Where will this story take me?

It’s been two weeks since I last posted. Wow. Where did those two weeks go? They just flew by, I honestly did not believe it had been that long.

In those two weeks I have been mostly catching up on books and reviews, there will be quite a few of them over the next month, but I love to read so the more the merrier!

Recently I saw a post about where someone got their love of reading from (in this case it was their mom) and it got me thinking, where did my love of reading come from?

I honestly don’t know.

I don’t come from a family of readers. My sister now considers herself a reader but she didn’t start to enjoy reading until her late twenties. I’ve never seen my brother with a book besides a brief stint in elementary school when he loves the Captain Underpants Series and as for my mom I never saw her reading either.

No one ever pushed me to read, or had to force books on me, I’ve always loved and devoured books to the point I still remember the first chapter book I finished in a day (The Cuckoo Clock of Doom By: R.L. Stine) since a young age I devoured The Boxcar Children, anything written by Roald Dahl and in 7th grade I discovered Animorphs, my mom used to joke that the author couldn’t write them fast enough, we would go to the mall, hit the book store first and while everyone shopped I would walk and read (A skill I mastered at a young age!) By the time we left I would have finished the book.

In 4th grade I remember reading Matilda, and watching the movie and telling myself that if Matilda could read the classics than so could I! (And boy did I try!)

I’ve always been a dreamer, I loved the character of Belle and how she dreamed of ‘far off places, daring-sword fights, a prince in disguise!’ I’ve always loved the escape a book provided and still do. I love to escape to another world, another time.

I hope to never lose my love of reading, when I have children I hope they have the same love. However, recently I’ve started thinking that maybe I do need to get my nose out of the books for a little while. That I need to actually do life, to meet people and go places! To create my own stories to get lost in, rather than relying on books.  I will never give up reading, but maybe it is time for me to put down the book a little more often and take a step in an unexpected direction?

-Elle

 

Oliver Twist Radio Theatre from Focus on the Family

Oliver Twist (Radio Theatre)

We’ve all read, seen, or head a version of Charles Dickens classic Oliver Twist. The story of an orphan boy, Oliver, who is down on his luck struggling at a country work house, in a turn of events he finds himself in the streets of London with an unlikely cast of characters. We’ve grown up with the stories, whether the book, the musical, even the Disney version we have all heard this classic tale.

Focus on the Family and Radio Theatre have come together with a brand new audio version with will bring you into the story. With an incredible cast performing on this audio version. Many times audio books have a single person reading the story, which sometimes can cause confusion in keeping the characters straight. However, radio theatre has an entire cast that brings each character to life, with the incredible actors and the sound effects you will forget that you are listening to a book and feel like part of the story!

Many times I found myself forgetting that I had been listening to the book instead of watching the movie, in the past I was never a fan of audio books because I would get confused with which character was speaking when only one person was reading the book. This was an amazing audio book that kept you riveted to the story!

-Elle

I received this book complimentary from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A Kingsbury Collection By: Karen Kingsbury

Over the years we have all come to love the stories that Karen Kingsbury has woven for us to enjoy. Stories of love, growing, loss, change, faith. Stories that touch our hearts where the characters become our friends and our family. Now you can enjoy three Kingsbury stories compiled into one book. The Kingsbury Collection includes Where Yesterday Lives, When Joy Came to Stay and On Every Side.

Each of these stories addresses problems that men and women face on a regular basis, struggles with their belief in God, struggles within marriage, depression, the feeling that life is falling apart. Each story touches on different aspects of life.

You will love each of the stories and characters within this collection. In Where Yesterday Lives you will meet Ellen Barrett a journalist dealing with loss and a faith she has left behind. In When Joy Came to Stay you meet Maggie Stovall who based on appearances her life seems perfectly put together but in reality her life is spinning out of control. Finally, in On Every Side we meet Faith Evans who is facing a battle coming in all directions and finds herself again someone she never thought she would be against.

This collection is a great set for every Kingsbury fans but also for those that are just beginning to read her stories.  You will love the flow of the stories and relate to each of the characters struggles and triumphs, so settle in for a quiet evening with all of these stories.

-Elle

I received this book complimentary from Multonomah Publishers through the blogging for books program in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

The River By: @MWNeale

The River By: Michael Neale

“The River is alive and moving all around us”

Whenever I have reviewed a book I have always given a brief overview, but this time I don’t think I can. I don’t think I can sum up this book in the right words beyond Wow. This book deserves your undivided attention, I have never read a book that has captivated me so much and left me awake at night hours and days after finishing a book and thinking about what I had just read. This story will make you think, it will make you re-evaluate what you go through day in and day out and the things that you take for granted each day.

The River is a story of forgiveness, family, and finding your purpose and where you belong. I don’t have the words to explain how great and eye-opening this book is and how much of a reminder it is that we cannot simply sit on the shore but we need to fully immerse ourselves into the River. Neale, as a first time author has scripted a marvelous story, I’ve read some negative reviews but this book isn’t simply about a story being written to be sold, it isn’t simply about the River it is about the life each of us are living every day and I believe this is a must read book that everyone needs to read.

I received this book complimentary from Thomas Nelson through the Booksneeze program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, that being said, you should really read this book.

-Elle

To learn more about The River check out http://www.theriverexperience.com/

Passages By: Brian Hardin

We’ve all made that promise to ourselves, the New Year’s resolution that this will be the year that I read through the entire Bible (And yes that does include Leviticus and Numbers!) and after a few weeks or months we give up trying, making excuses to why we do not have the time or opportunities to continue reading the Bible daily.

Brian Hardin has written with a passion for why we need to sink our teeth into the Word of God and not just by reading the Bible daily but my listening to it, by becoming a part of a community while studying scripture. He takes the time to help each of us understand why we cannot simply read the Bible to in order to check it off of our daily list of chores but how we must interact with the Word and take active part in it.

Hardin uses not only his experiences but the experiences of others to share how engaging in a daily Bible reading/listening schedule will change you from the inside out, how making the time to dig into the Word will change who you are, who your family is and will build your relationships with God.

Through this book we are invited into a daily transformation that comes only from God. Hardin has given the motivation by not telling us that we should be reading our Bible daily but he shares his passion and understanding to why we should each take this step and to understand how the Bible is not another thing to push aside in our schedules and how it is a daily life changer for each of us.

Those looking to get closer to God and need the motivation, this book is the perfect place to start! I highly recommend this for anyone that wants to start reading their Bible more, and for those who have simply been reading their Bible because they are supposed to.

I received this book from the Publisher through the Litfuse program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

-Elle

Beautifully Gifted By: Angela M. Bisignano

 Beautifully Gifted By: Angela M. Bisignano

We have all been gifted with different abilities, sometimes we doubt we have any gifts and get frustrated with the gifts we have in comparison to what other women we know have been gifted with. We don’t always understand the gifts that we have received and sometimes we feel that they are not helping anyone. Angela M. Bisignano reminds us how beautiful the gifts we have received are no matter what they are and walks us through finding those gifts and using them to glorify God.

Bisignano has structured this book in a way that makes it a great book to read as a book study with a group, each chapter provides you with one subject to study each week and help you grow in your spiritual walk, at the end of each chapter you will find scripture to reflect upon, challenges to help you grow and discover more about who God has created you to be. At the end of the book there is a great guide at how to use this book in a small group setting and tips for activities and studying each chapter that allows the group to create a safe space where woman can share their experiences. By the end of this book you will have discovered your true potential and using the gifts you have been given.

I loved reading this book, the questions at the end of the chapter are written in a way to challenge you and make you grow and discover more about yourself and your faith while growing closer to God.

I received this book complimentary from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own and I highly recommend this book as a group study for women of all ages.

-Elle