modern science fiction tells the strange story of an even stranger world. It is 21st-century Luna, a harsh penal colony where a revolt is plotted between a bashful computer and a ragtag collection of maverick humans, a revolt that goes beautifully until the inevitable happens. But that's the problem with the inevitable: it always happens.
Winner of the 1967 Hugo award, this novel marked Heinlein's partial return to his best form. He draws many historical parallels with the War of Independence, and clearly shows his own libertarian political views.
©1965 Robert A. Heinlein; (P)1999 Blackstone Audio Inc.


Review:
Luna was set up years ago as a penal colony where prisoners were sent to serve time. They do not have cells and the peace keepers are few since there is no place to escape to. There are no laws but common sense rules of society have developed over the years that maintain order. There is now a large population of free people on Luna, either having served their time or having been born free. But the Warden still governs and he answers to Luna Authority which keeps the population at a level of slavery by controlling the exports and finances.

Manuel, “Mannie”, Davis is a free born citizen who lost an arm in a work accident. He now has a collection of six or seven arms designed for specialized purposes. Mannie works as a computer technician on the main computer that controls the life systems on the moon. When the computer asks about a joke, Mannie realizes that it has become “sentient”. Mannie, with his new friend “Mike” (the lonely computer), inadvertently ends up as one of a handful of leaders of a revolution to free Luna.

Mannie meets a beautiful young activist, Wyoh, at a political rally he attends mostly out of curiosity. The event is interrupted by a police raid and the police, and a few citizens, are killed. Mannie leads Wyoh out of the crowd to a safe place, ultimately bringing her into his interesting family farm. Wyoh is named a fugitive, and Mannie’s longtime friend, Prof, is suspect, but Mannie has not caught the eye of the authorities. The three enlist Mike to help them as they form an Emergency Committee to Free Luna.

The revolutionists have limited weapons and know that they are facing the vast technological resources of Terra. Their best secret is Mike with his analytical skills and circuits of control. Mike warns them that their circumstances are more urgent than they know when he predicts starvation in only seven years. After some brainstorming with Mike the leaders recognize that they do have a weapon they can use… they will become like David slinging stones at Goliath.

I became fascinated with the society make-up of Luna, the differences resulting from the lesser gravity and the values developed. The marriage and family system was creatively adjusted to accommodate large family groups with multiple husbands and wives. The set up and progress of the Revolution is interesting study in strategies.

Mike’s multiple roles as a friend, co-conspirator, party leader and political satirist make him a wonderful character. I enjoyed Prof’s initial manipulations of the temporary council and later efforts to direct the nature of the ‘new government’. I grew very attached to Mannie who tells the story, first person, as a form of memoir of the revolutionary years. The language is a mixture of English and Russian with a few other words thrown in. Mannie was an easy going fellow who didn’t choose to be a leader but stepped up, with support of his friends, to complete the mission, even if the results weren’t quite as planned.

The story has a great blend of humor, social and political issues, revolutionary strategy, danger, and that touch of irony I now anticipate as an element of science fiction. I highly recommend this as a fun and intriguing story.

Audio Notes: Lloyd James does a great job with the narration. The Russian accent for Mannie is at first surprising but soon becomes friendly and natural. James nails the multiple personalities of Mike and does a good job with the other characters too. I was delighted by the story and the audio.

This is another Vintage Sci Fi from 1966. This has been in my Audible Library since 2011 so it is a good TBR as well as qualifying for Audio Challenge.

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