Core 52: A Fifteen-Minute Daily Guide To Build your Bible IQ in a Year

Core 52: A Fifteen-Minute Daily Guide to Build Your Bible IQ in a Year by [Moore, Mark E.]

I love finding books that can help me to find a new or different way to look at the Bible. Core 52: A fifteen-Minute Daily Guide to Build Your Bible IQ in a Year is that book.The format of the Bible Study keeps me going. There is an essay centered around a key verse. Then there is also scripture to memorize or read, a challenge for the overachiever and suggestions for books which fit the week’s theme. This book started with The Creation and moved on to themes that include prophesy, The Holy Spirit, grace and heaven along with others. 

I enjoyed taking my time with the essay at the beginning of the week and then they idea that we can meditate on this essay and the verse in different ways throughout the rest of the week. I admit I did not read the book in the way suggested because I could not wait to share this book, in a review, with others. However, it has also inspired my husband to use the book in their Wednesday Bible Study. 

I believe this book will help others to increase their IQ in Biblical ways. 

I received an advanced copy of this book from Waterbrook and Multnomah in return for an honest review.


Dear Lily by Drew Davies

Dear Lily: An absolutely charming, emotional novel about learning to love and taking chances by [Davies, Drew]

I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher for the purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Joy, in her mid 30s is looking for a new life. She is tired of her boyfriend, her anxiety and depression, many of the things that used to comfort her (cigarettes, food and drink) and she is greatly tired of her job. She has asked to go to the Copenhagen office. As is her nature, Joy is overthinking each step of her life and she is sharing these details in letters to her sister, Lily. Through these letters the reader comes to care for Joy and the changes she is facing. 

At first, she does not want to quit her bad habits thinking these changes are to difficult especially when everything else is changing. I found this book so funny as I followed Joy’s changes. Joy was very well-written and the author was able to give her a voice and presence.

I do not usually enjoy books about women that are written by a man, but in this case, Drew Davies’ writing was smooth and he created a character that feels real an I didn’t feel the usually feeling of disappointment when the male perspective is very different from what I think it should be.

Be prepared to be engaged and to laugh when beginning this book

Becoming Us

Becoming Us by Robin Jones Gunn is the first in the Haven Makers Series. It follows a small group of 5 women who join in a friendship, some willingly and some with trepidation. I loved the group, however, I felt the worry of one member, Emily. Her small family’s future is uncertain, so she feels uncertainty in joining a group of women, who in other circumstances, would fill a void she feels in her life.

This book takes us through challenges that many can relate with. I felt that the characters were created with thoughtfulness and love. This helps to make each one someone that I was eager to get to know. I look forward to reading other books in this series and I highly recommend it.

I was given this book by the publisher but the review is all my own and my honest opinion.


Surrendered by [Sienes, Jennifer]

I was given this book to read and review. The following is my honest opinion of the book.

Secrets can be like a weight on your shoulders. However, if someone is to disclose the secret, timing is important, as is who to share it with.

Tess O’Shay’s life is turned upside down when her father’s will gives guardianship of her teenage sister to a man that they barely know. The family restaurant and Tess’s future are also in this man’s hands.

According to Sean O’ Shay’s will, Tess is to go back to college, something she gave up when her mother became ill and then died. If she does not comply, she will lose everything. But to give in is to turn everything over to Jake Holland, a man who is as secretive as Tess is.

Tess goes back to school, but then the secret that she has held comes face to face with her. A former teacher who had raped her is back teaching at the school. Tess is torn between facing the man or turning him over to the police for an attack that happened 10 year ago.

What she does changes the lives of others that are in her life.

The characters who Jennifer Sienes created are true-to-life, as is the story. It flows from one chapter to another with ease. Even though the story flips from one point of view to another, it helps the story to move along while answering questions. I had an easy time staying engaged with this story, there were twists and turns throughout that kept me reading to the very last page. 

This book receives my highest recommendation. 

We Were Strangers Once

We Were Strangers Once by [Carter, Betsy]

I was given this book by NetGalley however the review is my own honest opinion

I found this book lyrical and tender in a way. The book is set in Germany, during Hitler’s time, and in Washington Heights. It talks about the people who have to leave one country to live somewhere else. I felt like I could relate to the characters and the journey they made felt real. I enjoyed this book and I recommend it to all.

