Category Archives: *** OK – Don’t Love It, Don’t Hate It

Discipling Your Grandchildren

Title: Discipling Your Grandchildren
Author: Dr. Josh Mulvihill
Publisher: BethanyHouse
ISBN: 978-0-7642-3129-2

“Grandparents are fellow laborers created to point grandchildren to Christ and help raise them to spiritual maturity,” Josh Mulvihill with Jen Mulvihill and Linda Weddle writes in his book, Discipling Your Grandchildren: Great Ideas to Help Them Know, Love, and Serve God.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-ninety-two-page paperback is targeted toward both male and female grandparents who have a burden to help their grandchildren get closer to God. After a foreword by Wess Stafford and an introduction, there are eleven chapters about the topic, followed by notes, the authors’ biographies, and resources.

Promoting meaningful connections with grandchildren, this book is written by a father with the help of two women who are parents and a grandmother. The first chapter discusses what the Bible says while the second contains gifts, encouragement, and prayer tips. While the third section is about intentional meals, the fourth is teaching and telling others about Christ. Reading, memorizing, sharing, and serving are in the fifth to seventh chapters, and relationship building, the home, the church, and during holidays complete the book.

~ Why ~
Having four grandkids under the age of six, I know how vital it is to be proactively telling them about Jesus and all He has done. I like the many lists for gift-giving, graduation gifts, suggestions of books by age, topical Scriptures to pray, teaching skills, formats of the plan of eternal salvation, overnight visits with games, and holiday ideas with teaching, crafts, and activities.

~ Why Not ~
Those who are not grandparents or do not have children may have no interest in this book. Others who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not understand the value its contents. Seasoned parents looking for new ideas for their grandkids may feel the concepts are common and have been already done by them decades before.

~ Wish ~
Since we live out of state from our grandchildren and have to rely on Facetime during COVID-19, I found the book contained only a few long-distance suggestions. It is mainly geared for Christians and their church-going families with few tips for those who have to deal with non-believing children and their offspring.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for grandparent-tested and parent-approved read about how to disciple your grandkids from toddler to teen, this may give you some good ideas, but it may not help if your grands do not know Christ or do not live nearby.

Thanks to Bethany House for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3cCxKg7

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Christian

Jairus’s Girl

Title: Jairus’s Girl
Author: L.R. Hay
Publisher: Salted Lightly
ISBN: 978-1-916077003

“Well I’m not dead now, and I’m hungry. It’s essential I get some food: this Jesus person said so,” Tammie demands after she is healed in L.R. Hay’s children’s book, Jairus’s Girl.

~ What ~
The second in the Young Testament series, this one-hundred-and-eighty-page paperback targets nine- to twelve-year-old children who like enhanced Biblical stories. With no profanity or adult situations, it is a young girl’s version of the life of Christ as an adult.

Set in Capernaum two-thousand years ago, eleven-year-old Tammie is an only child who loves to help others with her tender heart as she happily keeps tabs of everyone and everything in her village. When she becomes deathly ill, she is awoken by a wonderful man named Jesus, who does miracles near and abroad. As she hears about Him and meets His friends such as Matthew, Simon Peter, Andrew, and Lucius, she learns and witnesses the many stories from the Gospels from Christ’s miracles and healings to His death and resurrection.

~ Why ~
This is a charming, quirky read from a young one’s standpoint living when Jesus comes to Earth. I enjoyed the blend of many Biblical characters such as the healing of the centurion’s slave, the woman with the issue of blood, the paralyzed man, and others. The added humorous comments and conversations between Tammie and her friends, Daniel and Dibs, will delight some readers.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not approve of this book. Children who do not like chapter books written about the Bible may not appreciate it. Others may not agree with the made-up scenarios that have a young protagonist hearing, seeing, or talking about the multiple miracles of the Son of God. The eternal plan of salvation contains no obvious confession of one’s sin.

~ Wish ~
Due to the British punctuation, spelling, and grammar differences in the book, I wish an American version were offered to make it easier for young readers here in the United States to comprehend. I found the main character to be too perfect and idealistic. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If your preteen likes historical fiction of Jesus in the New Testament, this would make a nice gift, albeit ample liberties have been taken that are not completely accurate to the Word of God.

