March Reads

Today I am bringing you March reads.  I also have plans for some major blogging coming up as well.

50 Ways to Yay
What is not to love about this book.  I love doing self-help books or books that make me learn and grow as  a person.  50 Ways to Yay! did just that.  I sat down with this book and learned so much about myself and the things I need to work on that I am ready to put a plan in to action and better myself for the good. Whether that means weeding somethings out or to continue some positive things I do.  There were 50 things that I set out to accomplish and with each day I can truly say I grew as a person.

We Stood Upon Stars
Do you ever find a book that you just pick up to see what it’s about and then as you read it feel your whole life change?  That is what We Stood Upon Stars did.  I honestly had to pick a book and this was the one that appealed to me the most.  After starting to read it, I couldn’t out it down. I truly enjoyed it, cover to cover.  The book is written by a dad who takes his kids traveling or adventures that he has taken throughout his life.  These adventures he took not only were fun and adventurous for him but he learned life lessons along the way.  I was just talking with Matt the other day saying, I wish we had more money so we could travel with our kids more and let them explore and see other cities.  We decided that we could still do that just on a smaller scale.  We plan to start taking adventure and camping and see different parts of the world even if they are still in our home state.  The learning and love come from the adventure you take, being with friends or family, and just enjoying what God created for us.  This book was by far one of the best reads I have had in a long time.
**“I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.”

OTHER BOOKS I READ:

  • Winter Storms
  • Accidentally Engaged
  • Snow Country – you can see a full review here
  • What we Find
  • Open your Bible – Bible study
  • Magnolia Journal – spring edition

What did you read this month? Any book recommendations?

Mel

Snow Country

I love getting books to review for authors.  I was contacted by an author to review her book, Snow Country and immediately said yes to it.  I received the book awhile ago and with having the baby, I am just now getting around to posting a proper review for her.

Kristin definitely has a way with words.  When I am asked to review a book, I am always uneasy about it, especially if it is a book that I cannot just get into (which does happen).  That was definitely not the case with Kristin’s book.  I immediately fell in love with the characters and wanted to know more about their lives. While some parts of the book were predictable it didn’t turn me away from the book.  I was anxious for those parts to happen but when they did I was blown away by how.  It didn’t happen in a way that I would have ever seen coming.

The story has real life situations that people deal with. Snow storms, driving cross-country, taking care of sick family members, falling in love, past situations rearing their heads.  All these things happen to people on a daily basis and in this book it is no different.  You will feel all sorts of emotions throughout the whole book. In my opinion that is what makes a good book. When you fall in love with the characters, when you laugh when they do or cry when they do and mourn when characters leave the book.

The plot of the story was one that I could picture myself in, it made a little escape for the everyday life.  Kristin has a knack for story telling and when the book ended I was not disappointed.  I loved everything from start to finish, I couldn’t put the book down.  I am ready for the 2nd book coming out this summer.

If you are interested in purchasing the book you can do so here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I absolutely adore these little Thank You, God books.  We have several of them in our house and I love adding to them.  These books are simple yet show you a true love for the family members around you.  Our kids are very close to their grandmas and grandpas on both sides and they love reading these books and saying hey grandma/grandpa does do that for us.  It is amazing to see their eyes light up when they read this books and can honestly make a connection between the book and real life.  My girls love reading these books to their little brother!

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Mel

February Reads

Easter Beginnings
I loved this little book for the kids.  It is a little pocket-sized book all about Easter.  Filled with stories, Bible verses, and little devotionals.  I loved that the words in this are super easy to read and my girls can read it to their brother.  They not only can read it but learn from the little words in this book that bring so much meaning to life.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I am
I am is a devotional book.  It is a 60 day devotional all about you.  Each day has a meaning I AM … encouraging you to know that you are special, you are unique, and were made exactly the way God wanted us to be.  The book is an easy read and I love how she is relating the book to her life and showing how she is each thing.  I wish the book would relate on a more general purpose for a devotional.  I found some days a little hard to relate to my life and how I am enough. Each day comes with an I AM phrase, a Bible verse, a 2-3 page read, a quote, and then a Who am I section.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Shaken

I really, really enjoyed this book.  I was hesitant at first to read the book. I thought it was going to be a preachy, preachy book all about how he was such a great athlete and blah, blah, blah.  After picking up the book I couldn’t put it down.  The book was the complete opposite of what I thought it was going to be. It really wasn’t about his giant trip down memory lane of all the great things he did, rather it was about how each step of his life has impacted another in a powerful way. He shares how he gives all to God and how each and every success, failure, or set back was there for a reason.  He shares how life is so much more than playing football, or being a stay at home mom.  He really gave a general perspective to life and how each of us has a unique and strong journey in this world.  How we should use those times to do things that really matter and not be all consumed by one individual thing.

