I have read a number of daily devotional books by such authors as Oswald Chambers, John Eldredge, and Billy Graham, but there are not that many qualit...moreI have read a number of daily devotional books by such authors as Oswald Chambers, John Eldredge, and Billy Graham, but there are not that many quality ones written by, or specifically for, Catholics. Of those that are, the only one I have used more than once is In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Carvajal, and it is 6 plus pages per day. This one will be reread each day for the next few years, maybe even longer. In the intro, the authors state that each month has a special dedication in the church. They are:
January: Holy Name of Jesus February: Holy Family March: St. Joseph April: Blessed Sacrament May: Mary June: Sacred Heart July: Precious Blood August: Immaculate Heart of Mary September: Our Lady of Sorrows October: Rosary November: Holy Souls in Purgatory December: Immaculate Conception
This book is a devotional for body, mind and spirit. Christ stated that he came that we might have life and have it abundantly. I have always believed that God wants us to be whole - of sound body, sound mind and sound spirit. I personally, after 10 years in Campus ministry as a student, volunteer and staff, found that too many people, too many ministries and too many churches only focus on the spirit or spirit and mind, and let the body slide. This book is intended to help bring about a more balanced approach to life.
Each day we have a quote from the bible and/or a Saint of the church, a reflection and an exercise. This book was amazing and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to grown in one of those three areas and especially for those who seek balance in their life. There is much in this book we can apply to our personal life and I know that with each rereading, new things and new practices will come up and as we grow, a deeper level of devotion. Awesome book. Thanks Kevin, Shane and Peggy.(less)
This is a great final novel in the Jacob the Baker trilogy. Preceded by Jacob the Baker and Jacob's Journey, Jacob is back in his hometown. Jacob has...moreThis is a great final novel in the Jacob the Baker trilogy. Preceded by Jacob the Baker and Jacob's Journey, Jacob is back in his hometown. Jacob has received an unexpected gift and responsibility. Ezra, from the council of sages, has sent his orphaned grandson, Johan, to learn wisdom from Jacob.
This is a new phase of life for Jacob, who was always content in the silences of his single life. Now there are the noises and disturbances of a young boy. Yet the boy does not come alone. The local schoolteacher comes to visit Jacob, and wants Jonah to go to school. Thus Ruth becomes friend to both Jacob and Jonah.
This is a great book in the tradition of the Jewish sages. Mr. benShea writes with a skill, power and conviction that will touch your heart.
Read the review and with links to other reviews of books by the author on my blog Book Reviews and More. And also an author profile and interview with Noah benShea.(less)
This is a great sequel to the original Jacob the Baker. Jacob has found that he cannot be himself in his hometown so he must go on a journey. He sets...moreThis is a great sequel to the original Jacob the Baker. Jacob has found that he cannot be himself in his hometown so he must go on a journey. He sets out alone and ends up meeting many along the road, some whom he helps and some who help him to understand himself.
This book is filled with just as much wisdom as the original, though not in the short snippets found in the first book. This story has the wisdom woven into the narrative form. But no matter how far Jacob traveled, his wisdom was there with him and others would find it. "Late that night, stories of what the parents had asked and what Joseph's guest had answered were whispered from door to door. Rumors ran like the river that flowed through the village. Tales were told about the stranger named Jacob." p. 67 Eventually, the rumors of Jacob's wisdom get back to his hometown.
Samuel his good friend comes to find him, but will Jacob return home?
Read the review and with links to other reviews of books by the author on my blog Book Reviews and More. And also an author profile and interview with Noah benShea. (less)
This book, the first in a trilogy, is a great collection of stories, thoughts, penses and ideas. It is a book in the great Jewish wisdom tradition. Ja...moreThis book, the first in a trilogy, is a great collection of stories, thoughts, penses and ideas. It is a book in the great Jewish wisdom tradition. Jacob is a baker, and each day on his way to the bakery after his prayers he thinks and reflects on God and life. While the ovens are warming up, he jots down his thoughts. One day by accident, one of his scraps of thoughts gets baked into a loaf of bread. The lady who finds it is overwhelmed by its insight and wisdom. She asked the owner of the bakery if Jacob will share more of his ideas by baking one in each of some rolls for a dinner party for her. Reluctantly, Jacob agrees and his peaceful life is shattered.
