What I’m Reading (March 3)

The allure of beautiful weather has been pulling me away from reading to enjoy photography, neighborhood jogs, and sunset hikes over the past few weeks. There’s nothing quite like the first hints of spring. When we had our first warm day here in Connecticut, it was all people at work could talk about. God’s creation is truly amazing! I struck me that, even though we live in a culture where people are easily bored with things they’ve experienced before, the changing of seasons still ignites excitement and wonder.

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Book Review: The Best Yes

Never is a woman so fulfilled as when she chooses to underwhelm her schedule so she can let God overwhelm her soul.

I’m the type of person that thrives on busy. I enjoy organizing events, knowing that my days won’t be boring, and making sure there are no long stretches of time that are unpeopled. I’ve even been known to get an adrenaline rush from the stress of looming deadlines. (Yeah, I know I’m crazy.) All that to say, this wasn’t a book I actively sought out. I was making another purchase and decided to pick a random title from the discount section.

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Book Review: When Sorry Isn’t Enough

When Sorry Isn't EnoughI don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t include apologizing in a list of things I’m good at. Making a good, heartfelt apology is downright hard! I remember many times when I was younger that my parents would lead me over to my brother or playmate and tell me to apologize for something. You’re probably familiar with the scenario.

Mom: Tell your brother you’re sorry for taking his toy without asking.
Me: *grumbles* I’m sorry I took your toy.
Brother: *quickly* You’re forgiven.

That type of apology may be enough (sort of!) for little kids, but I think you’ll agree that our apologies should grow more sincere and sophisticated as we get older. This book offers a guideline for growing in this area. ¬†I read the entire book in one sitting, which is extremely rare for me to do with a non-fiction book.

If you’d like to improve your apology skills, this is definitely a book you should read.

Want to read a more detailed review? One of my Goodreads friends read this book right after I did and she wrote a fantastic review. (It’s far more eloquent than mine. ūüėÄ )

Book Review: Uncompromising

uncompromisingAfter skipping the book review last week, I wanted to make sure one went up this week. Uncompromising¬†was one of my Christmas presents this year. The¬†book first came to my attention through The Rebelution. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I definitely wanted to check it out!

In many ways, Uncompromising was very similar to all the other books written for Christian young women. It covered topics like dating/courtship, beauty, modesty, self-esteem, etc. When I flipped through the book before actually beginning to read, I noticed that trend and was a little disappointed. While those topics are certainly important, I’ve read¬†about all of them before. A lot.

Thankfully, Uncompromising was¬†more than the normal treatment of common girl issues. In fact, the whole book was worth reading for Chapter Three and the “Interjection” at the end of Chapter Three. I’ll being going back to glean encouragement and to spend extra time contemplating that section of the book. The author’s take on¬†“the Cause”, self-esteem, and making God the biggest, most all-encompassing element of your life were thought provoking and challenging.

If you’re a reader who will throw up your hands in boredom or despair because of a heavy focus (and yet another perspective) on issues like modesty and self-esteem, Uncompromising¬†is probably not for you. However, if you, like me, are always curious to look at those topics from a new angle and can appreciate the new content amid the old, you’ll really enjoy this book.

Book Review: Growing Up Duggar

Growing up DuggarDespite the varying opinions on the Duggars, even among my own friends and acquaintances, their family has been a reliable source of entertainment and encouragement to me.¬†When I got Growing Up Duggar¬†for Christmas,¬†I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew from other reviews that it wasn’t an autobiographical account of growing up in the reality TV “mega-family.” It turns out, the book is a lot more practical. I was impressed, encouraged, and challenged by the perspectives and suggestions the oldest four Duggar girls shared¬†for the various relationships in a Christian girl’s life. They covered¬†relationship with ourselves, our parents, our siblings, guys, the culture, our country, and the world. Their advice is grounded in Scripture, backed up personal experience, and presented in a clear manner.

