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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Summer's List by Anita Higman

Summer Snow has had a difficult life. She cared for her two ailing parents instead of going off to college with her friends. After her parents died, she took over for her grandmother in running a small bookstore that was owned by her grandmother. She has been engaged and recently broke off that engagement. She missed some fun things along the way and is beginning to realize that.

Her beloved grandmother makes a list for Summer of things she wants Summer to do that is outside of her comfort zone. One of them is to reconnect with Martin Langtree, a childhood friend, who she lost touch with many years ago. Besides giving her the list, Summer's grandmother tells her that she is dying and wants to see Summer begin doing the things on her list before she dies.

As Summer reconnects with Martin, she discovers that Martin has his own issues to deal with including having a dysfunctional family. As they begin to do some of the things on Summer's list, they begin to reconnect and realize their relationship goes deeper than friendship.

The characters are interesting and the plot is engaging. It is an enjoyable reading experience.
I received this book from Moody Publishers for this review.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Whatever Is Lovely - A Coloring Book for Reflection and Worship

Whatever Is LovelyI had heard about adult coloring books, but had not seen one until I saw "Whatever is Lovely." This is an absolutely beautiful coloring book intended to be used for quiet reflection and worship. Scripture, quotations and lyrics from familiar hymns are included in the artwork. This would be a great way to quiet your spirit and relax and use your creativity in coloring these beautiful and inspirational sayings. Suggested songs to listen to while you are meditating and coloring are listed in the back of the book. You can do this as an act of worship alone or join others as you color.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

I'm Happy for You (Sort Of...Not Really) by Kay Wills Wyma

I'm Happy for You (Sort Of...Not Really)Comparing ourselves to others is a deadly trap. It can lead to discontentment, envy and rob us of joy. Kay Wills Wyma discusses how we can find contentment in a culture of comparison through her experiences and the experiences of her children. As a mother of five, she has many illustrations of coping with friends who are thinner, wealthier, and have children who excel more than hers. In sharing about this, the author points out that we only see a "glimpse" of the other person's life and story and really do not know what is all going on with them in their life. I really appreciated her humor and practical wisdom in dealing with this topic.

Even though my children are grown and I am at a different stage of life than the author, I can still relate to the temptation of comparing myself and my life to others. I think it is a human tendency that everyone can relate to. I thoroughly enjoyed this thought provoking book, and will try to remember the next time someone goes on about all of their accomplishments or those of their children, to respond with "I am happy for you."

There are discussion questions at the back of the book which would make it a good choice for a book discussion group or as part of a Bible study. I highly recommend this entertaining and informative book.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Farewell Four Waters by Kate McCord

This book is based on real life events faced by the author and other aid workers in Afghanistan in 2008. The story is a fascinating one as the main character, Marie, comes to terms with a number of changes from a co-worker and roommate leaving, to the killing of an aid worker in Kabul and the start of a literacy program in a nearby village. Through Marie's eyes you get a close up view of the Afghan people and culture and the precautions taken by foreign workers to keep themselves out of harm's way.

Marie's descriptions of her relationships with the Afghan women and how she weaves her faith into everyday conversations with them is inspiring. While respecting the Afghan's Muslim beliefs she is able to share Messiah Jesus through her storytelling. Her love for the Afghan people is evident in all of her relationships. You also get a first hand account of the feelings involved when Marie and her coworkers have to evacuate their village on short notice.

I would highly recommend this book for a look at what it is to be a foreign aid worker in Afghanistan and an insight into the culture in Afghanistan. The culture is a complex one with the various ethnic group warring against each other. There seems to be no easy answers to bring about peace in this country.

I received this book from Moody Publishing for this review.