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Book Review: To Heaven and Back by Mary C. Neal

What an extraordinary story! I enjoyed reading about the miraculous events in Mary’s life and what God taught her through them. And more than what God taught her – how he transformed her.

These events in Mary’s life, including seeing heaven and coming back to earth, prepared her for the work she still needed to do on earth and also prepared her for other things she would go through.

There were some doctrinal issues in the book that I disagree with, but for the most part, I was encouraged by Mary and what she has to say in the book. It certainly helped me to remember that miraculous events still happen and that they are all around us. We will see them if we just open our eyes and look.

Great book! Four stars from me.

Thank you to the publisher for giving me this copy to review.

 

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Book Review: Heaven Is for Real for Kids by Todd, Sonja, and Colton Burpo

Colton burpo, todd burpo, sonja burpo, boy who went to heaven, heaven is for real, heaven experience

I have a four-year-old daughter who loves to learn, so I thought this book that is written from a child’s point of view about heaven would be great for her. And I was right. She loved every bit of it.

The book is only about 20 pages long. The chapters are very short. I told her I was going to read one chapter each day to her. Well, that didn’t’ happen. When I was finished with the first chapter, she asked me to read the next one, and the next one after that. And before I knew it, I had read the whole book to her, including the questions and answers at the end, in one sitting. She loved it!

What I love about the book is that it tells of Colton’s experience of going to heaven and seeing Jesus seated at the right hand of God and the Holy Spirit seated on the left. He describes everything he saw in heaven and the people he met there, and it sounds absolutely wonderful. The best part about it is that it all aligns with Scripture as well.

I love his description of Jesus, and the painting of Jesus’ face in his book is amazing. All of the other pictures that illustrate what Colton saw in heaven really help kids to picture what he describes as well.

I give this high marks. It’s a great book! My daughter and I will probably read it many more times.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Kids Books and Bibles

 

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Book Review: The Real Skinny on Losing It by Michelle McKinney Hammond

Real Skinny on Losing It, michelle mckinney hammond, book review, diet book, christian diet book, weight loss

This is not your mother’s diet book. There isn’t a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo. There is a little talk about how food and exercise affect your body, but for the most part, this is encouragement to change the way you eat and make it a lasting lifestyle. It certainly gave me encouragement to stick with a healthy way of eating.

Michelle writes the book in her own style. The word “girlfriend” is tacked onto the end of a lot of sentences. When she proclaims something profound, she follows it up with “true dat.” And she uses many more colloquial expressions in the book. For the first half of the book, it really got under my skin, and I wondered where on earth the editor was. But after a while, I got used to it, and it was okay.

There was only one thing I disagreed with in the book. She obviously hasn’t read Dr. Atkin’s New Diet Revolution. She basically slaughtered and pureed it chapter 14. She states that you don’t eat fruits, juice, dairy, vegetables, or any carbs whatsoever when you take up an Atkins lifestyle. Let me say it once and for all. This is not true. I eat fruit, vegetables, bread, dairy, and juice regularly on a lowcarb lifestyle. It’s about moderation. I feel very strongly that she should have educated herself before she wrote about the diet. She got it all wrong. I hate to use the word slander, but it is borderline. Thankfully, she didn’t dwell on it too long. Again, I wondered where the editors and fact-checkers were when they came to this chapter.

All in all, I really did like the book. It was inspiring. I was more inspired with the encouragement to go to God with your needs rather than all of the references to Oprah in the book. I have found that it is easier to diet and exercise if you are surrendered to God. He gives you the peace and contentment in your heart that you are craving.

One of things in the book that really stuck with me was that you should treat your stomach like a child’s tantrums. Every time it screams out for something it shouldn’t have, you need to give that child some discipline and not give in to it. That has already helped me say “no” to my cravings.

This is a great book! I would recommend it for some encouragement and inspiration to get started and keep going with a healthier lifestyle.

Thank you Tyndale for sending me a copy to review.

 

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Book Review: The Inheritance of Beauty by Nicole Seitz

Inheritance of Beauty, Nicole Seitz, North Carolina, Levy, Joe Stackhouse, book review, Christian book reviews, christian fiction, christian novel

Loved it! I was really caught up in the story of this book. The first chapter is a little hard to follow, but once you get into the book, it starts to get really good.

The story follows elderly people in a nursing home in the present day and also goes back to 1929 and what happened with them in their hometown as kids. The book is written in present tense. This is the first present tense book that I’ve read. I always thought reading the present tense would really bug me, but it didn’t in this book. In fact, I hardly noticed it.

