Saturday, August 28, 2010

Book Giveaway Until Sept. 1!

I am still having a book giveaway until September 1st, when I will choose the winning commenter by

Please go to this post to enter. There are only a few days left! (U.S. residents only)

I have had only one comment so far, so be sure and enter now for your chance to win!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays is a meme from Should Be Reading, where we answer three questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? and What do you think you'll read next? If you want to participate, answer the three questions, then put your link on the Should Be Reading Blog in the comment section. Happy reading!

What I am currently reading: Hidden Wives by Claire Avery

Hidden WivesThis is a story of two sisters living in a fundamentalist Mormon community and are being forced to marry men who are much older than themselves who already have several wives and children.

The authors (Claire Avery is a pen name for two sisters) were raised in an extreme fundamentalist Catholic community and have researched the lives of many in similar circumstances in order to write Hidden Wives. I have always been fascinated by groups such as this one depicted in the book. I don't want to put this book down! Review to come soon.

What I recently finished reading: Juliet by Anne Fortier

Read this post for a teaser on Juliet. Review will be posted on September 15. (BIG hint: I loved it!) 

What I'll probably read next: Either Choosing To SEE by Mary Beth Chapman (description here), or Exposure by Brandilyn Collins, or Predator by Terri Blackstock.

Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope     Exposure: A Novel     Predator: A Novel

Hmmm......... choices, choices. So many books, so little time.

What are you reading? If you have a link, please share in the comment section. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Review: Jungle Sunrise by Jonathan Williams

It seems that many of the books I have read this year are about missionaries and their experiences while they are spreading the Gospel to other countries. I have discovered new authors such as Kathi Macias and David Gregory, and I have thought more about what it looks like to seriously care about others who do not know Jesus and how we should be willing to sacrifice our time and possible even our lives in order to help them come to salvation.

One of the authors I have read for the first time is Jonathan Williams, author of Jungle Sunrise. This is his first book, and I think he did a great job.

Jungle SunriseIn Jungle Sunrise, Mr. Williams has captured the feel of jungle life. Of course, that's no surprise, since he himself lived in the Amazon jungle for two years as a member of the Xtreme Team, missionaries who go into remote areas and work with native people to tell people about God. The reader feels like he/she is there in the jungle and river as the characters endure intense opression and severe treatment from the jungle natives. The reader is drawn into an emotional roller coaster as the characters experience joys as well as heartaches in an attempt to show the love of God to the Peruvian people.

I also like the diversity of the characters that are in this novel. There are the missionaries, as well as as an anthropologist, a magazine photographer, a linguist, and a writer who is struggling with writer's block, a lost job, and depression, leading to an attempted suicide. All of these come together to face extreme physical, emotional and spiritual challenges that culminate in some amazing insights and circumstances. The ending is quite satisfying and full of hope.

I think that any Christian would enjoy this book. And if you are not a believer, but want to read something that will inspire you and help you see a meaning to life in the midst of great trials, this book is one you will want to read.

I give Jungle Sunrise 4.5 out of 5 stars.

(I received a copy of Jungle Sunrise from Pump Up Your Book! Blog Tours. I received no monetary compensation for reviewing this book. The opinions expressed in the review are entirely my own.)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Reading Around the World

Photographer Steve McCurry has posted some great photos on his blog depicting people from different places around the world reading. Go to this link to see these interesting images.

The Obama DiariesThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's NestTha question I have: what books are these people reading? Are the monks reading Bibles, or perhaps the one in front is actually perusing The Obama Diaries? Are the children looking at school books, or comic books? And what about the man with the elephant? Is he reading a manual on "how to train elephants", or is he possibly engrossed in a copy of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest? I wonder.....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books

It's another Saturday, and another Saturday Review of Books at Semicolon's Blog. Lots of great reviews to read. If you have a book review blog, add your reviews so we can read them, too!

Happy reading!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Book Review: Amish Proverbs by Suzanne Woods Fisher (and a GIVEAWAY!)