Soon Jacob has no time for himself. When he goes home people are awaiting him, in the morning they are on the path to work, and every day they are in the bakery, asking him questions, seeking advice and wisdom. They soon desire to make Jacob their Tzadik, their wise man. These stories will warm your heart, and open your eyes to the divine in yourself and in others. It will teach you to live with love and grace and mercy towards others.
(First Printed in part in Imprint 2005-05-20 as 'Books that will change your life.')
Read the review and with links to other reviews of books by the author on my blog Book Reviews and More. And also an author profile and interview with Noah benShea. (less)
For a few years now I have intended to read one of the Judy Moody novels by Megan McDonald and Peter H Reynolds. It is definitely my loss that I have...moreFor a few years now I have intended to read one of the Judy Moody novels by Megan McDonald and Peter H Reynolds. It is definitely my loss that I have not made the time to do so yet. Stink is Judy's little brother and each has their own series and a few carry-over novels. If the Judy Moody or the other Stink books are as good as this one, I am in for a lot of good reading.
This book was really fun to read, and young readers will get a kick out of the story and comedy in it. Stink and his friends are desperately awaiting the release of Nightmare on Zombie Street Book 5, Creature with the Cootie Brain, a book in the Zombie series they have been reading. Their school is trying to get to a million minutes read and maybe they even get a little scared. The chapters are:
Vomitocius The Smellatorium What about B.O.B.? Curse of the Zombie Baloney Zombie Lunch Lady Nightmare on Croaker Street Cruella De Zombie The (Ten O'Clock) Midnight Zombie Walk
In 153 pages of text and illustrations, Reynolds and McDonald tell a hilarious tale. This book was a great read and has hooked me so much I am planning on reading both series soon. Check them out; great book for young readers or to read with young readers.
It was weird going back and reading the first book in this trilogy after reading the third novel, but it was well worth it. In this story, set in an a...moreIt was weird going back and reading the first book in this trilogy after reading the third novel, but it was well worth it. In this story, set in an alternative world where airplanes were never developed and airships still rule the skies, Kenneth Oppel has created an amazing world, full of adventure and wonder.
The story focuses around a trip from Lions Gate to Australia aboard the ship Aurora. Young Matt Cruse and Miss Kate de Vries meet on this journey. In this story we have pirate attacks, ship wreck, an uncharted island, undiscovered species and much, much more. With amazing characters and plot twists I could not put the book down. It is a great read and another awesome book by Mr. Oppel.
Few books that I have read were as compelling and addictive as this one, and with 3 more published in the series and a 5th on the way, it will provide...moreFew books that I have read were as compelling and addictive as this one, and with 3 more published in the series and a 5th on the way, it will provide many more hours of entertainment. This book was hard to put down. I just kept saying to myself as reading, one more section, one more chapter, and yet kept reading when I should have put it down. I had to stop reading it at work because I would not want my break or lunch to end. The story is fast paced, the plot twists uncanny, the characters incredibly interesting and the concept chilling.
Will Burrows (pun intended I am sure) is obsessed with archaeological digs, a passion his father has encouraged. His father is the curator at the local museum and dreams of finding something to put his academic career back on track. But they dig in secret, hiding their tunnels and their finds. Will works on projects for his father but also has his own side digs in areas of interest for himself. And in some ways he feels more at home underground than above. But when his father goes missing, and Will discovers a mysterious tunnel and journal, he and his friend Chester go digging, looking for Dr. Burrows. What they find will surprise them and just might cost them their lives.
The greatest strength of the story is the uniqueness of the story line. The plot is so enticing. Discovering an underground world and civilization is not a new plot, but how this one came about, and its interactions with topsiders, is unique and fascinating. Overall it was an excellent read and I cannot wait to read more books in the series. (Note this book was originally published as The Highfield Mole.)
This book took me completely by surprise. From the promo blurb about the book it looked interesting, but once I was reading it, I came to the conclusi...moreThis book took me completely by surprise. From the promo blurb about the book it looked interesting, but once I was reading it, I came to the conclusion that it is fantastic. In some ways it reads like classic science fiction by authors like Robert A. Heinlien, Isaac Asimov and others, yet with a slight religious twist much like C.S. Lewis's Space trilogy. The story is extremely well written. The characters are fresh and exciting. The plot has some amazing twists.
Colt's life has changed more than he ever thought it could but this is only the beginning. His parents are killed in a car accident. He moves from San Francisco to Arizona to live with his grandfather. But soon he finds out that the comics he read as a child about an organization called CHAOS - Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural, were real and his Grandfather was the original Phantom Flyer during World War II. He soon discovers that his father was an agent and so are his older brothers. Soon he is informed that his parents' death was not an accident. His mother, an investigative reporter, was working on an expose of Trident Industries. With his long time friend Danielle and his new friend from school Oz, they start to try to put the pieces together about what his mother uncovered.
The story is filled with gadgets and gizmos aplenty, enough to make James Bond look under equipped. With jetpacks, flying motorcycles and killer robots the adventure is fast-paced and a thrill ride from start to finish. Combine that with aliens from parallel universes and a visit to another world, this story has everything in classic science fiction and adventure novels all rolled up in one. This book was a great read and I cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out.
Read the review and with links to other reviews of books by the author on my blog Book Reviews and More. And also an author profile and interview with Jon S. Lewis. (less)
There is no question I love Arthur Slade's books, have read nearly all of them and enjoyed each one. From the award winning Dust to the quirky Tribes...moreThere is no question I love Arthur Slade's books, have read nearly all of them and enjoyed each one. From the award winning Dust to the quirky Tribes or Jolted, each one is new and different and shows a breadth of skill in storytelling not often seen. Yet what amazed me most about this collection of short stories was that the variety of plots, storylines and genres represented far surpasses all of his previous work. The stories included in this collection are:
Stubb Snow White and the Seven Elves What's Coming Garbage Day Gydian Fights His Greatest Foe Fairytale November Virtual Dragon Resurrection Blues Walt Does The Resurrection Jesus Busts a Bronc Not With A Whimper The Elephant King A Time For Autonomy Number Nine World Bubbles
From his story about a young man sure he is becoming a werewolf, to the hilarious take on Snow White as a socialite and back-stabbing money hungry wench, there is something in this collection for everyone. There is a hilarious story about accountants and how they destroyed the Knights business, because a Knight just cannot afford to fight the dragons any more. Another is about a young man enchanted and charmed by Autumn who then leaves his life, school and family behind to disappear with this apparition. This was an awesome collection of short stories and for the price of just $2.99 for the eBook it cannot be beat. I have already read it twice and know I will reread it again and again. The book also has the first chapter of Slade's award winning Dust as an afterwards so if you have not read it, you will be hooked after reading that first chapter. So pick it up you will not be disappointed!
Read the review and with links to other reviews of books by the author on my blog Book Reviews and More. And also an author profile and interview with Arthur Slade and a visual bibliography.(less)
Regina Doman is a master story teller. Her books that I have read are like an amazing mug of tea - I take my time and sip them slowly savouring each p...moreRegina Doman is a master story teller. Her books that I have read are like an amazing mug of tea - I take my time and sip them slowly savouring each paragraph, each page. The nuances in her writings are tremendous. Many books that I read I race through because I want to find out what happens next. With Regina's books I tend to take my time and meander through them, picking them up and reading them in sections over a few days or even weeks. I do not want to miss anything while reading the stories. I also find that based on the Catholic content, they also often drive me to prayer. While reading, friends and family or situations I know about will come to mind and I will pray.
This book could have easily been called Snow White and the Seven Friars. It is a modern fairy tale, and yet also a fairy tale retold. Doman has mastered the art of modernizing the classic fairy tales. The main characters in this story overlap with her earlier book The Shadow of the Bear: Blanche and Rose, two sisters from the Briar family, and Bear and Fish, brothers whose lives have changed drastically since the first book. The brothers, and this time Blanche as well, are being framed for drug possession. Blanche is in hiding and believes she is alone, Bear and Fish are in Europe and her Sister and Mother are visiting family in California. She is staying at the new Friary which was her old school and the next door church. She is helping the 7 friars get organized as they repair the church and school, minister to those around them and she is trying to figure out God's plan, who is after her and why.
This story is an amazing adventure, with action, romance, and faith all rolled into one tight package. Regina Doman is my favourite contemporary religious author. Her Catholic Fairy Tales Retold is full of amazing stories, that will be great reads for teens, young adults or even adults with an adventuresome heart. Give them a try you will not be disappointed.
