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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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10 12, 2014

Review: Mother Teresa by Wyatt North

By | December 10th, 2014|Categories: Audiobooks, Biographies, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , , |2 Comments


a life inspired book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

Like many people, I grew up seeing Mother Teresa, the famous nun of the Missionaries of Charity, on the evening news, on magazine covers or in the paper. Mother Teresa: A Life Inspired by Wyatt North is a compelling account of her life and her larger-than-life compassion. It begins with the strong influence of her parents and weaves through its narrative their values of loving your neighbor and political action.

In 1910, she was born as Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Skopkie (located in modern day Macedonia). Her early years were shaped by the death of her father followed by her own family’s near poverty during the times of religious feuding and fighting. Her mother’s example of sharing with and loving those in need despite their differences was long seen in the way Mother Teresa loved her

27 11, 2014

Review: Map of Heaven by Eben Alexander, M.D.

By | November 27th, 2014|Categories: Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: |1 Comment


map of heaven book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

In The Map of Heaven, Dr. Eben Alexander reviews and discusses various proof and credible evidence that the afterlife does exist. This is an argument that people will always have and individual opinions depend largely on one’s religious beliefs. Some people believe we experience heaven on earth through our own making. Others believe it is something that we are working towards, while another group believes it may be unattainable except for a very few at the end of life as we know it. Dr. Alexander uses seven chapters to explain the seven gifts or “answers” to all of life’s most important questions–including the question regarding the existence of the hereafter.

The theory of the hereafter starts with consciousness of the observer; an individual needs to be completely aware of his or her surroundings and to distinguish between

29 10, 2014

Review: Rush of Heaven by Ema McKinley & Cheryl Ricker

By | October 29th, 2014|Categories: Memoirs, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , |4 Comments


rush of heaven book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

In Rush of Heaven: One Woman’s Miraculous Encounter with Jesus, Ema McKinley shares her personal story of her miraculous encounter with Jesus. Along with Cheryl Ricker, she gives a detailed account of her life, before during and after her work related accident and again after she was miraculously healed on Christmas Eve 2011.

Admittedly, I was a little cautious when I started reading Ema’s story. I believe in miraculous healing but sometimes these stories sound like a scam or exaggeration. This story was none of these. I loved this book for the extra details included that let you see Ema as a real person who had real struggles physically and spiritually. She is ordinary with an extraordinary story.

In 1993, Ema was found hanging upside down in a loft in the storage area of the store

30 09, 2014

Review: Wanted Women by Deborah Scroggins

By | September 30th, 2014|Categories: Biographies, Historical, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , , , |5 Comments


WceGgDUNlCA8RPHOz66AbHHs4RI12Vqg+OoBRGBrKx0gjMb1TSGn63!P3!BaM61Ycim7TPw2yzIaTKEqk4wNnDHjr1b6gOv!JK2gG4iMspVQ5iDKyCBWtzAWMsmQ+7PKReviewed by Shannon Trenton

September 11, 2001 marked the beginning of the United States’ War on Terror – or, more accurately, brought into focus our nation’s ongoing efforts to combat the religious and ideological other of radical Islam. It thrust mainstream Islam into a spotlight that many have used to educate and illuminate while others use it to underscore the flaws inherent in the faith (while conveniently ignoring those inherent in other faiths, but this is not an op-ed).

One particularly interesting study in these times is the role of women in the war on terror. War has traditionally been understood as man’s territory despite the historic participation of women, but in the last several years women have readily stepped up on both sides of the ideological divide to fight for what they believe is right. Female soldiers, female suicide bombers…the list goes on.


2 04, 2014

Review: Burqas, Baseball, and Apple Pie by Ranya Tabari Idliby

By | April 2nd, 2014|Categories: Memoirs, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , |0 Comments


burqasbaseballReviewed by Poppy Johnson

The author of this book, Ranya Tabari Idliby, is an American Muslim who refused to side with one culture or another, but who wanted to be known for who she was. She wanted to be respected for keeping her faith and convictions true to her own values and that of her family. Her father was from Palestine, but was known as an “American engineer”. Her mother met her father in Kuwait where Ms. Idliby was born. Her family came to the U.S. and celebrated being Muslim by accepting all cultures and religions as valid (they even may have had a Christmas tree or two). She later settled in Virginia and became a full-fledged American citizen. But, after 9/11, the author had to navigate the overgeneralized prejudices of others regarding Muslims. She struggled with whether or not to require

