Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"Savor" by Shauna Niequist

Fans of Shauna Niequist, rejoice! Her new daily devotional, "Savor", debuted in early March. The book itself is beautiful. Cloth-covered hardback with navy edged pages. Ribbon bookmark to mark your place. Definitely lovely to look at.

Each devotion begins with a verse or two and concludes with a question or thought for further reflection. The devotional material itself is drawn heavily from her previous three collections of essays. The stories may seem familiar, but put in devotional format, they feel fresh. Interspersed throughout are new recipes, complete with a brief introduction to each.

This book is not meant to be read quickly over the course of a few days. I did read the introduction and flipped through to some important dates in my life:  birthdays for me, my husband, and my kids, our anniversary, etc. I loved the stories and thoughts recorded for each day. I'm very much looking forward to digging in deeper to this daily devotional.

"This collection is my attempt at paying attention, at clearing away space and noise, and inviting you to hear the drumbeat, too. God's always speaking, always. He's always moving, always present, always creating, always healing. The trick, at least for me, is paying attention The trick is savoring"(p. vi).

(I’ve received this complimentary book through the BookLook program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Quick Lit: April 2015

I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy for this month's quick lit, where I share short and sweet reviews of books I've read in the past month.

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times"Call the Midwife:  A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times" by Jennifer Worth. I watched the first three seasons of the show over the course of the last year, but hadn't read the book yet. I love the show, and was pretty excited to finally pick up this memoir. I was not disappointed. Worth shares about her personal experiences as a midwife in London's East End, an area replete with poverty, crime, and overcrowded tenements. It provides a plethora of background information on the nuns she works with, as well as common pregnancy and post-natal practices that were common for that time period. I find that I am now watching the fourth season of the show with greater appreciation and greater depth than before. The only downfall to this book was a section toward the middle with a gratuitous description of prostitution. Otherwise, it was a great book, and I look forward to reading her follow-up book.

The Set-Apart Woman: God's Invitation to Sacred Living"The Set-Apart Woman:  God's Invitation to Sacred Living" by Leslie Ludy. This book is a call for women to reevaluate their priorities and lives, to examine where Jesus fits in their lives, and make adjustments to put Jesus in His rightful place in our lives. Using biblical truths, personal stories, and practical ideas, Ludy discusses many areas where women can exchange areas of weakness for stronger commitment to Jesus. The message in this book is clear and definitely needed in our day and age.

Big Little Lies"Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty. This was a great, engaging read. I felt it started off slightly slow, but quickly picked up speed. The characters had a certain depth and appeal to them, which made them completely believable. The elements of the mystery were expertly woven throughout, and left the reader wondering who did it and who is actually dead.

In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #6)"In the Company of Cheerful Ladies" by Alexander McCall Smith. This sixth book in "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series picks right up where the last one left off. There was less mystery in this novel and a greater focus on both plot and character development. It was an overall thoroughly pleasant, quick read.

Redemption (Redemption, #1)"Redemption" by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley (re-read). It has been several years since I last read this first novel in the Baxter Family series. Kingsbury and Smalley teamed up to write a series of five novels, all focusing on one family, in order to examine key relationship concepts. This book focuses on the idea that love is a decision. A great book with a great relationship reminder woven throughout.

The Furious Longing of God"The Furious Longing of God" by Brennan Manning. This book has been on my "to-read" list for years. Now that I've finally gotten the chance to read it, I wonder why on earth I waited so long! It's a beautiful book that reinforces the wild, radical love of God for people. Each chapter concludes with a couple of questions for reflection which will help the reader really reflect and internalize the message he puts forth in each chapter. Highly recommend.

Remember (Redemption, #2)"Remember" by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley (re-read). This second book in the Baxter Family series focuses primarily on one of the other children in the family, as well as continuing to advance the plot line for the whole family. This book introduces the relationship concept of remembering, how memories play an important role in strengthening relationships. Great relationship encouragement in this novel.

A Review: "The Lifegiving Parent" by Clay and Sally Clarkson

"The Lifegiving Parent" by Clay and Sally Clarkson completes the "Lifegiving" trilogy that also includes "The Lifeg...