Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review: NIV Ragamuffin Bible

Brennan Manning's message of God's grace and forgiveness comes across wonderfully throughout the bits taken from his writing and inserted in an NIV Bible. Of course, they have more effectiveness when in the proper context, and some of them are paired with passages that don't directly relate. But the tid bits provide practical wisdom and encouraging notes. They don't seem frequent enough. It's not a study Bible. Occasional devotionals and short bits of relevant thoughts that expand on what the passages say litter throughout. It's a nice extra Bible to have, but I wouldn't recommend it as a main Bible. Not if you really want to study The Word.

*Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for my honest review of it.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review: Dear Mr. Knightley

"Dear Mr. Knightley" is basically a new "You've Got Mail" for literature lovers, especially Jane Austen fans. Except for a final ending chapter, the entire book is written as letters exchanged between Sam Moore and the anonymous man (Mr. Knightley) whose foundation sponsors her education.

Along the way she meets one of her favorite modern authors and develops a friendship with him. Along with her confessional letters, that friendship leads her to open up, make friends and grow as a person. Her character is a lot of fun because she often quotes from various literary characters in her responses to the people around her, but she also has a very deep and moving past.

I thought the letter format of the book, but Katherine Reay has Sam writing in prose that makes her letters more like fiction than entries in a diary. Although this means the letters come across as unrealistic (and far too revealing, at least at the start when the letters are only supposed to focus on her progress at school), their format is what makes them worth reading. And of course, every girl loves a good love story. This is a fantastic novel, especially considering it is Reay's first. Oh, yea, and I can't get over how cute and creative the novel's cover artwork is.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.