Greetings our faithful First readers!
Upcoming books to watch for: I read a series of four eBooks recently. I knew we just had to have the physical books for our library, so I ordered them. Look for IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING, SUMMER BREEZE, FALLING FOR YOU AGAIN, and WINTER TURNS TO SPRING. The authors are Catherine Palmer and Gary Chapman. You will fall in love with this group of neighbors. These books remind me of the Jan Karon series. Watch for them! - Darlene Baltus.
“Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything.” - Tomie dePaola
BETWEEN TWO WORLDS - Escaping from Tyranny: Growing up in the Shadow of Saddam by Zainab Salbi, at 92 Sal. “The highly anticipated memoir from the daughter of Saddam Hussein’s personal pilot: An unforgettable story of survival, strength, and one woman’s struggle against tyranny.” “In this intimate portrait, she reveals the tyrant through the eyes of a child, a secretly rebellious teenager, an abused wife, and ultimately a professional woman.” “Between Two Worlds is a story of heroism like no other.”
FACING THE DAWN by Cynthia Ruchti, 813.6 Ruc. Taken from the back cover: “While her humanitarian husband Liam has been digging wells in Africa, Mara Jacobs has been struggling. She knows she’s supposed to feel a warm glow that her husband is eight time zones away, caring for widows and orphans. But she is exhausted, working a demanding yet unrewarding job, trying to manage their three detention-prone and needy kinds, failing at her to-repair list, and fading like a garment left too long in the sun…Then Liam’s three-year absence turns into something more, changing everything and plunging her into a sunless grief. As Mara struggles to find her footing, she discovers that even when hope is tenuous, faith is fragile, and the future is unknown, we can be sure we are not forgotten…or unloved.” – When I first starting reading it, I thought to myself “I hope nobody that’s already feeling hopelessly overwhelmed reads this. It sure won’t lift their spirits.” It wasn’t until the very end of the book that a beautiful and peace-filled plan to all that transpired becomes obvious. (Sound kinda like life?) It is an exceptionally good book. – Review by Alice Hill.
GIFTED HANDS – THE BEN CARSON STORY by Ben Carson, M.D. at 92 Car. “Dr. Ben Carson is known around the world for breakthroughs in neurosurgery that have brought hope where no hope existed. In Gifted Hands, he tells of his inspiring odyssey from his childhood in inner-city Detroit to his position as director of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins Medical Institutions at age thirty-three. Taking you into the operating room where he has saved countless lives, Ben Carson is a role model for anyone who attempts the seemingly impossible.” “Filled with fascinating case histories, this bestselling book tells the dramatic and intimate story of Ben Carson’s struggle to beat the odds – and of the faith and genius that make him one of today’s greatest life-givers.”
HANNAH GRACE by Sharlene MacLaren, 813.6 Mac, Bk 1 of Daughters of Jacob Kane series. Growing up in the west Michigan resort town of Sandy Shores in the early 1900s, Hannah Grace, the eldest of Jacob Kane's three daughters, “is feisty and strong-willed, yet practical. Between working at her father's general store and courting the town's physician, Ralston Van Huff, Hannah has her life planned out in an orderly, meaningful way. Or so she thinks. Hannah's world turns upside down when the new sheriff comes to town. Gabriel Devlin is strong, outspoken, and a Christian to boot – but he's sworn off women, having met ones mostly interested in money and apathetic about God. Determined to ignore the newcomer's handsome looks, Hannah is drawn to him nonetheless by a shy, runaway orphan boy named Jesse. While Hannah works to befriend the shy vagabond, who's living with Gabriel until other arrangements can be made, God works in her heart. What plans does He have in store for this young woman who thought she had it all together?”
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx
ACCEPTABLE RISK by Lynette Eason, 813.6 Eas, Book 2 of Danger Never Sleeps series. Taken from the book blurb: “Sarah Denning is a military journalist with the Army in the Middle East when she is taken hostage. When former Army Ranger Gavin Black is asked by his old unit commander – Sarah’s imposing father – to plan an extremely risky rescue, he reluctantly agrees and successfully executes it…Back in the US, Sarah is livid when she’s discharged on a false psychiatric evaluation and vows to return to the army…What they uncover may be the biggest story in of Sarah’s career – if she can survive long enough to write it…..”
ALL MANNER OF THINGS by Susie Finkbeiner, 813.6 Fin. “After Annie Jacobson’s brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he mails her the address of their long-estranged father. If anything should happen to him in Vietnam, Mike says, Annie must let their father know…In Mike’s absence, their father returns to face tragedy at home, adding an extra measure of complication to an already tense time. Letter by letter, the Jacobsons must find a way to pull together as a family, regardless of past hurts. In the tumult of this time, Annie and her family will grapple with the tension of holding both hope and grief in the same hand, even as they learn to turn to the One who binds the wounds of the brokenhearted.”
ALMOST HOME by Valerie Fraser Luesse, 813.6 Lue. “A story of kindness, friendship, and healing. At an Alabama boardinghouse in the 1940s, characters going through troubled times find hope and help through each other.”
ALL SHE LEFT BEHIND by Jane Kirkpatrick, 813.54 Kir. The fascinating story of Jennie who graduated from medical school in 1879. She was one of the first doctors in Portland working with women and children. She was also a social worker. Her expertise was in medical research. Though classed as historical fiction, the book is based closely on real people and events. See author’s notes at end of book. Reviewed by Alice Hill.
AUTUMN BLUE by Karen Harter, 813.6 Har. I thought this book very realistic and timely. I couldn’t have come up with a better summary than the one on the back of the book: “Sidney Walker is doing her best at raising her three children alone. But lately her sweet teenage son, Ty, has become broodingly angry. When the deputy sheriff arrests Ty and later invades her home with a search warrant connected to another local crime, Sidney is overwhelmed. As much as she wants to believe her son is innocent, the evidence is too strong to ignore. She fights to save her son and give him renewed hope. Though her options seem very limited, she finds she is not as alone as she thinks, and the solution may be in the most unlikely of people.” – Reviewed by Alice Hill.
BEFORE I CALLED YOU MINE by Nicole Deese, 813.6 Dee. “With its unique right-love-wrong-timing premise, this is a novel that will keep readers ignoring their chores, reaching for their tissue boxes, and sighing with contentment. It’s fresh, soul-stirring, and romantic…”
BEFORE I SAW YOU by Amy Sorrells, 813.54 Sor. A very faithful reader writes: Merely by coincidence, two newly shelved books in our library by completely different authors, have a similar theme – two young pregnant girls from disastrous backgrounds with no chance of ever having a hope-filled life: BEFORE I SAW YOU and DEAR CAROLINA by Kristy Woodson Harvey, 813.6 Har. After reading these, it reminds me of Gen. 18:14 where God says “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
BELOVED HOPE CHEST, THE by Amy Clipston found at 813.6 Cli. This information came from the back of the book: Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past. But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to open old wounds. This book has a glossary for Amish terms and discussion questions at the end.
BERENSTAIN BEARS DO THE RIGHT THING, THE BERENSTAIN BEARS KEEP THE FAITH, and THE BERENSTAIN BEARS SAY THEIR PRAYERS. They can be found in the children’s section.
BEYOND THE ORPHAN TRAIN Series books 1 – 4 by Arleta Richardson. Written in the tender style of Little House on the Prairie, this series tells the story of the Cooper children as they take the orphan train to a new life in the early 1900s. Based on the life of a real family, this charming four-book series is rich in history, adventure and faith.
BILLY GRAHAM NEARING HOME – LIFE, FAITH, AND FINISHING WELL by Billy Graham, 236 Gra. “Explore with me not only the realities of life as we grow older but also the hope and fulfillment and even joy that can be ours once we learn to look at these years from God’s point of view and discover His strength to sustain us every day.” – Billy Graham.
BLACK SANDS by Colleen Coble, 813.54 Cob. Taken from a Goodreads summary: “A brainy—and perpetually single—volcanologist, Annie Tagama works alongside her father at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. But despite her pedigree, Annie has lost her passion for volcanology. She's quietly grieving the mysterious loss of her brother in the Middle East. When Annie discovers that her brother might still be alive—and in trouble—she shakes off her malaise and joins forces with Mano Oana, the unnervingly handsome family friend she had always blamed for her brother's death.”
BLOWING ON DANDELIONS by Miralee Ferrell, 813.54 Fer. Book 1 of the Love Blossoms in Oregon series. “Do dandelion wishes actually come true? Katherine Galloway knows the moment of calm she is feeling won’t last, blown away like the dandelion seeds she scattered as a girl. It’s 1880, three years after her husband’s death, and she’s struggling to run an Oregon boardinghouse and raise two girls alone. Things don’t get easier when her critical, domineering mother moves in. Katherine must make the situation work, but standing up for herself and her family while honoring her mother isn’t easy. And with a daughter soon to turn fourteen, the pressure on Katherine becomes close to overwhelming. Then she crosses paths with Micah Jacobs, a widower who could reignite her heart, but she fears a relationship with him might send things over the edge. She must find the strength, wisdom, hope, and faith to remake her life, because everything is about the change.”
