Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September's Review Round-Up

Here are this month's links to reviews I posted at Wildflower Faith:

Never Ever Give Up by Erik Rees

Palace of Darkness by Tracy Higley

Both books are exceptional! My reviews will tell you why.

And, just in case you're curious . . .

Coming in October - to this blog - reviews of:
The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate
Prescription for Life by Richard Furman
Abraham by Charles Swindoll
The River by Beverly Lewis
Storm Siren by Mary Weber
A Love Undone by Cindy Woodsmall

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon Wrap Up Post

Better late than never! I knew I would be somewhat off the grid over the weekend, but I ended up much farther away from it than I'd anticipated. Reading time was limited and blogging impossible. But I'd still like to wrap things up:

The Hedge People by Louise Carey (Done! -as of 9-12.)

The Rescuer by Dee Henderson (Done! -as of 9-15)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (Done!-as of 9-10. Click here to read my review.)

Palace of Darkness by Tracy Higley (I was able to reach Chapter 24 before the end of the read-a-thon. I finished this book yesterday! You can read my review here.)

Just Jane by Nancy Moser (On Chapter 13 by the end of the read-a-thon; two more chapters read. I hope to finish this book today.)

Speak by Nish Weiseth (Done!-as of 9-11. Click here to read my review.)

The Maiden of Mayfair by Lawana Blackwell (Still on Chapter 14)

Prescription for Life by Richard Furman (Now on Chapter 3; one more chapter read)

Abraham by Charles Swindoll (Still on Chapter 3)

So far this month, I've finished six of the seven books from my original list. At the start of the read-a-thon, I replaced The Story Keeper with Just Jane which I will finish soon. So I'm pleased with the progress I made during the read-a-thon which helped me exceed my goals for the month. I'd say the whole experiment was a fun success! I hope all the other readers were happy with their reading accomplishments, too.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon, Day 11

I think yesterday was the best day progress-wise of the whole read-a-thon! Here is how I did:

The Hedge People by Louise Carey (Done! -as of 9-12.)

The Rescuer by Dee Henderson (Done! -as of 9-15)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (Done!-as of 9-10. Click here to read my review.)

Palace of Darkness by Tracy Higley (Now on Chapter 22; eight more chapters read)

Just Jane by Nancy Moser (Now on Chapter 11; two more chapters read)

Speak by Nish Weiseth (Done!-as of 9-11. Click here to read my review.)

The Maiden of Mayfair by Lawana Blackwell (Now on Chapter 14; one more chapter read)

Prescription for Life by Richard Furman (Now on Chapter 2; one chapter read)

Abraham by Charles Swindoll (Now on Chapter 3; two chapters read)

I don't expect to have much time for reading in the next few days, but I'll do my best. I've finished the equivalent of 5 1/2 books and should be able to finish all of these before September 30.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon, Day 10

Ten days! Congratulations to all the readers who are hanging in there. We're two-thirds of the way! Here's my progress after yesterday:

The Hedge People by Louise Carey (Done! -as of 9-12.)

The Rescuer by Dee Henderson (Done! -as of 9-15)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (Done!-as of 9-10. Click here to read my review.)

Palace of Darkness by Tracy Higley (Now on Chapter 14; seven more chapters read)

Just Jane by Nancy Moser (Now on Chapter 9; one more chapter read)

Speak by Nish Weiseth (Done!-as of 9-11. Click here to read my review.)

The Maiden of Mayfair by Lawana Blackwell (Now on Chapter 13; one more chapter read)

Prescription for Life by Richard Furman (Still at the Introduction)

Abraham by Charles Swindoll (Introduction read; ready for Chapter 1--This book promises to be great!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon, Day 9

So I did decide to add two non-fiction books to my reading list: Prescription for Life by Richard Furman and Abraham by Charles Swindoll. I haven't started Abraham yet, but I read the first 18 pages of Prescription for Life yesterday. Here's my progress overall:

The Hedge People by Louise Carey (Done! -as of 9-12.)

