Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Everything I Needed To Know About Batman I Learned From Paul Asay

Truly, other than watching him on a few Saturday morning cartoons, I have never seen any of the movies or read any of the comics.  Batman has a long history-working on 80 years-and he’s still the angst ridden rich guy out to save Gotham from all the bad guys.  Mr. Asay is defiantly a devoted Batman fan and knows the character inside and out through every incarnation not just the latest round of movies.  He sets out to show us that, “the Caped Crusader is one whose story creates multiple opportunities for believers to talk about the redemptive spiritual truths of Christianity”, and he does it well. 
Batman is set up to be a figure of Jesus in this book so much as he is a reflection of humanity.  Batman is different from all other superheroes because he has no power in and of himself that will help him conquer his enemies-he is not super strong, can’t fly, no x-ray vision, not from another planet.  Except for being super rich, he’s just a regular person like the rest of us.  And because he is a regular person he struggles with the same things we do, just to the extreme, because he is, after all, a fictional character.
My favorite part of the book was the chapter that compares Batman’s enemies to those things that are enemies of our soul:  Carmine Falcon is corruption and compromise, Ra‘s al Goul is zealotry, Cat Woman is amorality, etc.  A history of each villain is given and is compared with the corresponding sin.  We see how Batman deals with each of his enemies, or these sins, through the years.  Great, great chapter!
I highly recommend getting this book.  It has great points to ponder and will help you relate our need for a Savior to your friends and loved ones who love Batman.  And don’t worry if you have never watched or read anything about Batman—you will be an expert by the time you finish this book!
To listen to an interview with author Paul Asay on Chris Fabry Live!--click here.
For more information and an excerpt from the book--click here--or on the title above.

I received this book free of charge for Tyndale House Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

It’s Like a Bouquet of Wildflowers for Your Soul


In this sequel to From Across the Ancient Waters, author Michael Phillips brings us to the conclusion of our time in the Snowdonia region of Wales.  Percy Drummond is engaged to Florilyn Westbrooke and considering Law School when the promise he made to his dying uncle starts to weigh heavily upon him.  His uncle’s vagueness in his deathbed instructions do not leave Percy much to go on, but Percy does his best to follow the clues where they lead him.

Meanwhile, heir apparent to the Westbrooke Estate, the spoiled Courtney Westbrooke is counting the days when he inherits his title and can evict his mother and sister from the estate grounds.

This book, as its predecessor, is at its core peaceful.  I cannot truly explain the peace that settled upon me while reading this story.  In the forgiveness and selflessness displayed, we see how we should behave when if we really want to be alive for Christ and be an example of a life that honors Him. 

There were times on Percy’s journey that I wanted to say, “Hey, the answer is right there in front of you!”  But we as readers can see where the story is going before the characters do.  My only true gripe is that I really need a pronunciation guide for some of the place names given.  My Welsh is still fairly poor!

Michael Phillips dedicates and pays homage to George MacDonald greatly in this book.  If you are interested in reading some of MacDonald’s original works, Amazon has free Kindle versions.  Also free on Amazon is Henry Drummond’s work, The Greatest Thing In The World and OtherAddresses.  The Greatest Thing In The World is a study based on 1 Corinthians 13 and lauded by D.L. Moody discussed in Celtic Triangle between Henry-real person-and his fictional uncle and cousin-Edward and Percy Drummond.

This is a greatly enjoyable story and one that will encourage you to grow spiritually if you are willing to let it.
For more information and to read the first chapter of the book click here or the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Thief In Their Midst

 For years Meg rebels against the rules of her prestigious school, running away time and again.  She finally decides to behave like a proper lady until the day she learns that the father she barely knew made his living as a liar and a thief.  Trying to prove her worth to her dead father, Meg takes up residence at the home of a wealthy family whose daughters Meg went to school with.  She plans to relieve the family of some of its famed gold, but does she have the tenacity to live the life her father tried so hard to protect her from?

Bees In The Butterfly Garden is a very entertaining story.  Like so many people, when Meg get a taste of freedom she makes poor choices that will lead to heartache and misery for herself and those around her.  The story is slow in some parts and it seems that there is more hemming and hawing than is absolutely necessary, however, it doesn’t take away from the overall story.  Good book!
For more information on this book and to read the first few chapters, click here, or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.


First of all—this book is beautiful!  The pictures are photographs instead of drawings so you have a real portrayal of the animals in this story.  Although, in my opinion, Snow Monkeys are so funny looking that they don’t always look real.  Secondly, the story is about planning and being prepared, in order to ensure the monkeys’ survival. 

My 5 and 4 year olds both enjoyed the pictures and the story.  There are scriptures interspersed throughout the book, also included are facts about the Japanese Alps and the Snow Monkeys.  There is a section on evolution at the end of the story that went over my boys’ heads at this time in their life, but that did not take anything away from the story. 

Snuggles’ is a cute story with beautiful photos.  I can’t wait to check out the other books in the series.
For more information about this book, click here, or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from BookCrash in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Another Cute One from Audrey Penn

A Pocket Full of Kisses

Little Chester Raccoon survived his first day of school in The Kissing Hand with the reassurance of his Mother’s love.  This time around Chester has something else to fear—a baby brother—and his own jealousy.

It is a cute and tender story that kept my little guys’ attention.  Not to mention the nice illustrations that accompanies the story.  It reminds little ones that just because you are no longer the “only” one doesn’t mean you are loved any less.
For more information about htis book click here or on the title above.

I received this book free of charge from Tanglewood Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Still Up In The Air On This One

The Creation Answer Book, Hank Hanegraaff

The Creation Answer Book is a nice looking gift-sized book with some lovely pictures on the cover.  Hank Hanegraaff is the host of the radio show Bible Answer Man.  I have heard of the radio program, but I guess I have never actually heard the show itself.  If I had then I would have been prepared for some interesting ideas that I encountered for the first time. 

I have not done an in depth study of the different ideas surrounding how the earth was created.  The young earth theory seems to be the most popular among Christians.  Mr. Hanegraaff supports a theory that the earth is, in fact, billions of years old.  He does not, and states it repeatedly; believe that evolution is a possibility in the creation of anything.  I kind of understand how he explains his theory, but this book does not pose an in depth argument on the different views of creation in comparison to his own.

Other topics in regard to Creation that are discussed are the Flood, Evil, Dinosaurs, Evolution and Re-Creation.  I don’t particularly agree with certain points that were made, but the book is well written.  And even though I struggled getting into it at the beginning, I enjoyed finishing the book. 
For more information on this publication click here or on the title above!
I received this book free of charge from Thomas Nelson Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, July 13, 2012

We Just Don’t Seem To Have Common Sense Anymore…..

And since we have no common sense a book like this can come in very handy.  I am not trying to put anyone down, I’m sure I suffer from a lack of common sense myself, but the lack of people’s ability to parent their children these days is abominable.
But how are they supposed to know what to do?  So many who are parents now were raised in families where both parents have worked and the children were raised in daycare and school instead of at home.  Again, I’m not coming down on people, I’m just stating the reality of our society at this time.  So, essentially, if parents didn’t “parent” you, how are you to know how to deal with your own children?  Modern Parents, Vintage Values steps in to help parents understand issues children are facing today and how to deal with it as a Parent.
Melissa Trevathan, M.R.E. and Sissy Goff, M.Ed., LPC-MHSP, counselors at Daystar Counseling Ministries, sound like they have pretty much heard and seen it all in regards to children and their parents.  Using the experience they have gleaned over the years, they offer parents practical, though not always easy, advice on how to deal with modern problems every family will face.  Values are encouraged, such as kindness, gratitude, integrity, and many more while also dealing with the entitlement issue so many people seem to have.  This is a great resource for all of us raising children these days.
For more information and interviews with the authors, click here, or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from B&H Publishing Group through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Good Vacation Book

Rugged and beautiful are words that describe the High Desert region of Oregon, otherwise known as the Oregon Outback.  Rugged and beautiful can also be used to describe the characters in the four novellas that make up this book.

Each story revolves around the romantic hardships of the Love brothers; Jonas the FBI agent, Carver the cattle rancher, Lucas who doesn’t want to grow up, and Justin the bounty hunter.  Each is dealing with his own life issues when they find themselves falling for a female that will complicate things.  In a couple of the stories the brothers are well acquainted with their eventual loves, which makes things harder, given past relationship failures.

All of the stories were enjoyable.  As with all novellas, you have to remember that the author has just a little bit of time to get in all the details and background information, so in general that are not as in depth as a whole novel.   The upside is they can provide entertainment for a short time and you are not stuck in the middle of a book you really want to finish.  So Oregon Outback is perfect for this time of year when people are on vacation—quick, enjoyable stories without getting tied down in a lengthy novel.
For more information and to read a chapter from this book-click here-or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
If you have never seen or heard of the Oregon Outback and want to get an idea of its beauty, click here.