I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel

The title of this book captured my attention because it is a regular thought of mine. That and the picture of the crammed bookshelf! I mused about the books written for other interests, but none are as quirky as a book to read about reading. I had to chuckle.
They say “birds of a feather flock together” that is true of avid readers. We don’t have anything outwardly to show about our passion other than shelves and stacks of books visible only to those who visit our homes. In our collective love of the written page we share certain traits and oddities exclusive to our tribe.
This book is for us!!! Ms. Bogel totally gets it! It is not genre biased (and neither are we, a reader is a reader!). As you read the essays you feel a sense of “yes, there are others like me!” I felt understood and accepted in my odd little world as a bookworm.
She took me through a whole rainbow of emotions, from tears of laughter to tears of the heart. Ms. Bogel captured the joys of being a bookroom along with the emotional and mental conflicts. The chapter, “How to Organize Your Bookshelves” really close to home as that has been a goal for a long time. I was also taken back in time to my childhood beginning love of books. The trips the library every week in the summer. Reading all the Wizard of Oz books (I was so surprised to find there was more than one story!) and the Wind in the Willows series. The memory of being put to bed and reading under the sheet with a candle, yes a candle! Only to spill hot wax on the sheet upon hearing my mother’s footsteps. That was a sticky wicket to explain!
I found this book to be delightful, making be feel normal as few of my friends, acquaintances or family is readers. If you are addicted to reading, add this book to your TBR list!
I received this book from Baker Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I stated are my own.

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Everything She Didn’t Say by Jane Kirkpatrick

Will Rogers said he never meet a man he didn’t like, well I never read a Jane Kirkpatrick book I didn’t like! Her books always draw me in because they are about real people and history. She never ceases to amaze me how she fleshes out the historical facts she has with emotions and details to make the reader feel like they are living actual events. She has introduced me to so many women that played important roles in the past that I have never heard of.
Carrie Strahorn lived an exciting and adventurous life that few women in her time had the opportunity to experience.
When she married Robert Strahorn she believed her dreams would be fulfilled; children, a home, being a homemaker and entertaining friends and family as her mother had. After her the vows her said, she quickly found her life would be nothing like this. In fact it would be totally the opposite. Her husband Robert Strahorn was a writer for the railroad, creating detailed pamphlets to attract people to move west and settle with the purpose of creating communities and towns where the railroad would eventually travel through.
To say this was a passion of his is an understatement. Travel almost constant travel by train, stage coach, and ship spanned a period of 45 years. There were not the comforts and amenities we have now not to mention how rough, dangerous, exhausting those modes of travel were. I don’t know how she survived. A long car trip does me in! I loved the part where they rode and cow catcher on the front of the train for a thrill; hilarious but frightening!
I greatly admired her dedication and commitment to her marriage. It was far from perfect, but she chose to be the best wife she could and turn to the Lord to deal with her many hurts and struggles. Ms. Strahorn wrote a memoir, Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage. There are excerpts from this book at the end of each chapter. I am looking forward to reading this book also and of course the next one Ms. Kirkpatrick writes!
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own

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This I Know: Trusting Your Unknown Future to a Known God By Laura Dingman

This I Know: Trusting Your Unknown Future to a Known God
By Laura Dingman
Life in our times is filled with stress, pressures, and so many unknowns. The modern world with all its advancements has greatly complicated our lives and added a myriad of unknowns. It is not surprising that anxiety and fear have multiplied also. As Christians we have hope and help in these daily struggles. We have a mighty God who is here to help us and carry us through whatever we may face.
Ms. Dingman’s book gives us six weeks of study gives great encouragement and scriptural guidance to put life’s distress where it belongs: in the hands of our loving God. The book is a treasure chest of reassurance and tools to trusting God with whatever life may throw your way, enabling you to have complete faith. This changes our view whatever happens, making it a total game changer! When we focus on the Lord instead of our circumstances we receive “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding….” mentioned in Philippians 4:7.
I found this to be a dynamic, mind changing study! We think we KNOW about God but often what we know is a passing thought, not a deeply rooted truth in our lives.
I liked everything about this book! The author’s writings and questions motivated me to dig deeper (which she helped me do). I also liked that that questions weren’t “busy work” like many studies but truly thought provoking ones. This is an excellent Bible study and I feel a not only learned but was given scriptural insights trusting God with the future. I have no need to worry about the unknown because God already does and is taking care of it.
I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Christmas by the Sea By Melody Carlson

