Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Advice for Seekers by Charles H Spurgeon, published by Attic Books

This is a review of the book Advice for Seekers by Charles H Spurgeon, originally published back in 1896 (4 years after his death, incidentally). This publication is by Attic Books (http://www.nlpg.com/imprint/attic-books/), which is a segment of New Leaf Publishing.

When I received the book, I was all prepared to dislike it due to its cheesy look. The cover looks really fake-y like it's pretending to be an old book, and the pages, which look torn out kind of (here's a picture:

which truthfully, I think looks pretty stupid and distracting.

Add to this the old language, which reads kind of like King James version . . . Yup, I was prepared to dislike it, just from these superficial things.

Well, then I began reading it -- and once I got into the pattern of reading the old time writing style, I began to enjoy it! Really surprised myself on that one!!

The book is a series of messages by Spurgeon, aimed at people who are not yet believers in Christ but are searching for the Truth. As I was reading through it, struck by the deep truths that are presented in such a friendly manner, I was thinking that I wished the language was updated so that it would be an attractive, easy book for a nonbeliever to read. However, I suppose that someone who is truly seeking might not be put off by the language and plow through to see the wisdom.

I would also recommend this book for a believer in Christ. It is an encouragement and a reminder of the truths found in the Word of God regarding salvation, security, sin, and more.

So -- though I originally thought I'd not like this book, turns out that I do! I would recommend it, but understand that you'll have to get into the rhythm of reading the old-sounding writing.

I received a free copy of this book from New Leaf Publishing Company for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

She's Twelve Going on Twenty by Kim Camp

Well, here's my review for the book She's Twelve Going on Twenty by Kim Camp. Hmmmmm. Not my favorite. I really did not care for this book! I have a new teenager and a couple of preteens, so I was very excited to check out this book, but as I began reading, I had to make myself read the book since I had promised to review it. It's a re-release of an earlier book, with additions made to the book since the author has become divorced--her new thoughts based on single parenthood, I guess.

The book is topics which relate to preteens/teens such as diet, exercise, faith, music, friends, family, and more. Lots of examples make up the bulk of the book, along with words of wisdom from the author.

I really didn't find this book to be really original, and not a whole lot of Scriptural principles/references. I don't know quite what it was that made me dislike it so much. It was hard for me to follow, first of all. I felt like the author was just sharing her opinions or observations rather than using the Bible as the authority behind it. Little snippets of ideas, but no real unifying theme. Sprinkled with the names of famous people the author is friends/acquaintances with.

Well, though I don't have major objections, I would not really recommend this book. I didn't enjoy reading it and did not feel that I gained any wisdom to help us through the teen years. So -- that's my two cents' worth!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Toasted cheese sandwiches REVITALIZED!!!! :)

We love toasted cheese sandwiches here. I've always been one to add "stuff" to the cheese, stuff like salsa, tomatoes, or even onions.

This spring we went out to lunch and had the BEST toasted cheese you can imagine!! :) (Well, they were paninis~~pretty much kind of glorified toasted cheese, right?!) -- so what was the secret?


Yup! One piece of the bread was spread with jelly!

Ever since that lunch, I've been making ours with jelly on one of the bread pieces, and let me tell you, YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!

All kinds of wonderful tasting sandwich combinations! I usually use Cabot Sharp Cheddar cheese, and some of the great addition/combos we've had were such as:

raspberry jam/onion
hot pepper jelly/apple
dandelion jelly/cowboy candy
apple jelly/onion

and so many more!

Give it a try!!!!

Sisterchicks Do the Hula by Robin Jones Gunn

Sweet, fun, easy , enjoyable read :) So there!

I enjoyed reading Sisterchicks Do the Hula by Robin Jones Gunn. The story is sweet and happy :) and little bits of wisdom about life and God were sprinkled throughout!

It's a story about college roommates reuniting and taking the trip of a lifetime at the age of 40. They fly to Hawaii and spend a vacation together, experiencing different adventures. Throughout it all they work through some decisions/feelings and reinforce their need for and praise of God.

I think part of the draw of the story is the two ladies' relationship. Who doesn't think that rekindling a relationship with their college roommate would be so amazingly fun?! :)

The book has some funny parts, some sweet and tender parts, some historical Hawaiian info, and more. I would definitely recommend this book for a nice light read. I have read other books in the "sisterchick" series and have enjoyed them as well :) One thing, I kind of think the term "sisterchick" is weird, but, oh well, I can get past that!

So -- pick it up and give it a read! You may just enjoy the lighthearted feel or you may pick up a tidbit of wisdom along the way!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher as a part of the "Blogging for Books" program. I was not required to write a positive review.

Christian Guides to the Classics "Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter" by Leland Ryken

Quick review of a thin little book :) The book "Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter" by Leland Ryken is one of the series of "Christian Guides to the Classics." I want to tell you that I was impressed with this little book/guide! The author guides the reader through the Scarlet Letter chapter by chapter, bringing attention to literary devices, Christian references, symbolism, and practices of the day. For each chapter there are 3 sections: plot summary, commentary, and "for reflection or discussion."

