A Harvest of Home

I was thrilled to see the second book of the Song of Blessing series on my list of books to choose from.  Lauraine Snelling continues to be one of my all time favorite authors and this book did not disappoint me.

Miriam Hastings is home in Chicago, taking care of her siblings following the death of their mother.  She is continuing her nursing training and longing for the life and people she left behind in Blessing.  She knows that she will be returning to Blessing for another year and isn’t sure how that will fit into her life now.  But letters from Trygve Knutson continue to reach her and mix up her mind and heart.

Trygve is home, in Blessing, building a house and loving Miriam from afar.  Life in Blessing is also not very simple right now as characters we remember from the last series struggle to make ends meet and fight for their way of life.  When Miriam finally returns to Blessing, and plunges straight into work, she finds herself up against more and more decisions.  Her siblings need her, others are asking more and more of her, and Trygve is claiming space in her heart.

Where will Miriam end up in the end?  Back in Chicago?  Or at home in Blessing?

My Thoughts…

I loved this book!  The nursing side story is fascinating to me and the characters are full and rich.  The Godly theme though the whole book is refreshing, I love how Snelling weaves the Gospel and God’s love into all her books.

Highly recommended.

5 out of 5 Stars


The 4-Hour Workweek (Expanded!)

My dad has been wanting to read the 4-Hour Workweek for months.  We couldn’t find it at the library, and I kept forgetting to just order for him on Amazon.  Imagine how excited I was to see it available for review!  And my dad was thrilled!  So now we have our own copy.  And not just our own copy, a brand new, updated, revised edition.  Could it get better?

How would you like to double your salary and cut your working hours by more than half?  Instead of a 40 hour week, you work a 4 hour week?  Tim Ferriss outlines how he went from 40,000 a year to 40,000 a week.  Using well written, conversational style, Ferriss walks you through all his information, thoughts and tips for how he did what he did.

You will be encouraged and challenged as you make your way through this book.  I’m planning to read it at least 2-3 times this year.  He guides you through the DEAL – Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation.  I especially enjoyed his thoughts on time management, that was really stuff I needed to hear!  And his chapters on virtual assistants were a close second for me. Not because I want to hire a VA, but because I want to become one.  So it helped to see it from the other side, what he is looking for in a VA.

As Ferriss says, “a lot has changed since 2007”, so this edition has information on controlling and utilizing email, technology, and social media.

One Note: There is some mild language that I was unhappy to see.  Just as a side note.  It’s hardly worth mentioning, but it stood out to me and I wanted to point it out.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

The Power of a Half Hour

“Turn your fleeting minutes into defining moments”

I looked forward to receiving this book with great anticipation.  I love motivational books, and have a weakness for tips on how to “maximize your time”.  I don’t know why, I just love collecting and processing information on that kind of stuff.   But, I have to admit, this book was a slight disappointment.

Focussing on how to manage your downtime from the bottom up, this book divides our time into 30 minute increments.  What can  you do with those 30 minutes?  Memorize scripture?  Walk with your wife?  Watch TV?  Check Facebook?  The obvious answer is that when we control our time, even in the smallest amounts, it will turn our world around.  This will, ultimately, affect all our work and relationships.

My problem with this book was how shallow and trite it came across.  There was so much space to dive deep and explore here, but we were left with a very quick, basic chapter.  Even his relationship with God came across as cheap and shallow.  I don’t know, just the feeling I got from the book made me unhappy.

Rating 2 out of 5 stars.

Love Without Limits – Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic is known to the world as “the man without limbs”, but to two very special people he is known as “husband and daddy”.  Because even when everything seemed against him and his chance at love, God had a bigger, better plan in mind for Nick and his future.

In his mid-twenties it didn’t seem to Nick that there was a woman out there who would love him and share his life.  But then he met Kanae.  She flipped his world upside down immediately, and they started a crazy course of misunderstandings and hilarious stories as they fell in love with each other.  They share their story with openness and honesty, including how they handled criticism from others.  This book will bless anyone who picks it up, especially couples who may be dealing with a disability.  God can, and does, work everything out for good for His children.

“…an inspiring reminder that when Christ is at the center of a relationship-even with serious challenges-true love will triumph”

4 out of 5 stars

Learning to Breathe Fire

The history of the rise of CrossFit from a tiny, unknown gym to the workout that millions around the country do on a regular basis.  This book explores what it is to be human and why, deep inside each of us, is a desire to return to the “wild”.  I don’t have much to say about this book, mostly because I didn’t find it to be very good.  The writing struggled to intrigue me and keep me reading.  It also was obviously not written by a Christian, who made no attempt to hide her view that we are returning to the primitive cavemen we all began as.

Overall I was disappointed in this book,  It wasn’t what I was expecting and was hard to read.  But if you’re willing to overlook the flaws, you may enjoy the history of CrossFit.

Rating: 2 out 5 stars

Where Treetops Glisten

I was looking for something to read during the Christmas season, and stumbled upon this delightfully old-fashioned book.  Journey back to America during World War II and experience Christmas through the eyes of the Turner family.  This book is actually a collection of three stories, each by a difference award winning author.

Cara Putman’s “White Christmas” stars Abigail Turner, a college student with a troubled heart.  But her path crosses with a very troubled young man, who needs friends that will reach out to him. Sarah Sundin once again weaves a story of  fighter pilot in “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”  Pete returns home to recover from the war, and encounters a tiny girl who captures his heart.  Her quest for her lost father leads Pete to her mother, a girl he hurt years ago.  And Tricia Goyer finishes the collection with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.  Meredith (Merry) is serving as a combat nurse, losing herself in her work rather than face her broken heart.  But God leads her face to face with her greatest fear, causing her to wonder if it may be a Merry Christmas after all.

This collection of simple, heartwarming stories was a relaxing read that kept me engrossed from cover to cover.  Each of these ladies is a talented, creative author who weaves stories of realistic characters and the joy of the holiday season.  I highly recommend this read for your Christmas shelf.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears

Mail order bride, Eliza Cantrell, heads out to meet her groom.  He owns a general store, and Eliza is chomping at the bit to help him with his work.  But when she arrives, Axel is nowhere to be found and his business partner, William, dislikes the business and would rather be a doctor.  When Eliza arrives in town, penniless and alone, William tries to take care of her – in honor of his absent partner.  Eliza soon becomes indispensable around the store… which leads to some tension.   And even though she’s promised to another, Eliza finds herself spending more and more time with William.

Overall, I thought this book lacked a strong plot line and good characters.  It was a light read, that just failed to bring me in.  I’ll give it 3 out of 5 stars.