Saturday, July 16, 2016

Book Review: "Return to Joy"

On the back cover of Bev DeSalvo’s book, Return to Joy, we read:

Pain. Abuse. Neglect. Abandonment. These issues lie just under the surface of our lives. So we stuff the ache, paste on a smile, and make the forced march to church on Sunday.

If this is where you are, DeSalvo wants you to know that the road to healing awaits. The books tells her painful story and how she found her way onto the road of brokenness and into the arms of her Savior. And chapter by chapter she’s left breadcrumbs so her readers can follow her there too.

The content of each chapter is invaluable, full of Scripture, easy to understand analogies, and personal experience. Following each chapter, however, is a five-day Bible study related to its content. Readers will want to purchase notebooks for answering deep questions and recording new insights.

They’ll also want to read the book again!

As a ten-week study, this book can be explored by an individual, with a friend or counselor, or in a small group. I enjoyed reading it on my own and highly recommend it to you! Tyndale House Publishers sent me a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Book Review: "Swimming with Faith"

Released just in time for the Summer Olympics, Swimming with Faith tells world class swimmer Missy Franklin's story - to date. Written for young girls, this biography tells how Franklin got her start as a swimmer, where she has competed, what medals she has won, what else she is interested in, about family and friends, and of her involvement in community - in her case a community practically the size of the whole world. Most important it tells how her love for God impacts the ways she lives and the decisions she makes. Franklin is not only a great swimmer, but she's an amazing role model for young girls.

For fun and added interest, each of the seventeen short chapters ends with a list of facts or bonus information related the content. These provide a little break from the regular reading. Pictures of Missy are also sprinkled here and there throughout the book.

This segment of Franklin's life only takes readers to her transition into professional swimming. Fans are told of her goals for the coming Olympics but will have to wait a few months, of course, to learn through television or other media coverage how things turn out. The Missy Franklin Story is far from complete.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Book Review: "Life Is Better at the Beach"

Life Is Better at the Beach is a friendly, little book meant to bring a smile to the reader's face. The subtitle, Inspiration for Living Each Day Like You're at the Beach, sums the concept up well. It's the kind of book I might purchase on clearance to leave lying on an end table or shelf somewhere for guests to flip through at their leisure.

The book has fifteen chapters of a sort. Each starts with a one -sentence thought about how to enjoy life at the beach. The first, for example, is Wake up smiling. This is followed by a one-page elaboration of that idea, a beach-scene picture with a complimentary Bible verse, a relevant quote, and another thought or two. It's a simple, little beach book meant to help the reader relax. On a stressful day, it could possibly help you find your happy place or a much-needed moment of peace.

I received a partial eCopy of Life Is Better at the Beach from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for this honest review.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Book Review: "Sea Rose Lane"

Sea Rose Lane is Irene Hannon's second Hope Harbor novel. The books are set in this fictional Oregon small town full of interesting characters who work together to help the main characters resolve their personal issues in order to enjoy happily-ever-after lives. In fact, both novels have placed a great emphasis on people loving people and helping each other however they can. Hannon has some great ideas, presented through the town charity, Helping Hands.

In Sea Rose Lane, Eric Nash has just returned to his hometown to reevaluate his personal goals after being laid off from a promising career in law. He's been on a determined path to partnership since high school, but suddenly all has come to a stop. He figures a few restful weeks at home will give him just enough encouragement to try again.

But his recently widowed father is turning the family home into a bed and breakfast. Architect and contractor BJ Stevens, along with her crew, are hard at work making Eric's father's long-cherished dream a reality. Confronted with the unexpected, Eric will have to reevaluate more than he'd thought.

I loved reading this book and recommend it to you. Revell sent me a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Book Review: "The Pug List"

The Pug List by Alison Hodgson is a true story about before and after, about learning to live well again after a traumatic event. In this case, the event was a devastating house fire set by an arsonist. Alison's family of five lost just about everything they owned except the clothes on their backs.

As Alison tells the story, she shares the lessons she learned along the way, giving relevant family history to help readers understand. She also shares her heart - what she was thinking and feeling and struggling with most as her family recovered from their ordeal and worked to rebuild their life.

Readers meet the pug about two-thirds of the way through the book and learn his role in this chapter of the family's story. Dog lovers will especially appreciate this part of the book. The rest of the book will encourage anyone living in an "after" situation. I received my complimentary eCopy of The Pug List from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.