Thoughts on the things with bookmarks…

Genres: Christian Fiction, Christian Historical Fiction, General Non Fiction, Historical Fiction

This is a different type of post for me. Often I have a desire to write a wrap up post for the month, but it just doesn’t happen. It seems like things just keep getting away from me and craziness sets in and there are so many things I want to share with you. So I’ve decided (in the last split second) that perhaps I will have some more “thoughts” posts in addition to my full polished reviews. Here is one…

Right now I have bookmarks in a lot of things (isn’t that normal?!?!) and hopefully I’ll get a good many things reviewed and shared over the next few months. The original plan was to take December and January off from blogging, but with the surgeries, sicknesses, miscarriage, and most recent head cold I’ve already taken enough breaks for now and want to try to use some of this time to plan ahead and share more reviews. After all, aren’t you wondering where all my Halloween and All Saints Day posts are?! Well the fact that my birthday is right around the corner is shocking and I cannot believe it has been another year. (Wow my mind is going on another tangent about a new “plan” aka diet that I’m starting into, but that’s a post for another day…)

So bookmarks. Oh and FYI, I’m not going to riddle this post with affiliate links, because I just want to “write”. So if you would like to support my blog by purchasing anything I mention please consider using my book links and the bottom toolbar of each page. Thank you. It’s never much and doesn’t change your price on a purchase, but it sure does make me smile to know I influenced someone.

One thing I’m reading is The Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner (WaterBrook Multnomah). Review in progress:

I come into reading The Girl in the Glass knowing that Susan Meissner made my absolute favorites list with The Shape of Mercy and I enjoyed but did not love another one, White Picket Fences I believe. The background for Meg and Nora’s story sounds enchanting and I do believe that I have come to find that the combination of contemporary with historical switch offs is my favorite setting for novels these days. Especially when it is a time and place that I have not read much about before, such as Italy.

At about 40% into the story I’m curious and a little confused, but I think I’m confused right along with my fictional friend Marguerite, another form of my name that I love. I believe the contemporary aspects make this a novel that many people today can relate to with the surprise and unreliability of certain people we think should be perfect in life and are not. As the door opens here, I believe that the adventure is just beginning for Nora, Meg and Sofia.

More review and thoughts to come as I progress in the book… Status: 42%

Hmm… and next. Last week I discovered two things that are so RIGHT UP MY ALLEY! If you do not really know me, let me give you a little background. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and love to collect various Bible versions (both in translation and context purpose). Discussing church and religious history excites me and that is probably why I enjoy reading Christian Historical Fiction quite so much. Now back to last week… I discovered a digital advanced reader copy for The Biographical Bible: Exploring the Biblical Narrative from Adam and Eve to John of Patmos by Ruth A. Tucker (Baker Books). Immediately I sent it to my Kindle Fire and jumped in. Text-wise it is very interesting and a comfortable way to read about the people behind the Biblical accounts. As is normally the case with digital arcs that are sent and not yet prepared for Kindle format there are formatting errors and bizarre effects. On my device there is different font sizes and every once in a while red text as opposed to the black on white. It’s definitely readable, but not very pleasing to the eye. There are black and grey scale images embedded within with no formatting and they are interesting to see, but seeing all this change from quotes to images made me truly curious about the real thing. So, I downloaded the digital copy to my computer and dove into it within ADE. Now here is a different and marvelous treasure.

On white pages, with chocolate borders and topic headers different sections are apparent and quite attractive. The illustrations set in are still grey tones but are near the text that is appropriate and add a bit of fascination. The quotes are now offset with boxes or different fonts in a lightly grey-ed area and it’s like a beautiful textbook. Everything I said about the information previously still holds true and I think the physical copy of this book will be lovely. Hopefully I’ll get to see it one day.

Now I mentioned two things, the second is the request for review and arrival of my first National Geographic reference book in the Who’s Who of the Bible: Unforgettable People and Timeless Stories from Genesis to Revelation by Jean-Pierre Isbouts (National Geographic). I cannot tell you how giddy this book makes me! I literally squealed upon opening the package! My parents were visiting at the time and my daddy picked it up and spent about a day with it right away. While I haven’t gotten to read the text informatively about this one yet as I’ve been reading The Biographical Bible first, illustration-wise I’m in awe. So far there is only one issue of note and that is the pages with maps. Perhaps an oversight, but the maps go the full length of the page, so in the binding you lose a lot. If they had put in about a half inch or so of white space those destinations would not be lost within the seem, but alas they are.

