Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Bulwark by Brit Lunden

Bulwark by Brit Lunden is a modern day fairytale with a plot twist that horror fans will love.  Ironically, in the midst of the action and the eerie horror, there is a prevailing message of hope and inspiration that may be learned from this paranormal tale, as one of the main characters, Dolly reveals "grace.. comes from maturity, the elegance of a lifetime is experience.  Growing old is not about age, it's learning to look at life and love with the eye of knowing the difference between right and wrong..."   Lunden,B.  ( 2018).  Bulwark: Columbia S.C. These timeless words of comfort and wisdom which will reach out directly to the reader, are found in the most unlikely of places in the most eerie of settings.

Brit Lunden, is the pseudo-name  for the beloved modern writer of both children's fiction and history, Carole P. Roman.  Once again the author proves her versatility and talent in delivering a suspenseful horror tale reminiscent of a  creepy old fairytale involving monsters and witches and an old gingerbread house. For those readers who enjoy scie-fi and paranormal television shows like Grimm and Supernatural, this action packed novel is fast paced, and eerily spooky.  From page one, I could not put the book down, wanting to find the mystery behind the enigmatic old house and the connection with the towns missing children.  People and places are not what they appear to be as an evil lurks beyond a fa├žade of innocence and fantasy.   Fans of modern day horror will not be disappointed in this story  which will keep the reader engaged until the end.  An unexpected treat is the second alternative ending that the author includes after the completion of the story.  Bulwark is Roman's first work of fiction for adult readers.  I look forward to seeing more works published by the author.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.  I definitely recommend this book to all  fans of horror and supernatural fiction.  This book is available on Amazon as well as Barnes and Nobles Online.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Little Critter Little Blessings Collection

Little Critter Little Blessings Collection Includes Four Stories!

By Mercer Mayer is a short compendium of Mercer Mayer stories that many adults will remember growing up with as a young child.  The artwork containing familiar cartoon characters will bring back nostalgic memories of enjoying the little critter stories as a young child.  Now parents can share these stories with their young children in this single volume containing multiple stories.  The characters and stories are as timely as they were a generation ago.  Today's children will enjoy having these stories read as a bed time story by their parents.  each story has an important lesson or moral that will help children when facing difficult decisions and choices in daily life.  My pre-schoolars were immediately drawn to the book when they saw the cover and flipped through the illustrations.  The four stories can be independently read in any order.  This is a wonderful way to introduce children to social skills and in interacting with other family members and children.  This book is a perfect way to prepare children for school or any new phase in life.  As a blogger for booklook, I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review. 

How to Break up with Your Phone

How to Break up With Your Phone by Catherine Price is an intriguing little book, a timely piece of work for today's generation.  The minimalist cover depicts a conversation bubble, a familiar and iconic image that sums up today's priorities for just about every reader.  In this modern day just about everyone under the age of 35 years old owns a smart phone- a handheld device that combines the technology of a hand held sized tablet with the features of a telephone.  This dual purpose multimedia device is what connects many people with the world around them.  Not only do people talk on the telephone, texting apps and social media apps are used to connect with others without having to actually see anyone face to face.  Just like television sets twenty years ago occupied countless mindless hours a day for many, the smart phone takes up an inordinate amount of time in the lives of many people.  Literally, today's generation is glued to their phone at the expense of other activities.

This little book points out how to occupy your time other than using your phone.  In otherwords  this book gives constructive ideas on how to break an addiction to using your telephone.  Telephone use is equated as an addiction as if it were similar to alcoholism, gambling, pornography and overeating.  This easy to read book will help point the reader in the right direction in substituting the smart phone habit with other activities. This simple to read book is appropriate for teens up to older adults who find themselves too attached to their phone.  The only catch to a  book like this is that it is only as effective as the motivation of the individual who reads it.  I imagine there are very few people who in actually have a desire to reduce their telephone usage.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Legends of Easter Treasury Inspirational Stories of Faith and Hope

