Books I read this month…

Here’s a new (to me) blog hop
hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.


Click on the books to see other posts on this hop.

I don’t think I will be joining every Monday but maybe once a month.
So here is what I have read this month:


This was interesting.  The stories of people who started over.
I have actually met one of the women profiled and a friend of mine works for her.


I reviewed this one here .


This was a most wonderful book.  You must read it!
There is a prologue and four parts.
It about Alice Stone, Bobby Banks, and Amelia Brighton.
All with different stories that intertwine.


This was ok.  Not my favorite this month.


Another must read!
A father makes the wrong decision to protect his son.
He makes the split second decision for all the right reasons but it is still wrong.
I couldn’t help but like the characters…except for one who was anything but likable.
I pretty much read this in one sitting…with breaks for laundry and stuff.


Another ok.  A bit like Marlo Thomas’ book
except I never met anyone who is in it.

Right now I am reading

Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
and I have
Bad Wolf by Nele Neuhaus
on the table to read next.

Get comfy and read something…

With the weather icy cold it’s a great time to
wrap up in an afghan with some hot chocolate, a cat, and a book.

I am currently reading I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
It is one of those books that it seems not much is happening yet
it is fascinating and I must keep reading.

If you don’t have anything to read just now here are some books
that I read and liked.

eveSilencing Eve by Iris Johansen ****

I have never been disappointed in anything Iris Johansen has written.  There are several books with Eve Duncan as the main character.  In this one Eve has been kidnapped by the father of a dead pedophile and would be terrorist. The question is whether Eve and her kidnapper have been killed in an explosion or did they escape?  It is no spoiler to say of course, they survived.  The twists and turns of the story and the personalities of those trying to find Eve keeps the story moving along.


An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski ***

This is a true story of a New York journalist and the street kid she befriends. This unlikely friendship of Laura and Maurice is heartwarming and sad, encouraging and discouraging.  It made me wonder how a child who lives with neglect and abuse could trust anyone…ever.  Or how he survives and makes a good life for himself.  That is Maurice’s story.  Laura’s story is not so wrenching but she didn’t have the easiest time growing up.  She was successful in her career and had many friends but still felt adrift.  She doesn’t know what made her turn around and offer to take the 11-year-old panhandler to supper…but she did.  Definitely a book worth reading.  It might make you think about your own life a bit more realistically.  Personally, I know I never would have survived a life like Maurice’s.

lowThe Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri ****

This is so well written it took my breath away.  It is lyrical prose.  The story takes place in India and the United States.  About two brothers and a woman.  Politics, revolution, family, tragedy, love.  It’s all here and as beautiful and awful as it can be.  I got the book at the library and thought maybe it would be okay.  Sure shows how wrong I can be about the cover of a book.  Read this book!

ipoThe I.P.O. by Dan Koontz ***

This was a free Amazon e-book.  I downloaded it because it was free and I misread the author’s name and thought it was written by Dean Koontz.  When I realized it was written by Dan not Dean I thought about not reading it. Never heard of Dan and not all that interested from the title and promo blurb.  But what the heck I was all comfy and ready to read so I read.  It was a good story.  James Tyler starts up a company that arranges adoptions of exceptional children.  Children who have the potential to change the world with their intelligence, talents, and gifts. The adoption agency is a corporation, on the stock market, that trades on the future success of the children.  I liked the book it was interesting and thought provoking.

So, that’s it for today.

Happy week-end.

Monday, just a little book…

A Black Cat Book Review

Simply Jesus by Joseph Stowell

Joseph Stowell has written a  little book that is Simply Jesus.  It is not a long complicated highly intellectual treatise on what it means to know Jesus.  The discussion is more like a conversation with a caring teacher.

There is a richness in not just knowing Jesus but in experiencing Him; and this is what Stowell writes about–experiencing Jesus.  He tells us of some attitude shifts that must be made before we come to the place of experiencing Jesus.  Then he writes of three meeting places; in the Power of His Resurrection, in the Fellowship of His Sufferings, and in Sweet Surrender.

This would be a wonderful book to give a new believer or one who is wandering and wondering. A Christian who is feeling alone and lonely but doesn’t know why would benefit as would anyone who just needs a reminder or nudge to rekindle their faith.

I highly recommend this little book. It is easy to read but has surprising depth and is encouraging in it’s simplicity.

This book was sent to me without charge
WaterBrook Multnomah
in exchange for this review.

Friday, Ruth has a story to tell…

A Black Cat Book Review

The Girl’s Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs

This well researched verse by verse study of the book of Ruth is a refreshing new look at the story.  The story is well-known and often quoted and because it is so familiar we may think there is nothing new we can learn from it.  In her down to earth style Higgs takes this ancient story and with insight and vision  gives today’s reader not only a look at life then but gives her a contemporary understanding of it.

In this study we learn that there is more to love than good feelings; there is sacrifice, loss, hard work, determination, obedience,  trust, and a lot of humility.  We learn about how Ruth’s love for Naomi takes Naomi from bitterness to gratitude and hope.  We learn about selflessness and the need to not only  hold on but to let go.  Boaz teaches us about patience, respect, and prudence.

Two things that I especially liked about this book were the  word studies and the use of many bible translations.  By delving deeper into the Hebrew words the text became clearer and gave better comprehension to the meaning.  Using many bible translations helps in the understanding of the significance and intent of the verses.  These two tools certainly gave me a clearer picture of the story and its lessons.

At the end of each chapter there is a short comment by a  “Ruth In Real Life”.  They are interesting and give  perspective about the chapter  from women today.  There are Discussion Questions and a  Study Guide included.  Both are thought provoking.

