reviews i write, thoughts i have…


True for You, But not for Me by Paul Copan
February 15, 2010, 4:15 pm
Filed under: Bethany House, Non-Fiction Review

about the book (cbd.com)

Learn to respond to one of the most common objections about Christianity – that it claims to be the only faith. The message of relativism and religious plurality is very popular and its argument is commonly accepted. Here you will find clear explanations to counter those arguments, including: the absolute quality of relativism, the exclusivity of inclusivity, the uniqueness of Jesus, and, “What about the unsaved who have never heard?”.

My review:

This is an interesting book, Paul Copan has worked to compile the most common arguments against Christianity and writes a sort of rebuttal system to use against each.

However, i do think this book could possibly end up being very dangerous.

I could very easily see this becoming a  “translation” book for well-meaning Christians to just start flipping through the pages – just like tourists in a foreign country.

I don’t think this is the smartest nor most effective way to share Christ’s love. I don’t want to argue my “cause” – just live it. In many ways i find it more enjoyable and not to mention  long-lasting for a person to immerse themselves in another country. You learn the little intricacies and traditions of a culture that had you taken a more brash approach, you would never had found. I think it would be a wise thing for Christian apologists to do as well.

If this book is the sort of thing you’re looking for, a straight-forward, focused on “winning” the sinner rather then befriending, this is a good book. However, it is not what I’m looking for, i would rather have my discussions of faith be an organic offshoot of a deep friendship.

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Sense and Sensibility Insight Edition
February 14, 2010, 7:20 pm
Filed under: Bethany House, Fiction review | Tags:

Sense and Sensibility is probably my least favorite Jane Austen novel, and I’ve read them all. It never captured me like Pride & Prejudice’s Darcy & Elizabeth’s love story or even the impetuous Emma’s mistaken matchmaking. But with Bethany House’s new Insight Edition, Sense and Sensibility’s long-lasting effect on culture finally, well, made Sense to me. I enjoyed it this time around, and this will certainly not be my last time to read this beloved classic.

This new edition doesn’t mess with the original text of S&S – at all! Quite the opposite –  it enhances the reader’s experience.
The Editors point out little quirks and interesting facts found within the text, which had those notes not been there I would have missed it entirely!
Other footnotes are witty, knowledgeable and even have some fun tidbits about the movie variations.

I definitely enjoyed Sense and sensibility more the second time around thanks much in part to this insight edition! There are limitless editions of Sense and Sensibility available, but this one is by FAR my favorite.

Thanks to Bethany House for providing this book for me to review!



The Carousel Painter by Judith Miller
February 14, 2010, 6:04 pm
Filed under: Bethany House, Fiction review

About the book (from CBD.com)

After her father’s death, artist Carrie Brouwer moves to Collinswood, Ohio, where she accepts a job in the carousel factory owned by her friend Augusta’s father. On her first day, she discovers she’s the only woman in the plant, and the men resent her—especially the manager, Josef Kaestner. Can she win his respect—and perhaps his love? 352 pages, softcover from Bethany.

My Review:

The Carousel Painter starts with a promising and uncommon theme, a young girl moves to the states from Paris after her father’s death and is offered a job as a carousel horse painter. Unfortunately, after this initial set-up the events that follow are all too familiar. A so-so romance, trial after trial for our heroine, and a lacking mystery. The mystery spurred me to continue reading, but the resolution was anticlimactic and predictable. It was tied-up just in time to have the perfect happy ending for the love story. Sometimes the subject matter and vernacular were spot on within the historical period, and other times, a slight bit off.  Carrie was a great protagonist, but the other characters were a just a little flat.

I really wanted to like this book, but it just didn’t quite do it for me. All-in-all it could have been better, but neither was it a waste of time. If you like this genre, read it,  but if this genre is not your cup of tea, it wouldn’t be my first suggestion.



That Certain Spark By Cathy Marie Hake
February 13, 2010, 9:04 pm
Filed under: Bethany House, Fiction review | Tags:

My Review

The Town of Gooding, Texas just got their very own Veterinarian & Doctor siblings Enoch & Taylor Bestman. The only problem? Dr. Taylor Bestman in a woman! Within two minutes of stepping foot in town Taylor already has the town in an uproar! How is she to prove herself to these people? Especially to her very first patient, the town blacksmith?