The Rescuer by Dee Henderson (Done! -as of 9-15)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (Done!-as of 9-10. Click here to read my review.)

Palace of Darkness by Tracy Higley (Now on Chapter 7; three more chapters read)

Just Jane by Nancy Moser (Still on Chapter 8)

Speak by Nish Weiseth (Done!-as of 9-11. Click here to read my review.)

The Maiden of Mayfair by Lawana Blackwell (Now on Chapter 12; one more chapter read)

Prescription for Life by Richard Furman (Foreward and Preface read)

Abraham by Charles Swindoll (Not started yet)

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon, Day 8

I'm back! I chose to take yesterday off as far as checking in went, but I kept reading, focusing mainly on The Rescuer by Dee Henderson. Today I'm hoping to visit everyone who checked in at the midway point yesterday! Are you all reaching your goals?

Here's my progress after the weekend:

The Hedge People by Louise Carey (Done! -as of 9-12.)

The Rescuer by Dee Henderson (Now on Chapter 24; I hope to finish this one today!)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (Done!-as of 9-10. Click here to read my review.)

Palace of Darkness by Tracy Higley (Now on Chapter 4; one more chapter read)

Just Jane by Nancy Moser (Now on Chapter 8; one more chapter read)

Speak by Nish Weiseth (Done!-as of 9-11. Click here to read my review.)

The Maiden of Mayfair by Lawana Blackwell (Now on Chapter 11; one more chapter read)

I'm thinking that when I finish The Rescuer, I'm going to have to start at least one of my up-next, non-fiction books-to-read. Though I love reading several books at a time, I enjoy this more when there's variety. Just Jane and The Maiden of Mayfair are set in the same era. And all four books I'm currently reading are novels. The seven books on my list are the ones I planned to read in September, so I'm still ahead even if I don't finish these exact seven by the 21st. I'll let you know what I choose tomorrow.

In the meantime, have fun reading today!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Opposites


These are the books I chose for Tressa's Book Cover Opposites Challenge: Yesterday and Tomorrow.  (Both of these are on my TBR list!) To see what opposites others are choosing, visit the Wishful Endings blog here.

The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon, Day 6

Done!
So . . . now that I'm down to only four books, I'm really fighting the temptation to start another one! The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate, The River by Beverly Lewis, and two other books, both non-fiction, are sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read them and post reviews. I'm also longing to start Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson and The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. There is just no end my list of TBR books!

For now, though, I'll stick with these and be thankful for them. We can't truly enjoy the experience of a moment if we're always looking toward what's up next.

Here's my progress after yesterday:

The Hedge People by Louise Carey (Done! -as of 9-12.)

The Rescuer by Dee Henderson (Now on Chapter 15; two more chapters read)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (Done!-as of 9-10. Click here to read my review.)

Palace of Darkness by Tracy Higley (Now on Chapter 3; one more chapter read)

Just Jane by Nancy Moser (Now on Chapter 7; one more chapter read)

Speak by Nish Weiseth (Done!-as of 9-11. Click here to read my review.)

The Maiden of Mayfair by Lawana Blackwell (Now on Chapter 10; one more chapter read)

Happy weekend reading, everyone!

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon, Day 5

It came! It finally came! The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate showed up on my doorstep yesterday afternoon. I probably won't start reading it until after the read-a-thon, though. My brain is feeling quite full! Here's where I stand after yesterday's reading:

The Hedge People by Louise Carey (Now on Chapter 17; two more chapters read--I hope to finish this one today!)

The Rescuer by Dee Henderson (Now on Chapter 13; one more chapter read)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (Done!-as of 9-10. Click here to read my review.)

Palace of Darkness by Tracy Higley (Still on Chapter 2)

Just Jane by Nancy Moser (Still on Chapter 6)

Speak by Nish Weiseth (Done!-as of 9-11. Click here to read my review.)

