Posted in Blogging For Books, Book reviews

{Note}Book Review: “A Record of My Vinyl: A Collectors Catalog”

 

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(Review is of the notebook alone; I added the record in back for display purposes)

 

“A Record of My Vinyl: A Collectors Catalog”

By Potter Style

Review copy from Blogging for Books

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About:

Whether you’re a casual collector or vinyl store junkie, this essential journal–with a high-quality cover that looks and feels like a record–includes: 
-Space for cataloguing details and “liner notes” or memories about your vinyl
-Tips for cleaning discs and maintaining a serious collection
-Information on evaluating vinyl for resale from Goldmine’s vetted rating system
-Perforated wish lists to tear out and take with you

A catalog, journal, and guide all in one, A Record of My Vinyl is the ultimate autobiographical companion to your analog collection.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I do not make an effort to hide my love for notebooks or records. So a notebook dedicated to keeping track and caring for vinyl records? Yes please! I was so excited to see this option presented on the Blogging for Books site, and requested it immediately. When I received it in the mail, I squealed with delight – the journal is truly stunning with a lovely cover showcasing a vinyl record.

I am new to the Vinyl world, but am quickly falling in love. So while I am not perhaps the “hard-core” vinyl collectors out there that some of the info in the notebook hinted at, I am vastly enjoying it, and cannot wait to transcribe my own personal collection of records into this journal. The style is easy to use, clearly presented, and the information in the back quite helpful. Definitely a gem for any Vinyl enthusiast – new or old!

 

 

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Posted in Blogging For Books, Book reviews, God's Lessons

Book Review: “Daring to Hope” by Katie Davis Majors

Toothless Books (4)

 

“Daring to Hope” by Katie Davis Majors  

Non-fiction, Inspiring

Review copy from the publishers through Blogging for Books

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book: 

How do you hold on to hope 
when you don’t get the ending 
you asked for?

When Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve. But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease.
 
After unexpected tragedy shook her family, for the first time Katie began to wonder, Is God really good? Does He really love us? When she turned to Him with her questions, God spoke truth to her heart and drew her even deeper into relationship with Him. 
 
Daring to Hope is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible—the God who whispers His love to us in the quiet, in the mundane, when our prayers are not answered the way we want or the miracle doesn’t come. It’s about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary. It’s about choosing faith no matter the circumstance and about encountering God’s goodness in the least expected places. 
 
Though your heartaches and dreams may take a different shape, you will find your own questions echoed in these pages. You’ll be reminded of the gifts of joy in the midst of sorrow. And you’ll hear God’s whisper: Hold on to hope. I will meet you here.

My Thoughts:

 

 
I absolutely loved Katie Davis’ first book, “Kisses from Katie”, and so when I saw that she was writing a new book, I was beyond thrilled! And then even MORE beyond thrilled when the opportunity came to review it. Yes please!
I do not read a lot of non-fiction. But Katie’s two books have captivated me fully. I have loved them both. “Daring to Hope” was so inspiring, so encouraging, and so challenging. I was just deeply moved. Each new chapter had me thinking more, and I shed many a tear from my heart being touched by her words.
A truly magnificent book. She just writes with so much passion, and it is all so God-centered. Really, I’m not sure I’ve read a book so full of God’s glory being the focus as this book was. Every thought was turned back towards Christ. What a lovely accomplishment! He is worthy to be praised, and that was shown well in “Daring to Hope”.
This book isn’t just a light, inspiring book – it is prick-your-heart and make-you-want-to-grow-more. So much so. Katie D. Major’s tackles the hard aspect of faith: Do we trust Him even when it’s hard? When He does something different to what we prayed for? Wow. Her life-experiences lends so much to these lessons. Reading this, I just was encouraged to really pray even more and trust even more. He is Worthy. He is in Control. And He does all things for our good – even the hard things. I so definitely recommend this book – it is a must read!
I also loooved reading about how her marriage came about. Wow, what a cool God-story. <3 That really encouraged me too.
I could probably just go on and on about this book – I am just full of love for it! But I suppose I shall end with one last word:  Exceptional!
Posted in Blogging For Books, Book reviews

“The Road to Paradise” by Karen Barnett ~ Book Review

“The Road to Paradise” by Karen Barnett

Book One in the Vintage National Park series

Review copy from Blogging for Books Program

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

An ideal sanctuary and a dream come true–that’s what Margaret Lane feels as she takes in God’s gorgeous handiwork in Mount Rainier National Park. It’s 1927 and the National Park Service is in its youth when Margie, an avid naturalist, lands a coveted position alongside the park rangers living and working in the unrivaled splendor of Mount Rainier’s long shadow. 
But Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is still haunted by his father’s death on the mountain, and the ranger takes his work managing the park and its crowd of visitors seriously. The job of watching over an idealistic senator’s daughter with few practical survival skills seems a waste of resources.
When Margie’s former fiancé sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, the plans might put more than the park’s pristine beauty in danger. What will Margie and Ford sacrifice to preserve the splendor and simplicity of the wilderness they both love?
Karen Barnett’s vintage national parks novels bring to vivid life President Theodore Roosevelt’s vision for protected lands, when he wrote in Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter: “There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.”

My Thoughts:

I shall start out this review by commenting on the cover – because it’s beautiful, is it not? I read some other reviews of this book, and several others have said that the cover is what drew them to the story, and I have to agree. It’s so unique, and well-put together; it really attracts the eye! And even the back-cover has intricate little details that match the story so well. Very impressed!
Now onto the inside. :)
“The Road to Paradise” was a good book ~ well-researched and presented. Margie was a very likeable character, and Ford was marvelous as well. I liked how Margie was so determined, and how important her faith was to her. I was glad to see a book touching on the ‘be ye not unequally yoked’ part of romances as that is so often disregarded or swept under the rug.
Their romance was sweet, though for my personal tastes, there was a bit much at some points – with the kisses, etc. Nothing inappropriate, just definitely a romance book.
The setting was great – the whole air of the Mountain and its surrounding was charming. Enjoyed that quite a bit. :)
I liked this book just fine – it was a good one, and I don’t really have any complaints (besides personal preference of how far romance goes). I’ve seen that many people have absolutely loved this book, and I’m glad! For me, it wasn’t an “adored” book, but I didn’t dislike it either. I enjoyed reading it for sure. :)
Posted in Blogging For Books

Blogging for Books Review: “Far Afield” by Shane Mitchell

 

Far Afield: Rare Food Encounters from Around the World by Shane Mitchell

 

An extraordinarily photographed culinary travel book featuring profiles of the stewards of the world’s traditional foodways—farming, fishing, and herding methods—along with 40 recipes.

Journalist Shane Mitchell and photographer James Fisher have traveled the world on assignment for food and travel publications such as Travel + Leisure and Saveur. Along the way, they have encountered the fascinating people who are keeping some of the world’s oldest food traditions alive, such as taro farmers in Hawaii who have never left the islands, Maasai warriors in Kenya, and Icelandic shepherds who still use the techniques of their Viking ancestors. Full of compelling photography from far-flung locations, Far Afield profiles these people, sharing their unique and captivating stories along with forty recipes.

 

My Review:

This is a fascinating book. I’ve quite enjoyed going through it, reading the real-accounts, and browsing the pictures and recipes. It’s full of different cultures that is great to absorb. The recipes are all very intriguing and I will have to try several of them.
A very interesting and enjoyable book! Very colorful, fun, and inviting.
*I received a complimentary book through Blogging for Books.

