Reviews by Melissa Smith

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The Rescue

The Rescue

On 6/27 Melissa Smith wrote: After reading Jim Cymbala's newest book, The Rescue, I was a tiny bit conflicted because I found myself comparing it with his book, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. They don't have the same focus, though. While Fresh Wind is about the amazing story of the beginnings and success of the Brooklyn Tabernacle in ... 'The Rescue' by Jim Cymbala

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Way of Abundance

The Way of Abundance

On 4/30 Melissa Smith wrote: Ann Voskamp's newest book, The Way of Abundance, a 60-day devotional is full of quiet encouragement.  Filled with bits from her book The Broken Way and other sources, Ann never fails to sit in the trenches with me.  I read her and don't feel ashamed at the circumstances I find myself dwelling on.  ... 'The Way of Abundance' by Ann Voskamp

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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In the Middle of the Mess

In the Middle of the Mess

On 1/16 Melissa Smith wrote: As long as I've read Sheila Walsh's books, I've appreciated her openness about her depression.  She doesn't minimize her struggles, and in this Internet-perfect world, that's very encouraging. In her new book, In the Middle of the Mess, she talks about her breakdown years ago, on the heels of a very ... 'In the Middle of the Mess' by Sheila Walsh

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Be the Gift

Be the Gift

On 11/30 Melissa Smith wrote: Ann Voskamp's latest book is perfect for the Christmas season.  Be the Gift is a beautifully-made hardcover book, full of Voskamp's photographs and made up of excerpts of her latest book The Broken Way.  At the back there's a section for filling in your personal thoughts, along with gift tags for giving.   You ... 'Be the Gift' by Ann Voskamp

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Come and Eat

Come and Eat

On 10/9 Melissa Smith wrote: Come & Eat by Bri McKoy is a very heart-breaking book and at the same time a joyful book about the table, what happens there when you gather to eat, and the implications of opening your home to others.  I have to admit, inviting strangers into my home is a tough one.  I don't want to.  I want to ... 'Come & Eat' by Bri McKoy

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Of Mess and Moxie

Of Mess and Moxie

On 8/22 Melissa Smith wrote: Might as well put this out there. Jen Hatmaker lost me on page 127 in her latest book, Of Mess and Moxie, when she, pretty much, throws mud at tradition and orthodoxy by showing her support for women holding leadership positions (over men) in the church. I can flow with her offbeat humor, sometimes ... 'Of Mess and Moxie' by Jen Hatmaker

Melissa's Rating:

2 Stars

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Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy

Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy

On 6/22 Melissa Smith wrote: In reading Nicole Johnson's book Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy, I was struck about how I wanted to hear a new technique, to find another way to be still and benefit from it.  Johnson's book is more about her and how she has dealt with over-work and an over-full schedule, and maybe I was wanting ... 'Calm in the Center of Crazy' by Nicole Johnson

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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The Turquoise Table

The Turquoise Table

On 6/6 Melissa Smith wrote: When I first opened Kristin Schell's book The Turquoise Table, I was taken by how pretty it is. So well-done. A book you want to read. And as I got into it, I was challenged. To be more open, to be welcoming, to invite folks in. Her dream was to disconnect her family from all the technological things ... 'The Turquoise Table' by Kristin Schell

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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An Outlaw and A Lady

An Outlaw and A Lady

On 5/22 Melissa Smith wrote: My reason for wanting to read Jessi Coulter's book called An Outlaw and a Lady about her life with Waylon Jennings is my fondness for The Highwaymen.  My husband and I have watched the PBS specials on them over and over.  Besides, who doesn't love a good romance, which is what is the story says about ... 'An Outlaw and a Lady' by Jessi Coulter (with David Ritz)

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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I Am

I Am

On 2/22 Melissa Smith wrote: The first contact I had with Michele Cushatt was by reading her book called Undone.  That was a book underlined throughout.  Wonderful gut-wrenching storytelling and all about her life with recurring cancer, her marriage and children, and just a life lived, hardships and all.  But it was victorious ... 'I Am' by Michele Cushatt

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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What Falls From the Sky

What Falls From the Sky

On 1/22 Melissa Smith wrote: During and after reading Esther Emery's book called What Falls from the Sky, one set of sentences stayed with me. "My husband, after six years of marriage, had betrayed me with my best friend.  And before that I had strayed too, not once but twice, in almost but not entirely emotional affairs, both ... 'What Falls from the Sky' by Esther Emery

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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NKJV, Journal the Word Bible, Large Print, Hardcover, Blue Floral Cloth, Red Letter Edition

NKJV, Journal the Word Bible, Large Print, Hardcover, Blue Floral Cloth, Red Letter Edition

On 11/30 Melissa Smith wrote: The Journal the Word Bible, NKJV by Thomas Nelson is beautiful, yet seems to be more directed at an adult than a child, versus many of the journaling Bibles available now. Some of the journaling Bibles have drawings in them ready to be colored/painted in, but this one has lines alone alongside each ... 'Journal the Word Bible'