That said, other reviewers mentioned buying it for tween/young teen girls and assuming it would be perfectly safe for younger readers because “the Duggars wrote it.” These buyers were surprised to find the girls spoke about¬†some more mature topics like late-term abortion and the dangers of the internet.¬†The book is aimed towards an older teen audience anyway, and I found the subjects to be handled tastefully, but if a younger person wants to read it, I’d suggest having a parent skim through it first.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone curious about the Duggar family or/or anyone who is looking for encouragement and is willing to be challenged. This book is written to girls, but other readers (especially parents) could enjoy and benefit from Growing Up Duggar as well. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Borrow My eBooks

Borrow My eBooksIt’s that time of year. Christmas shopping leaves many of us broke. Which can pose a problem for readers. With little money to spare and even less time available to stock up at the library, you may be on the search for something to read. Look no further. I’ve decided to make most of¬†the lendable books on my kindle available to you. If you’ve never borrowed a Kindle book before, here’s how it works. I can send you an invitation to borrow one of my ebooks. You then have 7 days to accept that offer. After you accept, you have 14 days to read the book before it is automatically returned to me. Don’t have a kindle? No problem. Amazon offers a free reading app that can be downloaded to computers, tablets and smart phones.

This is on a first-come-first-serve basis. Just leave a comment stating which book you’d like to borrow, and I’ll send you the borrow invitation as soon as I have time. (The FREE books are, well, free … so you might as well just get your own copy to keep if you want one of them.)

As a side note, I haven’t had time to read many of these books. So I’m not recommending them. Just making them available to you. So use your own discretion, and let me know which books need to go highest on my to-read list when you’re through.

I hope you all have a lot of fun with this!

Fiction
Horse Dreams, by Dandi Daley Mackal
The Case of the Tabloid Tattler, by Perry Kirkpatrick
Stasis: A Will Vullerman Anthology, by Tobias Buller
Foundlings, by Matthew Christian Harding [FREE for Kindle]
Prophet, by R.J. Larson
Captive of Raven Castle, by Jessica Greyson
Annabeth’s War, by Jessica Greyson
A Purple and Gold Afghan, by Jordan Smith
Truth, by Molly Evangeline
Red Rain, by Aubrey Hansen
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Non-Fiction
UFOs and the Christian Worldview, by Jeff Gerke
Finding the Core of Your Story, by Jordan Smith
How Do I Decide: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing, by Rachelle Gardner
Infinitely More, by Alex Krutov
Who Is Jesus,  R.C. Sproul [FREE for Kindle]
Always Enough: God’s Miraculous Provision Among the Poorest Children on Earth, by Heidi Baker

Update! (aka — New Books)

Spencer R. just sent me an email offering some of his ebooks to be lent out as well. What a fantastic idea! If you have ebooks you’re willing to share as well, use the contact form to let me know. Just make sure it’s part of the lending library program. If it is, you should see this when you go to the book page (except with your name instead of mine, of course).

Instant Order Update

Here are the books available from other members of Leah’s Bookshelf. If you chose one of these books to borrow, I will send your email address to the owner of the book and it will be up to him/her to send it to you when they have an opportunity.

Prophet, by R.J. Larson [Owned By: Spencer R.]
Prophet, by R.J. Larson [Owned By: Amanda]
Counted Worthy, by Leah E. Good (me!) [Owned By: Spencer R.]
Sew, It’s a Quest, by Kendra E. Ardnek [Owned By: Amanda]

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale

Black Friday Sale

Hello everyone! I promise haven’t forgone being thankful in exchange for diving into the crazy, American shopping spree that is Black Friday. However, I do want to make you all aware of some really great sales being hosted by Christian indie authors (myself included) before it’s too late. So I’ll be posting my grateful list tomorrow. In the meantime, check out these Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Some of the sales require coupon codes. Some are built into the price you see. And for some you’ll be able to see the original price and price reduction. The Cyber Monday sales might not be visible or available until Dec 1st (but they’ll be great, so be sure to check back!). Without further ado.

DISCLAIMER: I have not read most of these books. Inclusions of titles in this post does not equal a personal endorsement from me. Read the descriptions and decide for yourselves if they meet your standards.

