Wednesday, 30 April 2008

46 Judy Baer - Be My Neat-Heart

Title: Be My Neat-Heart
Author: BAER Judy
Publisher: Steeple Hill
Format: Paperback
No. of pages: 250
First sentence: “A girl could get killed on a job like this.”

1. Why did you enjoy the book?
I enjoyed this light-hearted look at the world of professional organiser, Samantha Smith. In true Love Inspired tradition, I was entertained without being particularly stretched. Samantha is engaged to organise Molly by Molly’s brother – Jared – a man to whom she has taken an instant dislike. Molly seems determined to make Samantha love Jared as much as she does and everything is going swimmingly until tragedy strikes.

2. What did you dislike about the book?
There were some odd changes of tense which jarred but the story was engaging enough to let me move on. I did find it odd to read about people who’re so very organised – Samantha and Jared live in a totally different world to mine!

3. What comments do you have on the writing style?
The writing is engaging and, apart from the odd tense changes I mentioned above, it flowed very well. This is a first person narrative told from Samantha’s perspective and that style worked well throughout.

4. What are your impressions on the plot/story line?
The plot was a little predictable but that’s something I’ve rather come to expect from Love Inspired. You know where you’re going to end up but getting there is generally a pleasant experience.

5. Were there any memorable/favorite characters? Which ones and why?
I particularly liked Baer’s humour with the animals – Zelda and Imelda. I’d love to meet Zelda in the flesh.

6. What were the memorable themes?
The underlying theme of this book is ‘let go and let God.’

7. Would you recommend this book to others? Why or why not?
I’d recommend the book to any Christian woman who’s looking for an afternoon’s entertainment.

8. Is the book cover attractive?
The cover is very pink and the ‘neat-heart’ of the title is a little cheesy but I think it gives a fair glimpse of what’s inside.

9. What impressions does the book title leave you with?
There is no chance of me every being anyone’ neat-heart and I’m not even sure I’d want to be!

10. Would you read anything else by this author?
Yes. I’m going to try and get Norah’s Ark in the hope that I’ll meet some of the same characters.

11. Do you have any favorite quotes from the book? What are they?

12. How would you rate this book overall? On a scale of 1-10?

Sunday, 27 April 2008

45. Chip Ingram - Love, Sex & Lasting Relationships

I first came across Chip Ingram listening to UCB UK and I was struck by his warmth and sensitivity in discussing all aspects of relationships (pre- and post-marriage). This is the first of his books that I've read and I'm delighted to report that the same tone is evident in it. Chip suggests that there are two paradigms at work when it comes to romance - The Hollywood Prescription and God's Prescription - and explains both (with their benefits and pitfalls) at length. He closes in a rousing manner by inviting the reader to join 'The Second Sexual Revolution'. Illustrating the book with examples from his live and the lives of others, Chip gives a very honest and open look at relationships and purity. His argument is persuasive without being pushy. I particularly liked the fact that he's writing for a non-Christian as well as a Christian audience. He offers evidence from secular research as well as looking in some detail at part of Ephesians and this lends weight and accessibility to the text. Each chapter closes with a few questions for the reader's consideration and I'll be hanging on to this book until I've had a chance to work through them properly.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

44. Carolyne Aarsen - All in One Place

This book is the sequel to The Only Best Place. It tells the story of Terra - a wild child who whirls into the farming community where her sister, Leslie lives. Touching on some serious issues of domestic violence and abortion, Aarsen has produced a very pleasant read that left me longing for more...

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

43. Christine Caine - Stop Acting Like a Christian Just Be One

It’s hard to know how to review this book. It’s far easier to write about things you feel strongly about (I think) and I just don’t feel strongly about it. Caine uses the analogy of your body’s core muscles giving strength and support and then applies this to three areas of a Christian’ make-up – heart, soul and mind. After dealing with these, she broadens her approach to look at the Church and evangelism. It was a pleasant enough read but failed to motivate me towards making changes in my life.

