Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review: Moonwalk by Michael Jackson

4 stars for Moonwalk by Michael Jackson.

I still remember how shocking and unbelievable I find it to be when the media broadcast the demise of Michael Jackson in Jun 2009. My immediate reaction is that I must have heard it wrongly on the radio. After all, the King of Pop is only 50 years old, how can he have breathed his last that soon? But when I start seeing friends' posting one after another in facebook of Michael Jackson's passing, the reality of it all sinks in.

Though I am no fan of this seventh child of the Jackson family, I have long heard of his talent and contributions to music and dance, notably one of his complicated dance techniques which he named moonwalk, to which this book is fittingly titled after.

In his enthralling memoir, Michael Jackson starts off simply by talking about his birth place and family. Growing up with his parents who both love music, he hears it all the time at home and it aids to cultivate his passion to sing at a tender age. The King of Pop reveals that he sings because he truly enjoys it and loves to sing, and not because he is compelled to go into music business as some other child stars are made to. To him, singing is as natural as breathing.

It is obvious that Michael Jackson loves, adores and respects his mother tremendously. In his eyes, Katherine Jackson is a great provider and a very hard working mother. Even with nine children, she treats each of them like an only child with love, warmth and attention. She is fully supportive of their dreams to sing and perform and continues to help them realise their potential through the years. To that end, every one of his albums or the group's albums has been dedicated to their mother.

On the other hand, his father has always been a mystery to him and he thinks that it is due to his father's difficulty to relate on father and son issues. Though a strict fatherly figure, Michael Jackson is quick to point out that Joe Jackson does his fatherly role well to protect his children and look out for their interests; he is always watching for things that can help his children down the road and very on the ball with all the latest stuff to assist in their show business. Nevertheless, Michael Jackson expresses regret for not having developed real closeness to understand his father whose inner thoughts and feelings remains a mystery to him always.

In Moonwalk, Michael Jackson talks much about The Jackson 5, its inauguration and how it evolves over the years as the members all recognise the need to grow with changes and thus are always trying to improve themselves and surprise their audience. He shares on how he gets his education from the stage by watching and learning other talents at work. He also writes about their exciting experience recording with Motown and how the team writes, produces and shapes their music by fine-tuning the song to perfection while they cut a track repeatedly for weeks.

This book is well written chronologically with simple, easy to understand wording and good grammar with well constructed sentences. Regrettably, as I am not a fan of his, I am not able to fully appreciate much of what Michael Jackson shares in great details on his singles, albums and concert tours. I somehow manage to get myself lost somewhere along the way after 55% of the book because there are just too many song titles, world tours, names of recording company and managers to which I am totally clueless. Though Michael Jackson explains and gives understandably good reasons for his behavior and avoidance of the public, I will be fibbing with eyes wide open to say that I am not a wee bit disappointed that there is very little mention of his very personal life in his only autobiography.

Overall, an enjoyable and heartwarming read into the finer details on the contributions and achievements of the late King of Pop to music and dance.

Publisher: Crown Archetype
Publication date: 27 Oct 2010


The pop singer Michael Jackson breaks the barrier of silence that has surrounded his private life. He recalls a childhood that was both harsh and joyful, the transformation of the Jackson Five into worldwide stardom, his sometimes difficult relationships with his family, and the inspiration and drive behind his music. He also talks about show-business friends such as Diana Ross, Paul McCartney, Fred Astaire and Marlon Brando, and about his decision to have extensive plastic surgery. The book is illustrated with family photographs.

*Blurb from FantasticFiction*

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Review: Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Hawking

3.5 stars for Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Hawking.

I decide to read this book after catching “The Theory of Everything” in the theatre on 16 Jan 2015. Before this, I am not aware that this movie is based on a book written by Stephen Hawking’s wife, first wife to be precise, only that this motion picture portrays the life of the well-known theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking who is also the world-famous author of “A Brief History of Time”, a book currently sitting among others on one of the book shelves in my study room.