The Maiden of Mayfair by Lawana Blackwell (Still on Chapter 9)

I hope all read-a-thon participants are feeling satisfied with the progress they are making so far! I'm off to go visit some of you to cheer you on. Thank you to everyone who has stopped by to encourage me the past few days. That's a bonus perk to joining a read-a-thon!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review: "Speak"

I chose to read Speak because of its description:

Speak, by popular blogger Nish Weiseth, is a book about the power of telling our own stories and hearing those of others to change hearts, build bridges, advocate for good, make disciples with grace, and proclaim God’s kingdom on Earth today.

This premise is beautiful. I believe it. I wanted to learn more about it.

But I was disappointed in the book. For me, it ran kind of hot and cold. There were three chapters that I absolutely loved. One of these even had me tearing up a bit. The other five mostly left me scratching my head, trying to understand what the words I was reading had to do with the theme of the book. There was a disconnect somewhere between the stories the author told and the message she was trying to convey.

Each chapter ended with a blog post which included some of the comments that post actually received when published on-line. These posts, all by different bloggers, were supposed to illustrate the author’s point, but I found them more distracting than helpful. They contained thought-provoking reading but sent my thoughts away from the message of the book.

The final chapter of the book, however, was my favorite. In this one, the author encourages readers to faithfully live whatever life stories they’ve been given. She says, “Though you may be living what seems like an ordinary life, faithfully doing what God has placed in front of you to do means you are actually living an extraordinary life.” I appreciated those words.

I thank Zondervan Publishers for sending me a complimentary eCopy of this book through the BookLook Blogger program in exchange for my honest review.

The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon, Day 4

Here's where I stand with the books I'm reading for the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon:

The Hedge People by Louise Carey (Now on Chapter 15; two more chapters read)

The Rescuer by Dee Henderson (Now on Chapter 12; one more chapter read)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (Done! Click here to read my review.)

Palace of Darkness by Tracy Higley (Now on Chapter 2; one chapter read)

Just Jane by Nancy Moser (Now on Chapter 6; one more chapter read)

Speak by Nish Weiseth (Now on Chapter 7; three more chapters read--I'll finish this one today!)

The Maiden of Mayfair by Lawana Blackwell (Still on Chapter 9)

As for actually tackling my TBR, though, I sabotaged myself yesterday. I found three books on Lifeway's bargain shelf that just had to come home with me. One book read; three new books I must read! (Let's just say I am preparing for Tressa's next read-a-thon.)

Four days into this! Are you reaching the goals you made?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Review: "Thief of Glory"

Wow . . . I have no adequate words. Thief of Glory is a powerful read. It’s the kind of book that leaves you pondering for days, trying to grasp it all. The last seventy pages, give or take a few, were unexpected. The last five held yet one more heart-wrenching twist. I’d have to call this book a triumphant tragedy.

The main character is an elderly man, Jeremiah Prins, recalling the years of his life spent in a Japanese internment camp for Dutch women and children unfortunate enough to be living in the Dutch East Indies during World War II. Separated from his father and older brothers and with an emotionally ill mother, 10-year-old Jeremiah suddenly finds himself the protector of and provider for his family: mother, younger sisters, and youngest brother. Jeremiah turns out to be one feisty and determined kid, a hero to most everyone inhabiting the Jappenkamp.

Like all heroes, he has allies (Sophie, Dr. Eikenboom, and Adi), a nemesis or two or three, and one enduring love. And the Thief of Glory will turn out to be Jeremiah’s fiercest enemy. I was alternately captivated and mortified as I read through each scene of this book. Having lived in the Netherlands for a time, I enjoyed learning more about that country's history and role in World War II. I plan to recommend this book to my husband and son; I think they’ll both appreciate the quality of this read.

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of Thief of Glory for my honest review. I am thankful they gave me the opportunity to read this book.

