Saturday, April 23, 2011
Olivia Stewart travels West to find out the truth about her sister's mysterious death. She strongly suspects her sister's fiance, Harrison Bennett; so she keeps her identity a secret from him. As she searches for answers, she falls in love with Harrison but almost becomes a victim herself.
This was a light and easy read. The Lightkeeper's Ball combined a little historical fiction, a little suspense, and a little romance. It was a little predictable and the characters were a little flat, but it was an fairly interesting read and a sweet romance story.
I received a free copy of this book from BookSneeze for review purposes. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Friday, April 22, 2011
At the end of last year, I read Radical by David Platt and have been attempting to incorporate the five principles that Platt gives at the end of the book- The Radical Experiment- into my life this year. (Reading the whole Word, praying for the whole world, giving sacrificially, spending time in another context, and being a part of a growing community of believers) Radical Together takes Platt's ideas of living life in a radical way for Christ and extends them into how the church as a whole can live radically to reach the world with the gospel.
Platt points out that we as the church are often derailed by "good" things and so miss the best things; how we misunderstand the relationship between faith and work in the Gospel; the importance of God's Word is; the kind of people God chooses for His work; our task to evangelize ALL people groups; and how we need to be selfless followers of a self-centered God. Using short, easy to read chapters, he lays out a plan for modern day churches to be truly radical in their service to God.
This follow up book was every bit as convicting as Radical. Radical made me want to make major changes in my life and family. Radical Together makes me long to see radical changes within my church and forces me to take a good look at what church is and what it should be.
I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Press for review purposes. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Kit Corrigan is trying to make her way and a life for herself in New York on Broadway in the 1950s. She is approached by her ex boyfriend's father and takes him up on an offer for an apartment and later a job. She unknowingly finds herself involved in a mob crime and begins to learn deep dark secrets about her past, her family, and her love Billy's family.
So many things about this book were so very disturbing. It is billed as a young adult read. It is quite dark and really very depressing. Even though Kit makes all these discoveries about herself and her family, most things are left very unresolved and sad at the end of the story. Bad language and adult situations would make me very hesitant to recommend the book to any young adult (which can include preteens and teens).
Aside from the moral issues I had with the book, I did not like the style at all. The book skipped constantly from current times (1950s) to past times in Kit's life. This greatly hindered the readability of the book.
The only thing about the book that really held my interest was the suspense of the story. I did get interested enough to want to find out exactly what Kit's "benefactor" was up to.
I received a free copy of this book from Amazon for review purposes. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The DoppleGanger Chronicles is a new series by British author G.P. Taylor. The novels are a combination of regular print and graphic novel. I chose to review this first book in the series to see if I thought Charles (my 10 year old) might like the series.
Bold and encouraging praise graces the book's back cover stating that this author is "the new C.S. Lewis" and the books are "hotter than Potter". I must say that I find myself disagreeing with both sentiments.
Sadie and Saskia Dopple are identical twins housed at Isambard Dunstan's School for Wayward Children. They are trouble makers of the highest sort. When Saskia is "adopted" by one of the school's famous patron's, the girls are separated for the first time. It is up to Sadie and Erik, a former thief, to find Saskia and solve a mystery.
I thought the book was very dark and violent to be a juvenile fiction novel. The graphic novel/real book mix was quite distracting for me; although the juvenile set the books were written for may appreciate the style. The book is billed as a Christian read and published by Tyndale, but it was hard to find anything remotely Christian- from the violence and mayhem, to the disagreeable and disobedient children, to the portrayal of the majority of the adults and monsters and villains, to the overt references to seances and more discreet references to demons. The only vaguely Christian reference was to a mysterious "Companion" which may be a reference to the Holy Spirit (we're never really told for sure) and a reference to what may or may not be an angel.
I tend to be much more cautionary when it comes to recommending children's books; and this is one I won't be passing on to my children.
I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale for review purposes. All opinions here are entirely my own.
I'm still traveling through the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and still enjoying them. Drums of Autumn focuses more on Brianna, the daughter of Claire and Jamie, and her fiance, Roger Wakefield. The story is still in the 1700s but is now focused in America in the early colonies. I love the historical picture that Gabaldon paints. I feel as if I am truly there in the 18th century when I'm reading.
I must say that this has been my least favorite of the series so far with a little too much relationship drama for my liking. Every time I would think the situation resolved and the characters together, something would happen to foil their plans. Ahh, a little frustrating. I'm still liking the series overall, and I plan on keeping on through the next three books; but I shall probably take a short break to catch up on some review books I have waiting.
As always, I will throw out the caution that these books have some adult (sexual and violent) content. Read with discretion.
Monday, April 18, 2011
I love any book by Max Lucado. He's a master story teller as well as a very inspiring pastor and writer. Max on Life didn't disappoint.
This isn't Max Lucado's typical book. It is a compilation of some of life's most difficult questions and Max's answers. Some of the answers are things that Lucado has written in other books and some are new answers. All of the answers are Bible based.
I love that everything that Max Lucado writes is Scripture based. I love that his writing can be easy to read and, at times, entertaining, yet still be moving and inspiring. I liked the way the book was organized by topic and the fact that that there was also an index at the back with an alphabetical list of topics covered.
I can still say that Max Lucado is one of my favorite Christian writers. His writing is the perfect combination of readability, conviction, inspiration, and encouragement. And, Max on Life is true to everything I've come to expect from Lucado's books.
I received a copy of this book from BookSneeze for review purposes. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Andy Andrews is hailed as an inspirational speaker and story teller. The Final Summit is his newest novel, a sequel to The Traveler's Gift.
In The Final Summit, David Ponder is summoned by the archangel Gabriel to be a part of a summit convened to be the last hope for humanity. Humanity teeters on self-destruction. And it is up to Ponder, a previous time traveler in The Traveler's Gift, to lead the summit that will discuss what could be humanity's final hope. The summit attendees, all past time travelers, are to discuss among themselves and answer Gabriel's question to determine what principle humanity must return to in order to save themselves. As time ticks away, the summit attendees fail again and again to find the correct answer to the question. Will they reach a consensus and the right answer before it is too late.
If you were to pick up this novel thinking it was a Christian read because it is published by a Christian publisher and because Andy Andrews is called an "inspirational" speaker and writer then you would be disappointed. If you are just looking for an "inspiring" read with a few platitudes and feel good sentiments thrown in, you may enjoy this read.
I was disappointed. None of the hope for humanity that the summit's deliverers discussed even remotely resembled truths one might find in the Bible. Instead we read lots of feel good slogans. The characters who have been summoned to appear in this place which we assume is heaven or some "in between place" are historical figures who may or not have been believers in real life. Gabriel, the archangel himself, refers to an early civilization that existed millions of years ago. And the very fact that these characters are involved in a summit in which they can determine the fate of humanity totally discounts God in His sovereignty.
Although I liked The Boy Who Changed the World by Andrews when I reviewed it, after this read, I won't be looking for anything else by Andrews.
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I realized this week that I never posted for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge last week. I did finish three books actually. This week, I haven't finished a book. I am still reading through book 4 of The Outlander series- The Drums of Autumn.
Last week, I read and reviewed In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson for BookSneeze. This was a very thought-provoking read that led me to make some changes in my prayer life.
I read and reviewed Judgment Day, a Christian mystery/suspense/thriller by Wanda L. Dyson.
I also read The Final Summit by Andy Andrews. I will post this review on April 11 for BookSneeze.
The challenge this week for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks post is to write a bit of poetry in any form in honor of National Poetry Month. I must admit that poetry is one of my least favorite genres, but I shall dabble in a bit of free verse in the style of e.e. cummings here:
oh poetry, oh poetry, why do you plague me so?
is there really meaning in your lines?
do you hold the key to the universe deep within your measured rhythms?
or are you simply a jumble of words on a page,
written to make me wonder at length
about what you really mean?
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Suzanne Kidwell is a journalist. But, she doesn't always care about the facts. Instead she wants sensational reporting. She hasn't made many friends along the way. When her soon to be fiance is killed and Suzanne herself is framed for murder, she turns to a private investigator who may be her only hope. Unfortunately, he is also her ex-boyfriend. That she dumped rather cruelly. But, Marcus Crisp, the investigator, and Alex, his partner, will try to find the real killer and keep Suzanne safe in the process.
This was a great, suspenseful page turner. The characters were a little predictable. The blurb on the back cover was inaccurate. And the small romantic plot was a little cheesy. But, the suspenseful story line was interesting and held me until the end.
I received a copy of this book for review purposes from Waterbrook/Multanomah. All opinions expressed are my own.