Category Archives: Book Review

Jesus Among Secular Gods

Jesus Among Secular Gods: The Countercultural Claims of ChristTitle: Jesus Among Secular Gods
Authors: Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale
Publisher: FaithWords
ISBN: 978-1-4555-6916-9

“We all follow a god, whether supernatural or secular,” the authors state in Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale’s book, Jesus Among Secular Gods: The Countercultural Claims of Christ.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-fifty-six-page paperback targets those who are interested in dissecting current religious beliefs that are against the claims of God and Jesus written in Scriptures. Using mainly the New International Version of the Holy Bible, the NLT, NKJV, ESV, NHEB, and KJV are also referenced. The book is divided into eight chapters, ending with acknowledgments and notes.

In this book where each author writes four chapters, it covers atheism, scientism, pluralism, humanism, relativism, and hedonism as it relates to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Often mentioning experiences and discussions by the writers, it contains quotes of Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, and the Qur’an, as well as C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and the Bible.

The writers describe the atheist’s anger as they mock and ridicule Christianity without answering the “why” of God as they increase their desire for autonomy and power. The chapter on scientism further examines the Who behind the how, while pluralism is about origin, meaning, morality, and destiny but lacks a personal relationship with the Creator. Covering the philosophy of humanism that promotes transcendental spirituality, the experience machine of relativism, and the money and sex of hedonism, all offer a partial truth instead of accepting God’s free gift of loving each of us unconditionally.

~ Why ~
Having taken a religion class at a secular college decades ago, I found this book similar in explaining the different “isms” of the day, yet it refutes and challenges those who do not have Jesus Christ as their pivotal focus. In-depth with explanations, the book can be read a little at a time to comprehend how non-Christians believe and think and how we should respond in love to them. I like the hermeneutics of the topic and appreciate the many details in counter-acting to some of the non-God beliefs.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with our Lord may not understand and ardently disagree with this book. Some will take it as an emotional attack on their beliefs. A few may wish there were less of the writers’ experiences or analogies.

~ Wish ~
Having a sister who used to profess Christ and now is a white witch teaching the occult, I wish the book mentioned the fast-growing attraction of supposedly achieving a godship status as a human. This form of Satanism is another anti-Christ viewpoint that appears to be gaining traction, yet the book never mentions how the devil is the prince of darkness on Earth and behind many of these false “isms.”

~ Want ~
If you yearn to understand what non-believers of Jesus Christ think of the gods they serve and need assistance understanding their religions, this is a helpful resource that would be a good textbook in a Bible class on the subject.

Rated 4.5 of 5 stars.

Thanks to the Hachette Book Group for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jesus-among-secular-gods-ravi-zacharias/1123748103?ean=9781455569151#/

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* CONTEST * Bonjour! Let’s Learn French ~ FREE Book Giveaway!

WIN JUDY MARIALAY’S BOOK
BONJOUR! LET’S LEARN FRENCH!

The following winners will be selected to get FREE from the author her children’s book, BONJOUR! LET’S LEARN FRENCH!
1 PRINT BOOK
5 EBOOKS (KINDLE or PDF – MOBI OPTION COMING)

TEASER: “Welcome aboard Pete the Pilot’s magic plane. Pete takes you to France. On the way, learn words and phrases in French …” the contents page explains at the beginning of Judy Martialay’s children’s book, Bonjour! Let’s Learn French: Visit New Places and Make New Friends.

SIMPLE steps to enter this 3-day contest:

1.  Follow my blog if you do not already.
2. Click on the headline ** CONTEST ** to be sure you are on the Reply page.
3. Post in the “LEAVE A REPLY” section below why you want to read this exciting book (could be funny, clever, serious, or the words “I want” since the winner is randomly chosen).
4. Follow the author’s website: http://www.polyglotkidz.com
5. If you are the winner, please consider posting a review regarding what you thought of the book (although it is not required).

This is a FAST CONTEST ending Monday, December 11th, 2017, after 5 PM PST so follow the requirements above and try for a chance to win a book that is mailed from the publisher directly to you! Winner’s shipping address must be in the U.S.A.

