Wednesday, March 31, 2010

In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham

I was given the opportunity to listen to this audio book by  See my disclaimer.

 To tell you the truth I didn't know much about what happened to the Burnhams when it was actually happening.  I did know that they had been kidnapped but that was about all.  I really wasn't expecting much from the book when I started to listen.  I was quickly caught up in the drama and was on the edge of my seat through much of the book.
The narrator Pam Ward did an excellent job.  She read the book as if she was the one who had wrote it. 
Gracia Burnham writes with an honesty and was very straight forward about what happened to her and her husband.  She is very clear that the captors where the bad guys here even though her husband was killed during the rescue.  She was also very clear that she still needed to pray for her captors as they are people too.  She brought each captors forward as a unique personality and each with good and bad qualities.  She also explained how they saw their particular brand of Islam and the contradictions with it.

I felt a connection with the family especially when she talked about her daughter Mindy.  That's my name.  And then she said that Mindy's birthday was Oct. 17th.  That's my birthday too!!  Although we are  a couple decades apart in age this connection made me really stop and think of how I would have felt if my parents had been in that situation (although I am a PK not an MK).

This story also made me stop and think of how I would have reacted if I had been in the situation.  Gracia was very honest in her feelings.  She told honestly how she was depressed.  How she went through guilt as it was her idea to go to the resort where they were taken.   The whole story wasn't tied up in a nice little bow.

I would recommend this book to everyone.  Even if biographies aren't you cup of tea this is definetly worth the time.    

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Between Two Kingdoms by Joe Boyd

I was sent this book from FSB to read and give a review.  Please read disclaimer.

Between Two Kingdoms by Joe Boyd is an allegory ,very much so.  Even if you have just a passing knowledge of Christianity you will be able to figure out what most of  this book is trying to convey.

That being said I found this book very entertaining and I think that the intended audience of preteen and early teens will find this book very exciting and enjoyable, especially boys.  

The two kingdoms in question are the Upper Kingdom, which is ruled by Great King and The Good Prince, and the Lower Kingdom ruled by The Dark Prince.  The residents in the Upper Kingdom on eternally seven years old and spend their days eating cookies for breakfast and building tree houses and whatever else they like.  The residents in the Lower Kingdom are old people who don't have a pleasant existence.

The Good Prince calls Tommy to go on a mission to the Lower Kingdom.  The Prince calls Tommy a Leader but Tommy protests.  The Good Prince says "A person can be a leader long before he has the occasion to lead".

Tommy and several of his friends , Mary, Luke, Bobby go to the Lower Kingdom and meet several other followers of the Great King including Pops.  Along with these followers they must stop the Dark Prince's evil plan.

This was a very quick read and it was mostly non stop action from beginning to end. 

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something that a boy would like to read.  Girls would like it too but I think that boys would really enjoy it. 

See my Teaser Tuesday post.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:
"Phantom means 'pretend' you know," Luke said.  "They are a serious threat and quite terrifying, don't get me wrong.  But they are pretenders.  They will be revealed for what they are."
This is taken from Between Two Kingdoms by Joe Boyd.
My review will be posted later today.    

Monday, March 29, 2010

Living The Resurrection by Eugene Peterson

Eugene Peterson who is know for The Message paraphrase of the Bible takes on the subject of the Resurrection of Jesus and how it should effect our everyday lives. 
This was a very Short book and I felt alittle rushed in spots like the author was trying to get alot of information into the book with a small amount of space.  I had to reread a few passages because I really couldn't figure out where the author was trying to go to, but after I reread it I figured it out.
All that being said I felt that it was a very beneficial book and it made me look at the Resurrection in a whole new way.
 The book is divided up into Three Sections: Resurrection Wonder, Resurrection Meals and Resurrection Friends.  I personally got the most benefit out of the section Resurrection Wonder.  The Author talks about how in our culture we need to get back the Wonder of The Resurrection and come at it like a child.