The Legends of Easter Treasury Inspirational Stories of Faith and Hope

By Dandi Daley Mackall, Lori Walburg, Chris Auer is a beautiful new treasury that would make a beautiful gift for any child at Eastertime.  This full color treasury features three complete stand alone stories: The Easter Egg, The Legend of the Easter Robin and The Legend of the Sand Dollar.  The bright, detailed art sets this quality hardcover book from other story books.  The traditional art will appeal to parents and grandparents alike, as they reminisce to an earlier time period of traditional values.   The only thing to consider s that multicultural families and families of other ethnicities may feel alienated by the art that depicts exclusively  depicts fair skinned, blond, blue eyed children  and their families.  Before any reader takes offense, I simply state this as an objective observation.  While many readers will not find offence at seeing art featuring fair skinned children with light hair, in this modern multicultural society, its worth a mention because those who order this book online may not have the opportunity to see the interior art as the picturesque cover depicting a serene spring view of a church gives little hint to the art inside. If you take a look at the back cover, there is a depiction of the three individual covers for each of the stories which reflects a sampling of the art.  In this modern society, the publishers may wish to consider art work to feature a more multicultural perspective to reflect the multicultural makeup of today's society.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

NKJV Faithlife study bible

NKJV Faithlife Study Bible

The new NKJV Faithlife Study bible combines the study features of a study bible together with computer generated graphics as well as articles and notes.   This bible is different in its focus from other themed bibles- it is more general, applying to daily modern life and topics.  The computer generated images and diagrams offer information in a visual format.  Unlike traditional photographs, these unique diagrams bring bible concepts as well as architecture to life.   This is an eye opening bible for all bible readers- from beginners to advanced readers. 

Unlike the glossy finish of other full color bibles, the paper has a thin matte finish and curls slightly after contact with my fingerprints, after use.   I found the color graphics, diagrams and maps to be more subdued, muted colors than I expected.  With the exception of a few  impressive graphs found in Genesis: the diagrams of the ark and the graphic depiction of the creation of the world, the colors are not bold or bright, but rather a softer set of colors- almost similar to the effect of pastels.  The coloring and detail of maps at the end of the bible are created using softer colors as well. This gives the maps a  washed out look. There are some photos of archaeological finds including ancient coins.  There are not truly in full color but appear to contain spot color- black and white with blue tones. I am still pleased with this bible overall and intend to use it as my primary study bible.  However, I found the graphics overall to be more subdued and the maps to have a  washed out appearance than the other full color study bibles I have had the opportunity to review. The only change I would make with this bible would be to include more graphic features  and photos.  While it is true that this is a full color bible- it still is mostly text based with minimal spot color.  Whether you are looking for your first bible, or if you want to upgrade to a brand new bible, you will not be disappointed  with this choice.
As advertised, this is the perfect bible for any curious reader.  Be ready with your questions as this bible will certainly provide answers and enlightening insight.  As a blogger for booklook, I received a copy of this bible published by Zondervan for the purpose of writing this review.

Friday, February 2, 2018

NIV womans study bible

The Woman's Study Bible, NIV Receiving God's Truth for Balance, Hope, and Transformation

The Woman's Study Bible, NIV - Receiving God's Truth for Balance, Hope, and Transformation - is a beautiful combination of a study bible and devotional bible.  This bible was  first published as a NKJV.  I had been waiting for the NIV version- which has just been published.  This bible features a sturdy printed  hardcover, full color graphic elements as well as an easy to read font.  This well made bible is sure to become any woman's favorite bible.  

For any reader who enjoys the NIV version of the bible- this will be one bible that can stand the test of time with its study features, articles and devotionals themed for women.  This bible is the perfect way to encourage bible reading.  For those looking for a bible to last a lifetime, it will be a good investment or it would make a great gift.  The price may be prohibitive for most readers.

Unlike other devotional bibles this is more flexible as it is not based on a 365 day  year.  There are articles and quotes throughout but not too many to distract from the bible text.  I Like the larger sized text which makes it easier to read  than the smaller harder to read "standard text" of most NIV bibles. I feel the easy to read text size and font will encourage daily reading more than anything else.  This hybrid bible also features study notes, graphs and detailed full color maps as well.  It is the perfect blend between a women's study bible with a traditional study bible  . As a blogger for booklook bloggers I received a copy of this bible for the purpose of writing this review.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

When Is It Right to Die? A Comforting and Surprising Look at Death and Dying By Joni Eareckson Tada

