Saturday, December 28, 2013

Best Non-Fiction Books for 2013

I've joined Diane Estrella's Blog Hop under the category of Non-Fiction. Here were my favorite 2013 non-fiction books. Click on the links to see my previously published reviews!


Devos for Teen Girls by Dannah Gresh and Suzy Weibel

Limitless by Nick Vujicio

A to Z Devotions for Writers by Pamela D. Williams

Unveiling Grace by Lynn K. Wilder

Priceless Stones by James Revoir

The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Book Review: The Women of Christmas

Good inner reflection with "The Women of Christmas" by Liz Curtis Higgs

Overview: The cover says, "Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna". A sacred season is about to unfold for three women whose hearts belong to God. Elizabeth is barren, yet her trust in God remains fertile. Mary is betrothed in marriage, yet she is willing to bear God’s Son. Anna is a widow full of years, yet she waits patiently, prayerfully for the Messiah to appear in the temple courts. Following in their footsteps, you too can prepare for the Savior to enter your heart, your mind, and your life in a vibrant, new way this season. (from book jacket)

Dawn’s Recommendation: 4 of 5 Stars

What I liked: Ms. Curtis Higgs delves into the story surrounding Jesus' birth by going through Scripture, breaking it down bit-by-bit, adding her own reflections and comments from women who took her online Bible study on the topic.  It has been nice this Christmas season to take the time to read this book and reflect myself on Elizabeth’s and Mary’s pregnancies and what it would mean to birth and raise John the Baptist and Jesus the Messiah. 

What did the women think? What did they feel? How did their lives change with God's perfect plan? I am on my last section of the book, getting ready to read about Anna, but I wanted to go ahead and publish my review before Christmas. Although, the Scripture offers nothing new (I read it every year), Ms. Curtis Higgs brings the women to life and therefore, Jesus' birth to life....connecting us, Mothers from today, to those precious mothers back then and helping us grasp the "realness" of Christmas.

Jesus isn't just "Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace". He was a fully human baby with real human parents. "The Women of Christmas" reminds me that we each have a purpose and plan for God. Elizabeth and Mary humbly accepted God's plan. I want to do the same.

What I didn't like: It didn't offer any new exciting revelations to me or perhaps it was the format (Scripture, reflections, comment from Bible Study women, repeat) that was a tad mundane.  Don't get me wrong, I liked the book and I needed the focus on Christ that this book offered! I'm really glad to have read it.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Song For Sunday -- Here With Us

Just heard this for the first time the other day. Loved it!

"Here With Us" by Joy Williams

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Social Media Sites Hacked

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail have been hacked, exposing millions of usernames and passwords. Please go into your accounts and change your passwords.

Use strong passwords. The best passwords are phrases condensed to letters/numbers/specials.
Example of a strong password: The phrase "My favorite color is red and green" could be "MYfc=r&g22$$".

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Book Review: The Town That Forgot How To Breathe

Just finished reading "The Town That Forgot How to Breathe" by Kenneth J. Harvey. Thumbs up!

Overview: Something strange is happening in the seaside town of Bareneed. Mythical creatures…are being pulled from the sea. Perfectly preserved corpses of villager long ago lost at sea are being washed upon the shore. And residents of the town are suddenly suffering from a mysterious illness that is making them forget how to breathe. Joseph Blackwood returns to his hometown to spend time with his daughter, but when the young girl begins having visions and conversing with the spirit of a neighbor’s deceased child, he knows that his daughter is suffering from a supernatural affliction. With help from some colorful village residents, Joseph must unravel this paranormal mystery to save his only child. (from book jacket)

Dawn’s Recommendation: 5 of 5 Stars

What I liked: The opening character, Miss Laracy, grabbed me. Her colorful dialect pulled me in and I had to read on to get to know her better.

Story line was very interesting. It had mystery, with a touch of bizarre and creepy (supernatural), but not too scary. Perfect combination.

Pace was great. One part was so heart-pounding that I feared for what Joseph might do and inside I was yelling, “No, don’t do it!”

The characters were colorful and really brought life to the fishing village of Bareneed. From the whispy and tragic Claudia to the straight-laced Lieutenant-Commander French, to the plump Dr. Thompson – I really enjoyed the characters.

What I didn’t like: Nothing really --it was a satisfying read, but....if you forced me to “find” something, I might have two little things.
1. The dog – not sure what the dog meant to the story unless it was just for bizarre effect.   
2. The ending outcome of the bizarre events/sickness (can’t spoil it for you). Not sure it completely works out in my head.

Overall: Really enjoyed the book and I’ll be looking to read his other books ("Brud" and "Directions for an Opened Body").