Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Book Review ~ Judah's Wife: A Novel Of The Maccabees (The Silent Years) by Angela Hunt

Judah's Wife is a novel of the Maccabees from The Silent Years series by Angela Hunt. In this passionately vivid portrayal of the story of 1 and 2 Maccabees from the vantage point of Judah and his wife, Leah. While Leah's character is that of a fictitious nature, it seems that Angela has gone to great lengths to make her essence (as well as that of the other wives) as authentic an realistic to the period as possible.

On the surface, this novel is about the leadership of Mattathias and, later, Judah Maccabaeus during the years that stretch between the Old Testament and the New. At it's core, however, Judah's Wife is a tale of violence, submission, and - ultimately - surrender. It's the story of a woman with the courage to stand in the shadow of a great warrior while learning to lay her own life down for the sake of her people.

Not having read the Maccabees, this novel has kindled an urge to pick up and read 1 and 2 Maccabees, as well as other accounts of the period of the silent years. I recommend this historical novel to those who desire to learn about the history between the testaments, as well as anyone in need of a reminder of God's masterful timing and planning, even in the midst of our pains and losses. 5/5 stars.

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary print copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are my own.*

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ About The Author ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(copied from inside book)
Angela Hunt has published more than one hundred books, with sales nearing five million copies worldwide. She's the New York Times bestselling author of The Tale of Three Trees, The Note, and The Nativity Story. Angela's novels have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, such as the RITA Award, the Christy Award, the EPCA Christian Book Award, and the HOLT Medallion Award. Romantic Times Book Club presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. She holds both a doctorate in Biblical Studies and a Th.D. degree. Angela and her husband live in Florida, along with their mastiffs. For a complete list of the author's books, visit angelahuntbooks.com.
Purchase Links:
     Amazon
     ChristianBook

Monday, February 12, 2018

Book Review ~ Your God Is Too Glorious: Finding God In The Most Unexpected Places by Chad Bird

Your God Is Too Glorious: Finding God In The Most Unexpected Places by Chad Bird is a combination of Biblical and personal stories that illustrate and remind us that God is more often found in the humble and the lowly witness than sitting on the royal throne.

So often we get caught up in our daily grind and we seem to forget that God is right there next to us, plugging along with us, keeping us company and helping us with the day-to-day business of our very livelihood. Chad reminds us that God isn't waiting to shower us with blessings when we do well, get something right, or have a major epiphany. Instead, God is covered in the dirt and grime of our daily affairs, helping us get through all the little things to get from one day to the next.

Relating stories that he's encountered throughout his own journey, Chad shows us how to find God in the lowest and seemingly Godforsaken places, as well as through the hearts and actions of the unnamed saints of this world.

For anyone who's grown weary of the perfect church and the image of an ideal Christian, or for those who feel covered in the grime of daily life, Your God Is Too Glorious is a refreshing reminder that God doesn't just sit around waiting for us to get clean enough to be His witnesses - instead, He gets down in the mud and dirt with us and helps us to keep our heads above water. 4/5 stars.

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary print copy of this book from Baker Books for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are my own.*

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ About The Author ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(copied from back cover)
Chad Bird has served as a pastor in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, as assistant professor of Hebrew and exegetical theology at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and as a guest lecturer at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Novosibirsk, Siberia. He is the author of The Infant Priest, Christ Alone, and Night Driving.
Purchase Links:
     Amazon
     ChristianBook

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Book Review ~ When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

When God Made You is a children's book (ages 3-8, according to the back cover) written by Matthew Paul Turner and illustrated by David Catrow. Through colorful and creative pictures paired with extravagant rhyming verse, When God Made You tells children that not only are they created exactly how God wanted them to be, but they also have a life set out before them to fulfill His destiny for that creation.

When God Made You reminds children that God knew them before they were even born and that God gave them the gifts, talents, and dreams that they'll hold so dear in this life.

While I enjoyed the colorful art portrayed in this story, the rhyme felt somewhat drawn out and left me unsure of an ideal audience for this book. There are a lot of big - and seldom used - words and expressions that might be challenging for younger readers to understand, while the repetition of some phrases may make I somewhat monotonous for older readers. The overall length might also take too long to hold the attention of younger readers.

I'm giving this book 3/5 stars. I'd recommend this book to kids that mostly focus on the pictures, younger audiences that enjoy reading just a couple random pages at a time, or older audiences that like larger concepts but still enjoy picture books.

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary print copy of this book from Blogging For Books, for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are my own.*

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ About The Author and Illustrator ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(copied from back cover)
Matthew Paul Turner is the author of sixteen books. He lives with his wife, Jessica, (TheMomCreative.com, author of The Fringe Hours) and their three children in Nashville, Tennessee.
David Catrow is an editorial cartoonist whose vibrant illustrations have appeared in more than seventy children's books, including several New York Times bestsellers, such as I Ain't Gonna Paint No More and I Like Myself. David lives in Ohio with his wife, Deborah.
Purchase Links:
     Amazon
     ChristianBook