The Main thing I took away from this book was a quote from a little girl who was talking to her Grandmother.  "Grandmother, let's not have any God talk okay? I believe that God is everywhere. Let's just get on with life."  I think that we Christians do just that,h ave alot of God talk and don't get on with our lives.

  Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Mail Box Monday is a Meme Hosted by Printed Page  to let everyone know what you got in your mailbox this week. 

Here are my Books:

Between Two Kingdoms by Joe Boyd from FSB

PennyWise by Jill Brock for Review the Book

Burned : a Tragic Mystery by J A Neviling for Review the Book

The General and Monaville Texas by Joe G. Bax for Review the Book

I also got from Netgalley
A Cousins Promise, A Cousin's Challenge and Kelly's Chance all by Wanda Brunsetter

I bough for myself The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Spring Reading Page

I updated my Spring Reading thingy Page to reflect the books I have received recently for reviews. These will go to the top of the list.   

Friday, March 26, 2010

Great pic of a Library

Great picture of a library.  This is Kansas City, Missouri.  This was on Powered by books

Book blogger Hop

Jennifer at Crazy for Books is hosting this meme.  Hop over to her site and find out the rules and visit some of the neat blogs mentioned.  I am looking forward to visiting new to me blogs and maybe even finding a new favorite or two.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Boys, Beauty & Betrayal by JC Conrad-Ellis

I received this book from the author through  See disclamer.

Tanisha Carlson is a typical 14 year old girl.  Well really not so typical as she is in Honors classes in middle school and is a good athelete.  Tanisha lives with her mother and three brothers in a suburb of Chicago but not in one of the fancier parts of town.  She is very much aware of her position in life and is constantly trying to make herself seem to have more than she actually does. 
Tanisha seems to have a good relationship with her brothers (as much as a teenage girl can have with brothers) as there seem to be an us against them mentality fo the children against the mom.  Tanisha even goes as far as calling her mother by her first name behind her back. 
Tanisha has a secret at the beginning of the book that she doesn't want her friends to find out about.  This situation is later resolved in the book and her friends don't find out. 
Her mother also is hiding a secret that she doesn't want anyone especially Tanisha to find out about but seems to come to a good conclusion later in the story. 
Tanisha and her friends are constantly worried about what others are thinking of them,  what the boys are thinking of them, how their clothes makes them look. 
While I read this it made me remember those days in middle shcool and high school when I thought I would die because I didn't have the right clothes or I wasn't wearing the right makeup or that I wasn't popluar enough.  I thought that the author captures  the whole teenage angst thing very well. 
I read this book with the intention of handing it over to my 14 year old daughter to read .  There is some mild language and some mild sexual innuendo so I will discuss that with her before I let her read it but I am sure that she will enjoy it.  Tanisha does tell quite a few white lies and I will discuss that with my daughter as well.           

Ryken's Bible Handbook

I received this book from Tyndale House to review for their blogger program.  I was very excited when I received it.  
This is a guide to reading the Bible so I will admit that I have not read the entire thing.  I decided that I would read the chapters that applied to my current book of the Bible I was reading for my devotions so I could put the different aspects of the guide into practical use. 

I am currently reading the Book of Joshua so I first looked at that chapter.  Each chapter opens with a fact sheet on that particular book of the Bible.  It gives it's implied purpose, where the author is comming form , the audience it was ment for plus a few more things.  What I liked about the fact sheet is that it ends with a section on The challenges that the reader or someone who is teaching that particular book will encounter.  Then it follows up that section with one on how to meet the challenges. It ends with the most common misconception about the book.

Next there is an outline of book followed by sections that include Key characters, key elements, tips for teaching the book.  Sprinkled through out there are little sidebars like Did you Know? and Key Verse.
The chapter ends with a section on how the book contributes to the Book's story of salvation and ends with a section on applying the book to your life.  The very end has quotes about the that particular books by various different authors and scholars. 

I felt the this guide enhanced my reading of Joshua especially the challenges and applying sections.  I plan on using this guide for the reading of the rest of Bible.  It will be the first thing I consult before I start a new book in the Bible.      