“The Theory of Everything” is one of the best films I have ever watched. It is not just the storyline that makes this big screen engaging, but the outstanding performance by leading male actor, Eddie Redmayne depicting Stephen Hawking from his days in Cambridge University to his loving relationship with arts student Jane Wilde to his scientific breakthroughs, to his increasing physical dependence on others due to the fast deteriorating muscle degeneration caused by the motor-neuron disease plaguing him.

Perhaps most impressive of all is this English actor’s excellent act out of Stephen Hawking in the face of such adversity, making all amity warmer, all pain more poignant, and all sorrow sadder. Kudos to Eddie Redmayne for clinching the 2015 Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor – Drama. I may not have watched the performance of other nominees but I feel deep within that if Redmayne does not take home this Best Actor Award, no other nominee should.

Coincidentally, The Theory of Everything is actually one of the books written by Stephen Hawking. The book penned by Jane his first wife, on which the movie is based upon is in fact titled Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen. However, I do agree that the former is better suited as the movie title since the word theory goes hand in hand with Hawking’s career as a theoretical physicist, and certainly a more catchy title.

Travelling to Infinity is a candid account of Jane Wilde’s early life and her thirty years of marriage to Stephen Hawking. True to herself, Jane writes about her fear, insecurities, unhappiness and phobia of flying as the wife of a physicist who is obsessed with science, being so consumed with his research of theoretical discoveries that he is unconcerned with the emotional aspects of his wife. Behaving as if he is the master of universe, Hawking comes across as a self-centred and inconsiderate husband, who is insensitive either deliberately or unintentionally, to the feelings and hardship borne by Jane.

In contrast to the loving tenderness, trust and mutual resolve to overcome challenges portrayed between the couple in the movie, Jane’s memoir tells of how Hawking’s adamant refusal to recognise reality, his reluctance to openly discuss his disability and constant rejection of the need for external nursing help to relief either Jane or their children of the strain, put tremendous strains on their marriage. In the eyes of Jane, Stephen uses his illness and disability as a weapon against his family, thereby trapping her into a downward spiral of despair, desolation and hopelessness, and always making her feel guilty of appearing disloyal by any suggestion put forth of the need for external help.

Though Jane also writes about their family living and working in harmony, supporting each other and participating in each other's interests, there appear to be more negative forces than positive ones as the difference in their beliefs resurface to haunt them in later years as the arguments get more personal, divisive and hurtful. While Jane believes that there is more to life than just the law of physics, Stephen does not hesitate to declare himself an atheist.

To rub salt into the wounds, Jane find herself in the unpleasant situation of divided loyalties. While she genuinely wants to help her husband to achieve all possible success which means travelling with him to conferences held in far flung places, she feels guilty for leaving their children, whom she owes an equal responsibility to, under the care of their grandparents. Thus, Jane is always torn between touring with Stephen and her obligation of playing the role of father and mother to their children.

Despite the book being dedicated as Jane’s life with Stephen, much is also spent on writing about Jane’s thesis, history of other countries, other scientists, other physicists and their theories including Jane's personal feelings and thinking about such. Unfortunately, some parts of the writing feel like fragmented thoughts as if the accounts are written as and when memory serves with no regard to flow of continuity. Also, there is the issue of long sentences, and by long, I mean really very long sentences which makes reading challenging.

Travelling to Infinity is a worthy insight to the inner-most feelings of Jane Wilde. Even as it is a heartfelt and sincere account of the years Jane has shared with Stephen Hawking, I like to think that it may not be a full picture of their lives together. Afterall, we are only seeing it from one side of the coin and I suppose Hawking has his side of the story to tell.

Publisher: Alma Books
Publication date: 1 Dec 2013


Professor Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous and remarkable scientists of our age and the author of the scientific bestseller A Brief History of Time, which has sold more than 25 million copies.

