Here’s what I’ve been reading:
Synopsis: In an astonishing feat of detective work, Dwight Longenecker makes a powerful case that the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem really happened. Piecing together the evidence from biblical studies, history, archeology, and astronomy, he goes further, uncovering where they came from, why they came, and what might have happened to them after eluding the murderous King Herod. In the process, he provides a new and fascinating view of the time and place in which Jesus Christ chose to enter the world.
The evidence is clear and compelling. The mysterious Magi from the East were in all likelihood astrologers and counselors from the court of the Nabatean king at Petra, where the Hebrew messianic prophecies were well known. The “star” that inspired their journey was a particular planetary alignment―confirmed by computer models―that in the astrological lore of the time portended the birth of a Jewish king.
The visitors whose arrival troubled Herod “and all Jerusalem with him” may not have been the turbaned oriental kings of the Christmas carol, but they were real, and by demonstrating that the wise men were no fairy tale, Mystery of the Magi demands a new level of respect for the historical claims of the gospel.
Review: Excellent book. See my extensive review here at this link.
Synopsis: Aurora Manchester has the best of all worlds. Born in the big city of Manhattan, she and her family move from New York to northern Michigan, where her father, an English professor and show business biographer, teaches at a college on a breathtaking island on Lake Huron. Her mother is a ballet teacher, much loved by her students, whom she equally adores. On the island, the three Manchester kids make friends with the grandchildren of neighbours who live nearby. In their adventures, an old barn becomes the starship Enterprise. The field down the road becomes a graveyard. They go hiking and explore caves. As they grow up, Aurora and her brothers make lifelong friendships and have lots of fun along the way… until the tragic day when their whole world falls apart.
My review: This book was written by a friend of mine and I’m looking forward to reading it!
Synopsis: NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The extraordinary saga of Mother Angelica–who passed away on Easter, 2016–founder of the multimillion-dollar Eternal Word Television Network and “the most influential Catholic woman in America” according to Time magazine
My review: I got this for .99 last week and I’m really enjoying it so far. Mother Angelica certainly has always been a fiesty spirit!
Amazon Synopsis: Cinder Allia has spent eight years living under her stepmother’s brutal thumb, wrongly punished for having caused her mother’s death. She lives for the day when the prince will grant her justice; but her fairy godmother shatters her hope with the news that the prince has died in battle. Allia escapes in search of her own happy ending, but her journey draws her into the turbulent waters of war and politics in a kingdom where the prince’s death has left chaos and division. Cinder Allia turns a traditional fairy tale upside down and weaves it into an epic filled with espionage, treason, magic, and romance. What happens when the damsel in distress must save not only herself, but her kingdom? What price is she willing to pay for justice? And can a woman who has lost her prince ever find true love? Surrounded by a cast that includes gallant knights, turncoat revolutionaries, a crippled prince who lives in hiding, a priest who is also a spy, and the man whose love Allia longs for most—her father—Cinder Allia is an unforgettable story about hope, courage, and the healing power of pain.
My Review: This is not the type of novel I usually read, but it was .99 on Kindle. Well-written, enjoyable and rich in imagery, this Cinderella story has unique and unexpected twists and interesting, multi-dimensional characters. Highly recommend!
Synopsis: Beginning with the first day of Advent and continuing through the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, these selections from the immortal pen of Fulton J. Sheen encourage readers to explore the essence and promise of the season. Those looking to grow in their prayer life and become more attuned to the joy of Advent and Christmas will find a wonderful guide in this spiritual companion.
My review: This is one of the books I read every Advent/Christmas. Beautiful meditations and quotes from Fulton Sheen.
At a vendor fair last Friday, I had the privilege of meeting a woman who served as a nurse for the British in World War II. Needless to say, it was the highlight of the evening. I didn’t get her name, but she is in her 90’s and lost her brother during the war in 1941.Photo copyright Ellen Hrkach
Today begins the Virtual Book Tour for Julia’s Gifts. See all the stops here at this link.
Other books I’ve been reading:
Dr. Gloria Polo
Synopsis from Amazon: On May 5th, 1995 something extraordinary happened to Dr. Gloria Polo Ortiz, a dentist from Bogota Columbia. She was taking shelter from a storm with her nephew, when both of them were struck by lightning. What happened to her afterwards was a miracle which led to her conversion and a life of abandonment to the will of God. She now tells her story in many different countries around the world, and has the approval of her diocese in Bogota, Colombia, and her spiritual director. Her testimony is an inspiration for all of us, and will increase our faith in Christ Jesus and His Holy Catholic Church.
