Thursday, November 9, 2017

NIV Thinline bible, comfort print

This new NIV thinline bible is bound in beautiful flexible bonded leather, silver gilded paper edges and thumb indexed.  This is a standard bible, featuring the full text of the NIV.  No additional features: no maps, no concordance and no articles- is what keeps this bible thin and easy to carry while maintaining a readable font.  The font is a newly created comfort print.  It does make this bible easier to read.  When you look carefully at the font style, it appears to be a modern designed font, not a traditional font like New Times Roman.  If you are looking for a basic, but well designed leather bible, this is a good choice.  This bible comes thumb indexed.  I didn't find this feature too useful as each thumb indexed page features 4 different books, so it still takes a bit of flipping to find the book you are actually looking for.  This is a good everyday bible, as it is lightweight and easy to read in bed or on the go.  As a blogger for booklook I received a copy of this bible for the purpose of writing this review.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Pass it On : A Proverbs Journal for the Next Generation by Champ Thorton

Pass it On : A Proverbs Journal for the Next Generation by Champ Thorton is a brand new book that guides the reader  to reflect and journal their way through the book of Proverbs.  The Proverbs are often overlooked, but are a source of much wisdom.  A treasure of wisdom and insight is to be found in this Old Testament book.  Thorton guides the reader through each and every chapter of proverbs, providing the actual bible text of the Proverbs in its entirety as well as questions and insight to encourage readers to reflect on the message read.  Journaling space is provided the answer reflective questions, notable verses as well as free space for general thoughts, ideas and personal reflection.  After completing this book, the reader will have read the entire book of proverbs as well as completed a bible study and journal entries.  The idea of this book is to complete it and offer it as a gift to a child, grandchild or any other special person in your life.  This completed book is certain to become a treasured keepsake.  The book is beautifully bound with a flexible leatherette cover, as well as sturdy thick pages.  I's like to see the author do a series of these books on other bible books as well, especially Job.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by new Growth press for the purpose of writing this review.

The Build by Paul Teutul Jr

The Build by  Paul Teutul, is a must have for any fan of the TV series, American Chopper.
Author Paul Teutul, Jr. from the TV series American Chopper, builds   custom "chopper" styled motorcycles.  This book gives the reader, the behind the scenes back story of the popular series as well as insights into the author's own life as well as insights into the father Son relationship which also makes up much of the storyline in the TV show.  Even those who are not into motorcycles will find insight and inspiration from Paul Teutul Jr's life story.  Not only is this a story about mortorcycles as a hobby and lifestyle, it is also a book about relationships, family as well as finding one's niche or purpose in life. It is ironic, that from watching the TV show, this is the least likely TV character that one would expect to see an inspiring book with a message to all readers about perseverance, family and faith.  This is what makes this book an effective outreach to reach all those readers out there who feel they are beyond the reach of a life changing experience.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Crown Publishing book for the purpose of writing this review.  This book would make a great book for any motorcycle enthusiast or fan of the TV show as well as anyone else who needs inspiration.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Be the Gift

Be the Gift

By Ann Voskamp
Published by Zondervan


The new book, Be the Gift by Ann Voskamp, is the perfect book for pastors and church leaders to distribute to parishners and church goers to encourage generosity and giving.  This beautiful hardcover book is filled with serene picturesque photographs of nature and scenes of cozy upper middleclass life, and idealistic bountiful family gatherings, complete with unique ideas for gift giving and acts of generosity.  For any pinterist fan and for those who have love to host get togethers and meals, this book will encourage people with means to think out of the box in order to encourage gift giving to those around them.  The gift tags included in the book reinforce the book's purpose- to encourage gift giving and generosity of those with resources and time to spare.   It is my opinion that the target audience of this book is for the upperclass socioeconomic class.  Glimpses of traditional families, complete with their comfortable, quality clothing, and well decorated, quaint cottage homes, and complete meals that look like recipes from an upscale cookbook, will appeal most to those readers who are more affluent.  Nevertheless, any reader will be able to glean some gift giving inspiration to show kindness to their neighbors and coworkers.  As a blogger for booklook I received this book for the purpose of writing this review. 