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible

NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible

On 10/21 Melissa Smith wrote: Like a lot of folks, I've been curious about the new coloring Bibles that are all the rage. At first glance, after I receive this NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible, I was hesitant. The book is huge, over 1,400 pages, and heavy, but is very well-made, and that's the most important part. I decided to ... 'NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible'

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Uninvited

Uninvited

On 8/27 Melissa Smith wrote: This is my first Lysa Terkeurst book, and I might be in the minority of Christian women making that admission. Saying that is my way of having an open mind. From research online, it seems she has a huge following. This quote from the book Uninvited struck me and there were others that rang true. ... 'Uninvited' by Lysa Terkeurst

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Outlaw Christian

Outlaw Christian

On 8/3 Melissa Smith wrote: As she calls it---a take-away---author Jacqueline A. Bussie in her book 'Outlaw Christian' says, "please let it be that there are people out there who understand your sadness from the inside out." She writes her book to encourage her readers to be more authentic. To share the ugly parts of their lives ... 'Outlaw Christian' by Jacqueline A. Bussie

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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Hope Heals

Hope Heals

On 7/3 Melissa Smith wrote: In April of 2008, Katherine Wolf, a young married woman with a six month old son, suffered a catastrophic brain stem stroke. Removal of part of her brain was necessary, but still, she survived, though not without consequences. I was curious about her story, having kept up online with two other young ... 'Hope Heals' by Katherine and Jay Wolf

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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With My Eyes Wide Open

With My Eyes Wide Open

On 6/16 Melissa Smith wrote: Honesty is a trait I value very deeply, and I found that to be outstanding in Brian 'Head' Welch's book 'Eyes Wide Open'. From a life deep in the heavy metal rock world of KoRn, he was snatched up by God. How refreshing. And while some may criticize his business moves and the way he managed his life ... 'Eyes Wide Open' by Brian 'Head' Welch

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Young and Beardless

Young and Beardless

On 5/31 Melissa Smith wrote: This one of those tough book reviews where I want to be full of praise, but feel conflicted. John Luke Robertson in his book Young & Beardless reminds me of a Labrador puppy, full of enthusiasm and everybody's best friend. His zest for life and his family is tangible. And his faith in the Lord is ... 'Young & Beardless' by John Luke Robertson

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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The Daniel Prayer

The Daniel Prayer

On 5/22 Melissa Smith wrote: Anne Graham Lotz has written a very timely book, what with the elections looming ahead, and so many people feeling overwhelmed. But what she says in The Daniel Prayer is perfect all the time. She references Daniel 9:1-23. And gives advice on praying effectively about everything. She says: "...once ... 'The Daniel Prayer' by Anne Graham Lotz

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Living a Mighty Faith

Living a Mighty Faith

On 5/12 Melissa Smith wrote: Reviewing a daily devotional is hard for me. There are so many out there, saying, pretty much, the same old thing. Nothing new, but maybe that's okay. Lots of folks are reached by a variety of writers. The same style of writing or experience doesn't work with everyone, and maybe the only exception ... 'Living a Mighty Faith' by Angus Buchan

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Running On Red Dog Road

Running On Red Dog Road

On 4/26 Melissa Smith wrote: Every family should have a historian like Drema Berkheimer. She tells the stories in Running on Red Dog Road (with little embellishing) of her childhood in Appalachia, with a mom who lived away from home working for the war effort and a father who died in the coal mines. She was raised by her strong ... 'Running on Red Dog Road' by Drema Hall Berkheimer

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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How to Live in Fear

How to Live in Fear

On 4/18 Melissa Smith wrote: Lance Hahn's book called 'How to Live in Fear' and subtitled Mastering the Art of Freaking Out, must have been written for me. The Lord had me in mind when he put the seed of the book in Lance's heart. For those of us who daily deal with irrational fear (and the everyday ordinary variety) this book ... 'How to Live in Fear' by Lance Hahn

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Behold the Man

Behold the Man

On 3/17 Melissa Smith wrote: It's been years since I've read a book by Bodie and Brock Thoene. Years. But I was intrigued by this, the third book in their Jerusalem Chronicles, called Behold the Man. Having not read the previous two books, I was wondering if this one would hold up and it does. Not necessary to read the previous ... 'Behold the Man' by Bodie and Brock Thoene

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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Rest Assured

Rest Assured

On 1/25 Melissa Smith wrote: There are a slew of books out there written by young(ish) women and directed at others in their age group and situation, dealing with the frustrations of the modern age. Many are way too perky and unrealistic, at least to my thinking. Life is hard, plain hard and dressing up difficulties doesn't help ... 'Rest Assured' by Vicki Courtney