Hooray! A new Christmas book from Melody Carlson! It has become a holiday tradition for me! I love them! Each one stirs up Christmas nostalgia and those warm feelings the season brings.
Wendy is struggling financially after her husband’s death and trying to keep her life has she has known it afloat, not only for her but for her son Jackson. She can’t see past putting one foot in front of another and maintaining her job. She gets word she has inherited her grandparent’s beach cottage in Maine. Wendy sees it as a way to pay off her bills by fixing it up and selling it in the 3 weeks they are there. This will enable them to be home by Christmas.
As she enters the little town that held so many happy childhood memories her emotions are in turmoil. Her 12 year old son has other plans. He wants a fresh start in a new place, as he has been miserable since his Dad’s death. The town isn’t as small and dead as it used to be. It has grown with new people and businesses.
With each reminiscence, she wards off the tugs at her heart to love the town, house and people. She has blinders on envisioning their life in Ohio as the only way they can live. Jackson barrels ahead embracing every experience and moment, and appears to think they are moving there. Wendy, not wanting to burst his bubble, makes it harder on herself by not telling him the truth. His enthusiasm and joy draws her in.
When we are adults and suffer tragedy, we cling to what is familiar, unable to realize new opportunities in front of us. Children’s eyes and hearts are clear to comprehend and embrace the joyfulness of new beginnings. I saw this in Wendy and Jackson. I can relate as after my husband died I too wanted to cling to what I had known, changes were frightening and sometimes still are. I have grown to realize that I cannot continue to in the life I had because a vital part of it is no longer there.
Thank you Ms. Carlson for another wonderful and touching book to warm my heart!
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Crack Yourself Up Jokes for Kids By Sandy Silverthorne

Kids love jokes, the cornier, and the sillier the better! They love to tell them and will laugh at the same ones over and over even if no one else does. This book is especially for the miniature budding comedians in your life. It is packed full of jokes, riddles, and stories kids will love. All or clean, nothing off color or suggestive, something I value and appreciate in children’s reading material. The jokes have large spaces between each one so they are easy to read. While you may not find the jokes as humorous as the children, you will find yourself cracking up at the sound of their laughter. I know I do!
I received this book free from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.

My First Book of Prayers By Worthy Publishing

This book came at the perfect time! I have a 5 month old grandbaby and he is already very curious and interested in everything! His favorite toy is a squishy soft book but it won’t be long till he will graduate to board books. It is never too early to introduce prayer to a little one’s life.
This one checks all the boxes: Sturdy, wipe clean pages, great pictures. The pictures are soft colors. I didn’t think I would like that but I find them very soothing. The pictures are of children (which appeals to children!) and illustrate the subject of the prayer. Almost all the prayers are four lines long, just right to hold a child’s attention. They are written in rhyme which is not only entertaining but will help kids remember the prayer.
I can’t wait to share it with my little boy!
I received this book from Worthy Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

10 Minutes in the Word: Proverbs By Zondervan Gift Books

The book of Proverbs is one of my favorite books of the Bible. This 46 day devotional book (Yeah! Longer than just a month like most), focuses on its beautiful wisdom and helps you be in the Word daily. Even before reading it I found the book very impressive. It is a quality hardback with sturdy page and an attractive cover. I can easily carry it with me in my purse to read while waiting at different appointments.
Now the O.C.D. part of me would want to read the book strictly in order, but the table of contents allows me to pick topic at and glance and also lists the scripture and verse. I like that. Although each daily devotional is one only and half pages they are outstanding! You
will want to read them more than once as there is a great deal of thought and study there. There prayers that follow do a great job of summarizing what the reader would want to apply from what they have learned. The questions at the end of the devotional personalize the relating the scripture to experiences and self-examination. The cross references to other Bible verses were a big plus to me. This helped turn each day into more of a study than just a devotional to skim through. A powerful little book!
I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano

Wooo whoo! Another bookshelf keeper! Tressa was filled with excitement and expectation at her father’s summons for her and her mother to come home. He had never done it before! Upon arrival she finds it was the butler who sent the message and her father is dead. She is of course heartbroken. She had never given up hope to have a relationship with her cold and distant father. Her mother is delighted because now she can spend his vast fortune he controlled. A monkey wrench is thrown into her greedy plans because it is rumored he has hidden the wealth but no one knows where! He had promised to tell Tressa before he died! So she and her mother sit in their magnificent castle home with an unpaid staff of 65 and “shillingness”.
As you know when it rains it pours with life’s problems. Merchants are demanding unpaid bills, treasure hunters and greedy relatives descend upon the castle hoping to get part of the hidden treasure. On top of that she is met by a shadowy man that claims was hired for her father to care for the vineyards. A job he never delegated to anyone!
I found this book to have many “treasures” of the best kind. First was the spiritual analogy of the vineyard and John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Even though this was a fiction book, it drew the reader to the importance of Christ and their relationship with Him. The author did it so naturally! It made the story even more beautiful. Instead of just reading and enjoying it I also derived spiritual insights and thoughts. The quotes from the notebook of a viticulturist before each chapter were though provoking, making me want to them more than once.
I loved the mystery, suspense and excitement! I was guessing from moment to the next about what was going to happen. Even when I jumped to conclusions I was usually wrong! Tressa’s sweet spirit and living as a Christian in such dire situations was refreshing. Her focus was on the needs of others despite her problems. I must say her mother was a bit annoying with her shallowness and “llama llama mama drama.” The author’s detailed descriptiveness of characters, emotions and setting made it like a movie was playing in my head!
An incredible book! I will definitely want to read every book Ms. Politano writes!
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Still Surviving Henry: The Untold Stories! By Erin Young

I was hooked from the first time I read Surviving Henry so when I saw another book about this lovable canine disaster, I couldn’t’ wait to read it! I found it as hilarious as the first one!
There is no doubt that Henry has not slowed down in his antics and challenging his family to keep on their toes. I love humor and we all need lots of it with the way the world is today. There are few books that can make me laugh out loud and Ms. Young’s is one of those.
Some reading the book might think, “Oh my! Why don’t’ they just get rid of him?” Not me! I totally get the Young’s and devotion to Henry. Our family has had a few fur babies like this though not as extreme. It goes past them being a pet. They are very much loved, four legged family members.
This book went deeper, past the laughter, and into the heart of the author and thousands of other animal lovers. There is a deep compassion and sensitivity toward our pets, God’s creatures, with which He has entrusted us.
I saw myself in Ms. Young. No matter how difficult, inconvenient, or expensive, our canine family member is worth is all. I related to her desire to help other animals in need and asking myself why I got involved after it turned into a big fiasco. Because once I began that journey I couldn’t just turn away. I had to see it through until the precious little life was in safe and loving hands.
I loved her heartfelt lessons God was teaching her through Henry. I know I have learned many from my canine companions. Her message at the end of the book to treasure every moment with these special gifts from God truly touched me. I have thought of it often. No matter how much trouble they cause, it cannot be compared with the joy, laughter, companionship and love they bring us.
Another incredible book by Ms. Young. I could give it 6 stars if I could. Thank you Erin!
Be sure to go to http://survivinghenry.com/ to see videos of Henry in action and learn more about his amazing family.

Climbing Prayer Mountain By Tim Spykstra

Prayer is our greatest privilege and source of power from God yet the most neglected. Any book that can help me strengthen my prayer life is of great interest to me. I found this book to be exactly that.
I liked how Mr. Spykstra compared prayer to exercise for the spirit. Praying should be easy but many times it is not. We struggle with fear, doubts, distractions both mental and physical, and simply giving quality time to talking with the Father.
The author’s use of spiritual greats of the Bible and their examples of prayer was unusual and helped me study the subject from a different perspective. The book is divided into 4 sections: Moses, Elijah, Jesus and Peter and John. Ten days is spent on each one, looking at their challenges and victories in prayer.
I found each one very thought provoking and a springboard for more study. I appreciated the many scriptural references included each day. At the beginning of the daily devotional is a motivating thought on prayer. Every day is a section called: Ponder Meditate and Pray. All 4 sections are followed by questions for extended study for each day.
I was impressed that the book had a full week of devotionals – 7 days – instead of the usual 5 as in most. Personally I don’t want to “take the weekend off” from daily time with the Lord.
An exceptional book you will want to read and add to your collection!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Bookcrash.com book review program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255:”Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.