Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Final Summit / Review

Author: Andy Andrews
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 12, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 078523120X

Book Description:

David Ponder is back.  This time the fate of mankind is in his hands.

This is mankind's last chance. Centuries of greed, pride, and hate have sent humanity hurtling toward disaster, and far from its original purpose. There is only one solution that can reset the compass and right the ship, and it consists of only two words.

With time running out, it is up to David Ponder and a cast of history's best and brightest minds to uncover this solution before it is too late. The catch? They are allowed only five tries to discover the answer.

 Readers first encountered David Ponder in The Traveler's Gift.   Now, in The Final Summit, Andrews combines a riveting narrative with astounding history in order to show us the one thing we must do when we don't know what to do.
Many years have passed since David Ponder discovered the Seven Decisions during a divine journey through time. Now 74 years old, Ponder has lost the one thing that mattered to him most: his wife, Ellen. Despite his personal and professional success, he now sits alone at the top of his 55-story high-rise contemplating the unthinkable, just as he did 28 years ago.

However, just as things are looking their darkest, Ponder is informed through divine channels that he is needed now more than ever. Together, with the help of hundreds of his fellow Travelers, from Winston Churchill to George Washington Carver to Joan of Arc, he must work to discover the one solution that will save humanity. Time is running out, and the final summit of Travelers must work quickly to avoid dire consequences.

The Final Summit explores the historically proven principles that have guided our greatest leaders for centuries, and how we might restore these principles in our own lives...before it's too late.

My Review:

Best selling author Andy Andrews has written another hit novel. The Final Summit finds 74 year old David Ponder in a personal crisis after losing his beloved wife; remembering her is almost too much to contain. But just when he, seemingly, can't go any further, divine intervention shows him that he must find a way to save mankind. Along with fellow life-travelers, he seeks out that one principle.

The Final Summit is complete with a Reader’s Guide in the back of the book. The reader will find chapter questions to ask one’s self which include areas like: looking back on your life; what does adversity mean to you; memory successes; have you ever lived without hope; what is your definition of wisdom; wisdom vs. knowledge; courage vs. cowardice; and much more.

Andy Andrews is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Noticer and The Traveler’s Gift. In keeping with his past successes, this wonderful book is inspirional and very well-written. It is one that you will read many times over and perhaps want to give to others.

 I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and will read it again. It would make a good gift for Mother or Father’s Day. I highly recommend it. 5 stars*****

(Thank you to Thomas Nelson for my review copy.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Francine Rivers

I would like to invite my friends to visit author Francine Rivers website  I think you will like the books you find there. Happy reading!

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Reading Life / Review

Author: Pat Conroy
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
(November 2, 2010) 
ISBN-10: 9780385533577

Book Description:
Bestselling author Pat Conroy acknowledges the books that have shaped him and celebrates the profound effect reading has had on his life. Pat Conroy, the beloved American storyteller, is also a vora­cious reader. He has for years kept a notebook in which he notes words or phrases, just from a love of language. But read­ing for him is not simply a pleasure to be enjoyed in off-hours or a source of inspiration for his own writing. It would hardly be an exaggeration to claim that reading has saved his life, and if not his life then surely his sanity.

In My Reading Life, Conroy revisits a life of passionate reading. He includes wonderful anecdotes from his school days, mov­ing accounts of how reading pulled him through dark times, and even lists of books that particularly influenced him at vari­ous stages of his life, including grammar school, high school, and college. Readers will be enchanted with his ruminations on reading and books, and want to own and share this perfect gift book....

And, come graduation time, My Reading Life will establish itself as a perennial favorite, as did Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

My Review: Before reading My Reading Life, I had never read Pat Conroy. After reading this book I am now a great fan of his. What beautiful prose! Mr. Conroy confides his life story with the touch of a master writer. I was spell-bound throughtout the entire book and afterward gave it to my daughter to read. His chapter on The Military Brat was absolutely insightful. I have never read anything like it before, and being from a military family, I could relate to every word. I'm afraid I completely ruined the value of my personal copy with an abundance of highlighted passages, but it is just that good. It is a book I will read multiple times. Thank you Pat Conroy for giving this reader a couple of days of complete reading enjoyment! 5 stars***** all the way!

The Amish Midwife / Review

Author: Mindy Starns Clark; Leslie Gould
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
(February 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0736937986
Book Description: A dusty carved box containing two locks of hair and a century-old letter regarding property in Switzerland, and a burning desire to learn about her biological family lead nurse-midwife Lexie Jaeger from her home in Oregon to the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country. There she meets Marta Bayer, a mysterious lay-midwife who desperately needs help after an Amish client and her baby die.

Lexie steps in to assume Marta’s patient load even as she continues the search for her birth family, and from her patients she learns the true meaning of the Pennsylvania Dutch word demut, which means “to let be” as she changes from a woman who wants to control everything to a woman who depends on God.

