Showing posts from January, 2019

Better Together with photography by Warren Photographic

If you enjoy animals or no someone who does, then this is likely to be an enjoyable book for you. Better Together: Life is Best with a Friend Like You is a fun gift book with both great quotes and great animal pictures.

Better Together has an introduction and is divided into 7 sections: Friendship, Unity and Togetherness, Love and Compassion, Respect, Peace and Harmony, Diversity, and Triumph and Strength. Each section has quotes from famous people related to the topic along with a cute photo of cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and more. There are a whole lot of pictures to make you smile in this book--no need to scroll social media for them, a copy of this book has a whole bunch.

I read Better Together fairly quickly but it is a good book to go through mindfully thinking about the quotes and the pictures. It would make a fun friendship gift. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes:
*Wear a smile and have friends; Wear a scowl and have wrinkles. ~George Eliot
*Great things …

Brunch at the Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Leareano

Melody Jahansson is a baker and pastry chef struggling to get out of a rut she feels she is stuck in. Then one night a handsome pilot named Justin Keller knocks on the door of her workplace in the middle of a snowstorm. Other changes are also coming in her life that might mean the start of her own restaurant with her good friend Rachel. Melody wonders if her life is really starting to change.

Justin has some issues in his life that make it challenging for him to feel he can get into a new relationship. His job is demanding and he has pledged his savings to starting a new business clear across the country.

Despite the challenges, Melody and Justin decide to give the relationship a try.  And in the end they have to decide which things are most important in their lives. They also see God working and learn some new things.

Brunch at the Bittersweet Cafe was a good read as a whole. I think Carla Laureano creates characters that seem real and are interesting. And then there is the food. Oh …

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

Rachel Bishop is a chef in Denver. Not just any chef. She is a James Beard Award-winning chef who owns her own fine-dining restaurant. . .that is until everything goes wrong. Or maybe that is when everything started to go right for Rachel. The Saturday Night Supper Club is just "the cuppa tea and scone" that this foodie needed to read.

Rachel is pushed out of her business after an on-line snafu with social media and a tabloid goes awry. Essayist Alex Kanin is the writer who feel responsible for Rachel's tarnished image. He vows to help her repair the damage if she wants him to--and much to her own surprise, Rachel takes him up on it. The rest of the book details their adventures both in the culinary world and in the dating world.

I enjoyed this first book in the new Supper Club series. I liked that the book included realistic characters. It was clean, romantic fiction. There is some talk about God through the book, but not a lot until near the end. The characters are l…

Taste and See by Margaret Feinberg

Taste and See by Margaret Feinberg merges Food, Friends and Bible Study. Recipes are even included! For a Christian, I just don't see how it gets much better than this.

Each chapter in Taste and See is a culinary adventure with a different location featured. The author shares her adventures as she mixes food and God together and comes up with a recipe for the reader learning and growing through each chapter. At the end of each chapter, Feinberg offers an activity to do with family and/or friends around the table. There are also several recipes that look truly delicious. I especially like that the Bible is set in the Mediterranean area so these recipes are all a part of the Mediterranean diet that I choose to do each day for my health. There are recipes for baked halibut, lamb lollipops, sour dough starter and bread, roasted figs and Brussels sprouts, and gluten free dark chocolate cookies. In the back of Taste and See, there is a list of all of the recipes for easy reference. I co…

Dangerous Prayers: Fifty Powerful Prayers that changed the world from Thomas Nelson

I was intrigued by the title of this book, Dangerous Prayers: 50 Powerful Prayers that changed the World. I like the idea of learning about prayer from some of the world's spiritual giants through the ages.

There is a table of contents that starts out Dangerous Prayers with the name of each famous person included in the book. They are in a sort of alphabetical order by last name, which is helpful. Each person is shown with a short biography, a beautiful artistic painted picture of that person, and the featured famous prayer. Some of the famous people everyone will likely know: Billy Graham, Martin Luther King Jr., C. S. Lewis, and Charles Spurgeon to name a few. But other names are not as familiar to most of us: Jarena Lee, Lottie Moon, Sojourner Truth, and Dora Yu. However, all of the stories and the prayers are fascinating. Bibliography pages are included in the back for those that want to do more research on any of the people listed.

Dangerous Prayers is even nicer than I expec…

The New You by Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson

As the calendar changes into a new year, many of us make resolutions about having better bodies and better physical health. The New You by Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson is a new book to encourage readers to consider their health from all angles.