In this compelling memoir, his first wife, Jane Hawking, relates the inside story of their extraordinary marriage. As Stephen's academic renown soared, his body was collapsing under the assaults of a motor neuron disease. Jane's candid account of trying to balance his 24-hour care with the needs of their growing family reveals the inner strength of the author, while the self-evident character and achievements of her husband make for an incredible tale presented with unflinching honesty. Jane's candor is no less apparent when the marriage finally ends in a high-profile meltdown, with Stephen leaving Jane for one of his nurses and Jane marrying an old family friend.

In this exceptionally open, moving, and often funny memoir, Jane Hawking confronts not only the acutely complicated and painful dilemmas of her first marriage, but also the relationship's fault lines exposed by the pervasive effects of fame and wealth. The result is a book about optimism, love, and change that will resonate with readers everywhere.

*Blurb from Goodreads*

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Skin Deep (Legion #2) by Brandon Sanderson

5 stars for Skin Deep (Legion book 2) by Brandon Sanderson.

Skin Deep is a follow-up to book 1 Legion about a man, Stephen Leeds with a peculiar psychological makeup. He talks to people whom others cannot see and he listens to voices which no others can hear. Stephen terms these unique friends of his who come and go as they please his “aspects” and he appreciates that each of them has a specific role to play to assist him in one way or another. Truth be told, Stephen’s “aspects” are simply pieces of him, vessels for his knowledge akin to walking memories.

Though Stephen lives in his self-created world of delusions, he claims to be able to discern his hallucinations from what is real. In order to gain the wealth for the expensive upkeep of his “aspects”, Stephen agrees to a job, a mission that once completed will gain him complete financial independence for building more rooms in his mansion to house all his "aspects". I am very impressed by the way the author crafts the plot to bring out Stephen's brilliancy to its heights through his deductions and findings to search for the critical missing puzzle in his task. Besides the excellent storyline, there is also good humor involved as manifested in Stephen's delusions.

Overall, the shift from book 1 Legion to Skin Deep book 2 has taken me aback, and I like to think that it is because the plot and writing has improved by leaps and bounds. Skin Deep is definitely much more engaging and fascinating than its older sibling. It has far exceeded my expectations and is a real delight.

Publisher: Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC; 1.03 edition
Publication date: 24 Nov 2014


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, Stephen Leeds is back in a new, double-length novella that Library Journal says has “the pulse of a thriller and the hook of a fascinating hero balancing on the edge of psychosis.”

It’s not his own genius that Stephen Leeds gets hired for. Clients want to tap into the imaginary experts that populate his mind—and it’s getting a bit crowded in there.

Now Stephen and his internal team of “aspects” have been hired to track down a stolen corpse—but it’s not the corpse that’s important, it’s what the corpse knows. The biotechnology company he worked for believes he encoded top-secret information in his DNA before he died, and if it falls into the wrong hands, that will mean disaster.

Meanwhile, Stephen’s uneasy peace with his own hallucinations is beginning to fray at the edges, as he strives to understand how one of them could possibly have used Stephen’s hand to shoot a real gun during the previous case. And some of those hallucinations think they know better than Stephen just how many aspects his mind should make room for. How long will he be able to hold himself together?

*Blurb from author's website*

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review: Legion (Legion #1) by Brandon Sanderson

3 stars for Legion (Legion book 1) by Brandon Sanderson.

Reading Legion reminds me of this book, A Beautiful Mind written by economist and journalist Sylvia Nasar, a biography of John Forbes Nash, a mathematical genius whose career is cut short by schizophrenia and who, after three decades of devastating mental illness, miraculously recovers and is honoured with a Nobel Prize. In a way, these two stories are similar yet very different.

In Legion, the lead character and narrator, Stephen Leeds declares himself to be perfectly sane and repeatedly states that he is totally aware of what is real and not even though he confesses to being a schizophrenic and having hallucinations all the time. It is very interesting to see how Stephen carries his conversations, both externally with real people and internally with his imaginary friends. And being a genius albeit an eccentric one, Stephen is hired to retrieve an object from a scientist who has gone missing, and that is where things start to heat up.

