Girls’ Club by Sarah, Sally & Joy Clarkson: A Book Review

Discover the gift of friendship!
In a time when many women feel lonely and isolated, Girls’ Club calls us to embrace the delight and comfort that can be found in life-giving friendships with women— and to cultivate relationships that not only offer emotional affirmation and acceptance, but also inspire, educate, and stretch us to live out our God-given potential.

Told through stories and encouragement based on the authors’ experiences—Sally, a seasoned mother and well beloved author; her daughter Sarah, an Oxford scholar and new mother; and her youngest daughter Joy, a professional young woman pursuing her doctorate—Girls’ Club will speak to the importance of cultivating deep and lasting friendship at every stage in life. Join Sally, Sarah, and Joy as they explore the power, difficulties, potential, beauty, and satisfaction of friendships that help us live purposeful, Godly lives and that satisfy our longing for meaningful and intimate companionship.

My Review: Friendship holds such a dear place in my heart. I’m so thankful anytime I read a book that celebrates friendship.

Girls’ Club, written by a mother and her two daughters, is a book that celebrates friendship. Heartfelt, beautifully written and encouraging, this book gives inspiration to any women who desires to deepen the friendships in her life, as well as her relationship with God.

The authors share inspiring examples of what it means to cultivate and celebrate friendship. I was really touched by the way they view their relationship with each other. They are not only family, but they cherish each other as friends.

This book offers not only examples, but also encouragement and wisdom. It reminds us that we need to be intentional in our relationships. If we desire to have true, genuine friendship, we need to be true and genuine. As women and friends, we need to support, encourage and invite women into our lives.

It’s not an easy thing to find lasting friendship. This book offers so much encouragement and inspiration. I think every woman should read it.

In exchange for my honest review, Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Becoming Gertrude by Janice Peterson: A Book Review

Becoming Gertrude is one woman’s wisdom on the beauty of spiritual friendship and God’s unfolding grace over the course of a life lived for Him. Jan uses the term spiritual friendshipto capture this idea of journeying with others through life, sharing experiences and wisdom and seeking God together. In Becoming Gertrude, Jan wants to be your spiritual friend, sharing what she’s learned and painting a picture of what you might uncover as you seek to develop these kinds of relationships in your own life.

Join Jan in exploring the critical pieces of spiritual friendship: hospitality, encouragement, acceptance, serving, and caring. With seasoned wisdom and winsome stories, Jan uses personal experiences to walk you through what each of these things can mean in your life. You can have rich, rewarding, faith-filled friendships that emerge from the everyday rhythms of your days—and Becoming Gertrude will lead you on that journey.

My Review: I really appreciate this book. Friendship is a subject I find that is so often neglected, but it’s such a vital part of our lives. I love how the author shares experiences from her life, and examples of friendship in action.

Caring, accepting, serving, offering hospitality and encouraging. These are the elements that should be in action in our friendships. We need to be intentional in these things. I also love the idea of spiritual friendship that is presented in this book. I haven’t looked at things from that perspective as much as I should, and in the future I intend to be on the lookout for friendships that can become spiritual friendships.

I love the simplicity of this book. It’s short and sweet, but packed with so much truth. I’m thankful for an author that gently reminds us of how truly valuable friendship is.

*In exchange for my honest review, Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Beloved 365 Devotions for Young Women: A Book Review

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women is a topical devotional that uses the inspiring stories of girls and women in the Bible—such as Ruth, Esther, Mary, and Abigail—to encourage faith and confidence as well as provide insight into topics like relationships, inner beauty, and chasing your dreams.

Each day features an easy-to-read, relevant devotion paired with a scripture verse about a biblical girl or woman, as well as journaling space to help readers reflect on the day’s message. With honest, poignant, and sometimes humorous text, every page will speak to the pressures and changes girls face, giving them real-world applications to find God in their hearts and in their lives. Perfect for everyday use, Beloved will resonate with girls searching for truth and guidance. Gift givers will love this highly designed book featuring a beautiful, foiled cover, two-color interior pages, and a ribbon marker.

My Review: What a beautiful devotional! I love the design and size of this book. I believe this is the first time I’ve seen a daily devotional written specifically for young women and I think it is fantastic.

This book has 365 devotions, one for every day of the year and each devotion highlights inspiring stories from women and girls of the bible. What an awesome way for young women to connect more with the women of the bible as well as discover more about themselves as women and their relationship with God and others. Each devotional includes a scripture, devotion and a space for note taking or prayer.

This would make an excellent gift for young women. Highly recommended.

*I received a copy of this book free of charge from Handlebar in exchange for my honest review.

The Christmas Remedy by Cindy Woodsmall & Erin Woodsmall: A Book Review

About The Christmas Remedy

When an Old Order Amish woman takes a job at a small-town pharmacy struggling to survive in a world of “big box” stores, her motive is to help her Plain community. But the advent of the holiday season brings an unusual mystery to the surface–and possibly love.

Twenty-four-year-old Holly Zook lives a unique life for a young Amish woman. Years ago, her bishop allowed her to continue her education and become the lead technician for Greene’s Pharmacy, an old-timey drugstore that looks out for the Amish community–a group largely without secure healthcare plans. She knows she can’t marry and hold onto her professional job. She’s Amish, and she can only have one or the other, so she spurns love and works toward addressing treatable diseases–like the one that claimed her father’s life.

As long as Holly continues to avoid Joshua Smucker, the one man who draws her like a warm hearth in winter, she should be fine. When something unexpected threatens Greene’s Pharmacy, Holly and Joshua must work together to unravel what’s happened and find the “missing” patient before the Board of Pharmacy shuts them down. As the snows of December arrive, with Christmas in the air, will Holly succumb to the generous spirit of the season?

My Review: I always love a good, cozy Christmas story and I had hoped that this early-season read would be just the thing to kick off my Christmas reading this year. I have to say I was kinda disappointed in that regard. It just didn’t feel like a Christmas story to me. The novel centers around a pharmacy crisis, and while the story was kinda interesting, it just wasn’t enough.

I really liked the main character, Holly and I loved the relationship she shared with the pharmacist, Lyle. Though he was not a blood relative, he was like a father to her and I love that the book recognizes the validity and depth of relationships between people that aren’t related by blood. Close relationships and family are not always blood.

All in all, this was a decent read with likable characters and an okay story. It did nothing to kick off my Christmas reading, but it was a quick little read that I enjoyed.

#PRHpartner

*I received a copy of this book free of charge from Waterbrook/Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.

Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson: A Book Review

When you hear a riveting story, does it thrill your heart and stir your soul? Do you hunger for truth and goodness? Do you secretly relate to Belle’s delight in the library in Beauty and the Beast?

If so, you may be on your way to being a book girl.

Books were always Sarah Clarkson’s delight. Raised in the company of the lively Anne of Green Gables, the brave Pevensie children of Narnia, and the wise Austen heroines, she discovered reading early on as a daily gift, a way of encountering the world in all its wonder. But what she came to realize as an adult was just how powerfully books had shaped her as a woman to live a story within that world, to be a lifelong learner, to grasp hope in struggle, and to create and act with courage.

She’s convinced that books can do the same for you.

Join Sarah in exploring the reading life as a gift and an adventure, one meant to enrich, broaden, and delight you in each season of your life as a woman. In Book Girl, you’ll discover:

  • how reading can strengthen your spiritual life and deepen your faith,
  • why a journey through classic literature might be just what you need (and where to begin),
  • how stories form your sense of identity,
  • how Sarah’s parents raised her to be a reader—and what you can do to cultivate a love of reading in the growing readers around you, and
  • 20+ annotated book lists, including some old favorites and many new discoveries.

Whether you’ve long considered yourself a reader or have dreams of becoming one, Book Girl will draw you into the life-giving journey of becoming a woman who reads and lives well.

My Review: As a reader, I was obviously immediately drawn to this book’s cover and title. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, as I’m not used to reading books about books, but I knew that I needed to check this one out.

I would say this was a very timely read for me. I’ve being going through a difficult season in my life and I feel like I’ve really needed some inspiration and focus. This book has been one of the things that has provided these things. This was an unexpected and sweet surprise and I’m grateful for how God has used this book to inspire me and motivate me forward.

Books have always been a huge part of my life. I’ve always been a “book girl” but I’ve never really thought about what that means in my life. This book helped me to see clearly that books not only bring enjoyment and knowledge, but that they truly impact and shape the life of the reader.

This book refreshed and renewed my love for reading and it broadened it to a whole new level and perspective. During this difficult season in my life, it has ignited a passion within me for reading that is exactly what I needed in this moment. This book, that talks about how reading can change your life, has changed my life.