**“I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.”

OTHER BOOKS READ THIS MONTH

Fairest of them All
She Reads Truth
Living so that
The Magnolia Story
Living with No Excuses

January Reads

Hello ….

I am so excited to bring you the books I read this past month.  Things are starting to get back in a natural flow around the house so I am having set reading times while little man is sleeping.  I found a new series of books that I absolutely love, and if you are a Disney fan I think you will enjoy them as well!

God Made You Nose to Toes

This book was so cute.  I love getting new children’s books from Booklook Blogger, especially now that Trevor is little and just not enjoying when we read to him.  I love the way this book is laid out.  Each is a two page spread with a rhyme about a body part and what it is used for.  “God made many sounds that he wants you to hear, so on each side of your head he planted an ear.”  They are super cute and fun and easy to read as well.  I would definitely recommend this book. It is adorable.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

After the Cheering Stops

This book was definitely a good read.  When you watch professional sports on the TV, their lives seem super easy.  We think they get paid big bucks to play a game and their life is super easy and rich.  This book gives you a totally different perspective of how the game is not always fun and games and as easy as we think.  They have hard times just as we do and things aren’t always a 10 on their end either.  Cyndy Feasel went through a lot in her time married to Grant Feasel and had to endure a lot of pain, however, she stood by his side and really worked at her life in general.  It was a nice break to see how things aren’t always what they seem and how even though they are professional athletes they go through trials and tribulations just as we do.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Bloom

Oh be still my heart.  What a lovely, heart-felt story that any and every one needs to read.  We always have a set plan, ways we want to do things, and then WHOOSH it doesn’t happen as planned.  As Kelle learned when she went to give birth to her second child that wound up having Down Syndrome.  This book and story is such a great one.  It shows you how you can learn and grow from everything you are given.  It shows that it is ok to be mad and upset and then get over yourself.  It shows how to love no matter what and how kids can really teach us the important things in life.  I highly recommend this book!!

Allegiant

Yes, it took me this long to finally finish the series and I can say that I was a little disappointed.  I thought this book started out very slow and although it picked up towards the end I was disappointed with the final book in general.

…. ok so this new series is one I found that I love.  I read both of these books in a day and have been hooked on them.  There are only 3 to the series right now but they are all well written.  The stories are about Disney villains and how they became the way they are in their respected movies/stories. I won’t go into detail of the stories because I am sure that you all know the general story of each of these characters.  I have read the Beast and Ursula’s story.  I still have Maleficent and will be reading it hopefully this month!

The Beast Within
Poor Unfortunate Soul
Fairest of All

Alright … that was it for the month. What did you read this month? Any good recommendations?

Mel

Devotional Review

SO this past few months have just been crazy busy.  I feel like I have had no time to sit down and just think, but that is what happens when you have a 6 month old at home who is eating every 2 hours still … geesh!

Anyway, I wanted to stop by today and share a new devotional that I started.

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The title of this devotional caught my eye and I knew I wanted to get the book and see where it takes me.  I have had this devotional for about a month now but wanted to start it in the new year.  We are on day 5 now and I couldn’t love this book anymore.  The entries vary with John sharing personal stories in his life and how he used leadership and the other days tying everyday leadership ideas with the Bible and how they used those same concepts.

I love seeing how it all ties to the Bible.  How we do certain things yet when we think about it David was the first person to ever to this leadership style, etc.  I am really enjoying this devotional and would highly recommend picking it up.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Mel

September Reads

This month has been crazy and went super fast in my opinion.  I wound up having another surgery and didn’t really get around to reading like I wanted to this month.

I read two books but am in the middle of two as well.

