Tuesday, January 31, 2012

7 money rules for life

7 Money Rules for Life, Mary Hunt, 978-0-8007-2112-1

Like I've said many times, I'm not into "self-help" books (or anything like them) so again, I was weary and on my guard when starting to read this book.
However, I did find her book to be very thought provoking, and a lot of what Mary Hunt said regarding how we spend our money/budgeting made a lot of sense.
I think the biggest thing I took away from this (or the thing that stood out the most for me) was her section on managing credit. Not only did I read this book to review, but after my husband saw it he started reading it as well. Both of us learned so much from the book and are already starting to put it into practice in our own finances!
I 100% recommend this to absolutely everyone!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

The Keeper

Keeper, The, Suzanne Woods Fisher, 978-0-8007-1987-6

I am on constant look out for books by Suzanne Woods Fisher, I absolutely love the Amish books she writes and search them out whenever I'm in the book stores! Like most of Suzanne Woods Fisher, this book was through provoking and faith filled. Its characters weren't without their own conflicts or turmoil, but still handled their problems with a good measure of grace and faith.
The story focuses on Julia Lapp, her father has had heart problems and is facing certain death unless there is an intervention (from either God or him changing his mind). Julia worries about keeping the family farm and taking care of her siblings, but feels that her problems are not too big since she's engaged and supposed to be marrying Paul Fisher. However after Paul's talk with the enigmatic "Bee Man" he once again postpones the wedding. With Julia's world in turmoil, she finds herself "accidentally" befriending the Bee Man, and becomes more and more interested in him. I have to say, this is one of Suzanne Woods Fisher's best books (in my opinion), its filled with both joy and unbelievable heartache, yet is still such a strong encouragement to the reader! I highly recommend this book!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

The Emancipation of Robert Sadler

Emancipation of Robert Sadler, The, updated ed., Marie Chapian and Robert Sadler, 978-0-7642-0940-6

To be honest, and to my shame I have to admit that before reading this book I just didn't quite believe that the story would be what it claimed. (you don't read in the history books about slavery sticking around even after it was abolished) So I started this book slightly weary about what I was reading. However that quickly changed after the first few chapters. In particular, what changed my mind was the author (co-author?) (Sadler) being willing to share his faults throughout the book. He didn't seem to claim to be bigger than life, and more than once shared where he either slipped up or fell into outright sin. The book was sad, encouraging, thought provoking, and faith filled. This book really taught me a number of lessons in my own walk with Christ, the faith that Robert Sadler showed in this book, to completely and wholly depend on God for his every need it encouraged me to learn to be like that as well.
I'm going to be recommending this book to anyone who could use a lesson or encouragement!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

The Rose of Winslow Street

Rose of Winslow Street, The, Elizabeth Camden, 978-0-7642-0895-9

This is my first time reading a book by Elizabeth Camden, and I have to say I was happy to see such a great book! I loved The whole idea of this story and I thought it was presented quite nicely.
The book focuses mainly on the Character Libby Sawyer who lives alone with her inventor father, they have a precarious relationship because of Libby's disabilities, so though she is quite brilliant in her own way, her father isn't able to see it. In the midst of their already topsy-turvy life Libby and her father find themselves battling to save their home  Though she faces a great loss, and has quite a struggle she shows the goodness of her character by helping those in need, despite what has been done to her. I think out of all of the book, this was my favorite part, and something I hope all Camden's readers take to heart. The characters in the book were believable and had a lot of depth to them, which I appreciated. All in all, I thought this was a fantastic book and am sure that it will be a book that I will read again and again!
I highly recommend this book!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The, Julie Klassen, 978-0-7642-0709-9
I am a huge fan of Julie Klassen, when I first read her book "Girl at the gatehouse" I fell in love with her writing style and characters. Her characters really have a depth to them, and it makes the stories seem so much more fulfilling. I think after reading "Silent Governess" I was completely hooked. Whenever we're in stores I'm constantly on the look out for books by Julie Klassen, they're always guaranteed to be a fantastic read!
"The maid of Fairbourne Hall" Is mostly focused around Margaret Macy. After her mother remarries Margaret is faced with a scheming stepfather and his equally scheming and dishonorable nephew.
After many attempts to push Margaret into marrying Marcus (the scheming nephew) and after Margaret overhears a plan regarding her and her immediate future she feels that she has no choice but to leave her home.
Under the guise of a maid, Margaret finds herself unknowingly in the employment of a former suitor, as she struggles to keep her identity hidden she is continually faced with challenges. From learning how to act and do the job of a maid, to trying to stay out of sight of her stepfathers many spies.
This book was great, very suspenseful and full of intrigue, the Characters were well developed and each had their own distinct personality! I highly Highly recommend not only this book, but any book by Julie Klassen!

