Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Sunday Salon: Week In Review August 21-27

This week I read

Deuteronomy 9-34 in the American Standard Version
Joshua in the American Standard Version
Judges in the American Standard Version
Philippians in the HCSB
Colossians in the HCSB
1 Thessalonians in the HCSB
2 Thessalonians in the HCSB
1 Timothy in the HCSB
2 Timothy in the HCSB

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Sunday Salon: Week In Review August 14-20

This week I read

Acts in the American Standard Version (1901)
Deuteronomy 1-8 in the American Standard Version (1901)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Review: The Colonel's Lady

The Colonel's Lady. Laura Frantz. 2011. Revell. 412 pages.

Kentucke Territory, November 1779
This is madness.
Roxanna Rowan leaned against the slick cave entrance and felt an icy trickle drop down the back of her neck as she bent her head. Her right hand, shaky as an aspen leaf, caressed the cold steel of the pistol in her pocket.

I loved this one. I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. I know you might think I'm exaggerating. That I say that about every book I read. But that's not the case. I'm a big, big fan of Laura Frantz. I've found her novels to be incredibly wonderful reads, the kind of books that satisfy in so many ways. The type of book that you can't put down and never want to be over.

This one is set in 1779/1780 in Kentucke Territory. When the novel opens, our heroine, Roxanna Rowan, is on her way to visit her father who is serving under Colonel Cassius McLinn. By the time she arrives at the fort--with a few unexpected additions, a handful of women (former prostitutes) and a young child, Abby--her father is already dead. Not that news has reached the fort yet, mind you, but the first news Roxanna hears is not good. But travel is unsafe, and the Colonel is still in need of a scrivener. So until she can safely travel back to civilization, Roxanna has little choice but to remain where she is. And what she learns is that while life on the frontier is dangerous, it is also exciting. Part of this excitement is just from being near the Colonel. Being in the same room with him, working with him, well, it's got her feeling out of sorts--in a GOOD way. And the Colonel is just as drawn to her. But he feels responsible for her father's death. So there are a few complications...

This romance is SATISFYING. I was so giddy while reading this one. I just loved Colonel Cassius McLinn; I just loved Roxanna. And Abby was quite enjoyable as well!

If you love historical fiction, if you love historical romance, then you should definitely read this one!

Laura Frantz has also written Courting Morrow Little and The Frontiersman's Daughter.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Review: A Most Unsuitable Match

A Most Unsuitable Match. Stephanie Grace Whitson. 2011. Bethany House. 336 pages.

Kneeling before the tombstone, eighteen-year-old Fannie Rousseau retrieved the scrub brush from the water bucket she'd just settled in the grass. First, she attacked the dried bird droppings on the back side of the stone, then moved on to the deep grooves carving the name Rousseau into the cool gray surface. She'd just finished cleaning out the second s when a familiar voice sounded from across the cemetery.

I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Stephanie Grace Whitson's Sixteen Brides which I reviewed last year. So I was super-excited to read her newest novel, A Most Unsuitable Match. And I must say it did not disappoint! It was just as wonderful.

The heroine of this historical romance is Miss Fannie Rousseau of St. Charles, Missouri. The novel opens soon after her mother's death. Though her mother's death is more recent, it is the loss of her father that has broken her heart or spirit. Now with her mother's death, she's being forced to wake up a bit, to realize that she needs to start taking charge of her life, to start managing the house--or managing the staff--and looking into her financial situation. The family lawyer isn't one for talking--or at least not talking honestly and openly with her. His advice has been--for months and months--just get married, when you get married your husband will take care of you and your finances, I'll work with him about your estate. Needless to say, Miss Fannie does NOT want to take his advice. And she doesn't want him to pick out her husband for her.

After a failed burglary attempt, Miss Fannie is urged to gather her mother's jewels to put in a safe under her lawyer's keeping. While going through her mother's things, she discovers a secret. She finds over twenty letters from a woman, Edith LeClerc, and a photograph. It seems her mother has a twin sister. Why didn't her mother ever tell her about her aunt? Why keep something so big a secret? She takes the photograph and the letters to her lawyer, and his advice is whatever you do, don't try to contact her. She may want your money if she finds out her sister is dead. And besides there is probably a good reason your mother wanted nothing to do with her. So leave it alone.

While she went into the lawyer's office wanting to write her aunt a letter at her last known address, she leaves his office almost determined to do something more! What if she were to go looking for her aunt herself....

So Miss Fannie Rousseau and Hannah, her faithful servant, a woman who has almost always been dearer to her than her mother, decide to travel by steamship. On the ship, they meet a young man, Mr. Samuel Beck, and thus this romance begins. He is on a quest as well. He's looking for someone too.

I loved this one. I just LOVED this one. I loved the characters. I loved the story. I though Miss Fannie was just a lovely heroine. And I loved seeing her grow up a bit on her journey. I loved seeing her deepen her faith as she gave up her comfortable life and trusted God to lead her. I loved Sam Beck (or Brother Sam). I loved seeing him grow into his mission and discover his gift for reaching people right where they are with the gospel. And I also loved so many of the characters we meet along the way, Lamar, Doctor Lamotte and his son, Patrick, Honest Abe Valley, etc.

This one is set in 1869/1870.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday Salon: Week in Review: August 7-13

This week I was able to read

Judges in the Revised English Bible
1 Chronicles in the Revised English Bible
2 Chronicles in the Revised English Bible
Matthew in the HCSB
Galatians in the HCSB
Ephesians in the HCSB

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Monday, August 8, 2011

Book Review: Let God Change Your Life

Let God Change Your Life: How To Know and Follow Jesus. Greg Laurie. 2011. David C. Cook. 288 pages.

It has been said there are two things that are true of every person: We all want to be happy, and we are all going to die. 

I really enjoyed reading Greg Laurie's Let God Change Your Life. I thought it was a compelling read. I found it relevant and challenging. If you're looking for a book that says all you have to do is pray a little scripted prayer once in your life and you're good to go--come what may--then this won't sit well with you. It may make some uncomfortable to realize that being a Christian means being a follower of Christ. And that it is essential for new believers to follow Christ, to grow in grace and truth. The book never says that salvation comes through anything other than grace. The book never says that works are more important than grace. But readers are challenged to think about HOW they live their lives. To examine themselves to see if they are in the faith, in Christ.

The book is divided into three sections: how to know God, discipleship, and making Him known. The first section, as you might expect, focuses on the gospel, on what it means to be a Christian; it covers the essentials of the faith. The second section focuses on the christian life, on how we are to follow Christ each and every day of our lives, how we're called to serve God in everything we do, on how we are not our own, but His. The third section focuses on evangelism. Laurie challenges believers to share the gospel with others. He challenges readers to CARE about others, to care so much that they take Christ into the world. Not every reader wants to hear about the responsibilities we're given as followers of Christ. But I think it's important--necessary even--to get this message.

I would definitely recommend this one.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Salon: Week In Review: July 31-August 6

This week I read...

Joshua in the Revised English Bible
John in the HCSB
1 John in the HCSB
2 John in the HCSB
3 John in the HCSB
Jude in the HCSB
Revelation in the HCSB
Daniel in the HCSB
Hosea in the HCSB
Joel in the HCSB
Amos in the HCSB
Jonah in the HCSB
Obadiah in the HCSB
Micah in the HCSB
Nahum in the HCSB
Habakkuk in the HCSB
Zephaniah in the HCSB
Malachi in the HCSB

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible