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Book Review - Jane Austen Sequels

I had a lot of good intentions to write on my blog more, but so far they've fallen by the wayside.  Which confession makes me feel especially like Emma Woodhouse right now.  Rather apropos since this post is about Jane Austen!  I've recently read some "sequels", or perhaps more accurately stated as Jane-Austen-from-a-different-angle books.  I quite enjoyed both of them - they were fun, light, quick reads.  As I only borrowed them from the library, I think I will have to watch out for them in the bookstore sometime so I can have them to re-read them at will later.  Anyway, without further ado - here are the reivews:

Mr. Darcy's Diary  by Amanda Grange
Amazon link

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I've seen a lot of both really positive and really negative reviews. As to whether someone will like it or not, I think it really boils down to your expectation. We all have our own opinions, ideas, and expectations for exactly who each charact…

Book Review - The King's Daughter

"The King's Daughter" by Pansy (Isabella MacDonald Alden)

When Dell's mother died, she was raised by her uncle and aunt in Boston in a strong Christian and temperance home.  After years away from home, she's called back to help her father with the housework.  Her father runs a hotel and saloon in a run down, dreary town.  Even though Dell is the daughter of a liquor seller, she works incessantly for the temperance movement.  This book is the story or her work, her setbacks and discouragement, and ultimately her faith that brought her though it all.  It's a great story and wonderful encouragement if you're dealing with very challenging circumstances that don't seem to change.  However it ends feeling unfinished and you're told that the story continues in another book.  After digging around a little, I believe the semi-sequel is called "Wise and Otherwise".  (which, if you've read more of Pansy's books, is also the sequel to the bo…

Book Review - Forever

"Forever: Why You Can't Live Without It" by Paul Tripp

I bought this book at the Liberate Conference in Ft. Lauderdale.  (the bookstore at the conference had me drooling all over the place!)  Having gone through loss, Heaven and forever is suddenly a big topic of interest for me so the book and it's description really grabbed my attention.

The book is about forever - eternity - and how our view of it impacts our lives.  Most notably that we don't even think about it at all in our day to day existence.  We have, as the author frequently states, "eternity amnesia".  The book describes our neglect of eternity and how that neglect shapes the way we think and how we live.  It was very eye-opening for me.  I had no idea how vast and deep a difference having and living with a right perspective of eternity makes on your everyday life.  We generally acknowledge that our understanding of forever affects our view of death and loss, but how many of us really think…

Liberate - the Conference

A week and a half ago we went to the inaugural "Liberate" Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It was an absolutely amazing event! As part of my "processing process" (ie. I'm a slow thinker and it takes me awhile to process things ;)) I thought I would share about the conference here. I haven't quite decided *how* I will do that yet - whether just general remarks about the whole conference or sharing my notes and thoughts on most of the sessions... But something will be coming in the near future! (if you have a preference as to which would be most encouraging, let me know)

Book Review - Amazing Grace

"Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery" by Eric Metaxas
I recently saw a video of Mr. Metaxas' speech at the national prayer breakfast in Washington D.C. I really enjoyed what he had to say - how he was able to mix humor and truth. When I heard that he had written some books, I knew I had to check them out. This book on Wilberforce happened to be a much more manageable size than his one on Bonhoeffer so I chose to start here.
I found this book to be very well written and gripping. I read good chunks of it on a flight recently and had a hard time putting it down to step off the plane! Unlike the title may suggest, the material covers more than just Wilberforce's work on slavery. It's really a comprehensive biography of his life, his faith, and his two "great objects". I found it fascinating to see how people's lives intertwined during that era. William Carey met William Wilberforce and Wilberforce later led t…

Book Review - First Family

"First Family: Abigail and John Adams" by Joseph J. Ellis
This book offers a fascinating look into the lives, ambitions, and marriage of one of the foremost families of the Revolution era. I found it to be particularly fascinating because it isn't just a re-telling of their life - it offered a sort of "behind-the-scenes" look into their thoughts, attitudes, and motives through use of their copious amounts of letters and journals. As the reader, you aren't just walking through the events of their life, you're journeying into their heart. I also found the book to be very well-written - the words and thoughts flow so nicely together that it made reading both easy and very stimulating.
The book is about 250 pages with only seven chapters - so needless to say, the chapters can be lengthy. There are quite a few sub-headings in each chapter though so it's fairly easy to find a good stopping point. I haven't done much reading or studying on this fam…

Book Review - William Carey

"William Carey: Father of Modern Missions" by Sam Wellman (part of the Heroes of the Faith series)
I picked this up to read even though it's a pre-teen/teen level biography. I've seen this series at homeschool bookfairs for years so I thought I'd give it a try.
I enjoyed this book for what it was. It is pretty well written and easy to read. It was a nice broad overview of William Carey's life, but being a pre-teen book, didn't stay too heavily on the details. I enjoy a lot of in depth details about people's lives, so this book felt more like an appetizer rather than an entree. Also because it's geared toward a younger crowd, I thought some things were over simplified and over-interpreted. (for example, there are lots of made-up/hypothetical conversations) The author was able to keep my interest throughout the book and I really enjoyed getting a look at this great man of faith. My interest in Carey's life has been piqued. I will be on…