Book Giveaway Winners, Lenten Books, Book Candy, A Rosary book for Couples {A Reading Journal)


Book Review, Books / Monday, February 2nd, 2015

I finished a few books last month and have opened up some fresh ones for February.

Before I share those, I thought I should probably save you all from the edge of your seat and announce that the Ellen Gable’s A Subtle Grace GIVEAWAY WINNERS ARE…..

Monica D and Corinne M!!

Congratulations gals! I’m so glad two of my local friends are the winners. I know you’ll both enjoy this “book candy” as I refer to it. You don’t have to think about it, just enjoy every juicy page without shame. 😉

I already received Ellen’s next review copy of her Stealing Jenny! Ellen had to ask me if I was pregnant first before sending it to me so I’m a little afraid of the emotional journey I’m about to embark on but I have a feeling it will be a good read since I enjoyed A Subtle Grace.

This weekend, I finished Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

I gave this book 4 stars but it was probably more like 3.5. I’d tried reading it in the past but could never quite get into it and had the same struggle this time around also. By the end, though, I was completely determined, like the main character, Abilene, to stay on for the ride and see where the tracks of this story would end. I especially loved the author’s note about how the story came about.

So, to be fair, I’d say the first part of the book was a 3 but by the end it reached closer to a 4. I’m still undecided about whether I’d like my 11 year-old daughter to read it. The backstory of the whiskey and alcohol prohibition might be a little confusing and not always suitable, in my opinion, for younger readers. On the other hand, it’s a great coming-0f-age story that holds many valuable lessons about family and community that I’d still be mostly ok with my daughter reading it if she chose to or had to.

Next, last month I also finished Seven Saints for Seven Virtues by my friend, Jean Heimann of the well-known Catholic blog, Catholic Fire.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review and I’m thankful I had the chance to read it. Sometimes I pass over these types of books because I think I won’t have time to sit and really read it or because I’m afraid it will be too intimidating and overly theological. I couldn’t have been more wrong about Seven Saints for Seven Virtues. I ended up looking forward to reading it and tried to read one chapter every week.

I learned a lot about familiar and new-to-me Saints and how they can inspire me in living a life of Virtue. Jean did a great job including enough information about Saint and the Virtue without overloading me with too much theological jargon like some other Catholic books tend to do. She portrayed the Saints and explained the Virtues in an easy-to read manner that even a simple and busy mama like me could take in and even assimilate. I like how each chapter left me with questions to ponder, a call to action, and scripture and prayer suggestions to wrap the chapter’s virtue lesson together in a package I could carry with me throughout the day.

This would make a great Lenten read or a gift for a recently converted Catholic, a seminarian or religious postulant, or anyone seeking to grow in their knowledge of the saints and a life of virtue.

Another great Lenten book I’d highly recommend is the Sacred Space for Lent 2015 daily devotional by The Irish Jesuits.

I also received this book in exchange for an honest review and, again, am so glad I did! This will be the perfect daily Lenten devotional for me. Each day’s meditation is short enough I can read through it in about 5 minutes or even less. Yet, the reflections go deep enough that they’ll carry me through the rest of the day and make an excellent guide throughout the Lenten journey. If you are looking for a Lenten book that will bring you closer to Christ without taking too much of your time, this is the daily devotional book you’ve been looking for. And right now, it’s only 1.75 for paperback and $.99 for the Kindle edition,can’t beat that!

Speaking of good Lenten reads, I’d also like to suggest The Cana Rosary: A Couple’s Prayer by my good friend, Christopher A. Ebberwein.

I’ve gotten to know Chris through working together in ministries of our parish and since our daughters are in school together. His older girls are two of our favorite babysitters and I can’t speak well enough about his wife and their older son and their entire family. When I think of an example of a family striving to truly live out the stewardship way of life together and as individuals, I think of the Ebberweins. Chris is a psychologist who works with couples and families and him and his wife understand the value in praying for each other and with each other.

That said, Chris and I agree that this book may be used either by both couples praying it together or even for just one of the couple to use it as a way to pray for his or her spouse. Some couples are comfortable praying together while others do better praying for each other separately. Either way is good as long as we remember to pray for our spouse in some way. I’m looking forward to using Chris’s The Cana Rosary to grow in my appreciation of my vocation of marriage, in my love and fidelity to my husband, and for our family.

Lastly, and somewhat on the same topic of what we need for strong marriages, I recently received a complementary review copy of The Thrill of the Chaste (Catholic Edition): Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On by Dawn Eden

I hadn’t heard of the book until I was asked to review it but it sounded interesting enough. I opened the first page today and am already intrigued! This might be a longer read but will probably provide a good perspective and reminder of the importance and value of the beautiful virtue of chastity. Has anyone else heard of or read this?

Well that’s what I’ve been reading or am reading. How about you? What are your favorite Lenten books or fictional books?

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