The story is smooth flowing, fast-paced and packed with actions with a great central character (Stephen) and some secondary characters (Ivy, Tobias, J.C.) of equal importance. However, being thrown into the world of imaginations with no cause for beginning, I cannot help but feel that the lack of background somehow compromises the world building. It feels like watching the fate of a cucumber unfolding right before it is being consumed: both ends sliced off to be rubbed against the cucumber to remove its bitter taste. Without the head and tail, there is no history to comprehend the past with and no future to hope for. The only consolation is, the middle section with its bitterness removed serves well as food for thought. Lastly, some ideas made in regard to religious groups and their beliefs do not sit well with me. In fact, reading them give me the heebies-jeebies.

Overall, with 80+ pages in print, Legion is an easy and quick read that serves its purpose well to entertain.

Publisher: Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC; 1 edition
Publication date: 11 Sep 2012


Stephen Leeds, AKA “Legion,” is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills.

As the story begins, Leeds and his “aspects” are drawn into the search for the missing Balubal Razon, inventor of a camera whose astonishing properties could alter our understanding of human history and change the very structure of society. The action ranges from the familiar environs of America to the ancient, divided city of Jerusalem.

Along the way, Sanderson touches on a formidable assortment of complex questions: the nature of time, the mysteries of the human mind, the potential uses of technology, and the volatile connection between politics and faith. Resonant, intelligent, and thoroughly absorbing, Legion is a provocative entertainment from a writer of great originality and seemingly limitless gifts.

*Blurb from author's website*

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Review: Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer #6) by Karen Chance

Did Not Finish Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer book 6) by Karen Chance.

It has been around 2.5 years since I read the last Cassandra Palmer story. I hate to say this but I admit to having experienced difficulty recalling the various characters in this book 6 such that reading the story becomes more of a struggle than leisure, at least for the first couple of chapters. And this is the result of (1) my procrastination in reading this book 6 as it has taken me two arduous tries to finish the previous book 5 Hunt the Moon, yet I did not enjoy it much as I have hoped to, and (2) my having a long and still growing list of to-be-read books with this one low on priority.

Besides the female protagonist, Cassie who also doubles as the narrator, I can only remember two other characters vividly, namely John Pritkin and Mircea Basarab, the rest are but a vague smudge of impressions. Nonetheless, it suffices to suit my purpose as reason this particular instalment is even written is because of Pritkin, my all-time favourite character throughout the series.

Unfortunately, having a favourite character or two in a series is not enough to hold my attention infinitely, there has to be good storyline with new developments held together by engaging narration. Whereas the idea of time travel which involves mystical characters such as the vampires, mages and demons is excellent, the concept gets old after a few books, and without fresh world building, it gets stale and becomes a bore reading. To make matters worse, the story of liberating Pritkin seems to have misplaced its focus amidst Cassie’s confusing time travel. I get so lost somewhere along her shifting to the past and back to the present that I decide to throw in the towel at 40% of the book.

It has been a pleasure travelling alongside Cassandra Palmer in her endearing time travel quests since 2009 year-end when I chance upon this series in the library and read the first four books available in print in non-stop succession. As with other series which I have faithfully followed but to let go of along the way due to one reason or another, it is with much regret to proclaim that I have chose to draw the curtain on the story of Cassandra, Pritkin and Mircea.

Publisher: Signet
Publication date: 1 Oct 2013


Being a goddess is a lot less fun than you might think. Especially when you’re only a half goddess, and you only found out about it recently, and you still don’t know what you’re doing half the time. And when you’ve just used your not-so-reliable powers to burglarize the booby-trapped office of a vampire mob boss.

Yeah, that part sucks.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Cassandra Palmer, aka the Pythia, the freshly minted chief seer of the supernatural world. After all, Cassie still has to save a friend from a fate worse than death, deal with an increasingly possessive master vampire, and prevent a party of her own acolytes from unleashing a storm of fury upon the world. Totally just your average day at the office, right?