  "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 

The captive heart

Captive Heart, The, Dale Cramer, 978-0-7642-0839-3
I was so excited to see that this book was up for reviewing! I read and absolutely loved Dale Cramer's first book of this series "Paradise valley" and had been searching trying to find the next book in the series! So I was thrilled to see that we had this book in the review list!
The book is a continuation of "Paradise valley" we are seeing the second year of the Bender family's move to Mexico, and the continuation of their struggles with the addition of some new ones as well.
Also in this book, we begin to learn more about Miriam and her struggles and desires as she works to fit in and live in this new place.
Like the last book, I absolutely loved this one too!  It was very well written, the story moved along at quite a fast pace and was full of suspense and adventure! For an Amish novel, this was completely unexpected!
I would 100% recommend this book, one of the best books I've read in a long time!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The resignation of Eve

The Resignation of Eve: What If Adam's Rib Is No Longer Willing to Be the Church's Backbone?  -     
        By: Jim Henderson, George Barna

I have mixed feelings about this book, while I thought the author presented some challenging ideas within his book, I feel that the whole premise of the book (that women are leaving the church due to lack of influence or feelings of being overworked) doesn't quite fit the reality (that I've seen at least). I'm not sure which denomination the author was studying (I can't recall if he mentioned that the numbers reflected an inter-denominational survey, etc...) but in my experience women have a great deal of influence within the church, as well as they tend to (at least in the circles I've seen) dominate the leadership roles for the most part. I however live in Canada, so perhaps it is different here?
I do though appreciate that the author points out that many women are feeling under appreciated, and actually do agree with him on this point.  In my experience a lot of ministries (that are not solely men focused) have a majority of female leadership, who do tend to get over worked/under appreciated. (especially since in my experience (my husband is a pastor) there are fewer willing volunteers so when you get one, they tend to get a lot of work thrown at them!)
I think too that the author and I might differ on some doctrinal issues which is perhaps why I didn't agree with the book, I'm more of a traditional mind set, so the whole quietly working behind the scenes works well with me!
All in all though, I do have to give this book a thumbs up, it did challenge me to consider why I hold certain views towards not only women in the church, but also leadership.  Plus it caused me to look deeper into the Bible to see what it had to say about my role, and the role of my gender. Also I appreciated that the author, while he presented his views straightforwardly, didn't belittle those with other views. (that's sometimes hard to find in books such as these!)
So this does get a recommendation from me, if nothing else it will challenge you to consider why you hold the beliefs that you do!

This book was provided to me by Tyndale for reviewing purposes.

Real Marriage

Real Marriage

Generally I don't enjoy marriage books, I find them to mostly skirt around the important questions and instead give a few corny suggestions that sound like they're straight from your grandmother. However, I do very much like reading and hearing Mark Driscoll, I've enjoyed many of the articles he's written (although this is the first book by him that I've read). He has a very straightforward and to the point way of speaking that I appreciate, and he doesn't shy away like so many other Christian leaders have done when faced with the hard stances. I don't always 100% agree with every bit of doctrine that Driscoll has, but as a general rule, most of what he says does follow in line with what I believe.
So I was actually looking forward to reading this book, and it didn't disappoint. Written by Mark and Grace Driscoll, they kind of get into the real bottom line of a Biblical marriage, even going so far as to answer the questions that most Christians are too embarrassed to ask. I appreciated the vulnerability they showed throughout the book as well, giving personal examples of their own struggles and what got them through it. Throughout the book the Driscoll's gave Biblical background for the opinions and doctrine they shared regarding marriage. It was well written, easy to read, and an interesting read as well.
I think if I had any complaints at all (and really I don't) it would be that I would have liked to have seen more by Grace Driscoll in the book, I really enjoyed what she had to say.