How would you like to win a book that is not only beautiful, but is also inspirational? Details are near the bottom of this post. But first, let me tell you about this sweet book:

Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple LifeAmish Proverbs is a small but encouraging book filled with the wisdom and humor of the Amish people. The proverbs cover a variety of topics, including Time, Money, Faith, Children and Family, In Word & Deed, Work Ethic and Handling Adversity. Here are a few of my favorites from the book:

* "A sweater is a garment worn by a child when his mother feels chilly."

* "Raising boys is as easy as digesting iron."

* "Blessed are they who have nothing to say, and who cannot be persuaded to say it."

* "If you think you're too small to make a difference, you haven't been in bed with a mosquito."

* "Contentment is not getting what we want but being satisfied with what we have."

* "We can stop forgiving others when Christ stops forgiving us."

* "You can tell a man's character by what he turns up when offered a job - his nose or his sleeves."

And one I heard often as I was growing up: "Idle hands are the devil's workshop." (This one has helped me many times to be diligent in my work and not give the enemy a chance to distract me from my service to God and others.)

The photographs in this book are wonderful. I love the beauty of the simple life and the way that the Amish people are portrayed in this book. This would be a great gift for anyone on your list.

What are some of the proverbs you heard as a child? Tell us for a chance to win a copy of Amish Proverbs.


Now, wouldn't you love to have a copy of this beautiful book? Here's all you have to do: in the comments section, enter your email address and tell me one proverb you have heard that has been meaningful to you. I will choose (by one entry on Sept. 1 and then that person will have 48 hours to respond to claim the book. If you do not comment with a proverb, your entry will not be eligible. Also, this giveaway is for U.S. residents only.

The author, Suzanne Woods Fisher, has written two fiction books about the Amish and is a descendant of a member of the Old Order Amish in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. On her blog, she is described as "a wife, mother, writer, novelist, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, a gardener who has an on-going battle for territory with a bossy gopher, a cook with sporadic results, and a lifelong student of the Bible."

In addition to the blog tour, the author is sponsoring a contest with a brand new KINDLE as the prize! Check out the details at Suzanne’s website or at this contest preview page.

Suzanne will be hosting a Facebook Blog Tour Wrap-Up Party on September 1st, with a live chat and when the KINDLE winner will be announced. Go here for the details:

Amish Proverbs is now available from Revell Books, or at your favorite bookstore.

(I received this book from Revell Books for review purposes. I received no monetary compensation for this review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.)

And just for the fun of it, I'd like to share a few videos I found on YouTube about the Amish (ENJOY!):

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Attention All Bibliophiles! (Almost) Free Books!

I have something to share with all of you who love books! I want to tell you about a website that I am spending WAYYYYYYY too much time on, but it has been so much fun!

The website is called Paperback Swap. It is a place where you can get books (not just paperbacks) for (almost) free. The only cost is the postage you pay in mailing a book to someone else who wants that book (plus, of course, the amount you paid for the book when you first bought it).

Here's how it works: you sign up with Paperback Swap for free. Then, you list at least ten books that you don't want anymore. When someone requests a book from you, you mail it to them. When they receive the book, you get one credit for that transaction. You can then use that credit to request a book from another member.

I have mailed several books for just a few dollars in postage. These were books I had sitting around that I didn't want anymore, and I've gotten several from the site that I have been looking for and haven't been able to find. Since I am able to buy books from my local Goodwill for next to nothing (paperbacks are 3 for $.99 and hardbacks are 3 for $1.99!), I have spent very little money to get the books I want.

You can also buy credits from the website for $3.45 each. That's not much for one book. And it is delivered to your door! Can you tell I'm excited about Paperback Swap?

To find out more, go to You may become hooked, too!

(If you decide to join, please request me as a friend. My member name is seizethebookblog.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays is a meme from Should Be Reading, where we answer three questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? and What do you think you'll read next? If you want to participate, answer the three questions, then put your link on the Should Be Reading Blog in the comment section. Happy reading!

JulietWhat I am currently reading: Juliet by Anne Fortier - I will be writing a review on this one on September 15 for Pump Up Your Book! book tours. Here is a description of Juliet from the author's website:

When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena.

As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in Shakespeare’s unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse– “A plague on both your houses!” –is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems that the only one who can save Julie from her fate is Romeo–but where is he?