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The New Living Translation Break Through to Clarity bible contest and Giveaway

The New Living Translation Break Through to Clarity Bible Contest and Giveaway
Visit and click on the tab that says “Sweepstakes”

Fill out a simple form, take a quick Bible clarity survey, invite your friends to join and you’ll be entered to win one of our exciting prizes.

With each fan number milestone a new prize will be given away.

Grand Prize

Apple iPad 64G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the fifth milestone

Retail Value: $829.00

2nd Prize - Already awarded

32G iPod Touch and a Life Application Study Bible

Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the fourth milestone

Retail Value: $300.00

3rd Prize – Will be awarded when fan count hits: 3500

Kindle DX and a Life Application Study Bible

Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the third milestone

Retail Value: $489.00

4th Prize Will be awarded when fan count hits: TBD

Apple iPad 16G and a Life Application Study Bible

Awarded when the New Living Translation Fan Page hits the second milestone

Retail Value: $499.00

5th Prize Will be awarded when fan count hits: TBD

Apple iPad 32G and a Life Application Study Bible

Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the first milestone

Retail Value: $599.00

Prize Eligibility – Recently updated to include more countries

Sweepstakes participants and winner(s) can be U.S. residents of the 50 United States, or residents of any country that is NOT embargoed by the United States, but cannot be residents of Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India. In addition, participants and winner(s) must be at least 18 years old, as determined by the Company.

Sweepstakes Starts

March 17, 2010 @ 10:24 am (PDT)

Sweepstakes Ends

April 30, 2010 @ 10:24 am (PDT)

Wait, there’s more!

Visit for a chance to win a trip for two to Hawaii!

Here are the details:

Choose one of six passages of Scripture from the New Living Translation and consider:

How do these verses encourage you to know God better?

What is God teaching you in this passage?

How does this passage apply to your life?

Submit your answer and you’ll be entered to win.

Just for signing up: Everybody Wins! Win a Free .mp3 download from the NLT’s new Red Letters Project. It’s the dynamic, new presentation of the sung and narrated words of the Gospel of Matthew. You win the download just for entering! Or choose to download the NLT Philippians Bible Study, complete with the Book of Philippians in the NLT.

Every day, one person will win the best-selling Life Application Study Bible!

The grand prize: One person will win a fantastic trip for two to the crystal clear waters of the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore in beautiful Hawaii.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Seas of Monsters by Rick Riordan

 No wonder this series has become so popular with everyone.  Even though it is written for YA it kept this almost 50 year old on the edge of her seat the whole time.  The Chapter titles alone are worth reading this book as well as the rest of the series.

Rick Riordan writes with a sense of humor that had me laughing out loud at parts while keeping me wanting to read on to find out what happens.

Once again Percy and Annabeth have to go on an adventure to not only save Camp Half Blood but also to save their friend Grover.  I can't really saw much without giving away the story but lets just say that this time they are dealing with Cyclops' and other monsters that Jason and Hercules had to deal with.

I would recommend this to anyone that wants a fun read that doesn't take itself to seriously but will keep you entertained to the very end of the last sentence.  

Spring Reading Thing

I have decided to jump into a reading challenge.  Since it is spring I have decided to do this one.
Spring Reading Thing

I have Several books I would like to get to but this may be difficult to finish them all because I hope to be getting several books to review.  Any way Here it goes.

Books to Finish:
Under the Dome by Stephen King - audio
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne - audio
So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore

Books to Read:
In the Presence of my Enemies by Gracia Burnham - audio
You Can't Stop me by Max Allen Collins - kindle on my blackberry
Mouse Junkies  by Bill Burke - Kindle on BB
Primitive by Mark Nykanen - Kindle on BB
When Night Falls by Margret Daley - Kindle on BB
Breaking Free by Laurraine Snelling - audio
Dracula by Bram Stoker - audio
Carrot Cake by Joanne Fluke
Babylon Rising by Tim Lahaye and Greg Dinallo
The Titan's curse by Rick Riordan
Step on a Crack by James Patterson
Take Two by Karen Kingsbury
The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
The Last Olympian by Ric Riordan
Cream Puff Murder by joanne Fluke
Shadows of Lancaster County by Mindy Starns Clark
Between a wok and a Hard Place by Tamara Myers

