Book Review: The Wonder of Your Love by Beth Wiseman

The Wonder of Your Love by Beth Wiseman

 

Book Summary:

This is a charming story is about Katie Ann Stolzfus, a single mother raising her son in a small Amish community in Canaan, Colorado and Eli Detweiler is an Amish man looking forward to enjoying the rest of his life after raising six children on his own. Thanks to a wedding, they meet and a friendship is formed. As their feeling become more, they both struggle against what they think they want and what is deep within their hearts.

My Comments:

I enjoy reading love-inspired fiction (such as Amish Novels) so I was excited to get an advance copy of The Wonder of Your Love for  review. I have read several of Beth Wiseman’s books that I liked so I expected to like this one as well. I was not disappointed. 🙂

The characters in this book are endearing and I was immediately drawn into their lives. I was surprised to see that Katie’s best friend, Martha, is not Amish at all. And can I just say that Martha is a hoot?! (I was surprised to see this because I thought that the Amish – although friendly toward “Englishers” – didn’t make friends with Englishers.)

The story was somewhat predictable but it was believable and sounded very realistic (although my knowledge of the Amish is limited). I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and was a little sad when the story was over. I hope to read more of the Land of Canaan book series soon.

And, guess what? Like a lot of Amish novels, this book has a few recipes at the end! Three recipes in fact. I particularly can’t wait to try the Peanut Blossoms recipe.

My rating:

I give this book 4 stars.

Review Copy Disclosure:

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com (http://www.booksneeze.com) book review bloggers program. 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 (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html) : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

—This post contains affiliate links. Go here to see my disclosure policy.

Book Review: Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory

Book Summary:

A busy businessman finds a dinner invitation in the mail from Jesus. Believing it to be a prank by his co-workers, he goes to the dinner expecting to have a night out with the guys. Instead, he has dinner with a mystery man and drawn into a conversation that changes his life forever.

For an excerpt of this book you can go to the publisher’s Scribed page here.

My Thoughts:

This book was an easy read and I was able to finish the book in one sitting – an hour to be exact. I enjoyed this quaint story and appreciated the premise. I’d love to have have a sit down dinner conversation with Jesus. I’m sure many of us would.

What I liked:

The main character, Nick, thought that the invitation was a joke or an advertising trick from a local church. He didn’t easily believe it was Jesus and came at the conversation with skepticism. I appreciated this because I’ve read fiction in the past where the characters immediately believed and was all “sappy” and in awe, which made those stories unbelievable and annoying.

The character of Jesus (wearing a business suit) was intelligent and also very believable. He was natural and spoke with profound simplicity and directness. You could see why Nick was drawn into a conversation with him.

I also liked the way the book flowed and felt the book was engaging. I wouldn’t say that book was a “page turner” but it kept my interest and I was eager to go from one topic of conversation to another.

What I didn’t like:

My biggest problem with the book was some of the topics could have been fleshed out a little more. The book was almost too general and did not discuss any of the topics in depth. I wish the book had been a little longer so that some of the topics, such as the discussions about world religions and faith could have been delved into a little more.

I also wish the talks were more personal in nature, particularly Nick’s relationship with his wife and baby. You learn enough to  know there are some issues between Nick and his wife, and the discussion between Nick and Jesus offers enough to know that Nick needs to be a better husband, but there are no suggestions on how he can do this on a practical level. (And I like things practical! 🙂 )

My rating:

I give this book 3 stars.

Speaking of ratings, would you do me a quick favor and rate my review? It only takes a second and will help increase my review points. Thank you so much!

Review Copy Disclosure:

I received this book free from the publisher through the Waterbrook Multnomahah blogging for books (http://www.waterbrookmultnomah.com/bloggingforbooks/) book review bloggers program. 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 (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html) : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Book Review: The Final Summit by Andy Andrews

Book Summary:

From the book’s description:

“This is humanity’s last chance. Centuries of greed, pride, and hate have sent mankind hurling toward disaster, and far from its original purpose. There is only one solution that can reset the compass and right the ship-and that answer is only two words.

With time running out, it is up to David Ponder and a cast of history’s best and brightest minds to uncover the solution before it is too late. The catch? They are allowed only five tries to solve the ominous challenge.”

My Thoughts:

I didn’t particularly care for this book. Maybe I miss-read the above snippet, but I was expecting a fast-faced, almost suspenseful read that would keep me captivated and on the edge of my seat. This book was not that at all. In fact, I felt the narrative was drawn out, which I found strange since it is only a 230 page book and a little – well – boring.