Book Review: Fish Sandwiches: The Delight of Receiving God’s Promises

Fish Sandwiches: The Delight of Receiving God’s Promises by [Schmidt, Troy]

I was given this book by the publisher. The following review is my honest opinion.

One of the first stories I learned in Sunday School was the Feeding of the Five Thousand. I loved how it showed how God cares about all of his people. This miracle can be found in all for Gospels.

I don’t know how many times I have turned to this miracle when I was feeling unsure if God was loving me at that moment. It has always had a place in my heart. 

This book, Fish Sandwiches: The Delight of Receiving god’s Promises by Troy Schmidt, examines this miracle about feeding his followers from a boy’s five loaves and two fish from different angles. It draws the reader’s attention to how this miracle shows God’s heart and how he will provide, not just physical needs but spiritual needs also. I was able to read this book quickly while taking in the different aspects. I also liked how at the end he includes a version of the Feeding of the Five Thousand, The Feeding of the Four Thousand and a list of God’s promises for us.

I highly recommend this book.

Thinking Like a Scientist

I was given this book by the publisher. The review is solely my own honest opinion.

I was a former teacher of fifth and six grade, plus I had two gifted students. This book would have been a valuable resource in my classroom and in my own home to help children think at a higher level. There are many examples of uses of various materials, including literature. 

One Summer in Paris

One Summer in Paris

I received this book from NetGalley and its publisher. This review is my own opinion and is not influenced by others.

One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan is the story of two women. Each woman goes about their lives not knowing anything about the other until their worlds come together in Paris. 

Grace is from Connecticut. She has a husband and a teenage daughter, Sophie. She enjoys seeing her grandmother Mimi in the assisted living facility. She is a happy woman who is looking forward to celebrating 25 years of married life. For their anniversary Grace wants to surprise her husband with a trip to Paris for a month. Before she able to share her news, however, her husband tells her that he is in love with someone else and he wants a divorce. Grace decides to take the trip anyway.

Audrey Hackett lives in London but wants to move to France. Her mother, an alcoholic was always difficult to live with, so Audrey wants to leave. Her mother has found herself in a new relationship. This helps Audrey make her move. 

The two meet and soon a new friendship is formed. 

I liked the two main characters and the book was very fun to read. Sarah Morgan was able to create two different characters who seem to mesh very well. Each one helped the other to grow and to face their fears. 

I rate this book very high. 

Murder in a Country Garden

Murder in a Country Garden: A completely addictive English cozy murder mystery (A Melissa Craig Mystery Book 12) by [Rowlands, Betty]

I was given this book by NetGalley. This book review is my opinion and is not influenced by the publisher, author or NetGalley.

Even though this is part of the series, I had not read any of the others in The Melissa Craig books. I didn’t feel like it mattered that there were 11 books before this, I was able to connect with the characters and the story quite easily. The author, Betty Rowlands, has a gift with words. She is able to build well-rounded characters. She also was able to develop details with descriptions so I was able to see the story in my mind as I went along. 

Moving into their new home, Melissa Craig and her husband have begun to settle, until Melissa discovers that her neighbor, who raises bees, was stung to death. When a second member of the household died in the same manner, Melissa feels she needs to investigate as to why the bees seem to swarm to specific persons. Is there foul play or is it nature doing what it does.

The story will pull you in until you have answers.

I recommend this book to those who like mysteries. 

Justice, Mercy, Humility

Justice. Mercy. Humility.: A Simple Path to Following Jesus by [George, Rusty]

Justice, Mercy, Humility is based on Micah 6:8: 8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.(NIV). Using this verse George was able to build s book on spiritual growth. In the book he helps the reader to see that following God is not overwhelming, it is simple. God wants a relationship with us.

Through stories from his own life, Rusty George is able to express this simplicity of following our heavenly Father.

I enjoy books that help me see how to have a relationship with my Lord, and which reminds me what God truly wants with us….a relationship.

I think this book should be found on each believer’s bookshelf or ebook.

I was given this book by the publisher, Bethany House, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.