Sunday, 20 April 2008


I have just discovered that people have been commenting here and I've not been receiving email notifications. I will go back and read your comments today or tomorrow. It hadn't occurred to me to do so previously as I didn't really expect there to *be* any comments! So thanks for reading, thanks for commenting and enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

DNF - Mike Cleveland - The Lord's Table

I heard about The Lord's Table a number of years ago and this was my second or third attempt to get to grips with it. It's billed as 'A Biblical Approach to Weight Management' and, in fairness, it does what it says on the tin. But I really don't much like it. The author's premis is that overeating is idolatry and if we learn to fast properly and 'feast on the Lord' then we'll lose weight and all will be well. My Dr has advised regular meals as my stomach isn't a happy stomach at the moment and he's been muttering about ulcers. But I was happy to work through the book while following the SlimmingWorld diet which allows for regular meals and has worked for me in the past. According to the book's author, this means I'm following the rules of the world instead of the rules of God. This does not sit well. The only one who knows if it's true is God but I'm assuming he doesn't want me ill through being overweight or ill with an ulcer and therefore a sensible eating plan will meet with his approval.

The author's tone is 'preachy' and awkward and pushy and ... I just didn't like it. It lacks finesse. Which, as he's a pilot and not a writer, is perhaps not surprising.

At this point, I don't feel I'm learning anything from the study although, as with most things, there are probably nuggets of goodness hidden away in the large, spiral-bound book.

Incoming Books!

Today the postman brought me:

Marianne Fredriksson - Hanna's Daughters
Leslie Ludy - Authentic Beauty - Study Guide

The Ludy book is long-awaited and I'm thinking of substituting it for the bible study I'm currently doing and not much enjoying.

Friday, 18 April 2008


I've stumbled upon an interesting idea ...

The site promises to plant a tree for each book you've bought - $10 = 10 books = 10 trees and they send you stickers to put on the books showing that they've been off-set in this way.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Incoming Books!

I've had a couple of books through the mail recently. I also had to buy a new baby gift and gift for big sister and chose books for both (the cloth kind for baby). Gift for big sister was on a 3-for-2 so, of course, I had to choose two books for me too. Which was very naughty but fun. So, here are my spoils:

Tahmima Anam - A Golden Age
Katharine McMahon - The Rose of Sebastopol
Lorna Sage - Bad Blood
Eric & Leslie Ludy - When God Writes your Love Story

Booking Through Thursday

This week, Booking Through Thursday asks:

I’ve always wondered what other people do when they come across a word/phrase that they’ve never heard before. I mean, do they jot it down on paper so they can look it up later, or do they stop reading to look it up on the dictionary/google it or do they just continue reading and forget about the word?

I generally guess what the word means from the context and carry on reading. If my understanding of what I read is impaired then I'll stop and look up the word but generally I'm able to keep right on truckin'.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

J Matthew Sleeth - Serve God Save the Planet

This book is a 'Did Not Finish' but through no fault of its own. The author is a Doctor and illustrates his writing with anecdotes from his medical practice. Due to personal circumstances I'm not up for reading about cancer and that's the anecdote presented in the first few pages so I've decided to let this book continue its journey with another reader.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

42. Janette Oke - When Calls the Heart

I chose this books for the Spring Reading Thing 2008 because I am really enjoying the 'Love Comes Softly' series by the same author. Unfortunately I found this book rather a struggle and would probably not have finished it were it not for having listed it. The main character - Elizabeth - seems wooden and the plot plodding. All this changes for the last three or four chapters, however, and I have hopes that further books in the series will be better ...

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

41. Jennie Chancey & Stacy McDonald - Passionate Housewives Desperate for God

The title of this book really appealed to me so I was a little daunted to find that it's really quite a learned book refuting feminism from the Christian perspective rather than cosy stories of homemaking and lists of instructions for the happy home. It is, however, very readable. The authors take the Christian concept of service and apply it wholeheartedly to family life and see this as an antidote to many of society's current ills. While not everyone would agree with their arguments I think there is something very appealing in two women who are so clearly living out what they passionately believe.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

DNF - Nicky Hambleton-Jones - Top to Toe

I borrowed this book from the library after seeing it on a friend's bookshelf over at GoodReads. Sadly, I am disappointed in it. I'm not sure if Hambleton-Jones is trying to write a memoir about how she changed her life or give sage advice to people who'd like to do the same. Either would be fine but, so far, she's chopped and changed between the two narratives so much I feel dizzy and must stop. From what I did read, she appears to have turned her life around by sleeping on friends' couches fo a year with a kind of grim determination that is either to be admired or pitied.