*Blurb from author's website*

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Review: High Five (Stephanie Plum #5) by Janet Evanovich

5 stars for High Five (Stephanie Plum book 5) by Janet Evanovich.

The first thing I notice upon flipping open to read High Five is that the usual short outline before readers plunge head-on into the main body, is no longer there. Since I am one who do not revel in reading introduction which in my opinion, often present itself as spoiler, I am glad for its departure; hopefully it does not return in later instalments.

In this fifth book of the Plum series, our female lead, Stephanie hits a road block, more accurately, an obstruction to the continuous inflow of income in her role as a bounty hunter. Yes, being a bond enforcement officer in Trenton is no guarantee of income stability as Stephanie’s stipend very much depends on people who post bond with her agency, Vincent Plum bail Bonds, and then jump the bond. Where there is no bail jumper, there is none for Stephanie to apprehend and zilch income to be earned.

With no apprehending case on hand, Stephanie has no choice but to pursue a second profession to supplement her income. And that is where things start to get interesting. I totally enjoy and take delight in this unexpected twist to the Plum series. Ever since book 1, I have simply assumed that the whole series will be about Stephanie and her job solely as a fugitive apprehension agent. Never once in my mind did I imagine her to be doing anything else besides going after lawbreakers to collect her 10% cut on the bond posted. This side-track is a surprisingly welcoming and refreshing idea because essentially Stephanie is still a bounty hunter but moonlighting for rent and food money.

Then, there is this separate situation of a family problem, in this case, Uncle Fred, a relation to Stephanie in his seventies, who seems to have mysteriously disappeared into thin air. Perceived by her family as competent due to her profession in hunting for the Failure to Appear (FTA), Stephanie is roped in to help. As with previous jobs, this missing case hits my funny bone and I adore the manner the author creates something out of nothing and keeps everything hilariously under control.

Overall, I really love the way the author keeps throwing in surprises for the storyline and then branches out into peculiarly interesting subplots which keep me glued to the story. I also like the direction in which Stephanie’s relationships with the men in her life are heading, which says everything yet nothing. Most of all, the ending is a brilliant cliffhanger for the next book; I cannot wait to get my hands on book 6.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication date: 1 Apr 2010

*** Favourite Quote 1 ***

Two hours later, Tank was comfortably slouched in his chair, arms crossed, eyes slitted but vigilant, watching the door. His metabolism had dropped to reptilian.
No rise and fall of his chest. No shifting of position—250 pounds of security in suspended animation.

*** Favourite Quote 2 ***

And then what would I tell Joe? We sort of had an agreement. Except neither of us knew exactly what the agreement meant. In fact, now that I thought about it, maybe we didn't have an agreement at all. Actually, it was more like we were in agreement

~ High Five
Janet Evanovich


Stephanie Plum’s Uncle Fred has disappeared without a trace. He’s left his ten-year-old Pontiac station wagon locked up nice and neat in the Grand Union parking lot, and his wife is at home, waiting for him to return with the bread, milk and olive loaf. Locked in the top drawer of Uncle Fred’s desk are photos of a body, dismembered and stuffed into a garbage bag. And locked away in the computer files of another average citizen are the clues that will lead Stephanie to Fred.

Finding Uncle Fred won’t put a paycheck in Stephanie’s pocket, though, and bond jumpers are at an all-time low. To make the rent, Stephanie will have to do something that won’t make vice cop, Joe Morelli, a happy man. She agrees to take a job with her entrepreneurial mentor Ranger, who runs a mostly morally correct and marginally legal operation.

*Blurb from author's website*

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Review: Walking on Water (Walk #5) by Richard Paul Evans

5 stars for Walking on Water (Walk book 5) by Richard Paul Evans.