On top of that, I was disappointed with the anti-climatic, unsatisfying ending. The one thing about the ending that was excellent though, was the “Personal Declaration” read by David Ponder.

What I liked:

Although this book is a sequel to The Traveler’s Gift, there was enough of an introduction in the first chapter of The Final Summit to get the gist of David Ponder’s character (even if I never got emotionally invested in him) and what the first book was about. I didn’t feel like I missed out on something by not reading the first book.

I was impressed that the main character – David Ponder – was a 74 year old. It’s not often you read fiction where the main character is on the older side. He was portrayed beautifully and with intelligence.

The premise of the book is very good, too. What does humanity have to do to get back on track in following the path of “successful civilization”? All of us, as individuals and as a society need to get back to our roots and remember God and His plan for us.

The best thing about the book – and surprising – was the life of Eric Erickson and his role in ending World War II. Amazing. I definitely want to find out more about this strong, courageous man.

What I didn’t like:

First off, like I eluded to earlier, the book read very slowly. When reading this book, you get the impression that in spite of the fact that time was running out the summit gatherers acted as if they had all the time in the world; except in a few places where the urgency of time would present itself.

Also, as each character was summoned to the leader’s table, there was more time then necessary spent on introducing him or her.

Secondly, the way some of the characters were portrayed really put me off. The characters of the Archangel Gabriel and King David was particularly off-putting to me. Archangel Gabriel was depicted as condescending and purposely – not sure  how to put into works – unhelpful or mean maybe. And King David was (in the beginning) downright pompous and arrogant; but became more human as the story bore on.

Finally, the emphasis on how each particular summit leader overcame adversity and difficulties was on their own power and abilities, rather than God – the origin of all our good and abilities. As a matter of fact, his references to God was too subtle; at one point God was referred to as ‘the boss” (which is a term for God that I personally despise).

My rating:

I give this book 2 stars.

Review Copy Disclosure:

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com (http://www.booksneeze.com) book review bloggers program. 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 (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html) : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (May 1, 2011)

Here’s this week’s contributions to RAnn’s weekly Sunday Snippet meme (As always, come check out other Sunday Snippet posts, or join in with your own):

This is a combination of two weeks, since I took a little blogging break for Easter:

Crescent Beef Stroganoff Recipe

10 Quotes About God’s Mercy from St. Faustina’s Diary

Lollipop Making Fun!

Book review of “Doing Virtual Business” by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch

 

Book Review: Doing Virtual Business by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch

Doing Virtual Business cover

Book Summary:

From the book description: “Doing Virtuous Business explains the true purpose of business and illuminates the connection between a free economy and religious liberty. Drawing from the notion of “social capital” that has been developed by generations of scholars, Malloch adds the concept of “spiritual capital” as a foundation for social progress and also a necessity for responsible and successful enterprise. He details the virtues that sustain a business and a free market — virtues that are critical to the emerging global economy.”

My Thoughts:

If I wasn’t required by booksneeze.com to write a minimum of a 200 word review, it would be very easy for me to say: “This is a must read. GET THIS BOOK NOW!” 🙂 Anyone who has lost confidence in “big business” or even Capitalism itself in the wake of Enron and other business scandals should read this book.

Using the Theological and Cardinal virtues as a guide, Malloch outlines the spiritual capitol that underlines true business success. He uses real-life examples that are inspiring and motivating. He discusses the spiritual principles behind companies such as Dacor, Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A and others.

What I liked:

Although this book is written about business for business people, anyone can use the underlying principles of this book to all areas of his or her life. Reading this book has encouraged and inspired me to make greater effort in living the virtues in my daily life.

What I didn’t like:

Although I found his ideas on global economy interesting, I didn’t agree with some of what he said. I’ll leave it up to you to read the book and come to your own conclusion about what he says.

Also, I know that there aren’t many women in upper ranks of big business, but I was still surprised that not one woman was mentioned or highlighted in this book. There are virtuous business women and CEOs, aren’t there?? (If by chance, there is a woman or two highlighted in this book, please point it out, because I’ve obviously missed it.)

My rating:

I give this book 4 stars.

Review Copy Disclosure:

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com (http://www.booksneeze.com) book review bloggers program. 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 (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html) : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.