Friday, December 2, 2011

Beneath The Night Tree

Beneath the Night Tree is another book that has long awaited my review! In this book the main character, Julia is balancing a very difficult schedule. She is a mother, takes care of her younger brother, works, and is back at school. She is blessed to have her grandmother around, but with her grandmother only getting older she is struggling. Julia is trying to hold together her family, and her long distance relationship with her boyfriend who holds the promise of things becoming more permanent. Everything is tossed upside down when the father of her son reenters the picture asking if he has a child. She is a Christian, and begins to address her life the way God would have her live it. I think this book is promising to other single moms out there. The characters can make you feel as though they are apart of your life and are easy to engage with. Keep in mind that this is a part of a series! Make sure you read the others along with it. I feel like after I had done so I was able to get more wrapped up in the storyline.
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my unbiased review!

Voices of the Faithful

I received Voices of the Faithful around this time last year. It has taken me quite some time to write a blog on this book! It is a daily devotional that I really felt spoke out to me. I wanted to get most of the way through it before I posted anything on it so I would be more encouraged to continue reading each day. I really feel like these stories reached out to me. They presented stories that reach out to your heart and make you want to grow in your relationship with God. I would definitely recommend this devotional to my friends and family. It captivates you and makes you feel like you are a part of each small story. I have been encouraged all year long to look towards being a better person and making the hard decisions based on my faith. I plan on passing this devotional on to others in the up coming year and look forward to getting another devotional for this upcoming year. I think this past year has been quite possibly the most difficult one so far! My stress level seems to be out the roof. This devotional helps me keep things in perspective and to focus on what is really important. I hope to keep  up with my blog better, and with reviewing more books! It is almost the end of this semester, and I'll have almost a full month without most of my stress factor! This is something I used to do to help relax and chill out, so I am going to try to take some time for  myself over break.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Amy Inspired

I cannot say that I 'flew through' this book. I usually eat up the pages, but I found myself struggling to even finish this story. The main character, Amy, is almost 30 and is completely focused on her writing career (that she doesn't have). She was just “mopey” and I feel like that's how I can best describe the book tone itself. She lives in an apartment with her eccentric friend, can't keep a boyfriend, struggles with her sexuality, is not happy with her job, and is constantly comparing her writing career with her best friend's. Her best friend is a Christian when she wants to be, and is obsessed with environmental friendliness and not eating meat.
I don't know, I just couldn't get past how much I did not like the main character to really enjoy the rest of the story line of the book. Not to mention, I did not feel like it was really a Christian book. Yes, perhaps the author was trying to show how everyone questions their beliefs sometimes, and we face temptations but I like to read about Christians who are alive in their walk or who overcome some dry period in their life and grow stronger. It's inspiring to me, and helps keep my interest.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing Company for the purpose of reviewing.

Coming Back Stronger

This is a true story written about the football player Drew Brees life having been injured and his struggle to make it back to professional football. It is not only well written but inspiring as well. We all face hard times and it is good to be reminded that through hard work and faith in God that we can push through them. They also give you a look into his life overall. Adventures of his childhood, attending and playing football for Purdue University (boiler up!) meeting his now wife, and his child. I think that it is good to get a reminder that professional sports players are not all convicts, or men who cheat on their wives as it is portrayed in the news. Drew Brees is a great Christian role model for everyone no matter their age.

I would have liked to see a bigger focus on the gospel. I just got the feeling that it was centered around the philosophy ‘God helps those who help themselves’. Which in certain situations I do agree with, but there are some times and instances when we must wait and be patient on God to act. What we feel is right and what needs to be done may not truly be a part of God’s plan at all.
I will say, that I am by no means a football fan, but was simply looking for something to read  to burn off time. I was happy with the book for what it was, and will be recommending it to friends that I know are football fans, but I would most likely not read it again.

Seeds of Turmoil

My latest book to have read from was Seeds of Turmoil. The book in a nutshell described the past, present, and possible future conflicts in the Middle East. It goes from Abraham and Sarah, to Israel becoming its own nation in 1948, and conflicts  that are occurring today. I really enjoyed reading this book, as the author wrote in such a way that I could picture things as they happened. I also learned much about the Middle East and Islam that I had never known and probably would have never learned if it were not for this book. The story of Sarah and Abraham took on a whole different light.  Every time I have read that story I had pictured Sarah's servant like she had somehow seduced Abraham into bedding her so she could become pregnant. The way that was explained in Seeds of Turmoil helped me to take a step back and look at the story differently. 

Sarah and Abraham did not wait patiently on God for him to complete his promises to them. The son, Ishmael was not forgotten by God, even though he was not the son to receive God’s ‘chosen’. A great people came from Ishmael as well and the book shows how everything stems back to one sinful event in history.

Wright is informative, captivating in his writing, and also challenges his readers to look at their own lives and to notice how one small, seemingly insignificant, sinful event can change history forever.
I would highly recommend this book, and am very pleased with the quality of writing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On This Day in Christian History

This is a daily inspirational book filled with stories of saints, martyrs, and missionaries for each day of the year. Each story is a single page, and sometimes even less. I was very excited when I first received it and held high expectations for it. Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Several of the stories are not exactly inspirational, and quite often they were a little depressing. In some way the gospel was spread, but it always involved in death of some sort. I would have liked reading some inspirational stories that ended with spreading the gospel and the character for the day surviving the tough situation.
I do believe that it will be a good book for some people, and perhaps I held my expectations too high, but I don't know if I would recommend this to everyone. In all honesty, I do not know if I were to have read one story for the next year I would have finished it. I need something to grab my attention and hold onto it. I did enjoy the bible verses for each day, and there were some encouraging stories, but overall I felt it was lacking something. The stories were quite repetitive, and lacked a connection to draw the reader into each person’s story. I know that this must have been difficult since the stories are true and happened anywhere from fifty to hundreds of years ago, but a more personal connection would have perked my interest more. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Snow Flakes

We had our first snow flakes today! I encountered the flurries while I was leaving school for the day. My excitement lead me skipping to my car. :-) Snowfall out here is nothing compared to snow back home. There's no lake effect, no hills to sled down, barely enough covers the ground to make a proper snow fort! (Yes, last year we did make a snow cave)

Sleep is evading me tonight apparently. I am supposed to go to Indy tomorrow morning to celebrate a few friend's birthdays, but I am not feeling very well. School stress, work stress, and now the weather changes are starting to catch up with me. I'm considering staying home tomorrow and hopefully getting better over the weekend instead of getting worse.

I got my second BookSneeze book in the mail today! On This Day in Christian History is a year round devotional filled with tales of saints, heroes and martyrs. I'm excited to start reading it! My first Bethany House book came in this week as well, Amy Inspired. I will post my review blog on this novel shortly. I'm trying to think of how to word my opinion without being unfair. The book itself is just not my cup of tea, but I'm sure for many others, they would greatly enjoy it! I don't want to turn someone away from a book just because I prefer science fiction and fantasy.

Well, I'm off to read myself to sleep. Goodnight!