The New You is divided into 5 parts: Small steps to the New You, Small Steps to Better Physical Health, Small Steps to Better Spiritual Health, Small Steps to better Emotional Health, and Small Steps to Better Mental Health. The authors of this book look at the health of the whole body working together to help a person feel better all the way around. Each section contains a few chapters with tips, advice and personal stories to encourage the reader to improve that area with small steps at a time--instead of biting off too big of chunks to make lasting changes. At the end of many chapters, there is a list of small steps and questions to ask yourself to make changes in your own life. At the end of the book there is a four-month plan ca…

The Bright Life by Jen Wise

Stress. It affects us all differently. In our modern world, it can hit us hard. JenWise shares her family's story of how stress affected their lives in The Bright Life.

Wise is both a writer and a Bible teacher. Throughout The Bright Life she weaves her family's story along with Scripture to tell their story and to encourage the reader to avoid some of the stress pitfalls that they hit. She also invites the reader to learn how to handle stress in a holistic manner. This book is divided into forty days of readings. Each reading shares her story mingled with Scripture and ends with a page for the reader to use to reflect, to ask themselves questions and to make gentle changes in their lives: Looking Inward, Looking Upward, and Looking Outward are all short sections on that last page.

I especially like Wise' style of sharing with the reader. It feels so down-to-earth and like she is speaking right along with me. I also like how there is the page of ways to reflect and make c…

Jelly Telly Children's books from FaithWords

God Made the World by Hannah C. Hall features brothers Clive and Ian. Together they have a picnic and learn about how God made the world and all that is in it.

Each of these four board books in this series are nice thick, quality books that would stand the test of time with several children. The stories are good as they allow for family discussion and they all have vibrant illustrations. At the back of each book, there is a page called The Parent Connection. This page gives ideas on how to get started talking about the ideas in the books and some specific questions to ask to get discussions started. This whole series is great for getting basic Christian concepts across to young children.

God Made Me by Hannah C. Hall starts with Ian sharing how much he loves to eat pancakes. Together, Ian and Clive talk about how they are each special and how God created them differently.

God Made Night and Day by Hannah C. Hall takes us back to a summer night outdoors with the family. Clive and Ian …

Beyond Blessed by Robert Morris

Several years ago my husband and I went through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. We worked on our budget and paid off a lot of debt and it felt good. Then we made several moves for my husband's job and things got a little crazy. We didn't take on more debt again, but we did slack off on budgeting with repairs on our new house and other needs that we had neglected during that time. Then this past year, we just realized we were just staying sloppy in our budgeting and giving. It is time to get back on track. Beyond Blessed by Robert Morris came to me at just the time I needed it. This past week, I have been reading this book with my husband and discussing how we can get ourselves back on track again. I feel hopeful already!

Morris, who is the founding Senior Pastor of Gateway Church in Texas, originally wrote a book called The Blessed Life, which I read several years ago not long after it came out. I read it about the same time we started the Financial Peace Univer…

We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels

"The Past is Never as Past as we'd like to Think" is a quote on the back of We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels. This book and this quote made me truly think about the racial challenges in this country--and how my thoughts and actions could work for bettering things as we go into the future.

We Hope for Better Things tells the stories of three different generations of people and how race played a part in their stories through the Civil War, the 1960s and in today's world.

We read the story of Mary and Nathaniel Balsam and how they fared during the Civil War when Nathaniel left to join the Civil War and sent home a slave named George for Mary to help in the underground railroad--and more slaves in the future. Nathaniel and George faced challenges in their marriage and in the society in which they lived at that time as they tried to help the slaves to freedom.

Bartels also shares the story of another generation of Balsam's as Nora Balsam falls in love with a …

Dead Sea Rising by Jerry Jenkins

I you are looking for a book with adventure and intrigue, Dead Sea Rising starts out running and never stops. . .and the thing is, I didn't want it to. I wish book two was already out.

Nicole Berman's mother, Virginia, is in the hospital and ready for surgery. Her dad is overseas and scrambling to find a flight home to be with his wife through the operation for a broken hip. Or maybe it isn't just a broken hip? Soon the whole family is the subject of a criminal investigation.

At the same time, we read another story of intrigue set thousands of years before in the Middle Easter during the early Biblical times. Terah and Belessunu have been married for many years. Many barren years. However, soon they will have a baby to bless them. Belessunu prays to the one true God and Terah prays the the idols that he makes for the king, Nimrod. Tension is all around as the baby is born and trouble begins.

Jerry Jenkins weaves the two stories in and out throughout the book. I found them…