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Waiting Here for You

Waiting Here for You

On 12/27 Melissa Smith wrote: I read about Louie Giglio a few years back when he presented a talk about laminin, a protein found in the body, which when viewed, is the in the shape of a cross. Now, whether you're a fan of his findings and his point of view or not, I am, and his writings about laminin drew me to his Advent devotional. ... 'Waiting For Here For You' by Louie Giglio

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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We Cannot Be Silent

We Cannot Be Silent

On 12/2 Melissa Smith wrote: As a Christian, I feel I'm expected to know certain things and be able to support my views. But with a considerable series of events unfolding in regards to same-sex marriage and acceptance of what was, at one time, labeled wrong by most folks, I shake my head. Can't keep up. And with the pressure ... 'We Cannot Be Silent' by R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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The Five Times I Met Myself

The Five Times I Met Myself

On 10/29 Melissa Smith wrote: It's rare for me to receive a book to review and finish it in practically one sitting. But I did. James L. Rubart is a favorite author in our house, and he never disappoints. I was a bit of a glutton, however, in reading 'The Five Times I Met Myself' so quickly, actually in one gulp. The premise ... 'The Five Times I Met Myself' by James L. Rubart

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Hands Free Life

Hands Free Life

On 10/16 Melissa Smith wrote: Some books grip you, pull you in and force you to be honest about things that are happening. And when an author is able to share without reserve, I'm totally smitten. So it goes with Rachel Macy Stafford's Hands Free Life. I was hesitant at first to offer to read this book to review since at her blog ... 'Hands Free Life' by Rachel Macy Stafford

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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The Printer and the Preacher

The Printer and the Preacher

On 8/21 Melissa Smith wrote: Overwhelmed. That's the chief emotion from reading Randy Petersen's book 'The Printer and the Preacher', a detailed double biography about Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield. The research is astounding and the Notes, Appendix, and Bibliography indicate the in-depth quality of Petersen's writing. ... 'The Printer and the Preacher' by Randy Petersen

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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For the Love

For the Love

On 8/19 Melissa Smith wrote: Sometimes a book review is very difficult to write, and most times this applies when the reviews (when I read them beforehand) are so winning and I don't feel the same enthusiasm. I end up wondering what's wrong with me, when actually, it's just personalities. Jen Hatmaker is a very gifted writer, ... 'For the Love' by Jen Hatmaker

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Curse of Crow Hollow

The Curse of Crow Hollow

On 7/29 Melissa Smith wrote: Billy Coffey's latest book 'The Curse of Crown Hollow' succeeds in eliciting fear from his readers, that's a fact. Maybe it's my time of life now, with facing my own demons, but his book was hard to read. Evil, even only imagined, was very realistically portrayed, and add ignorance to that mix and ... 'The Curse of Crow Hollow' by Billy Coffey

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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The Annunciation

The Annunciation

On 7/9 Melissa Smith wrote: It seems to me by reading other reviews of Ron Teachworth's book called 'Annunciation' that they were so taken with his information on frescoes and Renaissance art that they overlooked one main issue: Mr. Teachworth has no command of dialogue at all. His characters have very wooden conversations, and ... 'Annunciation' by Ron Teachworth

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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Anything

Anything

On 6/24 Melissa Smith wrote: In reading Jennie Allen's re-release of Anything, I'm thinking I would have benefited from reading it about twenty years ago. Her focus is the equipping of the generation coming up now in making them enthusiastic for Christ. To be willing to do anything for the cause of Christ. Anything. That reminds ... 'Anything' by Jennie Allen

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Unoffendable

Unoffendable

On 5/26 Melissa Smith wrote: The first thing I appreciated about Brant Hansen's book Unoffendable was that his idea of not taking offense really allowed me some freedom. As soon as I'd read the first couple of chapters, I put into practice not letting insignificant things irritate me---those situations everyday when someone would ... 'Unoffendable' by Brant Hansen

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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God's Beloved Daughters

God's Beloved Daughters

On 4/30 Melissa Smith wrote: The devotional called 'God's Beloved Daughters' by Merrilyn Grodecki is unusual in that she tells a personal story in her Introduction about an event that happened when she was only 3 years old. It was a frightening event that affected several decades of her life until the Lord came into her heart at ... 'God's Beloved Daughters' by Merrilyn Grodecki

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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Savor

Savor

On 4/30 Melissa Smith wrote: Shauna Niequist's book of devotions called 'Savor' is a very sweet collection. Not too light, deep at times in spiritual truths, and full of personal stories that tell of her own struggles. It's the perfect devotional for a mom who's strapped for time, or for anyone who wants a less-restrictive bit ... 'Savor' by Shauna Niequist

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Ghost Boy

Ghost Boy

On 4/10 Melissa Smith wrote: I read Martin Pistorius' book Ghost Boy in one day.  And it's not that the book is an easy read, though it is, but I wanted to get to the good parts.  The happy ending.  With so many years of being trapped in his body (his own words) I needed to see that he survived the trials, and he ... 'Ghost Boy' by Martin Pistorius

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Grand Paradox

The Grand Paradox

On 4/1 Melissa Smith wrote: Ken Wytsma's book The Grand Paradox covers thoughts and truths about God's personality---His fairness (which we don't always understand), and His great love for us.  The paradox comes when His waiting and/or our impatience get in the way of seeing what He's attempting to bring forth.  Like ... 'The Grand Paradox' by Ken Wytsma

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Undone

Undone

On 3/20 Melissa Smith wrote: Sometimes you read a book at a particular time and you know the Lord has placed it in your hands right then.  That's the way it was for me, reading Michele Cushatt's book Undone.  And, seriously, they should sell it with a pencil attached, because I underlined throughout the entire book.  Michele ... 'Undone' by Michele Cushatt

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Loved Back to Life

Loved Back to Life

On 3/5 Melissa Smith wrote: Sheila Walsh's new book called Loved Back to Life came to me just at the right time.  Depression is the norm for me, not to the extent she's suffered with it, but a part of my daily walk nonetheless.  It's interesting to me how she was treated by the Christian community when her struggles became ... 'Loved Back to Life' by Sheila Walsh

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Rise

Rise

On 2/21 Melissa Smith wrote: What stands out the most in Trip Lee's book called Rise:  Get Up and Live in God's Great Story, is his sincerity.  He tells about his upbringing, his family life, going to Bible college, and threads it all through with his belief in Jesus Christ.  And while he makes no point in being perfect, ... 'Rise' by Trip Lee

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Still Life

Still Life

On 1/28 Melissa Smith wrote: I am in awe of this book.  Christa Parrish in Still Life has created a masterpiece of human relationships.  I spent the first half of the book totally engrossed in the beauty of her writing, and the second half in tears.  The story goes:  Katherine is having an affair, and about to ... 'Still Life' by Christa Parrish

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Simply Open

Simply Open

On 1/25 Melissa Smith wrote: Greg Paul in his newest book Simply Open talks about using our senses to invite God more fully into our lives.  The book separately covers each sense, drawing on quiet moments to make us more available to what the Lord would tell us.  He uses wonderful quotes (a weakness of mine) including ... 'Simply Open' by Greg Paul

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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A Thing of Beauty

A Thing of Beauty

On 1/6 Melissa Smith wrote: Almost as soon as Lisa Samson's newest book A Thing of Beauty arrived I began reading.  While I cooked dinner, after we finished, in the bathtub, and turned the last page at 1:30am.  Today was a wash.  Had to take a nap.I credit it with Lisa's talent for portraying unique people in a very ... 'A Thing of Beauty' by Lisa Samson

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Daniel Cure

The Daniel Cure

On 12/21 Melissa Smith wrote: One of the opening chapters of Susan Gregory's The Daniel Cure says the following:  "The sad truth is that millions of people exist in a state of severe spiritual and emotional hunger.  Some experts even describe it as a kind of malnutrition.  Men, women, and children who are hungry ... 'The Daniel Cure' by Susan Gregory and Richard J. Bloomer, PhD

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible

Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible

On 11/24 Melissa Smith wrote: The new Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible (NKJV) which is edited and graced by Phil Robertson and his son, Al, is wonderful.  Full of the stories we've grown familiar reading and then some, but with even more heart.  I love these guys.  And I secretly have a crush on Phil, but ... 'The Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible'

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables

52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables

On 10/21 Melissa Smith wrote: Even though I've not finished reading Les Misérables, I thoroughly enjoyed Bob Welch's companion book called 52 Little Lessons from Les Misérables.He shares the strengths of Hugo's masterpiece, and stresses areas that clearly point to hope, and mercy in the midst of devastating circumstances.I ... '52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables' by Bob Welch

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Tables in the Wilderness

Tables in the Wilderness

On 10/2 Melissa Smith wrote: The first phrase that comes to mind in reading Preston Yancey's book 'Tables in the Wilderness' is 'stream of consciousness.' He spends the majority of the book talking about being broken and not finding his way in his Christian beliefs. Truly, he's like a majority of young people who are attempting ... 'Tables in the Wilderness' by Preston Yancey

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Sacred Year

The Sacred Year

On 9/23 Melissa Smith wrote: I'm held to a 200 word review, but can sum this book up by saying I absolutely adore it. Will that work? No, seriously, I opened Michael Yankowski's book called The Sacred Year and was drawn in from the first page. His opening story about being disillusioned and worn out was perfect, and he made me ... 'The Sacred Year' by Michael Yankowski

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Move On

Move On

On 9/4 Melissa Smith wrote: "My healing journey began when I finally granted myself permission not to be okay.  Not to stay there forever, of course, but rather to acknowledge that not being okay is a perfectly normal part of the Christian journey."Excellent quote and it, pretty much, sizes up the whole gist of Vicki Courtney's ... 'Move On' by Vicki Courtney

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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Soul Keeping

Soul Keeping

On 7/3 Melissa Smith wrote: There's something about John Ortberg's newest book called Soul Keeping that disturbs me, but it's hard to put a finger on it.  Maybe part of it was his tendency to use humor to push a point across, but it came through as very juvenile.  And his stories about himself, especially one part when ... 'Soul Keeping' by John Ortberg

Melissa's Rating:

2 Stars

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Home Behind the Sun

Home Behind the Sun

On 6/30 Melissa Smith wrote: "It is the act of chasing brilliance that keeps hope alive within our hearts.  And that chasing act produces an expectation of belief--though the shadows lengthen and at times overwhelm, the brilliance is not far away."Excellent book.  I have to say that Home Behind the Sun is one of the best ... 'Home Behind the Sun' by Timothy Willard and Jason Locy

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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The Nesting Place

The Nesting Place

On 5/3 Melissa Smith wrote: The overriding feeling that hit me during and after reading Myquillyn Smith's book The Nesting Place was sweetness.  Not the sugary type, but honest sweetness.  That's how Smith comes across, like just an awfully nice person.  I read about her family moving so many times, suffering from ... 'The Nesting Place' by Myquillyn Smith

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Passion Principles

The Passion Principles

On 4/13 Melissa Smith wrote: While I have to admit this book will help many couples understand how to enjoy a satisfying sex life, I found several parts of the book uncomfortable to read.  I realize folks want to know what to think, but sometimes more isn't better. The author leaves no stone unturned, it seems, and covers all ... 'The Passion Principles' by Shannon Ethridge

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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Runaway Saint

Runaway Saint

On 3/11 Melissa Smith wrote: Lisa Samson has a gift for telling a story behind the story.  Her books are never light, and always give a refreshing spiritual uplift.  I've thought before that in some way she personally identifies with her heroines---that she puts herself, or the way she thinks into her main characters. ... 'Runaway Saint' by Lisa Samson

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Sinners' Garden

The Sinners' Garden

On 1/31 Melissa Smith wrote: To be honest, I thought William Sirls' newest book called 'The Sinners' Garden' began with too much unnecessary detail.  He walks you through every noise and action of the characters, which I found mildly irritating. Less is really more, even in writing.That said, his story is interesting to the point ... 'The Sinners' Garden' by William Sirls

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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Stones for Bread

Stones for Bread

On 12/26 Melissa Smith wrote: Christa Parrish's book called Stones for Bread is mesmerizing. After downloading the e-book to review, I instantly began reading, only to look forward so much to the next night's installment. Parrish's book is amazingly full of bread recipes, rich dialogue, and characters that are unique and totally ... 'Stones for Bread' by Christa Parrish

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Awakening Faith

Awakening Faith

On 12/15 Melissa Smith wrote: The introduction to Awakening Faith which is compiled by James Stuart Bell and Patrick J. Kelly says the following: "Perceptive readers will notice the Fathers' almost exclusive focus on personal virtue rather than broader societal changes, which may be frustrating at first blush to Christians whose ... 'Awakening Faith' by James Stuart Bell

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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The Prodigal

The Prodigal

On 11/17 Melissa Smith wrote: To be honest, when I began reading Brennan Manning's newest (and last) book to review, I was hesitant because it was written with another person.  I was afraid the other writer's touch would be too strong and would take away from Manning's sensitive portrayal of humanity's pain. My fear was ungrounded. ... 'The Prodigal' by Brennan Manning and Greg Garrett

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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God in Slow Motion

God in Slow Motion

On 10/16 Melissa Smith wrote: Mike Nappa's book, God in Slow Motion is correctly titled.  He takes stories about our Lord and elaborates on them, sometimes taking a bit of creative license, but always gets to the heart of the matter. And he takes his time over them. My favorite line in the whole book comes at the beginning, ... 'God in Slow Motion' by Mike Nappa

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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God in My Everything

God in My Everything

On 10/4 Melissa Smith wrote: Because of my love for everything related to contemplative prayer, and Benedictine-related topics, I was drawn to the title of Ken Shigematsu's book God in My Everything:  How an Ancient Rhythm Helps Busy People Enjoy God.  I tripped up, however, when I realized how truly busy a person's life ... 'God in My Everything' by Ken Shigematsu

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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The Mercy Prayer

The Mercy Prayer

On 9/26 Melissa Smith wrote: In Robert Gelinas' book The Mercy Prayer repeated references are made to the Kyrie Elieson (Lord have mercy), which we sing each Sunday at the Anglican church I attend.  And honestly, the reason I first selected this book to review was the cover, which has that ancient church look, always appealing.Love ... 'The Mercy Prayer' by Robert Gelinas

