Deep Harbor, Lisa Tawn Bergen

The Book: They came to America together and set out to make their own lives, but personal tragedy and circumstance brings Tora, Elsa, Kaatje, and Karl back together again.  Since Tora brought her tragedy on herself, and in some way harmed each of the others as well, is there anyway for them all to work together as a unit and reforge their lives?

My Thoughts:  I live in the Pacific Northwest and was quite anxious to read Deep Harbor, by Lisa Tawn Bergen because I am familiar with the coastline, history and culture of the area. Deep Harbor, by Lisa Tawn Bergen did not disappoint me. This is book two in a series, but it was quite easily read as a stand alone.  The characters were engaging from the very first and I couldn’t quit turning the pages.  This book kept me from doing the dishes and robbed me of some sleep, but it was worth it!  I will definitely pick up the first book in the series and am anxious for the next one as well.

I would like to thank WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of this book for review.

Yesterday’s Promise, by Linda Lee Chaikin

The story: Rogan Chantry, an heir to the diamond mining British South Africa Company, does not care for the way his uncle is running the business and fears his uncle’s ambitions will someday take him too far.  Chantry declares his independence from the family — something his uncle does not take lightly — and begins his own pursuit for gold using a mysterious map which Chantry believes, is what the murderer sought the night his Uncle Henry died.  And, as if the family tension wasn’t enough, there are also brewing tensions between the native tribesmen, the missionaries, and the colonists.  Meanwhile, the murderer, unaware Chantry has the map, is still searching for it and critically injures Evy Varley, the missionary girl Chantry loves.

My thoughts: I didn’t realize, as I started to read Yesterday’s Promise, that it was book two in a series. I was quite frustrated by the scope of the story.  It seemed too big for just one book and I felt like I was dropped smack dab in the middle.  Once I realized that is exactly what happened, I felt much better about what I had read.  The writing is excellent.  The characters are intriguing.  I puzzled over the “who dunnit” and quite enjoyed the suspense.  I recommend this book as a very good read, but I think you’ll enjoy it most if you begin with book #1.

I would like to thank WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of this book for review.

Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris

I choose to read, Dug Down Deep, by Joshua Harris book because of this bit of description from Multnomah Books:

With startling transparency, Joshua Harris shares how we can rediscover the relevance and power of Christian truth. This is book shows a young man who rose quickly to success in the Christian evangelical world before he realized his spirituality lacked a foundation—it rested more on tradition and morality than on an informed knowledge of God.

As someone who grew up in the church just going through the motions, I was eager to read Joshua’s account of finding a deeper relationship with God. However, when he spent the first 36 pages telling me ad nauseam why I should read the book, I couldn’t help thinking that I would, if he’d just get on with it.

Luckily, when he did “get on with it”, he had much of value to say. It is important that we each develop a personal relationship with God by delving into, meditating on, coming to understand scripture, and then putting it into action in our daily lives.

My favorite chapter in the book, however, wasn’t about Joshua, but instead detailed his father’s conversion story. It was very like my own, and yet very different as well. It was a wonderful reminder to me of why I cherish God, and how much he cherishes me.

The publishers recommend this book for new believers and long time believers who may have fallen into a spiritual rut and have perhaps grown immune or indifferent to scripture. I concur.

I would like to thank Waterbrook Multnomah for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book to read and review.

I blog for books.

40 Loaves, by C. D. Baker

A book review & a giveaway.

I once invited someone to my church who promptly responded that she had only ever been to one church in her entire life. I was rather surprised since she had lived in many different parts of the world. I asked her to tell me about her church. She shrugged and told me the name of her church. I asked her what made it so special to her. She said that was where she was baptized. I asked why she had chosen that church for her baptism. She responded, “Because my father was baptized there.”

Upon further questioning, I found that my friend knew nothing about the tenants of her faith. She knew that she was a Christian because her parents raised her to be a Christian, had her baptized, and took her to church every Christmas and Easter. Once those would have been my answers, too.

Thankfully, God shook me out of that comfortable place and made me stretch and grow.  Stretching and growing always involves struggle of one sort or another.   If you are ready to stretch and grow, here is a book that will help you in the struggle.

40 Loaves
Breaking Bread With Our Father Each Day

WaterBrook Press

This book is advertised as daily readings to renew a hungry spirit and covers 40 of the toughest questions believers wrestle over.  Since the questions are not easy, they do not come with pat answers.  They do come with scripture, a real-life vignette, and questions to help you formulate your own thoughts and ideas.

With these 40 readings, C.D. Baker tackles the BIG question believers ask — is it okay to question our faith?  Baker asserts that not only is it okay for believers to question their faith, but it is imperative they do so in order for their faith to become real.  Unsupported beliefs are illusions and habit.  They provide no substance or comfort in times of storm and doubt.

For me this book was not a simple matter of 40 readings for 40 days.  Some of the issues I had already grappled with, so I did not need to visit them long.  Other issues I lingered over for several days.  A couple of the issues I am still revisiting.  I almost wish that each question in this book was covered with a bit more depth and came with instructions for Bible reading and journaling.  I think this would make an excellent group study book — one week for each lesson.   Most of the points are too big to tackle in the standard “daily devotions” format.

C. David Baker resides on Grace Haven Farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and received his Master’s degree in practical theology from the University of  St. Andrews, Scotland.  Baker claims that the failures and deep valleys of his own life have lead him to God’s unquenchable well of Grace and blessed him with the ability to write as he does.

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This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.  Further, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group has provided me with an additional copy of the book to give away to one of my lucky readers.  If you wish to be considered for a copy of this book please leave a comment specifically telling me to include you in the drawing.

Rules:

  1. The contest comments will be compiled in the order they are received and the winner will be chosen by the Random Number generator.
  2. To be included in the drawing all comments must contain the words “enter me in the drawing”.
  3. The contest will end at 6:00 p.m. HST, December 16th, 2009
  4. The winner will be posted on this blog on December 17th, 2009.
  5. I don’t believe that God recognizes borders and nationalities so neither do I. Everyone is welcome to enter.