The NIV Once-A-Day Bible: Chronological Edition is a softcover version designed for reading through the Bible in one year. Because this is a Chronological Bible, the daily readings seem well-organized as the story unfolds in the order that they happened.
The daily readings are numbered instead of by dates so that your journey into the Bible can begin at any time. The portions are manageable, and I enjoy the reading style of the NIV version. I didn't stumble over archaic words or need a thesaurus to get through the readings. There is a devotional at the end of each daily section that are direct, to the point, and very encouraging. These devotions are a wonderful addition to this Bible.
Although a softcover, the book is sturdy and lays flat in your hands. It has the quality I expect, and have always received, from Zondervan products. I highly recommend this Bible, especially if you have never read through the entire Bible. or are looking for a quality Bible for reading and devotionals combined.
I was provided a copy of this Bible from the BookLook Blogger program in exchange for an honest review.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
A friend loves at all times. He is there to help when trouble comes. Proverbs 17:17
Sheerluck Holmes and the Case of the Missing Friend is another wonderful VeggieTales book for early readers based on Proverbs 17:17. Hurt feelings, forgiveness, and the fellowship of friends are the lessons taught in this cute little book by Karen Poth.
This is a book 1 level for beginning reading in the I Can Read! Zonderkidz series and is described as “Simple Sentences for eager new readers.” A soft-cover book, but it has a good binding and the pages are a nice weight paper. The illustrations are colorful and cover the full page. This is another great book for VeggieTales fans.
Fire and Smoke by Chris Lilly starts out by comparing different BBQ grills and smokers, and gives instructions on cooking with wood. This is a recipe book for those who really want to move to the next level of BBQ. Yes, there is a recipe for The Perfect Burger, but there really is so much more here.
Just pulling up a few random pages, there are recipes for Smoked Pork Belly with Shock Top Honey Mustard Glaze, Grilled Brick Panini, Barbecue Gumbo, Pan-seared New York Strip with Bourbon Cream Sauce. There are some unusual recipes, especially the grilled cocktails. Additionally, there are recipes for side dishes and desserts. My favorite section is the Sauces and Dry Rubs, and the recipe for Sweet Crisp Bacon Rub alone makes the book worth buying!
I like that the book is printed on heavy glossy paper and has some beautiful full-page photos. This is a wonderful addition to my cookbook shelf.
CHRIS LILLY is vice president, executive chef, and partner of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q. The Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Competition Cooking Team has won more than ten World BBQ titles in pork, chicken, ribs, and beef, and four World Grand Championships at “
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Brood X is the story of a young couple, Seth and Lara, expecting their first child and facing an impending disaster of great magnitude. Seth decided to document the whole pregnancy and ended up documenting much more.
The characters were very much like real people and their reactions were typical in the situations they faced. Unfortunately, I did not like the main character of Seth. I think he was supposed to be wise-cracking and funny, but I just found him terribly annoying.
The story took quite a while to lead up to the main focus of the book, but when it did, it was a story well-told. The tension, the horror, the bugs were all described to perfection. It is a fairly quick read and I do recommend it.
Friday, August 29, 2014
The NIV God’s Word for Gardeners Bible is beautiful, with lovely lavender and green colors and a gardening-theme cover. The binding is done well, as I always expect from Zondervan, and although the print is fairly small my old eyes did not have trouble reading. The margins are also small. so there is no room for handwritten notes.
It does seem a little disorganized to me, but that could be just because it is an unfamiliar format. The introduction explains that the book is divided into three themes: The Garden Tour with 12 weeks of readings, Garden Work with 23 weeks of readings, and Garden Stories with 10 weeks readings. There are also 7 weeks of Garden Tools which were not mentioned in the initial introduction. Devotional essays are included on a separate page near the Bible verses.
Following the first week, first day of the Garden Tour, I read Genesis 2:8-15and then a devotional essay on the following page. The study is not overwhelming and can easily be done daily. The interspersed devotionals throughout the chapters threw me off a little when trying to find the correct book and chapter.
It may take a while to become accustom to the format, but this is a nice Bible that would make a beautiful gift for a gardener.
Features: * 260 daily devotions and 52 weekend readings arranged in weekly themes and placed near relevant passages in the text to explore the biblical metaphors of gardens and gardening * Beautiful, durable hardcover * Topical Index (for 52 weeks) * Special sections on the Garden of Eden, the garden of Gethsemane and Jesus the Vine.
