Category: Book Reviews

Book Review: NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers

I’m still working on my post to sum up the end of our Bathurst mission trip, but I wanted to jump in with a review for a kids’ Bible I received before the trip. The short version is: I love it! The Bible is published by Zondervan, and it’s called the Adventure Bible for Early Readers.

The Bible itself is pretty hefty, but the binding is sturdy, and kids will love the 3D cover! (I love the 3D cover.) I think Zondervan has done a great job of presenting God’s word in an engaging and accessible format for kids – they recommend this Bible for ages 6-10, which I think is spot on, although depending on the child’s reading ability, it probably is too challenging for a 6 year old to sit down and read by themselves, although with that said I think kids could continue to use this Bible past the age of 10. The language is simple and direct, with short sentences and understandable terms used directly in the text (as opposed to in a footnote or at the back of the Bible in a table of ancient weights and measures). I was a bit worried that a kids’ Bible might be too dumbed-down to be very useful, but I found that the translation was not dumbed-down at all, just simplified to make it easier to read.

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Book Review – The Extravagant Fool

Kevin Adams chronicles his journey of faith that began with having it all, losing it all, then deciding not to chase getting it all back. Having lost his business and fortune in the economic crash of 2008, the author shares his painful journey to discover the freedom and peace that come from living in reliance on Jesus for everything. I was challenged by several insights into our Christian culture, where we proclaim a gospel of grace but also expect people to do their part; where we are committed to Christ but not necessarily surrendered to Him; where we don’t know how to handle the deep suffering of others and bungle compassion with bad advice and half-hearted offers of “If there’s anything I can do…” before making a break for the parking lot.

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Book Review: I’ve Never Been to Vegas, but My Luggage Has

“Mishaps and miracles on the road to happily ever after” aptly sums up the plot and message of this book by blogger and author Mandy Hale. Mandy chronicles the ups, downs and loop-de-loops of her life from high school into her thirties with candour and sass. Ultimately her story shows that it is possible to find happiness even if all your original expectations for life go unmet, and I really enjoyed reading this account of a woman finding her identity in God, not in a career or romantic relationship.

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Book Review: The Queen’s Handmaid

The Queen’s Handmaid, by Tracy L. Higley follows an orphaned servant girl from Cleopatra’s palace in Alexandria to Herod’s seat of power in Jerusalem on a quest to deliver secret writings from the prophet Daniel that foretell the coming of a Messiah. Along the way she must elude the schemes of petty fellow-servants and the dark magic of those who want the scrolls to remain lost forever. With no idea of who her parents were, she is also on a personal journey to find her place in the world and her true identity as a child of God.

Before reviewing this book, I read another historical fiction novel by Higley titled Garden of Madness which I thought was fantastic (two reviews for the price of one!*). That book brought ancient Babylon to life through the eyes of a likeable character and a plot that featured romance, mystery and a great spiritual connection. I was hooked early into the story and followed all the twists with so much excitement. I was truly entertained and inspired by the tale, and for this reason I was so excited to review another novel by the same author.

Unfortunately, The Queen’s Handmaid did not measure up to my expectations –

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Book Review: Seeking Allah Finding Jesus

I was intrigued to read this book since we live in such a diverse neighbourhood. I know Muslims as kind, hospitable people who share many aspects of faith with me, but I also know there is a world of difference that separates our cultures and our religion, and I was eager to learn more. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is Nabeel Qureshi’s account of his journey from faith in Islam to faith in Jesus Christ, and it is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Qureshi is a fantastic storyteller who brings his devout Muslim upbringing to life, setting the backdrop to understand his sincere and fervent adherence to Islam, which leads him to investigate the evidence for both Christian and Muslim beliefs in an effort to convert his Christian friend to Islam.

By the title of the book, you can guess the ending, but reading through his quest for truth was so engaging for me. I felt the tension as every aspect of Qureshi’s worldview came into question, as he faced the cost of what converting to Christianity would mean for him and his family, and I was so encouraged in my own faith as I reviewed the objective evidence that testifies to the truth of Christian claims. I have a greater appreciation for the Bible, a better understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity, and I can better articulate my confidence in Jesus’ resurrection after reading this book.

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