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Daily Deals: Ancient Egypt, one of the best Middle Grade books...

The Midwife of Hope River: A Novel of an American Midwife  by Patricia Harman The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Midwife Patience Murphy has a gift: a talent for escorting mothers through the challenges of bringing children into the world. Working in the hardscrabble conditions of Appalachia during the Depression, Patience takes the jobs that no one else wants, helping those most in need—and least likely to pay. She knows a successful midwifery practice must be built on a foundation of openness and trust—but the secrets Patience is keeping are far too intimate and fragile for her to ever let anyone in.

Honest, moving, and beautifully detailed, Patricia Harman’s The Midwife of Hope River rings with authenticity as Patience faces nearly insurmountable difficulties. From the dangerous mines of West Virginia to the terrifying attentions of the Ku Klux Klan, Patience must strive to bring new light and life into an otherwise hard world.

This book is tremendously well reviewed. The one drawback was the sheer volume of birthing stories and a somewhat open ending. While there is a romance, it’s very backseat and some readers wanted to know more about her relationship with “Mr. Vet.”

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Under Wraps by Hannah JayneUnder Wraps by Hannah Jayne. $ 1.99 AMZ | Google Play

From the Jacket Copy:

Sick of wrongful-death lawsuits every time a full moon comes around?

Call the Underworld Detection Agency.

As a human immune to magic, Sophie Lawson can help everyone from banshee to zombie transition into normal, everyday San Francisco life. With a handsome werewolf as her UDA boss and a fashionista vampire for a roommate, Sophie knows everything there is to know about the undead, the unseen, and the uncanny. . .

Until a rash of gruesome murders has demons and mortals running for cover, and Sophie finds herself playing sidekick to detective Parker Hayes. Dodging raging bloodsuckers, bad-tempered fairies, and love-struck trolls is one thing. But when Sophie discovers Parker isn’t what he seems, she’s got only one chance to figure out whom to trust. Because an evil hiding in plain sight is closing in. . .and about to make one wisecracking human its means to ultimate power. . .

PW “After a slow and vague beginning in which characters casually toss around stereotypes and epithets based on (supernatural) race, Jayne gains control of her various plot threads and brings most of them to a satisfying, exciting conclusion with plenty of intrigue set up for a sequel”

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Wonder by R. J. PalacioWonder by R. J. Palacio. $ 2.50

From the Jacket Copy:

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

“Wonder is the best kids’ book of the year,” said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

I highly recommend this book. It’s the story of a young boy who suffers from cranial facial abnormalities whose greatest desire is to be viewed as an ordinary fifth grader. There are some points of view from his sister and his sister’s boyfriend and a certain sentiment that God won’t give you more than you can handle (1 Cor 10:13) but mostly I believe it teaches us empathy and gives us insight on how everyone is the same inside and how you treat someone shouldn’t depend on how they look.

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The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt by Toby WilkinsonThe Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt by Toby Wilkinson. $ 1.99 AMZ | Google Play.

From the Jacket Copy:

In this landmark work, one of the world’s most renowned Egyptologists tells the epic story of this great civilization, from its birth as the first nation-state to its final absorption into the Roman Empire—three thousand years of wild drama, bold spectacle, and unforgettable characters.

Award-winning scholar Toby Wilkinson captures not only the lavish pomp and artistic grandeur of this land of pyramids and pharaohs but for the first time reveals the constant propaganda and repression that were its foundations. Drawing upon forty years of archaeological research, Wilkinson takes us inside an exotic tribal society with a pre-monetary economy and decadent, divine kings who ruled with all-too-recognizable human emotions.

Here are the years of the Old Kingdom, where Pepi II, made king as an infant, was later undermined by rumors of his affair with an army general, and the Middle Kingdom, a golden age of literature and jewelry in which the benefits of the afterlife became available for all, not just royalty—a concept later underlying Christianity. Wilkinson then explores the legendary era of the New Kingdom, a lost world of breathtaking opulence founded by Ahmose, whose parents were siblings, and who married his sister and transformed worship of his family into a national cult. Other leaders include Akhenaten, the “heretic king,” who with his wife Nefertiti brought about a revolution with a bold new religion; his son Tutankhamun, whose dazzling tomb would remain hidden for three millennia; and eleven pharaohs called Ramesses, the last of whom presided over the militarism, lawlessness, and corruption that caused a crucial political and societal decline.

Riveting and revelatory, filled with new information and unique interpretations, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt will become the standard source about this great civilization, one that lasted—so far—longer than any other.

Apparently if you’re going to read one book on Egypt this would be it. The author writes unflinchingly about the dark side of the Egyptian empire such as the use of human sacrifice, slaves, and starvation of people so the rulers could erect monuments to their glory.

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

7 Comments

  1. Paula
    Aug 12, 2014 @ 15:56:57

    Ah, 1 Cor. 10:13, the most misquoted verse in the Bible. Well, that and the “root of all evil” one :) I was really startled when I read it for myself and looked at the context.
    Actually it refers to God not letting you be tempted (to sin) beyond what you can resist – meaning you always have a choice to not sin. It doesn’t make Christians exempt from awful life situations, or automatically better equipped to handle them, but a lot of people seem comforted by that interpretation.
    Thank you for the recommendation! :)

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  2. Jane
    Aug 12, 2014 @ 16:22:41

    @Paula: I think temptation v. burden is still a fair interpretation of that verse. That the temptations of the world, whatever they may be, won’t be more than you can personally bear. Do I believe in it? Not necessarily but I don’t think the interpretation is wrong.

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  3. hapax
    Aug 12, 2014 @ 18:47:25

    B&N has price-matched the ancient Egypt book, which I immediately bought because I am a huge history nerd.

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  4. K.L.
    Aug 12, 2014 @ 19:29:53

    Another history nerd here! Ty for that sale link!

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  5. Erin Satie
    Aug 12, 2014 @ 20:40:01

    I really loved WONDER. It’s very much a children’s book–simple language, very short chapters–but the multiple perspectives allow a surprising amount of depth and complexity. I finished it soaking in tears & then sent it to a friend who has young kids.

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  6. Kaetrin
    Aug 13, 2014 @ 01:42:58

    Wonder is not on special for me but I’d reserved it from the library. Maybe son and I can read it together.

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  7. k1ate
    Aug 13, 2014 @ 22:48:56

    @paula the greek (peirazó) is often translated as “test” or “examine”… Which I think aligns with Jane’s interpretation of “burden”. Not to get too interpretation-y (vs translation), but another way to think of it is the “temptations of the material world are always a test of faith”… and material world = anything non-spiritual (so a physical deformity/being bothered by a physical deformity, would be just as much of a distraction from the “path of righteousness” as the indulgence in sin).

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