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!

--Elise--

     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.