Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

March Book Reviews

I've completed three books from the six I chose to read this month (in addition to the three I read that were not on my list).
 
Mary Magdalene: A Novel is the second book I've read by Diana Wallis Taylor, and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. This book is a fictionalized account of the life of Mary Magdalene, and just like the author's previous book, Journey to the Well: A Novel, this book gave me a different picture of a woman from the Bible. The story depicts a traumatic event in Mary's life, which leads to much heartache as demons possess her. Her parents do all they can to help her be healed (praying for her, taking her to high priest) and spend their life protecting her from herself & others. She even marries a young man who is committed to helping her - it takes a toll on him and their marriage, but he holds firm & eventually brings her to where Jesus is and she is healed. She then enjoys a year with her husband before he dies and she chooses to travel with Jesus and his group of disciples. I highly recommend this book.

After reading Barbara Bush's Memoir earlier this year, I knew I would enjoy Reflections : Life After the White House, which chronicles her life from the end of George H. W. Bush's presidency in January of 1993 through the beginning of George W. Bush's presidency in January of 2001. Once again I was amazed at how much the Bushes accomplish as the book was filled with their many speaking engagements, lots of travel, and as much time with family as possible. It also seems that the Bushes have pretty much met every notable politician (domestic & foreign), entertainer, writer, business professional, and medical genius from the 1970s through the 2000s! Here are a few of my favorite quotes from this book:
*Communication is the biggest change in a world of big changes.
*One morning...I turned on the television and suddenly realized that...I knew every single person personally that I had seen on the tube during that hour. That's the life that George Bush has given me.
*I now have 15 paper back books I want to read. Why does that make me feel so good? It's like having money in the bank or a fully-stocked pantry.
*Energy seems to be a quality that is ever present in very successful people.

This book is actually the third book in a three-book Christian fiction series by Karen Kingsbury. I read the first two books last year, so here's a quick review of each one.

The series begins with One Tuesday Morning and the story of Jamie Bryan whose husband is a New York firefighter who responded to the tragedy at the World Trade Center on September 11. Jamie rushes to the hospital and finds Jake, who has no memory of anything before waking up in the hospital. [Warning - spoiler ahead!] In an effort to help Jake remember, Jamie begins reading his journal and discovers that her husband's greatest desire was for her to become a Christian through faith in Jesus Christ. It turns out that the man from the hospital was not Jake after all, but a businessman from California. He eventually regains his memory and returns to his family a changed man with a renewed commitment to Christ and his family (because of what he read in Jake's journal). I enjoyed the story but it was obvious this man wasn't Jake and I became frustrated waiting for Jamie to figure it out!

Beyond Tuesday Morningcontinues Jamie's story a couple of years later when she is spending all her time volunteering at St. Paul's, helping others who need to heal from the events of September 11. She meets a man who has come to New York during his vacation and they eventually fall in love. [Warning - another spoiler coming here!] It turns out the man, Clay, is the brother of Jake's look alike from California. This obviously creates a difficult situation, which they finally resolve and eventually they are married and Jamie moves to California where Clay is a police officer.

Jamie and Clay are important characters in the third book, Remember Tuesday Morning, however the story revolves around Alex who was a high school senior when the Twin Towers fell, killing his firefighter father. Alex has spent the past seven years willing himself not to feel and spends his time as a Los Angeles police officer. He is part of a K9 team and his dog, Bo, is the only important thing in his life . . . along with trying to rid the world of evil people so that others will not have to suffer the loss of a loved one like he did on September 11. The book also focuses on ecoterrorists who set fires to luxury housing developments that are being built on the hills around L.A. (Honestly I'd never heard of this happening, but I looked it up and there are groups who will commit acts of sabotage in order to bring attention to their cause of saving the environment!) Overall I enjoyed this series despite the unlikely coincidences that brought these characters together.

I have three books on my Kindle that I want to read in April, and I'm planning to read the other books that I didn't get to in the pile I pulled out for March. You can see the list of books I'm planning to read in the sidebar.

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

The book on Mary Magdalene sounds interesting. I never did believe she was a prostitute.

S said...

I agree the Mary Magdalene sounds intriguing and I would probably enjoy the Barbara Bush one as well.