Friday, October 20, 2017

The Massacre of Mankind: Sequel to The War of the Worlds by Stephen Baxter

Most everyone has heard of the original War of the Worlds by HG wells, even if they have not read it.  It is one of those classics with a great storyline that stands the test of time, yet not everyone has ventured to read it.  The Massacre of Mankind: Sequel to The War of the Worlds by Stephen Baxter, is like part two, beginning where War of the Worlds leaves off.  It shows an interesting scenario of what happens after the book ends.  It is written by a contemporary author, Stephen Baxter, in the tradition of Wells.  This literary work is full of rich detail.  It is not a simple book that can be read quickly cover to cover.  Rather,  this expansive intellectual novel takes mental energy to follow along the storyline.   The vintage designed cover, as well as the story, takes the reader back to the 1920s- an alternate reality of a futuristic earth that exists in the past.  This book will stretch the imagination of the reader, for those who take the time to read it.  The authentic writing will transport you back into the past, as if reading the account as originally written by Wells.  The reader will be immersed into a world where a threat of invasion by aliens is very real; an alternate reality where futuristic technologies beyond what we can imagine, exists as far back as the 1920s.  For those who wonder what would society be like if an alien invasion was a reality, this book is for you.   This book takes dedication, stamina and perseverance to complete as interesting as it is.  Its not the typical fast paced novel. It is best for those readers, young and old alike, with advanced reading levels- not the typical adult who normally reads romance novels and crime novels from the racks at the check out in Walmart.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Crown publishers for the purpose of writing this review.  Dedicated fan of the original will certainly want to read it.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

What We See in the STars

What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky by Kelsey Oseid is a hybrid between a graphic story and a gift book, about outerspace.  It is difficult to fit this book into a particular genre as it does not quite fit into the category of  an astronomy science book.  This book is filled with trivia facts and cartoon images of the constellations, planets as well as other astronomical bodies found in space.  It is written like a graphic novel- the graphics are somewhat abstract mostly in two tone color shades of blue with occasional spot color throughout.  This casual book presents the topic in an entertainment - trivia format.  Rather than a formal text like introduction to astronomy, this playful book focuses on the popular concept of astronomy- constellation as the focus, as well as the stories behind the constellations.  There is also brief coverage of the moon, as well as the planets, comets and other space facts.  Although the bold graphics may also appeal to younger readers, this book is intended for adults who simply want to broaden their knowledge of popular astronomy without getting into technical  scientific details  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Ten Speed Press for the purpose of writing this review.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A Crazy, Holy Grace: The Healing Power of Pain and Memory by Frederick Buechner

A Crazy, Holy Grace: The Healing Power of Pain and Memory by Frederick Buechner is a compilation of Essays that will help the reader get a better understanding of the purpose of memory and grief.  Drawing from his own experiences of grief, death and suicide, the author helps the reader look at grief and memory in a whole new light.  This complex book is something that requires time to digest and absorb.  The surreal message is both human and spiritually obtained at the same time.  Buechner puts into voice, a message that is relatable on a personal level but inspired by the Holy Spirit as well.  What looks like a relatively simple exercise of remembering and pondering the past , is capable of bringing about lifelong growth simply by paying more attention to the everyday world that surrounds us.  This book is like a psychological exercise that Buechner conducts to facilitate the healing process of complicated grief. He brings back his dead loved ones into a special, designated safe area and has the conversations within his mind that he was unable to have in life.  The work of grief and healing is accomplished through these fictitious mental conversations. The reader can follow this inward journey that takes incredible courage to share with the world. This book is a retreat into the mind of the author.  It is a spiritual and dreamlike journey. 

  This book is suitable for more experienced believers who wish to fine tune their faith as well as skeptics and agnostics who are seeking truth and meaning and healing. The author brings light to topics that are normally hidden and seen as taboo.  This book is a source of relief and comfort to all who take the time to read and reflect on its message.  If you take the time to read this book and think about the message, not only will you make a connection but you too may find the healing you seek.  This book was not what I expected, but I am glad I took the time to read it as it can be a life changer. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Zondervan for the purpose of writing this review.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Remarkable Ordinary: How to Stop, Look, and Listen to Life by Frederick Buechner

The Remarkable Ordinary: How to Stop, Look, and Listen to Life by Frederick Buechner is a compilation of Essays that will help the reader into getting more out of life by seeing everyday things with a more eternal perspective.  What looks like a relatively simple exercise, is capable of bringing about lifelong growth simply by paying more attention to the everyday world that surrounds us.  One does not need to travel to an exotic location or plan  an expensive  pilgrimage to the Holy Land to appreciate the inherent spirituality that exits all around you.  In fact Buechner argues that even greater spiritual growth can be reached when you look within and around your immediate surrounding.  Not exactly a book that needs to be read from cover to cover, this book contains several shorter length essays that take time and perseverance to digest.  Throughout, Buechner shares anecdotes from his own life to illustrate that even challenging life experiences and grief need not forfeit one's ability to appreciate the beauty and the wisdom that life has to offer.  This book is suitable for more experienced believers who wish to fine tune their faith as well as skeptics and agnostics who are seeking truth and meaning.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Zondervan for the purpose of writing this review.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fliers: 20 Small Posters with Big Thoughts by Nathaniel Russell

Fliers: 20 Small Posters with Big Thoughts

by Nathaniel Russell is a unique gift book with a larger social message.  This unexpected book seems like an entertaining coffee table book, but within its pages is a brief commentary of the lack of purpose of life itself and modern society. 
I liked the idea of this book, although some of the posters were not really impressive.  The effect of this book was somewhat to mimic the effect of a quickly drawn poster.  There was little artistic value to these individual posters, but that was probably the point of the author- to capture the essence of a last minute haphazardly drawn poster.  This is a quality book with good reproductions of posters on strong card stock paper.  This makes them suitable for wall d├ęcor; although the content was not too impressive.  Overall I felt underwhelmed.  But perhaps that is the point of the author, to portray mediocrity and apathy that is so prevalent in this modern day.  This might be a good gift to decorate a college dorm room. As a blogger I received a copy of this book  for the purpose of writing this review. 

Jesus, I Need You Honest Prayers from a Trusting Heart By Zondervan   

Jesus, I Need You Honest Prayers from a Trusting Heart

                 Jesus, I Need You Honest Prayers from a Trusting Heart By Zondervan  is a brand new devotional book  for those readers seeking inspiration and guidance for their days. Just as the title indicates, it is a humbling experience to have the wisdom to know that you need Jesus in your day to day life.  This book is organized by topic.  The table of contents is divided into topical prayer areas such as guidance, comfort, wisdom and heartache to enable thye reader to easily navigate the book depending ion need.  For those who need somewhere to turn immediately this is a helpful feature.


In this modern day of independence, and self sufficiency, where many  take pride in saying they have the strength to navigate life independent of God- this devotional book focuses on prayers that empower the reader to learn to rely more on Jesus.  Psalm 14:1 1The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. Yet, how many actually take this scripture to heart? Not many.  It isn't weakness, nor foolishness that leads to dependence on God.  Quite the contrary, it is wisdom and strength and the wisdom of this world that gives the ever present message that Jesus is irrelevant or antiquated is actually foolishness and leads the way to eternal death.  Self sufficiency, hope and strength cannot be found apart from Jesus.  This book is a good starting point to reflect on these truths.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of the book for the purpose of writing this review.
      