The book starts out promising, flows nicely at first, but as it proceeds the conversations get harder and harder to follow, and the writing isn’t as tight. The Characters are okay, but many of them lack depth. I didn’t feel any emotional tie to either the heroine or the hero. This book had a strong beginning a weak middle and an okay ending.

On top of that, the main focus of this entire book wasn’t as interesting as the background stories.

Definitely my least favorite book of this four part series. However, If you’ve read the other books in the series, go ahead and read it, you’ll find many of  your favorite characters of her past books in That Certain Spark.

Thanks to Bethany House for providing this book for me to review!



Offworld by Robin Parrish
February 13, 2010, 8:32 pm
Filed under: Bethany House, Fiction review

About the book:

The return of NASA’s first manned mission to Mars was supposed to be a momentous day. But when the crew loses touch with ground control before entry, things look bleak. Safe after a treacherous landing, the crew emerges to discover the unthinkable–every man, woman, child, and animal has vanished without a trace. Alone now on their home planet, the crew sets out to discover where everyone has gone–and how to get them back–only to discover they may not be as alone as they thought.

My review:

THIS is an awesome book, I’ve always been one of those people who enjoys an “end of the world” movie. The Day After Tomorrow (an adventure type film about the second ice age) is one of my favorite movies.

It starts out INTENSE, this is not a book you want to start right before going to bed, you will want to keep reading until the rooster crows! The first expedition to Mars arrives back on earth only to find…. absolutely no one there to greet them. Every man, woman, child and even animals- are gone. They are the only ones left, then again, perhaps not. The astronauts then take it upon themselves to find out what happened to everyone on the planet.

I’m a sucker for a story (be it film, print, tv, whatever) about humans conquering a certain “Evil” and surviving hardship. This book includes all that and then some! Pick it up, and get ready for an insane ride!

Thanks to Bethany House for providing this book for me to review!



The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen
February 13, 2010, 8:23 pm
Filed under: Bethany House, Fiction review

About the book ( from Cbd.com)

Believing herself guilty of a crime, Olivia Keene flees her home, eventually stumbling upon a grand estate where an elaborate celebration is in progress. But all is not as joyous as it seems.

Lord Bradley has just learned a terrible secret, which, if exposed, will change his life forever. When he glimpses a figure on the grounds, he fears a spy or thief has overheard his devastating news. He is stunned to discover the intruder is a scrap of a woman with her throat badly injured. Fearing she will spread his secret, he gives the girl a post and confines her to his estate. As Olivia and Lord Bradley’s secrets catch up with them, will their hidden pasts ruin their hope of finding love?

-My Review

I love Julie Klassen’s book, she continually delivers Jane Austen-esque reads. Her books are both beautifully written and authentic to the times.

The Silent Governess is a great love story full of intrigue, mystery, and secrets that won’t stay secret for long.

For those of us who can never get enough Jane in a unfortunately Jane-less world, this is the best and closest author you can read. Though, she still sustains her own voice and characters throughout the pages. The Silent Governess is not my favorite of Julie’s Three books, but it’s still one that is a must read for a Jane-ite.

Thanks to Bethany House for providing this book for me to review!



Pirate Hunter by Tom Morrisey
February 13, 2010, 10:25 am
Filed under: Bethany House, Fiction review

about the book:

Following a captured slave who’s been freed by the sixteenth-century pirate who takes his ship, the novel weaves a rollicking tale of adventure. Paralleling this story in the present are the treasure hunters seeking the gold–and stories–of the past. Greg Rhode–a preacher’s kid who has become a marine archaeologist–hires on to participate in Phil Rackham’s salvage operation in the Florida Keys. He is hoping that Rackham will make him rich, not suspecting the true riches he’ll eventually confront.

My review:

Pirate Hunter is one of those great historical books which ties in a contemporary story – and still makes complete sense. Tom Morrisey didn’t spend too much time on one half of the story while neglecting the other half. The combination of the two stories was fun to read, as he would mirror the ending of the chapter with the beginning of the next.

It’s been a while since i read this, but i can still remember the characters and in pretty vivid detail. It really reminds of Clive Cussler books, with a little less language and innuendo (or complete lack thereof) Definitely a fun, engaging read. It’s not a life-changing book, but is certainly a memorable one.

Three stars.
Thanks to Bethany House for providing this book for me to review!