Life After by Katie Ganshert: A Book Review

About Life After

It could have been me.

Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city’s transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.

A year later, Autumn Manning can’t remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest.

Paul Elliott lost his wife in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve-year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she’ll bring more wreckage in her wake.

In Life After, Katie Ganshert’s most complex and unforgettable novel yet, the stirring prose and authentic characters pose questions of truth, goodness, and ultimate purpose in this emotionally resonant tale.

My Review: From the moment I read about this book, I was drawn to it. I just knew it was going to be a good read, and I was right! I was absolutely engrossed in this book from the start.

The story-line was compelling, the characters were likable, complex and vulnerable and the pace was perfect. The author did an excellent job telling this story, and telling it in a way that made me feel invested in the lives of the characters.

This is a book that not only draws your attention and entertains you, but it gives you pause to think about the “WHY” of things. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do some people survive, while others die? How do you deal with survivor’s guilt, remorse, guilt and shame?  Where’s God in it all?

This book does a beautiful job answering some of life’s toughest questions. It reminds us of God’s goodness, his love, his sovereignty and his restoration. This book should resonate with every reader and I highly recommend it.

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

KATIE GANSHERT is the author of several novels and works of short fiction, including the Christy Award-winning A Broken Kind of Beautiful and Carol Award-winner, The Art of Losing Yourself. Katie lives in eastern Iowa with her family.

Praying the Psalms by Ben Patterson: A Review

978-1-4964-1598-1Learn to speak the language of God’s own heart.
Have you ever tried to pour out your deepest feelings to God, only to discover that you can’t find the words? We want to feel connected to God, but sometimes it seems like we’re not speaking the same language.

There is no better place in all of Scripture than Psalms to learn to be with God. Praying the Psalms includes 50 selections from this book—songs of praise, cries for help, glad rejoicings, and humble offerings—accompanied by inspirational devotions that will open a divine window in your prayer life.

Adapted from God’s Prayer Book; now in a deluxe LeatherLike binding.

My Review: First and foremost, this book is gorgeous. It’s beautiful leather-like binding is elegant and this book is perfectly sized. It would make a wonderful and thoughtful gift. Not only is it gorgeous, it also lives up to it’s tagline “Drawing near to the heart of God”. This little book has a chapter devoted to each of the 150 Psalms. There are several pages focused on each Psalm, that explain the heart and intent of each and encourage the reader in how to powerfully pray each one. There is also a topical index located in the back to easily search for topics for specific needs.

This book would be excellent for anyone who desires to dig deeper into the Psalms and to draw closer to God in prayer.

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

Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers: A Book Review

Earth Psalms

Reflections on How God Speaks through Nature

earth-psalmsMillions of readers have been transformed and inspired by Francine Rivers’ bestselling novels Redeeming Love and A Voice in the Wind. Now, in this weekly devotional, the beloved author invites you to join her in seeking the Creator through the marvelous natural world we live in. Francine shares observations she’s gathered over a lifetime of exploring—abroad and in her own backyard—and reflects on how they might apply to your daily life. What do the majestic redwoods, the persistent woodpecker, or a glorious sunrise reveal about our artistic and generous God? How could that change your outlook or the way you handle adversity?

Stunning photography, Scripture excerpts, applications, and prayers accompany Francine’s reflections, inspiring you to be encouraged. Be challenged. Be comforted. God’s power is immense; His attention to detail in precise; His love for you is vast and unfailing. The proof is all around you.

My Review: I jumped at the chance to review this devotional by Francine Rivers. I have always enjoyed her works of fiction and her writing style, so I was very curious to see what she would do with a devotional.

The first thing I was struck by was the beautiful, full-color images throughout this book. I love having that visual picture to coincide with the words of wisdom and insight she is offering. The second thing that I discovered was that this devotional is unique, in that it is a weekly devotional rather than a daily one. I love that idea because I feel like I can meditate on one devotional theme throughout the week and really take the time to focus on it. I often feel like life is rushed and we breeze through things so quickly. It’s nice to take a full week to really think on the devotion.

Each devotional offers some personal thoughts and reflections by the author, as well as several scriptures, sometimes quotes and a section at the end for reflection, application and connection.