BLUE RIDGE SUNRISE by Denise Hunter, 813.6 Hun. “Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe – a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.”
CAMERA NEVER LIES, THE by David Rawlings, 813.54 Raw. “When Daniel inherits an old camera from his grandfather, he notices an inscription on the bottom: ‘No matter what you think you might see, the camera never lies.’ Daniel begins using the camera, but every time he develops his photos, they threaten to reveal secrets that could sabotage both his marriage and his career – and destroying the life he has worked so hard to build.” The author says that the theme of the book is about the price of accepting honesty with others and ourselves. This was a really strange and interesting book. Readers - let me know what you think. – Review by Janie Carlson.
CAPTAIN FOR LAURA ROSE, A by Stephanie Grace Whitson, FIC Whi. “Laura has lost everything she loves; and now she is also about to lose her home, a steamboat called the Laura Rose. Her only hope is to become a licensed pilot; but, as a woman living in 1863 that is easier said than done… Whitson does an excellent job of incorporating spiritual themes of trust, obedience, faith, love, and sacrifice with Bible verses without getting too preachy…This story is mainly geared toward young women, but older teens who admire self-confident females will find this book captivating as well. Mature themes are present but not graphically described.”
CENTER OF GRAVITY by Laura McNeil found at 813.6 McN. This is a book, that after reading it, the story will stay with you for a while. Thought provoking, uncomfortable, angry, wanting to get into the story to help these characters were some of the reactions I had. I’m not sure it is considered a Christian book; would like feedback from readers! Ava Carson’s picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, yet she considers it temporary. The chapters tell the story as each character enters. Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things – and people – are not always what they seem. Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.
CHARACTER SKETCHES – FROM THE PAGES OF SCRIPTURE ILLUSTRATED IN THE WORLD OF NATURE 241 Ins. This over-sized book contains animal stories that have a biblical base. “Beautiful book, very intentionally written. Great for family devotions and discussion.”
CHASING THE WIND by Pamela Ewen found at 813.6 Ewe. Young Amalise Catoir, with her hard won law degree, was a junior associate in a very prestigious New Orleans legal firm. Excited at her newest assignment in a multi-million dollar deal in the very complex world of big deals and high finance, she found herself in an adversarial position to that of her firm, threatened with losing her job, her license, and her good reputation. You’ll find the surprise ending in this great new book in our library. Reviewed by Alice Hill.
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE GRANDPARENT’S SOUL by Jack Canfield, 808.8 Can. “Stories to open the hearts and rekindle the spirits of grandparents.”
CHOSEN PEOPLE by Robert Whitlow, 813.54 Whi. “My verdict: compelling, realistic, and inspiring. Robert combines the intensity of a legal battle against terrorists with a poignant depiction of Israel, with all its tensions and grandeur. As a lawyer who handles cases for terrorism victims, I loved the realism of the novel and felt deeply the joys, disappoints and triumphs of its characters. But the matters of the law were eclipsed by matters of the heart – faith, love and hope in the midst of despair – this is where Whitlow truly shines.” – Randy Singer.
CHRISTMAS IN WINTER HALL by Melody Carlson, 813.54 Car. Taken from the book blurb: “Spend this holiday season in a town you’ll never forget. Krista Galloway has a good reason to dislike the holiday season, but when her new job as city manager forces her to plan the town’s over-the-top Christmas celebration, she and her daughter may find a new home – and some Christmas spirit – in the process.”
CHRISTMAS SWAP, THE by Melody Carlson, 813.54 Car. Taken from the book blurb: “All Emma Daley
wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can’t find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there’s someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade. Tyler Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the houseguests would be so sweet – or so strikingly pretty.”
CITY OF REFUGE by Ashley King, 813.6 Kin. A horrible accident took the lives of the mother and 3 young children. Alex was the other car’s driver. The surviving family members blamed him (as did he himself) and blamed God. The father, a Baptist pastor, quit the ministry, living a solitary life of bitterness and blame. Can anything be salvaged from this tragedy? The book’s title is based on Numbers 35:11 and you’ll see why as you read this story. Reviewed by Alice Hill.
CLAIM OF HER OWN, A by Stephanie Grace Whitson, FIC Whi. This book has been around since 2010 but not many readers have checked it out. Determined to put the unspeakable circumstances of her past behind her, 20-year-old Mattie O’Keefe travels to Deadwood, South Dakota in search of her brother, whose letters boast of making a fortune in the gold fields.
CONVICTION: The Journey of a Lost Principled Man by Don Wharton, 92 Wha. “David Freeman, a clean cut 25-year-old professional salesman, believes he has all of his ducks in a row until he meets Joani Givens, her drug dealing roommate, and a Jesus he never knew existed. His experiences change his life forever, testing his faith in everything he believes about God, his family, and his ability to handle adversity. CONVICTION is David’s great spiritual awakening and has application for every man who deals with his fears, uncovers the short falls of his own self-worth, and explores the depth of his dependence on God. David emerges from his struggles as a man of conviction, man of God, who recovers from getting knocked down to continue the adventure of life before him.”
CROSS MY HEART by Robin Lee Hatcher, 813.54 Hat. “In this seamless time slip novel, Hatcher provides inspiration in each character’s growing relationship with the Lord, and prompts readers to reflect on their own journey. This story of loss and redemption is sure to win the hearts of contemporary and historic romance fans alike.”
DANCE, THE 813.6 Wal, book 1 of the Restoration Series by Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley. “Love’s recovery starts with a single step. This powerful and emotional story of healing and restoration is sure to grip your heart from the very first chapter. You won’t be able to put it down.”
DANGEROUS ILLUSIONS by Irene Hannon found under 813.54 Han (Book 1). The following is copied from an on-line review: “Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart. When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death—and puts Trish under police scrutiny—her world is once again thrown into turmoil. Detective Colin Flynn isn't certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during his investigation. Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake or is there more to the case than meets the eye? As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge—and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn't just dangerous . . . it's deadly. Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon captures readers with a mind-bending story that will have them doubling back to retrace their steps—and figure out what they missed!”
DAUGHTER OF ROME by Tessa Afshar, 813.6 Afs. “Afshar imagines the multi-textured lives of Priscilla and Aquila, coworkers of the apostle Paul, as they are stretched and shaped through their losses and love. What emerges is a compelling story about their faith and faithfulness – a story that invites our response of faith and faithfulness as well.” Please note that our library has another book by this author – THIEF OF CORINTH, 813.6 Afs.
DEADLY DECEIT by Natalie Walters, 813.6 Wal Bk 2 of Harbored Secrets series. “Welcome back to Walton, Georgia, where everyone knows your name – but no one knows your secret…” “A delicious hero, heart-pounding suspense, and an intricate weaving of a heroine’s journey make DEADLY DECEIT one of my top-of-the-top favorites of the year! Natalie Walters brings it all together with an ending that will stick with you long after you close the book.” – Jaimejo Wright, author. Please note that our library also has LIVING LIES Bk 1 and SILENT SHADOWS Bk 3.
DEAR CAROLINA by Kristy Woodson Harvey, 813.6 Har. Taken from the book back cover: “One baby girl. Two strong Southern women. And the most difficult decision they’ll ever make…Frances “Khaki” Mason has it all: a thriving interior design career, a loving husband and son, homes in North Carolina and Manhattan – everything except the second child she has always wanted. Jodi, her husband’s nineteen-year-old cousin, is fresh out of rehab, pregnant, and alone. Although the two women couldn’t seem more different, they forge a life-long connection as Khaki reaches out to Jodi, encouraging to have her baby. But as Jodi struggles to be the mother she knows her daughter deserves, she will as Khaki for the ultimate favor….Written to baby Carolina, by both her birth mother and her adoptive one, this is a story that proves that life circumstances shape us but don’t define us – and that families aren’t born, they’re made…” Another page turner that was hard to put down! – Janie Carlson.
DEMOLISHING SUPPOSED BIBLE CONTRADICTIONS Exploring Forty Alleged Contradictions by Ken Ham (and others) found at 239.23 Ham. Some of you may recognize Ken Ham as part of The Answers in Genesis series. From Genesis to Revelation the book brings out the questions and answers that refute it with Bible citations. There are many questions that are spoken by Christians and non-Christians alike. Some thoughtful reading! Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.
EDGE OF BELONGING, THE by Amanda Cox, 813.6 Cox. “When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee her late grandmother’s estate sale, she soon discovers that the woman left behind more than trinkets and photo frames – she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing…Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless.” This is a dual-timeline story and it kept my interest throughout, though at times I got confused and had to do some rereading! It was well worth the time it took to read and I totally recommend this book! – Review by Janie Carlson.
ECLIPSE OF THE SOUL, AN - Christian Resource on Dealing with Suicide at 248.8 Hos. This book “is a compassionate resource on the motives, myths, and effects of suicide. Having recovered from an unsuccessful suicide attempt herself, Helen Kooiman Hosier writes like few can, providing not only sound biblical counsel and resources for suicide prevention but also understanding, empathy, and hope.”
EL DEAFO by Cece Bell, found in the youth section. This is a Newberry Award-winning graphic novel about being different and finding a true friend. It’s both humorous and poignant. Aimed at middle schoolers, the book is loosely based on the author’s own experience as a deaf child attending a “normal school.”
ENDURING CLASSICS OF BILLY GRAHAM: THE SECRET OF HAPPINESS, HOPE FOR THE TROUBLED HEART, DEATH AND THE LIFE AFTER, THE by Billy Graham, 236 Gra. Billy Graham, the world-renowned author, preacher, and evangelist, has delivered the gospel message to more people face-to-face than anyone in history and has ministered on every continent of the world.
ESSENTIAL WORKS OF ANDREW MURRAY – 12 COMPLETE BOOKS COVERING THE ENTIRE CHRISTIAN LIFE by Andrew Murray, 248.4 Mur. Includes complete scripture index and over 800 life application questions to encourage spiritual growth.
EVEN NOW by Karen Kingsbury, 813.54 Kin. Karen has crafted a superb story of ordinary flawed people. Emily was born to 17 year old parents still in high school and was raised by her grandparents. She hadn’t known how both families made sure Emily’s parents were permanently separated from each other. As many problems arose, Emily never lost her faith but as much as she and her grandparents prayed, God just didn’t seem to be listening. But 19 long years later in an amazing turn of events, they realized that God had indeed answered their prayers, just not in their timing or in the way they had always asked. This is a book about forgiveness and reconciliation found in the large print section of our library. Have a box of tissues ready as you read this stirring book. Reviewed by Alice Hill
FINAL GIFTS: UNDERSTANDING THE SPECIAL AWARENESS, NEEDS AND COMMUNICATIONS OF THE DYING by Maggie Callanan, 236 Cal. Written by two hospice nurses who share their intimate experiences with patients at the end of life. Filled with practical advice on responding to the requests of the dying and helping prepare them emotionally and spiritually for death, this book shows how we can help the dying person live fully to the very end.
FLASH POINT by Thomas Lock, 813.54 Loc, book 2 in the Fault Lines series. “This book is a true psychological thriller that cannot be put down…An awesome jaunt into a world that may just be closer to reality than we think.” “In the clash of science, government, and big business, one thing remains clear: what you don’t know can kill you.”
FLIGHT RISK by Cara Putman, 813.6 Put. “Cara Putman does it again. A plane crash, murders, a traumatized teen, and a crack lawyer who will do whatever it takes to protect her family and her clients. Throw in a little romance and FLIGHT RISK is a brilliantly woven story that takes the reader on a breath-stealing ride. I highly recommend this book.” Lynette Eason, author of The Blue Justice Series. “In her legal thriller, Putman weaves a story that proves what you read in the news isn’t always what it appears to be. Separating truth from what is perceived to be true takes her characters on a journey with twists and turns that will keep the reader turning the pages, anxious to see how it all fits together.” Martha Rogers, bestselling author.
FOREVER FRIDAY by Timothy Lewis, 813.6 Lew. “Tim has masterfully woven a simple love story, intertwining the joy of new love, the challenge of enduring love, the hope of renewed love, and the joy of lasting love into a beautiful and complex tapestry. Not only does Tim tell a delightful story, he also inspires us all to renew our love and to deepen our relationships. FOREVER FRIDAY will make young lovers dance, old lovers smile, and everyone else who dreams of love strive for better Fridays.” “Every Friday, a postcard. Every Friday, a love poem. Every Friday, for sixty years.”
FRAGMENTS OF FEAR by Carrie Stuart Parks, 813.6 Par. “…is a heart-stopping read of suspense and God’s mercy and grace. Tavish is the type of character who grips you tight in her clutches and takes you along on a wild ride until you turn the last page. It’s a stay-up-late-to-finish novel. Highest recommendation!”
GRACE UPON GRACE – SPIRITUALITY FOR TODAY by John W. Kleinig, 248.322 Kle. Taken from the back cover: “The longing for spiritual fulfillment, inevitably paired with spiritual frustration, is common among Christians. Do we read and study the Bible enough? Do we worship often and in the right way? Do we pray enough, in the correct way, and for the right things? How do we become truly spiritual? And the answers from numerous self-help spirituality books only lead to confusion and the fear of missing key steps on the road to becoming spiritual. In response, John W. Kleinig clarifies that there is no process for becoming spiritual. Instead, God graciously gives to us every spiritual gift that we need, beginning with the very gift of faith in Christ, our Savior. Because God has joined us to Christ, He continually comes to give life.”
HEALER’S TOUCH, THE by Lori Copeland, 813.54. “It’s 1887, and Lyric Bolton doesn’t ask for much – just friendship and acceptance from her rural Missouri community. But her family is regarded with suspicion and fear because of her mother’s sickness – a sickness that of the mind that grows worse by the day. Lyric is resigned to a life of isolation and doesn’t see a way out…but that’s before Ian Cowley bolts into her life on a runaway stallion…A tender story of God’s love and faithfulness…even when all hope seems lost.”
HEALING THE HEARTBREAK OF GRIEF by Peter James Flamming, 242.4 Fla. Flamming speaks of the positive wisdom of grief that seeks to take the pain of our loss, and in time, recycle it for our good. This I can do today – remember that God works in all things, past, present, and future. Each chapter closes with “This I can do today” and “This I can remember today” bit of advice. It is written in the language of a layperson.
HEAVENLY MAN, THE by Brother Yun, 92 Yun was reviewed years ago by Jeanene Christianson. She said upon reading the back cover, "I was hooked. This is an appealing read! You feel like you are reading a twenty-first century rendition of the book of Acts. I smiled often but I wept too. Christianity is a rare gift that we don’t treasure as much as we should. Christian Brother Yun was remarkably chosen by God to be His present day apostle at the age of 16! Though he was hunted by China’s Public Security Bureau at every turn for the crime of preaching Jesus Christ, his gift of faith was the driving force to give his all to Jesus Christ, his Savior. After reading this book, I will revere my relationship with Jesus even more."
HIGH HURDLES by Lorraine Snelling, 813.54 Sne. Something a little different, but of special interest to those who’ve ever been involved in showing and performing with horses. The author has gathered into one thick book the contents previously published in 5 separate volumes about a 14-year-old girl’s dream of someday competing in equestrian events at the Olympics. As she trains and strives to learn all she can, her family pleads with her to pursue an art education in her considerable drawing and sketching skills. Taking part in many local horse competitions, her Olympic dream seems to be a possibility. But when she risks her life freeing horses from a burning stable, her hands are so terribly burned it is feared she may never again draw, or even hold reins. I found this to be an interesting portrayal of a family’s involvement with their daughter in this activity. – Reviewed by Alice Hill.
HOUSE OF LIVING STONES by Katie Schuermann, 813.6 Sch. Another of the delightful recent books added to our library. The trials and triumphs of a congregation from very young children to the saints going to be with their Savior. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll see some very hurting human dilemmas handled with not only the Law, but also with the Gospel’s compassion and wisdom. Be sure and get all 3 books in the series, marked 1, 2 and 3 on the spine, including THE CHOIR IMMORTAL and THE HARVEST RAISE. Reviewed by Alice Hill.
I’LL WATCH THE MOON by Ann Tatlock , 813.54 Tat. It’s a good family story with a section explaining the fear of polio in 1946 – 1950. (Activities such as movies, fairs and bathing beaches were closed in summer to keep people at home.) A man tells about his life and family in Germany and Poland during the Holocaust. Many were killed and imprisoned by the Gestapo in 1939 and 1940. Although some people doubt this, it really happened. Reviewed in the past by Virginia Ames.
IN EVERY PEW SITS A BROKEN HEART by Ruth Graham (daughter of Ruth and Billy Graham), 248.8 Gra. The broken heart in your pew may be the woman sitting next to you who struggles with breast cancer. It may be the middle-aged man at the far end whose alcoholism has torn his family apart. Behind every face is a story, and the story is not always pleasant. But God knows how to write our stories with redemptive ink, and He can heal our broken hearts. Ruth Graham has found through bitter personal experience that God does His great work in the ruins of our lives.
INVISIBLE by Ginny L Yttrup, 813.6 Ytt. This is one of the new books in the library reviewed by Alice Hill. She says, “I just finished it and it is excellent!” New and fresh subject matter, informative, and educational – all woven into a very well-written novel.
JADED, JUSTIFIED AND JILTED all by Varina Denman, 813.6 Den. The main characters change with the books as it all takes place in Trapp, Texas, a small town where everyone knows each other. These series books are fun to read when the ending leaves the reader hanging for the next book. Ruthie in the first book, Fawn, her childhood friend in the second, and Ruthie’s mother in the third weave a nicely paced story with surprise endings.
KINDNESS IS COURAGEOUS by Nicole J. Phillips, 808.8 Phi. “100 stories to remind you people are brave and kind.” Excellent and uplifting – Janie.
LEAVING NOVEMBER by Deborah Raney, 813.54 Ran. “Faith and love triumph in this small-town story of overcoming the past and finding hope for the future. LEAVING NOVEMBER gently plays the heartstrings and embraces the spirit in the name of love.”
LIVING LIES by Natalie Walters, 813.6 Wal, book 1 of Harbored Secrets series “is a nail-biter that will make you play hooky from your day job, feed your children cereal for supper, and not stop reading until the last page. Natalie Walters' debut novel is intriguing and enticing.” “This book also talks about two serious issues - depression and PTSD. The heroine deals with depression and the stamina that goes with it and there are others in the story that deal with PTSD. Both issues are handled well by the author. The author brings to light these two illness and how they affect everyone involved. She also touched on how people with these illness can be treated badly and how we need to have compassion for people with these illnesses. I really like reading it. I like the mystery theme of the story. I recommend this one. This is a clean, Christian read.”
LONG TIME COMIN’, A by Robin W. Pearson found under 813.6 Pea. The following is copied from an on-line review: "There are so many things that can happen to a person, things that other people can't understand - even the person involved sometimes doesn't understand." And the one person who has the ability to explain it all is nearing the end of explanations. When Evelyn Lester arrives at her grandmother's little house, she is unprepared for the stream of unfettered words that the crotchety old woman spews out of her mouth. Granny B isn't exactly mean, but she can seem that way to those who don't really know her; she knows a lot more about life and death than most people, but she sure doesn't crave any sympathy; she has lived a lifetime of ups and downs, but is finally ready to admit…..that grace took a "long time comin'". What a lovely journey along the raw edges of a family, where pain always hovered just beneath the surface, and secrets lived and breathed much longer than the truth. What matters most is that in the end, a mother's sacrifice and determination to give her children what they needed the most, gifted them with a legacy that they are finally able to recognize and understand.”
MANGA MESSIAH The greatest story ever told, about the most controversial man who ever lived, presented in the most popular graphic novel format on earth.” This book can be found in the youth section.
MANY SPARROWS by Lori Benton, 813.6 Ben. The following summary is taken from Goodreads: “Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would… In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail. When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son...especially when her second child is moments away from being born. Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do – be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?” This riveting story kept me reading on about the ferocity of a mother’s love and the beauty and complexity of Shawnee culture and community. However, I must admit that at times I was really annoyed with Clare’s pigheadedness! – Reviewed by Janie Carlson.
MEDALS IN THE ATTIC by Cathy Elliott, 813.6 Ell. “Join Annie Dawson and the members of the Hook and Needle Club of Stony Point, Maine, as they track down mysteries connected with the contents found in the attic of Annie’s ancestral home, Grey Gables…Let the good people of Stony Point into your heart, and the mysteries of Annie’s Attic will keep you on the edge of your seat!”
MIDNIGHT ON THE MISSISSIPPI, WHAT HAPPENED ON BEALE STREET, MAGNOLIA MOONLIGHT, and SUNSET IN OLD SAVANNAH are 4 in the series called Secrets of the South Mysteries. All the books are dealing with stories of private investigators helping the police catch the criminal. The author is Mary Ellis and the books are found at 813.6. It has been fun seeing the same characters pop up in each book like old friends. I had hesitations about reading beyond the first book but I was glad I did; each one became a page turner in suspense. Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.
MIRACLE AT THE HIGHER GROUNDS CAFÉ by Max Lucado, 813.54 Luc. “Step inside the Higher Grounds Café, a place brimming with hope, a heaping helping of comfort food, and a direct line to heaven. Where faith lives, all things are possible, for a family, a community, and one woman who wasn’t sure she had the courage to believe again.” – Lisa Wingate, bestselling author.
MIRIAM’S SONG by Jill Eileen Smith, 813.6 Smi. Taken from the back cover: “She has prayed for deliverance from Egypt. But perhaps the greatest liberation happens within the heart…From the very beginning, Miriam has lived in her younger brother’s shadow. Thrust into the role of protective older sister before Moses was even born, she will grow into a woman who not only keeps her family’s secret but bears the burden of leading a new nation…In her mind, she knows that she is serving both her God and her people. But in her heart, Miriam yearns for more. She longs to experience the privilege Moses has – to talk with God face-to-face. But when God finally does speak directly to her, the outcome is not at all what she expects…With her impeccable research and keen eye for detail, bestselling author Jill Eileen Smith offers this epic novel to fill in the gaps in Miriam’s story, following her from childhood to motherhood, obscurity to notoriety, and yearning to fulfillment as she learns that what God promises He provides – in His own perfect timing.”
MISSING ISAAC by Valerie Fraser Luesse, 813.6 Lue. “When Pete McLean loses his father in the summer of 1962, his friend Isaac is one of the very few people he can lean on. Though their worlds are as different as black and white, friendship knows no color. So when Isaac suddenly goes missing, Pete is determined to find out what happened – no matter what it costs him. His quest will lead him into parts of town that he knows only through rumors and introduce him to a girl who will change his life. What they discover together will change the small Southern town of Glory, Alabama – forever.” “MISSING ISAAC will break – and then heal – your heart.”
MORE THAN WE REMEMBER by Christina Nelson, 813.6 Nel. The horrible 3-vehicle crash with fatality, the popular high school coach whose car was over the centerline, the smell of alcohol, the tough woman deputy’s special need to see the coach found guilty, the surprise ending this reader didn’t see coming… This book, only months on our shelf, has a refreshingly different, multi-faceted plot. Reviewed by Alice Hill.
MOST LOVING PLACE IN TOWN: A MODERN DAY PARABLE FOR THE CHURCH, THE by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges, 253 Bla. “How many churches have you entered as a stranger and unmistakably felt loved? Sadly, it’s not uncommon for churches to focus on such things as appearance, doctrinal purity, and activities, yet neglect the most important characteristic Jesus exemplified and taught his followers: love…In the story, a church leader and his pastor independently become aware of the missing element of love in their church, and together they endeavor to reform leaders and laity into a truly loving community.”
MOTHER’S PROMISE, THE by Sally Hepworth, 813.54 Hep. From the inner cover blurb: “All their lives, Alice Stanhope and her daughter, Zoe, have been a family of two, living quietly in Northern California. Zoe has always struggled with crippling social anxiety and her mother has been her constant and fierce protector. With Zoe’s father shrouded in mystery, their team of two works – until it doesn’t. Until Alice gets sick and needs to fight for her life…Desperate to find stability for Zoe, Alice reaches out to two women who are practically strangers but who are her only hope: Kate, a nurse, and Sonja, a social worker. As the four of them come together, a chain of events is set into motion and all four of them must confront their darkest fears and secrets – secrets about abandonment, abuse, estrangement, and the deepest longing for family…Imbued with heart and humor in even the most dismal moments, this is an unforgettable novel about the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters and the new ways in which families are forged.” This novel grabbed me and never let me go even as twists near the end had me yelling out in dismay – sorry Doug! And be sure to keep the tissues near at hand. – Janie Carlson
MOUNTAINTOP DRIVE by James R. Coggins, 813.6 is Book 3 of a John Smyth Mystery. None of our First readers had read it since we received it in 2018, so I took it home to see if we should look into getting Books 1 & 2. Online reviews were: “An intriguing and highly readable mystery with plot turns and enough suspects to keep the reader guessing until the end.” “A slick, crisp read. It has just about everything. Mystery, suspense, action, twists in plot and a lot of extras you won’t find in too many mysteries these days – morality, spirituality, and theology. Mountaintop Drive is a page turner but it’s far more than a weekend’s entertainment. It will take you places you never expected to go. A good ride.” I enjoyed this book and can recommend it. However, I went onto GoodReads to get plot lines and reviews of the first two books in the series and nothing about either of them grabbed my attention. So for now we’re holding off on ordering them until someone lets us know otherwise! – Janie Carlson.
MY BOY BEN - A STORY OF LOVE, LOSS AND GRACE by David Wheaton, 813.54 Whi. Though this is a true story of the warm bond between tennis star David Wheaton and an exceptional yellow lab named Ben, it is much more. When David’s joy in Ben is cut short, his grief is overwhelming. But David, a committed Christian, finds healing and new meaning in these words of 1 Peter 5:10-11: “May the God of all grace who called us to his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after you have suffered a while, make perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you.” – Reviewed by Alice Hill.
NO DISTANCE TOO FAR, a Home to Blessing Book 2, by Lauraine Snelling, 813.54 Sne. “Astrid Bjorklund wants to use her medical training to serve God and feels that He might be leading her in the direction of missionary service. Smarting from a misunderstanding with Joshua Landsverk, the young man she thought she loved, she heads south to a missionary training school, hoping to eventually use her skills in some remote outpost in Africa…When she is called home to help in a family medical crisis, a door of opportunity opens for her unexpectedly. Perhaps the “mission field” God intends for her is not exactly what she imagined…If she follows God’s call, will love pass her by?” I see that many of our readers have read book 1: A MEASURE OF MERCY and I’m pretty sure they’ll want to read this one too! – Janie
NEW TOLERANCE, THE by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler found at 261.21 McD. A comment from the back of the book states: “THE NEW TOLERANCE offers a thoroughly biblical message of love and hope in the face of a culture increasingly bent on sabotaging the foundations of your faith and that of your children.” Josh McDowell also wrote MORE THAN A CARPENTER, FIC McD
NOAH BUILT HIS ARK IN THE SUNSHINE by James Moore, 248.421 Moo. This title jumped out at me in the library after having just returned from the Ark Encounter. On the back cover it indicates that Noah “prepared in advance for the storm that was to come. He didn’t wait until the last minute. He used those bright days in the sunshine to get himself ready, to build up resources he would need when the dark floodwaters came.” The book includes a study guide that can be used at home or with a group. There are 15 chapters that cover the things we need to build our own ark in the sunshine so that we’re ready when troubles come. Perhaps there are members who would like to get their own copy of the book and meet to discuss it together? – Janie Carlson.
NOT FORSAKEN by Louie Giglio, 231.1 Gig. “Pastor Louie Giglio invites us to understand the character of God in a life-changing way: as a perfect Father who wants you to live under the waterfall of His blessing. You see, God is not the bigger version of your earthly dad, He is the perfect version of your earthly dad. And He’s inviting you to walk in freedom as His loved son or daughter.”
NOWHERE BUT UP by Pattie Mallette with A. J. Gregory, FIC Mal. Justin Bieber is a well-known name but did you wonder about his life BEFORE he became a household name? Pattie tells us about her life growing up, young adulthood and being a mother to Justin. Her comment on the back of the book reads “It doesn’t matter where you find yourself today – how broken, hurting, wounded, or ashamed you are. If God can help me find my way up, I promise, He can do the same for you.” A book worth reading! – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.
OFFERING, THE by Angela Hunt, 813.54 Hunt. This novel is an eye-opener and a tearjerker. Readers will find themselves feeling the pain of the characters and getting caught up in their lives. Amanda Lisandra is the wife of a soldier. She and her family are struggling to make ends meet, so she decides to become a gestational surrogate for a family in need. The battles will test her faith in God, her femininity, ethnicity, and citizenship. Hunt gives her readers a glimpse inside the life of a Cuban-American family dealing with financial struggles and grief, while facing decisions about how to survive while also being faithful to God. Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.
ONE BLOOD – THE BIBLICAL ANSWER TO RACISM by Ken Ham, 261.8 Ham. Taken from the back cover: “More than half a century has passed since the horrors of the Nazi racial extermination camps were revealed to a disbelieving world. Yet the battle of ethnic hate and violence remains one of the burning issues of our time…But what does “race” really mean? Are there really multiple races of humans, and where did this concept originate? The Bible says in Acts 17:26 that God has ‘made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.’ So, is there really such a thing as the “white race”, or “black race”? …For a real solution to ethnic hatred, read this copy of ONE BLOOD. You’ll see this explosive debate in a whole new, startling light.” – Most of what is covered in this book was on display at the Creation Museum in Kentucky. – Janie Carlson.
ONE LANE BRIDGE by Don Reid (of the Statler Brothers), 813.6 Rei. Taken from the back cover: “The Lord works in mysterious ways…Between trying to run two restaurants, keep his daughter from dropping out of college, and satisfy his lonely, aging mother, J. D. could use a rest. One tranquil evening, he takes off on a ride in the country to clear his mind. Top down, setting sun, wind in his hair…leak in the radiator. Walking up to an old farmhouse to ask for water, J. D. finds a family living in poverty, and he vows to help....But he discovers that nothing about the family – and the one lane bridge that led him there – is as it seems. The more he pursues answers, the less he understands. His wife and best friend think he’s crazy. But solving the mystery will change him forever…” – This book absolutely grabbed me from the first page. By the end J. D. had everything figured out – “We’re all connected in God’s universe, even across generations. And we’re all in need of one another.” I recommend reading this book. – Reviewed by Janie Carlson.
ONE LITTLE LIE by Colleen Coble, 813.54 Cob. This is book 1 of the Pelican Harbor series. “It started with one little lie. But Jane Hardy will do everything in her power to uncover the truth in this gripping new romantic suspense.” To be continued in TWO REASONS TO RUN, coming out in print September 2020. Let your church librarians know if you’d like to continue this series! - Janie.
ONE MINUTE AFTER YOU DIE – A PREVIEW OF YOUR FINAL DESTINATION by Erwin W. Lutzer, 236.2 Lut. “One minute after you slip behind the parted curtain, you will either be enjoying a personal welcome from Christ or catching your first glimpse of gloom as you have never known it. Either way, your future will be irrevocably fixed and eternally unchangeable.” “Lutzer marvels that many people spend more time planning a trip to Europe than they do preparing for their eternal home…he urges us to study what the Bible has to say so we might comfort believers and warn unbelievers about the eternity that awaits them.”
OUT OF THE SHADOWS by J. Thomas Lapacka, 92 Lap is a biography and an inspiring life story of a man’s walk of faith. A complex story, it reads like a novel although you know the end of his story before you begin. It is “how” he is transformed that holds you spellbound. In it, I learned one thing very important. We must devote more time to the religious training of our impressionable children. This intelligent young man was led to accept cultish leanings that could have wasted his very life if God had not chosen him and saved him! It truly has a happy ending. This book has been reviewed by a reader in the past.
OUTREACH PROMISES – God’s Encouragement for Sharing Your Faith at 269.2 Bic. “Outreach promises are Bible verses in which God assures you His mission is possible and you can make a difference. Outreach promises help you to take action, trusting in God’s ability to use you to reach people for Christ.”
OVERCOMER by Chris Fabry, 813.54 Fab. When I first started this book about a high school basketball coach (it was “their year” to win State) who was forced by budget cuts to become instead the cross-country running coach, I thought it wouldn’t be interesting enough to even keep on reading. But as the plot progressed, an amazing story of God’s love and grace and healed family relationships developed. It gives a detailed look at the strategy involved in becoming a winner even while battling a personal disability. A very worthwhile read. Reviewed by Alice Hill. (Please note that we also have the DVD of OVERCOMER.)
OVER WHAT HILL? by Effie Leland Wilder at 813.54 Wil. A short novel (183 pages) about life in a retirement home. Stories about romance, writing careers at age 86, and different generations all done up in good humor and strong faith. The writer had lived in the Presbyterian Home of Summerville, South Carolina so many of her stories may have come from real life. A fun book to read. Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.
PASSING STRANGERS by Angela Hunt, 813.54 Hun. They were strangers to each other all running away from something. For instance: a young woman wanting to completely separate herself from her former public life, a recently widowed lawyer trying to juggle an impossible workload and care for children aged 4 and 6, and a 50 year old married woman breaking under an increasingly hostile and threatening situation at home. What will happen when a coincidence throws them all together? And is it really a coincidence??? Reviewed by Alice Hill.
PERFECT GIFT, THE ADULT DVD PER. What if the world threw you a birthday party, and You weren’t invited? This DVD tells the story of a spoiled schoolgirl, her overworked executive mother, and a disillusioned young minister and how each received an uplifting message about faith, tradition, and the truest meaning of Christmas from a friendly, but mysterious, drifter named Jes.
PRAYER - THE ULTIMATE CONVERSATION at 243.32 Sta. “No matter what confounding questions, perplexing circumstances, or seemingly insurmountable dilemmas you are facing today, the solution to them is absolutely obvious to God – and He longs to share His answers with you. Draw closer to the Father. Get to know God by engaging with Him in Prayer, The Ultimate Conversation.”
PROMISE KEPT, A by Robin Lee Hatcher, 813.54 Hat. Allison felt sure that God’s answer was yes – that He promised to heal and save her marriage to Tony. But as things got worse and Tony finally left and a divorce followed, she knew she had misunderstood what God had told her. She never could have guessed what God’s answer really was. The author adds some surprising facts at the end of the book. Reviewed by Alice Hill.
