I am so pleased that you have stopped by for a visit. I hope you will enjoy reading my book reviews. If you would be interested in reviewing books on your own blog, check out the links for litfuse and Booksneeze.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Draw for FREE BOOK - Amish Proverbs:Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life

Follow me on this blog and leave a comment re: review of The Waiting to enter a draw for a FREE copy of Amish Proverbs by Suzanne Woods Fisher! Winner's name will be drawn on Saturday, December 4.

THE WAITING by Suzanne Woods Fisher - BOOK REVIEW

"The Waiting" is the second book in the Lancaster County Secrets series. The story is set in 1965. Jorie King's life is on hold. she has been waiting for Ben Zook to return to Lancaster County. Waiting for him to settle down and join the church. Waiting to marry him. But when news arrives that Ben has been killed, Jorie is devastated. She finds unlikely comfort in the friendship of his brother Caleb. Friendship ripens into love, and two broken hearts plan for a life filled with the promise of a fresh new beginning-until their worlds are turned upside down. (From back cover)

Suszanne Woods Fisher has written a well-crafted book. It is not just another Amish story. Her main characters are living, breathing individuals who show both strength and weakness. Secondary characters add depth and interest. Life for the Amish, like our own, is not always 'plain and simple', but can be complex. Yet in the midst of struggles, doubts, and conflicts, there is hope. Hope, love, and forgiveness are seen in various relationships throughout the book, not just in the lives of the main characters.

Through reading this book, I gained further insight into the Amish way of life. Suzanne manages to tie in details of the Vietnam War in a convincing way. I recommend this book as well worth reading, especially for those who love Amish fiction. Discussion questions are included, making this a perfect choice for a book club.

In no particular order, Suzanne is a wife, mother, writer, novelist, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a gardener who has an on-going battle for territory with a bossy gopher, a cook with sporadic results, and a lifelong student of the Bible. Her interest in the Anabaptist culture can be directly traced to her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. She hosts an internet radio show called Amish Wisdom and lives with her family in California. Follow Suzanne on Facebook, Twitter, and on her websitwe, http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com/. Watch for The Search, her third book in the Lancaster County Secrets series, due to be released in January, 2011.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Thursday, November 18, 2010

WHILE WE'RE FAR APART by Lynn Austin - Book Review

While We're Far Apart is an amazing book on so many levels. In it, Lynn Austin addresses issues faced by those on the home front as loved ones fought overseas during WWII. The characters are well drawn and realistic. The interweaving of lives of those living in the same apartment building in Brooklyn is so well done. Secondary characters blend in perfectly, completing the story.

Penny Goodrich has a crush on a young widower, Eddie Shaffer, and is falling in love. She longs for the day when he will return from the war and fall in love with her as well. She has set her sights on becoming the new Mrs. Eddie Shaffer.  Meanwhile, Penny has volunteered to care for Eddie's two children, Esther and Peter, who are not adjusting well to their father's absense. 

The other main character is Jacob Mendel, the Jewish landlord, who has lost faith in God. Through twists and turns in the plot, and the revealing of a number of secrets, Lynn manages to keep her readers engaged in this 'page-turner'. This was a book I couldn't put down.

It is obvious that Lynn has researched the time period very well. We learn a great deal about Jewish life, as well as about the situation in war-torn Hungary.

I enjoy novels written about this historical period, and have had a fascination for as long as I can remember on the effects of war on children. This book is perfect on all counts.

There are several themes running through this story, one of which is how God reveals His love and presence , even when He is silent. This is a book which I highly recommend for those who love historical fiction set in the WWII time frame. There are enough details to bring the story to life, without bogging the reader down with too many facts. Bravo, Lynn. I give this book 5 stars!

Lynn Austin is a six-time Christy Award winner for her historical novels. In addition to writing, Lynn is a popular speaker. She and her husband have three children and make their home in Illinois. Visit Lynn at http://www.lynnaustin.org/

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


Monday, November 8, 2010

THE GRACE OF GOD by Andy Stanley - Book review

The Grace of God - Book Promo Video from Andy Waddell on Vimeo.

Andy Stanley is a pastor, communicator, author, and the founder of North Point Ministries, Inc. (NPM). Since its inception in 1995, North Point Ministries has grown from one campus to three in the Atlanta area, and has helped plant fourteen strategic partner churches throughout the United States. Each Sunday, over 20,000 adults attend worship services at one of NPM's three campuses, North Point Community Church, Browns Bridge Community Church, and Buckhead Church. Andy's books include It Came From Within, Communicating for a Change, Making Vision Stick, and Next Generation Leader. Andy lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, with his wife, Sandra, and their three children.