This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review as part of the BookLook Blogger program.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Author Andrew Carroll was inspired to write this book after visiting the spot where Abraham Lincoln’s son was saved by the brother of
assassin. He sought out forgotten places
filled with history. The book is broken
up into short chapters, each with a different topic. It is a fairly quick read because you can
read a little at a time and then go back to it later.
I’m not sure why some were included as “forgotten history” as the stories and places are fairly well known. Some of the stories start out interesting, but then start to fizzle out. The stories sometimes tend to drift and I wish he had stayed on point! Quite a few of the stories, however, are fascinating. The ones I found most interesting:
about a disaster worse than the titanic; Mound City , a huge potters field; and Robert
Goddard’s Backyard, a real rocket scientist.
I question the addition of a couple of the stories. One was a racial incident which made neither side look good. A page of jokes about Jehovah’s Witnesses was the way the author chose to start a chapter on the abuse and discrimination against the Jehovah Witnesses.
Overall, the book is an interesting and unique collection of stories.
Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.
Friday, August 15, 2014
There were two stories going on at the same time that later merge into one. The storyline were never confusing, although there were quite a few characters, and I sometimes had trouble remembering who they were. I liked most of the characters and the very normal family life Joanna has with her husband and children. The story takes a few odd twists and turns and the Liza’s story isn’t very believable, but I am quite able to overlook the wild adventure and just enjoy the story. I normally do not like long prologues or intros, but in this case the prologue gave a good background to one of the main characters. I enjoyed Remains of Innocence very much and I look forward to picking up some more of the Joanna Brady series.
I received this book from the Partners in Crime blog tour in exchange for an honest review.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Assistant DA Holt Douglas has a tragic secret in his past that he has buried deep in his heart, but the people and circumstances in his life do not let it stay buried. Holt discovers the files of an old case and secretly investigates was reported to be suicide.
This was a good story of relationships, honesty, guilt, and forgiveness. The story starts out strong, gets a little bogged down in too many details in the middle, but then again builds to a strong finish. I liked all of the characters and their interactions. I always enjoy reading about good characters of faith that struggle, but live that faith outwardly. While as the Assistant DA, he appeared before the judge, there was not much in-court action. It was still a good legal drama, with a good message and a very satisfying ending.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook book blogger program in exchange for an honest review.
The planet Darracia has a growing social unrest as the divide between the upper and lower classes are growing. We watch Prince V’sair branch out from his education and grow as an individual and as a leader. Battles with political motives, between family members, and internal struggles of the main characters made this a well-rounded tale that held my interest from beginning to end.
I read this series out of order and read the second book first. Although the second did well as a standalone, going back helped me understand who and what each character was and learn more about their personalities. Everything seemed to fall into place.
Michael Cash captured a strange world and explained it perfectly to this new reader of science fiction. I recommend this book and the series for those who enjoy fantasy, sci-fi, or if you would just like to read something different. This is a good story by a very good storyteller.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Friday, August 1, 2014
Had this been written as a first novel without claiming that they were a continuation of Tony Hillerman’s Leaphorn and Chee novels, I would have probably not been so disappointed. This book had no beautifully described landscape, no rich characters, and no interesting mystery to be solved that we were so accustomed to in Tony Hillerman’s books. The characters in Spider Woman’s Daughter are cartoon-like, especially the “killer”.
I don’t really understand why the author decided to butcher the characters of Leaphorn and Chee. Joe Leaphorn is shoved into the background early in the book and then only referred to occasionally. As for Jim Chee – what on earth happened to him? This author made him a whiney lapdog for his rough and tough wife. His constant use of terms of endearment and rushing home to cook were cringe-worthy. The dialog between those two was laughable, and she decided to add jealous husband to his list of character traits. He is also shoved into the background as his wife Bernadette Manuelito is the focus of this book. Her character is rather bland and boring with no sense of a deep heritage I expected.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
When I think back to all of the yummy treats I enjoyed as a child, I never really thought about recreating
Not really a copycat recipe book, but just the author’s take on each of her favorite treats. Although some in the photographs look like the originals, others are much different – and actually look much better. Just to give an idea of the recipes included, here is one recipe title from each category: Classic Cookies, Thin Mints; Sandwich Cookies, Oatmeal Crème Pies (the first I will be trying!); Snack Cakes, Zebra Cakes; Fruity Treats, Fig Newtons; Savory Snacks, Soft Pretzels; Candy, Fannie May Mint Meltaways; and Frozen Treats, Orange Creamsicles.
The layout of the recipes is easy to read and the recipes are easy to follow. Many have full-page photographs, but a few are missing photos. Some of the recipes are easy to make and others are a bit more challenging, but there is a good combination of both.
Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.
World of Trouble is the last of a three book series. Although I had not read either of the first two, I never thought I was missing anything from the story. It is truly a great standalone book with interesting characters and very well written.
This will probably end up in my top 10 favorite books for this year. I can’t wait to go back and read the first two of the series.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
If You Were Me and Lived in Russia, A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World by Carole P. Roman
If you have read Carole P. Roman’s earlier series of If You Were Me and Lived in…” books
you would by this time feel as though you are on a round the world tour. All of the books in this series answer the type
of questions of most interest to children.
They also teach children that no matter now far apart you live, no
matter how different in looks, children and their families have more in common
than they have differences with other children around the world.
I enjoy reading the books to my granddaughter, and I learn from them too. The stories about local historic buildings, foods, and holidays, and other interesting facts about local culture make these books informative and fun. In this book, I enjoyed learning about the special Russian hat, the shapka ushanka, and that my little nesting dolls are called Matryoshka dolls.
I highly recommend all of the books in this series for parents, grandparents, schools, and preschools. I would even recommend them for Sunday Schools in churches with an interest in missions to begin to cultivate an interest in other cultures.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
The first couple of chapters were a little difficult for me to get interested in because of the detailed explanations and math equations by the main character Mark Watney. Once past that, the story fell into place as it brought in the rest of the characters. Astronaut Mark Watney was left for dead on the surface of Mars – only he wasn’t dead, and a frantic attempt at a rescue effort was quickly put together. Most of the book is written diary style with Mark entering his actions, duties, and thoughts as log entries. The story is a very detailed description of the successes and failures of each step as they attempt to communicate with Mark and launch a rescue attempt. I really enjoyed The Martian and thought it was an interesting story. However, I thought that the character of Mark was a bit too flippant of his situation and too much of a jokester. I never really felt any desperation or real fear as he faced an almost certain death. The other characters in the book were not developed as much as I like, but this is a first novel. The story was good enough that I could overlook the drawbacks and just enjoy the read. I will also give it a light language warning to those who don’t appreciate the F-bombs and other various indelicacies.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
A Conversation with SpaceGeek and Science Fanatic
author of THE MARTIAN
(Crown Publishers, On
Sale: February 11, 2014)
Q) So it seems you’re a bit of a science geek. You list space travel, orbital dynamics,
relativistic physics, astronomy, and the history of manned spaceflight among your interests.
How did you incorporate these passions into your debut novel THE MARTIAN?
A) Those interests allowed me to come up with the story in the first place. I love reading up on
current space research. At some point I came up with the idea of an astronaut stranded on Mars.
The more I worked on it, the more I realized I had accidentally spent my life researching for this
story. Early on, I decided that I would be as scientifically accurate as possible. To a nerd like me,
working out all the math and physics for Mark’s problems and solutions was fun.
Q) In one sentence, tell us what your novel is all about.
A) It’s the story of an astronaut trying to survive after being accidentally left behind on Mars.
Q) Explain how the science in THE MARTIAN is true to life.
A) The basic structure of the Mars program in the book is very similar to a plan called “Mars
Direct” (though I made changes here and there). It’s the most likely way that we will have our
first Mars mission in real life. All the facts about Mars are accurate, as well as the physics of
space travel the story presents. I even calculated the various orbital paths involved in the story,
which required me to write my own software to track constant-thrust trajectories.
Q) What inspired you to write THE MARTIAN?
A) I was thinking about how best to do a manned Mars mission (because that’s the sort of dork I
am). As the plan got more detailed, I started imagining what it would be like for the astronauts.
Naturally, when designing a mission, you think up disaster scenarios and how likely the crew
would be to survive. That’s when I started to realize this had real story potential.
Q) Are you an advocate for a manned mission to Mars? Are you hopeful we’ll actually
make it out there sometime soon?
A) Of course I’m a huge fan of space travel, manned and unmanned. I would love to see people
land on Mars in my lifetime. However, do I think it will actually happen? I’m not sure. Unlike
the 1960s, we’re not in a race with anyone to get there, so it’s not a priority. Also, computer and
robotics technologies are leaps and bounds better than they were during the days of Apollo. So
logically, you have to ask why we would risk human lives rather than just make better robots.