PROMISED LAND by Robert Whitlow, 813.54 Whi. “Bestselling author Robert Whitlow explores the meaning of family and home – and how faith forms the identity of both – in this breathtaking sequel to CHOSEN PEOPLE.”
PROMISES TO KEEP by Ann Tatlock, 813.54 Tat. This is a trip back in time to a place of innocence and war, love and the delusion of love, childhood friendships and pinky-promises.
REASON TO BREATHE by Deborah Raney, 813.54 Ran, Book 1. Our library already has Books 2 & 3 of the Chandler Sisters series. Book 1 introduces us to the Chandler sisters just after they’d put their lives on hold to care for their dying mother. After her passing the three sisters choose to buy property together with their shared inheritance from their mother. (Now I have to say that any novel which includes house rehab grabs my attention and this did not disappoint!) Watching how God works in the character’s lives is a testament to His love and concern for us even when we’re not looking for it. – Reviewed by Janie Carlson.
RELATIONSHIP PRINCIPLES OF JESUS, THE by Tom Holladay, 232.9 Hol. “What would you give to radically improve, even transform, what matters most in your relationships? How about forty days of your time? In forty days, bring new depth and health to your marriage, your family, and your friendships. In six weeks, you’ll explore and implement six foundational principles that Jesus taught and lived. You’ll be equipped with insights and a practical path for fulfilling God’s intention for all your relationships – even the difficult ones.”
RHINESTONE JESUS by Kristen Welch, 248.8 Wel. What held my interest was the easy, informative writing style that Kristen displayed. Two people meeting at Bible college preparing for full time ministry, one as pastor and the other as youth director; yet God has a different road for them in a series of circumstances that take a 180 from their plans. It involves a trip to Kenya, Africa. Read it to be inspired...and have tissues handy. Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.
RICH IN LOVE - WHEN GOD RESCUES MESSY PEOPLE by Irene Garcia, 248.84 Gar. “Over the past forty-five years the Garcias have birthed, fostered, or adopted thirty-two children. Their story holds difficult endings as well as promising new beginnings. Above all, it reminds us what can happen when ordinary people submit to God’s call. This is a book about a family cemented in hope. About a need to love the orphan. And about a God who never, ever gives up.”
RIVEN by Jerry Jenkins, 813.54 Jen. If you will pardon a pun, RIVEN will keep you “riven to your seat”. This book tells the story of two people who are very different – a young man who continually is on a downward spiral, and a pastor, who feels defeated in his ministry. As their lives intersect through a prison ministry, you will find yourself finding it difficult to put this book down. Chuck Colson has quoted about this book that it was “a deeply personal reminder of why God called me to prison ministry so many years ago.” Dwight, you were right! I would have to put this novel on my list of “favorites”. Reviewed by Sue Zeige.
ROLLING IN THE CHURCH AISLES by Rebecca Christian, 248.8 Chr. When there’s something funny going on in church, it’s a good thing! Laughter and joy can be found anywhere you worship: in church bulletins, sermons, Sunday school lessons, even in the parking lot or the Fellowship Hall after services. A spiritual smile spreads happy faith far beyond the doors of the church. So laugh you way through the day with some holy humor. One of the jokes: “The blessing of the pets will be followed by a hot dog lunch.”
SCARLET CORD, THE by Lindsay Hardin Freeman, 220.9 Fre. This book tells the story of biblical women in a new way, drawing the reader further down her spiritual path and closer to Christ. For too long, women in the Bible have been demonized, sanctified or simply misunderstood. Here, through storytelling and artwork, twelve compelling women of the Bible invite readers to step further into the sacred circle of God’s people. By taking this step, the reader will discover that challenges experienced by biblical women are not so different from her own. This summary comes from the book itself.
SECRETS OF THE SOUTH MYSTERIES SERIES: MIDNIGHT ON THE MISSISSIPPI, WHAT HAPPENED ON BEALE STREET, MAGNOLIA MOONLIGHT, and SUNSET IN OLD SAVANNAH are 4 in the series called Secrets of the South Mysteries. All the books are dealing with stories of private investigators helping the police catch the criminal. The author is Mary Ellis and the books are found at 813.6 Ell. It has been fun seeing the same characters pop up in each book like old friends. I had hesitations about reading beyond the first book but I was glad I did; each one became a page turner in suspense. Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.
SEEK ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART by Beth Wiseman, 813.54. Alice Hill says this is an excellent book. Check it out!
SHADES OF LIGHT by Sharon Garlough Brown, 813.6 Bro, is a poignant and engrossing look at the reality of psychological struggles even among people of faith. This book follows the impact of depression and anxiety on 22-year-old Wren Crawford and also on those who love her. While seeking professional and spiritual help she searched scriptures to better know the Man of Sorrows himself, Jesus. She also finds many parallels between her spiritual anguish and that of famed artist Vincent Van Gogh as she studies both his paintings and writings. There is a good list of mental health resources at the back of the book. I found much good content in this book, which is filed with the newer books. – Reviewed by Alice Hill and also heartedly endorsed by Janie Carlson.
SHADES OF LIGHT by Sharon Garlough Brown, 813.6 Bro. Taken from the inside cover: “What a consolation this novel will be for those who have known the darkness! Too often church people approach mental illness with fear, simplistic theology, and useless spiritual bromides. By telling Wren’s story, Sharon Garlough Brown instead gently welcomes us into a companionship of sorrow where we can glimpse the dark beauties of grace. There’s bracing truth here about the stubbornness of mental illness the spiritual and practical implications, the helpless ache of those who love but can’t fix. But there’s also beauty of soul which emerges for readers through Wren’s sensitive dwelling in the paintings and writings of Vincent van Goh. And as we learn to dwell in Wren’s world to enter that circle of sorrow we find at the center of it the compassionate, Gethsemane present of Christ.” Debra Rienstra, professor of English at Calvin College. (I read this one and strongly recommend it too. – Janie)
SHADOWS OF HOPE by Georgiana Daniels, 813.6 Dan. “What if…you struggled with infertility but unknowingly befriended your husband’s pregnant mistress? What if…the woman you were seeing behind your wife’s back gets pregnant, threatening your job and marriage? What if…your boyfriend never told you he was married and you discover you’re pregnant?” “When their lives collide, the two women must face the ultimate test of their faith and choose how to move forward as they live in the shadows of hope.”
SHELTER by Robin Merrill, FIC Mer. “She begged God to rescue her. He said, “Go.” So she headed out into a blizzard. In a car that wasn’t exactly hers, with a dog who wasn’t exactly a rat terrier, she drove. Until she ran out of gas in the small Maine town of Mattawooptock. Mattawoopwhat? What on earth is God thinking? But it is there, in a weird little bathroom in a weird little church in a weird little town that Maggie Hansen finds herself. And as God would have it, she finds a lot more than that.” I enjoyed this fast-moving book so much that the sequel DANIEL has been put on our library “wish list”! (Please note that DANIEL and its follow-up REVIVAL have been purchased and are on the shelf.) – Janie Carlson.
SILENT SHADOWS by Natalie Walters, 813.6 Wal, book 3. “Silent Shadows is the third and final book in the Harbored Secrets series. After reading the book, I no longer know which of the three my favorite is, instead I might have to say that reading them as one continuous story would be my favorite. Though each book can be read and enjoyed separately I would recommend reading them all and in order. I find that each one is good but it is even better if you read them all and in order. So in the final book you have two new main characters. Only one of these main characters has been introduced previously, Pecca. The new main character we are introduced to is Colton. Colton is struggling like a lot of us with what happens when what you planned for is disrupted by something unexpected. He is having trouble remembering and accepting that sometimes our plans aren’t what God has for us and what God has for us is better than anything we could come up with. These struggles are effecting his relationships with the people around him. As for Pecca, she is dealing with something that she thinks has to do with her past. But what she doesn’t know is that it has do with something else completely. If you want to know more, then you’ll have to get the book and read it for yourself. You won’t regret it.”
SING A NEW SONG by Sunnie Jeffers, 813.6 Jef. This is one of a series of tales from Grace Chapel Inn for those who like series books. The sisters, Louise, Alice and Jane who run a B& B each have unique talents and activities. Louise takes in a music camp with her daughter, Cynthia. Alice reaches out to youth with church activities develops a unique scrapbook at a special weekend. Jane serves guests with her food and quiet support. You’ll like learning about the sisters and their dependence on the Lord for their faith and rewarding lives. Look for all of the Grace Chapel Inn books placed together on the shelf.
SINGLE MOMS RAISING SONS by Dana S. Chisholm, 248.8 Chi. “Preparing boys to be men when there’s no man around.” “Dana S. Chisholm writes from her experience as the single mother of two boys. From financial concerns to teaching a boy to be macho, she knows what it’s like to try to see life through a boy’s eyes. She understands your struggle and shares ways you can support and help your son – even when his dad lets him down again and again. If you’re a woman raising a boy on your own, this book will give you the honest insight, advice, and guidance you need to raise your son to be the solid Christian man you want him to be.”
SKY WITHOUT STARS, A by Linda S. Clare, 813.6 Cla. The following is copied from an on-line review: “Frankie Chasing Bear is caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she also thinks he will need to learn the white man's ways to succeed. After the untimely death of her husband, Frankie joins the U.S. Government's Relocation Program and moves to Arizona. There she begins sewing a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn, and prayed into it...A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars, but neither the quilt--nor her new life--comes easily to Frankie. Nick Vandergriff, for instance, is the last man Frankie wants to trust. He's half-Lakota but Christian, and Frankie can see no good coming from that faith after her own parents were forced to convert at an Indian school. Can Nick convince Frankie that white men and Christians aren't all bad? And will Frankie learn that love is the most important ingredient--for her son's quilt and life itself?”
STARFISH PIER by Irene Hannon, 813.54 Han. This is book 6 of the Hope Harbor Novels. “A year ago, ex-Delta Force operator Steven Roark left the rigors of combat behind to run fishing charters in Hope Harbor, decompress, and talk some sense into his kid brother. Business is good – but making peace with his past is more challenging than he expected…First-grade teacher Holly Miller leads a low-profile existence – until she’s recruited to advocate for a cause that’s dear to her heart. When she solicits Steven’s assistance, sparks fly – especially after they find themselves on opposite sides of an issue that disrupts their placid seaside community…As these two seemingly incompatible souls wrestle with their differences, might they discover more common ground than they expect – and a future filled with promise?” Readers will be happy to know we have books 1 – 5: HOPE HARBOR, SEA ROSE LANE, SANDPIPER COVE, PELICAN POINT, and DRIFTWOOD BAY.
STATE OF LIES by Siri Mitchell, 813.6 Mit. “In STATE OF LIES, Siri Mitchell has penned a page turner that I literally couldn’t put down. I confess I kept reading when I should’ve been writing my own novel. My heart breaks with Georgia Brennan as she suffers blow after blow when a past she didn’t even know she had catches up with her. Readers will applaud her resilience and determination to solve the mystery and save the lives of the people she loves – even when the face of the boogeyman turns out to be someone she never expected. Don’t miss this thrilling ride!” – Kelly Irvin, bestselling author.
STILL LIFE by Christa Parrish, 813.6 Par. “Ada escaped her family’s self-enclosed world to elope with a mysterious stranger. Five months later, she’s a widow in a strange new world.” “This is a cunningly complex work that captures themes of abusive religion, supernatural love, and merciful escape. It will resonate with anyone who has ever felt called to a drastic change – or tried to hear the small whisper of God’s voice.”
STRANDS OF TRUTH by Colleen Coble, 813.54. “Harper Taylor is used to being alone – after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own…So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name? Oliver’s son, Ridge, still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.”
STUFF YOU GOTTA KNOW by Minnesota author Guy Doud, 248.82 Dou. “Straight talk on how God helps with friendships and school and measuring up and parents and dating and bad grades and more. All the stuff you gotta know.” I discovered this gem while shelving books and found it to contain down to earth wisdom that parents of teens may want to share with their family. Actually, anyone who is looking for answers to “How do I know God’s will for my life?” “How do I share my faith without sounding like a nerd?” “If God is love, why is the world so full of pain?” will find good stuff in this book! I highly recommend it. – Reviewed by Janie Carlson.
SUGAR CREEK GANG books 1 – 6 by Paul Hutchens, JUV Hut. The author’s memories of childhood adventures around the fishing hole, the swimming hole, the island, and woods that surround Indiana’s Sugar Creek inspired these beloved tales.
SWEET VOICE, A by Margo Hansen, 813.54 Han. “Shanghaied, tortured, and beaten down, Keane Wheatly turns to fellow prisoner for help. Together Keane and his friend Jake make their escape back to the Wheatly farm in Ulen, Minnesota, as far from an ocean as they can get. But adjusting to everyday life isn’t easy with the memories they both carry. Each day they rely more and more on God’s grace.”
THAT CERTAIN SUMMER by Irene Hannon, 813.54 Han. “Two very different sisters…an unexpected homecoming…one unforgettable summer.” With her trademark compelling characters and heartwarming hope, award-winning author Irene Hannon pens an inspiring true-to-life tale of complex relationships, the search for forgiveness, and the life-changing process of finding love.
THINGS LEFT UNSPOKEN by Eva Marie Everson, 813.6 is described in the National Church Library Association Newsletter as follows: “Jo-Lynn is going through a mid-life crisis. Her marriage is faltering and she’s lost her identity as a woman of value. When her uncle dies, great-aunt Stella asks her to come back to restore the old family homestead in Georgia. As she peels back the old layers of the home, Jo-Lynn discovers family secrets hidden for decades. When she starts asking questions, she is threatened. Along the way, she rediscovers the value of family and belonging to a community. The author clearly has a personal understanding of the culture and history of the south and has developed a story with an interesting plot, captivating mystery and the discovery of God’s purpose for the main character.”
THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX AND INSIDE THE BOOK by Paul Durocher, 248.8 Dur. In the author’s forward he says: “The intent of this book is meant to be a popular and practical hands-on-book which demonstrates biblical principles in real life situations.” Topics covered are Priorities, Happiness, Marriage, Children, Education, Money, and Rest – all contained in 175 pages!
THREADS OF SUSPICION by Dee Henderson, 813.54 Hen Bk 2 of An Evie Blackwell Cold Case series. Taken from the book blurb: “Evie and her new partner, David Marshall, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn’t be more different. As Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood over the disappearance of a college student, David searches for a private investigator whose last case involved a high-powered client…With a deep conviction that “justice for all” truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But the questions that lie just beneath the surface in Evie’s personal life are also begging for answers.”
THROUGH WATERS DEEP by Sarah Sundin,813.6 Sun, book 1. “Fascinating history, interesting location, touching romance – the author packs it all in this page-turning story. Readers are sure to enjoy living this stirring WWII-era adventure.”
TIME TO STAND, A by Robert Whitlow, 813.54 Whi. “In a small Georgia town where racial tensions run high and lives are at stake, can one lawyer stand up for justice against the tide of prejudice on every side? This highly relevant and griping novel challenges us to ask what it means to forgive while seeking justice and to pursue reconciliation while loving others as ourselves.”
TO SEE AND KNOW by Margo Hansen, 813.54 Han. This is a sequel to SWEET VOICE, A. “Garrett Foxe needs answers and the place to find them seems to be in Ulen, Minnesota. The papers he found among his mother’s things reveal that she had lied to him all his life. Can the people here help him find the truth?”
TRACES OF GUILT by Dee Henderson, 813.54 Hen Bk 1 of An Evie Blackwell Cold Case series. Taken from the book blurb: “She’s turning up the heat on Carin County’s cold cases. Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police detective…mostly. She’s very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage would work, considering the demands of her job. …Gabriel Thane grew up in Carin County and is now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he’s sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have…When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it’s to help launch a new task force focused on unsolved crimes across the state. She will work with the sheriff’s department on a couple of its most troubling missing persons cases. As she studies old evidenced to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths surprising connections. One way or another, she knows Gabriel Thane and his family will be key to the answers she seeks.”
TRAVELING A PILGRIM’S PATH – Preparing your child to navigate the journey of faith by Craig & Janet Parshall, 248.8 Par. Taken from the back cover: “…an essential road map for parents longing to give their children clear guidelines for life’s journey. Drawing from the classic wisdom of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Craig and Janet Parshall give you on-target strategies and hundreds of practical ideas for showing your children how to make wise moral choices. This empowering book will help you prepare your children to successfully navigate life with a steady sense of godly direction.”
TREASURY OF DAILY PRAYER by Scot Kinnaman, 242.8 Kin. It takes us on a daily journey of Psalmody (Psalms), Old Testament readings, New Testament readings (using NIV), short sermon, Hymnody (short stanza from LSB), Prayer of the Day, and suggested readings from Book of Concord. There are also other helps too numerous to mention. Check it out!
UNFINISHED – BELIEVING IS ONLY THE BEGINNING by Richard Stearns, 248.4 Ste. “So you believe in God. Now what? Just before he left, Jesus sent his followers into the world with a revolutionary mission: to change the world by proclaiming God’s truth and demonstrating his incredible love. But the single task he gave us to accomplish remains unfinished. Why are we here, what is our purpose, and where do we fit in the bigger story that God is writing? How should our faith affect our careers, our money, our families, and our lives? And why does it matter? We will find our deepest purpose only when we discover the unique role God created for us to play in his unfolding story.”