Read the review and with links to other reviews of books by the author on my blog Book Reviews and More. And also an author profile and interview with Regina Doman.(less)
For a few years now I have been meaning to go back and read some of Holly Black's earlier works. Both her Spiderwick books and her Modern Faerie Tales...moreFor a few years now I have been meaning to go back and read some of Holly Black's earlier works. Both her Spiderwick books and her Modern Faerie Tales were on my TBR (To Be Read) pile, but because they were older books, they kept getting pushed down on my reading list as new titles came across my desk and new authors were discovered. I have no one to blame but myself; I should have known better and read these works much, much earlier. Black shows amazing diversity in her writings and this trilogy is no exception.
Kaye Fierch is an 'Asian Blond' sixteen year old, who spends most of her time in bars with her rocker mom. She doesn't know it yet, but she is not who she thinks she is. She is not even human. She has interacted with faeries since she was young, and even though she was bugged at school and by others, she has always believed in them. Then after returning to her grandmother's home, she rediscovers the other world, and they have a plan to achieve freedom with Kaye's help.
In a world where the faerie and ours overlap much closer than anyone thinks, Black weaves a tale of mystery, deceit, danger and destruction. C.S. Lewis is quoted as stating: "Some say you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." He also states "At all ages, if [fantasy and myth] is used well by the author and meets the right reader, it has the same power: to generalize while remaining concrete, to present in palpable form not concepts or even experiences, but whole classes of experience, and to throw off irrelevancies. But at its best it can do more; it can give us experiences we have never had and thus, instead of 'commenting on life', can add to it." Black definitely achieves that in most of her writings and especially in this book. Every time I read something else by Black I am blown away by her skill with the pen.
This novella was dark, twisted and compelling. I have known the author for a few years but as a reporter and editor. I had no idea the depth of creati...moreThis novella was dark, twisted and compelling. I have known the author for a few years but as a reporter and editor. I had no idea the depth of creativity and the overwhelming power in her words, once she turned to fiction. In part, the story was like driving by an accident - you cannot help but look. Once you start reading, you know something bad is coming and you might even figure it out, but the suspense you go through reading, and waiting and discovering the details as Clark reveals them to us, in little snippets as the story progresses, is intense.
The characters are amazing. I only hope we will see either more stories or a novel focused around the reporter and news woman, Chrissy. She has insight, determination and an unwillingness to play politics at the office. There is a lot to admire in this character even as she is piecing together the terrible truth.
The story will grab at the heart and gut of any parent, or really anyone who is close to young children, either in their family or friends. As you're reading, you cannot help but wonder about missing children, abduction and worse, and what if? The 'What Ifs' in this story are what get you. In 49 pages of text in the PDF version of the book, you are taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions.
Clark has written an amazing novella, or short story, that shows incredible skill and talent as a writer. I can only hope we get a lot more fiction to read from this budding Canadian author.
This new series from Scholastic, Conspiracy 365, is another unique approach to books that will draw readers in and keep them addicted. Much like the 3...moreThis new series from Scholastic, Conspiracy 365, is another unique approach to books that will draw readers in and keep them addicted. Much like the 39 Clues or Skeleton Creek books, it approaches story telling in a new and different way that with draw an addicted following of readers. The story is about the life of Calllum (Cal) Ormond. Almost like a year-long version of the TV series 24. The story will be told over 12 books, one released each month.
Cal gets a cryptic warning on New Year's Eve that his life is in danger and that his father was actually murdered. Soon he finds himself at odds with his uncle and life is getting stranger and stranger. Before the month of January is out, he is living on the lam, hiding out from family, the police, and even a couple of crime families - not exactly what the 15-year-old expected to be doing with his life. Soon he is trying to solve the cipher of his father's last 5 drawings, figure out what the Ormond Riddle is, or what the Ormond Singularity is, and what they have to do with him other than having his last name.
These are the stories of an ordinary guy, a young man thrown into an extra- ordinary situation. He is not a genius, not a computer geek and he has no magic. He just has his wits and a good friend helping him out. He must figure out who killed his father, who tried to kill him, and if the warning he received is correct, he has only a year to figure it out or it will be too late.
These books have a few cool features. In each book, the page numbers start at the highest and count down. The chapter headings are Dates and Time. I had intended to read these books as they came out, but got behind. Part of me is glad because I do not have to wait for the next volume but part of me regrets not reading them as they were released. It was a great first book and I know I will have to read all 12 books; the story is so good I cannot put it down. Give them a try you will not be disappointed.