REVIEW: “Do You Think I’m Beautiful?” by Angela Thomas

doyouthinkimbeautiful_thomas1Most women long to know that someone thinks they’re beautiful. They want to be wanted, pursued, and desired. They want to be asked to dance, instead of hanging around the edges, always being the ‘wallflower’.

God wants us to know that He is pursuing us…He desires us…He has chosen us…and He is asking us to dance, because He thinks we’re beautiful! 😀

We are intimately and passionately loved by God, and as we dance with Him, held close in His arms, He whispers His words of love to us.

…that is the message of this book, in a nutshell. 😉 I LOVED this book, and will recommend it to every woman I know. If you feel like you’ve been missing out on something in life, definitely go read this book. 😉

REVIEW: “Fixing Abraham” by Chris Tiegreen

fixingabraham_tiegreen1Genre: Christian Living

This was a great book about how we often have expectations of how Christians should act, or what they should believe, when in fact God is not confined to our expectations or rules.

To quote from the book: (p.177) “If we cling stubbornly to evangelical culture and traditions as we know them, treating them as sacred rather than as simply helpful, we’ll miss Him.

There’s some really good stuff in this book! I really enjoyed reading it! 😉

Rated: B+

REVIEW: Blue Jean Buddha by Sumi Loundon

blue_jean_buddha1This was a compilation of essays by people in their 20’s and 30’s about their life as Buddhists, and how their faith affects their everyday lives. It was pretty interesting. I was basically just looking to find out more about Buddhism, and this book certainly gave me that. So I’m glad I read it. 🙂

REVIEW: For Men Only by Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn

4menonly_feldhahn(Part of the 2-book set, “For Couples Only“)

Book Description (from Amazon.com):

Finally—You Can Understand Her!

Women: complicated and impossible to understand? Do you love and want to please the woman in your life, but just can’t seem to figure her out? That was before For Men Only. Now at your fingertips is the tool that will unlock the secret to her mysterious ways. Through hundreds of interviews and the results of a scientific national survey of women, this book demonstrates that women are actually not random and that they really can be systematized and “mapped.” In fact, much to men’s delight, this book shows that women are actually quite easy to understand and please—as long as you know what it is they need. This simple map will guide you to loving your wife or girlfriend in the way she needs to be loved.

My Review:

This was a hard book to read, if only because I found myself relating to so much of it! Parts of it had me saying to myself, “Do I really do that?!” But then I’d nod my head and think, “Yep, I do!” LOL. And, what I wouldn’t give for my man to know the stuff inside this book! 😛

If men could set aside their pride for just a little bit, and sink so “low” as to read a book about relationships, they could learn a lot from this tiny book. 😉

REVIEW: For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn

4womenonly_feldhahnBook Description  (from Amazon.com):

What’s going on in a man’s mind? From their early days, every woman has struggled to understand why males behave the way they do. Even long-married women who think they understand men have only scratched the surface. Beneath a man’s rugged exterior is an even more rugged, unmapped terrain. What bestselling author Shaunti Feldhahn’s research reveals about the inner lives of men will open women’s eyes to what the men in their life—boyfriends, brothers, husbands, and sons—are really thinking and feeling. Men want to be understood, but they’re afraid to “freak out” the women they love by confessing what is happening inside their heads. This book will guide women in how to provide the loving support that modern men want and need.

My Review:

This book really opened my eyes to certain parts of my husband’s life that I didn’t know about. I didn’t realize how often I was probably hurting him, unintentionally, just because I didn’t know that what I was doing was being taken the wrong way.

I highly recommend this book to all women (those over the age of 16, anyway). 😉 I think our relationships could be a lot better if we knew this stuff, and actually did our best to be more compassionate toward our men. 😉

Edited to Add: This is part of a repackaged, 2-book set called “FOR COUPLES ONLY“. The other half is a book called, “For Men Only” — my review coming soon! 😉

REVIEW: Gingham Mountain by Mary Connealy

gingham_mountain_coneallyBook Description: (from Amazon.com)
All aboard for a delightful, suspense-filled romance, where a Texan is torn between his attraction to a meddlesome schoolmarm and the charms of a designing dressmaker. When Hannah Cartwright meets Grant, she’s determined to keep him from committing her orphans to hard labor on his ranch. How far will she go to ensure their welfare? Grant is determined to provide a home for the two kids brought in by the orphan train. Can he keep his ragtag family together while steering clear of love and marriage?

