Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, martyr, prophet, spy Student Edition by Eric Metaxas

Bonhoeffer Student Edition: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

   This is a new book from Thomas Nelson about Bonhoeffer, the famous ''pastor, martyr, prophet and spy''. It is specifically focused toward students and thus includes discussion questions and fun facts to help keep younger minds focused. The book is informative and organized; it begins with Bonhoeffer's early life and family and continues from there. I thought it important how clearly the author described the happenings of world war one and the aftermath which led to world war two!

I appreciated how this book was geared towards younger readers yet didn't sacrifice the important facts and lessons of Bonhoeffer's life and work. As an adult, I found the book interesting and informative. In fact, this is my first actual biography about this important figure in history! 
I love studying World War two history, and this book was able to provide me with some new and extremely interesting facts. 
I must admit that for some reason I had a difficult time starting the book; perhaps because it appeared more textbook-ish than it is in reality. However, once I had completed the first couple chapters, it was an exciting journey through the remaining chapters. I am extremely pleased with Thomas Nelson publishers and author Eric Metaxas for providing such a biography as this for students. I hope many will read and study this war and the spiritual battles behind it further!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

What would you do if your faith could cost you your life?

The fascinating story of one of Christianity s most courageous heroes, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is now abridged and adapted for students. This compelling account of Bonhoeffer s remarkable testimony combined with historical, theological, and political elements and enhanced with photos brings the story to life. How did Bonhoeffer become someone who would defend God s truth, even when it was a matter of life and death? How did he endure the hardships that came with his faithfulness? How might we respond similarly to injustices today?

New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas vividly portrays the struggles and faith of Bonhoeffer, a man who had the courage to follow his convictions into Nazi Germany and stand up for the truth of God."

Friday, October 23, 2015

Cookbook review: This is Camino

Big and bold, this cookbook from first glance, rightly portrays the restaurant owned by the authors as well as the recipes within the covers of the book. Authors and restaurant owners Russell Moore and Allison Hopelein have created a unique, satisfactory and exciting cuisine built entirely around the rustic and deep flavors of fire cooking. The recipes look amazing, and the photographs do great justice to the flavors and quality of the ideas contained within this cookbook. 

A cookbook about the unique, fire-based cooking approach and ingredient-focused philosophy of Camino restaurant in Oakland, CA, with approximately 100 recipes.
After a visit to Camino, New York Times writer Mark Bittman wrote of head chef Russell Moore, "What's important but is impossible to describe is the strength and utter brilliance of his flavor combinations and the downright simplicity of it all. Moore has a palate that cannot be stopped; everything tastes as if it were created to go with everything seasoning it." Camino is no stranger to this kind of praise--the locally beloved but nationally acclaimed restaurant is known and respected in food and chef circles. Since opening in 2008, Camino has become known for its exciting menu (most of the food is cooked in their fireplace) and the tight-knit community of chefs who love the restaurant. This network is a result of the lavish book release dinner parties that Camino hosts for cookbook releases and has made fans of such food luminaries as Yotam Ottolenghi, Sean Brock, Francis Malman, David Lebovitz, and Deborah Madison. In This is Camino, fundamental cooking skills (including open-fire cooking); unique, ingredient-focused recipes that are both sophisticated and pared-down; and inventive flavor pairings marry with lush photography and a stunning package to produce the new must-have cookbook for Camino's many fans and restaurant book lovers.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Just Show Up

Just Show Up by Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn

   I read and reviewed Kara Tippett's first book, The Hardest Peace last year and was so impressed by Kara's faith in God. I definitely connected with her through her first book and when I heard that she finally left this earth to be with her savior, I was deeply touched. I felt as if a friend had passed away. Although I feel sadness for her family and friends, I feel joy for Kara that she is now past all that suffering and at peace with her Savior. Reading Kara's words of wisdom makes the reader realize what peace she had. Her words give such a real idea of the beauty of the death of His saints! At the same time, Kara was not detached from this world; she had a family who she felt loathe to leave and she certainly suffered through the pain she felt through all the cancer which eventually took her life. Just Show Up is a book compiled by Kara Tippetts and her close friend Jill Lynn Buteyn. Each chapter in this small but rich paperback provides amazing wisdom and insight on life to the glory of God. I was moved and touched and convicted by this book! You cannot read this book and come away without being changed in at least a little. I loved the practical approach Just Show Up has....Kara, as an invalid and Jill, as a friend of an invalid give wisdom from their hearts on the topic of friendship and being there for your friends. Their words stem from Biblical truths and can only help uplift and lead you to a more God-glorifying life. I highly recommend this book. I received it from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

The late Kara Tippetts was the author of "The Hardest Peace" and blogged faithfully Cancer was only a part of Kara's story. Her real fight was to truly live while facing a crushing reality. Since her death in March 2015, her husband, Jason, is parenting their four children and leading the church they founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Read Kara's blog.