This is a beautiful devotional that I look forward to reading throughout the year.

*I received this book free of charge from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.

 

francine-riversNew York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers had a successful writing career in the general market for several years before becoming a born-again Christian. As her statement of faith, she wrote Redeeming Love, a retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea set during the time of the California Gold Rush. Redeeming Love is now considered by many to be a classic work of Christian fiction and it continues to be one of the industry’s top-selling titles year after year.

Since Redeeming Love, Francine has published numerous novels with Christian themes—all bestsellers—and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the world. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for many honors, and in 1997, after winning her third RITA Award for Inspirational Fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers of America’s Hall of Fame. In 2015, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

Francine’s novels have been translated into over thirty different languages, and she enjoys bestseller status in many foreign countries.

Francine and her husband live in northern California and enjoy time spent with their grown children and grandchildren. She uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and she desires that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life.

Visit her website at www.francinerivers.com and connect with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FrancineRivers) and Twitter (@FrancineRivers).

A Fresh Infusion of Joy by Sheila Walsh: A Book Review

_140_245_book-1998-coverCould you use a joy infusion?

When was the last time you had a spontaneous laugh because your heart was absolutely overwhelmed with joy?

Whether you’re facing mundane routines or painful hardships, joy often feels out of reach. But those who know Jesus can live joyfully, no matter what—it’s a gift that can only come from God. Jesus engulfs His followers with great love so that He may fill them with His joy.

Bestselling author Sheila Walsh invites you to discover daily joy. Through funny and inspiring stories, powerful takeaways, and encouraging scriptures, Sheila shows that joy sometimes comes from gratitude, God’s beautiful creation, grace, or simply delighting in God’s goodness and love. And it always comes from spending time in Jesus’ presence. He brings life, restoration, and . . . joy!

The 5 Minutes with Jesus series is the perfect way to start your day with a joyful heart.

My Review: I don’t know what it is about the word JOY that just gets me. I love joy and when I saw the title of this devotional and that it was written by Sheila Walsh, it definitely caught my eye!

This is a very nice devotional and I love that it’s made to be read in just a few short minutes. Not that I think devotional time should be rushed or timed, but with the busyness of life these days, time is precious and I think this devotional does a good job of making those 5 minutes count.

Each devotion begins with a story or thought that inspires joy. It doesn’t take long to read them, but Sheila does a very good job of getting her point across in just a page or two for each. My favorite thing about this devotional is that it is packed with scripture. You may only be spending 5 minutes in this devotional, but most of that time will be spent meditating on the word. I love that.

I’m really looking forward to continuing to read this devotional and becoming even more so a lover of joy!

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

This is Awkward by Sammy Rhodes: A Book Review

Book Description

_140_245_Book.1833.coverA supremely funny pastor to Millennials, with a massive social media following, tackles the thorniest of subjects—depression, sexuality, divorce, life online, and more—with a rare combination of uproarious, self-deprecating humor and profound, biblical truth.

My Review: I was not familiar with Sammy Rhodes prior to this book, and I was very much intrigued by a book about awkwardness. I myself am an introvert, and I’m all too familiar with awkward encounters!

My feelings on this book are kind of mixed. It’s a book about awkwardness, so I feel odd saying this, but at times the book felt awkward to me. The first half of it dealt with subjects that I can’t relate too, such as divorce and pornography. I did manage to take away a few bits from these chapters, but they felt a bit awkwardly written and at times, I felt like a little too much information was revealed?

The second half of the book really turned around. I felt like he became more comfortable in his writing and I found the subjects very relatable. I absolutely loved the chapters on friendship, introverts and social media. There were a few things he said that I thought were really profound, and made the book worth reading to me.

As for humor, there are moments when he is truly funny, but there are also times when I think he is just trying too hard. But, if you think about the point of the book, it’s to embrace your awkward. We all try too hard at times. We all want to be accepted. We all long for approval.

I think this is an honest book, with a measure of insecurity. I think the author is on a journey, just like the rest of us, to find a place where he can truly be himself. I applaud him for publicly including us on his journey.

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