No Cape Required: A Book Review

Friday, February 28, 2014

There are so many times when I'm reading a main-stream book and I see the power of God in them, even though the author didn't mean to write it in.  Of course this happens often with movies too!  I've decided it's because the Creator designed us with His truth ingrained in our hearts, and when we, as people, try to express our feelings in creating, that Truth finds it's way into our creation.

Do you know what I mean?

With this concept in the back of my mind, I was thrilled when I got my hands on Kristen Parrish's new devotional, No Cape Required: 52 Ways to Unleash Your Inner Hero.

No Cape Required  a review  {Reading List}

This is an amazing little book, especially for the modern Christian who enjoys watching and reading secular media. Parrish has complied a list of 52 well known fictional characters and while discussing their main hero-attribute points Christians to the truth of God wanting us to cultivate similar attributes.

childhood favorite

Children's Corner: The Jolly Postman

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

One of the many reasons why I'm sure I love to read is because my mom had a million different books for us to read growing up.  Of course the fact that she is a preschool teacher and has put together quite a library over the years has something to do with that.  The other big thing was that we were allowed to read books that would be considered "below" our reading level, which is totally not something I've learned most parents let their kids do...

Children's Corner on Reading List

Anyway, a great plus to having a preschool teacher for a mom is that my kids are able to enjoy her vast library every time we visit, and that is often. Recently we discovered an old favorite of mine from when I was young -  The Jolly Postman by Allen Ahlburg.  It's so much fun! I mean what kind of person doesn't like a story where there are not just movable parts, but flaps that open to conceal letters and newpapers and other goodies that you can take out and explore? (Much like this book...)

This is a very interactive story that pulls together traditional fairy tale characters through the journeys of  the postman. The postman visits characters like the three little bears and then the reader gets to see what kind of mail they receive.

The Jolly Postman  in Children's Corner  {Reading List}

Like for the three bears, the postman brings them a letter from Goldilocks.  It's written in sloppy little kid writing with doodles around it, very similar to a child's pen pal type letter.

My boys are loving this one because they get to pull out letters, postcards and other goodies just like actual mail.  Plus it has made getting mail at home a real adventure.  I'm hoping that this interest in our mail leads to an interest in writing to others... but only time will tell.

Reading List Rating:
five coffee cup rating  {Reading List}

I had to rate this one high, because as a kid I would read this one over and over.  And I'm loving watching my boys look through this and ask questions...

Have you read The Jolly Postman to your kids?  Do your kids like books that have pull outs and ways to interact?  Do you have your kids write letters to anyone?  Join the conversation!
Marissa {Reading List}

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The Miner's Lady: A Review

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I love books because they open up worlds I wouldn't experience.  Well, I guess I should say, that is why I love reading fiction books.  I have other reasons for why I enjoy non-fiction...

Fiction introduces new people to me and shows me how different their lives are.  And yet, a good piece of fiction shows characters that have similarities to me, characteristics that I can see in myself, or my friends and family.  And that is why for me fiction is so great.

I recently was able to read a fun piece of Christian Fiction that reminded me initially of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, as the main character was in love a man from a family that her family was in the middle of a feud with. I was pleasantly surprised, that while that is the basic story line, there is so much more in this particular book.

The Miner's Lady by Tracie Peterson is a wonderful book that transports you to the mining community of Ely in the early twentieth century. The story focuses on two Italian immigrant families who are both focused on family loyalty, even more so than obedience to God.

The Miner's Lady  A book review   {Reading List}


Chantel and Isabella Panettas are sisters who are incredibly dedicated to their family and working together in order to have a nice life.  The hang up is that Chantel is in love with Orlando Calarcos. And well the Calarcos and the Panettas have a feud that spans generations back.  This is a love that will not be accepted by their families to say the least - or will it?

Chantel and Orlando are sure they are to be married, and pray for the hearts of their families to be softened. It is interesting to watch the power of prayer in this book as prayer is the catalyst for much of the action in this book, which I would never had guessed. And yes there is some action inside these chapters.

Personal Likes:

I really enjoyed how in-depth the author made each character. There are quite a few characters in this book, and they each come to life as the story progresses.  I could see how such a story line would focus on just a couple of characters and allow for many one-dimensional characters, and that simply was not the case. 

The setting was also beautifully detailed.  As I am a mid-west girl, I know next to nothing about mining, especially mining in the early 20th century.  The author does a great job of describing the town that forms near the mines and the contrast with the actual mine. She also does a great job of showing a middle-class family working together to have a nice home in such a time period.

Ephesians 2:8-9  {Reading List}

Personal Dislikes:

This book is most certainly a Christian focused book.  And as such, it can sometimes fall into the preachy side of writing.  Although I was able to let most of the preaching slide, I'm not sure all readers would be able to do so. 