When Is It Right to Die? A Comforting and Surprising Look at Death and Dying

By Joni Eareckson Tada
Published by Zondervan

Joni Eareckson Tada, paralyzed after a diving accident when she was young, is well qualified to write a book on death and dying.  Creator of the Beyond Suffering Bible, and other motivational and spiritual empowering books, she is able to directly speak to those whose grief and suffering is the heaviest.  This new look takes a good comforting look at the issue of death, grief and suffering- something that is common but not often talked about.  Those enduring terminal illness and touched by death do not have to feel isolated, when receiving words of comfort showing they are not alone and answering tough questions that most others would be judgmental and critical about.  There are many people who can benefit from this book- more than are modern day society and culture would like to admit.  This book represents the reality that is buried in social circles and popular media which glorifies youth, beauty and materialism.  A book like this needed to be written.  This book offers solid comfort and the assurance that this life isn't all there is and that there is hope beyond suffering, illness and death.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Zondervan for the purpose of writing this review.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Trade Your Cares for Calm

By Max Lucado
Published by Thomas Nelson  is a new small sized gift book featuring selected excerpts from Lucado's works along side beautiful landscape and mountain photography.  This simple to read book can be read cover to cover or by topic.  Journaling space allows the reader to gather his or her thoughts.  While the space isn't sufficient for lengthy journaling, the prompts can be used to start your own journal.  This is the perfect book to read if you have little time to squeeze for daily inspiration.  Unlike Max Lucado's chapter books, this book is a great introduction to Lucado's inspirational style for those unable to read a full sized book.  For those experiencing the stress and crisis, the short passages are perfect for offering quick comfort and an eternal perspective.  While the mountain scenery theme is beautiful, I would have also liked to seen cityscapes and other scenery that might be more relevant or relatable to more readers.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Hope for Each Day Large Deluxe By Billy Graham

Hope for Each Day Large Deluxe By Billy Graham, with its beautiful flexible leatherette cover, and printed patterned end pages will make the perfect special gift for a loved one or even yourself.  Bill Graham is a well known inspirational speaker and writer, respected by many generations and well known public personalities alike.  This devotional book offers simplified, brief devotionals for each day- perfect for those who need quick inspiration and spiritual fuel.  Compiled from previous speeches and works, this compendium addresses topics that effect everyone throughout daily life; daily stresses as well as grief and loss.  Unlike other devotional books, this one is gender neutral, and not specifically marketed for only women or men.  In general readers of all ages, socioeconomic backgrounds and genders will appreciate the words of this book.  The large font is not only easy to read- but the large size of this book will be a constant reminder to set aside some quiet time each day to read and to become inspired.  For those not familiar with Billy Graham, this book serves as a perfect introduction to  his inspiring words.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Color Index

Color Index XL: More than 1,100 New Palettes with CMYK and RGB Formulas for Designers and Artists by Jim Krause is a reference book, perfect for any professional who works with coordinating color schemed.  This catalog of coordinating colors features every imaginable color including muted colors and bright colors. This is not an art book- and for the casual lay reader, the pages will look like monotonous page after page of color schemes.  For the trained artist, this is a useful tool to  determine which colors will best suit the job.  This is a niche book, relevant for professionals.  I feel a casual  artist or hobbyist may find this book too overwhelming or not as useful.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

God Bless My Family By Hannah C. Hall and Steve Whitlow Published by Thomas Nelson

God Bless My Family By Hannah C. Hall and Steve Whitlow  Published by Thomas Nelson  is a beautifully illustrated board book that children will love to have read to them.  The book features bold, bright art alongside a simple and entertaining story about a dog family.  This is a wonderful way to integrate faith in God into a bedtime story routine.  This is a story that can be read and re-read.  The board book is sturdy and will hold up to wear and tear being handled by young little hands.  This would make a great stocking stuffer gift as Christmas nears, or a great gift any time of the year.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Unapologetic Bible NKJV

NKJV, Unapologetic Study Bible, Hardcover

By Emmanuel Foundation
Published by Thomas Nelson

This new bible, featuring the New King James Version, features easy to read font as well as relevant topics addressing important social, political and theological issues.  Throughout the bible text are several relevant articles, thoroughly researched to suit the needs of laymen as well as bible students.  Everything from suicide to taxes are addressed.  Unlike traditional apologetic bibles and articles, the articles feature relevant modern issues as they relate to the field of apologetics.  These articles will appeal to a wide range of readers no matter where they are with their bible background.  Skeptics as well as Christians will appreciate the arguments and scholarly research of the selected articles.  Color coded graphics not only add visual appeal but also help the reader to navigate the topics addressed.  The bible is durable and will stand up to years of use. As a blogger I received a copy of this bible for the purpose of writing this review.  For those readers who want to brush up on apologetics for their own knowledge or in response to debates with others, this is a great resource.  The only thing is that I would like to see this bible available in the NIV translation in the future as the NIV will appeal to even more bible readers. 

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.