My review: I’m not sure where I heard about this book, but I decided to order it. The content was good, although there were a few parts that just didn’t seem right theologically. And grammatically it definitely needed worked (then again, this is a translation from Dr. Polo’s original Spanish, I believe). However, it was a good story of how Dr. Polo realized that she was far from being the “good Catholic” she thought she was. The parts where she discovers the reality of abortion and the IUD she had been using are compelling. Overall, a good read.
Amazon Synopsis: In The Lamb’s Supper, Hahn explored the relationship between the Book of Revelation and the Roman Catholic Mass, deftly clarifying the most subtle of theological points with analogies and anecdotes from everyday life. In Hail, Holy Queen, he employs the same accessible, entertaining style to demonstrate Mary’s essential role in Christianity’s redemptive message.
Most Christians know that the life of Jesus is foreshadowed throughout the Old Testament. Through a close examination of the Bible, as well as the work of both Catholic and Protestant scholars and clergy, Hahn brings to light the small but significant details showing that just as Jesus is the “New Adam,” so Mary is the “New Eve.” He unveils the Marian mystery at the heart of the Book of Revelation and reveals how it is foretold in the very first pages of the Book of Genesis and in the story of King David’s monarchy, which speaks of a privileged place for the mother of the king.
Building on these scriptural and historical foundations, Hahn presents a new look at the Marian doctrines: Her Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity, Assumption, and Coronation. As he guides modern-day readers through passages filled with mysteries and poetry, Hahn helps them rediscover the ancient art and science of reading the Scriptures and gain a more profound understanding of their truthfulness and relevance to faith and the practice of religion in the contemporary world.
My review: This happened to be on sale for 1.99 on Kindle. Whenever I see one of Scott Hahn’s book on sale, I usually download it immediately. I’ve just started reading, but if this is anything like Hahn’s other books, I won’t be disappointed.
Amazon Synopsis: Based on the tragedy of the Twin Towers … two powerful novels of heroism, loss, and redemption by New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury.
ONE TUESDAY MORNING: The last thing Jake Bryan knew was the sound of the World Trade Center collapsing on top of him and his fellow firefighters. The man in the hospital bed remembers nothing. Not rushing with his teammates up the stairway of the south tower to help trapped victims. Not being blasted from the building. And not the woman sitting by his bedside who says she is his wife. Jamie Bryan will do anything to help her beloved husband regain his memory. But that means helping Jake rediscover the one thing Jamie has never shared with him: his deep faith in God.
BEYOND TUESDAY MORNING: Determined to find meaning in her grief three years after the terrorist attacks on New York City, FDNY widow Jamie Bryan pours her life into volunteer work at a small memorial chapel across from where the Twin Towers once stood. There, unsure and feeling somehow guilty, Jamie opens herself to the possibility of love again. But, in the face of a staggering revelation, only the persistence of a tenacious man, questions from Jamie’s curious daughter, and words from her dead husband’s journal can move Jamie beyond one Tuesday morning … toward life.
My review: I picked up this two-book series for .99 recently. I finished reading the first, One Tuesday Morning and enjoyed it. I did, however, find the plot to be unbelievable. It was an enjoyable read nonetheless and Kingsbury creates excellent, well-developed characters. If you haven’t read any of Kingsbury’s books, this may be a good one to try.
Virtual Book Tour Stops/Links (Updated)
November 1 (Open Book) Plot Line and Sinker
November 2 Mary Lou Rosien, Dynamic Women of Faith
November 4 Karen Kelly Boyce
November 6 Carolyn Astfalk, My Scribbler’s Heart Blog
November 7 Jean Heimann, Catholic Fire
November 10 Barb Szyszkiewicz, Franciscan Mom
November 11 Plot Line and Sinker Remembrance Day/ Veterans Day post
November 12 Spiritual Woman Patrice Fagnant MacArthur
November 13 Mike Seagriff
November 17 Barb Szyszkiewicz Catholic Mom
November 18 Cathy Gilmore
November 19 Erin McCole Cupp
November 20 Virginia Lieto
November 21 Elena Maria Vidal Tea at Trianon
November 23 Leslie Lynch, author
Julia’s Gifts is now available for pre-order on Kindle!
It will be released on November 1, 2017.
The paperback will be available next week.
Julia’s Gifts Virtual Book Tour will take place November 1 – 22, 2017. Links will be posted later this week.