Good Luck everyone on your challenges.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

With the supernatural craze now in the ya market (twilight etc) seems that they have branched out into the zombie market.  The forest of Hands and Teeth is really first promoted as a romance with the zombie action as a side note. 
Mary lives in a village surrounded by a fence to keep out the Unconsecrated (zombies) but she wonders what lies beyond.  Her mother has told her stories of buildings that touch the sky and of the ocean and Mary longs to see these wonders for herself.  The Sisterhood is the typical leaders of these types of books and try to keep everyone in line with their brand of Scripture but as is often true, power corrupts and the Sisterhood hold many secrets one being the fenced in path that leads out of the village. 
Much of the time the people inside the village don't really pay much attention to the Unconsecrated outside the fences until something goes wrong.
There was no cursing in this book and not much bloody details.  There is alot of sexual tension between several of the characters.  I didn't really think that the writing was all that wonderful and found myself scimming over someove it to get to the next action part.    

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chronological Guide to the Bible

Chronological Guide to the Bible is just what the title suggests, a chronological guide.  If you are interested in reading the Bible chronologically this is a good place to start.  It is a good jumping off point and if you just want general information. 
This guide divides the Bible up into 9 epochs.  Within each epoch it gives a general overview that includes archeology, the peoples and groups and Biblical literature.  It also gives you a reading guide with those little boxes that you can check off if you so wish.  There is a brief overview of each of the books of the Bible and then a brief description of the major events that happen in that book. 
I think that this is the perfect book for you if you (like myself) have never read the Bible in chronological order and if you are also interested in a little bit of history and commentary along with it.  The sections are just enough to wet your appetite and if you would like to explore further it is a good place to know where to start. 
The guide is colorful and has pictures throughout that depicts that particular part of the Bible.
I reviewed this book as part of Booksneeze, the blogger reviewer program of Thomas Nelson.  I received no payment for this review.

A Praying Life by Paul Miller

A Praying Life by Paul Miller is a book about prayer that gives you a very practical way to go about having a praying life.  Paul relates how he has gone about finding ways to pray in this busy life that we all live.  He weaves everyday stories into each area that he discusses and shows us how we to can find a way to make prayer an important part of our lives. He is honest about how he finds it difficult at times to pray but lets us know that we can always start from scratch and its ok.  
If anyone knows that stresses of the world we live in it is Paul Miller.  He is involved in a very busy mission organization, is very busy with seminars, has a tax business, and has a wife and children one of which has autism.  Many of his stories deal with his prayers for his daughter and her unique needs.
The first part of the book is just different ways that we need to approach the whole process of prayer, the last part is two specific ways tools that he uses when he prays, prayer cards and a prayer journal.  I have heard about the prayer journal before but I was really interested in the prayer cards which seems to be perfect for individual people and their prayer requests.
I have always felt a need to pray more and I intend to use what I have learned from this book and apply it to my personal prayer time. 
I got this book from as part of their blogger review program.  The narrator was Arthur Morey.  I thought he did a good job overall but maybe could have had a little more emotion when he read.  The one time he tried to use a different voice when he was reading it didn't translate well.       

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

66 Love Letters: A conversation with God that Invites you into His Story by Larry Crabb

This was an excellent book.  Larry Crabb takes each of the 66 books of the Bible and relates them to the reader as a true love letter from God.  I read the book straight through for this review but the book really needs the reader to take their time and savor each chapter along with the book of The Bible that it addresses.  I plan on going back and doing just that.  The chapters are written like a conversaion between the reader and God.  The reader asks God some questions about the book then God goes on to answer the questions and tells the reader what He intended for us to learn from that particular book. At first I was put off a bit by some of the questions that Larry Crabb was asking but when I thought about it they were the exact questions that I had at times.   Crabb tried to make this book accessable to everyone and thus making the Bible accessable to every one.  I read this book as part of Thomas Nelson's Blog reviewer progam found at