A compelling story about a search for identity and the ability to trust that God securely holds our whole life—past, present, and future.

My Thoughts: If you are looking for a page-turner, this is it. It is a beautifully well-written story about one's search for the past and the discovery of understaning and forgiveness. I found this book so compelling and real--I could hardly put it down. A book club will find discussion questions in the back of the book for group activity.

(Thank you to Harvest House for my review copy.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hatteras Girl

Author: Alice J. Wisler
Paperback: 310 pages
Publisher: Bethany House
(October 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780764207327

Book Description:

There are two things twenty-nine-year-old Jackie Donovan asks God for: an honest, wonderful man to marry, and to own a bed-and-breakfast in the Outer Banks region. In the meantime, Jackie works for Lighthouse Views magazine, writing articles about other local business owners, and intrepidly goes on the blind dates set up by her well-meaning but oh-so-clueless relatives. There's one specific property Jackie dreams of purchasing: the Bailey Place, a fabulous old home where Jackie spent many happy childhood afternoons, a place that has now fallen into disrepair because of its outrageous price tag. When Jackie meets handsome Davis Erickson, who holds the key to the Bailey Place, Jackie is sure God has answered both her prayers. But as Jackie learns some disturbing details about Davis's past, she begins to question her own motivation. Will she risk her long-held dreams to find out the truth?

About the Author:

Alice J. Wisler is a public speaker, advocate, fundraiser, and the author of two contemporary novels, How Sweet It Is and Rain Song, a Christy Award finalist. She has been a guest on several radio and TV programs to promote her self-published cookbooks, Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle. She has a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Mennonite University and has traveled the world in jobs that minister to people. Alice and her family live in Durham, North Carolina.

My thoughts:

First of all, I'm not a big fan of first person tense in novels. It reminds me more of a screenplay than a novel and usually takes a very seasoned writer to pull this style off well. Nevertheless, Hatteras Girl was entertaining, taking this reader to an area of the country that I know I would enjoy visiting. I also liked the idea of questions in the back of the book which would go well with a reading group. There were also a few recipes, included, that sound good. All in all, it is a good beach read, if you like the style (first person). 4 stars****

(Thank you to Bethany House for my review copy.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Making Life Rich Without Any Money

Author: Phil Callaway
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Gift edition (February 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0736926615

Book Description:

A simpler, more meaningful life is a puddle jump, a snowball fight, a family gathering away. In this delightful treasury, award-wining photojournalist Kevin Rivoli captures special life moments in his intimate black and white photographs while author Phil Callaway shares engaging, humorous stories from his popular book Making Life Rich Without Any Money (more than 75,000 copies sold).

Rich themes of family, gratitude, faith, and joy are explored alongside uplifting quotes, clever top-ten lists, and a remarkable parade of scenes that will evoke laughter, tears, and many personal memories.

This is wonderful gift for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and every occasion in between to help anyone and everyone celebrate the best investments of all—the treasures of the heart.

My thoughts:

This book may be small, but it is packed with wisdom and inspiration! Chapters include: Simplicity Makes Life Rich; Family Makes Life Rich; Giving Makes Life Rich; and more. I also enjoyed pages that were dotted with sweet photos, holy scripture and famous quotes. The author has created a little treasure trove of spiritual light, giving meaning to life in lean economic times. Very nice gift idea for anyone.

(Thank you to Harvest House Publishing for my review copy.)

Lily Hates Goodbyes / Children's book review

Author: Jerilyn Marler
Illustrated by: Nathan Stoltenberg
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace
(March 8, 2011)
ISBN-10: 146096070X

Book Description:
Sometimes Lily has to say goodbye to her Daddy for about a billion days. She feels a swirl of unhappy emotions that can be scary. And she aches to feel connected to her Daddy during his long deployments. Join Lily as she learns how to cope with her emotions and to be happy in her daily life while she looks forward to joyfully saying hello when Daddy gets home. "Lily Hates Goodbyes" is helpful for any child who suffers separations from a loved one. The charming illustrations will draw your child's interest immediately. Children appreciate the affirmation that scary emotions are normal and that they don't last forever. Parents appreciate the opportunity talk with their children about the scary emotions in a safe, non-volatile way. The author's suggestions at the back of the book provide guidance on how to use the book to help children understand and cope with what they're going through.....

My thoughts:
Lily Hates Goodbyes is a timely, well-written story of a little girl whose father is deployed in the military. She misses him and wishes he could be home with her and her mother. As the story moves along, Lily is given creative projects to help her adjust until he returns. As I listened to my daughter read the story to her son, I thought of how helpful this would be to so many children like Lily who find it difficult to cope with a parent who leaves home for an extended time. As I mentioned before, the book is well-written and very nicely illustrated. My only wish is that it had been directed more toward the non-commissioned, enlisted family (as there are many), and not exclusively toward military officers' children; otherwise, it would have been perfect. 4 stars****

(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

God's Wisdom for Mothers

Author: Jack Countryman
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
(April 5, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1404189564

Book Description:

The crown of a mother is found in her faithfulness and character as it's reflected in her children.