I wish I had read this years ago! What a different look at The Scarlet Letter! It is very thorough and highlights different aspects of the story which could be overlooked. This book/guide could be used by a teacher, a student, a discussion group, or just by someone seeking to better understand this classic piece of literature.

I would definitely recommend this book and I look forward to checking out other books in this series.

Thank you Crossway books for the opportunity to review this book. I received a copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive recommendation.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Homeschool T-shirts! **GIVEAWAY!!! **

I'd love to share about these awesome t-shirts for homeschoolers! Last year we bought these for our kids to start out the homeschool year~~the kids loved them! The place we bought the shirts was called Great Products (funny name, huh?!) and their website is www.shopgreatproducts.com . The 3 designs we bought last year were these:

We have been happy with these shirts, the kids love them and get lost of comments about them :) They have worn well and come through the wash with the designs intact. So very happy to "share the word" about this shop which sells them!

SALE -- right now their homeschool tshirts are on sale for $5.99 each!!! We bought some for our kids to start the schoolyear with :) Here's the link to the site: http://www.shopgreatproducts.com/homeschool-adult-children-t-shirts/ The sale goes from August 15 - September 15 (2013)


The Great Products store would like to offer YOU a chance to win a homeschool t-shirt! The winner will be allowed to choose the design, color, and size of their choice! So -- how to enter? Just leave a comment on the end of this post! You can get more entries by doing any of these things: 1) "like" their Facebook Page 2)follow them on twitter, or 3)check out their website. Please add this info onto your comment for more chances to win :)

The winning entry will be chosen on Wednesday night, August 21. Please make sure that I have a way to contact you in case you are the winner of this! Good luck!

One Year Devos for Teen Girls from Tyndale Publishers

Are you looking for a great birthday or Christmas gift for a teen girl? Check out the One Year Devos for Teen Girls! This book, written by authors Dannah Gresh and Suzy Weibel, is a non-threatening way for a teen girl to be reminded of Scriptural truths every single day. With Dannah Gresh as an author, I knew before even going through it that I would like it!

The layout is that each day of the year has a Scripture, an explanation/narrative/challenge, and a question for personal reflection. Each day is one page, and it's written in an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand manner. The topics addressed are widely varied, but definitely in tune with today's issues. Some topics include forgiveness, poverty, self control, boys, integrity, persecution, sex, facebook, worship, family, the Bible, spiritual gifts, and many many more. There is NOT a place to write responses, and at first I thought that was something it was lacking, but as I thought about my own daughter, I know that she is not usually likely to write down her true thoughts/feelings of her heart in a place which her siblings could potentially discover! So, maybe this is good, giving them a chance to think through/process the message in the daily devotion at least mentally. If done with a parent or a group this "Action Step" at the end of each day could certainly spark some good discussion!

I also liked that the authors instruct the reader to just start on today's date and read the one for today. No pressure to begin on January 1st and no insinuation of failure if you happen to miss a day!

I would recommend this book. As a mom, it is great to have things that are relevant for daughters that they actually like to read :) I can definitely see this book as something that girls will enjoy reading and it'll give them Biblical truths, applied to their lives, to think on all day long. I think it might be a great mom/daughter devotional book as well!

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Burning Sky by Lori Benton

I was a little hesitant to read Burning Sky. . .reading the summary on the back it sounded kind of just like a love story of some sort--but as I began reading it I was very pleasantly surprised to find myself loving the book! I'll say right here at the start that I definitely liked this book and would recommend it for sure!

The book is about a woman who, as a young girl, was abducted in an Indian raid and lived the next 14 years of her life with the Wolf Clan, as a daughter/sister/wife. She has lost her (Indian) family and is returning to the land of her birth family, the life she was taken from. Her homecoming, however, is not a cause for rejoicing on the part of most of the people involved: her parents are gone, the land is scheduled to be taken and sold, lives have been changed by war with the British and the Indians, and much more. She finds a Scotsman who is injured and nurses him back to health; her Wolf Clan brother Joseph finds her; she reunites with her childhood friend Anni; she meets up not so happily with other childhood friends; and on and on. I do not want to give away any more. Read it!!

I was very taken with this book. It is kind of a long book, and definitely not just fluff. It was VERY well-written, and the author gave just enough twists and turns to keep the reader seeking more and more. I think the whole premise of the book, this girl who had been kidnapped and then adopted into another culture, then returned to her previous culture -- was treated very gently and respectfully.

It was a nice clean story, yes, it was a love story, but much more than that. Nothing racy or inappropriate. It was certainly not overly-predictable, and a happy ending :) which I do like!

I would recommend this book for sure. Read it, give it as a gift, lend it to a friend! One of my favorite fiction books I've read this summer!

I received a copy of this book from the Waterbrook publishers. I was not required to write a positive review.