I read & reviewed this 5 star book –https://connywithay.wordpress.com/2017/12/08/bonjour-lets-learn-french/

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Bonjour! Let’s Learn French

Title: Bonjour! Let’s Learn French
Author & Illustrator: Judy Martialay
Publisher: Polyglotkidz Press
ISBN: 978-0-99746-870-0

“Welcome aboard Pete the Pilot’s magic plane. Pete takes you to France. On the way, learn words and phrases in French …” the contents page explains at the beginning of Judy Martialay’s children’s book, Bonjour! Let’s Learn French: Visit New Places and Make New Friends.

~ What ~
This forty-page paperback targets children ages six to twelve years old and their parents who want to learn French. With no scary scenes, the book contains some complicated wording for beginner readers. Colorful, simplistic illustrations and photographs are on most pages. A website with a downloadable audio for correct word pronunciation is available.

This book teaching about France and its culture, people, and language provides a story as well as educational tools. When Pete the Pilot flies the readers to the country, they are introduced to two children making a sand castle at the beach. At night, a snail named Louis resides as king of the sand castle until dogs run by, accidentally destroying it. The next day, the children rebuild the castle for their king snail.

Other chapters offer conversational French, the culture of France, learning to paint an impressionist painting, and a compilation of the words and phrases used throughout the book. There is an acknowledgment page at the ending.

~ Why ~
I like that this book promotes learning through a story, following it up with reiteration, repetitiveness, and practice. Having all French words in a bold font makes them easy to locate. One of the best features of this is that one can go online and download the audible book, so proper pronunciation is used when reading the French words out loud.

~ Why Not ~
Due to the long paragraphs on the pages, it would best be read to some children as it may frustrate some. Beginner readers may struggle with some of the three-syllable words. Some may find the book either too hard or simple to understand regarding French words, but it would be enjoyed greatly by those trying to learn a new language.

~ Wish ~
While the ending pages have all French words used with the French word first, having an English index alphabetically at the back might be helpful for those who need to look up a word quickly.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a beginner book on learning French from an English perspective, this may be the ticket, especially if you use it with the audio version.

Thanks to the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This product can be purchased at http://www.polyglotkidz.com

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Paisley the Goat

Paisley the GoatTitle: Paisley the Goat
Author: Rocio Monroy
Illustrator: Eugene Ruble
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-61633-871-8

“Paisley the goat discovers many different things that can be counted at the beach on a sleepless night,” the back jacket states on Rocio Monroy’s children’s book, Paisley the Goat.

~ What ~
At sixteen pages, this square paperback targets children ages two to five years old who are learning to count. With no scary scenes, it is a story about a goat named Paisley who cannot sleep so gets up and counts objects. Containing some complicated wording, it would be best read out loud to beginner readers.

When Paisley the goat tries to sleep on her bed of sand, she finds no rest, so she gets up and takes a walk on the beach. After noticing the large moon, she sees two clouds, followed by three crabs, four birds, five seashells, six beach balls, seven fireflies, eight fish, nine turtles, and ten stars. After her long walk, she returns to her bed and falls to sleep with a smile on her face.

~Why ~
This is a charming tale of a colorful goat who is learning to count. I like that each number is part of the story and the reader can search and count the objects in numerical order. The colorful illustrations have enough detail to engage young readers.

~ Why Not ~
Those who already know their numbers may not be interested in a counting book. New readers may find the two- and three-syllable words hard to pronounce.

~ Wish ~
I hope some children will not think that if they cannot sleep that they should get up and take a walk in the middle of the night.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book about counting for young ones, this may be a good choice.

Thanks to the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/paisley-the-goat-rocio-monroy/1127007957?ean=9781616338718

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So Great a Love

Title: So Great a Love
Author and Illustrator: Kristie Wilde
Publisher: Wilde Art Press
ISBN: 978-0-9974828-1-2

“Oh, run little ones, run to God … He will always love you!” Kristie Wilde ends her children’s book, So Great a Love.

~ What ~
Part of the Joyful Creation series, this unnumbered twenty-page paperback targets children under five years old, especially those who like learning about God’s love and animals. With no scary scenes, the book has colorful watercolor pictures that are broadly illustrated on every page.

In this short compilation, the idea that animals are protected and loved by their parents is correlated to God’s love for us, even if small ones. Whether it is a hen gathering her chicks, a mama bear protecting her cubs, a koala helping her young, a bird hiding her babies, a lioness washes her cubs, a shepherd watching over his flocks, or other animals protecting their loved ones, the book reiterates that the Almighty is watching over us. Also added are references to nature and its helpful resources. The ending includes ten written out Bible verses from six different translations along with the author’s biography.