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

#Bookcrash #SaltedLightly #LRHay #JairussGirl #TheYoungTestament
This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2Zf6zoE

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Childrens, Fiction

First-Time Mom’s Baby Memory Book

Title: First-Time Mom’s Baby Memory Book
Author: Emily Ramirez
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN: 978-1-64611-663-8

“This open-ended memory book allows you to write about whatever you feel like–or whatever your little one is doing–whenever you want,” the back jacket states in the book by Emily Ramirez, First-Time Mom’s Baby Memory Book: Record Precious Moments and Memory.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-seventy-page paperback targets first-time mothers devoted to documenting the many aspects and emotions of motherhood as they relate to their newborn.

After an ownership page, there are two to three statements to complete on half the pages with quotes from famous people on pastel-colored pages on the other sides. Each section has about five lines to fill in answers. Occasionally there are boxes to check as the answers, and there are a few pages to add photographs.

Random example statements include:
Something I’m proud of accomplishing before becoming a mother is …
The ride home from the hospital was …
You generally loathe/tolerate/love diaper changes.
The foods I craved while expecting you were …
The biggest mess you’ve made so far has been …
Something I hope for your future is …
The emotions you have currently mastered include …
I do/do not currently have yogurt on my clothes …
My parenting style could best be described as …
The most important thing I can teach you is …

Random example quotes are from Serena Williams, Gina Carey, Peng Liyuan, Catherine Jones, Gayle Wray, Carrie Fisher, Gilda Radner, Tina Fey, Melissa McCarthy, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Mila Kunis, Paul Reiser, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mr. Rogers, and Erma Bombeck.

~ Why ~
Remembering the birth of your first child is cherishing and amazing as you experience the day to day joys, exhaustion, frustrations, and unconditional love. The book has plenty of topics for a mom to think about regarding her child and herself.

~ Why Not ~
Due to exhaustion, most first-time mothers have no time to sit and write their thoughts in a book or even flip through its pages trying to find a statement to ponder. Others may want a memory book that is not as detailed to keep their facts and memories of their baby. Since the book is for mothers, there is a high percentage of questions about her and not the child with nothing for a father to complete. Most of the quotes are from the entertainment industry which may mean little to some.

~ Wish~
I found it frustrating that there was no organization of this book as its questions jump around regarding the age of the child to what the mother is feeling. I wish it came in a hardbound version with folders to add photographs and mementos.

~ Want ~
This book would make a nice gift for a new mother who has it all together and is highly organized so has the time to fill in all the blanks, but I, as a grandmother, felt it was too complicated.

Thanks to Callisto Publisher’s Club and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#FirstTimeMomsBabyMemoryBook #EmilyRamirez #RockridgePress #CallistoPublishersClub

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2xWAF4S

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Non-Fiction

How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?

Title: How Much Money Do I Need to Retire? 2nd Edition
Author: Todd Tresidder
Publisher: FinancialMentor
ISBN: 978-1-939273-06-2

“The amount of money you can afford to spend in retirement is dependent not only on your actual investment returns but also on the order of those returns,” Todd Tresidder writes in his book, How Much Money Do I Need to Retire: Uncommon Financial Planning Wisdom for a Stress-Free Retirement.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and–twenty-six-page paperback targets those planning or getting ready to retire from work. After an introduction, the book is divided into three sections, ending with a conclusion, bonus material, afterword, glossary, and author’s biography. With a few black and white charts and numbered lists, bolded or italicized words are included.

The writer explains in the first section the smart way of conventional retirement planning, dividing the topic into five parts that discuss retirement costs, assumptions, essential questions, accurately estimating investment returns, and figuring out your “magical” retirement number. The other two sections cover obtaining a creative lifestyle and simplistic cash-flow planning.

~ Why ~
Although this book was published in late 2019, before the coronavirus and stock market fluctuations, I like that it advocates one should be aware of what is ahead as retirement approaches. Since I retired at age fifty (yet still maintain my small business) and my husband did two years ago, we heartily agree with the book’s many concepts about not taping into principal, assume plausible outcomes, and spending less than you need. I appreciate the details explaining the Monte Carlo calculator’s limitations, expectancy models based on valuations, diversifying with passive income, and scenario analysis.

~ Why Not ~
While the book is well-written, there is plenty of the writer’s referral to his early retirement and free online downloads or other books he has written (which does factor into his personal passive income suggestions). Some may be frustrated there are no charts or forms to fill out to obtain a magic number that technically does not exist. Those who only rely on their monthly pension and social security checks after retiring may panic over the potential of their dwindling funds not lasting. Others may prefer a traditional retirement planning with someone else doing all the footwork and monitoring it for them.

~ Wish ~
While reading this book, I noticed passive real estate and business incomes were often promoted as well as insurance and annuities. Since my husband and I were fortuitous in planning our retirements by paying off all debt including our house early and always living within our means, I did not find anything new in the book, only reinforcement that we made the right choices when it came to saving for retirement.

~ Want ~
If you are young and have years or decades to plan your retirement, this is a good read to help you understand how to save and be wise in your investments, but there is no full-proof way to ensure your wealth, especially with the current status of our economy in 2020.

Thanks to the author, Book Launchers, and Bookpleasures for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#HowMuchMoneyDoINeedtoRetire #ToddTresidder #FinancialMentors #BookLaunchers #Bookpleasures

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2Jp2Ag7

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Business / Money / Education, Non-Fiction

Ishmael Covenant

Title: Ishmael Covenant
Author: Terry Brennan
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0-8254-4530-9

“But know this … the box has a mission of its own. Do not deny the box from its intended purpose,” the Gaon warns in Terry Brennan’s book, Ishmael Covenant.

~ What ~
The first in the Empires of Armageddon series, this three-hundred-and-twenty-page paperback targets those who enjoy political Christian suspense involving the Middle East. With no profanity except for the use of the word hell, topics of torture, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning has a map and list of characters, while the ending includes acknowledgments, author’s notes, and an excerpt to the next book in the series.

In this read, Dipolocatic Secret Serviceman Brian Mullaney is banished to guarding the US ambassador in Israel, a man who has recently been given a special Jewish box that contains a centuries-old prophecy about the coming Messiah and destroys anyone who touches it. It is a race to get the unique box safely to a Jewish synagogue before Turk, a mysterious man, gets it first.

~ Why ~
I appreciate books about the future, especially if they involve the second coming of Jesus Christ. While this one is the first in a series, it shows how the Middle East is lined up for changes when the antichrist evolves and the Tribulation begins. I liked the portrayal of the main character and his struggles personally and spiritually.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like Christian-faith based novels or do not have a personal relationship with Jesus will not appreciate this book or care for its simple plan of eternal salvation. Others may already be aware of the Old Testament predictions, the history of the Middle East, and Biblical end-time prophecies.

~ Wish ~
While including detailed historical background information, the story often gets bogged down to the point the reader wants to skip sections if they already know about it. I found its unsatisfying ending abrupt, although I know it is only the first in its series.

~ Want ~
If you love a suspenseful and political read involving the Middle East, this first book in a series about its potential future may interest you, but I struggled to get through it and felt no closure at its rushed ending.

Thanks to the author, Bookpleasures, and Kregel Publishing for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#IshmaelCovenant #TerryBrennan #KregelPublications #Bookpleasures

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2WSplAV

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

Chasing the White Lion

Title: Chasing the White Lion
Author: James R. Hannibal
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3578-4

“Welcome to the Jungle. Take care you are not eaten,” Talia and her elite team are warned in James R. Hannibal’s novel, Chasing the White Lion.

~ What ~
This three-hundred-and-eighty-five-page paperback is targeted toward those who enjoy a suspenseful thriller involving CIA agents, master thieves, and a team working together to bring down a syndicate boss. With no profanity, topics of violence, kidnapping, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers.