The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon, Day 3

The read-a-thon continues! Here's where I stand after another day:

The Hedge People by Louise Carey (Now on Chapter 13; four chapters read)

The Rescuer by Dee Henderson (Now on Chapter 11; two chapters read)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (Now on Chapter 46; eight chapters read)

Palace of Darkness by Tracy Higley (I get to start this book today!)

Just Jane by Nancy Moser (Still on Chapter 5)

Speak by Nish Weiseth (Still on Chapter 4)

The Maiden of Mayfair by Lawana Blackwell (Currently on Chapter 9; one chapter read)

I'm only about 30 pages from the end of Thief of Glory, so I'll be finishing that book today and posting its review. Then I'll start focusing primarily on Speak. (This book only has eight chapters, so I'm halfway through it already, even though I'm only on Chapter 4.)

If you're participating in the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon, I hope you're enjoying all your books while reaching your reading goals. I'm off to visit some of the other readers now. I'll be back with another update tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon, Day 2

Here's today's update on my read-a-thon progress. Mondays are especially busy for me, so I'm off to a slow start but pleased with the progress I made:

The Hedge People by Louise Carey (Still on Chapter 9)

The Rescuer by Dee Henderson (Now on Chapter 9; two chapters read)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (Now on Chapter 38; eight chapters read)

The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate (I'm still waiting for this book to show up in my mailbox! Evidently it was lost in the mail, but now it is once again on its way.)

Palace of Darkness by Tracy Higley (I'll start this book when I finish Thief of Glory.)

Just Jane by Nancy Moser (Currently on Chapter 5; one chapter read)

Speak by Nish Weiseth (Currently on Chapter 4; one chapter read)

The Maiden of Mayfair by Lawana Blackwell (Still on Chapter 8)

With Thief of Glory, I go back and forth between being enthralled and being mortified, but it is set in a WWII internment camp in Indonesia, after all. Just Jane is an amazing read! Though fiction, Nancy Moser does a beautiful job of letting readers look into Jane Austen's head to learn what she might have been thinking and feeling as she pursued her writing dreams and at what events from her life might have prompted some of her classic stories.

Now I'm off to visit some of the other read-a-thon participants to learn what progress they are making and cheer them on! Thanks for stopping by today. I'll be back tomorrow, same time.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon, Day 1

Welcome to Day 1 of the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon hosted by my reading friend, Tressa, of the Wishful Endings blog.

This read-a-thon will run from September 8 to 20, and the goal will be for all participants to whittle away at their ever-growing TBR piles and to post updates and reviews on their blogs or favorite form of social media. I'll be posting here until the 18th with a wrap-up post on the 21st.

When I first decided to play this game, I posted a list of books I was planning to read in September, knowing that I'd be reading some of them between the 8th and the 18th. This is what that list looks like now:

The Hedge People by Louise Carey (Currently on Chapter 9)

The Rescuer by Dee Henderson (Currently on Chapter 7)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (Currently on Chapter 30)

The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate (I'm still waiting for this book to show up in my mailbox!)

Never Ever Give Up by Erik Rees (I finished reading this book on September 1. Click here to read my review.)

Hooked by Les Edgerton (I finished reading this book on September 6.)

Palace of Darkness by Tracy Higley (I'll start this book when I finish Thief of Glory.)

Just Jane by Nancy Moser (I've added this in place of The Story Keeper for now. One of my GoodReads groups is reading it this month. Currently on Chapter 4)

Speak by Nish Weiseth (This is my BookLook Blogger choice to follow Never Ever Give Up. Currently on Chapter 3)

The Maiden of Mayfair by Lawana Blackwell (This was one of the first Kindle Freebies I ever found. It demands to be read now! Currently on Chapter 8)

So that's where I stand as I start this endeavor. I'll be back with updates tomorrow.

If you haven't signed up for this read-a-thon yet, but would like to, clicking on the picture will take you to Tressa's sign-up blog post. Sign-ups can continue until September 17th! Click here to read Tressa's kick-off post.