REVIEW: “Abigail” by Jill Eileen Smith

(Wives of King David, Book 2)

What a great story! From the very first page, I was unable to put the book down — finished it in 2 days! 😀

There were several themes in this book, some of them being obedience to God, trust, contentment, and love. The romance between David and Abigail was very sweet and tender, and made you long for a love like that for yourself.

Throughout the book was the overwhelming –yet, subtle– reminder that God comes to the rescue of all those who trust in Him, as well as the reminder that God will guide us if we will just stop to ask Him for direction and then trust that He will answer.

I highly recommend this book! I can’t wait for the third installment in the series — I’ve now got it on my TBR list! 😉

Rated: A+

This book is courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller!

REVIEW: “So Long, Insecurity” by Beth Moore

Beth has written a great book that shows how we women are not alone in our insecurities.

The first part of the book gives examples of what kinds of things can cause us to be insecure, or where our insecurites could have stemmed from. The middle of the book shares ways that those insecuries play out in our lives. And the end gives some practical ways that we can deal with our insecurities, including those that we have regarding men, and those that center around our interactions with other women.

Recommended. Rated: B

REVIEW: “Crave” by Chris Tomlinson

 Full of Chris’ personal stories of chasing after God, this book is funny, thought-provoking, and honest. I could relate to so much of what Chris shared throughout, and I’m glad he was open to being honest — books like this show you that you’re not alone in what you feel.

 
The short one-liners at the beginning of each chapter were catchy — they made me wonder what on earth the chapter was going to be about! I even showed the book to my Mom, and the one-liner at the beginning of the chapter titled “Silence” (which says something to the effect of “God called me on my cell-phone at 4:30 a.m.”) caught her right away. 😛
 
Definitely a book I’ll recommend to a lot of people.
 
Rated: A-

REVIEW: “Ink Exchange” by Melissa Marr

A second installment in the “Wicked Lovely” series, featuring faeries. And, while it took a bit to get into this one, it still ended up being a book that was hard to put down. I enjoyed the story, and found the tidbits of wisdom sprinkled throughout to be very interesting. 😉
Rated: B+

REVIEW: “The One Day Way” by Chantel Hobbs

 Based around the principles of Kaizen, or “continuous improvement” (though the book never specifically says so), Chantel’s plan encourages you to forget about yesterday, not worry about tomorrow, and just focus on TODAY.

Chantel walks you through the process, first encouraging you to change your mindset and demolish the bad habits. Then she helps you to renew your thinking which will help create new, healthier habits.

There are two weeks’ worth of sample menu plans included, as well as some strengthening exercises featuring a medicine ball and resistance band.

A lot of the book includes a repetition of what was already said, but I think that’s just Chantel’s way of making sure that you fully understand the concepts being presented. I love how absolutely uplifting and positive she is!

I liked how simple this program seems to be. While I’m not a fan of specific meal plans and exercise routines (I really prefer to follow my own “plan”), I do think that the idea of just focusing on today is a good one. So, as always, I plan to “take what I loved, and leave the rest“.

Overall, this is a great book, with an awesome premise, and you would not find yourself sorry to have read it. 😉

Rated: B+

Thank you to Staci Carmichael at Waterbrook/Multnomah publishers for sending me a copy of this book for review! 😀

REVIEW: “Kiss of Midnight” by Lara Adrian

The first in the Midnight Breed series, this one is about Lucan Thorne, a Breed Warrior and vampire, and the human female — Gabrielle Maxwell — that happens to cross his path. Both of their lives are forever changed.

This is a spicy book, but definitely a good read. The storyline was really interesting, and kept me guessing. The only thing I didn’t like was the amount of cursing throughout the book. But, when you overlook that, it’s definitely a quick, fun fluff read. Just what I needed right now. I couldn’t put it down. 😉

Looking forward to continuing the series with book 2, “Kiss of Crimson“.

Rated: A-

REVIEW: “Lord, I Just Want to Be Happy” by Leslie Vernick

Leslie explains how happiness is not found in “more” (more wealth, more possessions, more popularity, etc). Instead, it’s found in putting God first in our lives, and in being grateful, serving others, and in growing our character.

An insightful book that I think can be very useful. Recommended.

REVIEW: “Live a Little: Breaking the Rules Won’t Break Your Health” by Susan Love & Alice Domar

This book is based around the fact that most of what we’re told by the media and health industry is just speculation — a better rule of thumb is to follow your own gut instincts in regards to your health.

The one quote I got from the book sums this up nicely: “…understand that no one has total control over their health — then exercise, eat wisely, and manage stress anyway.

The book looks at 6 key areas of our lives (sleep, stress, exercise, eating, relationships, & health screenings), and debunks the myths surrounding the health “rules” we all know and try — mostly unsuccessfully — to live by. For example: We’re told that we need to get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night in order to function properly, avoid weight gain, and live a long life. Well, the authors have looked at all of the studies done, and have concluded that in reality, only YOU know how much your own body REALLY needs… you can trust it to tell you whether or not you’re getting enough sleep. Mind you, the authors also tell you that, based on their findings (from studying the studies done on sleep & health), 7 hours of sleep is a good number to aim for — but it doesn’t have to be “uninterrupted”, as we know that’s not likely to happen for most of us. 😉

The last chapter of the book, “A Pretty Healthy Life, Decade by Decade“, looks at each of the decades of a woman’s life –from their 20s on through to the 70s and beyond– and gives general guidelines on what to do to live a “pretty healthy” life without falling prey to the worries that the media can create (“If you don’t exercise for 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week, you’ll die of decay & rot!“).

Overall, this is a smart book. It really is encouraging to know that, even if you’re only giving it 80% effort most of the time, you’re still going to be “pretty healthy”, and that’s enough. As long as your health habits enable you to enjoy life more — and don’t make you miserable in the process — then you’re doing okay.

Definitely recommended.

Rated: B+

REVIEW: “Wicked Lovely” by Melissa Marr

Aislinn has always had the Sight — she can see faeries living among humanity. And, she’s always lived by the rules… until now. The rules are changing, and Aislinn doesn’t know why. She has to find out in order to save the life she loves… if she can.

I couldn’t put this book down. It was just the lighthearted fluff I needed. Definitely recommended.

Rated: A+

REVIEW: “Us: A User’s Guide” by Daniel Tocchini

A different kind of marriage guide, this book starts off by assuring you that YOU don’t need to change.

I almost didn’t keep reading, though, as there was too much of an undertone of “emergent” thinking here. But, I’m glad I kept going, despite that. The book has some great tips for how couples can work together (or individually) to learn to communicate better, and be more “kingdom oriented”. It’s not about fixing the other person, but about understanding them better.

Rated: C