Saturday, April 30, 2011

Leaving

Leaving is the first book in the "Bailey Flanigan Series"; however, it really is the 19th book in the series that started with Redemption 10 years ago. I have been reading these books since the beginning as well as all the other stand alone books by Karen Kingsbury.

This work of fiction is not much different than any of its predecessors. It was neither exciting nor was it boring. It was much like all that I have read from this author. There is drama, dilemma, and decision, and I think I may have stumbled about the titles for her next series.

Throughout the book, Bailey is struggling with her relationship, or lack thereof, with Cody. He has not called her since January since she told him "I love you." He loves her, too, but feels the need to distance himself. The storyline is of Bailey waiting for Cody and Cody conflicted about not contacting Bailey. Since the next 2 books in this series (Learning and Longing) are due out this year, I already knew that Bailey and Cody would not be together at the end of the book. So I read hoping for some sort of dramatic event that separates them. Instead, nothing really happens other than normal life.

The Baxter family are still a major part of these books. Ashley and Landon have a pretty big storyline in this book, but there is no conclusion to their story either. I am not enjoying these books like I once was. They are nice and sweet, but I guess I can only take so much saccharin sweet before I need something with substance.


Zondervan has provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nick of Time

This was the first book I ever read by Tim Downs, but it will not be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed Nick of Time as I followed the story of Nick Polchak, expert entomologist, as he solves another cold case. Nick's character is a cross between Abby in NCIS and Dr. Brennan in Bones. He is brilliant and focused but often at the detriment of his personal relationship such as the one with his new fiance, Alena.

There was never a dull moment in the story. I rarely stopped reading when I got to the end of the chapter but kept reading until I had to stop because dinner was ready, the light turned green, etc. I am trying to say this was a page-turner without using that old cliche. I guess it's too late. Anyhow, it was a fun book to read.

I so did not expect the ending. I actually said "Drat!" when I finished reading.

Thomas Nelson provides me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

When God Created My Toes

I have not reviewed a children's book in a while, and I am glad for the chance to review this one.

The book has a simple message but one that we all need. God created us, and we are wonderfully made when He created our toes and our nose. This delightful book reinforces the fact that God created us and He enjoys His creation.

The pictures are adorable. Even my husband commented on the illustrations.

This is a great book for any child, but especially a little girl. The main character in the illustrations is a young girl. Also, our daughters and our nieces and our young friends need to be reminded that God made us and what God made is good, very good. Get this book to share with any young girl in your life.

Waterbrook has provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for this review which I freely give.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World

I was so excited to review this book as I am planning my first trip to Disney World as an adult. I have not gone in 28 years (since EPCOT first opened) so I have been reading and researching to prepare for my visit.

First of all, this is not the book to help you plan your day or give you ideas on how to best plan your trip; however, this is the book to give you a greater appreciation for the Imagineers and all the little details that really do matter. There are so many great secrets and surprises to find. I have tagged many pages in the book so that when I am at Disney I will get to seee things I have read about. It is almost like a treasure hunt where each treasure is its own reward.

The book is divided into 4 parts: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. It would be fun to read each section the night before you visit that park. Depending on where you stay, you could read the section on the way. That would make the trip go by faster especially for children.

Thomas Nelson has provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for this review which I freely give.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Max on Life

Unlike previous books, this new Max Lucado book is in a question and answer format. Max answers 172 questions about hope, hurt, help, him/her, home, haves/have-nots, and hereafter. Some of his answers are excerpts from previous writings while others are newly published. All are pure Max-ism helping us to see God in truth and in love.

I have enjoyed reading anything Max has written over the years, and this book does not disappoint. It is easy to read yet often hard to internalize. For example, forgiveness is a simple concept to understand but a very challenging one to put into practice. Max does not trivialize forgiveness nor does he let us off the hook. He challenges the reader but in a way that you really want to be a better person.

You can take your time reading and reflecting on each chapter trying to really comprehend all that God is (kind, compassionate, loving, forgiving, etc.). It is a great book and one I will share with many of my friends.

