Book Reviews

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Karen Swallow Prior puts a new spin on one of Jane Austen’s classics, Sense & Sensibility. She incorporates a guide to reading and reflecting your way through the novel. Having grown up reading and watching Austen’s works I was very excited to get my hands on this new book.

The book starts off with an Introduction that includes a wealth of information about the history, what to expect, and the purpose for this new publication. Information about the author and background, form, and major themes are discussed to prepare the reader. The introduction concludes with my favorite part, how to read the work as a Christian in today’s world. This is what drew me to the book in the beginning. I loved how Prior brought attention to Austen’s faith and how to apply this book as a Christian in a modern world. 

Sense & Sensibility is divided into three volumes. At the conclusion of each volume, Prior provides reflection questions. These questions allow the reader to think back on what they have just read and apply it to their life in order to truly understand what Austen intended and remember what they have experienced with the characters. At the conclusion of the book, Prior includes additional questions for further reflection.

Sense & Sensibility is one of my favorite stories so I loved being able to see it through new eyes and apply it from a faith perspective. I would definitely recommend this version of the book to anyone looking for a fresh look on a beloved classic.


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This year for Lent I decided to try a brand new devotional, Journey to the Cross. I usually try to read a devotional or do some sort of reading to prepare my heart and mind for the Easter season. I was very excited to start this devotional because it was beautifully designed and a brand new release. After going through the book I have mixed emotions about it. 

A few of my favorite aspects were the design, layout, reading calendar, and the questions. Each devotion had follow up and reflection questions based on the day’s reading. Each day alternated between a devotion and a scripture reading or reflection questions. Personally, I loved the alternating days. 

However, I personally felt as if the devotions were a little scattered and unnecessarily long. Almost every devotion was four pages plus the questions. To me, that seemed a little too long. It was also hard to follow some of the devotions because they tended to feel disconnected within each other, as if multiple devotions were put together into one. 

This may not have been my “cup of tea”, but I would recommend it to anyone who prefers lengthier devotions and enjoys application and reflection questions. I would also recommend this to newer Christians. If you are just starting out as a believer and looking for a great devotional to prepare your heart and mind for Easter, then this is for you. 


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Stephanie Broersma has given the world a beautiful gift. Reclaimed is an excellent devotional book! The personal touches are warm and welcoming. The applications, questions, and prayers are beautiful. The beauty of this devotional can bring healing and restoration into the midst of dark times. The author has filled a much needed void by prayerfully writing and releasing this beautiful work. I would definitely recommend this devotional journey to anyone going through this stage of life, or working through healing from past pain.


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Lore Ferguson Wilberts’ book, Handle With Care, is so important. This book dives head first into a topic typically shied away from. Today’s culture, especially church culture, has made touch a thing to be feared. We have been ingrained with so much anti-touch philosophy and lectures, but have neglected to teach the positive. 

 I am often described as a “prickly pear”. When it comes to taking the Love Languages test, Touch doesn’t even score for me. I am not a touchy person. I’m an avid fan of personal bubbles. Yet, I’m fully aware of the importance touch has on our lives. Whether positive or negative, touch impacts each and everyone of us. Growing up in church and working with kids, I have been hounded with lessons, meetings, speeches, slideshows, and lectures on the various aspects of touch. I’ve learned over the years, that as a culture we are more and more afraid of touch. We’re afraid we will get reprimanded for any type of touch. Touch has become taboo. Touch has lost it’s God-intended context and intentionality. 

When I found out about this beautiful book I was enthralled. I knew I had to have it. I may be “touch adverse”, but I want to learn more about how to better understand Christ, myself, and those in my life. Lore writes in such a way that makes the reading of a difficult topic easy and enticing. The topics covered are sensitive and mature. The reader must be mature enough to properly ingest and digest the words within. Just as the author is raw and vulnerable, so the reader must also be. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking to be challenged, heaped, and redeemed in a holy and open manner.