 

Posted in Bethany House, Blogging For Books, Book reviews, BookCrash, Booklook Review, Books, God's Lessons, Litfuse, Moody Book Review, NetGalley Book Review, reading, Revell Reads, Reviews, update

An announcement of sorts

Good day to you, my much appreciated blog-followers! :)

As the title states, I do have an announcement to share with you all. And it’s rather large, in the sense that I didn’t think that I’d do this. But I’m content with this decision, because I know it is directed by God and He has shown Himself SO awe-some in every sense of the word. So my news is this:

 

I will no longer be reviewing books at the rapid pace that I have been – that I’ve been known for. In fact, I’ve gotten off several of the Book Review Programs. I’m taking a Sabbatical. (such a fun word, is it not?). The reason for this, in short, is that it is what the Lord has guided me to recently. It’s definitely time for a break. See, when I read and review books I am analyzing the book so I can justly review it, but by doing this constantly, I have formed a habit of being analytical in everything – and that is leaning on my own understanding, not God’s. It’s thinking through every little thing when I should have faith instead.  And I want to lean wholly on the Lord’s understanding instead of my own, and so I am obeying Him in this step back from reviewing.

 

Sabbatical

 

Truthfully, it is a relief. Yes, I have loved this season of reviewing – it has been a great experience! But I am now ready for a new season. I will still be reading (of course!) but at a more leisurely pace, and I won’t necessarily being posting reviews of every book, as the amount of review books I receive will be just about nonexistent.

However, I will be finishing out with the reviews I have already committed to, so there are a couple yet to come. And I’m not banishing myself from all book reviews, just really stepping back.

 

It’s a big change for me, I’ll be the first to admit it. I am a reviewer. But now, it is: I was a reviewer. My life doesn’t need to hinge on reviewing, and a breather will be nice!

I’ll still do my best to keep up with my blog here, and I’m still apart of some blog tours coming up. I’m just also going to be doing a lot of “de-stressing” which means de-cluttering, etc.

 

So, here’s to a new season! Thank you for understanding. :)

 

 

Posted in Blogging For Books, Book reviews, Chuck Black

Blogging for Books review: “Light of the Last” by Chuck Black

“Light of the Last” by Chuck Black

Book #3 in The Wars of the Realm Series (I believe it is also the final book?)

Review source: Blogging for Books

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

To Fight What Others Can’t You Must See What Others Don’t

After an accident left him temporarily blind, Drew Carter didn’t just regain his sight. He now sees what others can’t imagine–an entire spiritual realm of mighty beings at war.
 
Forget the gift, Drew just wants his life back. Part of that involves Sydney Carlyle, a woman he is inexplicably drawn to. When he’s offered the chance to become a CIA agent, it seems the way to redeem his past. The only problem–his visions of the supernatural realm are increasing in frequency.
 
It’s up to the warrior angel Validus and his hand-picked team of heavenly agents to protect the unbelieving Drew. Validus now knows that the young man is at the epicenter of a global spiritual war, and the angels must use a millennia of battle experience keep Drew alive, for the Fallen want him dead.
 
Surrounded by spiritual warriors and targeted by demons, Drew’s faced with an impossible decision that will forever alter the destiny of America…and his own soul.

 

My Thoughts:

Oh wow! How do I even begin to review this amazing book?! I loved it. So much so. Truly fantastic. I am a HUGE fan of Chuck Black and have been eagerly awaiting this third (and I believe, final?) book in The Wars of the Realm series – it’s finally here!! And SO worth the wait. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing, and the plot was so extensive and amazingly crafted. That is some serious God-given talent Mr.Black has!
Okay yeah, can I say what an extensive plot-line this book has, and the series as a whole? I was so impressed. Just about every story-thread was brought to completion and wrapped up so nicely. There was ONE story line I so badly want to continue though….I won’t say which for fear of spoiling it for you readers. But yes, another book series for two specific characters would be pretty…epic.
I really liked how it entwined both character-point-of-views of Drew Carter, and Validus. Both were engaging and equally exciting and enthralling.
And I just love how it’s about Spiritual Warfare. So amazing, and such a great, necessary reminder. Wow.
The technology shown in this book was incredible too. :) Amazing all the way around.
This book was just SO big! And I don’t mean in size. It just blows me away.
Usually I am fairly adept at writing helpful reviews, but when it comes to Chuck Black’s books….I love them too much to form a coherent sentence! I just want to shout at everyone “Read these books!!!!” :)
I appreciate how Mr.Black states in the beginning that “this is speculative fiction and it’s not intended to confuse or diminish the truth of God’s holy and inspired Word.” He does an excellent job depicting what the Bible does tell us and how he interprets what the Bible is silent on.
The one and only thing I had a different thought on was that sometimes the angels seemed more ‘angry’ than fierce as the Bible says they are, and that it sometimes portrayed that there aren’t enough angels to do spiritual battle for us, and I believe that God does provide enough. However, this wasn’t negative, nor did it affect my love for these books. Just a personal thought. And of course, as Chuck Black says himself: only God knows the whole story!! :)
The characters were so great, and I loved returning to them. Sydney is an amazing young woman and I hope I can be as much of a prayer warrior as she is (even though she’s fiction! :D).
So yes, absolutely amazing and I loved it soooo very much!!! I cannot wait to read this whole series over again.
~~~~~
I received a complimentary copy from the publishers and Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review which I have given.
Posted in Blogging For Books, Book reviews

Blogging For Books Book Review: “A Refuge at Highland Hall” by Carrie Turansky

Happy 2016 readers! I’m sorry I haven’t written an official post to welcome the new year – it’s been quite busy, and now I am trying to catch up on some reading and reviewing! So yes, 2016 should definitely hold more book reviews from this blog! Hopefully some “normal” posts too. :) I hope your year is blessed!

 

“A Refuge at Highland Hall” by Carrie Turansky

Book Three in The Edwardian Brides series

Review copy source: Blogging for Books

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

In this third and final book in the Edwardian Brides Series, you’ll be swept away to England and France in 1915 as the Ramsey family and their staff and friends face the dramatic challenges and losses of World War One, yet they also experience the hope and triumph that comes as they put their trust in God to carry them through. Penny Ramsey helps the family welcome a group of orphaned children to Highland Hall, but she soon discovers caring for them is more difficult than she’d expected. She writes to Alex Goodwin, a daring British pilot, who chases German zeppelins across the sky over the Front Line in France, and longs for the day she will see him again. You’ll be delighted by two pure and heartwarming romances: Penny and Alex, and Lydia Chambers and Marius Ritter, a lady’s maid and a prisoner of war. But most of all I hope you’ll be inspired by the characters’ examples of trusting God through the trials they face.
Fans of “Downton Abbey” will find many of the same elements in this series: A wealthy, aristocratic family living on a large English country estate with romance, conflicts, and family drama; and loyal servants with troubles and heartaches of their own.

My Thoughts:

This was a very light, good, clean read. Very much like Downton Abbey, only without the scenes you have to skip so that’s nice! The Christian theme through this book was good and pretty strong. If you like English, Downton Abbey-like books or WWI books, you should definitely give this series a try. :)
Penny and Alex’s story was my favourite. I know I haven’t read the first book of this trilogy, but out of each of the characters shown, Penny and Alex were most positively my favourite. I could easily relate to Penny, and Alex…well he was dashing. :) This story took place during WWI and it was very fascinating.
I did not care for Lydia’s story pretty much at all…I didn’t care for hers in the 2nd book either, and was a little dismayed to find it was continued in this book too. That’s not to say that nobody else will like it – I’m sure it is a favourite among many. It just wasn’t for me.
It was for that fact and the fact that Kate got on my nerves that I am giving this book a lower rating. I will be honest: I was really hoping and expecting for this book to be solely about Penny and Alex, but it was not – the other stories seemed almost more strong, and so that made it hard for me to really love this book.
But for the side of the story I did like, it was excellent Penny and Alex are great characters, and I loved watching their story unfold! They were an exceptionally sweet and strong couple, and I would’ve loved to have seen more of their story!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.