Tag Archives: Blogging for Books

Light of the Last | Book Review

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Light of the Last is the final book in the trilogy, Wars of the Realm, by Chuck Black. This book is even better than the first two and is filled with plot twists. In Light of the Last, you’ll encounter ISIS, angels, technology, and Ebola.

The angel Validus is charged with the increasingly difficult job of protecting the unbelieving Drew Carter. As a CIA agent, Drew is faced with decisions that will change the destiny of America. He is surrounded by spiritual warriors and is being targeted by demons. The angels believe they are guarding the man who will be the final salvation before Jesus comes back. Is Drew the final salvation? Will the Fallen be successful in causing the death of Drew? If Drew fails to accept Jesus, does Satan win the final victory?

Though Light of the Last is a fictional story, it is thought-provoking. I highly recommend that you use the Readers’ Guide (included at the end of the book). I disagreed theologically with a concept presented in the first book but am glad I read all three books. The issue was resolved on the very last page.

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Disclaimer: Blogging for Books sent this book to me in exchange for my honest and thoughtful review. 

Priceless Weddings for Under $5000 | Book Review

As someone who spends my money carefully, this book caught my eye. I am not currently planning a wedding but I do like to plan ahead and do my research. The book, Priceless Weddings for Under $5,000, is touted to be a manual for the low-budget bride.

Kathleen Kennedy divides the chapters by the various areas of a wedding that a bride needs to think about. She starts the book by encouraging the reader to break the wedding into 10 key steps. Steps include determining priorities, drafting a budget, and finalizing details. Her most important step is the final one, “Relax and enjoy your wedding!” If you’re stressed about the money spent on your big day, you’re not going to be relaxed.

The planning side of the book was informative but the money-saving tips were not all that helpful. Several of her tips were merely suggestions to have a friend do it for you. For a large wedding, I don’t know how practical it would be to have a friend provide all the food. Many of the weddings featured in the book had small guest lists, in which case it wouldn’t be as difficult to have friends provide different services.

I definitely would not recommend this book to a bride as a “must-buy.” Perusal of a library copy may be helpful but don’t set your heart on saving lots of money. You would be better off browsing Pinterest for money-saving wedding ideas. If you like planning suggestions, you may find the book helpful.

Blogging for Books provided this book in exchange for my honest, thoughtful review. 

How to Get Dressed | Book Review

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a strong believer in women dressing modestly. God created me to be a woman and I believe it’s important to for me to dress in a way that distinctly shows that I am a woman. But almost as important as dressing modestly is dressing neatly.

Enter: How To Get Dressed by Alison Freer. This book is an excellent resource of style-related advice. Alison, a costume designer, guides you through rethinking your wardrobe. Chapters include topics such as proper fit, alterations, fashion rules, wardrobe tools, shoe care, and more.

It doesn’t matter if that summer top is adorable and a great price, if it doesn’t fit you, then you shouldn’t buy it. Alison repeatedly emphasizes that fit is the great enemy of style. In fact, she has an entire chapter devoted to explaining various styles of clothing and why it may or may not fit you properly. As she explains on page 13, “Proper fit means that the clothes you wear should always perform as you need them to, period.” She explains that the everyday problems you encounter with your wardrobe are caused by poorly fitting clothes.

Another chapter explains that not every article of clothing you buy will fit you well. Sometimes, you will have to alter your clothing in order for it to fit you correctly. I was actually already doing this before I read the book. Most times, if you have some knowledge of sewing, you can quickly accomplish the necessary alterations on your own. If you can’t do your own alterations, Alison suggests finding a tailor who can.

One of my favorite chapters was, “Wardrobe Tools to Keep Your Look Together”. Using everything from safety pins, to moleskin, to Sharpies, Alison shares the tips and tricks you need to fix those last-minute wardrobe mishaps. (I learned from my grandmother to regularly carry a supply of various sized safety pins in my purse. There have been times when I’ve had a line of people asking for a pin to fix their wardrobe dilemma.) They can be used for repairing jewelry, stopping static cling, keeping that slip from sliding around under your skirt, as well as a number of other mishaps.

I highly recommend this book as a reference guide for your fashion questions. The helpful advice, tips, and tricks are worth the investment. The one detail I did not appreciate about the book was some of the language that was used.

Blogging for Books provided this book to me in exchange for an honest, thoughtful review. 

Rise of the Fallen | Book Review

After reading Chuck Black’s book Cloak of the Light, I was eager to read the sequel. Rise of the Fallen, book two in the series’ Wars of the Realm, was as captivating as the first book.

Validus, the least and last created of the angels, has seen much since his creation. He watched as close friends followed Lucifer and deserted the servants of Elohim. The book follows Validus as he watches the rise and fall of many empires. Placed on earth as a warrior, he rises to a respected position commanding legions of warrior-angels. So why was he demoted to guardian? Who exactly is Drew Carter? And why is he so important?

Rise of the Fallen doesn’t continue the story from Cloak of the Light as much as it parallels it. Well-written and suspenseful, Chuck Black switches back and forth between present time and the life story of Validus. Although the amount of details, characters, and unusual names could be confusing, there is a clear cast of characters and time line at the beginning of the book. I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to seeing how Chuck Black will wrap up the final book in this intriguing trilogy.

Disclaimer: Blogging for Books sent this book to me in exchange for my honest and thoughtful review. 