God's Wisdom for Mothers was created to give timeless wisdom and guidance for Scripture meditation and application with 11 categories (62 subjects) pertaining to motherhood. Topics include God's Wisdom with Children, God Delights in Mothers Who . . . , God Walks with Mothers Through Heartache, Adversity, Worry, and many, many more. Included are pages at the back for prayer lists and personal study notes.

This book is a spiritual pathway to help every mother become all she can be in the eyes of God and her family.

My thoughts:

God’s Wisdom for Mothers is a beautiful edition that would be a lovely gift for a mother on Mother’s Day.

Let’s start at the first page, which has a ‘to’ and ‘from’ space. From here we go on to a rather large Table of Contents section; included are God’s Wisdom; The Crown of an Excellent Mother; God’s Wisdom with Children; God Teaches a Mother to Walk in His Word by…; God Delights in Mothers Who are…; God Walks with Mothers; God Encourages Each Mother to…; God Teaches Mothers How to…; and God Gives a Mother…. Each chapter is a compilation of Bible verses, all of which point the way to scripture based motherhood and child-rearing.

This is a small, compact book which can be carried in a purse for casual reading; placed neatly beside one’s bed on a night table; or taken easily along with one’s Bible to a study group. The graphic art on the cover is colorful and inviting. Thomas Nelson Publishing, along with author Jack Countryman have done a wonderful job in the presentation of a little gem that will encourage mothers of all ages. I highly recommend it, especially, for young mothers who are just starting out on their challenging and exciting journey into motherland.

(Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing for my review copy.)

Blind Hope

Author: Kim Meeder, Laurie Sacher
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Multnomah Books
(July 20, 2010)
ISBN-10: 9781601422804

Book Description:
An unwanted dog. An emotional rescue.Two lives forever changed.

Laurie's dreams had been shattered before she came to work at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch—the ranch of rescued dreams—where broken horses and broken children encounter healing every day. In an attempt to soothe her aching soul, Laurie reached out to save a dog in need. And she soon began to realize that the dog was rescuing her. An inspiring true story told through the engaging voice of Kim Meeder, Blind Hope reveals poignant life lessons Laurie experienced from her ailing, yet courageous canine friend. Despite the blindness of her dog—and her own heart—Laurie uncovered what she really needed most: authentic love, unconditional trust, and true acceptance, faults and all. As Laurie and her dog, Mia, both learned to follow the lead of a master they couldn’t see, Laurie discovered the transforming power of God’s grace even for imperfect and selfish people—and she experienced a greater love than she had ever known.

“Love is a bridge that stands firm through difficulties and connects one heart directly to another, not because of how it looks, but because of what it is.” --Kim Meeder, Blind Hope

My thoughts:

If you love animals, especially dogs, Blind Hope will touch your heart as it did mine. It is the story of Mia and Laura, and the life lessons that were learned as they both followed the power of God. It is story of unconditional love, great trust, and acceptance. I give 5 stars***** to this inspiring book. Note: please be aware that it is a heavily faith based story.
(Thank you to Multnomah Publishing for my review copy.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Me Project

Author: Kathi Lipp
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
(February 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 9780736929660

Book Description:
Most women in the midst of careers, marriage, raising children, and caring for parents set their personal goals aside. The Me Project provides women with fun and creative ways to bring back the sense of purpose and vitality that comes with living out the plans and dreams God has planted in their hearts. Kathi Lipp’s warm tone and laugh-out-loud humor will motivate women to take daily steps toward bringing purpose back into their lives and give them the confidence they can do it in spite of busy schedules.

A woman who reads and applies The Me Project will discover the unique plan God has for her life and her role as a wife, mother, worker, or volunteer gather a community of like-minded women who want to make their goals a priority change her attitudes toward her roles in life, as well as how she approaches her personal goals.

This handy guide coaches women to do one simple thing toward achieving their goals each day for three weeks, bringing a sense of vitality and exhilaration back into their lives.

My thoughts:

The Me Project by Kathi Lipp suggests ways to help women become more confident in their daily lives. It helps change attitudes that may be keeping us down. The book is fun to read and its steps are also fun to apply. There is no drudgery here; only friendly, humorous modivational material.