Reasons to Read:

This book is simply a fun read. The timeless plots of Shakespeare tend to become great stories for modern readers, when authors can add in some new twists and turns, and this book does just that. Sure there are not many (although some) surprises, especially when it comes to the ending, but still it's about the pages in the middle that make a good piece of fiction good. 

Also, this is an easy read.  It grabs hold of you quickly and keeps moving forward. So although a little long for busy moms to squeeze in, it is worth the time. 

Reading List Rating:

Four coffee cup rating {Reading List}

I certainly enjoyed this book, but because of the length, I doubt I will read it again.

My Suggested Audience:

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction, as I have not come across too many books set in such a period.  It brings a new world to life.  Also I would lean towards the Christian community for this one, as there are may "preachy" moments. 

Are you a historical fiction reader?  What have you fallen in love with most recently and was it at all because of the setting?  I'd love for you to join the conversation!
Marissa  {Reading List}

If you are considering adding this book to your home library, would you think of going through my affiliate link below and supporting Reading List in the process? Thank you!

*I did receive a free copy of this book from the publishing company in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts above are 100% my own.

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Children's Corner: I Am

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

There are so many kids books out there, aren't there?  I mean just walk into a library and the kids section will blow you away... and to think that is only a small sampling of what is out there.  I'm always amazed.

The issue is that not all kid books are created equally.  Some are just plain boring, others are for specific audiences and ages, and others, well others are sharing messages I personally don't want my kids reading especially at such a young age. (My kids are under five.) And today I'm going to share a book that I am firmly placing in the "not for my kids" list.

As I feel books are an essential part of raising my kids to be intelligent and knowledge seekers, I take it seriously when we allow books into our house.

Children's Corner on Reading List


Who's Who in the Bible: A Review

Monday, February 17, 2014

There is something enthralling about good art, that is probably why National Geographic is so popular... at least I think so. The way their photographers capture things is amazing, it truly looks like artwork.  In fact, when I flip through a National Geographic magazine or book, I often can't tell which images are new photographs and which are art.  That is unless the art is extremely famous.

So my fascination with such great images pulled me into a newer book from the National Geographic library, Who's Who in the Bible.  This over sized resource is full of the amazing art that portrays different people in the Bible.  In fact the whole book is full of details specifically surround the people mentioned in the Bible.

Who's Who in the Bible  A Review  {Reading List}


The Virtuous Life : A Book Review {And a GIVEAWAY}

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

There are some scary statistics out there for married couples... I don't even want to actual put them here as they seem to change all the time.  But it's pretty safe to say that being a virtuous wife is not exactly a popular career option (can I even make that statement without people having opinions?). And as a result of so many marriages crumbling and ending it seems that there are numberless books out there telling women to be strong and independent and ready to stand on their own.

What about the wives that want to work daily at making their marriages strong? The wives that see marriage as a life-long commitment and want some encouragement in that decision?  Where are the books for them? (Yes, I know they are out there, but not in the same quantity...)

The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife   A Review  {Reading List}


Children's Corner: Valentine Books

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's day is a day that can easily be made into a huge holiday, or competly missed.  And to be honest, I'm not sure it needs to be a big deal.  However, it is a chance to focus in on loving those around us, a practice that many of us tend to forget as life gets busy, especially with kids around.

Sure we love our kids, but are we showing them?  Do they know, really know that we truly love them?

It seems that with such a great wealth of books out there on how to love each other that are specifically written for little ears, Valentine's Day is the perfect time to get out some books that remind us how much we love our littles.

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.  {Reading List}


Fourteen Days of Agape: A Book Review

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

It is probably safe to say that most people have this line memorized, "Love is patient, love is kind..."  In fact for many of you, you can probably keep going for lines if I asked you to.  I'm even willing to guess that many of us know this, not because it is in the Bible (and yes in case you are wondering it is...) but because it was in wedding vows, or a special card, or on a wall hanging, or even your grandmother used to say it all the time.

I'm also willing to bet that you associate that line with marriage, and married couples.  So many of us use this famous passage from 1 Corinthians specifically for how love should be within a strong, healthy marriage. Right?

But, since this passage is in the Bible, maybe we should consider the actual audience the book was written to, and that is exactly what Rosilind Jukic has done in her newest book, 14 days of Agape: Learning to love the body of Christ God's way.

14 Days of Agape - a Book Review  {Reading List}


Breathe: A book review

Saturday, February 01, 2014

I know firsthand just how hard it is as a busy mom to fit in a daily devotional, let alone trying to find the time to sit and breathe!  So when I heard about Jaimie Bowman's new book, Breathe: 31 Moments with God {for Moms}, I had to give it a shot.  I mean she says moments...

And this devotional does give you 31 days worth of daily devotions that will pull your focus on God, even while balancing a busy mom schedule.  Another plus, you can start this devotional at any time, it's not month dependent, you could even jump around to different days if you felt so inclined.

Breathe: 31 Moments with God [for moms]   {Reading List}

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