A Review of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Metaxas

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, is a biography of a well known, highly respected 20th century Christian author and theologian. Metaxas has obviously done his research and is very thorough in his book, which covers Bonhoeffer’s life from early childhood through death. It includes many antidotes, excerpts from letters, and quotes from interviews of still living relatives.

I love biographies. However, this biography was incredibly hard to get through. It was extremely dry. If I had expected a text book on Bonhoeffer I would have probably given this five stars, because this would be THE book I would assign if I were teaching a class on Bonhoeffer or 20th century theologians!

If you are looking for the best, most thorough book on Bonhoeffer’s life, this is the book for you. However, if you’d like an overview of his life that is enjoyable to read, I would pick a different biography.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from BookSneeze.com in exchange for my honest review.

Published in: on April 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall

Once again Cindy Woodsmall delivers a wonderful Amish fiction novel. The Scent of Cherry Blossoms is about Annie, an Old Order Mennonite young woman and Aden,an Old Order Amish young man. They’ve built a friendship over several years as Annie comes to visit her grandfather. After a fight with her family, Annie is sent to live with her grandfather and helps Aden’s family at their diner. She and Aden find themselves falling in love, however, if they decide to be together one must sacrifice not only their faith, but risk being shunned.

This was a quick, enjoyable read. If you’re looking for a weekend read to relax this spring, then this is a great book. The characters are fun and loveable and while you know Annie and Aden will end up together, you’re never quite sure how they will make it work.

Disclosure: I received this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah for free in exchange for my honest review.

Published in: on April 10, 2012 at 9:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall

Harvest of Grace follows Sylvia Fisher as she recovers from a heart break and moves away from home and onto the struggling Blank family farm. When Aaron Blank returns home his only desire is to sell the farm and go into the non-electric appliance business. With Sylvia and Aaron having different reasons for wanting the farm to succeed they work side-by-side finding a deep companionship with one another. The story also visits some characters in the previous books of the Ada’s House series of novels.

I will be honest, I have not been impressed by any Amish novels other than Beverly Lewis. But Cindy Woodsmall makes the Amish setting come alive once again. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will be going back and reading the Ada’s House novels that came before Harvest of Grace. I quickly fell in love with Sylvia Fisher and hoped the best for her as she began to seek a new life away from home. I applauded our hero as he returned home a recovering alcoholic and truly tried to mend fences with his grieving and hurt parents. It’s a story that is easy  to enjoy and get caught up in and I highly recommend it.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Waterbrook/Multnomah’s Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review.


Published in: on August 13, 2011 at 7:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Water’s Edge by Robert Whitlow

Water’s Edge is about a lawyer, Tom, who’s father dies in a boating accident. He heads back to his hometown to close up his father’s law office, but encounters a designated trust account with almost 2 million dollars in it, but witth no definite owner.  Needing to return the funds to the correct owner Tom does some digging and ends up in over his head.

I didn’t really like this book. I was excited about reading a mystery, but there was little of that in the book. I pegged the bad guy quickly and wasn’t even surprised that there was a twist toward the end. The book dragged on. And I was ready for the story to finish long before it did. I was hoping for more, but I do not think this book did the description justice.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free as a part of the Thomas Nelson’sBookSneeze.com program, in return for my honest review. I review for BookSneeze®

Published in: on July 28, 2011 at 3:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Lilies in the Moonlight by Allison Pittman

Lilies in the Moonlight by Allison K. Pittman is about Lily Margolis, a poor, flapper from small town Pennsylvania who, through a series of events lands face first in the garden of the Burnside family, one of the richest families in Pensacola. Cullen Burnside, is scarred both inside and out by not only his time in World War I but also from regrets in the way he treated his father, in which he was never able to reconcile before his father’s untimely death. We watch as a tentative love forms between Lily and Cullen, and how each gives the other new life.

I thought this book was excellent. Set in the 1920’s, it’s a fun era, that is untapped (as far as I know) in the Christian historical fiction genre. Lily is fun and playful and her character becomes more loveable as she becomes less entitled. Cullen is dark and depressed but as the pages turn he begins to show a side full of laughter. I love books that draw me in. Ones where I find myself anticipating the next time I’ll be able to pick it up and continue the story. This was definitely one of those books!

Disclaimer: I have received this book for free through Waterbrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review.

Published in: on July 4, 2011 at 5:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The One Day Way by Chantel Hobbs

The One Day Way is a book that outlines not a diet, but  a new way of thinking. The basic premise is to not worry about yesterday, tomorrow, or six months from now. Ditch the 6-month eating plan and focus on today, right now, this moment, will you make a good choice or a poor one?