Walking on Water is the fifth and final journal that wraps up Alan Christoffersen's walk, a physically exhausting yet spiritually fulfilling journey. One week right after he has lost the love of his life, his home and the business he has founded, Alan decides to find his way through his broken heart in search of peace, hope and light by going on foot, a walk that covers 3,500 miles from Seattle, Washington to Key West, Florida.

Having stopped thrice and not by choice during his walk, it finally dawns on Alan to see these temporary detours in a different light; they are not interruptions but rather part of his journey he is meant to take. Ironically, I have exactly the same thinking as Alan when I come across his first holdup and later on the second hitch to his pilgrimage. With the appearance of each major obstacle along the way, I keep asking myself whether Alan will ever complete the walk of his life. Then just as sudden, everything clicks and I see light.

Time and again, reading this series invokes a maelstrom of feelings: melancholy, nostalgia, grief, heartache, remorse, guilt, regret, relief, joy, hope and peace. A Step of Faith brings these teetering emotions to the pinnacle. More than once, my eyes get clouded with tears as I read on the proficiently well crafted storyline with skilfully worded conversations. This last book of the series is about Alan's journey as much as the history of the Christoffersen family. I hold much reverence for the author in the intense way he links up all happenings in the previous four books and convincingly concludes the fifth one brilliantly. To add on, I applaud the author for his commitment and wholeheartedness in writing Alan's story by taking it onto himself to make the journey. Evans is truly a dedicated author.

Upon finishing the Walk series, I feel as if I have travelled across America side by side with Alan even though I have read the books within the safety confines of my couch. If I am to summarize my thoughts and feelings simply, this oft used quote fits well: Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

Finally, I am very glad to have started off the new year, 2015, with the Walk series. In all honesty, it has brought along hope, faith and a sense of peace.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 6 May 2014

*** Favourite Quote 1 ***

It's good to take counsel from the past but not to be ruled by it. Otherwise we end up using today to fight yesterday's battles and miss tomorrow's promise.

*** Favourite Quote 2 ***

To deny our pasts is to burn the bridge we must cross to self-understanding.

~ Walking on Water
Richard Paul Evans


In this fifth entry in the New York Times bestselling Walk series, Richard Paul Evans’s hero Alan Christoffersen must say some painful goodbyes and learn some important lessons as he comes to the end of his cross-country walk to Key West.

After the death of his beloved wife, after the loss of his advertising business to his once-trusted partner, after bankruptcy forced him from his home, Alan Christoffersen’s daring cross-country journey- a walk across America, from Seattle to Key West, with only the pack on his back- has taught him lessons about love, forgiveness and, most of all, hope.

Now Alan must again return west to face yet another crisis, one that threatens to upend his world just as he had begun to heal from so much loss, leaving him unsure of whether he can reach the end his journey. It will take the love of a new friend, and the wisdom of an old friend, to help him to finally leave the past behind and find the strength and hope to live again.

*Blurb from author's website*

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Review: A Step of Faith (Walk #4) by Richard Paul Evans

5 stars for A Step of Faith (Walk book 4) by Richard Paul Evans.

A Step of Faith is the fourth journal that chronicles the story of Alan Christoffersen's walk, a 3,500 miles walk starting from Seattle, Washington to Key West, Florida. It has been 258 days since Alan starts out on his journey after the loss of his wife, his advertising business, his house and cars. He is now slightly more than halfway to his destination when the unexpected strikes and out of the blue, Alan finds himself in another life-changing chain of events that leave him with no choice but to go on a temporary hiatus from his walk.

As indicated by title of the book, the theme surrounding this book 4 of the Walk series is faith. Though there is mention of the spiritually divine, a being of supernatural powers believed in and worshipped by many, I find that the story and its encompassing notion is suitable for people of any belief as the author’s writing style does not impose and his story contents are innocuous, readily acceptable and undoubtedly, easily integrated into our daily life.

Reading A Step of Faith makes me feel and think deep about life. Most, if not all of us behave as if we will live indefinitely. In truth, we are all walking towards death from the moment each of us is born. For some, the walk is relatively shorter. Mishaps aside, these are the ones who are diagnosed with cancer or certain incurable illnesses, and have an expected number tagged to their remaining lifespan. How does one spend each day knowingly counting down one’s existence?

