Friday, August 22, 2014

A Curious Man by Neal Thompson (Book Review)

When I saw this book in the list of titles available for review I was intrigued by the cover and subject matter. Ripley has always fascinated me a little because, who wouldn't be fascinated by someone who saw and collected so many amazing things? Though I have always wondered if all of them were real.... 

I thought this book might be something that would be both interesting and educational for my older children, but realized while reading the description a little more thoroughly (unfortunately after I had ordered the book--totally my fault) that it wouldn't be suitable for that. 

I did try to get through the book, but found that while some of it was very informative and interesting, quite a bit of it was rather dry. It did get more interesting near the halfway point. 

I suppose that, as it is a biography on Ripley's life, some personal details should be told, but I really didn't care to know about his love life and "concubinage". All in all Ripley seemed to be a selfish, self-centered, unlike-able, unhappy man. I did feel a little sorry for him. 

This book would probably be interesting to history buffs.

Read more about the book here or here. Visit the author's page here.

"I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wherever the River Runs by Kelly Minter (Book Review & Giveaway)

The winner is: Elaine Laney! Congrats, Elaine!

Thank you all for entering! 

Refreshing. Eye-opening. Convicting. Beautiful.

Wherever the River Runs is all these things and more. Kelly Minter went on a trip to the jungles of Brazil to be of help to poor villagers along the Amazon, but was herself ministered to by these special people. The story of her travels down the Amazon River and her portrayal of a fuller life, even in poverty and extreme need, will change the way you see your own life and priorites.  I don't consider myself to be wealthy by any means, but as I read this book I realized again how truly rich I am. I also had to take a look at my list of needs; many of them aren't needs at all. They're luxuries. Somehow, I almost envied the people of whom she spoke. 

"After witnessing this close of a culture, I realized how isolating the world I live in can be: car garages that keep us from knowing our neighbor and automated checkout lines at the grocery store that circumvent yet another conversation. Headphones remove us from the person sitting in the next seat over, and a quick text to a friend that says, "Don't forget the butter," replaces the phone call that might have also included "How are you today?"

Wherever the River Runs will inspire you to look beyond the confines of your safe, comfortable world and catch a glimpse of faith in the midst of hardship and beauty in unexpected places. It will, hopefully, encourage you to participate in mission work by prayer, giving, and/or going. 

The fascinating retelling of Kelly's experiences and God-given courage in new and frightening situations makes for exciting reading!  

To enter to win a copy of Wherever the River Runs, simply leave a comment under this post or on my Facebook page here. That's it! Contest ends at 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 21st.

More about the book:

Wherever the River Runs by Kelly Minter "how a forgotten people renewed my hope in the gospel"

About the book:

In Wherever the River Runs, Kelly Minter invites us on a journey down a river teeming with piranhas and caimans, as well as machete-wielding mothers, heroic jungle pastors, faith-filled children, and miracles too seldom experienced in our part of the world. Kelly's honest and engaging narrative pulls back the curtain on one of the most captivating places on earth as well as on parts of the gospel we may be able to recite but have never fully believed.

On this beautiful adventure through the jungles of Brazil and the tangles of the soul, Kelly rediscovers Jesus among a forgotten people living well beyond the corners of her previously defined faith--a people who draw her back to their country, their pain, and their hope in Him, again and again.

"Kelly Minter writes the way a portrait artist paints." -- Beth Moore, Living Proof Ministries

"The best thing I can say about Wherever the River Runs is that I closed the last page, bowed my head, and said, 'God, send me too.' Thank you, Kelly, for your courage, leadership, and faithfulness." -- Jen Hatmaker (speaker, blogger, and author of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess)

Visit Kelly's website here: