Aug 14, 2011

.:{ Book Review - Sweet Sanctuary }:.

When I first selected this book from, I wasn't sure if I would like this. The description didn't quite appeal to me. Sweet Sanctuary was written by Sheila Walsh, with assistance of an author by the name of Cindy Martinusen Coloma, and at first the name of the author hinted that I was familiar with her until I told my mom about the book and the author. I was reminded that she wrote the children's books of Gigi, God's Little Princess. My daughter adores the films (I hope to buy the children's books for Christmas).

Sweet Sanctuary is about a single mother who works at a small town Library in Maine and has a son named Charlie. Wren has lived years without being close with her family and raising her son alone. She has devoted her life to giving her talented son everything she couldn't have, especially by supporting his music. His father had abandoned them to live a free life and her family became estranged around the time her father died. Suddenly her grandmother shows up on her doorstep announcing that she wants to throw a birthday party for her ninetieth birthday and wants her grandchildren and great grandchildren to visit the very spot where her family became estranged. Not only does this throw Wren off but her sister and brother are not happy with this plan. On top of this, Charlie's father has suddenly re-appeared in their lives and has asked for a second chance at life with them. Although Wren has found new love in a local man named Paul, her life is thrown for a loop. Her patience is tested, as well as her faith. Will she allow God to work in her life or will she continue to lead her own life?

Despite the slow start and several times of being a tad bored with the narration or constant "replay" of the character's thoughts, I have given this book at four star. I would recommend this book to though that are seeking God in this ever-changing world where technology has become the now and how paper books, even the Bible, are becoming a thing of the past. This is also good for a single mom who is struggling with being alone, without family support and an absent husband/father. I would even suggest this to those who struggle with separation from their families.

This paragraph is about a subject that was in the book that struck a cord with me. It is NOT a major part of the book but it didn't settle well with me. The part that struck me the most is the author's ability to tell things in a way people might not think. Wren, being an librarian, talks about what patrons that come into the library and how the books they select can describe their personalities. She also talks about how libraries around the world are becoming a rare location because of the replacement of technology. The part that hurt the most was reading about local schools throughout America replacing the library books and textbooks for everything digital. It made me look this up and find that much to my surprise, this was true. Libraries in school are becoming a thing of the past. How very sad and angry this made me feel that the love of books is declining. Sure the eBooks are available, but it's not the same when you can't smell the sweet scent of paper and glue. As I'm reading this, I'm reminded of my favorite bookstore, Borders, being in the process of shutting down. I will no longer be able to grab five books to flip through and select before reading them at home. Sneak previews might be available through Amazon before you purchase, but I always liked to read a random chapter or two before selecting a book. I'm not sure people are fully aware of what happening in this world.

I review for BookSneeze®

Aug 10, 2011

.:{ Book Review - Rumors Of God }:.

Many people today have a difficult time seeing God in today's world. The amount of stress, materialism and selfishness we see today can give way to those already lacking in faith. Even those who have faith may have days were they just don't see God.

Rumors of God was written by two Australian men of faith, Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson, who wanted to help people see where God is in today's world. They wrote of in spiritual stories of personal experience as well as things that have happened in the world. These men of faith are trying to teach us where to find our strength from God, where to place our faith and not in materialistic things that we seem to value today. To me, I think of going back to the way life was when everything was simple. The need for the latest technology, the biggest house or even the high fashion clothes we crave are ways that we need to realize are not how God wants us to lead our lives. The title of the book points us out to realize that God is basically becoming a rumor, or even an old fad that is disappearing. True faith is becoming endangered. What will be your first step to gaining your faith? What will you do to help with the reality of God becoming just a rumor? What is there in your life that is stopping you from remembering God? These are the questions that come to mind from reading this book. But remember, actions always speak louder than words.

I review for BookSneeze®

.:{ Great Websites }:.

I've been doing a little surfing lately on deals I've heard about. Here are some websites I've found. I'll add more as I find them :)

.:{ }:.
.:{ }:.
.:{ }:.

Aug 8, 2011

.:{ Book Review - The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck }:.

Sometimes we have to learn to let go of our fears to fully appreciate the gifts life gives to us.

In the book The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo, the main character is a stubborn and manipulating young lady who is set against marriage and has her heart set on business. Her father has arranged for her to marry Viscount Alexander Hambly and in order for Charlotte to get her wishes, she tries to manipulates the marriage to her advantage. Charlotte has her mind set on college and joining in the family business, which is unladylike for the late 1800s. Although the couple has agreed to an annulment, Alex has a changed of heart and must convince Charlotte to do the same. Does Charlotte allow herself to become the wife she should be or does she go on her stubborn ways? Does her marriage continue to be inconvenient as the title of the book calls it or does Charlotte allow her heart to be changed as well?

This is the first of Kathleen Y'Barbo's books that I have read and I am looking forward to reading more. This book was somewhat predictable and would probably be more at an young adult reader's level. The humor in this book had me laughing few times and kept me on my toes other times. It was easy to read and very likable. Usually when you read about books on improper girls, you will find the same concept throughout. In some ways this book reminded me of the humor found in the Anne of Green Gables series. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes stories from the 1800s and who likes a bit of humor. Had I known, I would have read the first in this series of three beforehand, the first of the series is related to Charlotte's stepmother. As much as I enjoyed reading the Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck, I am sure I will enjoy other books by Kathleen Y'Barbo.

There was not much religious reference until the very end but my favorite quote was: "Faith isn't a feeling. If it were, we'd all lose and gain it every time the winds changed. Faith is the knowledge that no matter the circumstances, you do not walk through them alone." I found this to be one of the best definition of faith that I had heard in a while.

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