Book Review: Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller

Book Review: Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller

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I found this particular book very interesting, that there is actually a book encouraging the Sabbath. Having grown up in a Seventh-day Advenist household, the Sabbath is nothing new to me. That is the day where you rested and you didn’t go to work. Instead you worshipped and fellowshipped with others. Growing up, we didn’t go out to eat, instead enjoying a meal at home with family. Yet, it always fascinated me when we would go out to eat on a Sunday and observing how many would not treat their particularly chosen church day any more precious than they did.

For me, the Sabbath is how Shelly described it within her book. It is a day to rest. You really do need that day to unwind and find your focus for the upcoming week. Otherwise every day just runs into another day.

The one thing that I didn’t particularly enjoy about the book is that it seemed to be really slow and drag. The concept was there, but it just seemed to drag itself out. I found myself skipping over numerous pages until I realized that what she was writing about, I already knew. Instead, it was a delightful way to educate others on the peace that one can access when they set aside a day. Although the references to the Sabbath continually threw me off, because my Sabbath is Saturday, and the Sabbath referenced within the pages were attributed to Sunday.

I was provided a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher, Bethany House. The review is my own, honest opinion without any outside influences or requirements.

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Book Review: Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segersten & Tom Maleterre

Book Review: Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segersten & Tom Maleterre

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This book has to be one in the category of one of my great, favorite cookbooks. Who would have every thought that a recipe that encourages healthy eating, would have so many great recipes!

The book itself is described as having gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free dieshes. It contains 365 whole foods, allergy-free recipes for meal time. I liked the initial idea of having a cookbook that offered a healthy start on eating right, and was willing to try it out.

Well, for me, a cookbook is a keeper when it has usable recipes that actually work, taste good and I’m willing to cook again. This is one of those cookbooks. There were two meals I made out of it. Knowing that I had a bag full of kale that I needed to eat, it was a priority to find a recipe that allowed the kale to be the main focus, and hopefully use up a proper amount. So the first recipe I tried was the lean, mean and green rice salad (p249), in the whole grains and noodles section. Because I had most of the ingredients on it was a no-brainer for me. It was awesome. Absolutely wonderful. So good, I was willing to take it to work the next day and eat leftovers, knowing that they were steps towards healthy eating. The only part I will make note of for myself, is to lower the amount of apple cider vinegar, due to its strength for my taste buds.

The second recipe I made, just to make sure this wasn’t a fluke was a dessert. Chocolate walnut brownie (p. 426) in the desserts section. Now one would expect the chocolate walnut brownie to contain walnuts, and it did. Just not in the format that you would expect. Instead of adding the walnuts to the batter, I put two cups of walnuts in the food processor. Then after processing it down, in went the cocoa, salt and baking soda. Then the wet ingredients. Who knew you could actually make a brownie in the food processor! To be honest, I was a bit leery, not thinking that there was any chance that I would like these, so I cut out a very small piece. Wow. Just wow. I was so impressed. I gave a piece to my non-sweet eating husband (or at least that’s what he says) and he loved it. WOWSERS!

Thanks to these two successful recipes I am looking forward to making more recipes in this cookbook and there are plenty to choose from.

There are some recipes that do call for ingredients that I don’t stock in my house such as teff, an ingredient prior to this cookbook I had never heard about. Perhaps over time I will add almond flour and some of the other flours to my pantry. I am truly curious how other recipes would affect my overall health once they were incorporated into my diet.

The book itself contains more than just recipes. Each section it has helpful information about the recipes contained within the next pages. There are also kitchen tips, ingredients tips and nutrient tips. In addition, there is an allergen key for those interested only in certain types of diets: Gluten-free, no gluten free grains, no dairy, no soy products, no eggs, no tree nuts, and no plant products of the nightshade family (another new term for me!).

Kudo’s to the development and creation of this book. LOVED it! There are just a few pictures, but not many. I thought it would be a detriment, but actually I liked it the way it was done.
I was provided a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher, Harmony Books. The review is my own, honest opinion without any outside influences or requirements.

