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Topic: January 2013 - Reviews/Discussion of Christian Books Read

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Subject: January 2013 - Reviews/Discussion of Christian Books Read
Date Posted: 1/1/2013 6:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,108
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Please post book reviews and/or comments on Christian books that you have read in January 2013 here

If you are participating in the 2013 Christian Reading Challenge:

Extra, Extra Bonus

Spread the Word:  Post a review of a book that you have read in the monthly review topic and you will be entered for a random drawing of a WL book to be chosen by me (valued under $15).  There will be a minimum of 4 drawings a year with maybe a couple of more thrown in.  You do not have to track them.  I will get the names from the thread.  A person may only win once.

FYI - I am exempt



Last Edited on: 1/1/13 6:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/1/2013 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,108
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Finished my first book for the year today since I have been home sick for the last several days.  I couldn't find this one listed on the site so linking to Amazon since it is Kindle only apparently.  Good price though, $2.99

Digging up Death (Mari Duggins Mystery) by Gina Conroy

3 1/2 stars

Overall I enjoyed the book.  Didn't think that I would when I first started reading it as the style seemed over the top/theatrical to me.  Typical cozy type mystery with a lot happening in only the span of a few days.  Lots of twists and turns that made me wonder if the author would ever remember to tie all the ends together by the end of the book.  Most were with the exception with one or two that had no real bearing on the mystery.  The detective I thought was the most unbelievable as he didn't seem to pick up on a good bit of basic info that the heroine did pick up. 

If you enjoy cozies, you will probably like this one.  At the price, it was worth it. Good, clean read.

 

Date Posted: 1/1/2013 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2008
Posts: 3,365
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I just got finished reading Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur. A non-fiction book but very good overall. 

I would give it 5 stars. 

It really brings out that people we would consider heroes in the Bible are normal people who were not superhuman, etc. There were a couple times I noticed that things were kind of added to what we know in Scripture but I really enjoyed reading it. Kind of makes you think about what makes a hero and how God can use us. 



Last Edited on: 1/1/13 10:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/2/2013 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2009
Posts: 9,617
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I just finished High Desert Haven (The Shepherd's Heart Book 2) by Lynnette Bonner

I would highly recommend this book, I loved it.  I have to confess that I really like cowboy type romance and loved the first book, so have ordered the rest through book 4..  It was very uplifting, a beautiful love story and all through the book there were scriptures but I did not feel like I was being preached at. The scriptures were perfectly written in so that if felt like the persons true thoughts and not someone trying to add a sermon to a story.  I gave it 5 stars in my review of it.

Date Posted: 1/2/2013 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2008
Posts: 3,365
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So glad you posted that Darlene! I have her books on my WL but they are kind of expensive. Good to hear your thoughts on it. 

Date Posted: 1/5/2013 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2008
Posts: 3,365
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Got done reading Flight of the Earls by Michael Reynolds. This is a debut novel that I really enjoyed. Would definitely give 5 stars and that is rare for a first book. 

This deals with a family, mainly the daughter Claire, who has lost everything in Ireland so the father sends two of his children to America. There is a lot of despair shown as it depicts the Irish plight. I was really drawn to this book though and the story woven throughout the pages. The characters are well done and the storyline flows good. The romance is a minor part and even the Christianity(catholicism) is minor compared to the rest of the story. Not brought up much at all except for a group who stands outside the local "sporting" place and passes out tracts. Overall a good book. Can't wait for the next one about Claire's brother, Seamus. Love the Irish names and history!

Date Posted: 1/6/2013 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 665
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Today, I finished I Never Thought I'd See the Day!: Culture at the Crossroads:: David Jeremiah. Dr. Jeremiah is a well-known Christian pastor-teacher. In this book he examines trends in the United States and the world--trends of behavior that starkly contrast with Christian behavior as taught by the Bible. Of course, there have always been a differences, but the author believes these differences are becoming more acute. Dr. Jeremiah discusses 9 trends--such as the decline in morality and the obsolescence of marriage. I thought the book was well worth reading, because the author verbalized and gave supporting evidence for changes in our culture that many of us find concerning. He also shows us how we can live our lives faithfully in the midst of these trends. I gave the book 5 stars.

Date Posted: 1/6/2013 4:58 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2008
Posts: 21
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Finished reading my first book of 2013 -  Something Beyond the Sky  by Siri L Mitchell.  

This book has been on my shelf for some time, so I figured I read as as one of my "Well Intentioned" books.

 

I have loved all her other books, though this one was a little different.  As a "Navy Brat", I'm always interested in reading something with a military storyline.  Took me a few chapters to keep up with the the different characters storylines.  Once my thoughs were clear, I could not put it down.  I found the storylines very realistic, and found myself crying in a few places, and grinning broadly in others.  Seeing these four women, totally different in background, coming together as a group of friends for each other in their times of need was indeed a pure joy. 

 

 

Date Posted: 1/6/2013 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2009
Posts: 1,111
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I finished A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer yesterday. Saw it on the new display shelf at the library and snagged it before someone else did.

The storyline about a family and the wife's friend leaving NYC for Kansas was interesting. Being a wagon train story, there are disasters and tragedy, as it seems to be in these type of stories. I felt sorry for Tarsie, who was happy to go along but ended up caring for her friend and family, far beyond what she had imagined. I did wonder that the husband's gambling debts from New York (one of the reasons the family left) weren't mentioned later in the book, but he must have gotten far enough away from the people looking for him.

I used this book for the category "Visit an Old Friend- read a book by an author that you love. I do like Kim Vogel Sawyer's writing and this was a solid story with a mostly happy ending. 4 stars

 

 

Date Posted: 1/8/2013 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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I'm reading The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen and it has sucked me right in!  I hate putting it down, even though the story line is plain as day obvious and you know just how it is going to end and most of what is going to happen along the way!  At least that is what I am thinking 20% into the book. It will be interesting to see if I'm right.

Date Posted: 1/8/2013 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2008
Posts: 21
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Just finished "Words" by Ginny L Yttrup  

 

Taken from the book:

"I collect words. I keep them in a box in my mind. I'd like to keep them in a real box, something pretty, maybe a shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. Whenever I wanted, I'd open the box and pick up the papers, reading and feeling the words all at once. Then I could hide the box. But the words are safer in my mind. There, he can't take them."

 

In this book, Kaylee, the 10 year old girl, abandoned by her drug addicted mother in a cabin with only an evil man to care for her, collects words from one of the few momentos her mother left behind, a dictionary.  Only she does not speak, so she keeps her words in her head.

Sierra Dawn is an artist, and alone...Alone, after the death of her daughter twelve years ago. Can she reach out and help Kaylee, can she take the risk of loving again?  Will she let go of the control of her life and come back to God, allowing Him to show her the glory from her pain.

 



Last Edited on: 1/8/13 11:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/9/2013 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 210
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I just read Love on the Line by Deeane Gist.  I enjoy her books, this one included.  It ends predictably, but I still enjoyed the story line which included early telephone operators, Texas rangers, and bird watching.  It was an interesting combination of elements.

Date Posted: 1/11/2013 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 17,048
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I'm reading Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren. Its one of the When I Fall in Love series by Summerside Press.  The book is a christian fiction story that takes place in a small town named Frost in Minnesota at the end of WWII........the town's librarian has lost her Christmas spirit after losing her son in the war.... she's not planning on celebrating Christmas but ends up with four guests over Christmas when they are snowed in........read to see how she finds her Christmas spirit.......a romance but a loving Christmas novel also..........a quick read.  I love the references to different Christmas songs.

After completing the book, I want to stress that this is not your typical romance........there is romance but there's so much more to the book.  Heart touching, story of how God blesses us and works in our lifes by bringing certain people into our lives........HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Rating:  4.5 stars



Last Edited on: 1/13/13 4:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/17/2013 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 665
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I read A Merry Little Christmas (Songs of the Season) Author: Anita Higman

It was such a delightful and heart-warming book! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I often laughed at and with the characters. The main characters, Franny and Charlie, were charming. There were many interesting issues that were touched upon, including racial bias and social class differences. I was happy with the way the author worked those in and dealt with them. I gave this book 5 stars.

I also finished Deliver Me from Evil (Freedom) Author: Kathi Macias

This is an exceptional book that deals with an important issue--sexual slavery of children. It also is a very good, contemporary novel. Because the book is fiction, the author is able to temper the shocking and horrible circumstances of the slaves by also telling the story of the Flannery family--Michael, Rosana, and their two teenagers--Jonathan and Leah. I'm so glad I read Deliver Me From Evil. I am anxious to read the rest of the series. I highly recommend this book.

Date Posted: 1/19/2013 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2009
Posts: 9,617
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Lynn, I also LOVED Baby It's Cold Outside, awesome read but some sad situations so had me in tears at certain parts.  The HEA was worth it.

I just finished Paper Angels by Jimmy Wayne and Travis Thrasher.  I gave this book 5 stars. The story was of two families who were going through really tough situations very different from each other and how they struggled to find God in it all.  Their stories only crossed for a brief moment in time but the story was told with each persons story every other paragraph which I did not love.  Even with that it was not confusing to keep up with the characters and you fell in love with them all.  The teenage Thomas was my favorite, he had such a sweet spirit and God used him greatly to change the course that his family was on.  I cried a lot during this book because of the struggles and how I felt like I was there struggling with them but what Christian has not had struggles where they questioned where God was in it all.  In the end, the characters saw that God was there all along, knowing what they needed all the time.  Highly recommended.



Last Edited on: 1/19/13 11:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/22/2013 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 17,048
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Read this book this weekend giving it a star rating of 5...........it's the third book in his series The Walk as Adam walks from Seattle to Key West after the death of his wife and the loss of his business........I enjoyed this one particularly as he walked from Omaha down I29 through Missouri  over to St Louis........he traveled through towns I'm familiar with, some I've never been to, and now would like to visit.........right here in Missouri.     The book has a theme of forgiveness, in that his mother in law of his deceased wife is following him begging to talk to him, wanting forgiveness.......Also tells the story of a WWII holocaust survivor and how he learned to forgive........the book ends with him in a quandary not knowing if he'll make it to Key West or not.........I personally can't wait to read the 4th book of this series due out this spring........