Still, it would be awesome, and maybe that’s reason enough.
Q) Do you have anything in common with your wise-cracking hero Mark Watney?
A) I’m the same level of smart-ass as he is. It was a really easy book to write; I just had him say
what I would say. However, he’s smarter than I am and considerably more brave. I guess he’s
who I wish I were.
Q) In THE MARTIAN, Watney has access to his crewmates digital entertainment on Mars,
including TV episodes of Three’s Company, a variety of Beatles songs, and digital books
including The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Any reason you chose to work those specific
examples into the novel?
A) It’s a selection of things I loved when I was growing up.
Q) You’re stranded on Mars and you can only take one book with you. What is it?
A) It’s always hard to pick one “favorite book.” Growing up, I loved early Heinlein books most
of all. So if I had to pick one, I’d go with Tunnel in the Sky. I do love a good survival story.
Q) How long do you think you’d last if you were left in Mark Watney’s position?
A) Not long at all. I don’t know how to grow crops, nor how to jury-rig the solutions he came up
with. It’s a lot easier to write about an ordeal than it is to experience it.
Q) You have the chance to meet any astronaut living or dead: Who is it and why?
A) John Young. He is the quintessential astronaut. Competent, fearless, highly intelligent, and seemingly immune to stress. When Apollo 16 launched, his heart rate never got higher than 70.
Most astronauts spike to at least 120 during launches.
Q) Watney seems to be able to maneuver his way around some pretty major problems with
a little duct tape and ingenuity! So he’s a bit like MacGyver in that way. Did you watch the
show as a kid? Any favorite episodes?
A) Indeed I did! I loved that show. My favorite episode was the one where engineering students
had a barricade contest.
Q) Star Wars or Star Trek?
A) Doctor Who.
Q) Your idea of the perfect day . . .
A) Sleep in. Meet Buzz Aldrin for brunch. Head over to Jet Propulsion Lab and watch them
control the Curiosity Mars rover. Dinner with the writing staff of Doctor Who.
Q) How did you feel when your original, self-published version of THE MARTIAN became
a phenomenon online? Were you expecting the overwhelmingly positive reception the book
A) I had no idea it was going to do so well. The story had been available for free on my website
for months and I assumed anyone who wanted to read it had already read it. A few readers had
requested I post a Kindle version because it’s easier to download that way. So I went ahead and
did it, setting the price to the minimum Amazon would allow. As it sold more and more copies I
just watched in awe.
Q) Film rights to THE MARTIAN were sold to writer-producer Simon Kinberg (Mr. &
Mrs. Smith, Sherlock Holmes, X-Men: First Class). What was your first reaction? Who
should play the part of Mark Watney?
A) Of course I’m thrilled to have a movie in the works. The movie deal and print publishing deal
came within a week of each other, so I was a little shell-shocked. In fact, it was such a sudden
launch into the big leagues that I literally had a difficult time believing it. I actually worried it
could all be an elaborate scam. So I guess that was my first reaction: “Is this really happening!?”
As for who could play Watney, I think some good candidates would be Aaron Paul and Chris
Q) What’s next for you?
A) I have a few irons in the fire. There’s a long-running sc i-fi story I’ve been poking at here and
there for a while. Though based on the response from The Martian, I might go with a different
story idea I have in mind: a “science-crime” novel. Lots of problem-solving as technically savvy
criminals match wits with an equally savvy FBI agent trying to track them down.
Monday, July 14, 2014
If You Were Me and Lived in…Portugal – an Introduction to Learning About Other Cultures by Carole P. Roman
If You Were Me and Lived in…
– an Introduction to Learning About Other
Cultures by Carole P. Roman is another in this educational series for children
Pre-K to age eight. This series teaches
children about their peers around the world.
It answers questions that children would ask. What do you play with? What
do you like to eat? What do you call your parents? Where would you go for fun?
What kind of holidays do you celebrate? Portugal
The illustrations are bright and colorful and portray the story well. There is a two-page pronunciation guide in the back of the book for words and phrases.
What fun this would be for preschools or early grades for learning about the world! I can see it being used in a classroom setting with children dressing up, learning about a specific country, and then giving a presentation to the class using the words learned in the book.