Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Master's Mind

I received a copy of THE MASTER’S MIND: THE ART OF RESHAPING YOUR THOUGHTS by Lance Hahn from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve read quite a few Biblical self-help book.  What really caught my attention with this one was the part about reshaping your thoughts.  Everyone can use a little of that, right?  It especially seemed appropriate now that I’ve lost my job and am in a career transition.

While I did find parts to help me in life, overall this struck me as more of a sermon than a regular self-help book.  The ones I’ve read in the past have been engaging.  The author relates his or her story in a way that inspires and captivates.  This book was certainly well-researched and it was filled with Biblical references; however, it didn’t really discuss the author’s personal experiences.  I found it slow going. 


It was a good book, and if you are trying to think with less negativity, then this is a great resource.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Incomplete

INCOMPLETE is the second installment of the “Insurrection” series.  I loved the first book for being an action-packed young adult novel that was clean.  It was the kind of book I would have been allowed to read back in middle and high school.  (Yes, my family was strict about what I could read and watch.)

INCOMPLETE continues the journey, and is still strong, action-packed, and – you guessed it – clean!  Saylor is an exceptional young woman.  She’s easy to look up to because of her faults and strengths.

I was excited to see more romance in this book.  Lately I’ve been reading romance novels, and I’ve been on a bit of a romantic kick.  (Note: The romance is clean, but that doesn’t mean it won’t leave you giggling and smiling.)


I was both happy and sad that this wasn’t the end.  I was sad because it was a cliffhanger.  I was happy because it meant I could get more of Saylor!  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Proving

I received a copy of THE PROVING by Beverly Lewis from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.  This book doesn’t seem to follow any specific series, but it does include everything you’ve come to love about Beverly Lewis’s Amish fiction.

I enjoyed all of the references to Lancaster County in Pennsylvania.  My family and I vacation there a lot, so I could picture all the sites mentioned in the book.  (However, some of the references bothered me, like the cloister.  It was haphazardly mentioned as if it was only put in there to be a guidebook about things to do in the area.  The references didn’t all feel genuine.  Sometimes they jarred me.  It felt like I was reading a tourist pamphlet instead of a novel.)

I enjoyed that this wasn’t a traditional Amish story.  Usually they are about two people falling in love and that’s it.  While this did involve love, it wasn’t the focus.  The story instead focused on running a bed and breakfast, and mending a family. 

While I did enjoy reading the book, some parts were slow and I found myself zoning out when Trina was mentioned.  Once Trina reaches the inn, I was more invested.


This wasn’t my favorite novel by Beverly Lewis, but it is worth reading, especially if you are a fan of Amish fiction.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Fierce Tides

FIERCE TIDES is all you’ve come to expect from LM Preston – and more!  It has been a while since I read the other PURGATORY REIGN books, but I was able to jump back into the story without feeling like I had missed much.  The characters are strong and the setting is vivid.  I’ll have to check out the novella next.

Friday, September 15, 2017

ADVENTURES IN BARN TOWN

ADVENTURES IN BARN TOWN is an incredible work of middle grade literature.  I loved the personality and wit in the author’s voice.  It wasn’t dry, and it didn’t talk down to the reader as some young books do.

This is about talking animals, but don’t expect it to be “just another one of those” books.  This one has awesome antics.  I think what I loved best is that the farm reminded me of my grandmother’s farm where I spent many a summer. 


If I was still teaching elementary school, I would get a copy of this for my classroom.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

THE AWAKENING OF HK DERRYBERRY

I received a copy of THE AWAKENING OF HK DERRYBERRY: MY UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIP WITH THE BOY WHO REMEMBERS EVERYTHING by Jim Bradford with Andy Hardin from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.  It is a true story that will leave you smiling and blinking back tears.

This is a fast read – I was able to finish it in a day – and it is wonderful.  The words will warm your heart, and you will want to keep reading more.  Basically, it is about a little boy who finds a man and changes his life, and vice versa.  This just goes to show you must never overlook anyone no matter what you might think about them.  It also goes to show that even if you don’t think you can make a difference to someone, think again.  Anyone can be a role model if they put someone else before them.


I can’t express enough how much I loved this book.  I recommend this, especially as a gift for this upcoming Christmas season.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

ALL SHE LEFT BEHIND

I received a copy of ALL SHE LEFT BEHIND by Jane Kirkpatrick from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

This reminded me of all the books I adored back in middle school and high school.  It is about the Oregon frontier in the 1870s.  I am such a fan of historical fiction.  I swallowed this all up, and best of all, it is based on true stories!  Basically this book is about a single mother struggling to care for her son and coming to terms with emotion she feels for a widower.  As a new mother, I could connect with her struggles on many levels. 

The historical details place you right in the setting.  It was especially eye-opening in the descriptions of women’s roles back then on the frontier.  I was familiar with those roles from reading other books, but it always surprises me to see how far we’ve come.


I recommend this book for lovers of historical fiction, especially because it is based on real people.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Ordering Your Private World

I received a copy of ORDERING YOUR PRIVATE WORLD by Gordon MacDonald from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.  The copy I received is revised and updated, and includes a study guide.

I don’t want to just recap the synopsis, so I’ll put it in a nutshell: This book talks about focuses on the inner you.  Your soul grows.  You grow.  By maintaining your inner peace, your outer peace falls into place.  Put your priorities into perspective.  Enhance your time management. 

I’ve read a lot of self-help books and articles, especially now while job hunting, and I’ve noticed that many of them come across as cold and tedious.  The author is just trying to make a quick buck without really caring about the reader.  That isn’t the case with this book.  The author’s words and experiences are touching.  You get the feeling he truly cares about helping you enhance your life. 


This is the type of book you don’t have to read all at once.  Sit down every now and then, put your feet up, and explore what Gordon MacDonald has to say.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Insurrection

INSURRECTION by Kadee Carder is an excellent example of clean young adult fiction packed with action and danger.  The romance is delicately written.  Lately, the young adult books I’ve been reading have been all about sex and death, so this was refreshing.  It’s the kind of book you feel good about giving to a teen.


Saylor is a beautiful role model for girls.  She has the right amount of attitude paired with a caring heart.  I don’t want to give any spoilers away, so I’m just going to say…wait until you get to the end!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

SHINE

I received a copy of SHINE: STEPPING INTO THE ROLE YOU WERE MADE FOR by Allison Allen from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

This is a self-help book, but its more than that.  It feels like a conversation between you and the author.  Those are my favorite kinds of books.  They suck you in and it is a pleasure to read.  You actually forget that you’re reading “lessons.”  Allison Allen offers plenty of insight and personal stories about her growth.  She doesn’t just lecture, but connects it with her own experiences. 


The book is about rising up over hardships.  It is about not letting fear keep you down, not letting rejections beat you into a pulp.  On my current process to finding a new job, I needed that part the most.  The book really isn’t about one thing in general, so everyone should be able to find something in here to help improve his or her life.

Friday, September 1, 2017

IRMA THE INVENTOR & THE VAMPIRE SPIDERS

When I was teaching elementary school, I looked for books that would get girls interested in science.  There wasn’t a lot out there.  I wish I’d known about IRMA THE INVENTOR & THE VAMPIRE SPIDERS. 


The story is clean – always a plus when buying for kids – and it shows a great empowerment for girls.  Did I mention it encourages a love for science?!  There were many times I laughed and many more times that I cheered.  Irma is quirky, and she reminded me a lot of myself when I was in grade school.  I wanted friends, and I tried hard, but no matter, something always went a little wrong…