As a page-turner, this lightly Christian-based tale focuses on Talia Inger, a CIA agent who has an eidetic memory and recently turned her life over to the Lord. With the help of a wheelman, she and a grifter, spy, thief, chemist, and hacker band together to be invited into the inner circle of a high-crime organization run by the White Lion and the Archangel in what they call the Jungle, a game of deception with high stakes involving thalers, arms deals, and child refugee kidnappings. As the highly-trained group chases down their marks, Talia must learn to lean and trust her rogue tribe and, most importantly, God.

~ Why ~
I like reading worldwide suspense that involves a female protagonist who has to deal and overcome her past as she relies on Christ. The story is fast-paced, with the band of misfits traveling from the United States to Russia, Africa, the Czech Republic, the Greek Islands, and Thailand to uncover a deadly crowdsourced crime syndicate.

~ Why Not ~
Those who are not followers of Christ and do not like stories about international crime blended with the underlying emotional impact of child trafficking may not appreciate this story. Others may tire of the bantering of the teammates, far-fetched scenarios, and limited relying on God.

~ Wish ~
Although I liked how Talia learned to depend on the Almighty through prayer, I felt the author missed the perfect opportunity to give the eternal plan of salvation. I found some of the team members’ quibbling and joking misplaced. Due to the plethora of characters, it would be ideal to include a list of them at the beginning of the book. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are a fan of current-day international intrigue and suspense involving an eclectic group of clandestine professionals going after the bad guys, you may appreciate this read, but I found it confusing and complicated from start to end.

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

#Revell #JamesRHannibal #ChasingtheWhiteLion

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2wBS95M

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

Collision of Lies

Title: Collision of Lies
Author: Tom Threadgill
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3650-7

“You’ll see. Everybody lies, either intentionally or because of their skewed point of view. The witnesses. The suspects. Even the victims sometimes,” Amara is reminded in Tom Threadgill’s novel, Collision of Lies.

~ Wha
This four-hundred-page paperback targets those who enjoy a suspense story about a school bus traffic accident that may have been covered up. With no profanity, topics of exhuming bodies, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes an excerpt from the next author’s book, biography, and advertisements.

In this tale based in SanAntonio, Texas, thirty-two-year-old policewoman Amara Alvarez wishes she could be promoted from stolen property to homicide, especially when she learns a local mother recently received a text from her son, who was supposedly killed in a bus accident three years ago. As the detective tries to uncover the truth about the incident and if the boy may still be alive, she puts her life and others in danger.

~ Why ~
This is an interesting read for those who like mysteries involving how the police handle local, federal, and international situations involving kidnapping, especially when they concern young ones. I appreciated the last third of the book tracking down the culprits and what had to be done to solve the problem.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like novels about children possibly dying may want to avoid this book. Others may find the often bantering between the protagonist and several of her co-workers campy or some of the resolutions skeptical. Some may consider the storyline predictable.

~ Wish ~
I found the first half of the book a struggle to get through due to its unnecessary filler content involving gym workouts, Downton Abbey, and innocuous flirtations between a few characters that were never resolved. If these were limited, it would have held my attention more to get to the ending.

~ Want ~
If you want a suspense thriller about complicated lies covering up a crime in a Texan town that takes you to Mexico, this may be a decent read, but I struggled to complete it.

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

#Revell #TomThreadgill #CollisionofLies

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2UkUAmY

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Fiction

Love You, Love You

Title: Love You, Love You
Written by: Mary Hassinger
Illustrator: Alison Brown
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76841-8

“’Love You, Love You,’ Mama squeaked. Into her nest she quickly peeked. Sleeping babies softly snore. ‘I’ve never felt such love before,’” Mary Hassinger rhymes at the beginning of the children’s book, Love You, Love You.

~ What ~
This twenty-page board book with rounded corners targets children ages three years old and older. With no scary scenes, it focuses on animals and their families as they go to bed.

After a presentation page to fill out, this cute tale told in rhyming format shows an animal mother, father, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and siblings showing love as they put their charges into bed. The animals include mice, bears, snakes, dogs, chickens, ducks, cats, and frogs.

