Friday, August 4, 2017

The Maggie Bright: A Novel of Dunkirk

The Maggie Bright
by Tracy Groot

I wouldn't typically choose to read a Historical Fiction book. While most people find them interesting, I sometimes find them somewhat like reading a textbook. In most cases if I'm going to learn about an event in history I prefer the textbook approach rather than the pleasure read of a historical fiction book. However, this book was an exception to that rule.

The book follows Clare Childs as she inherits The Maggie Bright, a large yacht. Upon it's inheritance she discovers it holds quite the secrets. These secrets lead her on a rescue mission full of action, history, and a little bit of humor.

The book gives good insight on the terrible things Nazi's did as well as a new perspective on World War II as a rescue mission from the beaches of Dunkirk take place.

The book is very well developed. There's no holes in the plot-line and the characters are believable. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for this honest review.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Radical Spirit: Book Review

Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life
by: Joan Chittister

This book has some really good information and is a great guide for spiritual life. Chittister is both inspiring and challenging. She has unique views that really get you thinking.

However, this was a really hard read for me. I had to really push through it. That doesn't mean it wasn't a good read, it was just really informative and that's not my typical read. While I enjoy my devotionals, this is not like that. It's a book to study to help you get further in your spiritual journey, almost like I imagine my textbook is to help me study Biology. Essential, but not fun.

I would recommend this book to someone wishing to really dive deeper with their faith, someone that is willing to put in the effort. 

4 out of 5 stars

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for this honest review. 

Tranquility - A Book Review



Tranquility: A Prayer and Reflection Coloring Journal
by Tyndale (Producer)



Journaling is something I recommend to all of my friends. It can be extremely beneficial to people with stress, it boosts creativity, and it's generally a calming experience. I've learned that coloring has a lot of those same benefits.

Adult coloring is a really popular trend right now. There's groups on facebook about it, books designed specifically for it, and magazines dedicated to it. Pairing it with journaling is pure genius because I feel like its furthering the benefits of both journaling and coloring.

This book features a coloring page of some sort (difficulty varies) and then the accompanying page gives you a place to journal. Most pages include a Bible verse or a writing prompt of some sort.

There are few things that didn't fit my style in this book. For one, I don't always have time to sit down and color an intricate coloring page. I usually ended up skipping the coloring part. I also found that a lot of the journaling pages didn't give me the room to get out all my thoughts. This was upsetting as a new page gave me new inspiration and I didn't want to take up that space. It also asks you to draw occasionally, but I just used that space to write.

All in all this is a really great book. I would recommend it to anyone who loves writing or coloring. Each journal page gave me really inspirational content that helped my writing flow. I really enjoyed this book even if I've come to realized I don't enjoy the coloring part.This would make a great and beautiful gift. I give it 4 out of 5 stars due to the occasional lack of writing space.

I received this book free from Tyndale publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, April 3, 2017

This Too Shall Pass

A Review of:

This Too Shall Pass
Milena Busquets

By: Renea Reviews

This book is about a forty-year old woman named Blanca and the grief she goes through after losing her mother. The storyline has a very honest and blunt approach to how people really deal with grief. However, this doesn’t mean I enjoyed the book.

I truly wanted to enjoy my break from non-fiction reading, but unfortunately for me it wasn’t meant to be. For starters, the book itself is a difficult read: the paragraphs are long and speech follows a dash instead of the less-confusing quotation marks I’m used to. It’s very difficult to tell who is speaking and when they’re speaking. A few lines from the book for example (quotations due to the fact I’m quoting, the book doesn’t actually contain them):

“- My mother loved to play poker, I say
- Why don’t you ask her to join us?”

It’s not extremely hard to get used to, but I do prefer the quotation marks to tell me when someone’s speaking as opposed to the dashes.

I didn’t particularly like the plotline either. The entire book seems to focus on sex and using sex to escape your current situation. I have a love-hate relationship with that idea. While it’s true that sex is used to escape stress, hurt, and the daily life, I don’t like that this book has normalized sex as an “escape”. At the base of my dislike is the simple fact that I was expecting to read something about overcoming grief, while the main topic of this story seemed to be sex.

This book isn’t all bad and maybe if you read it your view may be a more positive than mine. The author is obviously skilled in writing. I particularly enjoyed her descriptions of Blanca’s innermost feelings. The scenery descriptions were well-written as well.

I’m giving this book 2 stars, but keep in mind that you’re opinions are different than mine. Read the whole review to decide if you may enjoy this book even if I didn’t. Lastly, I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for this honest review.

Friday, March 17, 2017

60 Days of Happiness

IMG_20170317_085726.jpg
60 Days of Happiness: Discover God’s Promise of Relentless Joy
By Randy Alcorn

60 Days of Happiness is a devotional that I believe is best fitted for personal use. While you could use this for group study, there is no study questions and the devotionals are straight-forward instruction with the occasional addition of a personal story from the author. However, it is definitely worth adding to your bookshelf for your personal reading.

Each chapter is about 3-5 pages long and contains a verse, quote, devotional, and prayer. Each chapter is entitled with a different question about happiness, which i found to be quite interesting. The devotional themselves are packed with good information and reference listed so you know you’re getting truthful information. Also, I wanted to note that I liked the addition of a quote to each chapter. Verses are a typical addition, but the quote as well was good choice.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for this honest review.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Vision Map


Vision Map by Joel Malm

This book is a step-by-step guide to creating a map to help you achieve your goals, also known as creating a vision map. Malm really does a great job describing how to make that map. He also keeps it pretty interesting throughout the whole book even including red scribbles (underlines, circles, arrows) as if he has personally written in your book.

The introduction states “There  are no overnight success stories” and I think that’s great to include right there in the beginning of the book. This book is a guide to making your plan, not a guide to fix all your problems before your morning cup of coffee tomorrow.

So for people like me, self-help books are usually too boring a read. This one is not so. Each chapter starts with a piece of Malm’s journey to success and his story truly is both interesting and inspiring. It follows with the portion explaining the part of the step that the chapter covers. Lastly, it ends with a verse or quote of inspiration.

This is a wonderful faith-based self-help book to create your vision map. It even includes a few samples in the back!

I received this book for free from MP Newsroom in exchange for this honest review.

Kingdom Family Devotional - 52 Weeks of Growing Together


IMG_20170316_093220.jpg

Kingdom Family Devotional
By Tony Evans and Jonathan Evans

This devotional is family-based, meaning it should be read with the whole family. Personally, I think dinner seems to be a great time to pull out this book. The devotional is focused around a weekly topic, where each week contains five daily devotionals.

Each day contains a verse having to do with the topic and then a mix of devotional, questions, and the occasional activity relating to the verse. While there is always a devotional of a paragraph to a whole page there is not always questions or an activity to do.

I was very excited to receive this book because I am a fan of Tony Evans. While not my favorite devotional, it definitely lived up to my standards of a good read.  While this book had a lot of things I like I didn’t like how it occasional mixed in questions and activities. I like my devotionals to have a daily portion of everything they include such as a daily verse, daily question, and daily activity. I don’t like mixing it up to much.

Overall this is a pretty good family read. The verses relate well to topic and the devotional to the verses.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for this honest review.

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart

Hi guys! I’m back from a much needed book-reviewing break. I had some very serious family/personal issues to attend to. No worries though, I’m back and ready to review books! Let’s start with a good one from Liz Curtis Higgs entitled 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart.


When you first open the book you get the nice table of contents which basically gives you what to expect in the rest of the book. At this point, it’s important to realize that there is a study guide in the back of the book. This is a tool that should be used while reading the book.


Then, a lovely introduction that details how Higgs came to fall in love with the Word of the Lord and why it’s so important to write verses on our hearts (memorize them).


Finally, the first chapter where we get to dive in! Each chapter features a verse at the beginning. The body of chapter is a breakdown of that verse which means that they take the verse apart and then explain that small portion of the verse in one or more paragraphs. The chapter ends with a tip for memorizing, the verse written again, and a place to write the verse in your favorite translation.


The back of the book holds my favorite part. There, it lists the reference to each of the 31 verses and how you can apply them to your life. Each explanation on application is a short 2-3 sentences. I personally think it serves as both a nice refresher of the verses and it’s great as a take-away.


Also in the back you’ll find the study guide filled with questions for each chapter and notes that include further reading for each chapter in the form of verses and other books.

As you can see, this smallish book is a huge tool. If you’re looking for a quick devotional you can do the day-by-day devotional. If you really want to study the word of God add in the study guide questions and look up the resources found in the notes. Definitely a five out of five star devotional!

I relieved this book for free from blogging for books reviewing program in exchange for this honest review.