To sum it up, this tale of Alan and his life-altering walk has a profound effect on me, and I believe will, on most readers. It is apparent that the message the author is trying to bring across is plainly another gentle reminder for us, to treasure and to cherish what we have at the now, our very present moment.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition
Publication date: 7 May 2013

*** Favourite Quote 1 ***

The gifts of the Spirit are the fruit of the tree of faith.
The gift of tongues, healings and miracles are the blessings of faith.
We live in an age of unbelief, but I promise you, miracles still abound.

*** Favourite Quote 2 ***

Sometimes we can only find ourselves by first losing ourselves.

*** Favourite Quote 3 ***

In the beginning, I had considered these stops on my journey as interruptions - but I'm coming to understand that perhaps these detours are my journey.

*** Favourite Quote 4 ***

Life is not a sprint.
It was never meant to be.
It is just one step of faith after another.

~ A Step of Faith
Richard Paul Evans


“We must all walk in faith, for to live without is to live frozen in circumstance. Even if the faith, or dreams of our past have been shattered, as they often are, we must gather up the shards and dream again– for achieving dreams is not a single act of will, but, like the felling of a tree, a process of small, steady blows. It is the short footfalls of a great walk.”

A Step of Faith is the fourth book in the award-winning and top 5 New York Times bestselling THE WALK series. In book 3, THE ROAD TO GRACE, Alan was found on the side of the road, unconscious, in St. Louis. He wakes up in the hospital with his father and friend, Falene, at his side and a revelation about what is happening to him. Will Alan continue his walk to Key West? And, in light of his new challenge, what will he learn about his father and Falene?

*Blurb from author's website*

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Review: The Road to Grace (Walk #3) by Richard Paul Evans

5 stars for The Road to Grace (Walk book 3) by Richard Paul Evans.

The Road to Grace is the third journal detailing the walk of Alan Christoffersen, a cross-country walk spanning Seattle to Key West, Florida, the farthest walkable distance on his map (without swimming); a walk Alan decides to take on after he loses his wife, his business, his house and cars, to go in search of life's meaning.

Ultimately, it is not the destination that matters but the journey and the people that Alan meets along the way that gives meaning and hope to his walk. Even though the folks Alan meets are but passing clouds during his trek, these persons are crucial moments of experience for Alan to come to terms with the loss of his beloved wife, and to accept what he must live without. Besides the spiritual and emotional aspects, the author also takes good care to include plenty of colourful and detailed descriptions of the places touched by Alan's pilgrimage. This versatility not only makes reading of Alan's walk interesting, thought-provoking and touching (to the point where I am on the brink of tears), it definitely serves to widen my horizon as well.

Home is never a place but where the heart is. Simple yet exquisitely well written and smooth flowing, book 3 of the Walk series is a story within stories of hope, second chances and forgiveness; an engaging story from the beginning right to the end.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition
Publication date: 8 May 2012

*** Favourite Quote ***

Once you have opened the book to another's life, the cover never looks the same.

~ The Road to Grace
Richard Paul Evans


The Road to Grace is the third installment of Richard’s bestselling series, The Walk, the ongoing story of one man’s unrelenting search for hope. Reeling from the sudden loss of his wife, his home, and his business, Alan Christoffersen, a once successful advertising executive, has left everything he knew behind and set off on an extraordinary cross-country journey. Carrying only a backpack, he plans to walk to Key West, the farthest destination on his map.

Now nearly halfway through his trek, The Road to Grace takes him from South Dakota to St. Louis, Missouri. Alan covers more than 800 miles on foot, but it’s the people he meets along the way who give the journey its true meaning.

Full of wisdom and hard-won truth, this is a moving standalone story as well as the continuation of the unforgettable series about hope, healing, and the meaning of life.

*Blurb from author's website*

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