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This kids devotional Bible is pretty neat.  I originally chose the book to help the girls with harder, more intense reading of the Bible and concepts.  When I got the book it was perfect for what I was looking for.  You open the Bible and read a page or so of text and then it is followed by a devotional.  The girls are still doing toddler/preschool devotionals and they are getting older and starting to ask more questions so I thought it was time to amp up their reading and make it a little more “noteworthy.”  After receiving the book and going through it, I realized that I myself would love to work through the book as well.  It still is a little intense for them, so we are working through it little by little but I cannot wait to see what they do with the knowledge they will gain.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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OH Play with Fire how you speak to my heart.  I love a good read but what I love more about this book is Bianca’s heart.  I have followed Bianca and her twin sister Jasmine on social media for a while now.  When I heard that Bianca was writing a book I knew I wanted to grab it right away.  This book will speak to anyone’s heart.  It shows of a time and way to keep the faith.  Things didn’t always go the way Bianca wanted them to go, she went through easy times as well as rough times.  The one thing that never changed was her love for her family and the faith she had nestled inside her heart.  Even in the worst of times her parents showed her how to put faith first. They showed her that if she did this he would answer prayers and watch over them.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

What did you read this month?

Mel

August Reads

Today I am bringing you my August Reads.  I have to say this month was rather slow with reading.  We were all over the place trying to get Trevor on a schedule and preparing the girls for back to school.  Needless to say, I haven’t had much down time to read but I did get 3 books in this month :).

  • Present over Perfect
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    I love, love, loved everything about this book.  I am definitely a huge fan of Shauna Niequest and her writing.  I own every single one of her books and true to order I couldn’t put this one down.  I love how she can take her life situations and make you feel welcome and invited to whatever is going on in your life.   These situations are not always fun or what we expect but we learn and grow from each of those situations. She takes her raw life and shows us that even her, a famous writer, has hard times.  She isn’t always 100% on board or gung-ho about what is going on in her life.  She like everyone else needs to take breaks and refocus on what is truly important in this life. She takes time when she needs it and focuses on her writing as she sees fit.  It is nice to see that we aren’t alone in this world and that priorities can slip from anyone in this world whatever you do, famous or not.

    **Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • Uninvited
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    hmmm what can I say about this book.  I also love Lysa’s writing.  I love how she can captivate an audience with a few line starting her book out.  I love how down to Earth she seems and how she isn’t afraid to share what she has been through.  We have all had those moments where we haven’t been invited to something, been turned down for a job, been told no, etc. Those are all moments we have felt unwanted, unneeded, unappreciated, however, even in those moments God still needs us.  We are still a part of his plan and have a mission set in front of us.  Lysa turns her negatives into positives throughout this whole book.  She shows you how you can make the most of all those bad or negative situations in which we sometimes get put in.  She shows how to stay positive and not get down or turn away from those NOs. I now have a new outlook on how I will take those rejections, go with the flow, learn, and grow for next time.

    **Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • First Comes Love
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    ok so I love Emily Giffin and her writing.  I seriously can read her books from start to finish in one day if given enough alone time.  I love how she can draw me in right from the beginning.  I always feel like I am one of her characters or a part of this book and I am sitting at the table or in the store shopping with them side by side.  This book left me a little short and disappointed though.  I always love her writing and her books and this one was no different, however, I hated the ending.  I don’t want to spoil the ending for those of you who have not read the book but I wanted so much more.  I wanted to know more about the way things wound up with each sister.  The book is about a family who loses a son in a car accident, then his sisters who are complete opposites grow up and have to learn to cope and deal with things head on.  It has a great message on how love should always come first and how everything all boils down to love!  It was a great book I just wanted more.

Mel

July Reads

Today I am bringing you my July Reads.

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Life is Better at the Beach

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I absolutely loved this book.  It was short and sweet but had such a strong, powerful meaning.  It had those inspirational quotes to really lift you up when you are feeling down or needing a little extra umph for the day.  It also had beautiful pictures throughout the book of life at the beach and let me tell you … I wish I lived at the beach sometimes.  It was definitely a book that I would leave out on the table top because you never know who it could impact, who needs that little extra push for the day/week/month.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Big Magic

I cannot say enough good things about this book.  I mean hello Melissa …. why did you not read this book way sooner.  I read this book in two days I believe because it was one of those books that you can’t put down.  I put off buying this book so many times and now I regret waiting so long to read it.  The book is about creativity, however, it had much more to it than that. It dug a little deeper and showed how things that happen in every day life can spark your creativity.  How each thing can be a stepping stone to something new and inventive.  How you can keep moving along even when things get in your way and try to knock you down.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone that needs that little pick me up in life and how to get back on track with your creativity.