Book Review: The Ship to Nowhere by Rona Arato

Book Review: The Ship to Nowhere by Rona Arato

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This was a well written book for a young reader interested in reading about history. Although I’m not classified any longer in the “young reader” status, I still enjoyed reading it. I started reading books as a young reader and often remember reading books on the holocaust. This book was well written and kept me interested and involved in the book, without getting beyond the comprehension level of a young reader. When I say young, it’s not for an early reader, but for someone truly interested in reading and learning.

The story is about a Jewish refugee family trying to leave war torn Europe for Palestine, where they planned on making their home. However, the British were determined to prevent that from happening. This is the story of Rachel and her family on board the ship the Exodus, and how they made it Palestine.

The bonus to the book were the black and white photos throughout the book, enabling the reader to place a person to a face. That these were real people who struggled with their refugee status and trying to find a better home elsewhere.

I also appreciated that at the end of the book, there was an epilogue of sorts. Essentially what happened after the story ended. That’s always my interest. You hear the story and how they were able to get to their destination, but what about their lives afterward? Did they marry, did they die… what happened.

My rating on this book would be a five stars. I believe it’s an excellent introductory to those interested in reading history. For me, it forces me to think of the similar refugee situation happening in our world today. If the era’s were switched, would I be against the Jews resettling in my homeland, or find ways to help them.

A complimentary book was sent to me by the publisher at Second Story Press. The review I wrote was my own honest opinion, without any pressure to be positive or negative. These are my own thoughts.

Book Review: Stealing Taffy by Susan Donovan

Book Review: Stealing Taffy by Susan Donovan

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There are a few things that this book has going for it, and unfortunately that’s about it. For me, it’s the book cover. The color and artwork and design, it is a book that would have me picking it up from the bookshelf and taking the time to read the back of the book.

However, once the book is picked up you must start reading it and hope that it is all that the back cover promises it to be. “A funny, sizzling romantic adventure that readers [will] love” – RT Book Reviews. For me, I didn’t pick that up from the parts of the book that I read.

The first chapter I felt like I was in quicksand, trying to sludge through. I didn’t like the girl Taffy from the get-go and the constant talk of sex this, sex that in her thoughts made me wonder if everyone outside of me always is thinking that way. To be honest, I don’t think so. And then Dante. I liked the way he sounded, but the name Dante sounded just so much like a Romeo in a bad sense of the way. And then, badadbing… before the chapter is over we have a sex scene. Now, when it comes to the sex scene it wasn’t nearly as graphic as some I’ve come across. But still, we haven’t even developed a story line before there is a sex scene. OY!

Anyway, once I plodded through the one night stand, and someone is tiptoeing out of the room. The scene jumps to North Carolina and Dante’s work as a detective. And then to a girl that he rescued.

This is one book that I just could not finish. I really and truly tried, but I just could not finish it. This will go to a friend who truly loves the romantic sort of book that doesn’t have to have a strong plot line.

Book Review: Leota’s Garden by Francine Rivers

Book Review: Leota’s Garden by Francine Rivers

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This was bought for my sister as a part of a birthday box of books, and imagine my delight when I was granted the opportunity to read the book on my own. Having enjoyed reading Francine River’s book in the past, I was interested in reading this story. So, upon glowing reviews from my sister I set upon reading the book.

The way Francine wrote had me captivated, finding it difficult to put the book down. I started the evening before, read some on my lunch hour and then found some quiet time where I was allowed to finish the book.

There was a lot of story within these pages, and you don’t realize as you are deep into the book just how much is interwoven within these pages. The way that you get within the thoughts of the grandmother, Leota, for me was fascinating.

The story made me think of my own grandmother, and how I want to do more for her than ever. Living with her daughter, she is stuck in her own schedule of her own making. But what if I made an effort to visit her more often, take her out and do things and break up the monotony of life? What if her great-grandchildren had the opportunity and wanted to visit with her more often? I think of the life that she lived and the lives that have begat from her line. The stories she must want to tell, but only if we would give her the chance to do so. I don’t want the years to pass by and me wondering one day, why I couldn’t have spent more time with her.