UNDER THE TULIP TREE by Michelle Shocklee, 813.6 Sho. Taken from the book blurb: “Sixteen-year-old Lorena Leland’s dreams of a rich and fulfilling life as a writer are dashed when the stock market crashes in 1929. Seven years into the Great Depression, Rena’s banker father has retreated into the bottle, her sister is married to a lazy charlatan and gambler, and Rena is an unemployed newspaper reporter. Eager for any writing job, Rena accepts a position interviewing former slaves for the Federal Writers’ Project. There, she meets Frankie Washington, a 101-year-old woman whose honest yet tragic past captivates Rena….As Frankie recounts her life as a slave, Rena is horrified to learn of all the older woman has endured – especially because Rena’s ancestors owned slaves. While Frankie’s story challenges Rena’s preconceptions about slavery, it also connects the two women whose lives are otherwise separated by age, race, and circumstances. But will the bond of respect, admiration, and friendship be broken by a revelation neither woman sees coming?”
UNVEILING THE PAST by Kim Vogel Sawyer, 813.6 Saw. Sean and Meghan are newlyweds who are no strangers to pain and loss. “As cold-case detectives, they know intimately the anguish family members endure after the murder or disappearance of a loved one. But when a new case hits too close to home, it threatens to pull loose the fragile cords of their young marriage…Sheila was just a girl when her father left for work and never returned. An investigation revealed he had embezzled enough to start a new life elsewhere, but Sheila could never accept the court’s criminalization of her father. Meghan reluctantly takes the case, secretly fearing it will stir up buried feelings about her own biological father. And while Sean investigates the mysterious death of two young brothers, he longs to start a family. But Meghan worries that with a negligent mother and an absentee father as her parenting examples, she might never be fit for motherhood…As they delve deeper into the past, both Meghan and Sheila must choose to either stumble along the road of bitterness and resentment or walk the difficult path toward forgiveness and healing. When the cases begin to break wide open, these young women are poised to discover that while earthly fathers may fail, there is one in heaven who is a father to the fatherless.” “Mysteries, family secrets, and the love of a true Father are found at the heart of this follow-up novel to BRINGING MAGGIE HOME.”
WHAT THEY NEED TO HEAR - SHARING CHRIST WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS by Klemet Preus, 269.2 Pre. "Maybe above all else, we want our family members and friends to rejoice with us in God as our Savior. Yet, those closest to us often present us with the greatest challenges for our witness.”
WHAT’S GOING ON AMONG THE LUTHERANS? by Patsy A. Leppien, 284.1 Lep. One of the blurbs on the back of the book states: “Many lay people underestimate the seriousness of the doctrinal differences which separate confessional Lutherans from liberal Lutheran churches throughout the world. We pray that wide circulation of this book will open the eyes of those who are threatened by their destructive theology and that it will stir up all those who are complacent about its spread to rise up and oppose its deadly inroads into the Lutheran church.” - Dr. John F. Brug, Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wisconsin.
WHEN BAD CHRISTIANS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE by Dave Burchett, 241.21 Bur. "God loves you just the way you are but He refuses to leave you that way" a quote from Max Lucado. There are so many ideas presented; here are a few. Why do people leave the church? How do we reach these people before the decision is made? A church not relevant will not change lives. Kids pick up what they hear and see adults do. The church is composed of all levels of spiritual understanding, commitment and maturity. As we speak and act, who is our audience? We only have one chance to make a good first impression. It’s never more important than for followers of Christ. How do we view “Christian products” such as Testamints breath mints, Jesus Saves air freshener, bumper stickers, T-shirts? Chick-Fil-A, a company that is closed on Sundays to allow employees to worship. It also supports missions, especially foster homes for children in the southeast. Where are we putting our retail dollars? Are you marketing Jesus by your life? Read and be reenergized into thinking of what we value and what our children see. - Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.
WHEN TO WALK AWAY– Finding freedom from toxic people by Gary Thomas, 248.4 Tho. “Have you ever counted how many times Jesus walked away from toxic people or let toxic people walk away from Him? The answer may surprise you. The author draws from biblical and modern stories to equip you with practical insights to overcome the opposition of toxic people in your life and live true to your God-given purpose. Your life’s calling is too important to let toxic people take it away.” You’ll also discover how to “learn the difference between toxic people and “difficult” people” and to “keep a tender heart even in unhealthy relationships”.
WHERE SHE BELONGS by Johnnie Alexander, 813.6 Ale, book 1. Can love redeem a broken past? “Shelby Kincaid is ready to move forward after the death of her husband left her devastated. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family’s homestead, Misty Willow, so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged. She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home for her memories. But she has her work cut out for her.”
WINNER'S GAME, THE by Kevin Milne, 813.6 Mil. This book is not about sports, but about a dysfunctional family. The hostile parents are near divorce and the three children ages 17, 13, and 8 are becoming increasingly hateful toward each other. They had heard of The Winner’s Game that saved their great-grandparents marriage. When tragedy strikes the family, all involved learn that sometimes a loser is really the winner. “This is an excellent book.” Reviewed by Alice Hill.
WITH THIS PLEDGE by Tamera Alexander, 813.6 Ale, book 1. From the pages of history and the personal accounts of those who endured the Battle of Franklin in Tennessee, the author weaves the real-life letters between Captain Roland Ward Jones and Miss Elizabeth Clouston into a story of unlike romance first kindled amid the shadows of war.
WORDS BETWEEN US, THE by Erin Bartels, 813.6 Bar. “…this is a story to savor and share: a lyrical novel about the power of language and the search for salvation. A secondhand bookstore owner hiding from a legacy of scandal, tragedy and heartbreak must unlock the secrets of the past to claim her happiness.” “Vividly drawn and told in expertly woven dual timelines.”
BEFORE THE WRATH Adult DVD Bef. This is a gripping documentary that explains clearly why Jesus used a Galilean wedding to explain how the second coming of Christ will take place. This film reproduces what Jesus Himself unveiled to the ancient Galileans re: how and why He must return at the end of days. – Donated and reviewed by Corinne Hultman.
CHOSEN, THE SEASON ONE ADULT DVD CHO. “For the first time ever, the greatest story ever told is being presented as a multi-season show. Digging deeper into the backstories and context of the people and events of the gospels, Season One of the #1 highest crowd-funded media project of all time introduces you to people such as Simon Peter, Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene, Matthew, and of course Jesus in a way never before seen on film.”
COMING CONVERGENCE, THE Adult DVD Com. This movie (documentary) will keep you thinking for days. The Bible foretells many events that precede the end of days. This movie ties past events, current events and events yet to come into place – Jesus said we would know the time is near by the signs in our world. This film was very Biblically sound in my opinion. – Donated and reviewed by Corinne Hultman.
DO YOU BELIEVE? DVD ADULT DO. From the creators of God’s Not Dead. Taken from the back cover: “When a local pastor is shaken to the core by the visible faith of an old street-corner preacher, he is reminded that true belief always requires action. His response ignites a faith-fueled journey that powerfully impacts everyone it touches in ways that only God could orchestrate. More than a movie, it’s a question we all must answer in our lifetimes: DO YOU BELIEVE?”
FENCED OFF– Loving your neighbor can be complicated. Found at Adult DVD Fen. A young white couple has just moved into their first house in a black neighborhood in Cincinnati. Their new neighbor has just retired and is ready for life to slow down and shows little interest in giving the young man a warm welcome. This film shows how easy it is for relationships between races to get messed up by misunderstandings and confrontation. Doug and I watched it one evening during the turmoil of the week of May 25 and it brought home how fears and preconceived ideas about others who are different from us can lead to problems. Reviewed by Janie Carlson.
INVESTIGATOR, THE found at DVD Adult Inv. For anyone who likes a story about baseball, throw in criminal justice and a Christian message directed towards teenagers, this DVD is a great find. Besides all that, this was inspired by true events. A coach, teacher, and mentor in his search to help others, he found the truth within himself. – Recommended by Darlene Baltus.
MOMS’ NIGHT OUT, a DVD located at Adult DVD MOM. All Allyson and her friends want is a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and conversation. Any parent with small children can understand the situation, right? A long-needed mom’s night out to enjoy high heels, adult conversation and food not served in a paper bag from a fast-food eatery. Husbands will take care of the kids; doing their share of parenting just for approximately three hours. WHAT CAN GO WRONG? You name it and it happens! Wow, what a hilarious movie! – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.
SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME – found at Adult DVD Sam. Successful art dealer (played by Greg Kinnear) and his wife (played by Renee Zellweger) seemingly have the perfect life. But when their faith and family are tested, an unlikely bond with a homeless drifter leads them on a remarkable journey that forges an everlasting friendship. It shows how a simple act of kindness can change everything. It’s based on an inspirational true story. Reviewed by Janie Carlson.
Check out a library book bag and then check out some books to place in it to take home to read this fall and winter. Remember to sign both the book bag and books out.
Here’s how: a date, your name and your phone number. Leave the cards in the cup and enjoy! Return the bag and books to the book return when you are ready to check another group out. Such a deal!
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