~Why ~
This is a nice story for those who like bedtime reads about animals getting snuggly and cozy as they hit the hay. I like the pretty illustrations and sleepy-looking critters that are calm and serene.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do care to read to their young ones when they get tucked in bed may have no interest in this short tale. Others may find it too sophomoric in content, as it only has animals in their sleeping areas.

~ Wish ~
I wish this book had more than the families simply going to bed with four-line rhymes and was more realistic to animals’ bedtime rituals. For example: The Nana snake makes sure all her grandchildren are kissed and then turns off all the lights, yet it could have been more engaging if the illustration was in a dark den than has no lamps in it.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a nice bedtime story about animals, this may satisfy your child’s interest, yet I do not think it will hold our grandchildren’s attention for long.

Thanks to Zblog Squad for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/35M62v0

#Zonderkidz #ZblogSquad #AlisonBrown #LoveYouLoveYou #MaryHassinger

 

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Animals / Pets, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

FuturePlusX Christmas Hat Beanie

COLORFUL LED LIGHT-UP SNOWMAN CAP

~ What ~
Made of 100% acrylic, this knitted Christmas beanie that has a snowman with trees and snowflakes comes with LED lights that can be turned on or off. In a blue with a yarn ball on top, it measures 9.5 inches tall and 8.3 inches wide. Supposedly included are 2 CR2032 batteries, with only one to be used at a time. No care or cleaning instructions are added.

~ Why ~
‘Tis the season for fun and cuteness with this hat that I know my adult son will enjoy wearing while we open Christmas presents this year. I like how its low-energy battery lights up to 70 hours.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like that the online hat shows mostly a sky blue color, yet the one I received was a navy blue. Others may think it is not wide enough to put on the head, but the knitted fabric has a little stretch to it. The LED lights are only on the front of the hat.

~ Wish ~
It would be ideal if the online description were written better as it states it is red in color and there are typos. There was no extra battery included in my order nor a way to insert it into the hat.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Christmas beanie that will get attention, this would be an inexpensive choice but be leary that the color may not be what is pictured and the extra battery may be missing.

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

#RankBoosterReview #SponsoredbySally #FuturePlusX #ChristmasHatBeanie

This item can be found at https://amzn.to/2rvefVl

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Product Reviews

A Very Fiona Christmas

Title: A Fiona Christmas
Author & Illustrator: Richard Cowdrey
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76773-2

“It was in that moment that Fiona finally understood. Christmas is friends and fun and snow and lights and trees … and love!” ends Richard Cowdrey’s children’s book, A Very Fiona Christmas.

~ What ~
At thirty-two pages, this oversized hardbound with a front cover that has glitter targets children ages four to eight years old. With no scary scenes, it is a nice story about one’s interpretation of the meaning of Christmas, experienced through the eyes of Fiona, a charming hippopotamus. Containing some complicated wording, it would be best read out loud to beginner readers.

In partnership with the Cincinnati Zoo, this story is about Fiona, a young hippo who lives at the zoo who is trying to understand the meaning of Christmas. As the animals start celebrating the holiday by talking about presents, decorations, trees, and more, Fiona slides down hills with penguins, plays with polar bears, and enjoys the festivities, but she does not understand the holiday. On Christmas morning the animal befriends Chloe, a koala, who is not given a Christmas stocking. Fiona lovingly gives the critter her favorite scarf as a gift and introduces her to others, later realizing that giving is the reason for Christmas.

~Why ~
This is a charming story with an adorable baby hippo who learns the value of friendship and giving. I like the engaging, interesting illustrations that include other zoo animals. The idea of giving gifts instead of receiving them is important to teach to young ones.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not care for these large animals or zoos may not be interested in this book. Others, such as Christians like me, may not like that there is no reference to the real reason for the season: the birth of Jesus Christ.

~ Wish ~
While I loved looking at Fiona and her cuteness, I wish the book explained the spiritual background and why we celebrate Jesus and His birth.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a beautifully illustrated children’s book about a thoughtful hippo named Fiora that has no mention of Christ being born, this may be for you, but I marked it down as I think it missed the point of the Real Reason to the holiday.

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

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2NNxDE7

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Childrens