Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Laugh Out Loud Pocket Doodles for Boys - Rob Elliott (Illustrated by Jonny Hawkins)

Laugh Out Loud Pocket Doodles for Boys – Rob Elliott (Illustrated by Jonny Hawkins)

Laugh Out Loud Pocket Doodles for Boys is a fun little doodle book.  Each page contains an unfinished drawing that goes along with a corny riddle or knock-knock joke.  At the bottom of the page, the artist is given loose instructions on how to finish the drawing.  An example is:  If people like sandwiches, what do lions like?  Man-wiches.  There is a line drawing of a cartoonish lion about to devour a sandwich.  The artist draws what is ON the sandwich  - or WHO is on the sandwich. 

My son, who is a bit older, had fun drawing on a few pages.  Actually, I like it too!

This book would be great for trips, appointments, or a place where quiet is necessary.  There is also a book for girls!  It is refreshing to see simple jokes made for children in today’s crass society.

This book would make a great little "extra" for a gift!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

How to Love Your Neighbor WIthout Being Weird

How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird – Amy Lively

To be honest I think some neighbors would be easier to love than others.  You know, the neighbors that keep their grass cut.  The neighbors who don’t make lots of loud noise after dark.   However, we are supposed to love our neighbors – tall grass and all!

This is what I like about How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird.

1.     It isn’t always easy.
2.     Don’t make it too hard.  Invite people.  Get them involved.
3.     Open your house.
4.     Get to know people – put yourself out there!  (This is especially hard for me!)
5.     Find your spiritual gift and use it!
6.     “Good thing it’s not about a life of perfection that prepares you for ministry, but an abundance of God’s grace.”

I live in an older neighborhood.  Well…it’s as old as I am!  We have had some families move in over the last several months.  Have I gone to welcome them?  My answer is…..no!  This book convicted me.  I lack self-confidence.  I am afraid of rejection.  I am a chicken.  I am hoping I can put myself out there and meet these new neighbors…and maybe get to know the old ones!  Seriously, I could do a pizza potluck…..maybe…..

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Wonder of You - Susan Mae Warren

The Wonder of You – Susan Mae Warren

I love Susan Mae Warren’s books!  I love this series!  I love this book!

Amelia meets Roark in Prague.  She left upset.  He follows her.  However, he is not the only man vying for her affection.  That’s all the information I am giving.

Grace and Max have some true marital struggles.  (Again, all you are getting!)

What is going to happen with Casper?  Owen?  (I don’t know too much about these questions…but even if I did….I wouldn’t spill it!)

Things that made me love the book:

1.     I love how the stories are introduced in previous books, and how their stories continue in books to come.
2.     I love how she weaves the truth into the story.   “I don’t know what call God has put on your life, but if you have tried to answer it on your own, you will find yourself wandering.  Lost. Overwhelmed. Afraid” TRUTH!
3.     “It’s not about how you feel.  It is about what you do.”  I love this statement.  So many times I have wanted to act a certain way because of how I feel.  Stupid things like being rude to the rude clerk at the store because she made me feel angry.  It isn’t easy to respond with kindness to someone who is rude!  However, God calls us to love others.  Rude is not an attribute of love!
4.     Roark and Seth have real life confrontations trying to prove who is the ‘bigger man’.  Being the mother of 3 young men…..ummmm….I think this is a male thing.

One point that I would argue the validity of in the book would be backed-up by my Eagle Scout son, who would never be caught reading a romance book (or truthfully any book), is that Boy Scouts don’t sing; Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts sing. 

If you have never read a book in the Christiansen Family series, start at the beginning.  If you have – well – continue on!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Irish Meadows - Susan Anne Mason

Irish Meadows – Susan Anne Mason

Breanna and Colleen O’Leary have unrealistic expectations put on them because of their father’s fear.  The sisters also have quite a rocky relationship with each other. 

Gilbert, Gil, Whelan has grown up as a ‘member’ of the O’Leary family.  Rylan Montgomery is a distant relative.

I don’t want to reveal too much, but here are some things/themes I liked about Irish Meadows.
1.                    Families are full of expectation – voiced or perceived.  We have to learn to work around these issues. 
2.                    Having good intentions isn't the same as being right about a circumstance.
3.                    Hearts can change.
4.                    Things you grow up believing to be true, might not be the truth!
5.                    Many different stories successfully going on at the same time.

One of the things that frustrated me about this book is the line – or a version
Of the thought “Follow your heart.”  Seriously, this is a soapbox issue for me!  (Especially in Christian fiction)  The bible says the heart is deceitful.  Why would we want to follow something deceitful?  I know “Follow your heart” sounds all nice and flowery, but…..

            Read Irish Meadows, it really is a good book!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Bride at Last - Melissa Jagears

A Bride at Last – Melissa Jagears

            I have never read a book by Melissa Jagears before.  A Bride at Last tells the story of Silas, Kate and Anthony.  At the beginning of the book Silas has never met or heard of Kate or Anthony.  He had come to meet with his wife, a mail-order-bride, who walked out on him 10 years ago. 
            I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but there is somewhat of a custody case regarding Anthony….a very stressful custody case to say the least.
            I did get a little confused at the beginning of the book with keeping the characters straight. 
            Silas’s character isn’t what Kate expected.  He is a good guy.  Both Silas and Kate have ‘baggage’ from their past.
            Who will gain custody of Anthony?  What will happen to Richard?  (Who is Richard?!)  What about Kate and Silas?
            I don’t want to reveal too many details, so you will have to read for yourself and find out what happens!  I didn’t feel connected with the characters, but maybe you will!
            I was given this book as an advanced reader in exchange for my honest review.