Friday, September 29, 2017

Really Woolly Christmas Blessings by Bonnie Rickner Jensen and Illustrated by Donna Chapman

Its that time of year where it isn't too early to start thinking about Christmas themed reading material for your toddlers and preschoolers.  Unlike the commercialism of Christmas with secular holiday stories featuring Santa Clause, Christmas presents, elves and talking snowmen, this refreshing board book teaches the real meaning of Christmas while not too much theology or preaching.  Christmas Blessing, a part of the Really Woolly series by Bonnie Rickner Jensen and Illustrated by Donna Chapman features the furry sheep named Woolly, who teaches young readers the true meaning of Christmas as well as some Christmas traditions.  This small padded board book features a short devotion, a bible verse and prayer to guide young children in appreciating the Christmas season from the scriptural perspective.  Bright cartoons are inviting to young children as well.  The young child will learn the bible story of Christmas taken from the gospel accounts.  Depictions of Christmas traditions such as baking, playing in the snow, spending time with family, singing carols and Christmas trees  are incorporated in the devotions of this book providing a comprehensive overview of the Christmas season consistent with the bible.  Commercialized gift giving, and the notion that all "good" girls and boys are rewarded for being good with a room full of brightly wrapped presents and overstuffed stocking is not included in this book. These secular tales simply alienate many children especially impoverished children whose family cannot afford to meet the secular commercialized depiction of Christmas. For those families that feel Christmas time is just an excuse to go on shopping sprees- maybe this book may teach you something about the true meaning behind Christmas. As a parent, I found this a good book to read to my little ones as I found it presented a balanced view of Christmas.  I'd recommend this book for all parents of young children as a way to introduce the bible's depiction of this upcoming season. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Tommy Nelson for the purpose of writing this review.

Monsterland by Michael Okon

Everyone has heard of Disneyland and SeaWorld, but here comes a theme park featuring zombies, vampires and warewolves! 

Monsterland,  a new horror novel by Michael Okon, arrives just in time with pumpkins,  falling leaves,  and dark ominous nights to usher in the 2017 Halloween season.    This futuristic horror story incorporates a nightmarish tale of an alternate  reality in which populations of zombies, werewolves and vampire- human abominations transformed by viral contaminants are sequestered into a theme park.  Unlike Disneyland, this new theme park features authentic and dangerous exhibits with an underlying fear of danger that is real.  Not only does the reader find himself immersed into a monster theme park- there is also a social message addressing the issues of equality and autonomy.  The nightmarish creatures are not simply animals- but also portrayed as sick and suffering human beings. Not only that, the risk of contamination and of contracting the same horrific contagion  that infects the living exhibit is an ever present fear.


As a self-published writer of a small book horror short stories, I personally was drawn in particular to Okon's authentic and realistic  depiction of the Zombies and werewolves. As a reader I look for authentic details to hold my attention; I was not disappointed.  The author captured the physical pain as well as emotional anguish suffered by these unfortunate creatures who were once just as human as you and I. His critical eye for detail could satisfy the biggest skeptic.    In fact, one might almost believe that Michael Okon was describing a real creature with the extent of realism portrayed.  Not only that, this author writes with a twist.  Rather than depicting these zombies, warewolves and vampires simply as monsters, he portrays them as unfortunate victims who were held captive by their disease. Ironically, the humans and politicians were more like "monsters" than the werewolves, vampires and zombies.  This book was so captivating I have already read it multiples times.

This is among the best horror stories I have recently read and in my opinion, his works belong right up there with the modern great of horror writing, Stephen King. Anyone who enjoys well written, fast paced, complex horror stories with authentic detail should read this book. 

This book is available online from Barnes & Noble and Amazon!

