Friday, July 30, 2010

The boy who came back from Heaven

(This book was provided by Tyndale House Publishers for a complimentary copy in exchange for a honest review)
Book:  The boy who came back from Heaven
Author:  Kevin & Alex Malarkey
224 pages

In 2004, Kevin Malarkey and his six-year-old son, Alex, suffered an horrific car accident. The impact from the crash paralyzed Alex—and medically speaking, it was unlikely that he could survive. “I think Alex has gone to be with Jesus,” a friend told the stricken dad. But two months later, Alex awoke from a coma with an incredible story to share. Of events at the accident scene and in the hospital while he was unconscious. Of the angels that took him through the gates of heaven itself. Of the unearthly music that sounded just terrible to a six-year-old. And, most amazing of all . . . Of meeting and talking to Jesus. The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven is the true story of an ordinary boy’s most extraordinary journey. As you see heaven and earth through Alex’s eyes, you’ll come away with new insights on miracles, life beyond this world, and the power of a father’s love.

First of all, I love true stories... the stories of what people really go through in life.  It just brings encouragement & a real connection.  This story is no different.  This little boy will encourage you & cause you to have a connection - & that connection is with a Spiritual world you may not really pay much attention too.

I was surprised... the title made me think it would be more about a story from him & what Heaven was & details so small of what he experienced... its not that way at all.  We do get those highlights & Alex's experiences & what he felt & saw... but 90% of the book is told from his dad, Kevin.  They talk about the accident, what happened during the time Alex was in a coma, the way the church came & loved on this family - the things outside of Alex is what makes up most of this book.

BUT, God is shown in ALL of that!  From prayers being spoken by EMT workers, & from nurses & from people they never even met, pictures drawn... it all shows God's power....

At the end of chapters, Alex would give his glimpses of Heaven & the dealings with the spiritual world of angels & demons.  The way he would talk about angels still visiting him ... & demons who "walk around lying to people" gave me chills.  There was one part of the book where Alex was so attacked by the devil, he wasnt even able to say the word Jesus until people started praying with him... if this book doesnt open your eyes up to a spiritual realm, I cant imagine anything that would.

I know people are skeptical when they hear people say they saw Heaven... I'm the same way... & you know what, that's not even important in this book.  I think this book shows God's encouragement, His provision more then anything... its not the point of "Heaven" so much...

I think if anyone ever has had a child that has struggled or is suffering, this is also a fantastic read for you.

You will be cheering Alex on when you are finished with his story.  I'm anxious to see what God does with the rest of his life...

My rating:  4 skeins

Monday, July 26, 2010

Official Book Club Selection

Book:  Official Book Club Selection
Author: Kathy Griffin

OK... I know... I know... Kathy Griffin is what every Christian is supposed to be against.  But there is something about her that just makes me laugh... I dont know what it is - maybe its the red hair... but I love this lady! 

She's rude, she's crude, she says things just for shock value ... but she has her moments where you can tell she cares about people at the core.  And I cant help but love a lady who stands up for what she believes - doesnt back down because someone tells her she shouldnt do somethiing... & someone who just wants to make people laugh...

Her "Life on the D-List" show makes me laugh every week so I was excited about reading her autobiography.  I wanted to hear more about Maggie too - her mom for those who havent seen the show.

And in Kathy style, she lets the language FLY... so if harsh language & horrible disgusting talking bothers you, then dont even THINK about getting this book.  I swear, I dont know why I laugh at her... I think its because when I read it, (or hear it from her on the TV), I just ignore it... like that cursing aunt that is in every family... you just go, "Oh Aunt so&so.. stop it"... you just get used to it...

It was interesting to see Kathy's rise to fame - the people she's met in life - the behind the scene things with Brooke Shields & what really happened in her marriage.  You can expect nothing but honesty with this lady.

I love Kathy - I love autobiographies... so I loved the book...

My husband was embarassed that I even had the book... even made the comment "Did anyone see you with that?" - like it was going to label me a bad person... well, I'm saying out loud - I love Kathy Griffin!  Because I believe no matter what, Jesus loves Kathy!   (She'd like that - I just know it)

My rating:  4 skeins

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Wedding Machine

Book:  The Wedding Machine
Author:  Beth Webb Hart
285 pages

Welcome to Jasper, South Carolina.  A place where Southern hospitality thrives.  Where social occasions are done right. And where, for generations, the four most upstanding ladies of the community ensure that the daughters of Jasper are married in the proper manner.