And not to be missed at the very back of the book...

Righteous Ruth Rap. 

I received this book free of charge from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for this review.

Friday, hope for survivors…

Black Cat Book Review

50 Days of Hope by Lynn Eib

Lynn Eib is not only an author, she is a wife and mother,  patient advocate in an oncology office,  the facilitator of a Cancer Prayer Support Group she started in 1991, and a cancer survivor.  In this small book she offers emotional and spiritual support, encouragement, and hope to newly diagnosed cancer patients and the family and friends who care for them.

As cancer and its treatments often cause physical bodies to become weakened it can also weaken the spirit.  Supplements may be needed to supply nourishment for the body and inspiring words from people who have “been there done that” can shore up sagging spirits. 

The daily readings are short, often humorous, offering God’s encouragement through inspiring stories of real people living with cancer.  Eib shares stories of her own journey with cancer and the journeys of other cancer survivors; a cancer survivor is anyone with cancer, from day of diagnosis and for the rest of his/her life.  Each day there is a story of a survivor,  their family or friends, most days a scripture, and always a prayer.

At the back of the book there is a section with scripture references about things like fear, worry, peace.  It is not an exhaustive reference but it is encouraging and helpful in finding  comfort.

Though this is written specifically for cancer survivors and those who love them it could certainly be helpful to someone facing a difficult diagnosis of any kind.  The book is small and has an attractive green leather-like cover and is comfortable in the hand.  The only down-side is the print is small and the ink green.  It was not difficult for me to read but might be for someone with any vision impairment.

50 Days Of Hope would be a thoughtful gift not only for cancer survivors but for anyone with a serious or chronic health challenge.

 This book was sent to me by Tyndale House Publishers at no charge in exchange for this review.

Saturday, necessary enemies…

A Black Cat Book Review

The Necessity of an Enemy by Ron Carpenter Jr.

Ron Carpenter Jr. is senior pastor of Redemption World Outreach Center in Greenville, South Carolina.  He and his wife, Hope, founded the church in 1991.  Today the church has over 16,000 members and 150 community outreach programs.  Their ministry includes television and web programs and more than 1,500 affiliated churches worldwide.  He is a successful man who learned that enemies are necessary because we have our part and purpose in God’s plan.  God uses enemies to strengthen us, test us, build our vision, and to help us become who He has purposed us to be.

There are seven parts to the book that Carpenter wrote after his own difficult time battling the enemies the Enemy put in his path.

Parts one, two, and three tell us why the enemy is necessary, who is really in control, and that being a target in the enemy’s sights is a blessing.

“Every conflict, if embraced properly, will reveal itself to you as a necessary step toward purpose and destiny.”

Parts four, five, and six tell us where enemies enter our lives, what weapons are used by the enemy, and there is always an enemy on the prowl.

“An enemy is someone who increases, strengthens, encourages, or enables an area of weakness in you that God wants to remove from your life.”

In part seven there are lessons on how to fight.

“…engage the enemy, not based on what you are seeing in your circumstances, but based on the promises–the truth–of what you are hearing in the word of God.”

“To defeat an enemy you must hear what God says and act accordingly.”

In conclusion, part eight tells us about the next thing…the spoils of victory.  Victory in a battle does not mean there will not be other battles.  The spoils of victory are to be acknowledged and enjoyed but our guard and focus must remain and we must be alert.

“The Enemy is there, trying to ensure that your potential never manifests itself.  However, the fact that he is present means there’s something about your future he fears.”

Carpenter writes of the enemy that came into his life and set him spinning.  His experience and what it cost him, taught him, and how it gave him a clearer vision of who he is and his part in God’s plan led to the writing of this book.  What he writes is challenging and he sometimes is brash and can sound arrogant.  But he encourages the reader to face the Enemy and do battle in spite of weaknesses knowing it is all part of God’s plan and purpose for us all.

“How bitter the battle, but how sweet the victory!”

I received this book from WaterBrook Press at no cost to me in exchange for this review.

Tuesday, I is for introvert…

A Black Cat Book Review

Quiet by Susan Cain

In western culture the extrovert is the person most often celebrated, promoted, sought after, and highly regarded as powerful. The introvert is often over-looked, left behind, ignored, and thought of as weak.The extrovert get things rolling, people moving, and the party going. We know who the extrovert is and what they have to offer because they are the ones talking, often loudly, the center of attention. The introvert is usually on the side-lines, quiet, often alone, and unnoticed.

Because the extroverts are getting the attention and leading the way we think most people are extroverts. But, in fact, almost half of the population are introverts; they are largely passed by because they prefer the shadows to the spotlight.

What makes a person an extrovert or an introvert? Why are our ideas and thoughts about extroverts and introverts so unbalanced? Why is the sensitive quiet one seen as someone “less” than the outgoing life of the party? How can we nurture and encourage children–and adults–who are introverts?

These are some of the questions Cain addresses in Quiet. Her writing style is not purely academic and not difficult for the average person to read. She has done extensive research and study of this subject. She interviewed extroverts and introverts and experts in psychology and neuroscience who study them. Cain gives advise about school choices, careers, relationships, leadership roles and styles and  reasons to sometimes “pretend to be an extrovert”.

Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, is presented clearly and well thought out. It gives reason to celebrate, promote, seek out, and highly regard the power of the introvert. Reading Quiet may change how you think or feel about those who are introverts. And for anyone, like me, who is an introvert it may help you understand who you are and why; and where you fit in.

If you are an introvert, have an introverted child, or are an extrovert who loves an introvert reading this book will be helpful and give you insight and understanding.

This book was sent to me, without charge, by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this review.