Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Partial Review


I cannot, for the life of me, remember how I found the first book of this trilogy, A Discovery of Witches.  I do know that it's audio book kept me sane during a week or two of driving over three hours each day for two years as I finished up my History degree in 2012. There were days I almost couldn't wait to get back into the car to hear what was going to happen next...and I giggled out loud when the author mentioned something I had just been studying in class...yeah - I'm a little weird like that! ;)

Then, when I finished listening, I bought the book and read it cover to cover in a matter of days - all 500+ pages!  As happens quite often with me...I soon discovered that the book was part of trilogy (hadn't known that when I started!) and that the second book wouldn't arrive until later that year.

Ugh.

My blessed mother bought me the book the day it came out...but I was now aware that there was no third book written, and it wouldn't be for ANOTHER year!

Pro. cras. ti. na. tion.

Well...I held out for seven months, but I couldn't wait another day to find out how things were going for Diana and Matthew.  And, again, the next, and last, book won't be out until later this year.

Ugh.

I'm not going to do a full review of the book until I finish the whole trilogy. (I think I did a short one for the first book....somewhere...) Buuuuut...

WoW!  I guess the best part of Historical Fiction for me - and the story Deborah Harkness weaves in this book - is pausing to daydream about actually being able to travel back in time to witness all of the amazing things I read about on a regular basis.  Diana gets to meet the Queen of England in the late 1500's (yeah...like Elizabeth!) sits with Shakespeare, and (carefully) aids in the discovery of the (truly) first telescope ever made. And, no...it wasn't by Galileo like we all thought.  Yes, the book is fiction, but like my other favorite author, Diana Gabaldon and her tales full of Scottish brogue <shiver> and Highland history,  Ms. Harkness takes the time to really research what it is she's writing about (in this case, Europe in the 16th century) - true delight for those of us who need a bit of a break, from time to time, from our non-fiction history tomes!

Highly recommended...uh...but a bit of a warning.  For those of you "unawares"...Diana is a witch, and her husband, and fellow time-traveler, Matthew, is a vampire! LOL! ;)
Enjoy!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Charming...

I know...I know!  I stated in my last post how difficult it is to do book reviews for Devotionals...but I just couldn't pass this one up!  I absolutely love the SisterChicks  - they remind me of gals I'd be friends with in every day life...and the words they fill their pages with are charming and heartwarming.

"Grace...it bids me fly and gives me wings."

Well...considering the reference to all things wings and birds (which are the subjects of the nicknames I use for my little beloveds) as section headings, I was drawn to this darling devotional.

This particular devotional is not divided into days, or weeks - it is simply sections that one could pick and choose based on your mood or challenge or whim.  The main goal of the authors in each section is the same though - to help you draw closer in your walk with Him. Full of wonderful quotables, bible verses, and pages flush with "Robin Egg Blue" print/pictures, this little book brought a smile to my face with each page!

Each author takes turns tackling a subject, full of enthusiasm, not just "preaching" or criticizing, and then you are offered a chance to see His take on things through listed verses.  There's even a place to write down a "Peep or Two From You!"  :) There are even wonderful suggestions to get your friendships and spiritual life "soaring"! A couple of my favorites are quiet, personal visits to a nearby woods, a "Birthday Blessing Bash" all laid out for a good friend, and "making a date for coffee with a friend who needs a new dream."

*Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for a free copy of this wonderful book in exchange for my personal review!




Finally!....

I sometimes forget, when I agree to do these reviews, that devotionals require much more time to read  in order to form a proper opinion to report about.  Such is the case with this book.  I have decided to go ahead and do my review on the portion I've read so far, and fill in missing pieces with general information.

This book is a seventeen week devotional study meant to help those of us desperate for a relationship with the Lord, but still apprehensive as "fearful" worshippers.  The content challenges the ideas that many carry with us - that God is "too omnipotent" or far away from our personal lives to truly care about our day-to-day doings and this directly affects our ability to pray with Him effectively.

Each week is divided into daily studies that lend to chances for reflection, memorization, and meditations, focusing on seventeen different attributes of the Lord that we may not think of often.

The part of this book that was most endearing to me were the words that Ms. Spangler uses...she isn't wrapped up in being modern, current, "new-fangled"...mainstream I think some might say.  She brings up complex, almost romantic terms for the attributes she lists, like "immutable, omnipresent, eternal, transcendent" to describe God, reminding us who exactly "I Am" is - and how we can draw closer.

I'd like to thank Tyndale Publishers for the free copy of this book in exchange for my personal review.