reviews i write, thoughts i have…

Fool’s Gold by Melody Carlson
February 13, 2010, 9:43 pm
Filed under: Fiction review, Navpress Review

Fool's Gold by Melody CarlsonMy review

Melody Carlson is one of the BEST fiction authors for teen girls, I’ve read a couple dozen books by her and they never cease to be great!

This is the first book I’ve read in the TrueColors series, and it’s the 6th in the series. Although it might seem like an odd place to start the series, these books don’t have to be read in any particular order.
Hannah Anderson, a young MK (missionary kid) from Papua New Guinea, is visiting her extremely fashionable cousin and family in the states. What seems like an innocent teen thing to do, shopping, turns into a major stumbling block for her. Whatever she seems to purchase needs to have something else it need to complete the “look”. And although she’s spending more money than she ever though was possible ($300 for a pair of jeans?) it never seems to be good enough for the people around her. As she’s falling more and more into debt (eek!) she comes to realize that all the clothes she’s purchasing are never going to fill the empty space in her heart. It’s only Fool’s Gold after all.

I, at first, shied away from these books. It thought they might be a little too “Edgy” for me. Many of them include topics like a friend’s suicide, cutting, teen drinking and similar issues. Well, i am hooked on these books, this is not going to be the last book I’m reading in this series!!

Thanks to Navpress for providing this book for me to review!


The God Who Smokes by Timothy J. Stoner
December 9, 2009, 4:13 am
Filed under: Navpress Review, Non-Fiction Review

The God Who Smokes: Scandalous Meditations on FaithNavpress has always been one of my top publishing houses, I can always rely on them for producing some excellent books, both fiction and Non-Fiction. They’ve published some of my very favorite books.
The God who Smokes has only reaffirmed that statement. Stoner is one of the few middle ground speakers on the topic the Emergent Church.  He addresses the more debatable things Rob Bell (pastor of  Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, NOOMA dvds) brings up in his sermons, videos and books. I enjoy a lot of what Bell says, but other things he believes and states, I can’t help but question. Stoner confronts those issues without attacking any person in particular or many of the good, sound theology to come from emergent pastors.
He discusses some of the hard issues in church today. He’s not some Authoritative figure turning his nose up at these problems. He shares some very personal experiences, which are sincere and sometimes heartbreaking. He shares his thoughts on justice and righteousness, not just for the “pretty people” but for the ones who are hard to love, both for us as the individual, and us as the Church. It’s written in a friendly, very accessible manner that allowed me to read it in days, never wanting to put it down. And that says a lot considering it’s the holidays!

Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker
October 14, 2009, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Navpress Review, Non-Fiction Review

interruptedJen Hatmaker is a woman I would love to have coffee with! I can’t even imagine in what directions our conversation would go. She has some of the exact same thoughts i have and also some that have really challenged me to think beyond myself.
This book is honest, and passionate and full of living for the least of these. This book wasn’t a quick read for me, I wanted to take my time with it and soak it up!
At the end of the sections she made a list of what books, films or people influenced her during that time of discovery in her life. Most of them I knew of and enjoyed!

It’s just an honest portrayal of a woman finding out how to truly love people with a passion, and that passion leaps off the pages! I loved that every once in while her husband would chime in with his perspective, that really made it feel like a conversation. I can’t help being positive about this book. I really think Jen’s book will challenge a lot of people, I know she challenged me. Definitely worth reading over and over again.

If you live or at some time will be in the Austin, Tx area you should really check out her church, Austin New Church. I know i want to!

Also, if you would like to get deeper into this book a DVD group study is available through Lifeway Christian Book stores.

Thanks to Navpress’ generosity I was sent this book. I have read it in its entirity and have not been compensated in any way other than with the review copy itself. This is my honest opinion, i have not be asked to give a blanket approval of any book.

Invitation to the Jesus Life by Jan Johnson
August 1, 2009, 4:27 pm
Filed under: Navpress Review, Non-Fiction Review


Jan Johnson highlights 17 of Christ’s Characteristics in this book. It consists of four parts including,  Jesus, the Relater-Style Savior; Jesus, the Proactive Lover; Jesus, the Confident Purposeful Savior; Jesus, the Selfless, Hidden Savior. In the back of the book is a chapter detailing how this book can be used in a large group bible study.

This is a deeply thought out book. Jan Johnson wrote a great book to help us understand who Jesus really was, so we can learn live the way he did. No phony “Christianish” rhetoric here. Johnson delves in deep to what being a Christian means and includes.  She is a great writer and consistently makes me think in this book. Each chapter is devoted to a certain aspect of Christ’s character and love for us. Jan Johnson also gives an extensive list at the end of each chapter on how to share and express what was learned in that chapter. 

It can also be easily used as a personal Bible Study. This is not a book that is light on spirituality,  Jan Johnson is an in depth teacher.  She gets down to the nitty gritty way Jesus lived, and you’ll be wanting to sink your teeth into it’s meat. I would suggest walking through this book slowly, and utilizing all of the resources Jan has supplied. You’ll definitely want to soak as much of this book as possible.