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 Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart: A Book Review

What if You Woke up One Morning and the Darkest Parts of Yourself Were Gone?

Toren Daniels vanished eight months back, and his wife and kids have moved on—with more than a little relief. Toren was a good man but carried a raging temper that often exploded without warning. So when he shows up on their doorstep out of the blue, they’re shocked to see him alive. But more shocked to see he’s changed. Radically.

His anger is gone. He’s oddly patient. Kind. Fun. The man he always wanted to be. Toren has no clue where he’s been but knows he’s been utterly transformed. He focuses on three things: Finding out where he’s been. Finding out how it happened. And winning back his family.

But then shards of his old self start to rise from deep inside—like the man kicked out of the NFL for his fury—and Toren must face the supreme battle of his life.

In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us—and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul.

My Review: I was intrigued from the very start. Inspired by the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this book explores the battle between good and evil within us all.

We all have parts of ourselves that are ugly and dark, and sometimes those parts consume us and seek to destroy our lives. This book explores one man’s journey to discover how to overcome the darkness within him and restore the life he has lost. Entertaining, suspenseful and all-together intriguing, paired with an excellent cast of characters, this is ultimately a spiritual book with an excellent message.

There were several moments in this book that gave me pause spiritually. I read a decent amount of Christian fiction, but these moments don’t happen often. I think the author did an incredible job weaving together an entertaining story, while imparting lasting spiritual truth.

As mentioned, this book is inspired by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I love that story and I think the author did an excellent job honoring the original story with his own creative interpretation. This was my first read by James L. Rubart, and it definitely won’t be my last.

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

Murder on the Moor by Julianna Deering: A Book Review

9780764218286The rolling, frigid mists that creep in over the Yorkshire Moors hide a mystery as challenging as Drew has ever faced

At the urgent request of an old school friend, Drew and Madeline Farthering come to Bloodworth Park Lodge in the midst of the Yorkshire moors, a place as moody and mysterious as a Brontë hero. There have been several worrisome incidents around those lonesome rolling hills–property desecrated, fires started, sheep and cattle scattered. Worst of all, the vicar has been found dead on the steps of the church, a crime for which Drew can discern no motive at all.

Few in the town of Bunting’s Nest seem like suspects, and Drew can’t keep his suspicions from falling on his friend’s new bride. Do her affections lie more with her husband’s money and estate, while her romantic interests stray to their fiery Welsh gamekeeper? As the danger grows ever closer, it’s up to Drew to look past his own prejudices, determine what’s really going on, and find the killer before it’s too late.

My Review: This is the 5th installment of the Drew Fathering Mystery series and I’ve loved them all. I find Drew and his wife Madeline so endearing, and I adore their friend Nick as well. Such a great combination of likable characters and intriguing story-lines.

I also love how the author subtly and beautifully weaves faith and God’s goodness and grace into her storytelling.

For some reason, it did take me a bit longer to really get into this one, but that could be due to my own distracting schedule at the moment. Once I became fully engrossed, I was hooked. I also love that the mystery kept me guessing until the end. Well done on that front!

A highly recommended series for those who enjoy a good and cozy mystery with very likable characters.

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

Julianna Deering is the creator of the acclaimed Drew Farthering Mystery series. She has always loved British history and is a particular fan of the writings of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in business administration and spent several years as a Certified Public Accountant. She lives outside Dallas, Texas. For more information visit http://www.juliannadeering.com.

Unfolding by Jonathan Friesen: A Book Review

_140_245_book-2117-coverBook Description

Jonah wishes he could get the girl, but he’s an outcast and she’s the most perfect girl he knows. And their futures seemed destined to fork apart: Jonah’s physical condition is debilitating, and epileptic seizures fill his life with frustration. Whereas Stormi is seemingly carefree, and navigates life by sensing things before they happen. And her most recent premonition is urging her to leave town.

When Stormi begs Jonah for help, he finds himself swept into a dark mystery his small town has been keeping for years. And the answers Stormi needs about her own past could possibly destroy everything Jonah has ever known—including his growing relationship with Stormi herself.

My Review: This book has a lot going for it. A unique story, interesting and likable characters and lots of intrigue. I felt that it grabbed my interest right from the start, but I did feel like it became somewhat drawn out and slow as it progressed. I really enjoyed Jonah’s character and watching his relationships with the other characters unfold.

I liked the story line and I feel like it had real potential, but I think that it wasn’t developed quite enough. I was left feeling like something was missing.

This wasn’t a very long book, and I think it could have been made longer, but with a more steady pace that kept the reader interested. All in all, a decent read, but not anything that will stick with me past the final page.

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