My Review:

Mary Connealy’s books are always a wild, raucous ride… and her characters make their way into your heart. When the book is finished, you feel worn out, but also sad that you have to say goodbye to those you’ve “met”. 😛

I loved meeting Hannah and Grant and the gang of Sour Springs, Texas. Ms. Connealy writes well, and her stories really draw you in and make you care about what’s going to happen to the characters. While some parts of the story felt a bit rushed or contrived, I still felt that this was a great book, overall, and I had a hard time putting it down. Recommended! 😀

(This is book 3 in the “Lassoed in Texas” series)

REVIEW: This Side of Heaven by Karen Kingsbury

thissideofheaven_kingsburyFrom the Back Cover:

“Annie Warren always wanted the best for her son, Josh. But years of failure and bad choices created a heartbreaking distance that has grown far worse since the day Josh was hit by a drunk driver. Now on medical disability, Josh has put his life on hold for years, waiting for the insurance company to send a settlement that never seems to come. Worse, he believes the story of a scheming woman who claims they have a seven-year-old daughter named Savannah.

Despite the unlikelihood and complete lack of evidence, Josh dreams of being a father and is determined to one day claim the child. His family doesn’t know the full story. They don’t know what happened the night of the accident that was worth the chronic pain Josh suffers every waking minute, or that he is turning his life around. They haven’t seen that Savannah’s eyes are his, and they don’t know how desperately the little girl needs her family.

When the settlement that rightly belongs to Josh is threatened, Annie sets out to defend her son. But she might find a treasure more valuable than money, one she never expected, one that is the greatest gift her son could ever give her — THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN.”

My Thoughts:

Karen Kingsbury never fails to pull me into her stories, and make me bawl like a baby! This book was no different. There were twists that I hadn’t seen coming at all, and others that I did see from a mile away — but still were done so well that I liked reading to see that I was right. I didn’t know how they’d come about, anyway, so it was good to read through and find out. 😉

The story of little Savannah really tugged at my heart strings, too. In some ways, her story is very similar to something in my own life. I have a little niece who I only saw once when she was first born, and I haven’t seen her since. I miss her terribly, and know she really should have her daddy in her life. And, her daddy wants more than anything to be there… but he’s not allowed. It breaks my heart. And this story just amplified that, even though I know my niece’s living conditions are far better than Savannah’s were, and her mom is much sweeter and nicer than Maria (praise the Lord for that!)

Anyway. The thing that really spoke to me about this book was its message that we need to slow down enough, in life, to really care about the details of the lives of those around us… we need to pay more attention, ’cause who knows what we’re missing, and what we might not find out if we don’t take the time.

Also loud and clear (at least to me) was the message that we can be ‘healed’ by taking the focus off of ourselves, and serving others. There are people, right next door, who need us, if only we’d take the time to notice.

Great story. Not too ‘preachy‘, either. Highly recommended.

Rated: B+

REVIEW: Finally Thin by Kim Bensen

finallythin_bensen

Kim used to weigh over 350 lbs. Finally, one day, a Bible verse sparked her to try losing weight just one more time, even though she’d almost completely given up hope that she could ever be thin again. (Don’t be turned off by the mention of the Bible, though, as this book only had a couple very brief references to verses).

With a friend, Kim signed up for Weight Watchers and, within two years, had lost 212 pounds! (without surgery!)

This book doesn’t necessarily outline yet another plan. Instead, it’s meant to be used in conjunction with whatever diet plan you’ve already chosen to do. And, if you’re still searching for what plan might work for you, there’s also a fairly thorough list of the diets out there, with pros and cons of each one.

The book includes tips for the “journey” as well as for the maintenance phase. I really enjoyed this one! 🙂

Rated: B+

REVIEW: Time Of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch

timeofmylife_scotch Jillian is a disgruntled, discontent housewife and mother, living a life full of what-ifs. When she goes to see her masseuse, though, she’s somehow transported back 7 years in time, to the time of her most powerful “what-ifs”.

Now, given a second chance at her life, Jillian has to decide whether she’ll take the same path she did the last time, or choose an entirely new future. But, what would the consequences be for choosing a new path — and not just for her, but for those around her?

Jillian learns that sometimes it isn’t our history that has gone “wrong” for us… it’s our interpretation of it.

Really good book that I had a hard time putting down (despite the foul-language used throughout).

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Edited to add: Read another review of this book! Click HERE.

REVIEW: The NSD Personal Fitness Trainer

nsd_personal_fitness_trainer This small book is a 16-week journaling companion for Chantel Hobbs’ book, “Never Say Diet“.

Each week has space to journal your cardio and strength-training exercises, and another space to journal your food intake. Also included, each week, are a main Bible verse, an inspirational quote, and a brief inspirational message from Chantel about mindset, exercise, and eating.

A great resource for those following Chantel’s “Never Say Diet” program.

Rated: B+