Unlike the last book of poetry I reviewed, Christine Heppermann’s Ask Me How I Got Here, Jana Prikryl’s The After Party is not particularly narrative. The last third or so of the book, titled “Thirty Thousand Islands,” has some narrative elements, but for the most part the book is built more around form and language and personal history than plot. While that gives Prikryl a considerable amount of freedom to experiment, it also makes the collection a bit more hit-or-miss on an individual level, prone to wild shifts in subject from moment to moment. But Prikryl is an immensely talented writer, and while I never warmed to every poem in the collection, her wit, imagery, and style unquestionably won me over.
Spirit Rising, by Pastor Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, is sub-titled Tapping in to the Power of the Holy Spirit, and does a wonderful job of communicating what Cymbala means by it.
Spirit Rising is simple and explanatory enough for new Christians to understand (ie. Cymbala avoids or defines much of the Christian lingo that some Christian Living books can fall into at times), yet is in-depth and challenging enough to engage and encourage a seasoned Christian leader in his or her own relationship with the Father, Son, AND the Holy Spirit.
I’m not the one to read memoirs, especially not ones with heavy topics like cancer, but Rob Rufus’ Die Young With Me turned out to be the perfect exception to my rule. Mixed with teen angst and underground punk culture, this book enticed me until the end.
Rob and Nat Rufus live in a typical little town in West Virginia where punk is nothing but noise. It’s not until the twins visit a relative that they find out how punk truly can be a way of life. After that, the brothers and a few friends start a band and never look back. When Rob, young, angry, and full of potential, is diagnosed with cancer, the dreams the Rob had fought so hard to achieve turn into a life or death battle.
Reviewed by Amanda Schafer
Bible journaling meets adult coloring in April Knight’s ScriptureDoodle books, but the process goes deeper than that. With ScriptureDoodle books, you are guided through learning how to effectively doodle while also increasing the depth of your study and meditation time. April Knight starts each book out with an introduction and an explanation of how to use the book, but she also covers different tips and techniques that will benefit the user as they progress through the book.
Reviewed by Holly Madison
In order to properly review this book, I should probably start with a tiny bit about myself. I am a self-made entrepreneur, and I started my business almost four years ago.
Back then, my husband and I were at an all time low. He had just been laid off, and we had exactly $220 in our bank account. One day, out of pure luck, I stumbled across a fantastic business opportunity and a chance to buy a bunch of left over fiber from a nearby farm. After a lot of convincing, I finally talked my husband into spending $200 to buy the entire stash of alpaca…convinced that I could prep it myself and sell it on Etsy to make money. That left us with $20 to live off of.
Reviewed by Nina Longfield
Hound of the Sea by Garrett McNamara is a memoir that delves into the hypnotic draw of big wave surfing. This book, however, is also a look back to an unconventional childhood. McNamara was born at the tail end of the flower power era with parents who embraced the concepts of peace, love, sex, drugs, and communal experimentation. Throughout his memoir, McNamara dips into his past sharing vignettes of memories. Using his own recollections as well as stories he heard from others, McNamara creates a picture of a boy with an unconventional childhood growing into a man with an exceptional occupation.
For many people, reading books tends to relieve stress. I am one of those who will devour a novel because it takes my mind off things going on in my world around me. But for others, they take the route of actually being able to scribble in their books. I know, not what I would do, but when you have a book as pretty as this one? Oh, and while it has devotions and text, it is, also, a coloring book!
This strikingly beautiful adult coloring book is titled, Christmas Quiet. Contained within is a 25 day devotional, along with coloring pages. The authors take a piece of Scripture and then writes up a small word of encouragement or inspiration. This is leading up to Christmas so all the little pieces deal with the advent.
Whenever I opened The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson, I was instantly transported back to my childhood.
I read all of the Little House books as a kid, and I have been interested in Laura Ingalls Wilder since becoming a writer myself. This book gives us a look into Laura’s relationship with her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who helped her with the Little House books. Seeing the correspondence between the two (mainly from L.I.W. to her daughter) was quite interesting. It gives us a unique look into everything it took to make the Little House books a reality. I would definitely be interested in a book of letters penned by Rose Wilder Lane, as there aren’t very many in this book.