Book Review · Books

You Are The Beloved

I had heard of Henri Nouwen, but never read any of his works. When I saw You Are The Beloved available on Blogging For Books I clicked the yes option. This book is a collection of different spiritual snippets from his books. Since I’ve never read him before this book gives a great overview. This book is similar to a devotional in that it is broken down by days of the year and sectioned into the months of the year. At the end of every daily meditation it references which book the daily meditation originates from. Each month focuses on different themes.

I received You Are The Beloved from Blogging For Books for free in exchange for my review. If you enjoy Nouwen or reading books by Christian mystics you will savor this book of mediations. This book isn’t one to read through fast. I’m still working through finishing it because I don’t want to hurry the deep spiritual thoughts that are in this book. I never tab my books, so this is the first book to get that special treatment. I had to buy more tabs because I already ran out. Yes, it’s that good.

Book Review · Books

Salvation On Death Row: The Pamela Perillo Story

What would you do if you committed a horrible crime and got sentenced to death? Would you despair? Would you feel like your due penalty was fair? Pamela Perillo lived through a very rough upbringing and drug addiction, which lead to a crime that landed her on death row back in the 80’s. In TX of all states.

In prison she was introduced to Jesus and came to faith. Through her new found faith Pam befriended a few of the other women on Death Row, aiding them in coming to belief as well. These women created a small family of sorts; praying, talking and encouraging each other through the tough days.

If you like true crime books with a spiritual twist you will like this book. It’s not for someone with a weak stomach. Pamela’s life was not a bed of roses whether while growing up or after she landed in prison. This book gives a realistic window into what it’s like to be incarcerated. I received my free ARC of Salvation On Death Row, care of KiCam Projects in exchange for my review of this book. Thank you for an opportunity to get to read Pam’s important story.

Book Review · Books

Where I End

If you know what it’s like to deal with physical health challenges then you will be able to relate to Katherine. Her memoir is the true story of how one little boy’s decision to jump off the top of a play set changed her life in a flash. One moment she was playing tag with her son, William’s class at recess and the next moment she was on the ground seriously injured. Katherine gives a no holds barred account of what it’s like to be a quadriplegic.

I can’t imagine suddenly not being able to walk or use my hands easily. You’d feel completely trapped in your own body. To go from one day being able to hug and help your kids to not being able to feel if they are hugging you. Katherine shares her ups and downs pre and post accident. She shares how this life event challenged her Christian faith and how it altered her kid’s faiths. How can someone come out of that with their faith intact?

I received my free ARC ebook of Where I End by Katherine Elizabeth Clark from NetGalley care of Moody Publishers. This book was an intense, yet inspirational read. Thank you for allowing me to read this powerful memoir.

Book Review · Books

What If You Could

What If You Could is a book about what faith looks like. I am honestly not a fan of Pastor Joel Osteen, but this book surprised me that its content was not fluffy or of the name it, claim it variety. The author, Jakelyn Viera Iloff, gives different Biblical examples of faith as well as personal examples from her own life of times she had faith when it seemed impossible to have.

If you are looking for a book on the topic of faith I would recommend this book. I received my ebook copy for free from NetGalley in exchange for my review. Considering this was my last read of 2017 I’d say it was a great theme and book to end my year on.

Book Review · Books

Almost Gone


Mackenzie is a junior in high school when she meets a handsome man on a social dating site. He’s Muslim, respectful and enjoys chatting with her. Mackenzie is a Christian with a boyfriend at the time. This new online friendship blossoms. Once her relationship with her current boyfriend doesn’t pan out she immediately intensifies communicating with this new friend, Aadam whose from Kosovo. Mackenzie’s parents sense something is amiss when their daughter starts pulling away from the family, her Christian faith and her best friends. They have no idea Aadam exists. When Mackenzie asks her dad if she can buy a Koran her dad is floored, but figured everyone goes through their own faith walk and exploration. When Mackenzie states she’s converted her parents are stunned. Why has their daughter all of a sudden gone from social to reclusive? Why the sudden belief change? Will her parents figure out why before it’s, too late?

This book brought up some personal memories for me. In high school relationships can seem like the end all, be all. Teens want to be taken seriously. If you are eighteen you are legally an adult, but not necessarily emotionally or mature enough to be considered an adult. It’s a tightrope to use your wings to gain independence, but still know your parents do love you and want you to make safe life choices. As for faith, growing up in a Christian home myself, there aren’t many opportunities to be exposed to other faiths that differ from your own. I can see why Mackenzie would be enthralled with Islam. It’s different, unique and a person she cares about is of this faith hence why it becomes important to her.

I received an ARC of Almost Gone by Mackenzie Baldwin and John Baldwin for free from NetGalley in exchange for my thoughts on this book. I think this book explores many important topics that parents and teens face today: online dating and how to handle when your teen decides to not believe what they were raised on faith wise. If either of these topics resonates with you I’d recommend this book.

Book Review · Books

The Alphabet Of Grief

img_2099Grief is not a topic out of popularity, but out of necessity. We don’t know when a friend, family member, spouse, or acquaintance is going to pass away. The Alphabet Of Grace is a small little book packed with lots of wisdom. Chaplain Andrea Raynor brings death and grief to our door in an easy to understand Guide. Her guide of sorts is broken down via the alphabet. Each letter stands for a topic having to do with grief and death. At the end of each short chapter is a meditation and an affirmation.

I have had family members pass away and close friends. Death is never easy to deal with. I still miss my grandparents and my one best friend, but I know they are now not in pain. Personally I don’t find comfort in going to their graves. Honestly cemeteries creep me out. One way I like to remember them is by going to a fave place they liked to eat, or enjoy a favorite pastime they had like watching baseball, or reading a book. We all deal with grief in different ways.

I’m so glad I requested to review this book from Blogging For Books. This book is not preachy, though it is consider Christian. It comes across like a warm blanket on a winter night that keeps you warm and feeling cozy. It’s comforting and yet educational at the same time. I got this book for free in exchange for my review from Blogging For Books. I highly recommend this title for anyone dealing with someone in the process of dying or have passed on. I wish I’d had this book back when my grandparents passed. It would have helped me get through a lot.

Book Review · Books

Love Big, Be Well

If you have been burnt by the church, Love Big, Be Well, just might restore your faith in the body of Christ (family of God) aka the church. This novel is the story of Pastor Jonas McAnn whose decided to get back into preaching after doing a stint working at an insurance company. He receives a letter from one of the churches he’s going to be interviewing at. He’s used to getting a long list of questions, but the letter he gets is down to earth and simple. Does he want to be Granby’s pastor? Pastor Jonas writes back. This starts a tradition of correspondence between himself and the congregation. Him and his wife decide to accept the pastorate at Granby Presbyterian. This novel is the correspondence over the years between Pastor Jonas and his new congregation.

Each chapter talks about different topics from Advent, to baptism, death, Christian conferences, friendship and a host of other topics. This novel isn’t preachy, it’s not superficial. This book is down to earth and meets you where you are at. You don’t have to be a believer to read this novel.

I received the e-book ARC of, Love Big, Be Well by Winn Collier from NetGalley in exchange for my honest assessment. This book reminded me a lot of the book, So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore,  by Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman. Both books are sweet and tackle tough topics in a nonpushy manner. If there is a church out there like the fictional Granby Presbyterian sign me up. I miss belonging to a church family like that.