The Crown

Just this week, I sat at the dinner table discussing the royal family with a Brazilian. And it suddenly dawned on me: Americans (in general, that is) adore the queen. The happenings of the royalty have always intrigued me and (I think) carried a certain degree of importance to even us Yankees.

So you can imagine my happiness when this book-lover found out this week that there is not only now an entire TV series explaining the rise of Queen Elizabeth but also a book that details her life.

With photographs.

Yes: pictures! What could make a history book better?

I, for one, am extremely excited for “The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1.” And I think other fans of the British crown will be too.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

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When God…

The popular children’s series “When God…” is out with another edition: “When God Made You.” Much in the vein of “You Are Special” and “God Made You Special” (two books that I grew up on), this book emphasizes the uniqueness with which God carefully crafts each person–His special creations. Great used in the formative years to lay a foundation of self-image based on God’s image and wonderful as a resource for helping kids grasp the concept that each person is unique and special, I think this book (with its cute illustrations) will quickly find its way into church libraries and children’s book centers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

“The Heavens Declare the Glory of God…”

Nothing makes the sky more wondrous to me than stars. Just think: Cultures all around the world have studied the stars to navigate ships, foretell events, and marvel at the powerfulness of God. Whether or not those cultures have recognized Jesus or have studied the stars as an end in themselves, the galaxies tell a pretty powerful story pointing us to something beyond ourselves–something, I believe, that is actually Someone: God (Psalm 8).

In the book ´╗┐What We See in the Stars´╗┐, the author illustrates and expounds upon the constellations in various cultures, as well as the features of our solar system. Anyone who is as fascinated by the night sky as I am will surely enjoy this book and find the constellations and galaxies even more intriguing.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Heavenly thoughts

When I think about Randy Alcorn, two things come to mind: Treasure and Heaven.

Alcorn is famous for his thoughts and ponderings about eternal life with Jesus. In fact, whenever I heard a talk about heaven at my previous job, there was sure to be some reference to Randy Alcorn involved.

Alcorn recently came out with an expanded edition of his book solely about this topic: Seeing the Unseen. With the goal of training our eyes and hearts and affections and hopes to heaven, Alcorn probes what is beyond our natural eyes right now.

I think that any Christian–not only my former coworker who prepared devotionals entirely about heaven–can glean encouragement from this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

John Piper

John Piper has always been an inspiration, and I don’t remember anyone more clearly enjoying him than a former roommate that I had. Every day, she soaked in devotionals produced by his ministry, Desiring God. And she would often share those devotionals with me or with our coworkers.

The Satisfied Soul by John Piper is a book that now delivers daily meditations on God’s Word, Jesus, and His Sovereignty (in classic Piper style) in the absence of my roommate. I recommend this collection to anyone who desires to understand more about God and His wonderfulness. Only Jesus can satisfy, and, when we have Him, we become a satisfied soul.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Hope for a Hopeless World

In the world of missions, Katie Davis Majors’ work inspires and challenges. I mean: Who couldn’t help but adore a young woman who moves to Africa, cares for orphans, and adopts thirteen girls?
Majors’ life is not all sunshine and roses–as well might be expected, considering not only the challenges of intercultural living but also of the disease- and addiction-ridden place where Majors ministers. So what keeps this passionate woman going?
Hope.
It’s not about perfection.
It’s not dependent on circumstances.
Hope is something that binds our hearts to the work of God and gives us vision to look ahead to the fulfillment of His design and purpose and Word.
In her book, Daring to Hope, Katie Davis Majors explores and meditates on the surety of our hope. I recommend her book to anyone who wants–no, who needs–a clearer sight of God’s work and purposes.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Alexander Hamilton

When your nephew gobbles up graphic novels but asks frequently during history class “When will this be over?”, what do you turn to? Why, Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of a Founding Father, of course! This book caught my eye during a recent book review opportunity, and, when I opened its pages, I wasn’t disappointed. The graphics are beautifully rendered, and the text holds a bit of historical twang to it.

One interesting bit of the book surprised me: In the prologue, the author goes through an explanation of the ideas behind “The Divine Right of Kings.” As a Christian, I found this explanation and philosophy both intriguing and disturbing. I’m not quite sure if my ten-year-old nephew will understand, which makes me wonder which age group is the intended audience for this book. If this is the only part at which a preteen has difficulty, however, I would say he/she would be doing pretty well overall.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.