Nicole Seitz did an amazing job with the story and characters of this book. This must have been a complicated book to write. I don’t think I could have done it. There are characters of every age, and she really nailed each one. She even gets you into the minds of elderly people with dementia.

I very much enjoyed reading this book. At the end, I found myself going back to the first chapter to reread it. It all made sense now that I knew who it was and what had happened.

The best thing about this book is that you start to think of yourself and your life. I would not want to have the regrets that some of them had toward the end of their lives. It certainly helps you put things into perspective. The only thing I wish it had more of was Christian content. There wasn’t much shown of the characters’ spiritual lives (except for one of the secondary characters).

Thank you Thomas Nelson for providing a copy of this book for my review.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2011 in Fiction Reviews

 

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Book Review: Diving Appointments by Charlene Ann Baumbich

Divine Appointments, Charlene Ann Baumbich, Dearest Dorothy, Snowglobe Connections, Novel based in chicago, chicago fiction, fiction based in chicago, book based in chicago, chicago, christian novel, inspirational novel, christian fiction, inspirational fiction, divine appointments review, book review

This is quality fiction from a quality writer. You can really sense the author’s story-telling expertise as you view life through each character in the book. The characters are deep and amusing, the writing is incredible, and the story is not the pat romance story that has been beaten to death.

I really appreciated all of the real-life problems that the characters faced. One was bitter from her divorce. One was raised to be non-feeling and is almost robotic in her work life. And one is a widow who was forced to go back to work after her husband’s death.

What I really loved was that every character in the book handled their problems differently. And in the end they learned from each other’s better qualities and created change in their lives.

Ms. Baumbich tells this story in a pleasant, refreshing way. There is an aspect of the story that requires a stretching of the imagination, but it’s done in such a way that it adds very nicely to the story. I loved the book. Each page was a pleasure to read.

Thank you to the publisher for giving me this copy to review.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2011 in Fiction Reviews

 

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Book Review: A Shore Thing by Julie Carobini

This book was  a nice break from my snowy winter. It was great reading about the sand, the ocean, and warmth.

I enjoyed the main characters in this book and how they came together. From the first time they met, they were on different sides of a major issue, so they considered each other the enemy. But, every time they ran into each other, there was an undeniable attraction. It’s so much better than the average romance heroine telling herself that she will NEVER fall in love ever again. Who thinks like that? I get so tired of that scenario. I’ve stopped reading certain books because of that lame kind of thought pattern in a character.

Also, the book encouraged me spiritually. You’ve got to love a fiction book that helps you in your walk with God. There were certain scripture passages that helped the characters see things differently. It also helped me in the same way.

The ending was tied up a little too neatly. I prefer an ending that is a little closer to reality, but overall, the book was a great read!

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2011 in Fiction Reviews

 

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Book Review: Unlocked

Unlocked, Karen Kingsbury, Kingsbury, autism, autistic, Holden, Ella, Christian fiction, inspirational fictin, christian novel, christian novels, inspiration novel, inspirational novels, book review unlocked, book review, review

This book was incredibly exciting to read. I found myself cheering on Ella, who stood up to school bullies and attached herself to an autistic student in her high school. She was ridiculed for it, but she never budged on her commitment to her new friend, Holden. As she saw him start to engage and come out of his autistic shell, she became even more determined to stick with him, trying to draw him out more.

The story is amazing. I was awed to not only see through Holden’s friend’s and family’s point of view in this book, but from his point of view as well. To be able to get into the mind of an autistic soul was a pretty astonishing thing. All of the outward idiosyncrasies began to make sense as his thought process was revealed.

Half-way through the story, it was so incredible, it was starting to sound too good to be true. So, I flipped to the back of the book to read the note from the author and hopefully see how Karen Kingsbury went about researching for the book. I wanted to see if there was any truth in what I was reading.

What I discovered was that she had witnessed this very story in real life. You’ll have to read it for yourself to see what I’m talking about, but it made this novel even more incredible. After Karen came across this real life story, she sat on an airplane and outlined the whole book, filling up 20 pages in her notebook. She poured her heart out, even crying for the characters in the story as she scribbled out the storyline and title. It was the first time she’d ever done anything like that, and she felt that God had met with her on that plane and gave her “Unlocked” as a special gift from him.

I’ve got to say, I agree with her. The book feels like it is a special gift from God to show people that he loves everyone. The way he creates people is not by accident. And the story of this miraculous journey puts this on display beautifully. I can’t say enough. This book has got to be read!

Thank you, Zondervan, for sending this book to me in exchange for my review.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2010 in Fiction Reviews

 

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