Anchored

Anchored is a book that definitely touched my heart.  If you have been on my blog for even a day, you know that I had twin girls at 26 weeks ….. super early and not ideal for any momma out there.  Anchored is about a mother’s journey through the NICU with her daughter.  It is about all those trying moments when you feel like hope is lost and you just have to keep trucking anyway.  It is about those raw, bare moments when you just can’t help but breakdown and cry because you honestly have no idea whether your child is going to make it or not.  If you never had the NICU experience with your children I recommend reading this book to get a little insight on what we as parents go through. If you have had a NICU experience then I recommend you reading this book to let you know that you are not alone. This was such a good book that really gave me peace in knowing that I was not alone in my journey …. not even a little bit.

The Color Code Bible

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This is another book that I would highly recommend no matter where you are in your Bible reading journey.  My girls are just now starting up. I have been on my faith journey for a few years now and this book is still good for me as well.  The color coding makes certain areas of the Bible a little simpler so you can better understand what exactly is going on in that section. There are many parts of the Bible that can be confusing and not sure where to go and with this book you can see defined lines that help guide and navigate you throughout the stories.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

OTHER BOOKS I READ:

  • The Training
  • The Enticement
  • Robyn Carr book in the Virgin River series

 

June Reads

Welcome to all my readers.  Today I am posting about my June Reads.  I wasn’t quite sure that I was going to get anything read but maybe one book with having the baby and everything but turns out I got more read than I thought I would.  Mainly because when the baby is sleeping I am either sleeping or reading so it worked out rather well.

Here is what I read this month:

Wild and Free

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WOW!!  Where to start with this book.  I have been a long time follower of Jess Connolly and when I heard she was writing a book, I knew right away I had to check it out.  I kept putting it off and putting it off and then it came up on the website for review and I quickly grabbed my copy.

I love the way the girls wrote this book. Each doing a chapter talking about a major topic and then a prayer at the end, followed by a response from the other girl.  It lets you get a 2nd perspective from each chapter they wrote and I loved that about the book.

The book to me was about getting out of my rut or funk and living the way God wants me to live.  There are so many things that happen in our lives that we don’t realize is God talking to us and trying to show us the path that he wants us to take.  We need to be more open and live more wildly and freely.  The girls told of every day situations that could occur and did happen to them and how we can make the most of them.  It was very easy to relate to this book and put yourself in the situation so you could grow from every learning experience we are given.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

With My Eyes Wide Open

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Brian “Head” Welch was in the band Korn.  He wrote his first book Save me from Myself and it was all about his struggle with addiction and what eventually lead up to his quitting the band.  The story leaves off there.

In With my Eyes Wide Open it picks up right where it left off.  After reading the first book, I ASSUMED oh he quit the band to take care of his daughter and everything was smooth sailing from there.  BOY was I wrong.  That isn’t what happened at all.  He recounts the story of his struggle with starting his solo career, trusting the wrong people, not being very good at handling his money, and raising his daughter solo.  Basically the book is about what happened after he left Korn and how his life was not so easy in those times.

I absolutely loved this book.  I have a lot of respect for people who do things to benefit their families and ultimately make a huge sacrifice.  Brian left the band and found God and ultimately tried to turn his whole life around but it didn’t come without a few bumps along the way … just like every other person in the world.  After reading this book I admire the person that Brian has become and how he has stayed true to his faith and made the most of everything for his daughter and himself.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I am Second

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Love, love, love everything about this book.  I am second retells life stories of people hitting rock bottom and finding God.  It shows them getting out of the worst situations and turning their lives around completely.  Each story is a few pages long and tells you a little background of who they are or what they went through and how they ultimately wound up turning their lives over to God.  How they made the change and kept things going for the better.

It is really hard to read some of these stories and realize that it took people hitting rock bottom to find God but then I look at it from a different perspective and am so glad that they went to that place so they could find God and ultimately give their life to him.

If you are looking for a good short story type of book this is definitely it, I love reading personal stories and they are even better when they come from the heart and bring people toward God.

Find Your Brave

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This book was a fun read.  I wasn’t quite sure what exactly it was going to be about.  I figured it would be about being brave but I mean how do you actually teach being brave.  I feel like being brave is something you have or you don’t have.

The book takes every day life situations that we go through and lets you take a perspective from that situation and be brave pertaining to it.  For it example there is a chapter called Let it Go.  It is about letting things go and how in order to let things go we all need to be brave and figure out ways that we can do those things and be brave or put on our brave faces to ensure that we are making the most of our lives.

I really liked the way this book was laid out and how it took situations we have all been through and turned them into learning opportunities for being brave.  I love the phrase be brave and how I wish there were more people who could be brave on their own.

**“I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.”

 

What books did you read this month? Have you read any of these?

Mel

May ** What I Read

Hello readers.  Today I am sharing my May ** What I read. As many of you know I am currently 9 months pregnant and have about a week to go before our little baby boy will be here and reading has not been at the top of my priority list.  I have been wanting to read and then find myself falling asleep in the middle …. OOPS!!

Anyway, this month I actually got to finish four books and I was pretty proud of myself for that.  I read the following books this month:

  • Pressing Pause
  • The One and Only
  • Hope Unfolding
  • I Didn’t want to be that Girl

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Pressing Pause was such a fun, easy read.  I am actually currently still in the process of reading it but only because it breaks down like a devotional.  There are not labeled days or directions that say read one a day but with me being pregnant and reading being a little bit of a challenge lately, I decided this would be the easier route to go.

We all have those moments, especially as moms (parents) where we need a break.  I wish we could be on Saved by the Bell and Zack Morris would call a time out so that I could just take a breather and not lash our or scream at my kids  …. but who am I kidding that can’t happen in real life so I try to send the girls to do something or walk out of the room and just take a few deep breaths.  This book puts into perspective that you aren’t alone.  We all need those breathers and need to take a “pause” from our kids.

The book is easy to read and follow and is very relatable.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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The One and Only.  Aww what a lovely book.  I have been wanting to read this book forever.  I love Emily Giffin’s writing and have been looking and looking at this for as long as I can remember … since it came out pretty much!  A few weeks ago my dad asked if I wanted to go to the book store so I said sure and lucky enough they had the hardback version of this book on sale for $6.  Yes I said $6 … how could I pass that up?

This book is interesting and I don’t want to spoil anything for those who have not read it but it takes an interesting look on a relationship about love.  It is unusual in my opinion but I know it happens but not sure how often.  We can’t help who we fall in love with and this story is proof of that.  It as always is a super easy read and the way that Emily writes is just beautiful.  You definitely will not be able to put the book down.

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Hope Unfolding is another book that I did for review purposes and I am so glad that God called me to choose this book.  The book has lots of stories in it and she shows you how you aren’t alone in anything you do.  Whatever you are feeling or going through, someone else out there has been through it as well.

The book makes you look at situations and really think about them.  It is about doing our best because our best is always good enough.  God calls us to do his work, his deeds, his positive callings.  There are so many things that can happen throughout our day but if we try our best and get what we can achieved then God is going to be happy with us.

Becky writes in a way that you feel like you are sitting right there in the room with her and you two are best friends.  I loved reading her stories and seeing how she tied them into her grace-filled life.

**“I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.”

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I am part of a blogging group on Facebook and Sue reached out to us and asked if anyone wanted to do a review for her new Bible study based on Eve.  I of course jumped right on it.  I love doing book reviews and Bible studies have been really growing on me and I love taking a much deeper look at God’s words and seeing how much I can relate and translate into my life.

This Bible study is not really like many that I have done in the past.  I am a huge Beth Moore fan and Sue’s writing is right up there with Beth’s.  I love the personal stories within the Bible studies.  She doesn’t just write to be writing she is relating each day and educational piece to her real life.  The study is easy to read and follow with each day being a perfect length.  I am not struggling to finish or get through each day, I enjoy each day and love the layout of the whole study. The study is also very relatable, Sue writes her stories in a way that you can see how it can relate to your life.  We have all been in similar situations and to see how she relates those stories to the study portion is amazing.   Each day is broken down into reading, applying, quotes, and then in the end there is an ending question and I love them.  I love those ending questions.  They make me think about all that we have read for the day and how I can take what I have learned and applied it to my life.

 

I would highly recommend any of these four books that I read this month.  I am very happy with the choices that I made and I hope that some of you will pick one of them up and enjoy them as much as I did.

Mel