Friday, July 27, 2012


Chris Cleave hit it out of the ballpark with Little Bee and now, I am again reminded of what a fabulous writer he is with Gold.  When I first started this book, I thought racing bicyclists - hmm, maybe not.  But I was drawn in right away and caught up to the very end of the book.  The book does not bog down with bicycling details, but is very interesting to see the life of a professional Olympic bicyclist.  It follows the story of three Olympic bicyclists - Kate, Jack and Zoe - and how their lives intertwine to tell their stories.  Their lives certainly intertwine - Kate and Zoe train together and race together but also compete together.  Jack and Zoe have a history but Jack and Kate are now married - hmmm - need I say more - the characters are pretty tangled in this one!  A story of 8 year old Sophie and her battle with leukemia - a story of the hopelessness of life for a character that seemingly "has it all" - and a story of devotion and sacrifice of parents.  I loved this book - I could feel for each character and I was riveted to the very end!  (And it's oh-so-timely here in the days of our current Olympics - don't miss it!)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Turn of Mind

Alice LaPlante's Turn of Mind is a riveting read.  It is the incredibly sad story of Dr. Jennifer White, a 64 year old retired orthopedic surgeon, who is learning to live with dementia.  The story is told from Jennifer's perspective and can be so hard to read at times - how she can not even remember her son or daughter must be a challenge for the whole family - but seeing it all from Jennifer's side is almost worse.  What makes this book even more appealing is the murder storyline.  Jennifer's best friend has recently been murdered and the police suspect her as the murderer.  This book is one that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final pages - I could not believe how it ended - I had no idea and DID NOT see it coming.  It is just gives some great insight into dementia patients and what they live with, and what their families and friends live with - all from an insider's perspective.  I would highly recommend this book - it was a fabulous read!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Are you feeling bored in your spiritual life?  Feel like you've hit a wall and are sliding down?  Brian Hardin tackles this in his book, Passages.  If you feel like your daily Bible readings are not very meaningful - you will love how Hardin tries to challenge you that your daily reading might just change you AND become the highlight of your day.  First he helps you to see that there is a big God that loves you and wants to be part of your life and he shows you how you can find time to spend with God and make a plan to see it happen.  He sets up a reading plan for the next year to get you through the entire Bible chronologically.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book - Hardin makes you think AND laugh - and I value that in a writer!  He is grounded and practical - just what we NEED!  Check out his great book AND his website.

To read what others have to say about Hardin's book - visit this tour schedule.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Surprised by Oxford

I am telling everyone I know that they MUST pick up this book - what a wonderful read Carolyn Weber has crafted.  Surprised by Oxford is Carolyn's memoir of her journey to Christ through Oxford.  I loved everything about this book - her writing is fabulous!  She weaves in many references to literature as she teaches literature and her background comes through loud and clear.  What I love about this book is that Weber heads off to Oxford to study - NOT to find God - but her journey is chronicled so well that you, as the reader, can feel her struggle as she strongly makes it clear she DOES NOT need God.  Weber is a pretty strong woman with strong feminist ideas - her journey is fantastic and will resonate with many people that read it.  Her questioning is real and the answers people give her in her journey are thoughts we can all relate to and may have heard ourselves along the way.  I would give this to skeptics, new believers, and people who've been believers for ages - it will challenge and encourage - I loved it!

*I was sent a copy of the book by the publisher for review purposes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

If you like......

What a great tool - plug in your favorite authors and they will give you more suggestions - hmmm, check it out!!!

Monday, July 09, 2012

I See, I Learn Series

Stuart Murphy's I See, I Learn series is SO good for our preschool-aged kids!  These books are packed with topics that our little ones are encountering and he handles the subjects in such tactful ways.  Hillary has a couple of them she has reveiwed on her book blog.
Happy, Healthy Ajay!

*I was sent copies for review purposes.

Sunday, July 08, 2012


I am trying to find a book for a friend - she is sure she read it when she was a child.  Here is how she describes it:
The story was about a girl who has an invalid grandmother (or great grandmother) living with her family. The girl doesn't like her grandma because she is old and cranky and does nothing but scold. The little girl ends up finding her grandma's fort (I think it was a soddy underground.) and reads her diary from when the grandma was a child and the girl realizes that they were very similar.
Does that sound at all familiar?