Since I just saw the play of Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare a few weeks ago, the story is fresh in my mind. Hopefully that will help me in reading the book. I can say one thing about the book so far: it has a GORGEOUS front cover!

Jungle SunriseWhat I recently finished reading: Jungle Sunrise by Jonathan Williams - I also received this book from Pump Up Your Book! I will have a review on it on August 24. It was a good (but sad) story about a couple who were missionaries to Peru and the people whose lives they impacted for God. Here is a quote about the book from the book's website:

“Felt like The End of the Spear, Apocalypto, and Safely Home all rolled into one. It proved all-around moving, one of those that lingers awhile after the final pages turn.”   ~ Kaci Hill, co-author of Lunatic and Elyon with NY Times Bestselling Author Ted Dekker.

Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and HopeWhat I'll probably read next: Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman- This one is from Revell. Written by the wife of award-winning Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman, Choosing to See tells the story of Mrs. Chapman's struggle in dealing with the death of her daughter after a tragic accident two years ago. Steven is one of my favorite singers and I have admired how this wonderful family has relied on God to see them through this time of intense grief. They are a great example of how to walk with the Lord in times of trial. I'm looking forward to reading their story.

That's what I'm reading now. What about you? What are you reading this week? What books have you read lately that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Book Review: Close to His Heart by Leonora Pruner

Close to His Heart by Leonora Pruner is a sweet book that portrays well the real challenges and joys that married couples face as they begin their lives together. I was impressed by this author's ability to show life as it often is and not a "perfect" romance between two flawless people. The characters in this book had genuine struggles with sin and the influences that the world has upon those who try to live godly lives. It was refreshing to read a book where the characters looked more like you and me.

Close to His HeartI also like the historical aspect of this novel. The setting is 18th century England. Mrs. Pruner "sets the stage" well as she describes the clothing, manners, and speech of that day. I was drawn into the story as I read about the gardens, the servants, and the horses that were all a part of this wonderful story.

The main characters, Henry Buryhill and Grace Carstares, first meet one another when he is visiting her home on the night she is planning on eloping with one of her father's servants. The courtship and marriage that follow soon turns sour as Henry assumes the worst of his new bride and jumps to conclusions about her intentions towards her former suitor. Things get even worse when Grace has an unfortunate accident and loses her memory. Henry must begin again to woo her and prove to her that he is indeed the gracious and loving man she once knew. As she regains her memory, the two must learn to forgive one another and learn to love as Christ loves His Bride. There are several minor characters who add much more to the story and make this book a satisfying read.

The only think I didn't like about the book was when Henry retold the events of the first several chapters to his friend in order to get his advice on what he should do about his difficult situation. I felt as though I was reading the first part of the book all over again. I'm not sure how it could have been written differently, but it was somewhat annoying to read what I had already read as it was retold to another character. However,  I still remained engaged with the story and was able to overlook this minor irritation.

This book gave me hope in the future of clean, godly literature. It is a book I would not hesitate to recommend to all my friends. I give Close to His Heart 4 1/2 out of 5 stars!

(I received this book from Pump Up Your Book! for review purposes. I received no monetary compensation for this review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

"You May Have Missed" Mondays

The Mysterious Benedict SocietyI have finally begun a book that was recommended to me by my sister and another blogging friend. I don't often read children's books, but this one is quite good so far. The title is The Mysterious Benedict Society. I downloaded a copy from a website where you can "check out" digital audiobooks and then put them on a CD or your MP3 player to listen to.

The Phantom Tollbooth
I am thoroughly enjoying this book. I was afraid it was going to be too silly at first, maybe something like The Phantom Tollbooth (although this has been one of my favorite books and one I would love to read again) or Alice in Wonderland (which I have NEVER liked, except maybe the part about the Rabbit, who is "late for a very important date"). But I quickly got into this book and I'm looking forward to tomorrow when I can hopefully listen to more. I hope to write a review on it soon.

Alice In WonderlandWhat about you? Have you read The Mysterious Benedict Society? Or The Phantom Tollbooth? Or Alice in Wonderland? What did you think of them?

Please leave a comment and tell me what older books you have been reading. Perhaps I'll learn of ones I haven't heard of before.