Book Review · Books

Deborah Calling

Deborah Calling is the sequel to Deborah Rising, the novelized story of the Prophetess Deborah of the Bible. If you haven’t read book one then I think you can read this sequel as there is a nice recap. This sequel continues Deborah’s search to be transformed into a man care of the special potion. Will Deborah be transformed into a man, or will her father’s prophecy that she will be a leader and a messenger for the Hebrews come true? Can Deborah be at peace with what she feel God is wanting her to be? Follow Deborah on her journey from being a slave at a tannery to a warrior.

This novel is long, intense, captivating, humerus, violent, descriptive and I think better than the first book. I received Deborah Calling by Avraham Azrieli from TLC Book Tours care of HarperOne for free in exchange for my review. To buy a copy click here and to learn more about the author check out their site.

Book Review · Books

The Atomic City Girls

If you enjoy World War II historical fiction novels then you will enjoy The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard. This novels follows the lives of June, Cici, Joe, Sam and their adventures working in the secret city of Oak Ridge, TN. June is young and excited about her first official job. Cici is excited for all the prospective men who just might end up a good husband. Joe is a hard worker, trying to provide for his growing family back in Alabama and Sam is a physicist whose excited about working on their top secret project. How will their jobs affect them? What’s it like to be working for the government and not be able to talk about your life because it just might fall into the wrong set of ears, a spy?

This novel was fast paced, engrossing, funny, intense, fascinating and there are old photos from that time sprinkled throughout which I think gives it a great balance with the fiction of the novel and the reality of the people who worked there. Would I be open to living in a secret city that came with its own movie theater, bowling alley, 24 hr diner and lodging? That’s a tough gig to say, “No,” to.

I received my ARC care of TLC Book Tours from Willam Morrow Books. If you are interested in buying a copy click here. For more information on the author Janet Beard check out her website.

Book Review · Books

The Last Days Of Oscar Wilde

I went into this novel blind. I didn’t know much about Oscar Wilde before starting this book. This novel talks about the end of Oscar’s life and his different flashbacks. Oscar had been in prison after one of his lover’s father accuses him of sodomy and is trying to get back on his feet. He tries to rekindle past flames with some of his past male lovers, but realizes they have moved on. The writing is poetic in parts, descriptive in others. If you don’t know anything about Oscar I’d recommend learning a bit about him first, otherwise you might end up lost like me.

I received The Last Days Of Oscar Wilde by John Vanderslice for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my feedback. This book is slow, pace wise. I personally don’t like this book. It’s depressing and sad. It’s sad to think how lonely Oscar truly is after he’s released from prison. I have never read any of his work, but maybe I will venture to read some. If you are a fan of his work this novel would be better suited for you.

Book Review · Books

How To Break Up With Your Phone

I’m guilty of phone addiction. It’s become a crutch to living our lives online vs outwardly. It’s an easy way to communicate on the go, or research a topic, but the myriad app options are time suckers. I don’t know how many times I’ve gone to check FB, Twitter, or IG and time has flown by. Did I do anything productive in my time online? I might have, but then again I may have just scrolled to see if anyone replied to a post of mine. Usually only a small handful do. Was it worth all that time lost? Approval addiction is an ugly beast that has a big appetite that demands to be fed constantly. That’s why when we don’t check our phones we get antsy.

I recently read the very short book Off which is a similar book to How To Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price; the difference is that this later book was more in depth. The information packed into this little yellow book is disturbing, convicting, enlightening and depressing.

How To Break Up With Your Phone talks about the behind the scenes ways your smartphone is designed on purpose to be addictive and how apps like FB, IG, etc. are set up to suck you in. The chapter on FB creeped me out. Tomorrow I’m deleting my FB account. My friends are like, “I’m sad to see you leave.” Are you kidding me? I haven’t passed on. I’m still reachable by phone, text, in person, snail mail. That social media platform has become a true social crutch and made people lazy to directly communicate with each other offline. It makes me sick because it shows you aren’t worth keeping in contact with unless you are on FB. This book also, discusses how phone addiction has changed our mental states and ways in which we are able to focus. ADHD, anxiety challenges anyone? I know I have anxiety, but that’s probably from my coffee addiction. Lastly, this book gives you a thirty day step by step plan on how to break up with your phone and take back control of your life. The step by step guide is thoughtful and I can’t wait to complete it.