~ Why ~
Promoting that the same God that made the animals and nature that surrounds us is the same God that loves us endlessly, the book also teaches how animal parents take care of their young. I like the detailed and colorful artworks that keep a young one’s attention. Due to the illustrations’ backgrounds, the pictures could also encourage further dialogue about how each animal lives and its environment.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like books about God’s love or animals will not appreciate this book. Beginner readers may struggle with some of the two- and three-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
I wish more simplistic children’s books like this were available for young ones to be taught the wonderful attributes of God and that they are loved by Him.

~ Want ~
If you enjoy a book that shows God’s love through how animal parents take care and protect their offspring, this would be a charming, delightful choice.

For more information on this book: http://wildeartpress.com/so-great-a-love.html

Thanks to Book Crash for furnishing this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

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As Bright as Heaven

Title: As Bright as Heaven
Author: Susan Meissner
Publisher: Penguin Random House
ISBN: 978-0-399-58596-8

“The world was different after the flu and war. And so were we,” Evelyn quietly reflects in Susan Meissner’s novel, As Bright as Heaven.

~ What ~
This four-hundred-page paperback book targets those who enjoy reading stories of love conquering all despite the trials and tribulations caused by the Spanish flu. With some profanity, its topics of illness, war, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes acknowledgments and the author’s note.

Set in 1918 in Philadelphia, the Bright family has moved from small town living to the city so the father can help his uncle with his mortuary business. Broken from the loss of their infant son, the couple, as well as their three daughters, try to start life anew until the Spanish flu arrives, unexpectedly taking more than one of those the love yet blessing them with another.

Through tears and heartbreak, the females write chapter by chapter of how they had to accept the tragedy of the illness and the ravages of war. While lies are told to protect the innocent and emotions are smothered to survive, the ever-changing family learns that Death is a quiet companion to everyone, including those loved.

~ Why ~
Having read and enjoyed other books by the author, I love how she writes in first person through the mother and her three daughters as each experiences the effects of hardship. As the years pass and the girls mature, the book offers a completeness that is needed for redemption and acceptance when we lose someone we love.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like tales of loss and sorrow from the massive deaths encircling the Spanish flu will not appreciate the intricate details of this read. Others may wish more of God’s hope of eternal salvation was offered instead of dwelling on the aspect of dying and death.

~ Wish ~
Being able to guess the ending at the three-quarter mark, I wish it was not as predictable when reading.

~ Want ~
Focusing on how death is a part of life, Meissner does another phenomenal job tying the deep ache and sorrow of losing a dear relative to finding love among the heart-broken relationships.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Thanks to Bookpleasures and Penguin Random House for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book will be available in February 2018 and can be purchased at https://www.walmart.com/ip/As-Bright-As-Heaven/56159379

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WOQU Bath Bomb Set

NICE BATH BOMB GIFT PACK

~ What ~
Made of sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, and fragrance, this set of 6 handmade bath bombs arrives in a designer box. The scented 4.3 ounce balls measure 2.45 inches in diameter. Individually wrapped and labeled, their scents include Ocean, Lemon, Lavender, Cologne, Milk, and Rose  Descriptions and instructions with cautions are the bottom of the gift box.

~ Why ~
I love giving bath fizzies to my sisters and friends. These pastel bath balls smell delightful as they fizz for about 4 minutes up a foot bath, bathtub, or jacuzzi tub. I like how each ball is 100% natural organic, hypoallergenic, and dye free.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like taking baths will not like this product, but it makes a lovely gift for someone who loves private bath time. Some may not like some of the scents.

~ Wish ~
I wish the stickers on each ball were a little more high quality as they look as if they came off a printer.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a nice gift for someone who needs to be pampered, this would be an appreciated choice.

This product can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074P8YLW1/

Thanks to WOQU for this product that I am under no obligation to review.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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My Bible Story Coloring Book

My Bible Story Coloring Book (Nov) Image 1 of 1Title:  My Bible Story Coloring Book
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-76106-8

“Color your way through 32 beloved Bible stories,” the back jacket states in My Bible Story Coloring Book by Zondervan.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-forty-four-page over-sized paperback targets children three to twelve years old who enjoy retold stories from the Bible while coloring matching designs. Using the New International Reader’s Version of the Holy Bible, the thirty-two stories from the Old and New Testaments are divided into four sections with eight in each one.

