Monthly Archives: January 2015

Good News for Readers

Ever since the Kindle was released several years back, there has been a debate over reading actual books and e-readers. While I don’t have an e-reader (I would like one at some point for convenience’s sake), I do have friends who are staunch defenders of their preferences. Finally, science is weighing in: one definitely has an advantage over the other.

Researchers have also found that fiction affects our brains, as well. And there is even a difference between reading classic literary fiction and popular fiction! Quite interesting facts.

And did you know that reading can help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia?

Here’s to reading for your health!

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Resources for Readers

If you are anything like me, you love all the “best books” lists that show up around the end of the year. But even more, I love all the reading challenges that show up around the beginning of each new year!

This one from Bethany House is one that I am definitely doing this year. And while Mississippi isn’t on this list, it is informative, listing all the Bethany House novels by the US state that they are set in. (Wouldn’t it be nice if every publisher had a list like this?)

And if you need a little encouragement to get on track with your reading plan, here are twelve reasons you should read this year.

Happy reading!

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2015 Reading Goals

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Review of “With Every Breath”

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While I love a good novel, I struggle to find a well-written, clean, and intriguing novel. Of the seventy-nine books I read last year, only four were novels.

What can I say? After you’ve read classics like To Kill a Mockingbird and L.M. Montgomery’s Anne books, it’s hard to read bland fiction.

Elizabeth Camden’s With Every Breath is certainly not bland or boring.

Set in 1891 Washington D.C.,  Kate Livingston is a lively, brilliant, redheaded statistician. When she receives a mysterious request to interview for a job at Washington Memorial Hospital, Kate is launched on a journey filled with past rivalries, death threats, and medical research on one of the most deadly diseases of the time.

As Kate struggles to come to grips with her faith and the brevity of life, she is confronted with her lack of faith, the finitude of humanity, and the Sovereignty of God (Proverbs 3:5, Psalm 103:15-16, Proverbs 16:9).

Overall, With Every Breath is a wonderful and fascinating novel that I will be reading again, and would highly recommend. I would give With Every Breath an “A”.

You can find out more about Elizabeth Camden and her other books here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of the book free from the publisher through Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 .

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Review of “Truth Be Told”

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Since I was a child, I have a had a deep love for mysteries. I grew up devouring series like Mandie, The Lily Adventures, and eventually, The Hardy Boys.

I was excited to have the opportunity to read and review a mystery novel by Carol Cox, Truth Be Told. Set in Arizona in the late 1800s, Truth Be Told is filled with mystery, murder, and a little bit of romance.

When Amelia Wagner inherits her father’s newspaper, she is determined to honor his legacy of reporting the truth. But what is the truth? Why are people disappearing? And is her new friend, Ben Stone, involved? Can Amelia solve the mystery before more people are hurt?

Filled with references to God, Scripture, and the call of Christians to ever be mindful of John 8:32, I appreciated the author pointing out that while all Christians are called serve God, that doesn’t mean we are all called to be pastors or missionaries. We can serve God wherever we are, doing all for His Glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).

I did, however, feel that the author did not appropriately handle the recurring theme of alcohol consumption. While rightfully condemning drunkenness, Truth Be Told went further, seemingly embracing the viewpoint of the Temperance movement, which contrary to Scripture, condemned all consumption of alcohol.

Overall, Truth Be Told was an intriguing mystery, one which I am sure lovers of mystery will enjoy. I look forward to reading more of Cox’s mysteries in the future. I would give Truth Be Told a “B”.

You can find out more about Carol Cox and her other books here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of the book free from the publisher through Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 .

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What is your 2015 reading goal?

I want to get to know you better! I have readers from all over the world, and in an attempt to get to know you all a little, I will be posting weekly polls over the next month. I hope you will participate!

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Review of “Christian Bioethics”

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I will be the first to admit that I have a weakness for reading and researching medical and scientific topics, and I knew I that I would be fascinated with Christian Bioethics: A Guide for Pastors, Health Care Professionals, and Families! 

A collaborative work authored by a minister with a Ph.D. in medical ethics and a physician, Christian Bioethics evaluates a variety of healthcare practices, dividing the book into four distinct parts: 1) Christian Bioethics, which examines the origins of the healthcare profession as we know it, and the history of medicine; 2) Taking Life, which addresses both abortion and euthanasia; 3) Making Life, which discusses infertility, IVF, surrogacy, organ donation and transplantation, and cloning; and finally, 4) Remaking/Faking Life, which looks at the future of life in a biotechnological age, where cryonics, robotics, and genetic engineering are very real issues that we will have to face.

Written in a dialogue-style format, Christian Bioethics is an excellent introduction to the realities we must face at the intersection of ethics, faith, medicine, and scientific advances in the modern age. It is time that we realize that there are serious issues that need to be addressed, which very well might affect the trajectory of future generations.

Even-handed and biblically-grounded, Christian Bioethics is a wonderful resource, a book that we as a culture desperately need. I firmly believe it would be immensely helpful if every Christian working in healthcare, or better yet, every Christian family, read Christian Bioethics.

My only concerns were these: one author seemingly compared the “convenience” of euthanizing her dog to Physician-Assisted Suicide (p.98), and later in the book, the other author lumps Jehovah’s Witnesses with Catholics and Baptists when discussing Christianity (p.145).

Overall, I found Christian Bioethics to a well-reasoned and well-researched book that I would highly recommend. I would give Christian Bioethics a “B+”.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of the book free from the publisher through Cross Focused Reviews. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 .

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