Friday, November 25, 2011

Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs

Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs is the second half of the author's rendition of the biblical story of Ruth set in 18th century Scotland.  I love to read historical ficiton, but had never read anything by Higgs.  I was thoroughly pleased by this well-researched story of love for God, country, and family. 

The main characters changed and grew as the narrative progressed.  The one potential down side to this novel was the predictability sensed by the middle of the novel.  It is, after all, following the story of Ruth, so you know, in a general sense, where it is going.  But this combined with the triple love story could be easily overlooked for those like me who prefer more adventure than romance.  The author keeps you turning the pages as you become swept up with the beautiful countryside and fascinating folk traditions of Scotland during this time period.  I only wish I had read the precursor Here Burns My Candle first. . .

I give this book a wholehearted 5 out of 5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nearing Home by Billy Graham

Nearing Home by Billy Graham is a book of tender insights on aging presented by one of America’s most beloved evangelists. Though I certainly did not endorse all of Graham’s ministry practices, I was curious what his last words would sound like.  Interestingly he writes that “growing old has been the greatest surprise of my life.”  A nearly 93 year old Graham shares his hopeful expectation of a home in heaven (reunited with his beloved wife), but also concedes that there are more than just “aches and pains” associated with growing old.

Through Scripture quotations, numerous stories, and personal experience he gives practical advice and spiritual guidance for how a Christian should handle retirement, aging, and death.  Graham is honest and often blunt regarding his own experience with growing old.  However he continues to share his love for God and hope of a heavenly home to all who will hear. 

4 out of 5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair and honest review.

For Men Only by Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn

While it is not especially long (190 pages including all endnotes), the Feldhahn’s little guide for men is insightful and thought provoking. From the moment you open the book and find a small “quick start” guide in the front of the book for men who don’t want to read the whole thing, but only get the meat of it, you get the feeling that you are reading something written by a couple who has grasped in some way the nature of the husband/wife relationship. The book has a fairly simple premise and goal: rather than being a comprehensive marriage manual, it takes a slightly different tack. The authors conducted a national survey of women and from that took common threads and themes and built a profile, or better terminology might be a picture, of a woman’s mind. They spend the chapters of the book fleshing out that picture by identifying a man’s general perception about what his wife is saying, and then explaining what she is actually trying to communicate. The chapters are easy to read, and the research is strong. The downsides are that because the book is based on a survey, there is very little textual support for any of the premises that are established. That being said, if you understand the limitation of the scope of the book, then it is an excellent little volume for the bookshelf of anyone who is married or heading in that direction! I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars. I received a free copy of this book from the blogging for books program in exchange for a fair and honest review.