To learn more please visit Michael Okon @ http://www.michaelokon.com/

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Bible Promises to Live By for Women by Katherine J. Butler

Bible Promises to Live By for Women by Katherine J. Butler is a pocket sized book filled with scripture verses to turn to in a variety of relevant topics.  Addressing issues such as abandonment, jealousy, aging, beauty, gossip and  confidence, this powerful book is the first place to turn to when you are in need of bible inspiration when addressing life challenges.  Each  section is ordered alphabetically and listed in the table of contents to aide the reader in quickly turning to the verses that address her particular need.  This book is not meant to be read cover to cover, but is a help guide to turn to when facing a specific need.  The leatherette flexible textured cover is durable, and light weight making this book the perfect size to pack in a purse or back pack or keep at the bedside table.  It is light enough to be held in one hand.  This is a book worthy of keeping at the bedside table- a perfect companion to the bible in having quick and easy access to relevant scripture when in a time of true need.  Unlike traditional devotional books, this book does not feature lengthy commentary.  Just a sufficient description is included to address each topic followed by 4- 5 relevant scripture verses from the bible.  Selected verses are featured in larger front.  The two tone color scheme is inviting and makes this book easy to read over and over again.  This would make a great gift for yourself or a loved one going through a difficult time. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Tyndale  forthe purpose of writing this review.

Jesus Always Large Deluxe Embracing Joy in His Presence By Sarah Young Published by Thomas Nelson

Jesus Always Large Deluxe,  Embracing Joy in His Presence By Sarah Young  Published by Thomas Nelson is a beautiful printing of the classic devotional book.  For those familiar with the Jesus Calling devotional book this book will not disappoint.  Each page offers relevant devotional entries that are based on bible scripture.  Sarah Young painstakingly threads scripture with common themes to address relevant issues that readers may face in everyday life.  She weaves scripture into a letter as if Jesus himself is writing.  This unique point of view, written in the second person- where the reader is addressed personally by Jesus, adds additional relevancy making scripture promises come alive.  What is even better is the fact that Young also includes the scripture verses each entry is based on making this a more useful tool  when using scripture  to assist with life problems such as anxiety, insecurity, doubt and illness.  This exhaustive book is worth keeping at the bedside to read over and over again.  The scriptures allow even greater effectiveness in this book if you want to return to God's promises for direction and for scripture memorization.  When I read this book I was impressed at the relevancy of this devotional in addressing issues and in providing God's word from the bible for each entry.  So many devotionals out there may be loosely based on scripture but don't provide scripture references as a back up.  Not only are the references included, but the bible verse in its entirety as well.  This beautiful volume features a flexible leather like vinyl cover.  Large font makes it easily readable.  The book is light enough to hold in one hand and read in bed as well.  This book would make a treasured gift for yourself or a loved one.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

A Record of my Vinyl collectors journal

A Record of my Vinyl

Not technically a book or a journal, this specialty collector's book is a way of cataloging your record collection. The title, a pun on words is a clever description for this vintage styled record keeping book.  The book description may be a bit misleading;  because this is a structured book,  rather than containing blank or lined pages, each page contains space to fill in for each of the albums in your collection.  There isn't space for freehand noted or other information.  It is like a structured card catalog for your record collection. This book is similar to an accountants journal but for record albums.  I'd imagine the most dedicated of vintage record collectors would have the diligence and motivation to painstakingly record details on all their albums.

This is a niche book for dedicated record album collectors and enthusiasts.  The casual collector might find this to be a fun item to display on their book shelf with its authentic textured cover that looks and feels like a vintage phot album.  I'd imagine only the most serious record album collectors or record album dealers might actually use the features of this book to hand catalog their entire collection.  For those with the motivation and tome  to catalog their album collection the old fashioned way- this book, once collected will become a treasured keepsake or conversation piece to pass down and display.  This book also includes additional features:

- a small amount of Space for notetaking  or memories about each of your albums
-Tips for cleaning  and maintaining a your record collection
-information about selling your collection of records.  These features take up a few pages and are not the bulk of the book.  This book would make a great gift for yourself or a record collector.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Potter for the purpose of writing this review.