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl

Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl

On 8/26 Melissa Smith wrote: N. D. Wilson's book Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl is magical, simply that.  In reading it I was reminded of God's hugeness and also His sense of humor.  And while I'd admit to the book often being a bit 'out there,' which makes sense after a friend said the book wasn't linear, it all did fall ... 'Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl' by N. D. Wilson

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me

Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me

On 7/28 Melissa Smith wrote: After reading Ian Morgan Cron's book called Chasing Francis, I knew I'd be open to, pretty much, anything else he had to offer.  Happily, I wasn't disappointed.  The thing is, though, this book called Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me isn't an easy read.  If you think the sweet cover photo ... 'Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me' by Ian Morgan Cron

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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When Mockingbirds Sing

When Mockingbirds Sing

On 6/17 Melissa Smith wrote: First off I'll say that all the reviews I've read for this book have been shining and complimentary.  Folks love this book.  Sadly, I don't.  I read it and afterward I was agitated, but had to do some thinking to figure out the reason.Billy Coffey is a splendid story-teller, and he writes ... 'When Mockingbirds Sing' by Billy Coffey

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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Francis

Francis

On 6/3 Melissa Smith wrote: After reading Mario Escobar's book Francis, Man of Prayer to review, I'm left with one thought.  It reads more like a lengthy encyclopedia entry than a biography.  I realize that historical information is important so that we can understand where Pope Francis has come from, yet the end result ... 'Francis, Man of Prayer' by Mario Escobar

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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Chasing Francis

Chasing Francis

On 5/8 Melissa Smith wrote: As a new Anglican who is somewhat sympathetic to the Catholic faith, I enjoyed 'Chasing Francis' so much.  Ian Morgan Cron tells the story of Chase Falcon, a burned out Evangelical pastor who doesn't know which way to go as he slowly seems to drift into a nervous breakdown.  In frustration he ... 'Chasing Francis' by Ian Morgan Cron

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Soul's Gate

Soul's Gate

On 11/6 Melissa Smith wrote: James L. Rubart's book titled Soul's Gate is incredible.  I was anxious to see what played out and desperate for the ending, but at the same time---I really didn't want it to end.  And taking into account that Rubart's book has been compared to Frank Peretti's writing, I was confident it'd ... 'Soul's Gate' by James L. Rubart

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Lifted by Angels

Lifted by Angels

On 10/14 Melissa Smith wrote: Joel J. Miller's book Lifted by Angels is full of information about angels, both the biblical/historical/true-to-life ones and our personal guardians as well.  He pulls writings from the church fathers, which is a huge resource for this book, and also the Bible, and makes what turns out to ... 'Lifted by Angels' by Joel J. Miller

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Call of A Coward

Call of A Coward

On 8/1 Melissa Smith wrote: Call of a Coward:  The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife is one of the most honest books I've read in a long time.  Seems so often Christians are determined to appear more in control than is realistic.  In her book about their family's (unexpected to her) trip to serve as missionaries ... 'Call of a Coward' by Marcia Moston

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Grieving God's Way

Grieving God's Way

On 6/28 Melissa Smith wrote: Probably the best reader for a book about grief is someone who's enduring at that very minute, and that person would be me.  For purposes of reviewing, I had to read Margaret Brownley's book Grieving God's Way from cover to cover, but will definitely go through it slowly, in a day-by-day fashion, ... 'Grieving God's Way' by Margaret Brownley

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Tyndale

Tyndale

On 1/7 Melissa Smith wrote: David Teems' `Tyndale` is a beautifully-written book that eloquently tells of William Tyndale's passion and ultimate sacrifice in translating the New Testament into the English language. For those of us today, it's difficult to imagine a time when translating Scriptures would be considered heretical, ... 'Tyndale' by David Teems

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Close Enough to Hear God Breathe

Close Enough to Hear God Breathe

On 10/6 Melissa Smith wrote: I found Greg Paul’s book, Close Enough to Hear God Breathe, a very sweet telling of God’s great love for His children. He uses personal experiences, and his own pain and yearning to share the story of how the Lord cares for us even when we’re rotten and unappealing. To me, that’s the basic premise ... ‘Close Enough to Hear God Breathe’ by Greg Paul

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Peace Be with You

Peace Be with You

On 8/17 Melissa Smith wrote: David Carlson’s new book, Peace Be With You—-Monastic Wisdom for a Terror-Filled World left me with one emotion. Anger. And considering the title of his book, that might sound mildly surprising, especially since my frustration wasn’t directed at terrorists, but the author of the book. ... Peace Be With You by David Carlson

Melissa's Rating:

2 Stars

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The Waiting Place

The Waiting Place

On 6/8 Melissa Smith wrote: 'The Waiting Game' by Eileen Button is a wonderful book.  In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I began reading it as soon as the postman brought it at around 11am (last Saturday), and finished it 12 hours later.  And it's not that it's a quick read, but that it is so enjoyable.  Mrs. Button ... 'The Waiting Game' by Eileen Button