Overall I LOVE the concept in the book. Forget about yesterday’s ice cream or next week’s pot luck dinner, focus on what you do today, then repeat tomorrow. I love the idea of baby steps to health. If you’ve eaten cookies every afternoon for a year, and you don’t eat cookies today, then she encourages you to celebrate your success and then try to repeat it tomorrow. I know I’m not the type of person who can be eating cheeseburgers and pizza one day and an asparagus and Brussels sprouts smoothie the next never to look back. So this type of book is an encouragement to me.

However, I felt like she went from a baby-step mentality to her chapters with meal plans and exercise examples with an attitude of do it this way or you won’t be able to reach and maintain your goals. One bridge chapter of “First try to give up a food your attached to. Then try some exercise for a month. Then… And once you’ve gotten some discipline, control and successes under your belt move forward into these more restrictive type of habits.” would have made the book five stars to me.

I would still highly recommend this book to others who struggle with their weight and are tired of trying diet after diet. Because after all, she’s not teaching a diet, she’s teaching you to completely change the way you live… just one day at a time.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah’s Blogging for Books program for my honest review.

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 11:53 am  Comments (1)  
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Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond

Spring for Susannah takes place in the Dakota territory after the Civil War. Susannah being introduced to Jesse (her friend’s brother-in-law) through letters and with no other prospects in life heads to the Dakota territory to marry him. The book outlines their joys and sorrows through their few couple years of marriage.

I have had a hard time putting into words how I felt about this book. I liked the book and loved the growth of Susannah’s character. I loved the other characters in the book and the experiences they shared. Throughout the first half of the book, however, there was a lot of sexual references. Nothing inappropriate, but I wouldn’t feel free recommending the book to a friend who was single. As I loved the story and the characters more and more I was disappointed in the abrupt ending. I wish the author would have continued for a few more chapters or at least an epilogue. However, I’ll freely admit I like my stories to end with a nice red bow!

Disclaimer: I was given this book for free from booksneeze.com for my honest review.

I review for BookSneeze®

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 11:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf

A Reluctant Queen: The Love Story of Esther written by Joan Wolf is a fictionalized version of the biblical account of Esther. Joan somewhat explains some of her reasonings for departing from the Biblical version in the Note From the Author in the back of the book, which brings light to why she varied the story so much. The book centers around the Jewish girl Esther who finds herself the Queen of Persia. It follows her as she learns Persian customs and falls in love with the king she barely knows. It adds stories, about a summer home and a military excursion to take back the “Royal Roads,” and ends with Esther saving her people from annihilation.

Regardless of the departure from the Biblical narrative, I really enjoyed this book. I found myself caught up in the charming characters and the growing love between Ahasuerus and Esther. I love how kind and loving Esther is to her servants and her struggles to remain faithful to her faith and ancestry. I highly recommend this book, especially to those who love historical fiction.

Disclaimer: I was given this book for free through booksneeze.com for my honest review.

Published in: on May 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Lightkeeper’s Ball by Colleen Coble

The Lightkeeper’s Ball by Colleen Coble is a entertain story about Olivia Stewart who is being pushed into a marriage with Harrison Bennett her deceased sister’s fiance (due to a business arrangement). She travels undercover to Mercy Falls so that she can dig into her sister’s death and to find out if she and Harrison are compatible. What follows her is a series of events that will change her life.

On the whole I enjoyed this book. It kept my attention and drew me into the story. The characters are slightly flawed but lovable. I only wish the author would have had another character tease Olivia about her clumsiness or bad luck. And twists in the storyline are always a plus!

I review for BookSneeze®

Disclaimer: I was given this book for free by BookSneeze in return for my honest review.

Published in: on April 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Mine is the Night

I just finished Mine is the Night written by Liz Curtis Higgs. The book is based on the story line of Ruth in the Bible, but takes place in 18th century Scotland. Elizabeth, a widow, follows her widowed mother-in-law, who was stripped of title and fortune, back to her home town of Selkirk. There, they struggle penniless and Elizabeth becomes employed as a seamstress at Bell Hill where Lord Jack Buchanan seeks to provide for this widow and her loved ones.

I was surprised and delighted by Higgs creativity in seeking to find as many parallels as possible to the original story, taking liberties with parts that were unspoken.

I extremely and immensely enjoyed this story and found myself drawn back to the book almost immediately. It was rarely far from my reach during the few days it took to read and enjoy this book. My only disappointment is not realizing that it was the sequel to Here Burns my Candle (of which I have not read, but now look forward to doing so) until I was about 1/2 way through the novel and noted it’s connection on the back inside cover.

So, before you pick up this book, as you absolutely must, make sure to read Here Burns my Candle first!

Here is a video trailer for the book.

As well as a link to an excerpt.


*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

Published in: on April 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm  Comments (2)  
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