I can’t say enough how impactful this book has been for me. It has breathed new life into this me, helped me to view my love for reading in a whole new way and has also motivated me to expand my reading palate to include genres I never would have chosen.

This book includes many lists of book recommendations from a wide variety of genres. They won’t all be for everyone, they won’t all be for me, but I’ve already added many to my TBR list!

Sarah Clarkson, You have written a book that will speak to and inspire every book girl. I know that this book girl will never be the same, and for that, I thank you!

*In exchange for my honest review Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

 

The Life-Giving Leader by Tyler Reagin, A Book Review

#sponsored

About The Life-Giving Leader

The president of Catalyst Leader believes that the most impactful and most influential leaders are the ones who lead from who they truly are, not who they pretend or wish to be.

With clear biblical teaching and personal accounts, Tyler Reagin not only demonstrates the necessity of life-giving leadership, but also provides the steps you’ll need to begin knowing and leading from your truest self. From his experiences in high-impact leadership roles at some of our nation’s largest churches and ministries, Reagin has learned firsthand the importance of identity-based leadership. His desire is to help each reader become an empowered, confident leader that brings life and vibrancy to every room they enter. Whether you’ve got the corner office or you’re just getting started, Reagin gives you the tools you need to become an impactful and unique influencer right where you are!

My Review: When I decided to read and review this book, I was a little hesitant because I’m not a leader in the traditional sense. But, as I thought about it, I decided that I want to be a leader in how I live my life. With that in mind, surely I would find some parts of this book informative and enlightening?

That turned out to be an understatement.

As it turns out, whether I’m a “leader” in the traditional sense or not, I can and absolutely should still lead. I found that this book applied to me and the way I wish to live my life, very well indeed.

I have so many takeaways from this book.  One of the most significant for me was simply the idea of leading from your truest self. Knowing who you are and embracing your uniqueness, helps you to be an effective leader. God has given each of us passions, talents and gifts and we will live and lead best when we operate out of our uniqueness.

He didn’t create just a part of you for a unique purpose. He created all of you for 100 percent of your purpose.

As I said, reading this book, leader or not, not once did I feel that any part of it was irrelevant to my life. The author talks about four characteristics of leaders, sighting them as the 4 s’s. Sweat, sacrifice, surrender and serve. I want to exemplify these four characteristics in the way I live my life every day. He also speaks a lot about teams. But, whether you’re on a team or not, I believe this applies to all of our relationships. Putting others first, taking the time to know and value them, advocate for them and appreciate their unique gifts, are all things we should be practicing in all our relationships.

I loved this book. I think it’s a vital read not only for all leaders, but for all Christ-followers as well.

*I received a copy of this book free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah as part of the LIFE GIVING book launch team.

When Through Deep Waters by Rachelle Dekker: A Book Review

Alicen McCaffrey finally has the life her mother always dreamed for her: beautiful home in Santa Monica, successful husband, adorable daughter. Then tragedy blows her carefully assembled façade to pieces. Worse yet—Alicen feels solely responsible. At rock bottom, she decides to accompany a childhood friend back to Red Lodge, Montana, where they spent summers together as kids.

The peaceful mountain landscape, accented with lush forests and small-town charm, brings back happy memories of time spent with her beloved, eccentric Grandma Josephine. Alicen begins to hope that perhaps things could be different here. Perhaps the oppressive guilt will lift—if only for a moment.

But when Alicen starts hearing voices and seeing mysterious figures near the river in the woods, she begins to fear she’s completely lost her sanity, as it’s rumored her grandmother did. Or might there be more to Red Lodge than meets the eye? Could the voices and visions be real—and her only means of finding the healing she so desperately needs? Or will they prove to be her final undoing?

My Review: This is the first book I’ve read by Rachelle Dekker. The feeling I’m left with is intrigue, mixed with a little bit of eye-raising. I found the story gripping and very intense. It was fast-paced and kept my interest quite well. I felt that the character of Alicen was very well written and her emotional state very genuine. I found the way the author wrote about the spiritual realm and salvation to be very intriguing, but also a little confusing. It was hard for me to tell exactly what message she was trying to get across spiritually, as it felt a little “magical” at times. I’m fairly certain she was trying to portray the gospel message in a unique and somewhat poetic kind of way, but I think it may have been a little too…something. I absolutely loved the character of Louise and I so appreciated the friendship that she and Alicen shared. I think this book was well written and I definitely enjoyed reading it and look forward to more by this author.

*I received a copy of this book free of charge from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.