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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The Seraph Seal

The Seraph Seal

On 5/28 Melissa Smith wrote: 'The Seraph Seal' by Leonard Sweet and Lori Wagner is unlike any book I've ever read, but it was possibly a bit over-the-top for me. I had to scratch my head a lot, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  And while my very favorite part of the book is the front section called, Engaging the Apocalypse, ... 'The Seraph Seal' by Leonard Sweet and Lori Wagner

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Elemental Journal

The Elemental Journal

On 4/30 Melissa Smith wrote: This is a delightful book.  But for those who are wanting to create super-tidy bits of art, the quirky and messy techniques won't suit.  The subtitle being 'composing artful expressions from items cast aside' does dignify what the book is all about.  The author, Tammy Kushnir, has scoured ... 'The Elemental Journal' by Tammy Kushnir

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Promises She Keeps

The Promises She Keeps

On 2/18 Melissa Smith wrote: 'The Promises She Keeps' by Erin Healy is a winner. I'd already enjoyed Healy's writing both with Ted Dekker and in her previous book,'Never Let You Go', and was definitely pleased with this one as well.The story begins with scenes from two main characters, Chase and Promise. What was intriguing about ... 'The Promises She Keeps' by Erin Healy

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Sabbath

Sabbath

On 1/11 Melissa Smith wrote: Dan Allender’s book ‘Sabbath’ is not what I expected. And while I appreciate his direct attack on the legalism that cripples so many people and their participation in the Sabbath, the book seems to be more focused on the individual’s pleasure in the day and not the honoring of God. He overuses adjectives to sell ... ‘Sabbath’ by Dan B. Allender

Melissa's Rating:

2 Stars

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The Quotable Chesterton

The Quotable Chesterton

On 1/3 Melissa Smith wrote: Kevin Belmonte has paid an amazing tribute to G.K. Chesterton in his book ‘The Quotable Chesterton’. I just wish I was intelligent enough to appreciate it as much as my husband does, being that he’s a huge fan. The entire book is first class, beginning with the Introduction, through the quotes (which are incredibly varied ... ‘The Quotable Chesterton’ by Kevin Belmonte

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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In Constant Prayer

In Constant Prayer

On 12/12 Melissa Smith wrote: Robert Benson’s book ‘In Constant Prayer’ is simply wonderful. It’s a book written for folks like me who are interested in fixed-hour prayer yet don’t know where to begin. But it’s not necessarily a how-to book. It’s a gently-written volume that explains the ... ‘In Constant Prayer’ by Robert Benson

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Heaven is for Real

Heaven is for Real

On 11/5 Melissa Smith wrote: In a tiny nutshell, Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent's book, Heaven is for Real, is the story of Todd's then four-year-old son, Colton, and his illness with a burst appendix which involved him having a death/near death experience.   The little boy talks about Heaven and in such detail that you can't ... 'Heaven is for Real' by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Let's Do Lunch

Let's Do Lunch

On 8/18 Melissa Smith wrote: The book, Let's Do Lunch, by Roger Troy Wilson came just when I needed it.  After trying so many diets in order to lose this long-standing baby weight (my youngest is 8, so you get the picture), I've finally found a book with realistic suggestions for losing weight.  The thing is, it's all ... 'Let's Do Lunch' by Roger Troy Wilson

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Same Kind of Different As Me

Same Kind of Different As Me

On 7/20 Melissa Smith wrote: Okay, in all honesty, I was hesitant to like Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. And the fact that I've lived my whole life in the South probably colored my first impression. Truth is, it's a wonderful story. The two main characters couldn't be more different, but their strange ... Same Kind of Different as Me

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Storm Warning

Storm Warning

On 5/24 Melissa Smith wrote: Billy Graham's book, Storm Warning, is both encouraging and honest. And the updated edition, from the 1992 first printing is timely, since our present days are so full of angst. There is one quote that I found so relevant:"We have traded hard times, well, for hard times. We have traded sore backs for ... 'Storm Warning' by Billy Graham

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Never Let You Go

Never Let You Go

On 4/15 Melissa Smith wrote: Erin Healy's book Never Let You Go was excellent, and very reminiscent of Frank Peretti's fiction. Milder, though. While Peretti would keep me from falling to sleep at night, Healy's book was frightening in places, but not unbearably so. Demons and angels are a recipe for a good read, but only when ... Never Let You Go by Erin Healy

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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Rick and Bubba’s Big Honkin’ Book of Grub

Rick and Bubba’s Big Honkin’ Book of Grub

On 3/29 Melissa Smith wrote: It's likely that if I'd ever read any of Rick and Bubba's other books, I'd realize that they'd be pure silliness. This book of GRUB is no exception. And while I was figuring that it'd be full of recipes, it wasn't, but I did enjoy reading the 20-plus dishes that they did include. But beware serious ... Rick & Bubba's Big Honkin' Book of GRUB