6 12, 2013

Review: The ‘Forever Young’ Regime by Rajani Kanth

By | December 6th, 2013|Categories: Health, Mind, & Body, Nonfiction, Personal Health, Religion & Spirituality, Self-Help|Tags: , , |0 Comments


The-Forever-Young-RegimeReviewed by Poppy Johnson

First off, this thin yet over sized book is very pink, but never judge a book by its cover. The ‘Forever Young’ Regime by Rajani Kanth’s has twenty-six chapters and offers the tools and strategies to live your entire life in a young vital body, with a young vital mind and spirit. For anyone who is a non-believer it is possible to always live in a young state of being, and the book tells the reader exactly how to get there – the mysteries of living forever young are available to us all!

Some of the advice is tried and true, such as the advice to take nutritional supplements (vitamins) for better health. Other advice concerning changes to the psychological and behavioral being that lives within us all takes more time to process, but will undoubtedly worthwhile to explore. Kanth

27 08, 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Death by Living by N. D. Wilson

By | August 27th, 2013|Categories: Christian Living, Gift Ideas, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help|Tags: , |3 Comments


download (1)Please join N.D. Wilson, author of Death by Living, as he tours the blogosphere with PR by the Book!

Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Death by Living opens with a tongue in cheek shout-out to every category of stressed-out people out there: tired mothers, young politicos, Christian youths, faithless sinners, and so on. We can all relate to this and we all feel burned out at one time or another with the burdens of just living day to day. The book then moves on to stories of strength, hope and triumph from the author’s perspective. These stories include his relationship with God, his development of one true self, and his philosophy on living to die, or living well to die for others (which is a nobler cause in the end).

There are sixteen chapters which feature the author’s life experiences, and

7 07, 2013

Review: Captive in Iran by Maryam Rostampour & Marziyeh Amirizadeh

By | July 7th, 2013|Categories: Christian Living, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , , |2 Comments


9781414371207_p0_v2_s260x420Reviewed by Charity Lyman

Captive in Iran is a very interesting book. I am the type of person who likes to read biographies but never have I read one quite like this. In the pages of this book you will meet two young women who gave their all for a cause. Their story is so remarkable because not only did they face it without fear, but they helped others through their fears as well. Maryam and Marziyeh were two ordinary Christian women who lived out the Gospel. But they did it in an area that persecutes and imprisons Christians. So it was no surprise when they were one day arrested. But where they were taken was a different story. Horror stories abound about the Evin prison in Tehran. And yet, this was exactly where these two brave women were taken,

1 04, 2013

Review: Rearview Mirror by Alana Stewart

By | April 1st, 2013|Categories: Gift Ideas, Memoirs, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , |1 Comment


Rearview-Mirror-by-Alana-StewartReviewed by Darin Godby

In Rearview Mirror, Alana Stewart does a beautiful job of sharing her life – both the happy, joyful moments as well as those depressing and sad ones – with the readers. She begins with her childhood and reminisces about the impact the various men that came in and out of her mother’s life had on her own life. She moves on to describe her school years and the very personal experience of falling in love.

There are travel stories as well Stewart’s stories from the years she spent married to Rod Stewart. While this rocker was the idol to so many he was also the man that Alana loved and wanted to spend her life with. Rod spent a great amount of his time working and partying, leaving Alana to fend for herself. She soon found that she was pregnant

23 02, 2013

Review: Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst

By | February 23rd, 2013|Categories: Christian Living, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , |3 Comments


9780310320326_p0_v1_s260x420Reviewed by Darin Godby

Lysa TerKeurst does a wonderful job of expanding her book Unglued into a book filled with “60 Days of Imperfect Process” and entitled Unglued Devotional. In this book Lysa gives readers approximately three pages per day of material that will allow them to ponder and think about issues deep within their lives. In each chapter, TerKeurst features a scripture that highlights the devotional, a thought of the day for the reader to consider as well as the devotional and a closing prayer. This book can be used over sixty days or of course read quicker if desired.

While I’m not a lady, I did find the book very encouraging and uplifting and one that I would certainly recommend to ladies to use as their daily devotion. This could also be used in a Bible study where