Anyone, Anyone!?!?!

Thanks for the help - I am really struggling with this one!

Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do

What a fun review!  Thank you, Hillary!  I totally agree - this is such a fun book to share with your little ones!

Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do

*I was sent a copy by the publisher for review purposes.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Monkey Colors

Hillary has another great book review for us!!

Monkey Colors

*I was sent a copy by the publisher for review purposes.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Out on the Prairie

Thank you, Hillary, for another superb book review!!
Out on the Prairie

*I was sent a copy by the publisher for review purposes.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Hope Springs

Kim Cash Tate really hit the nail on the head in her latest novel, Hope Springs.  In a simple and yet clear way, she shows that change is NEVER easy - and I think many can relate to that - but change in the church can often be even more challenging.  I appreciate the way she tackles this topic and delicately points out just exactly how hard the politics of church can be.   I love the characters in her novel - they are well-developed and you are drawn into the storyline almost immediately. 

Here is what the publisher says about the book:

In a small community where everyone is holding tight to something, the biggest challenge may be learning to let go. Hope Springs, North Carolina, is the epitome of small town life-a place filled with quiet streets, a place where there's not a lot of change. Until three women suddenly find themselves planted there for a season. Janelle hasn't gone back to Hope Springs for family reunions since losing her husband. But when she arrives for Christmas and learns that her grandmother is gravely ill, she decides to extend the stay. It isn't long before she runs into her first love, and feelings that have been dormant for more than a decade are reawakened. Becca is finally on the trajectory she's longed for. Having been in the ministry trenches for years, she's been recruited as the newest speaker of a large Christian women's conference. But her husband feels called to become the pastor of his late father's church in Hope Springs. And Stephanie has the ideal life-married to a doctor in St. Louis with absolutely nothing she has to do. When her cousin Janelle volunteers to stay in Hope Springs and care for their grandmother, she feels strangely compelled to do the same. It's a decision that will forever change her. As these women come together, they soon recognize that healing is needed in their hearts, their families, and their churches. God's plan for them in Hope Springs-is bigger than they ever imagined. Thomas Nelson 2012.

And about the author:

Kim Cash Tate is the author of Cherished, Faithful, Heavenly Places, and the memoir More Christian than African American. A former practicing attorney, she is also the founder of Colored in Christ Ministries. She and Her husband have two children. Connect with Kim: Twitter @KimCashTate and Facebook.

Do not miss this wonderful novel - it would be a super summer beach read!

*I was sent a copy by the publisher for review purposes.

Presidential Pets

Over a Steaming Cup of Tea has another fun blog post for us!

Presidential Pets

*I was sent a copy for review purposes by the publisher.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Eight Days Gone

Hillary has another informative blog post:
Eight Days Gone

*I was sent a copy for review purposes by the publisher.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The Kitchen House

I LOVED The Help and I thoroughly enjoyed Their Eyes Were Watching God.  I enjoy books set in the slavery era - that just intrigues me and I enjoy reading about that time period.  So when I saw The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, I knew I had to add this to my reading list.  I thought the story was strong although it wasn't always easy to read.  I will never get over how horribly these women were treated - that is very hard to read.  However, the story is powerful.  What I loved about this story is how the author ties in slavery issues but also slavery of another kind - a small girl, Lavinia, orphaned during her passage from Ireland.  She ends up on the plantation and becomes part of the servants' family - a little white girl in a black family.  They don't see the color - they just love each other because they are all they have.  It is just so hard to read how these women have no choices - no options - they are forced to live lives they would never choose for themselves.  I was drawn into Lavinia's story - which also ties into many other slave's lives as well - you see their good choices and you cheer them on.  You see their poor choices and you cringe inside knowing this can not end well.  This was a book that kept me thinking.  It is also a story of deep sadness, secrets, family, and maybe foremost - dignity.  It is WELL worth your time.

Lerner Goodies!

I have another super review for you from Over A Steaming Cup of Tea...
Can you Tell A Cricket from a Grasshopper?

*I was sent these books by the publisher for review purposes.

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