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Jane Austen

Jane Austen

On 3/3 Melissa Smith wrote: My first impression of Peter Leithart's biography Jane Austen, was a positive one for the sake of the wonderful book design. The size, paper and overall appearance continues to delight me. And obviously the author did an enormous amount of research in writing the book. Being that he has taught Austen's ... Jane Austen by Peter Leithart

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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Facing Your Giants

Facing Your Giants

On 2/16 Melissa Smith wrote: Max Lucado's book, 'Facing Your Giants', is very encouraging, and one I've needed to read. Everyone has monsters in their closets of some sort, things that pressure and attempt to control them. Lucado uses the story of David in the Old Testament to show the reader how to deal with and overcome their ... Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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This is Your Brain in Love

This is Your Brain in Love

On 1/7 Melissa Smith wrote: This is Your Brain in Love by Dr. Earl Henslin is excellent. And while I'm familiar with books that talk about the four personality types---both the introvert and extrovert, Dr. Henslin goes a step further and writes about more specifics. From brain scans, it's apparent that there really is a difference ... This is Your Brain in Love

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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NKJV Greatest Stories of the Bible

NKJV Greatest Stories of the Bible

On 12/6 Melissa Smith wrote: The NKJV Greatest Stories of the Bible is probably the best book I've reviewed for Thomas Nelson. I'm so impressed. The cover is beautiful---hardbound, without a dust jacket, so the photo you see is exactly like the actual cover looks. An heirloom piece.What first attracted it to me was the idea of ... NKJV Greatest Stories of the Bible

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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The Liturgical Year Hardcover

The Liturgical Year Hardcover

On 11/10 Melissa Smith wrote: Joan Chittister’s book called ‘The Liturgical Year’ reads like a textbook. Not that that’s a bad thing, but the subtitle of ‘the spiraling adventure of the spiritual life’ gives me the impression that this book should be more intriguing. I’m afraid I found it to be a bit dry. And while ... 'The Liturgical Year' by Joan Chittister

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World

Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World

On 10/26 Melissa Smith wrote: David Jeremiah's newest book, 'Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World' was encouraging to me before it was anything else. And while I don't always read books that deal with End Times' issues, his book is very timely. He stresses where Christians should find their strength, and puts emphasis on the ... 'Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World' by David Jeremiah

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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Green

Green

On 10/2 Melissa Smith wrote: If anything, Ted Dekker is consistent. While his books cover a variety of story lines, he does have a talent for finishing what he starts. His stories don’t leave the reader hanging, and the same can be said for ‘Green‘. The book continues the tale of Thomas Hunter (also known as Thomas the Hunter) ... 'Green' by Ted Dekker

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

On 9/29 Melissa Smith wrote: The main thought that came to mind as I read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is that Donald Miller must be a really nice guy. He writes from the heart and wants his life to matter. And while I thought the book started out slow, maybe that's the way it needed to be. Honestly, to savor our days and ... A Million Miles in a Thousand Days by Donald Miller

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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The Expanded Bible

The Expanded Bible

On 9/15 Melissa Smith wrote: Being that I'm a word junkie, I enjoyed reading/working with the new study Bible published by Thomas Nelson, called 'New Testament, The [expanded] Bible'. It's like having a thesaurus and dictionary at the reader's fingertips. But, I noticed early on that the language used is simplistic and seems to ... The [expanded] Bible

Melissa's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Noticer

The Noticer

On 8/12 Melissa Smith wrote: I just finished reading The Noticer by Andy Andrews as a blogging book reviewer for the publisher, Thomas Nelson, and kept having the impression that I'd read it before. After looking through a list of books I'd finished in the past months, came to realize that this book is very much like one of his ... The Noticer

Melissa's Rating:

3 Stars

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Jungle Jack's The Wackiest, Wildest, and Weirdest Animals in the World

Jungle Jack's The Wackiest, Wildest, and Weirdest Animals in the World

On 7/28 Melissa Smith wrote: Jack Hanna's newest book, The Wackiest, Wildest, Weirdest Animals in the World, is totally delightful. I was already familiar with Mr. Hanna from seeing him interviewed on television, and most folks are aware of how silly he can be, but I didn't know until recently that he wrote books. After receiving ... The Wackiest, Wildest, Weirdest Animals in the World

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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It Happened In Italy

It Happened In Italy

On 6/10 Melissa Smith wrote: When a person gets to a certain age, they oftentimes feel as if they’ve heard it all. That being the case, I admit to being surprised in reading Elizabeth Bettina’s book called ‘It Happened in Italy‘. I have to wonder who else is unaware of the Jewish concentration camps that were run in Italy, ... 'It Happened in Italy' by Elizabeth Bettina

Melissa's Rating:

5 Stars

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