I am definitely going to have fun comparing these two. The Biographical Bible is going to be more standard in the dimensions of  9.1 x 7.2 x 1.3 inches and I am finding it to be more of a textual book with images for enhancement. Who’s Who in the Bible is a big ‘ole 10.9 x 9.4 x 1.3 inches more like an encyclopedia of sorts and filled with full color illustrations and historical paintings as well as a good bit of vibrant text. The Who’s Who in the Bible is also understandably twice as expensive, however, The Biographical Bible has over 400 pages, while Who’s Who in the Bible does not surpass 383. I’m ridiculously excited about both!  (Both are new releases for November 2013, Happy Birthday to me!) I should note, this is my first introduction to both authors.

Other books in the non-fiction realm that are hosting my bookmarks include A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman (Revell Books), One Thousand Gifts and the One Thousand Gifts Devotional both from Ann Voskamp (Zondervan), and digitally Pilgrimage by Lynn Austin (Bethany House), as well as You’ll Get Through This by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson). Each of these is very special to me right now.

Usually outside of theological texts I’m not much of a non-fiction person, but surprisingly, all of the sudden several have caught my eye and watching a similar theme wrap them in places just shows how God is working in my life and the things he wants to point out to me at this time. Lots of God moments and Bible underlining for this girl lately. I’m also collecting a lot of quotes.

A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live is neat and the third book I’ve read by Emily. It was suppose to tour last week, but my copy was lost, so I’ve just had it replaced and I’m part-way through but every minute of this reading is well worth the ink on the page.

The Ann Voskamp books have always been on my radar as a someday, and then my women’s Bible study at my church started studying the main one and I got the devotional (for review) to go along-side and I’m delighted with the experience. August was hard with losing that pregnancy and I truly couldn’t see any good in it, but didn’t want to let myself fall into the darkness, because when depression descends on me it is a hard way back. This book and study is perfect God-timing for me and presenting me with relevance and true I can see why this and that happened, because I was being opened up for this to come to pass soon after. While I definitely want more children, this book and people around it are definitely here to help me heal. It’s definitely a gift.

You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times by Max Lucado is another one that is absolutely perfectly timed in my life for reception. It’s main theme is Joseph, but oh my goodness I truly believe this is a book that everyone should read. Anyone can benefit from this no matter your difficulty. I’ve love Max Lucado’s writing since I was but a pre-teen and each one I get sucked into, I enjoy his books more. I have underlined in the book (Kindle Fire digital copy) and gone on to write quotes in my journal and underlined scripture in my Bible as well as have made so many new notes that I can tell you my heart smiles with this little book.

Lastly on the non-fiction front with my bookmarks off the top of my head is Pilgrimage: My Journey to A Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked by Lynn Austin. If you know anything about me, you might know that I have a deep passion for Christian Historical Fiction, and for those of you that have read this genre for a while, I have to be honest and say that I have never read anything from Lynn Austin before, so I’m starting here — but definitely not ending here! This book is so vivid and perfect for those of us that would love to ‘venture to the Holy Land, but it just isn’t possible. Going along on this adventure of faith and location is truly moving and I’m loving every minute spent in these digital ARC pages. I would LOVE to get a real copy of this one for my shelves. Also, plenty of notes here.

It may be too many sticks in the fire, but I am loving these books and what they are doing to me in terms of my own private spiritual growth and knowledge. So far I think they are all keepers and definitely full of inspiration for anyone.

As far as other fiction? My goodness I could go on all day, and if you’re still reading already – I LOVE YOU! I’ve gotten plenty of things in the works, but my favorites at the moment include Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson (Zondervan), Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon (Zondervan), A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber (MIRA), a plethora of Bethany House historicals on my bedside table and the Collections from Barbour. I’m also starting to pile up Christmas reads to get to starting next week as well!

Then of course there is the middle grades general market that I’m loving from both HarperCollins and Scholastic as well as Amulet from time to time and the Christmas picture books! Oh do they make me happy. I have so many reviews either on paper that need to be typed and more on Goodreads that need to be blogged! Oh so much to do, and even more to dive in to, to read. I hope you are as happy with your reads as I am. If not, I’d love to provide a recommendation!

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About CherryBlossomMJ

The Creative Madness Mama also known as Margaret is a Christian Stay-at-home Mama, married to the Enginerd, Quilter, avid reader and book-a-holic. A book blogger for bunches of different publicists. She loves to share the latest and greatest about books coming out as well as her quilt and other crafty projects with some pictures of her eight-year-old AppleBlossom, three-year-old Almond Blossom (the Rascal boy!), six-year-old OrangeBlossom (the Princess), and newborn Mermaid Warrior in between. Plotting to be a homeschooler, she's a cloth diapering, breastfeeding, babywearing, list making mama full of a little creative and a lot of madness.