(Thank you to Harvest House for my review copy.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Party For Two

Author: Bruce Cadle
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace
(January 19, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1456519182

Book Description:

Party for Two is far more than a cookbook. Yes, it is filled with Fun, Fancy, and Easy Romantic Recipes like:
Grilled Brie
Goat Cheese Truffles
Smoked Salmon Flatbread
Gorgonzola Bruschetta
Portobello Fries with Key Lime Aioli Salads
Shaved White Asparagus Salad
Watermelon Feta Salad
Arugula with Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Entrees
Ancho Chili Cowboy Ribeye
Pad Thai
Grilled Scallops on Lemongrass Skewers
Chardonnay Chicken
Smoked Gouda and Apple Panini
Red Onion Confit/Arugula, Pizza Desserts
Grilled Pina Colada
Key Lime White Chocolate Margarita
Basil Cream Lemon Snaps

You will also find a recipe never seen in a cookbook before. Party For Two contains the recipe to a great marriage.

In Party For Two you will embark on a journey with Bruce and Valerie Cadle and discover how to establish your own weekly Date Night.

(Thank you to the author for my review copy.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Healing Code / Review

Authors: Alexander Loyd, PhD, ND
with Ben Johnson, MD, DO, NMD
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Life & Style
(February 9, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1455502014

Book Description:

THE HEALING CODE is your healing kit for life--to heal the issues you know about, and the ones you don't.

In 2001, Dr. Alex Loyd discovered how to activate a physical function built into the body that consistently and predictably removes the source of 95% of all illness and disease so that the neuro-immune system takes over its job of healing whatever is wrong with the body. His findings were validated by tests and by the thousands of people from all over the world who have used The Healing Codes system to heal virtually any physical, emotional, or relational issue, as well as realize breakthroughs in success.His testing also revealed that there is a "Universal Healing Code" that will heal most issues for most people.

In this book you will get that Universal Healing Code, which takes only minutes to do. The book also includes:
The Seven Secrets of life, health, and prosperity
The 10-second Instant Impact technique for defusing daily stress
The Heart Issues Finder, the only test that identifies your source issues in a succinct personalized report.

My thoughts:

The Healing Code is, by far, one of the most interesting books I have ever read. Did you know that science has determined that not only our brain stores memory, but the cells throughout our bodies do, as well. The authors share story after story about new technology, and tell how many experts in the medical field believe that changing wrong beliefs can lead to better health.

I can give personal testimony that after using the healing code, my emotional health seemed to improve to the point that I could not think one negative thought for hours afterward.

The code is very easy to learn and seems to be one of the greatest discoveries to date. I highly recommend The Healing Code to anyone who is looking to improve health, success, and relationships.

(Thanks VERY MUCH to Hachette Book Group for my review) copy

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Little Book of Powerful Prayers / Review

Author: Stormie Omartian
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
(February 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0736928561

Book Description:
Bestselling author Stormie Omartian (more than 13.5 million book copies sold) has helped men and women around the world embrace the power and joy of communicating with God. This attractive, padded hardcover volume provides a selection of heartfelt prayers from some favorite Stormie titles, including The Power of Praying® Through the Bible and The Power of a Praying® Life.

This gathering of prayers will lead readers to lift up to God areas of their lives including:
*health and healing
*love and relationships
*purpose, direction, and decisions

My Review:

This is a sweet book of daily prayers housed in a handsome padded hardcover of gift quality. It also has an attached ribbon for marking a favorite page. Ms. Omartian's prayers touch many areas of our lives. They are short (only around 8-12 lines long) and to the point. Each prayer includes an inspirational scripture reading to get us started. This beautiful little book would make a wonderful lady's gift.

(Thank you to Harvest House Publishers for my review copy.)

The Jesus Inquest / Review

Author: Charles Foster
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
(January 11, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0849948118

Book Description:
The Jesus Inquest argues the case both for and against the resurrection of Christ. Point-by-point Foster, in turn as both barrister X and Y, leaves no theological stone or dissenter's rock unturned as he digs for answers and the truth.

In the end he is more convinced that Jesus is real, that He did rise again, and that He lives to offer forgiveness and hope to all who come to Him.

My Review:
This extraordinary book takes us through medical evidence, Jewish burial practices, ancient artifacts, gospel history, and biblical criticism. The author who is a practicing trail attorney looks at both sides in his attempt to uncover the real Jesus. Was he the much awaited Christ or a celebrated teacher or just a man? It gives compelling facts and challenges the reader to look at the entire picture with unbiased eyes. The Jesus Inquest has seemingly covered it all…life, death and resurrection. Author, Charles Foster, also covers the question of the Shroud of Turin, which I, like others, have been interested in for many years. Here I was able to get new facts on that subject, too, which were not disappointing!

The book also includes many photos as evidence to the case in question. It seems nothing has been spared here. Whether the debate is for or against Jesus being the Son of God, we as readers get a well-rounded picture, so that we can decide for ourselves…we are the jury! This is a good read for those looking for truth and are willing to accept the true historical facts. It is well-written, very layman-friendly, and compelling. I would highly recommend it.

(Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing for my review copy.)