Thursday, December 4, 2014

This Book Room

Through The Family of Jesus, listeners will develop an emotional connection to the family members of Jesus, learning about their lives and falling in love with Scripture along the way. Bible studies and devotionals abound, and in churches everywhere people gather to seek a deeper understanding of God’s word and its application to their lives. But too often these studies engage only the analytic approach to Bible learning.

In The Family of Jesus, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist Karen Kingsbury will make you laugh, cry, and ultimately care more deeply about the Bible by helping you grasp the truths in Scripture not just with your mind, but with your heart. The characters in these short stories were among those closest to Jesus—Mary, Joseph, Jesus’ brother James, John the Baptist, Zechariah, and Elizabeth. Each has a compelling tale to tell. Kingsbury intersperses fictional, emotionally gripping details anchored in Scripture with historical and theological insights and questions that will guide soul-searching and reflection.

The Family of Jesus not only provides a deeper understanding of the relatives of our Savior, but also helps listeners acquire tools that will draw them closer to Christ, to the Scriptures, and to each other.

Additional notes: This book is part of a new series called Heart of the Story: Life-Changing Bible Study. There will be additional books released as part of this series, each exploring a different facet of Jesus' life and the people in it.

My thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I did not do a lot with the Bible study at the back and feel this would be much more useful in a small group setting rather than just a person going through the study, but I would highly recommend this book to anyone. I love any resource that breaks the Bible down for me in a way that I can easily grasp the concept, then I can go back to my Bible, read the actual words and gain new understanding. I am very excited about the other books that will be coming out in this series!

In this delightful and very personal book, the four oldest Duggar girls share their hearts and their core beliefs, explaining that it's all about relationships!

Relationship with self: The girls share their own personal journeys to self-acceptance and navigating the difficult stage of adolescence.

Relationship with parents: You'll find revelations about how Jim Bob and Michelle keep the lines of communication open with their children.

Relationships with siblings: Here, you'll get a peek into the Buddy system, how the siblings handle conflict, and how the loss of little Jubilee (their sister) affected their relationships with each other.

Relationships with friends: You'll find principles on how the Duggar kids deal with peer pressure and how they interact with friends outside their family.

Relationships with boys: You'll learn the Duggar view of dating and courtship, and these four sisters will address the often-asked question of when one of them will get married.

Relationship with God: And woven throughout the book, the girls talk about their most important relationship of all their relationship with God and their own personal faith and beliefs.

This candid look into what Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger believe and why they believe it will give you practical insights into your own life and will inspire you to evaluate principles that will work for you.

My thoughts: While this book was aimed more toward younger ladies, I felt I learned a ton from this book on how to communicate with my daughter as she grows. Jason and I do plan to pursue courtship for our kids instead of allowing them to date in the way people date now. This book was very useful in breaking down courtship as the Duggar family does it. No matter what anyone says about this family, first and foremost, they love God and seek to honor Him, and that's a family I want to learn more about.

For two years, Allan and Michele have been trying to have a baby. The emotional ride has been taking a toll on their hearts--and their relationship. Michele is obsessed with researching fertility treatments while Allan seems content to spend his time--and their money--on supporting displaced children in Africa. Something's got to give. But they both hope it's not their marriage.

Still, God has a plan for Allan and Michele that they could never have imagined. And all it takes to set it in motion is a change of heart . . .

Additional notes: This is the third book in the Restoration series. You can read my review of the first book here and the second book here. This is the latest book in the series.

My thoughts: To be perfectly honest, I despise the cover. It makes the book seem so trivial and girly, and it's not really like that. This entire series is built around showing an honest look at relationships and the way they, and the people in them, evolve. While I wasn't a fan of Michele as a character (far too whiny for my taste), I appreciate the author's style and message.

Becky Brandon (nÊe Bloomwood) has stars in her eyes. She and her daughter, Minnie, have joined
husband Luke in LA—city of herbal smoothies, multimillion-dollar yoga retreats, and the lure of celebrity. Luke is there to help manage the career of famous actress Sage Seymour—and Becky is convinced she is destined to be Sage’s personal stylist, and go from there to every A-list celebrity in Hollywood! But things become complicated when Becky joins the team of Sage’s archrival. How will charming and supportive Luke deal with this conflict? Is it possible that what Becky wants most will end up hurting those she loves most?

Additional notes: This is the seventh and latest book in the Shopaholic series. It is revealed at the end of the book that more books for this series will be released. You can read my review of the sixth book here.

My thoughts: You know, I thought the cover was a bit odd and not in keeping with the other covers for this series. And I have to tell you: I was completely right. While I adore this series as a whole and will continue to read these books because Becky is hilarious, I'm so disappointed. The author has definitely changed the face of this series. This book was more of a mystery-type book, and the ending was just horrendous. If you have loved this series thus far, you'll want to read the book, but my goodness, I am not a fan of this book.

Hilary Westfield is a pirate. In fact, she’s the Terror of the Southlands! She’s daring, brave, fearless, and . . . in a rut. Maybe she hasn’t found any treasure lately. And maybe she isn’t fighting off as many scallywags as she’d like. But does that mean she and her loyal crew (including a magical gargoyle) deserve to be kicked out of the ranks of the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates?

There is only one thing to do—find a daring mission worthy of her fearless reputation. With the help of first mate Charlie, finishing-school friend Claire, and the self-proclaimed intrepid gargoyle, Hilary sets sail on a swashbuckling expedition that may or may not involve a kidnapped Enchantress, bumbling inspectors, a mysterious group called the Mutineers, and—the most terrifying thing of all—a High Society ball.

Additional notes: This is the second book in the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates series. You can read my review of the first book here.

My thoughts: It is honestly shocking to me that not everyone reads this series. First of all, the book features silly pirates. Second, the main character in this pirate book is a girl who is a pirate. I love that more than I can ever say. Third, there is no sort of love story for the girl pirate (at least in this one or the first one and I highly doubt for the third one). While I enjoyed the first book more, I still love this series and think everyone should read it.

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