Saturday, January 21, 2017

Long Way Gone

      Billy Coffey says, "A beautiful story of redemption and love once lost but found again. Long Way Gone proves two things: music washes us from the inside out and Charles Martin's words do the same."

     Martin is one of our finest story tellers, I have enjoyed many of his books and this one was particularly excellent. The relationships between various characters were very well developed and the ups and downs of their lives were portrayed so well that I had to keep reading a bit each night till I was done. Very satisfying. I highly recommended it.

--Lando Klassen--

For more information on Long Way Gone by Charles Martin, visit our website here.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Waves of Mercy

Cover image for Waves of MercyA staff recommendation; Brent can be found on and off in our Bible Department. He is a wonderful addition to the House of James family.

Hello all,

I just finished reading Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin, featured in our Christmas catalog. It is a "page-turner" par excellence; a grand story demonstrating the Lord's ever faithfulness amidst many years of extreme personal loss, anger, and terrible pain (not to give away any of the story).

I highly recommend this book for anyone needing an example of the Lord's everlasting love. Waves of Mercy could touch a wide audience from believer to seeker to unbeliever.

Best wishes,

For more information on Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin, visit our website here.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Miriam (A Treasure of the Nile #2)

Cover image for Miriam     "The Hebrews call me prophetess; the Egyptians, a seer. I am neither. I am simply a watcher of Israel and the messenger of El Shaddai. When He speaks to me in dreams, I interpret. When He whispers a melody, I sing."

     WOW. This book by Mesu Andrews is just as good as the first, The Pharaoh's Daughter. The first installment follows the Egyptians closely while this second book follows the Hebrews, and more specifically, Miriam.

     We meet Miriam as an 86 year old lady who is devoted heart and soul to El Shaddai and His people, serving as midwife and messenger. But when Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he not only declares that Israel will finally be delivered, but says that God has a new name: Yahweh.

     Mesu Andrews does a beautiful job at bringing this story to life. We can read the Bible story and get all the information we need, but I'm one of those people who wants more detail like what was it like living in the midst of the plagues? And we definitely get that with this book: more characters, more insight to what living through the plagues might have been like. We read about the struggle of a God that to Miriam has "changed", a God she doesn't understand. We read about unbelief of the character Eleazar and the journey that Yahweh take with him. And we read about faith, and the struggle that Moses had being the bearer of bad news ten times to a pharaoh who wouldn't shake his stubborn pride that destroyed a nation. This story has always been one of my favorite Bible stories because of the amazingly awesome power of God and His promise of deliverance and seeing that played out.

     It's been awhile since I've been this excited about a book. You won't regret picking this one up!

--the other Elise--

     For more information on Miriam by Mesu Andrews, visit our website here

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Conversational, Classic, and Clever

     Presenting staff recommendations this Christmas Eve; Lauryssa's choices in the forms of conversational, classic, and clever:

Cover image for Out of Sorts 

Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey:
"This book is one of those best friend books that comes to you where you are at and loves on you. It will walk with you through the brilliant moments and the dark tunnels we call life. Perfect for when you feel a bit lost and "out of sorts"."

Cover image for Four LovesThe Four Loves by C.S. Lewis:
"C.S. Lewis is well-known for his masterful story telling and thought-provoking works on Christian thought. This one is no exception. Take a delve into a philosophical discussion of the different forms of love, both human and divine, and how they play our in our lives."

Cover image for Dead Gorgeous 

Dead Gorgeous by Elizabeth Flynn:
"A fun, easy-reading murder mystery set in London, UK with a female lead. Follow D.I. Costello as she tracks down the murderer of a not-well-liked wannabe model. This story has great pacing, dynamic characters, and lots of twists to keep you guessing."

     Lauryssa spends a great deal of time and thought in reading and reflecting on books both from our store and elsewhere, making her broad base of reading-list a valuable asset in critique and picking outstanding books from a selection. I value her opinions very highly.

     Merry Christmas!


     For more information on these books, visit our website here.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Surprised by Oxford

Presenting our second customer review:

Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber - Autobiography/Memoir - ★★★★☆ (4 / 5)

Cover image for Surprised by Oxford    Carolyn Weber did not come by things easily. If she wanted it, she worked for it. Growing up in a single parent home with a mother who did everything she could to make ends meet and a transient father who would come in and out of their lives a few times every year, she learned that if she needed anything she would have to do it herself. After working tirelessly and receiving a full-ride scholarship to Oxford - tuition, food, and living included - she was able to take some time to fully immerse herself in her studies and relationships. It just so happens that the relationships she was building were with a group of Christians who were able to help her navigate the terrain and claims of Christianity.

    In this memoir, Weber keeps you captivated through a year in her life by modelling it after the Oxford school calendar and incorporating shorter stories within a larger chapter framework. It is not so much an autobiography, in that she does not focus on telling about her achievements, but more like a memoir, in that she is telling stories of her life and experiences which lead one to learn and grow in their own life and faith. As a literature major and professor, she uses many of the skills that she learned and acquired to help make this book as captivating as possible, including many different quotes throughout from the Romantics.

    I was drawn to this book because of the raw material and stories that Weber uses to illustrate her life and ever growing faith, alongside a deep admiration of Oxford and some of its better known alumni (C.S. Lewis, for one). Her honesty with struggling through the claims of the faith and desire to dig deeper are inspiring and life giving; offering hope and a desire to continue to dive deeper into the Word and the claims of the Bible, learning to better understand the faith which I have grown up in. While there are points of theology I do not necessarily agree with, Weber has a way with words which help one to understand where she is coming from and helps one to grow in one’s own appreciation for differing theological viewpoints.

--Colin Fast--

     For more information on Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber, visit our website here.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

Presenting our first customer review: 

Cover image for Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus     This is an amazing book. Nabeel takes the reader on a journey from his devout belief in Islam to his eventual turning with the same passion to faith in Jesus Christ. The reader walks with him as he agonizes with what that decision means for him and for his family. People speak about a "crisis of faith" but this story lets you see and feel the struggle.

     Nabeel is a highly educated man with an academic and scientific mind. He became fast friends with "David" who he went through high school and university with, and both eventually became doctors. Through all of this, David challenges Nabeel to look at Christianity with his academic and scientific mind. The transformation did not happen quickly. Nabeel writes with excruciating honesty as he compares both beliefs. As he does, the reader gains clear insights into the beliefs of so many of our Muslim neighbours and gives valuable insight into how to share our faith in Jesus Christ with great love.

     For many Muslims, converting to Christianity can be very dangerous - even life threatening. Nabeel looked at every claim of both faiths, but he came to truly belief that there was no other choice. Some of his journey is heartbreaking, but at the same time, triumphant and full of the grace and mercy of God.

     I cannot recommend this book too highly. It will challenge you to dig deeper into the Bible and what you really believe. I look forward to reading the sequel: No God But One.

--Gayle Macnab--

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Cover image for Emissary
     The journey of twenty-one-year-old Hyam in a realm of swords, steeds, danger, and strange magic is a wonderful fulfillment of fantasy-fiction and world-building dreams. The death of his mother at the beginning of the story throws his life into uncertainty, and shortly, chaos, with the revelation of part of his ancestry and an encounter with armed warriors heralding war. Hyam is accused of using forbidden magic to toil on his thriving family land, magic he has only just discovered and learned he can use. And it is that same magic that allows him to defeat these men and their threat on his life, and further spread the warning of war to his hometown.

     Hyam's account finds him exiled. Alone. His only company: the warhorse he acquired from defeating the soldiers, and the massive wolf-hound gifted to him by the mayor of his village when he sent him away. He has his weapons, his newfound powers, his pets, and nothing but pieces of advice to make his way in the world.

     His first stop introduces us to a race called Ashanta - a community oriented, gentle, guardian-type people who, like several of the other groups in this story, are very private and unapproachable. Through a series of questioning and unexpected abilities they make Hyam their emissary, throwing him into a world of peril he never could have anticipated or imagined.

     Locke's selling point in this story, for me, is his unique blend of wizardry and fantastic creatures and people. The world-building alone is enough to hold my interest, but Locke embarks on a never-slowing adventure through treacherous land and life, facing Hyam with threat, danger, and love. It is as much action-adventure-fantasy as it is a riveting story about identity and belonging.


     For more information on Emissary by Thomas Locke, visit our website here.