But back to the story. I enjoyed watching the growth of Corban, although the story line with Ruth was understandable, but yet could have done without the drama that was associated with this particular story. Then there was Annie, and we are introduced to her as she has taken the first step towards independence on refusing to go to the school of her mother’s choosing. Instead, she seeks out an art school and from a longing within, seeks out her grandmother.

Rather than go further with the story, there are a few things at the closing of the book that bothered me. For one, after an incident at the hospital, I refused to read any more of the book. Instead I opted to just skim along and get to the end. To me the incident was completely unnecessary and cast a dark pall on the book. Where there was a chance of redeeming forgiveness, there was instead an unresolved darkness.

The other was Annie’s refusal to date, and it was never really explained in the book, only implied that the men would figure out her reasonings with time. But I, the one reading the book, couldn’t figure out her reasonings. I needed a hint as to what she was trying to get across to them.

Third, I understand the purpose perhaps of having a dramatic end to a book and pushing people towards thinking of their actions, lest they live with regret. But it would have been nice had the story somehow given Nora the opportunity to have learned the facts of her mother before the incident in the hospital and not after.

There were other little things that bothered me, despite the wonderful telling of the book in the first part. There were so many characters, so many mini dramas that I felt it took away from the core of the story.

So would I recommend this book? I’m not sure. There are parts that I liked, but the last part of the book killed it for me. Therefore, based on that, and that alone I would have to say no.

 

 

Book Review: The Candidate by Lis Wiehl

Book Review: The Candidate by Lis Wiehl

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This was a very interesting book, based on issues of mind control that very well could be happening in our society today. It was fascinating to read an author who delved into this realm.

The Candidate is about a journalist reporter, who has her own show, much like a Nancy Grace of CNN, but this show was about Erica Sparks and was on the GNN network. She is doing a live report on the candidates, when an explosion happens in front of her that wipes out the rival candidates to Mike Ortiz and his wife, Celeste. In an instance, the other couple is gone.

There are so many things that are alerting Erica to things that just aren’t right. Every time she enlists with help from others, something seems to happen to impede her progress.

Without saying too much, I will say it is a book that kept my interest and I found it hard to put down. I ended up with some free time at work and was able to finish it there this afternoon. Because I finished it so fast, I know there were many details I probably missed in the conclusion, but in all I would definitely recommend reading this book. If anything, it gets you thinking and makes you wonder if such a thing is possible.

There is obviously a previous book to this story, because there were various references to a previous situation, but fortunately the story ran seemlessly without loosing me in this story.

One note though. If you are expecting a good Christian book, I’m not sure if this would fit typically in this category. I found it to be clean, but lacking the usual tones of Christianity throughout. It read more like a clean, fiction novel than one based from a Christian publisher.

I was provided a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson via the Book Look Bloggers Program. The review is my own, honest opinion without any outside influences or requirements.

Book Review: From This Day Forward by Lauraine Snelling

Book Review: From This Day Forward by Lauraine Snelling

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I was soooo lost. Having not read the first three books in this series, I thought it would be okay to jump in mid-ship. But no, I was terribly wrong. It felt as thought I had walked in a conversation that I wasn’t included in and no one gave thought to update me on what was going on. Instead I was given little snippets here and there, but nothing that helped me connect the pieces.

Within the first three chapters, I knew that Deborah had a sister, and she and her sister were orphaned by their parents. I admit, I was brain boggled with that tidbit trying to figure out why she and her sister (who currently was nameless) were left in a sodhouse by themselves. But of course, that happened many years ago.

Therefore, within the first three chapters I never really got to know about Deborah. It was focused on someone’s marriage, and then about school teachers. By the time chapter three ended, I had enough and started flipping through the book wondered where Deborah was and where the story was about her. I never even bothered really reading the book, because I just wanted to be done with it.

Thus, my recommendation for this book is don’t read it unless you have read the three previous books to this one. A disclaimer should be given on the book itself that the previous books are required to be read first to understand the sequence of events. I was left utterly frustrated.

I was provided a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher, Bethany House. The review is my own, honest opinion without any outside influences or requirements.