Friday, October 26, 2012

Book Review- Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day

   I found Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day" by Garry R. Morgan to be a fascinating read.  True to its title it is broken up into informative, bite size chapters.  The writing style is clear and the content is very understandable.  It covers many religions, some of which I knew of and some that I didn't even know existed.
    This small book answers a lot of questions.  I was amazed at how much of our modern culture is influenced by some of these religions and how naive I was to it. I feel like I at least have some basic insight now that I previously lacked. 
    This book is a wonderful introduction to world religions.  While it is very much an overview, it is perfect for someone who wants to be better informed but doesn't have a lot of time or desire to read volumes on the topic.  I highly recommend it. 

I recieved a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House publishing.


  Everywhere I look it seems as if writers are preparing for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  I love the thought of writing 50,000 words in one month.  Sitting down to write with my netbook and a cup of coffee is one of my favorite parts of the day.  I have seriously thought of jumping on board but a few things keep holding me back. 
   The main thing that is holding me back is that I am concerned that I am not ready for this adventure.  I haven't been in the habit of writing daily for very long and that is a lot of words.  I spend a lot of my spare time learning about plot and character development.  I would have to drop all of that for the whole month and I don't know if that would be wise.  I am learning so much and I can see how it is improving my writing. Another thing is that I lack confidence.  I don't want to write a terrible book because I set to high of a goal for myself.  I am still a very slow writer...  I know that these are all excuses but I really want to be a good writer and I don't want to burn out.
  I have decided to set my own goal for November.  I want to write 10,000 words on my currant novel.  It doesn't look like much in comparison to writing 50,000 but it is huge stretch from what I have been doing.  Hopefully I can balance this into my life, reach my goal and still have time to learn more about my craft. 
 I am excited by my goal and I hope that it will prepare me to be a real participant in NaNoWriMo next year.  If you are participating this year or are setting goals for yourself I would love to here about it! 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book Review - "Nothing to Hide" by J.Mark Bertrand

 " What do you say to a fallen partner?  What do you say to a man you started off despising and came to grudgingly respect, whose death is on your conscience and whole absence you're only beginning to feel?" 
  Detective Roland March is a complex character who is trying to put together the  pieces of a grisly murder case.  A man is dead.  His head is missing and his finger seems to be pointing at something, but what?  The deeper he digs, the more dangerous and confusing the investigation becomes. While analyzing the clues Roland finds himself reflecting on his past which forces him to not only work through  the current case but through buried issues from his past.
    "Nothing to Hide" by J. Mark Bertrand is a suspense story that ties in present with the past in a fresh and exciting way.  Its plot twists and turns until it reaches an end that I did not see coming.  I have not read very many police suspense stories and I must admit that this was not my favorite read.  Some of this is probably because this book is part of a series and I kept feeling like I was missing something, which I probably was.  I am guessing that this book is geared more towards middle aged men then it is to young moms, like myself.
  Despite it not being my favorite, it was well written and I very much enjoyed the conclusion. The characters were deep, even the secondary ones.  I also thought it tied in deep spiritual questions in a thought provoking manner. 

I recieved a free copy of this book for review from Bethany House publishing.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Library Magic

  Some of my favorite memories from childhood involve the library.  I can remember following my mom through towering aisles of books well before I could even read.  I knew that it was a special place, a place to be respected and loved.
   When I was a bit older and was reading everything in sight I would ride my bike through our tiny town to the even tinier public library.  It was stuffy and dim inside.  Usually it smelt of cigarettes.  The librarian would chat with me while I picked out my next read.  Sometimes she would order in something that I had been looking for.  It wasn't until years later that I realized a single room with a few book cases around the edge wasn't a large collection of books by most standards.  I loved it anyway.
  Now that I am grown, I still get that awe struck feeling when I enter a library.  Most of the time I go with my three little ones in tow.  We whisper and giggle as we talk about the difference between fiction and non-fiction.  We select some books to go along with our homeschool lessons.  They love the library as much as I do.
  Rarely I do manage to get away all by myself and get lost among the shelves of books.  Today was one of those days.  I wandered up and down every row just to see what was in them, allowing the titles to spark my imagination and inspire me.  I carried the feelings of inspiration home with me.  Maybe they will grow into something great.