Knitting Block by Block | Book Review

 

As a novice knitter, I was excited to see a knitting book available for review on Blogging for Books. While the book isn’t specifically written for beginners, the instructions are clearly written. With lovely, easy-to-read patterns, Knitting Block by Block by Nicky Epstein would be an excellent addition to the knitter’s library. It comes with 150 block patterns for creating a variety of beautiful projects.

The book also includes projects using the blocks you create. I’m looking forward to trying projects like the Crossed Cable Cuffs and the One-Block Toys. You’ll also find projects for afghans, scarves, bags, sweaters and more.

Disclaimer: Blogging for Books sent me this book in exchange for my honest and thoughtful review.

 

 

hand in Hand | Book Review

The books that I have read by Randy Alcorn have been an encouragement in my Christian walk. When I discovered that he had published a new one, I eagerly ordered it. In hand in Hand, Mr. Alcorn examines the perplexing questions and debate over reconciling God’s sovereignty and human choice. He endeavors to look at the issue from all of Scripture instead of select verses.

hand in Hand is basically a shorter version of If God is Good but has a heavier emphasis on explaining the Calvinistic and Arminian positions of God’s sovereignty and human free will. Randy Alcorn is a Calvinist but does provide a fair overview of the various positions. This theological book includes a liberal amount of diagrams and references as he attempts to explain how the seemingly opposing positions actually work together.

I would not recommend this book to just anyone. It is definitely not an easy read. If you’re looking for a good book on the topic God’s sovereignty, I’d recommend If God is Good by Randy Alcorn. The terms and language used are much more down-to-earth. If you do choose to read hand in Hand, be prepared to learn some new words and definitions.

Disclaimer: Blogging for Books sent me this book in exchange for my honest and thoughtful review.

Homemade Decadence | Book Review

I love baking for my family. And with lots of brothers, I’ve never had a lack of taste-testers. [grin] When I saw this book, I knew I had to try it. An entire book filled with “irresistibly sweet, salty, gooey, sticky, fluffy, creamy, crunch treats”? Yes, please!

Filled with delicious recipes and beautiful pictures, Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson is a good addition to your kitchen library. Recipes are divided into chapters such as, “Brunch”, “Pies, Crumbles, & Cobblers”, and “Ice Cream Social”. Just a few of the recipes included are, “Vanilla Sugar Doughnuts”, “Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies with Creamy Peanut Butter Filling”, “Toasted Marshmallow Squares”, “Brown Sugar-Cream Cheese Ice Cream”, and “Dark Chocolate Brownies Cupcakes”. Is your mouth watering yet?

Of course, in order to provide an accurate review, I had to test several recipes. The “Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake” would be a delicious addition to any fall party or dinner. My younger siblings especially enjoyed the “Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies”. I did substitute vanilla extract for the vanilla bean and the cookies turned out just fine. I also tried the “Under-Baked Chocolate Chip Skillet Cake”. If you like your cookies under-baked with just a bit of crispiness, you’ll love this cake.

Note: The one thing I did not like about the book were all the beverage recipes that had an alcoholic beverage as an ingredient.

Disclaimer: Blogging for Books sent this book to me in exchange for my honest and thoughtful review. 

Your Family in Pictures | Book Review

Although intended for parents, I found Me Ra Koh’s book Your Family in Pictures a very helpful guide to taking better pictures. I’m often lost behind my camera and am unsure of how to get a good picture. Koh simply and clearly lays out “recipes” for pictures that will become favorites for years.

If you have ever wondered what exactly ISO is and why your shutter speed matters, then this book is for you. With plenty of beautiful pictures spread throughout the book, you will continually refer to this guide as you practice your photography skills. Several pages include tips such as what to wear or how to make your black and white photos pop.

I did appreciate how Koh emphasized that you don’t need the latest camera to get good pictures. Rather, use the camera that is closest, even if it’s your phone. The point is to capture the moment. I have definitely been inspired to pull out my camera more often.

Note: There are a few pictures scattered throughout the book that I did not like. I recommend that you “edit” the book before leaving it around the house for siblings or children to look at.

Disclaimer: Blogging for Books sent this book to me in exchange for my honest and thoughtful review. 

If God is Good | Book Review

Thought-provoking and inspiring, Randy Alcorn’s book, If God is Good, addresses the problem of suffering and evil. Mr. Alcorn presents logical arguments for the coexistence of an omnipotent God and evil. He draws from numerous true life stories and Scripture quotations to show that the God of the universe has a perfect plan and that He can use suffering and evil for good. In the chapter, Why Doesn’t God Explain His Reasons?, Alcorn states,

The God of providence weaves millions of details into our lives and into all the lives around us. Maybe he doesn’t have one big reason for bringing a certain person or success or failure or disease or accident into our lives; in fact, he may have hundreds of little reasons. In order to understand God’s explanations, we would have to be God.

The 512-page book is divided into sections such as, Understanding the Problem of Evil and Suffering, Problems for Non-Theists, Divine Sovereignty and Meaningful Human Choice, Evil and Suffering Used for God’s Glory, and other topics. The book, though theological in nature, is written to be understood by the everyday Christian. I highly recommend that every Christian read this book. It’s not a quick read but it is an encouraging read. If God is Good will cause you to view suffering through new eyes.

Disclaimer: Blogging for Books sent this book to me in exchange for my honest and thoughtful review.