Kendra E. Ardnek
The Ankuluen: Cyber Monday
Saffron’s Big Plan and Other Stories:¬†Cyber Monday
Do You Take This Quest?: Cyber Monday

Faith Blum
A Mighty Fortress: Black Friday and Cyber Monday)
Be Thou My Vision: Black Friday [7626YZAK — 20%]¬†and Cyber Monday

Sarah Brown
The Prodigal Pup: Black Friday
Learning Lessons from Furry Friends: Black Friday

Kelsey Bryant
Family Reunion: Black Friday [YFY84GHU — 20%]

Elizabeth Ender
Ransomed:¬†Black Friday¬†[GNE6VUXY — 30%]

J.J. Francesco
Blood Chain: Cyber Monday

Julie Gilbert
Nadia’s Tears: Cyber Monday

Leah Good
Counted Worthy: Black Friday¬†[K7CVNEER — 40%] and Cyber Monday

Melody Grubb
The Land of Calais: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Warmth of His Eyes: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Send Me, Lord Jesus: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Therese Heckenkamp
Past Suspicion: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Frozen Footprints: Black Friday

Rachel Heffington
Anon, Sir, Anon: Black Friday¬†[9MTYHSX3 — 25%]¬†and Cyber Monday

Rebekah Jones
Journeys of Four: Cyber Monday
Grandmother’s Letters: Cyber Monday
A Year with the Potters: Cyber Monday

Jaye L. Knight
Resistance:¬†Black Friday¬†[Q45HN6G9 — 25%]¬†and¬†Cyber Monday

Tina M. Neely
Diamond Hair Princess: Black Friday

Joel A. Parisi
Shadow Play: Cyber Monday

J. Grace Pennington
Radialloy: Black Friday¬†[Y2XHGYDN — 25%]¬†and Cyber Monday
In His Image: Black Friday¬†[KXNZ7PYN — 25%]¬†and Cyber Monday
Machiavellian: Black Friday¬†[UFXGUYMM — 25%] and Cyber Monday

Jennifer Sauer
Why Rodney Never Should’ve Gone to the NAPIC: Black Friday¬†[F76DDR7S — 45%]¬†and Cyber Monday

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer
Touch My Tears: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Third Side of the Coin: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Cara Simmons
The Haven: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Leviathan: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The Champion: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Jordan Smith
Finding the Core of Your Story: Black Friday¬†[NL4NJXWS — 30%]

Melanie D. Snitker
Calming the Storm: Cyber Monday

Rachel Starr Thomson
Reap the Whirlwind: Cyber Monday
Lady Moon: Cyber Monday
Angel in the Woods: Cyber Monday

Aren’t there a lot of books? I’m thrilled with how many people participated. Let me know if you purchase any of them and what you think of them when you’re finished reading.

Book Review: God’s Smuggler

Gods SmugglerGod’s Smuggler was one of my favorite books of 2013. We’re now nearing the end of 2014, and I realized I never posted my review of this Brother Andrew classic. Oops! But, actually, that’s a good thing, because I didn’t have a chance to finish a book this week, so I’m happy to have such a good book to tell you about! Before I share my review, though, I’ll let the book talk for itself.¬†God’s Smuggler¬†has some fantastic quotes.

Whenever, wherever, however You want me, I’ll go. And I’ll begin this very minute. Lord, as I stand up from this place, and as I take my first step forward, will You consider this is a step toward complete obedience to You? I’ll call it the step of yes.

The enemy is fierce and he would like for you to think that he has on. Don’t believe his lie.

Why are we worried!” Rolf said suddenly. “This is God’s work. He’ll make a way for us.

Persecution is an enemy the Church has met and mastered many times. Indifference could prove to be a far more dangerous foe.

I have heard about this book for most of my life and, while I didn’t doubt the quality of the content, I expected it to be hard to read. After deciding to tackle it, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was easy to read and extremely engaging. Funny stories throughout the book made me laugh and people’s poignant desire for God’s word brought tears to my eyes on several occasions. Written in a style similar to The Hiding Place, I highly recommend this powerful story of a life of service, adventure and faith.

Have you read¬†God’s Smuggler?¬†If not, do you plan on adding it to your to-read list now? You should!