Sunday, March 29, 2015

Brave Girls Better Than Perfect

Brave Girls Better Than Perfect is a 90 (or so) day devotional for preteen girls. It has an eye-catching cover and I love the "brave girls" theme :)

I have a daughter who is 10, so we are constantly on the lookout for reading/devotional materials which will benefit her and be do-able for her. She took a look at this book already and asked when we could begin!

Reading through this book I like the themes and the way they are written. I did think the format was kind of weird and disjointed -- the different sections are SO different, almost look like they were separate books just mashed together with the same cover -- the different areas are: Truth Detectives, Bible Beauties and Beaus, Divine Design, Body Builders, Character Quest, and Mind Games.

Each of the daily devotions features a Bible verse(s), a narrative about the passage, and a suggested prayer. The format for each of the sections is different. My favorite was the first one, the Truth Detectives, where there is a lie (which we tell ourselves or hear from others) and the TRUTH (from God's Word).

As a mom, the different formats throughout the book are a bit of a turn-off, but honestly, for using with my daughter, they will not be a hindrance at all. There are many many topics touched upon in this devotion book and I look forward to reading it and discussing them with her!

YES, I will recommend this book and I would also suggest it as a gift for a preteen. It could be used with a parent or adult mentor or even on her own.

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

Worry Less So You Can Live More by Jane Rubietta

This book up for review is "Worry Less So You Can Live More" by Jane Rubietta, subtitled Surprising, Simple Ways to feel more peace, joy, and energy. I thought the title sounded very interesting, who doesn't have some worries that they could/should relinquish? It'd be helpful to gain some more ideas for abandoning worry and seeking joy and peace in Christ. SO I chose this book to review.

Well, I'm going to be blunt at the start and say that I was bored and a bit annoyed with the writing in this book. It's full of little vignettes from the author's life, stories that maybe show a point-- a bit disjointed, but all having something to do with worry. I can't really put my finger on what I didn't care for, but it was a drag to push myself to read this book. There's not a lot of Bible references and not many concrete suggestions. . .it's kind of flighty and ephemeral. I'm sure that some will love this type of book, but I just could not connect.

To be superficial, the cover is beautiful :) But that's not enough for me to recommend the book. Personally I had a hard time just reading the book. Hopefully it'll be helpful to some, but it really was not for me.

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

Monday, March 16, 2015

10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know by Kari Kampakis

I have a teenaged girl, so books geared toward them are on the top of my reading list lately! Some of the books that are supposedly for young girls seem more directed at the mom or just a philosophical talk on topics -- but this one, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know, by Kari Kampakis, is written in a way that girls will like to read. As a matter of fact, my daughter started reading this before I had finished it (2 bookmarks!) and is enjoying it and wanted to know if she can have it for hers. Of course!

I think this book is a great book for teen girls. It speaks in an interesting way and teaches truths about God and Christian living, through the teen years. Some of the topics that are discussed are (from the table of contents), "Popularity, Confidence, Reputation, Interacting with Boys, Self-Worship, Perseverance, Patience, Image, Inner Beauty, and Self-Talk." The chapters include examples, Scripture, hints of how to live, and more. Each chapter ends with discussion questions that can be answered solo or used in a group setting.

One of the sections talks about interacting with boys and highlights ideas such as not bugging a boy (!!) by being pushy; purposes and suggestions for dating; and the question, "Who is the center of your universe?" Another segment talks about your reputation and the importance of what you do now. Friends, talents, oh--I loved the section on "You don't want to peak in high school"!

I like this book, and am glad that my daughter is reading it. It encourages pure living and unselfishness and kindness. It's up-to-date and timely and encourages girls in following Christ. I definitely recommend this book -- it'll make a great gift and would make a nice group study as well!

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

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Harvest of Hope by Lauraine Snelling

Ahhh, just what I needed, a great easy read, entertaining, light, and happy :)

These oh-so-cold long days of winter get busy and whip by; I was happy to receive the book "A Harvest of Hope" by Lauraine Snelling to read. This book is number two in the Song of Blessing series (my review of book 1 is here.)

In this book, the same characters from book 1 appear. Miriam's mother has died in Chicago while she is doing her nursing classes in Blessing. Trygve realizes that he loves Miriam and wants to marry her (and his family enthusiastically approves.)

The "perfect" town of Blessing encounters some challenges, such as the stubborn/unscrupulous banker as well as a devastating fire. . .but I cannot say too much. I wouldn't want to give away all that occurs! There are happy things, positive advances, as well as slides into negativity. The same team of woman doctors/nurses are central to this book as the last--as is the big happy family feel of the community.

Again I will say that this town of Blessing appears to be an idealized town that most of us would love to live in!! :) It is set in an earlier time (early 1900's I think) and it is fun to read this book, you are taken in to the setting and characters' relationships. There are tears of sadness and loss and also tears of happiness and joy. There are positive character developments as well as negative.

All in all, it's a great book -- fun, easy, lighthearted (for the most part). I'd definitely recommend it for a great read, AND I look forward to the next book in the series!

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

Just Add Watercolor by Helen BIrch

Just Add Watercolor is a small book by Helen Birch, focusing on watercolor painting. It's a smallish book, a little smaller than a half sheet of paper. The one I have is a hardcover book, great and sturdy, easy to slip in a bag to read at your leisure!

I enjoyed this book. It is full of interesting information for someone who is a watercolor painter or someone just interested in giving it a try. Each double page features a piece of artwork with the facing page giving information about the artist and the technique, materials, and more. Different things highlighted are colors, different media, painting techniques, inspiration sources, and much much more. The paintings are vibrant and interesting (and highly varied!) and if you want to refer to one later, or find it later, you have only to flip to the front to this:

Check out this index! A visual index, complete with page numbers. I think this is a brilliant idea and addition to this book! Nice job!

I am not a painter, not an artist, but I do like to try new things! My children are also interested in this book, getting ideas of new things to try. I think this is a very interesting book. It shows such a breadth of watercolor art and inspires the reader to give the ideas a try! I would recommend this book -- to look through, to get ideas from, and even to use as a gift for someone!

Nice book! Thanks!

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