Date Posted: 1/24/2013 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 210
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I read Though Mountains Fall by Dale Cramer, the third book in a trilogy.  The series is historical fiction about an Amish colony in Mexico in the 1920s in which the author's family actually lived.  The characters and story line are fictional, but based on an actual settlement.  It is also a sort of prequel to his previous book Levi's Will, which was based on the life of his father.  It's not your typical Amish fiction.  I enjoyed this book and the entire series very much, and look forward to reading more books by Cramer.

Date Posted: 1/24/2013 10:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,108
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Last week I read   When a Heart Stops (Deadly Reunions, Bk 2)  Author: Lynette Eason    5 stars

I really enjoy her books, at least the ones that I have read.  I know she has a lot of the Love Inspired type books but those I haven't read.  I liked this book more than the first in the series, When the Smoke Clears.  Maybe because I enjoyed Sabrina's character more.  You basically have two story lines going. One with a serial killer that somehow ties into the bad guy trying to find Sabrina's friend Jillian.  It isn't explained how the two bad guys know each other but I'm hoping it will all be explained in book 3 which comes out later this year.  Book 3 will be about Jillian so we will finally find out what she saw that caused her to leave town.  I would definitely recommend it.

I just finished tonight:  Judge (Books of the Infinite, Bk 2)  Author: R. J. Larson   5 stars

This is the continuing story of Ela or Parne, the Infinite's Prophet, and of Kien, The Infinite's servant.  I love this series!  It is fantasy but you get caught up into the story.  In this book, the story of Jonah is used with Kien and the story of Job with Ela.  Ela is told to travel back to Parne, her hometown, to warn the people there that if they don't return to the Infinite both they and their town will be over run by an invading force and the town destroyed. Reading it was almost as if you could hear God speaking the words that were written.  You could hear His love and His anguish for His children, knowing that they weren't listening and were turning their backs to the salvation that He was offering them. 

And then there are the destroyers, Scythe and the others.  Scythe/Pet is still one of my favorite characters even though they weren't in this story quite as much. I can't wait for King to come out later this year.

If you have never read fantasy because you didn't think that you would enjoy it, I would recommend this series to try.  Prophet is the first book and Judge the second.  I think that you would enjoy it.

Date Posted: 1/25/2013 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 17,048
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Cynthia, I pulled out When the Smoke Clears to start tonight.(ended with a hard copy and it's on my kindle also)....I have the second one on my wishlist...........

Date Posted: 1/25/2013 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,108
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In reading what I wrote, I didn't mean it to sound like When the Smoke Clears was bad, because it wasn't.  It was good also. I just enjoyed the second one more.

Date Posted: 1/25/2013 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 17,048
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Understand.......I was still going to give it a shot.  :0)

Date Posted: 1/27/2013 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 17,048
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Finished reading When the Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason today,  very good book;  4.5 stars......It was spell binding, I couldnt put it down until I knew who was going after Alexia...........sometimes when reading murder mysteries, it's easy to guess who it is, but not this book!  Can't wait to read the second one in the series.

Date Posted: 1/30/2013 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2008
Posts: 13,835
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Just read Illusion by Frank Peretti.  I thought it was excellent.  This is not a "mindless" read that you can just skim through.  This one requires some focus and some thinking to follow and understand everything that was going on - but it is soooo worth it.  I highly recommend it.

Date Posted: 1/30/2013 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 17,048
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Finished reading  

written by a fellow PBSer.........rating 5 stars.   A quick read, entertaining, story of Anna's family, how they got started in the music business, WHY they do what they do, and their adventures along the way.  I enjoyed reading about Anna's life;  would love to see them perform someday!!!!
Date Posted: 1/30/2013 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,108
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I tried reading Illusion but just couldn't get into it.  I did buy it last week for the church library so maybe I will try to read again later.  Sometimes that helps.  I do like his books though and have read several.

Last night I finished reading Vanished (Private Justice, Bk 1)  Author: Irene Hannon    4 Stars

Overall I enjoyed the book.  It got you hooked right off the bat and kept up a good flow through out.  The main female character Is Moira, an investigative reporter and the main male character is Cal, former police detective now with his own P.I. firm.  It didn't have a real strong mystery  but what there was, was interesting.  You almost get to feeling for the bad guy.  I've noticed that Irene Hannon has a way of doing that.  The bad guys aren't obnoxious to where you can't wait for something to happen to them.

I've only read one other series by the author and that was the Guardians of Justice but she seems to follow the same pattern. Girl meets guy, sparks fly, mystery happens, girl gets taken by bad guy, good guy comes to the rescue, romance blossoms, and happy ever after.  Not that that is a bad thing but you know basically which way the story goes.  In this story though, the romance doesn't happen as fast as it did in the others which I thought was much better.

I would recommend it and will be looking forward to the next in the series of which there is a short preview in the back of the book. No title though. Apparently the series will follow the three guys that are in the PI firm since the next book is about Dev, one of the partners.

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