Thursday, August 9

Promise Me This: Titanic History, WWI, and a Voyage to America... Simply Amazing!

Promise Me This is such an incredible story!  The reader is swept away from the first page.  Michael and Annie, the two main characters of the story, begin the book's pages in their early teenage years.  Neither of them are much to admire. However, God sees things in people that we don't always see...

Let me first say that I rarely find current authors I can truly admire because, well, because most of them don't write much better than I do. "Well then, why don't you write a book?" you ask.  Trust me, I'm workin' on it. ; ) The only person I can begin to compare Cahty Gohlke to is Francine Rivers.  The way these women write is a cut above most other modern authors.  They capture you, you're in another time, you're a starving child with a terrifying uncle, you watch as the Titanic is built and then filled, and suddenly you're a stowaway on board "the ship not even God Himself could sink."  And then you're seeing the Titanic go down and feeling the panic of the people around you, you're hearing the last songs the musicians played as the ship sunk, you're feeling the weight of the tragedy as people jump to their deaths because there's no escape, and then you're rescued... a stowaway who didn't deserve the sacrifice one man made for you, not to mention the grace of God.  And later, you're in Germany on a grand tour when World War I suddenly breaks out.  You're English, stranded in a foreign country where the citizens hate you.  You're on a train taken over by Nazi's who force you to leave it and then you're marching on foot to France and then going on to England.   This story is gripping!  And woven through it all is "Sweet Jesus," the author of our lives who weaves everything perfectly together (even the tragic) to create a masterpiece.

Reading Promise Me This feels like reading "Gone With the Wind."  Just like that book, this is one that I'll want to read every few years.  I recommend it more than any other book I've read in the last two years.  Read it... promise me this!

Wednesday, August 8

Almost Amish: A balm of truth filled with heartwarming conviction

One woman's quest for a slower, simpler, more sustainable life...

I this book! I borrowed Almost Amish from a friend last week and, though fiction it may be, I couldn't put it down! The message of the book is both purely Christian and purely green. No, those two are not incompatible; quite the opposite! After all, we're living on God's beautiful, amazing creation. Shouldn't we cherish it? 

Almost Amish is a simple, realistic guide to becoming “almost Amish” in whatever areas of life you choose. Reading it brought some heartwarming conviction to my soul, and didn't leave me there (thank goodness!). The author gives numerous, doable examples of changing your life and the lives of those around you for the better. 

Almost Amish isn't pushy but is a helpful balm of truth that centers on these ideas:

Homes: Homes are simple, uncluttered, and clean; the outside reflects the inside.
Technology: Technology serves as a tool and does not rule as a master.
Finances: Saving more and spending less bring financial peace.
Nature: Time spent in God's creation reveals the face of God.
Simplicity: Small and local leads to saner lives.
Service: Service to others reduces loneliness and isolation.
Security: The only true security comes from God.
Community: Knowing neighbors and supporting local business build community.
Families: Family ties are lifelong; they change but never cease.
Faith: Faith life and way of life are inseperable.

The author, Nancy Sleeth, has a delightful, personable writing style. Besides all the tips that she's gleaned from her own lifestyle changes, she's also included some of her favorite recipes. I especially can't wait to try the Homemade Cinnamon Rolls recipe. This morning as I scrambled eggs and bacon, my hubby asked me, “Aren't you going to make those Amish cinnamon rolls, too?” Too bad we're out of yeast! ; )

I was inspired to read this book as part of Tyndale's Summer Reading Program which runs through August 31st.  There's still time for you to join up and earn a free book or 2!

Thursday, August 2

Joel Rosenberg's "Implosion": Can America Recover from its Economic and Spiritual Challenges in Time?

My hubby and I discovered Joel Rosenberg last year when someone recommended his book Epicenter: Why the Current Rumblings in the Middle East will Change Your Future.  Epicenter was an amazing read!  It made me want to read everything Joel Rosenberg has written!

Implosion is non-fiction but it is incredibly intriguing and definitely a page-turner.  If Joel Rosenberg's name sounds familiar, you may have seen him on Fox News or heard him on Talk Radio.  They often interview him with issues pertaining to Israel and the Middle East.  He's a political expert who's very gifted by our Creator with great understanding of world events, not to mention with the gift of writing. 

This book tackles the intriguing question:

Is America an empire in decline or a nation poised for a historic Renaissance?

Implosion helps readers understand the economic, social, and spiritual challenges facing the United States in the 21st century through the lens of biblical prophecy.  It's very up to date, having been released this summer. It's a very, very timely book.  You can read the first few chapters at Amazon here.

If you can't afford to invest in a new book, I urge you--check out Joel Rosenberg's blog at!  There are so many articles there that will give you wisdom and make you think about important issues.  If you want to better understand what's going on in this crazy, uncertain world we live in, check it out!  Oh, and by the way, you can get this book for free by participating in Tyndale's Summer Reading Program through the end of August!

Wednesday, August 1

The Bride Wore Blue: Intriguing Historical Fiction

The Bride Wore Blue is a charming story set in the historical 1890's western boom town of Cripple Creek.  (You can read about the town's actual history in Cripple Creek Days.)  While this book is a fictional love story, it loosely features real life events and people like Pearl DeVere, "soiled dove of crippled creek", who plays an important roll in this story.  It also features Susan Anderson, one of the first woman doctors in the old west.

The main character, Vivian, is spunky though sometimes self-pitying, sweet though tough, and quite loveable in spite of her (what she believes to be) glaring flaw.  She's made a mistake and feels bound to let it affect the rest of her life, though God's plans are often different from our own.  In the end, she learns about grace through a handsome lawman and changes into a strong woman who can, indeed, be everything and more than anything she ever dreamed.  I liked the character and enjoyed the western setting of the book. Very charming on all fronts, a quick and easy read.  Something nice to read after "Anna Karenina" and before "A Tale of Two Cities", I'd say. 

Now, if you're the kind of person who'd like to step back in time to the 1890s era and visit the gold rush days outside of a book, you can still visit Cripple Creek.  I'd never heard of it before.  Contrary to what my hubby keeps telling me, historical fiction can be more than just a good story!  I highly suggest you read this book before taking any road trips!

Read the first chapter of the book here, if you feel so inclined, and have a lovely rest of the day!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Waterbrook Press for providing me with this book for review.