Thomas Nelson has provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Promises to Keep

Let me first admit that I did not like this book. I wanted to like it and usually enjoy reading Christian fiction, but not this time.

The story is told through Rosalind, an 11 year old girl living in the midwest in the late 1960's. The book opens with her mom leaving her father and moving back home to start her life over. Rosalind as the new girl in town feels lonely until she makes a new friend, Mara. They share a common bond as Mara is also separated from her father. Together, they share the hope that their fathers will come back for them and love them like a daddy.

The book is about 100 pages too long. I trudged through the middle of the book just trying to finish. It felt like the author was just filling up space without any real story development. I wanted to know what happened and was tired of reading about what the characters were thinking especially since the main character was an 11 year old girl. That is another thing that bothered me. Can an 11 year old really process and understand the mature issues that she faced in the book?

The book does have an intense ending. I was not surprised, but it did overwhelm me. The book briefly discusses how God the Father loves us more than any earthly father; however, I would have preferred to see this thread throughout the story and not just at the end.

Bethany House provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for this review which I freely give.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Final Summit

I did not like this book. I tried like it, but it was not my cup of tea. It was downright unimaginative.

David Ponder, the main character from The Traveler's Gift, returns. He is taken to a summit where he, along with many pivotal people from history, must save the world by coming up a 2 word phrase. Together, they discuss and ponder (pun intended) what the phrase could be. They have 7 chances to get it right. After each incorrect guess, a new traveler is added to the discussion.

So what bored me about the book is that there was a whole lot of talk but not much action. The story is the discussion of a 2 word phrase. It got so boring, that I just skipped to the end of the chapter to see what the phrase will be. I also knew that it would take all 7 chances before they got it right, but even then the final 2 word phrase was trite and uninspiring.

Thomas Nelson provides me with a free copy of this book for my review which I freely give.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Vicious Cycle

Drugs, addiction, child trafficing, and that is just the first chapter.

The Covington family has had its share of tragedy and sorrow, but they find themselves in the middle of another heartache as they try heal from their own pain. Emily is one year sober (read about her struggles in Intervention), and is excited to live a new life. But how do you live a new life when the old life keeps dragging you down?

This was one of those can't-put-it-down kind of books. I enjoyed reading it and would keep reading to find out what happens next. I was not happy when the book was over only because I like how Terri Blackstock writes and want to know more about what happens next. The book does leave a small open door so I hope that means there is another book to be written???

Zondervan has provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Unsinkable

Abby Sunderland is an amazing young women. I hope I can have her strength and courage when I grow up, and I am in my 30's.

I have to be honest that I did not understand many of the sailing terms that are used throughout the book; however, that did not deter me from enjoying the story. Plus, learning about sailing was fascinating. I never knew how much work went into sailing and how much intestinal fortitude one needs to sail solo.

One preconceived notion I had before reading this book is wondering how much of an education Abby and her siblings could have had while sailing. Then I read about the many places the family visited which taught them more than any book in a classroom. They also had to learn how to sail, how to fix equipment, and how to maintain provisions for 3-4 weeks at sea. It is an wonderful educational experience, and one that I got to experience vicariously through Abby.

Abby is an inspiration.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I must post that Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to review. I also must say that the opinions are all mine.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Heart of Ice

This is my 100th post! Yippee! I am so glad it was for a book I liked, too.

This is the third book in the Triple Threat series by new author Lis Weihl. I read her first book when it came out and was pleasantly surprised. Since then, I have been looking forward to each new book she writes.

In Heart of Ice, we read about Nicole, Cassidy, and Allison and their quest to get the bad guy, or in this story, the bad girl, Elizabeth. This bad girl is a character that we love to hate. She is manipulative, selfish, greedy, and downright mean.

What I like about these books is that the drama and suspense is not mired by excessive violence and smut. There is some violence as there is a murder to solve but even then it is not gruesome. There were some unexpected twists which I liked. All too often, I can predict the end of the book but not this one.

This book will not stay on my bookshelf long as I have friends who have been wanting to read it, too. Maybe I should just make them buy their own copy?

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I must post that Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to review. I also must say that the opinions are all mine.