After a table of contents, the two-to-four-page stories are spread over an eight week period so the child can concentrate on the words and color the many designs for that story throughout seven days. The topics include Covenant History, Prophets, Writings, and the New Testament, and range from Noah’s ark, King Solomon’s riches, Jonah and the large fish, and the valley of dry bones to what is a Proverb, Josiah celebrating Passover, Paul’s conversion, and the empty tomb to name a few. With black writing, the illustrations grace the pages with plenty of details.

~ Why ~
Those who love to draw, doodle, or fill in coloring books while focusing on the Bible and its contents will appreciate this coloring book. I like that the stories are simplified but offer the truth. Separating it into four sections of eight weeks each makes the reader not feel rushed to complete the pages. Using thick paper, colored pencils and some gel pens may not bleed through to the other side.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Christ may not be interested in this type of coloring book. Others may not care for the limited explanations in the stories and its vague plan of eternal salvation.

~ Wish ~
I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. Since the New Testament stories are not in order of the Bible, it may confuse some children when trying to look up them in Scriptures.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical coloring book that includes thirty-two stories to read while filling in corresponding drawings, this would be a good selection.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Daniel and the Lions’ Den

Beginner's Bible Daniel and the Lions' Den Image 1 of 1Title: Daniel and the Lions’ Den
Illustrator: Denis Alonso
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-76041-2

“So God sent his angel to help Daniel. Daniel was safe all night,” the story states in Zondervan’s children’s book, Daniel and the Lions’ Den.

~ What ~
Part of The Beginner’s Bible I Can Read series, this thirty-three-page thin paperback targets young children from four to eight years old. The book covers the Old Testament’s story in the Holy Bible of Daniel in the lions’ den. It would best be read out loud to non-readers or beginner readers who like to look at pictures due to their limited reading comprehension level.

The book tells the accurate story of Daniel praying to God and thrown into a den of lions after disobeying the king’s law. With an angel protecting him, Daniel was not harmed, and the king told his people to only pray to the man’s God. Having colorful, easy-to-decipher illustrations, the cartoon designs with big white-eyed animals and people are on almost every page.

~ Why ~
This is a helpful book for beginner to early readers since there are only a few sentences on each page. There are plenty of objects to view by a young child. I like how there is room for discussion about trusting God to protect us throughout our lives. Without containing any scary scenes of ravenous lions, several of them look content and happy.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not want to promote teaching a child about the iconic Old Testament story will pass on this book. Some may be leary of the depictions of the angry men on a few pages, With a couple of bones included in the illustration on the cover and one inside, it may make an inquisitive reader wonder whose they are and why they are there. The story does not mention how the evil men were thrown to the lions afterward.

~ Wish ~
I wish more Bible stories were told this simply. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a short beginner reader’s Bible story about God watching Daniel when he was cast into the lions’ den, this will keep young children’s attention.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls

NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls Image 1 of 1Title: NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-76354-3

“The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls is a perfect gift that will become a cherished keepsake full of personalized creative expressions of faith,” the back jacket book cover states in Zondervan’s children’s book.

~ What ~
This 1,472-page teal-with-white-designs Leathersoft hardbound targets young girls from eight to twelve years old. Using the New International Version of the Holy Bible, the book includes hundreds of verses with ready-to-color line art of black and white illustrations that are on the sides to full pages. A marker ribbon is attached. The ending includes a list of the nine artists and lists of their artworks.

With the wording in the middle to the bound edge of the pages, there are either light dotted lines for notes or feminine drawings down the outside of the pages that usually correspond to the words’ contents. Also added are full-page illustrations to complete.

~ Why ~.
What makes this coloring book thoughtful is that a young girl can read her Bible and fill out the side-bar drawings that concentrate on the recently read Word. I like that the drawings mainly include words or verses with minor decorative touches.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not want to promote having a female read and color in a Bible may not approve of this book. There are those who may not agree with this version. Some may not like the idea of being distracted coloring while focusing on Scripture. I thought the pages were thin so a gel pen would bleed through easily, but a colored pencil may not.

~ Wish ~
With this book only have the standard version of a Bible with no added content except for the illustrations, it is not a study Bible. I wish each book had an informative introduction and there was an index at the end.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a beautiful coloring hardbound book for a young girl who likes to doodle in her Bible while in church or listening to a sermon, this may be a viable choice, but I think it may distract from learning about God.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad for furnishing this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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