Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Review: 9 Thoughts that Can Change Your Marriage by Sheila Wray Gregoire

In 9 Thoughts that Can Change Your Marriage, Sheila Wray Gregoire tackles several -- nine, to be exact -- misconceptions that we Christians bring into marriage.  She refutes them practically and biblically in a winsome way.

I've read several marriage books recently, and they were all filled with practical, godly wisdom.  But they were all written by men, and I didn't even realize what they were lacking until I read this book by Gregoire.  Certainly, there is nothing wrong with books by men, but reading this book was like having tea with a friend who understands what I think and how I feel.  I especially enjoyed it when I would read something and think, "You mean, I'm not the only one?"

Each chapter contains several suggestions that can help to improve your marriage, if of course, you follow them.  I appreciated the listing of these suggestions at the end of each chapter for an easy reference later on instead of having to search through every chapter.

Even if you have a great marriage, I'm willing to bet that you could improve it even a little bit by reading this book.

I want to thank Blogging for Books for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Book Review: I Prayed for You by Jean Fischer

When I saw I Prayed for You by Jean Fischer, I knew immediately that I wanted a copy of it because I have prayed for all of my children, even before I was pregnant with them.  This book contains different scenarios of a mother and child, and the mother bear tells her cub each time that she has prayed for him in each one and how she has prayed.  It's a sweet book, filled with adorable pictures, which I plan to read again and again to my children.

Initially, I got this book for the baby with whom I am currently pregnant, but I think it's more applicable to my three year old since it deals some with walking and talking.  Of course, I plan to hang on to this book for my newest little one!

I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Book Review: The Shock of Night by Patrick W. Carr

When I saw that Patrick W. Carr had another book coming out, I knew that I would read it because I enjoyed his last series The Sword and the Staff so much.  The Shock of Night has a new protagonist in a new world, but the writing is just as good.  Willet Dura has recently become the king's reeve, basically, the king's own detective.  He is very good at what he does, so when a man is murdered and the religious groups want the king to leave it alone, he asks Willet to investigate, quietly, of course.  Willet does and becomes drawn into experiences that he never thought possible and gains a kind of power he really doesn't want.

I really enjoyed this latest book from Carr.  His heroes are flawed men:  the hero from his last series was a recovering alcoholic, whereas some people think Willet is insane.  (I'll leave it for the reader to decide if they are correct.)  But Willet uses his mind and talents and discovers what others are unable and/or unwilling to find.  And watching him grow into his newfound ability is fun to watch, especially when he uses it against those who try to manipulate him.

If you're interested in this book, you should start with Carr's prequel, a free e-book By Divine Right which tells how Willet becomes the king's reeve.

I look forward to seeing how Willet's tale progresses in the rest of this series!

I want to thank Bethany House for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Book Review: The Stone of Ebenezer by Susan Van Volkenburgh

The Stone of Ebenezer by Susan Van Volkenburgh tells the fictionalized story of when the Israelites took the Ark of the Covenant into battle with the Philistines -- and the Philistines captured the ark.  This tale follows the Israelite soldier Nagad as he witnesses the capture, and it also follows four Philistine soldiers who observe the devastating effects that God wields upon the Philistines until they return His Ark.  The last third of the book also deals with the return of the Ark and the subsequent defeat of the Philistines.

I did not enjoy this book; I could not read it fast enough to get it over and done with.  While the story was fine (not good, not bad), the writing left much to be desired.  The author tried to write poetically, to the extent that a few times I read and reread a passage and could not fathom what she meant, other than that the sun came up.  It also seemed as though she used a thesaurus, looking for new words, without actually knowing what they meant or how they should be used.  A good editor could have fixed that along with some of the grammatical errors.  Maybe that's what she needed.

If you enjoy reading fictionalized Biblical history, you might enjoy this book -- if you can overlook the problems that I just couldn't.

I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my (kindle) copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Finished Object Friday and an Update

I made both of these baby blankets for friends who are also having babies.  Since both of them are due before I am, I had plans to make blankets for them before I discovered that I was pregnant. I must admit that I'm happy to be done with these two blankets so that I can work on one for my baby.  :)  The pattern for the first one, the yellow one, came from Knit Baby Blankets.  The second one came from Afghan Medleys to Knit, and it's not actually a baby blanket pattern.  :)  My mother suggested taking the pattern for a scarf and making it bigger, and it came out lovely, don't you think?

As for me, I am doing well.  I feel pretty good most of the time, although I am easily tired.  I guess that's what happens when you get pregnant at my age.  ;)  Things are keeping me busier than I have been, and most of it has been good.  School takes longer this year with three children to teach, and Sarah Beth has more work to do because of her CC Essentials class.  With Mary not napping -- most of the time, we take advantage of the free afternoons to get together with friends at the park or even just to run extra errands.  And my almost daily nap takes time, too.  :)

On top of all of that, I realized last month that we don't have room for the new baby's paraphernalia, and we should because we have a nice, big house.  I was inspired by Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I've been going through my closet and the library, sorting through things.  Both rooms look so much better!  If you're thinking that I shouldn't be doing this right now, well, maybe you're right.  But I actually enjoy it, and I'm doing it in small windows of time so I don't wear myself out too much -- and neglect the rest of my life.  

With all of that, I barely have any time to get on the computer some days, but that's okay.  I try to keep up with my blog reading even though I'm not writing much.  I hope that things slow down -- but I really don't think they will.  I'd better get used to this level of busy-ness!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Book Review: The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert

The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert tells the story of Gretl: how she escapes from a train carrying a load of German Jews to Auschwitz during World War II, then stays with a Polish family for a few years before ending up in South Africa, adopted by a loving family.  The author does a great job describing the different cultures Gretl adapts to, especially the one in South Africa which is the one with which I am the most unfamiliar.  I especially enjoyed watching Gretl make the journey from watching others' faith to making Christianity her own.

I absolutely loved this book!  From the very first page, I was enthralled, and I couldn't read it fast enough.  The writing style of this author is wonderful, and I wish more of her books were translated into English.  The pictures that she paints and how she describes the characters' feelings are extraordinary, and I can't recommend this book more highly.  As an added benefit, it is clean!

I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.