I received my copy of How To Break Up With Your Phone for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for my review. This book should be required reading for schools, work places, friends, family, etc. Let’s be present in our lives. We each have allotted time and who wants to waste it glued to a screen?

Book Review · Books

Everything Happens For A Reason

Whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with a possible fatal disease, Everything Happens For A Reason, is a look at what it’s like when your view of God and how life works goes down the drain. The author, Kate Bowler, was raised a Mennonite. She studied the prosperity gospel. Her life didn’t feel very prosperous when she gets diagnosed with cancer. Kate’s honest memoir tackles the doubt she has in if it’s God’s will, or any other myriad of reasons other believers tell her is the reason she got cancer.

I received Everything Happens For A Reason by Kate Bowler from NetGalley in exchange for my honest feedback. If you enjoy memoirs this one won’t disappoint. I enjoyed Kate’s humor through a time when most wouldn’t want to try to look on the bright side of life.

Book Review · Books

Off: Your Digital Detox For A Better Life

This year I wanted to be different. I wanted to use my phone less. I wanted to unplug more. Have I in the past month of 2018? Nope. I even downsized my phone on purpose so the screen size would dissuade me from being on so much. That confession shows you how deep the phone addiction is. It’s embarrassing, sad and the state of most people unless you don’t own a smartphone. I’ve been seeing a number of books about to come out that deal with this topic.

Off: Your Digital Detox For A Better Life by Tanya Goodin is a short little book with great suggestions on how we can be wise with our phone usage and balance our life more. There are a variety of categories that Tanya addresses from how to unplug when socializing, having family time, exercising unplugged and restoring our love for hobbies that don’t involve a screen. I received my free ARC PDF from NetGalley in exchange for my feedback. So excited I read this short book and hoping to read others on how to divorce my phone addiction. Phones can be helpful, but when they atrophy our socializing skills then that should be a red flag.

Book Review · Books

Shunned

Shunned will break you. This memoir of faith, struggle and rebirth will have you on the edge of your seat. The author, Linda A. Curtis, was raised a JehovahWitness. She was the good girl, a Pioneer putting in many hrs of door to door evangelism. She never envisioned herself going down the road of doubt until one such door to door encounter had her hearing her message from the viewpoint of the receiver. Linda knows doubting is dangerous, but are worldly people that bad? Is what she’s been taught something her conscious can live with? Shunned is Linda’s journey to find out what happens when you step out of your assigned religious box.

If you are questioning the religion you were brought up in then Shunned just might be the book for you. Linda is honestly raw in her account of her journey. This book had me laughing, crying and cringing. There were times I just wanted to sit and weep along with Linda. I, myself, was not raised Jehovah Witness, but I know what it’s like to have your set beliefs ingrained in your brain and to step outside that belief is scary.

I did study with a Pioneer a few years ago for a few months. It was fascinating and intriguing. I felt challenged to explain why I believe what I do, which I think is good. The Pioneer I studied with thought for sure I was a Jehovah Witness because of my Bible knowledge, but I reassured her I was raised Protestant. Their study materials are impressive and they are highly organized. When I came out I pulled away from my studies because I know their view on homosexuality. I had hoped said Pioneer would still be my friend. A real friend. Sadly nope. As soon as I backed away it was like she never contacted me. When I reached out to check in I was advised I knew where I could find her. The Kingdom Hall. As long as I showed interest then you’d think she viewed me as a close friend, but as soon as that opportunity went away then I got black listed. Did she truly care about my spiritual walk and soul? Honestly I don’t think so. It came across as a numbers game. Glad I stepped back.

I received my free ARC of Shunned from NetGalley care of She Writes Press. This book has to be my number one 2018 book. It’s brilliant, respectful, insightful and most of all hopeful. Thank you Linda for sharing your heart.