From the back cover: "Grace. It's what we crave most when our guilt is exposed. It's the very thing we are hesitant to extend when we are confronted with the guilt of others-especially when their guilt has robbed us of something we cosider valuable.
Therein is the struggle, the struggle for grace. It's the struggle that makes grace more story than doctrine. It's the struggle that reminds us that grace is bigger than compassion or forgiveness. That struggle is the context for both. When we are on the receiving end, grace is refreshing. When it is required of us, it is often disturbing. But when correctly applied, it seems to solve just about everything. This struggle is not new; it has been going on since the beginning."

We find in the pages of Scripture that the stories there often mirror our own stories, and that we too need the very thing we do not deserve: the grace of God.

In this thoughtful, well-written book, Andy Stanley writes about grace with sensitivity and compassion. He notes that grace is not merely a New Testament concept, but that in fact, God's grace permeates all of Scripture, beginning in the garden of Eden. God has always offered grace. Stanley revisits the fall of mankind, the accounts of Abraham, Isaac. Jacob, Joseph, Judah, Tamar, Joshua, Rahab, Moses and the giving of the Law, Samuel, David and Bathsheba, Jonah, the genealogy of the Messiah, the Pharisees, Nicodemus, the woman at the well, Matthew, Peter, and others.

Each chapter is fully developed, and contains Scripture references. Main points are highlighted in bold type.
Stanley concludes with a challenge. "In your story you are going to continue searching for a reason God should love you. In your story you are going to continue finding reasons why he shouldn't. So here's my suggestion: give up your version of your story and embrace his.
In his story, he loves you no matter what you've done.
In his story, he doesn't love you because of what you've done.
In his story, he could not love you more and he will never love you less.
It's a better story. It's a true story. It's a story of grace. The grace of God!"

I found the chapters to be a bit long, but the book is thoroughly written, easy to understand, and never technical. I highly recommend this book. It is an essential message for us to grasp, and Stanley does an excellent job in telling it clearly.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available October 2010 at your favourite bookseller."

In Flanders Fields

My heart never ceases to be overwhelmed with gratitude, remembering the sacrifice of so many. They died so that we may live in freedom. How much more so, thinking of the perfect sacrifice of our Saviour, Who gave His life that we may live in freedom and victory. "Thanks be to God Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

A MEMORY BETWEEN US by Sarah Sundin - Book review

Sarah Sundin has done it again! In A Memory Between Us, Sarah continues her Wings of Glory three book series. Each of the three books features one of the Novak brothers, and is set in WWII. Following is a synopsis from the back cover:
"Can they overcome the past to find a brighter future together?  Major Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge-until he meets army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty. When Jack lands in the army hospital after a plane crash, he makes winning Ruth's heart a top-priority mission. But he has his work cut out for him. Not only is Ruth focussed on her work in order to support her orphaned siblings back home, she also is determined not to give her heart to any man.

As the danger and tension of World War II rise to a fever pitch, Jack and Ruth will need each other more than ever. Can Jack break down her defenses? Or are they destined to go their separate ways?

From the English countryside to the perilous skies over France, A Memory Between Us takes you on a journey through love, forgiveness, and sacrifice."

This is an intricate story, expertly told. It is obvious that Sarah has done extensive research into WWII and aviation history. Her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England during WWII. Hence, her interest in that aspect of history. Being an on-call pharmacist, she has also included details from her training.
Sarah skillfully brings her characters to life. They are not cardboard stereotypes, but live and breathe on the page. No 'fluff' here!
I love how Sarah weaves in issues that countless people are facing even today. The Christian message of hope, trust, love, and freedom from shame are addressed in a natural manner. Readers will find themselves asking some of the same questions addressed by the characters.
This book is a 'page-turner', and I found myself reaching for a box of tissues.as the book concluded. Sarah, I eagerly look forward to the third book, Blue Skies Tomorrow (August 2011). I highly recommend this series.

Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children. she would love to have you visit her at http://www.sarahsundin.com/, where you will see a diagram of a B-17, and read an iterview with Sarah. You will also find a link to her blog. Follow Sarah on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SarahSundinAuthor.

Published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Sarah's book are available through http://www.amazon.com/ and wherever Christian books are sold.