Friends from school days, "the gals" have longed pooled their silver, china & know-how to pull off beautiful events.  They're a force of a nature, a well-oiled machine.  But the wedding machine's gears start to stick during the summer their own daughters line up to tie the knot.  In the lowcountry heat & humidity, tempers flare, old secrets leak out ... & both love & gardenias bloom in unlikely places.

This is a celebration of life-long friendship - the kind that endures death & divorce, accidents & alligators, hot flashes & hurricans.  Even the drama of a small-town Southern weddings done exactly right.

I was looking forward to this book with it being a Women of Faith Fiction.  And I did enjoy the story of the friendships - especially of Southern women - who love their sweet tea & everything "Southern Hospitatility"...

The story of Ray, Kitty B, Hilda & Sis - 4 women who have stayed friends from the 60's into today - where some of their own children are getting married.  They each had their own personalities & stories...

I'm glad I kept my "cheat card" though because with the four women & all their children & their fiances & spouses - WOW - lots of names getting thrown around here!

The story - well, it was a cute story - but just odd.  To me, there were wasnt so much an "ending" - so many open stories that didnt have closure.  That was a weird thing for me...One of the husbands is ill - what happened to him?  One of the daughters went against her mother & married someone else - what happened to them?  One of the friends is still locked inside of her home for goodness sakes... what becomes of her?  I guess I can just take the "They lived happily ever after" approach - but that did disappoint me about the book.

I did laugh at scenes in the book & could totally appreciate the Southern Weddings these ladies pulled together.  Laughing at the idea that "Video taping" a wedding is just horrid!  I wonder if real southern belles still exist like these ladies?  Hope so!

If you like a nice, easy read (dont forget the cheat card though) on friendships, you'd have a good time with this story - but I personally could take it or leave it...Its definitely not horrible though...

My Rating:  3 skeins

Monday, July 12, 2010

Shades of Morning

Book:  Shades of Morning
Author:  Marlo Schalesky
Pages: 331
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Marnie Wittier has life just where she wants it.  Quiet.  Peaceful.  No drama.  A long way away from her past.  In the privacy of her home, she fills a box with slips of paper scribbled with her regrets, sins & sorrows.  But that's nobody elses business.  Her bookstore/Coffee shop patrons, her employees, her friends from church - they all think she's the very model of compassion & kindness.

Then Marnie's past creeps into her present when her estranged sister dies & makes Marnie guardian of her 15 yr old son - a boy Marnie never knew existed.  And when Emmit arrives, she discovers he has Down syndrome - & that she's woefully unprepared to care for him.  What's worse, she has to deal with Tyler Cole, her sister's attorney, a man Marnie once loved - & abandoned.

As Emmitt & Taylor work their way into her heart, Marnie begins to heal.  But when pieces of her dismal past surface again, she must at least face the pieces of paper in her box, all the regrests & sorrows.  Can she do it?  or will she run again?

I LOVED this book... I guess because I love a story of someone who lives with regret, shame & a past she wants to forget... & how they deal with it.

This book had such a good story on how it flashbacked to show the life Marnie & Taylor had together - & you fall in love with each of them - & them TOGETHER.  Taylor just is the perfect man, the man that you would want to give a happy what happens when he has to leave Marnie to go back to finish his law degree?  And what happens when Taylor comes back to find Marnie gone... and what happens after 15 years between them has past?

This book drew me in.... I literally couldnt put the book down until the last few chapters & even then, I couldnt even move... I seriously sat in a parking lot in my car to finish it up & see how it ended.  I so badly want to talk about the ending, but I cant... it was such a surprise to me that I gasped in front of a everyone in Penn Station... & then cried as I read the Epilogue... (DONT MISS THE EPILOGUE!!!) 

It also has a wonderful Readers Guide that lets you really ponder the meaning behind the book - the wonderful story of God entwined in this book & his mercy & grace & the many ways He gives us chance, after chance, after chance....

If you would like this book, check out the link:
It contains love, mystery, intrigue, & the message of God throughout...

My Rating:  5 skeins!!!