Showing posts from September, 2014

Never Ever Give Up

Never Ever Give Up: The Inspiring Story of Jessie and Her JoyJars is the story of Jessica Joy Rees and her family after she is diagnosed with a rare, inoperable brain tumor at just eleven years old. The book chronicles the fight Jessie goes through in an attempt to beat the odds of her grim prognosis, and how she focused not on her illness but how she might bless and help others. She immediately came up with the idea of JoyJars - clear jars stuffed with toys and goodies that were distributed throughout hospitals to children fighting cancers and life threatening illnesses. Told from the viewpoint of her father, which was unique because most (if not all) childhood cancer memoirs I've read have been written from the mother's viewpoint, you will be taken through the diagnosis, illness, Jessie's ultimate and unfortunate death, and the aftermath and impact her brief life has left on the world.

Never Ever Give Up is an inspiring, heartwarming, yet sad story. It was a very quick …

Where Treetops Glisten

Where Treetops Glisten is a charming collection of three heartwarming Christmas romances set during World War II. The back cover copy immediately caught my eye - "The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime. Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas". The first story is White Christmas by Cara Putnam. Abigail Turner loses her beau to the war, and she's nervous about becoming romantically involved again. A young man comes into her life and challenges her to learn to love again.

The second story is I'll Be Home For Christmas by Sarah Sundin. She introduces us to Abigail's brother, Pete. He's a fighter pilot home from the war just in time for Christmas. While home, he meets a sweet child and has to convince her widowed mother that he's not the childhood bully she remembers ... and tries to win her heart.

The third offering, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Tricia Goyer, Merry Turner…


Abraham: One Nomad's Amazing Journey of Faith by Charles R. Swindoll is billed as a biography of the life of Abraham, one of the great patriarchs of our faith. Abraham is one of those characters in the Bible who lived such an amazing and faith-filled life that I was eager to learn more about this ancient biblical figure. The book description reads:

"When we rewind history back to Abraham’s era, we encounter people who concocted false superstitions to explain the unexplainable. Powerful kings claimed to be gods, building massive pyramids to achieve immortality. Out of this mass of misunderstandings, one man emerged. The man we know today as Abraham not only claimed that one true Creator existed but also staked his entire life on this belief. Why, thousands of years later, are we still discussing the faith of this desert nomad? One of America’s most popular Bible teachers, Pastor Chuck Swindoll, answers that question and many more in this compelling and insightful biography th…

Messy Beautiful Love

Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages by Darlene Schacht isn't just another book about Christian marriage. Darlene has a gift for cutting through all the niceties and getting down to the nitty gritty: real marriage isn't a fairy tale. It can be messy, tough, and full of trials, but it's also beautiful. The premise of the book is learning how to clean up messes God's way, surrendering your marriage relationship to Him, and obey God's plan for marriage and will for your life. The book opens with Darlene sharing the story about her husband confronting her about the affair she'd been having (on his birthday, no less). As soon as I read the first chapter, I knew this was going to be a book I'd love.

This is one of those rare books that pulls back the curtain on Christian marriages to show the good, the bad, and the ugly. Darlene doesn't shy away from confessing her sins, but most importantly, she brilliantly shows forth the glori…

The One Year Devotions For Active Boys

The One Year Devotions For Active Boys by Jesse Florea is an engaging devotional book for tween boys that promises to keep their attention and teach them important truths from God that they can apply to their daily lives.

The description reads:

"This fun devotional includes 365 upbeat devotions, each with a special twist or dose of humor to keep active boys engaged. The devotions combine Scripture and a spiritual message with jokes, riddles, puzzles, and hands-on activities to engage tween boys. The devotions help boys find how real people interacted with God and help them discover solutions to contemporary issues. Each devotion will help guide a young man in developing a lifetime habit of learning from the Bible. Themes include how to navigate the Bible, make good choices, discern God's will, use good and uplifiting language, avoid temptation, choose good friends, trust God, etc."

I selected this book for my 12 year old son, hoping it would help him to have a more re…

The Homesick Texan's Family Table

The Homesick Texan's Family Table: Lone Star Cooking From My Kitchen To Yours by Lisa Fain is a beautiful hardcover Tex-Mex cookbook. Lisa Fain is a Texas native who's been transplanted to New York and I understand she's a popular food blogger; however, I've never read her blog. I am a cookbook collector and was excited to add a Tex-Mex cookbook to my collection as it's a category I don't have yet and I love Mexican-American food. I've never been to Texas so I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, but I did have a general idea. This book is chock full of stories of Lisa growing up in Texas. I loved reading about her family and anecdotes about her grandmother and mother's cooking. This was one of my favorite parts of the cookbook. Sections included are Breakfast and Breads; Starters and Snacks; Salads and Sides; Chilis, Soups, and Stews; The Main Event; Sweets; and Accompaniments. It also includes an introduction with explanations about the recipes, a…