Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Time to Embrace (and Other Books to Read)

Summer is the time for reading, and I was ready with a stack of books to devour during my retreat.  On the top was a book I received as a complementary copy (in exchange for a free review) through BookSneeze called A Time to Embrace by Karen Kingsbury.  I enjoy this author quite a bit, and this story did not disappoint me.  It is the sequel to A Time to Dance, which I read sometime last year, and I would recommend reading both.  You would appreciate the sequel more if you do (but it's not necessary). 

A Time to Embrace deals with the tragedy and trials that can assault a marriage.  John and Abby have been married for more than twenty years and are enjoying a newness in their relationship after a long dry spell.  While there are struggles in John's job, they are simply drawing closer together and appreciating the gift of marriage.  The real test comes when he is critically injured in a car accident. The dialogue is good, the plot is decent and the celebration of marriage is terrific.  It's good vacation reading.

Also over my blogging break, I read a variety of other books that you might wish to check out:

Scared: A Novel on the Edge of the World by Tom Davis -- This is a story set in Africa based on real people that will touch your heart and challenge you to act as you are confronted with the life of a young girl fighting for survival in her AIDS-ravaged country.  Right now, I can't get enough of Africa.

June Bug by Chris Fabry -- A little girl travelling with her father in an old RV sees a picture of herself on a missing child poster in Walmart.  The mystery unfolds in a story beautifully told and touching.

The Promise of Heaven: Reflections on Our Eternal Home by Randy Alcorn -- A condensed version of his lengthy (and worthwhile) book Heaven, this version has the added value of beautiful photography by John MacMurray.  I appreciate it for its biblically-based answers for questions, such as

     What can we know about heaven?
     What happens when we die?
     Will we have the same identities as now?
     What will we do in heaven?

I think adults and older children would enjoy this book.

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore -- This true account of a homeless black man, a white wealthy art dealer and the woman who brought them together will touch your heart and challenge your thinking.  Warning:  I cried buckets. 
A friend recommended this book to me for our women's book club, and I agreed it was a terrific choice.  We meet in a few weeks to discuss it, and I can't wait.

Watch Over Me by Christa Parrish -- Perhaps my favorite book of this summer, the story began slowly, but once it hooked me, I couldn't let go.  The characters are believable, the emotion is raw, the story beautifully woven.  Benjamin, a police officer who had served in Afghanistan, is married to Abbi, a vegetarian peace-loving, war-protesting artist.  Their marriage is on the rocks when he discovers an abandoned newborn in need of fostering.  As they care for the baby, places in their hearts begin to heal.  Benjamin continues to investigate and search for the parents of the baby, which allows for the subplot about Matthew, a deaf genius with a beautiful heart.  Marriage, parenting, church relationships, forgiveness . . . all of these things are explored in this compelling read.

Now, there's still some summer left.  Get busy reading!

And if you've read something fabulous lately, please share! 
Or tell me, what's your favorite book?



Carrie said...

I might have to check out that Karen Kingsbury book for our beach trip coming up. I'm not a big fiction person, but I've been thinking about getting a vacation-read! Thanks for the recommendation!

Jenny said...

I have written down all these titles to check out! THank you for posting your reviews :)

Jaime @ Like a Bubbling Brook said...

I consider myself a reader, and I haven't read ANY on your list! Looks like I need to check them out :)

I wrote a post about our favorite children's books earlier this week:

It's so good to have you back and blogging again!


MamaMonki said...

I loved JuneBug too. I'll have to look for Same Kind of Different as Me. It sounds wonderful too.

You should read Castaway Kid by R.B. Mitchell it was one of the Family Christian Bookstores $5 items this month. I loved it. I can send you my copy if you want to read it.

Our small group is reading chapter 1 of One Million Arrows for Saturday. I'm hooked already.

Amy said...

I love Karen Kingsbury! I've read both of those books, but I haven't read anything else on your list. I'm going to see if they have them at our library!

Karen said...

Love to read...too many favorites to choose.....

Amanda said...

I will tell you about a Christian book series (4 books in total), that you will love. I devoured them and learnt so much along the way. And, they were anointed!!

Have you heard of Lynn Austin? The series is called Chronicles of the Kings. They are based on the the rule and reign of King Hezekiah, starting with his father. The author does well to research thoroughly into the historical and cultural aspects. Really well written and gripping from the first to the last book.

Bless ya!


Maggie S said...

I am glad for your recommendations. I enjoy Deanne Gist. Just read Beguiled. Not deep just fluff.

Cranberry Morning said...

One of my favorites - True Spirituality by Francis Schaeffer, some favorite authors: Michael Horton, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, Keith Mathieson.

~Amy~ said...

Thanks for this list of some awesome reads! I just added them to my TBR pile on Goodreads!

Natalie said...

You spoke to my bookworm of a heart today! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Same Kind of Different As Me. My father was homeless and lived on the streets of Indianapolis for a while so this was so riveting to my soul.

The other suggestions sound wonderful, too...Thanks for some good recommendations!

Natalie at Mommy on Fire

e-Mom said...

You've read so many wonderful books this summer! (Maybe I should take a bloggy break too. Kidding.)

I read Randy Alcorn's Heaven for the first time this spring and absolutely LOVED it! Meaty but beautiful. I still have the DVD that goes with it... must watch. I'm sure I'd like The Promise of Heaven too.

Same Kind of Different as Me sounds very good. (Although I hate crying when I read a book.) Thanks for the fair warning!

Have a blessed weekend--is reading on the agenda?

e-Mom ღ

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