Archives For Book Reviews

Are you thrilled?

Melanie —  June 3, 2016

I just had to share this cute moment I had with Kaylah yesterday . . . I have started Kaylah on the 100 Reading Lessons that I have done with all the kids to teach them to read. She was doing the writing part of the lesson and I made an “s” for her and asked her to make one of her own while I went into the other room to get something.  When I came back, she’d made a really pretty decent one (“s” is a hard letter to make!).  I exclaimed, “Kaylah! That’s a great “s” – well done!”  She looked up at me and smiled said, “Are you thrilled?”  I laughed and said, “Yes I am thrilled.”  Love these moments with these precious kids.

As most of you know, I love to read and I wish I had more time to post book reviews on this site as I have a passion to share good book ideas with others! However, I am often busy with other things (i.e. teaching kids to read, and juggling many plates as a wife and mummy, etc :-)). I go in phases of not having much time to read and then at other times reading more.  I do read try to snatch a few minutes while nursing Jessah most days. I thought I would just share what books I have on my bedside table/near my nursing chair at the moment.  I usually have several on the go and then dip into whichever one sounds good at the moment.

Becoming a Contagious Christian by Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg – Peter gave me this book years ago before we were even engaged.  I just re-read it in preparation for our women’s book club coming up in a few weeks.  It’s an older book but has some timeless truths in it.  A great read if you want to share your faith more but feel inadequate to do it.  I feel fired up to be more intentional about sharing Jesus!

Happy Wives Club by Fawn Weaver – This is a book by a woman who traveled around the world interviewing happy wives about their secrets to a good marriage.  It’s very interesting.  I wouldn’t say it’s profound but it’s given some solid advice and it’s spurred me to ENJOY my marriage more!

I Used to Have Answers and Now I Have Kids by Phil Calloway – This is a light and very humorous read.  But has some great truths and lessons in it.

A Wind in the House of Islam by David Garrison – I picked this up at Word Alive and have really enjoyed it.  Parts of it have been a bit heavy but the stories of Muslims coming to faith from all over the world have been inspiring.

Screens and Teens by Kathy Koch – I need to get back into this one and put some of the ideas in it into practice (I am in the middle of it and got distracted onto reading other books).  I like her approach of talking about the basic deep needs of teenagers and how many are trying to get these needs met through their screens.  I think this should be a must-read for every parent (maybe every person even if you aren’t a parent!) as it shows the positives and pitfalls of our screen dominated culture and how we can deal with them.

Trailblazer Books by Dave and Neta Jackson – I include these because I previewed one recently for my kids.  They are so well-written and wonderful books which introduce your children to Christian missionaries and other heroes.

Next up (i.e. in my pile waiting to get to read!)

The Revolution of Love and Out of the Comfort Zone by George Verwer – at the start of this year, I got into reading George Verwer’s books. I made it my goal to read them all . . . I am getting there slowly. I especially enjoyed Hunger for Reality.

Too Many to Jail – The Story of Iran’s New Christians by Mark Bradley – can’t wait to read this. My dad says it’s great!

Beyond the Sacred Page by Jack Cavanaugh – this is a novel and I don’t normally read novels these days (they draw me in and then I neglect my responsibilities cause I am hooked!!) but my older girls read it for school and say it’s amazing and I have to read it! It’s the story of William Tyndale.


OK, enough about books.  I hope some of these may be a blessing to some of you! I know Hannah wants to post some book reviews sometime soon too so watch this space.  🙂

We’d like to start posting more book reviews from the kids on the website.  To start off with, here’s one from Hannah (makes me want to read it!):

Book:  Beyond the Sacred Page by Jack Cavanaugh

One woman. Haunted by her past, kept from the breaking point by the love of her husband. Called into the court of Queen Anne Boleyn, and caught up in the turmoil that that brings, will she ever find peace again?

One man. A heretic hunter by trade, driven by his passion to see the Tyndale Translation of the Bible eradicated from England. Worried by his wife’s dark hauntings, and caught up in his desire to wipe away all traces of the new Protestant religion, will he ever find peace again?

Pernell and Meg Foxe. One couple, driven apart by one controversial subject, the Bible. When Meg is transformed by reading the banned book, she endeavours to hide it from her husband, who has dedicated himself to eradicate that same book. But when he discovers her secret, a torrent of thrilling and dangerous events unfold. Can Meg show Pernell the power of the Bible, before it is too late???

‘Beyond the Sacred Page’ is a fantastic novel written by Jack Cavanaugh. Set during the troubled reign of Henry VIII, this book masterfully tells the story of the Tyndale Translation, and the fire that it set in England. I give this book 10********** out of 10, for a complex, yet easily understood plot, with remarkable characters and amazing writing. I would recommend this book for ages 13 and up.


Novel Idea

Melanie —  December 18, 2015


Last summer when we were in Oregon, we were incredibly blessed by the hospitality of our good friends, Wayne and Tammy Fish, who opened their home to our large family for four weeks.  Staying with this gracious couple was by far one of the biggest blessings of our time in the USA.  Their children are now grown so they let us spread out and fill their beautiful home!

This past year, Tammy has been busy writing her first novel – Spring Thaw.  She was posting it on her website a chapter at a time over the summer.  I started reading it while we were staying there and I got hooked!  Couldn’t wait for her to post the next chapter!

It’s a unique love story that is set in a place near and dear to my own heart – beautiful Oregon.  You’ll enjoy the gently woven together story about two icy hearts melting and you’ll learn a bit about Oregon history and geography along the way.  It’s available as an e-book for $2.99 on Smashwords.  I highly recommend it!  Click here for more information on where to download the book which comes out on 21st December.

If you order before 21st December and use this code (TZ93A), you can download the novel for free.  If you use the code, Tammy would love you to leave a review (she wants honesty!) but it’s not mandatory.  Hope you will enjoy it!