Book Review: After Acts

After Acts: Exploring the Lives and Legends of the Apostles by [Litfin, Bryan]

I was given this book by Moody Publishing in exchange for my honest review. 

This is an interesting book. The author, Bryan Litfin used research found in ancient manuscripts, legends, geography and history to help show what may have happened to each of the apostles after the telling of Acts. 

I do like they present possible and unsubstantiated beliefs along with the reasoning behind them. I feel that the way it is written it encourages the reader to look into these people more.

I also found the layout of the book to be logical and easy to read. It starts off with a chronological timeline with best possible dates and dates where the author feels they would fall. 

The chapters include recorded events of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Mary, Thomas James, Peter and Paul and other apostles. There are familiar stories, explanations and a report card about different claims.

This short book is an easy and interesting one to pick up and explore

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Book Review: Volunteering

I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 

I have been a volunteer in our church for many years, and it amazes me how many of the things that need done there is done by volunteers. This well-written book tells about building a volunteer system in the church. It talks about identifying and using individual spiritual gifts to help the church to thrive. It also shares ways to steer clear of some of the pitfalls, or burnouts of volunteers.

I feel like this would be a good book for any of the church staff.

Book Review: The Year without a Purchase

The Year without a Purchase: One Family's Quest to Stop Shopping and Start Connecting by [Dannemiller, Scott]

This book caught my attention with t he title. I opened it with doubt that the title could be true. Then the author, Scott Dannemiller offered and “Introduction to the Worst Book Ever”. I like the way he approached the concept of this book with humor and insight. 

To begin he decided to stop any reckless spending for a year. So he and his wife, Gabby, came up with specific rules, so they would be allowed to by the things that are necessary to live. Whenever they could they would re-use or repair their items. In fact the author gave an example where these rules were hard to follow when he forgot to pack socks on a business trip. 

This couple put their faith in God that he would show them how to make alternatives when needed. However, Dannemiller never came down holier-than-thou. When their child had a birthday party to go to they had to find a fun gift that would not break the rules. It took ingenuity in places but they stuck to it. 

This is a very inspiring book which challenged me to take stock and realize how little you need and how to let go of the things that you don’t.

Book Review: It’s Good to Be Queen: Becoming as Bold, Gracious, and Wise as the Queen of Sheba

It's Good to Be Queen: Becoming as Bold, Gracious, and Wise as the Queen of Sheba by [Higgs, Liz Curtis]

I really enjoy Liz Curtis Higgs books. In this one she brings in focus the Queen of Sheba, including her wisdom. This was, through the queen’s eyes we can see why we need to follow God and demonstrate throughout our lives how to be a true seeker. I am so thankful that Liz Curtis Higgs is able to share this story with us. Our lives may not follow the same path but if we keep our eyes on God we will lead just as rich of lives. 

Book Review: The Secret of the Shamrock

This book helps kids learn about the life of Saints. In this book Patrick gets in trouble so he and his family become a part of the Saturday cleaning team. Before he really gets started though he goes back in time where he meet St. Patrick

This is an engaging book for children to read. I know that I enjoyed it also.

Book Review: The Book of What If…?

The Book of What If...?: Questions and Activities for Curious Minds by [Murrie, Matt, McHugh, Andrew R]

I was given this book by NetGalley and Beyond Words Publishing in exchange for my honest review. 

As a Grandmother and a former teacher, I enjoy books that encourage children to explore their world. This book is filled with questions that will get them wondering, then exploring. These children are the ones that will learn to think on their own.

The questions are open ended and fun. The children learn how to use critical thinking skills. They can then turn to a notebook to put their ideas down. They could also begin a discussion within their circle of friends or family members. 

The different sections include history, people, stuff and nature. This would be a fun book for children, teachers, parents and grandparents to be introduced to. I cannot help but to give this book the highest rating. Check it out. 

Book Review: Trespassing Across America

Trespassing Across America: One Man's Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland by [Ilgunas, Ken]

This is a beautiful book. I had not read anything by this author before so I was tentative about reading it. However, Ilgunas was able to write about each of our states and why many people have hope for the pipeline. He writes about the splendor of the Great Plains and more. He talks about the wide open spaces and how it feels to touch the grass. He raises questions as to what will happen if we become so dependent on oil and don’t learn to be more sustainable. 

The author was anti-pipeline but he did not raise a stink about it with others, which I was able to relate to very much. I may argue with my husband but with others I tend to stay quiet and let them talk and then I vent later.

I loved this book and I recommend it to all who like this country’s beauty.

Book Review: The One You Really Want

The One You Really Want by [Mansell, Jill]I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

This book was a fun book to read.

Nancy received a red, riding lawnmower from her husband for Christmas. This was not the present she thought she was gong to get. She had seen some very nice jewelry however, she realizes, that must be for someone else. When she tells her best friend Carmen, Carmen isn’t surprised at all, but then again Jonathan was not one of her favorite people. She talks Nancy into leaving Edinburgh and coming to London where she could live in her flat. While there Nancy meets Connor O’Shea, Carmen’s neighbor, along with his daughter Mia, who is trying to bring these two together. Nancy is not sure this would be the best move.

As I said I had fun reading it from the first page. All about finding a companion, Jill Mansell was able to create lovable characters who show their humanity throughout the book. I felt like I was a part of this book and was a fly on the wall. Jill Mansell is a wonderful writer. 

Book Review: Red the true tale of Red Riding Hood

Red: The (Fairly) True Tale of Red Riding Hood by [Shurtliff, Liesl]I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Different versions of fairy tales intrigue me. This one has Red being fearless, unless there is magic involved. Now she has to turn to it to try to help her granny, who is ill.

She asks Goldie to help her. Goldie is blond and likes trying porridge. Together they go through the dwarves’ caverns to come to a haunted well and a castle that belongs to a beast. Unbeknownst to them a wolf and a  huntsman are on their heels.

I love this take on the story. I know my grandchildren would take to it right away. There are enough surprises to keep them reading to the end.

Book Review: Cupcakes for Christmas

Cupcakes for Christmas: The most uplifting and unmissable feel good love story of Christmas 2018! (Return to Willoughby Close Book 1) by [Hewitt, Kate]I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I always enjoy a fun Christmas book and when it is mixed with cupcakes, who can say no?

This is a part of a series but I was able to read, understand and enjoy it even though I had not read the other books in the series.

Olivia James owns a tea and sweet shop which had previously been her mother. Olivia has been enjoying the adventure of running this little shop by herself and experimenting with different flavors. When Simon Blacklock comes across this shop she finds she enjoys his personality. At the end of the visit, after he promised he would be back, she found herself looking forward to his next time.

I enjoyed both of the main characters of this book and the way Hewitt has them meet made my heart swell. This does not mean that all went smoothly for the two. The author was able to create realistic issues that they both have to deal with, which make them stronger in the end. I will try to read more books by this author in the future.

Cupcakes for Christmas is the type of book that is just as much heartbreaking as it is heartwarming. The couple within this story were both immediately likable and their meeting and getting to know one another quite sweet. Both however have issues in their lives that are quite heartbreaking and bringing that into each other’s lives only made them seem stronger so overall I found this quite the touching read with a bit heavier subject matter.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.