Jill Lynn Buteyn is the author of "Falling for Texas," an inspirational novel, and a recipient of the ACFW Genesis Award for her fiction work. She has a bachelor's degree in communications from Bethel University. Jill lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Citrus: Sweet and Savory Sun-Kissed Recipes by Valerie Aikman-Smith and Victoria Pearson

Citrus: Sweet and Savory Sun-Kissed Recipes by Valerie Aikman-Smith and Victoria Pearson 

   Citrus....the very mention of that word sets my imagination and taste buds on fire! In a good way. I absolutely love the sweet yet tangy taste all the citrus fruits present. From lemons to clementines...I have tried and been delighted by them all! Needless to say, as a cook I also have fun cooking with these delectable fruits. Orange-glazed chicken, Thai lime-infused beef, pale yellow loaf dripping with lemon syrup.... It was with excitement, then, that I caught sight of this new book from one of my favorite publishers of cookbooks.
The cover of this cookbook alone is enough to capture the interest of the viewer! And as you look through the pages beyond the cover, you will not be disappointed. Photographer Valerie Aikman-Smith has provided stunning picture after another depicting the treats documented within this cookbook. The recipes are easy to make; simple and focusing on the fabulous and unalterable taste of citrus. For easier use, the book is organized per citrus type. Once you have tried every amazing treat in the book, you could even try inventing your own versions by switching up the citrus called for in the recipes!

The only complaint I would have is that there weren't very many meat or poultry recipes in the book. I think there were only 2 chicken recipes and neither featured orange, to my surprise. There were no beef recipes to my disappointment. However, the remainder of this book is still a gem and would make a wonderful coffee table book and/or gift for someone!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
More information on the book below!

A visually stunning collection of 75 inventive, foolproof recipes that highlight the sunny ingredient of citrus, from the ubiquitous lemon, lime, and orange to the more obscure kumquat and yuzu.
A love for all things citrus is chronicled in this elegant collection of recipes that feature every common and exotic type of citrus--from Pixies and Eureka lemons to Valencia oranges and kumquats. Accessible yet sophisticated dishes including Grapefruit and Gin Marmalade, Tangerine Sticky Ribs, and Burnt Sugar Lemon Tart highlight the versatility of their juicy ingredients: zest the skin to make salt, peel the skin and candy it, cut up the flesh and add it to salads or bake it with roast duck. Photographer Victoria Pearson and food stylist and author Valerie Aikman-Smith capture the beauty of citrus at the market, on the plate, and in the colorful citrus groves surrounding Victoria's house. Lushly illustrated, Citrus will entice readers into their kitchens to fully savor winter's bounty.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Methusaleh Project: a novel by Rick Barry

The Methuselah Project
The Methusaleh Project by Rick Barry 

    This novel is a fairly well-written work by author and historian Rick Barry. When I requested it to read and review, I had a vague idea of the book. In fact, my suppositions of the story turned out to be completely wrong. Contrary to my first impression, this novel is not entirely set in world war two time period, but is a contemporary fictional novel! Yet... the story does begin in the 1940s and with the same hero as in the 21st century! Yes, you guessed it. 'Tis an unusual science-fiction-esque book in which the hero never dies and never ages. The main character, American Roger Greene is captured by Germans after a bomb raid he was conducting on Germany. Eventually, a wacko of a German performs an unusual operation on Roger which alters his cells, rendering his cells able to rejuvenate and rebuild. The result? Roger lives on and on...and by the time he, through an exciting and harrowing series of events returns to America in 2015, he still looks about 24. Since there is a girl involved, you can assume there is some romance which I found specifically awkward since the couple can't possibly get married...What girl in her right mind wants to marry an ageless man? Anyway, as you may have guessed I am not a fan of this book. I absolutely love world war two stories, especially biographies but also some historical fiction. However, I draw the line at science fiction! There are so many good stories, why waste time on books such as this? I have read a couple of fantasy books which I found interesting as well as a Christian futuristic which I found fascinating because, well, anything can happen in the future. But to write science fiction about world war two? Nuh uh, folks! Don't do it. I will say one thing: although the author doesn't have the talent of classic authors of the past (such as Jules Verne which makes his 20,000 leagues under the sea passing good), he did have some good ideas for this novel of his which I applaud him for. There were some tense situations which were fun to read. Surprisingly, a second thing I must thank the author for is the sane amount of romance as well as the Christian principles the hero upholds! This alone actually makes this book worth reading over all the overly-romantic Christian novels out there! 

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!

More about the book...
Nazi scientists started many experiments. One never ended. 

Roger Greene is a war hero. Raised in an orphanage, the only birthright he knows is the feeling that he was born to fly. Flying against the Axis Powers in World War II is everything he always dreamed--until the day he's shot down and lands in the hands of the enemy. 

When Allied bombs destroy both his prison and the mad genius experimenting on POWs, Roger survives. Within hours, his wounds miraculously heal, thanks to those experiments. The Methuselah Project is a success--but this ace is still not free. Seventy years later, Roger hasn't aged a day, but he has nearly gone insane. This isn't Captain America--just a lousy existence only made passable by a newfound faith. The Bible provides the only reliable anchor for Roger's sanity and his soul. When he finally escapes, there's no angelic promise or personal prophecy of deliverance, just confusion. It's 2015--and the world has become an unrecognizable place. 

Katherine Mueller--crack shot, genius, and real Southern Belle--offers to help him find his way home. Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? Can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he's trying to flee? 

Thrown right into pulse-pounding action from the first page, readers will find themselves transported back in time to a believable, full-colored past, and then catapulted into the present once more. The historical back-and-forth adds a constantly moving element of suspense to keep readers on the edge of their seats.