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February 2008

This Month on FaithfulReader.com

February 2008

On FaithfulReader.com

The Dawn of Spring Approaching...

Special Contest and Feature: TALK OF THE TOWN by Lisa Wingate

FaithfulReader.com Talks to Jim Wallis, Author of THE GREAT AWAKENING

Study Guide Now Available: SOMEDAY by Karen Kingsbury

Study Guide Now Available: YOU HAD ME AT GOOD-BYE by Tracey Bateman

Study Guide Now Available: PAR FOR THE COURSE by Ray Blackston

Study Guide Now Available: STUCK IN THE MIDDLE by Virginia Smith
Study Guide Now Available: ELVIS TAKES A BACK SEAT by Leanna Ellis

Now Available in Paperback: SPEAKING OF FAITH by Krista Tippett

Faithful Fiction Reviews

Christian Living Reviews

Marriage and Family Life Reviews

FaithfulReader.com Poll

FaithfulReader.com Question of the Month
Word of Mouth: What You're Reading
Quick Links
 
FaithfulReader.com
Fiction
Christian Living
Marriage and Family Life
Author Interviews

The Dawn of Spring Approaching...

It’s only February, but amidst the chilly winter days I am already searching for hints of the approaching spring. With Easter falling in March this year and the days getting longer, I am reminded of how spring represents a season of rebirth and rejuvenation --- and it’s something I look forward to every year. But with some brisk days still ahead of us, here are some titles to get you through them.

This month we are holding a special contest for TALK OF THE TOWN by Lisa Wingate, a lighthearted tale about a small town in Texas at the center of a media maelstrom. Read on to find out more about the book and contest details. 

TALK OF THE TOWN is also one of our Word of Mouth prizes this month, along with SOMEDAY by Karen Kingsbury, a story about hope, hardship and love as three families face their own personal challenges. Both titles now have study guides available. 

We also are featuring study guides for YOU HAD ME AT GOOD-BYE by Tracey Bateman, a lighthearted tale about an aspiring novelist and the not-so-fictional character she creates; PAR FOR THE COURSE by Ray Blackston (Ray's debut novel, FLABBERGASTED, remains a true favorite of mine!), a story in which golf, politics and romance collide; STUCK IN THE MIDDLE by Virginia Smith, a romantic tale about three sisters and one very attractive neighbor; and ELVIS TAKE A BACK SEAT by Leanna Ellis, a story about a widow, an eccentric aunt and a temperamental teen on a very unique road trip.  

Another one of our featured titles this month is SPEAKING OF FAITH: Why Religion Matters -- and How to Talk About It. Written by Krista Tippett, a nationally renowned commentator on religion, this book presents an exploration of science, love, virtue and violence within the context of spirituality and everyday life. 

Among the reviews in our Faithful Fiction, Christian Living and Marriage and Family Life sections this month are MONDAY NIGHT JIHAD by Denver Broncos kicker Jason Elam and Steve Yohn, a suspenseful story about a professional linebacker who returns to his former life as a member of a special ops team in order to prevent a terrorist attack, and THE GREAT AWAKENING: Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America, in which Jim Wallis discusses a coming spiritual revival in the United States. FaithfulReader.com’s Cindy Crosby interviewed Wallis, and you can read their discussion here. 

The Audio Publishers Association (APA) announced the finalists for this year's Audies® Awards, the only Awards program in the United States devoted entirely to celebrating spoken-word entertainment. Earlier this month, a panel of judges selected a shortlist of five books in each of 30 categories, including Fiction, Nonfiction, Inspirational/Faith-Based Fiction, Multi-Voiced Performance, Romance, Science-Fiction, Spanish Language and the newly created Achievement in Abridgement. The winners will be honored at a gala celebration in May. Click here to see the finalists in the two faith-based categories.

We invite you to weigh in on this month's poll, which continues along our theme of keeping books after you read them, while our question asks you what books from your shelves define you. Click here to answer the poll, and respond to our question here. 

Be sure to visit the FaithfulReader.com homepage the week of March 10th for our Easter roundup. We will be compiling a list of books perfect for the Lenten and Easter seasons, full of inspiring devotionals, enlightening historical perspectives, and thrilling and thought-provoking fiction and nonfiction.

Whether you are looking for an inspirational read, a gripping thriller or a good laugh, the remaining winter days will fly by with a great book in your hand. Here’s to the coming of warmer and brighter days ahead. May you have time to read and reflect during this holy time.

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)


 

Special Contest and Feature: TALK OF THE TOWN by Lisa Wingate

We are celebrating the release of TALK OF THE TOWN by Lisa Wingate --- a charming novel about a small town in Texas at the center of a media maelstrom --- with a special contest. Five readers will have the opportunity to each win one finished copy of TALK OF THE TOWN, which is now available in stores.

TALK OF THE TOWN by Lisa Wingate (Fiction)
Best known for her blockbuster novel TENDING ROSES, bestselling author Lisa Wingate pens another fresh, charming and playful work of fiction. In TALK OF THE TOWN, Wingate contrasts small-town Texas life with the fast-paced Hollywood existence in an entertaining book sure to make readers laugh out loud.

When her glamorous job lands her in tiny Daily, Texas, Mandalay Florentino finds she needs more than just Hollywood charm to survive. Can anything go right in this tumbleweed town?

-Click here to see the study guide for TALK OF THE TOWN.
-Click here to read more about TALK OF THE TOWN.
-Click here to read an excerpt from TALK OF THE TOWN.
-Click here to read an interview with Lisa Wingate.

 

Click here to read all the contest details.


 

FaithfulReader.com Talks to Jim Wallis, Author of THE GREAT AWAKENING

If religion and politics are the two topics you’re supposed to avoid talking about in polite company, then Jim Wallis is in big trouble. His book, GOD’S POLITICS, articulated the concern that many evangelicals felt about their faith being co-opted by the Religious Right. And now, as the 2008 presidential race heats up, Wallis is back with THE GREAT AWAKENING, a powerful work that challenges people of faith to speak out on issues of social justice, get involved and effect change. In this interview, FaithfulReader.com’s Cindy Crosby talks with Wallis about what has changed in the political landscape since he wrote GOD’S POLITICS, why he believes America should not be “a Christian nation,” the toughest issue for people of faith to embrace and how coaching his son’s Little League baseball team offers a few insights about life.

THE GREAT AWAKENING: Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America by Jim Wallis (Religion & Spirituality)
In the dramatic lead-up to the 2008 presidential election, author Jim Wallis believes that Americans are poised on the edge of a spiritual revival --- what he calls “The Great Awakening” --- that could bring about justice in critical areas such as poverty, the environment and the affirmation of the dignity and sacredness of life. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

-Click here to read a review of THE GREAT AWAKENING.

 

Click here to read our interview with Jim Wallis.


 

Study Guide Now Available: SOMEDAY by Karen Kingsbury

SOMEDAY by Karen Kingsbury (Fiction)
In the third installment of the Sunrise series, Karen Kingsbury weaves a story about hope, hardship and love. As three families face their own personal challenges, there is always the light of God's unending faithfulness and the promise of tomorrow.

-Click here to read more about SOMEDAY.
-Click here to read an excerpt from SOMEDAY.
-Click here to read Karen Kingsbury’s bio.

 

Click here to see the study guide for SOMEDAY.


 

Study Guide Now Available: YOU HAD ME AT GOOD-BYE by Tracey Bateman

YOU HAD ME AT GOOD-BYE by Tracey Bateman (Fiction)
Dancy Ames had a plan for her future. A plan that did not involve Jack Quinn swooping in and stealing her dream job at Lane Publishing. Now jobless, Dancy begins writing a novel based on recent events in her life. But when her real-life nemesis slips into her writing, Dancy finds herself in desperate peril of having more than her job stolen. Could he actually steal her heart?

-Click here to read more about YOU HAD ME AT GOOD-BYE.
-Click here to read Tracey Bateman’s bio.

 
Click here to see the study guide for YOU HAD ME AT GOOD-BYE.

 

Study Guide Now Available: PAR FOR THE COURSE by Ray Blackston

PAR FOR THE COURSE by Ray Blackston (Fiction)
Chris Hackett owns and operates Hack's Golf Learning Center, an eccentric golf range in Charleston, South Carolina. He jumps at the chance to step up his game when attractive new student and political correspondent Molly Cusack suggests that he capitalize on the highly polarized presidential election. Soon Chris, his sidekick Cack and their unique golf range are the talk of the town...until someone takes the political insults too seriously.

-Click here to read more about PAR FOR THE COURSE.
-Click here to read Ray Blackston’s bio.

 

Click here to see the study guide for PAR FOR THE COURSE.

 
Study Guide Now Available: STUCK IN THE MIDDLE by Virginia Smith

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE: Sister-to-Sister, Book 1 by Virginia Smith (Romance)
Joan Sanderson’s life is stuck. Both her sisters have promising families or careers, while Joan is living at home…with Mom. But when a hunky young doctor moves in next door, Joan suddenly has a goal --- to get a date. It won’t be easy, what with her sister vying for his attention, too!

-Click here to read more about STUCK IN THE MIDDLE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from STUCK IN THE MIDDLE.
-Click here to read Virginia Smith’s bio.

 

Click here to see the study guide for STUCK IN THE MIDDLE.

 
Study Guide Now Available: ELVIS TAKES A BACK SEAT by Leanna Ellis
ELVIS TAKES A BACK SEAT by Leanna Ellis (Fiction)
Determined to fulfill her husband’s last request, young widow Claudia McIntosh is hauling a three-foot bust of Elvis Presley in the back seat of a vintage Cadillac from Dallas to Memphis, hoping to locate the kitschy sculpture’s rightful owner. Along for the ride are Claudia’s eccentric aunt and a temperamental teen. When the road trip hits the Heartbreak Hotel, the three women make discoveries that may change their lives and faith forever.

-Click here to read more about ELVIS TAKES A BACK SEAT.
-Click here to read an excerpt from ELVIS TAKES A BACK SEAT.
-Click here to read critical praise for ELVIS TAKES A BACK SEAT.
-Click here to read Leanna Ellis’s bio.

 
Click here to see the study guide for ELVIS TAKES A BACK SEAT.

 

Now Available in Paperback: SPEAKING OF FAITH by Krista Tippett

SPEAKING OF FAITH: Why Religion Matters -- and How to Talk About It by Krista Tippett (Religion & Spirituality)
Krista Tippett is one of the country’s most intelligent and insightful commentators on religion, ethics and the human spirit. In this book, she draws on her own life story and her intimate conversations with both ordinary and famous figures to explore complex subjects like science, love, virtue and violence within the context of spirituality and everyday life.

-Click here to read critical praise for SPEAKING OF FAITH.
-Click here to read Krista Tippett’s bio.

 
Click here to read more about SPEAKING OF FAITH.

 

Faithful Fiction Reviews

MONDAY NIGHT JIHAD by Jason Elam and Steve Yohn (Thriller)
After a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Riley Covington is living his dream as a professional linebacker when he comes face to face with a radical terrorist group on his own home turf. Drawn into the nightmare around him, Riley returns to his former life as a member of a special ops team that crosses oceans in an attempt to stop the escalating attacks. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

-Click here to see the study guide for MONDAY NIGHT JIHAD.

THE GUARDIANS by Jack Cavanaugh (Fiction)
After 400 years, it appears that the prized Morgan family Bible has seen its last generation. Will Meredith and Ethan be able to save the Bible from certain destruction? Fans of the American Family Portrait novels will enjoy seeing how the series concludes in THE GUARDIANS, by award-winning author Jack Cavanaugh. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.
 
THE WEDDING MACHINE by Beth Webb Hart
(Fiction)
Beth Webb Hart’s latest novel represents something of a departure from her previous works, centered as they were on the interior lives of two young women. The setting is still the South Carolina Low Country, and Hart's Southern sensibilities emerge once again in her descriptions of both the social structure of a small town in the South and the Low Country itself. But here the focus is on a group of four longtime female friends, now in middle age with daughters to marry off. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.
 
ORCHID HOUSE by Cindy Martinusen
(Fiction)
Cindy Martinusen sets romance and a woman’s search for her roots against the lush and politically unstable backdrop of the Philippines. Martinusen’s fans will recognize many of the same elements that characterized her Winter Passing trilogy, including rich details and a recognition of the importance of history and family. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

 

Click here to read our Faithful Fiction reviews.


 
Click here to read our Christian Living Reviews Click here to read our Christian Living Reviews Click here to read our Christian Living Reviews

Christian Living Reviews

BEYOND OPINION: Living the Faith We Defend by Ravi Zacharias (Christian Living)
This is a good resource book for Christians who want to be well equipped with knowledge about their faith and the faith of others, and to think more deeply about arguments and objections against Christianity. And, as Zacharias admirably reminds readers, apologetics is not just for experts: “Do not underestimate the role you may play in clearing the obstacles in someone’s spiritual journey.” Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

THE WORDS OF JESUS: A Gospel of the Sayings of Our Lord by Phyllis Tickle (Religion & Spirituality)
If, as renowned religion writer Phyllis Tickle says, “It is the correct and proper business of followers to try to discern the meaning of God’s words,” then THE WORDS OF JESUS is a good place to begin. The familiar passages gain new meaning when viewed in this format. Readers will encounter the sayings of Jesus through this book in new ways --- and may come away changed. Reviewed by Cindy Crosby.

A CLOSER WALK WITH JESUS: Glimpses of Him in Everyday Life edited by Evelyn Bence (Christian Living/Inspirational)
A CLOSER WALK WITH JESUS is a collection of accounts from ordinary men, women and children who relate their experience with a real-life encounter with Jesus. Entertaining as well as inspiring, the more than 80 stories provide glimpses of a resurrected Jesus --- influencing the lives of people today. Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel.

THE PROMISE: How God Works All Things Together for Good by Robert J. Morgan (Christian Living/Spiritual Growth)
Bestselling author Robert J. Morgan reveals the remarkable power of a single Bible verse --- Romans 8:28 --- that will give readers an unshakable basis for confidence and joy. Filled with real-life illustrations of triumph over tragedy, THE PROMISE not only empowers us to deal effectively with everyday stress and strain, but offers solid assurance to anyone facing serious trouble. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

UNCHRISTIAN: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity...and Why It Matters by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons (Christian Living)
Groundbreaking research into the perceptions of 16- to 29-year-olds reveals that Christians have taken several giant steps backward in one of their most important assignments. The surprising details of the study, commissioned by Fermi Project and conducted by The Barna Group, are presented with uncompromising honesty in UNCHRISTIAN. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.

THE NEW ATHEIST CRUSADERS AND THEIR UNHOLY GRAIL: The Misguided Quest to Destroy Your Faith by Becky Garrison (Religion & Spirituality)
Becky Garrison, religious satirist and senior contributing editor for The Wittenberg Door, is taking a stand. Where most Christians assume the character of the Cowardly Lion chanting, "I do believe, I do believe, I do believe," Garrison refuses to simply thrust tracts at these self-proclaimed infidels. Instead, she steels her pen and takes on the ungodly program of the New Atheists. Reviewed by Marcia Ford.
 
A BLOSSOM IN THE DESERT: Reflections of Faith in the Art and Writings of Lilias Trotter edited by Miriam Huffman Rockness (Religion & Spirituality)
On the cusp of a brilliant career in art, Lilias Trotter left her upper-class Victorian lifestyle in London to spend the rest of her life living out the love of Christ in Northern Africa. In this devotional scrapbook, discover her exquisite watercolors and deeply inspirational writings. Reviewed by Evelyn Bence.

 
Click here to read our Christian Living reviews.

 
Click here to read our Marriage and Family Reviews Click here to read our Marriage and Family Reviews

Marriage and Family Life Reviews

BLESSING THE NEXT GENERATION: Creating a Lasting Family Legacy with the Help of a Loving God by Marilyn Hickey and Sarah Bowling (Family Relationships)
The mother and daughter team of Marilyn Hickey and Sarah Bowling explain the significance of generational curses and blessings and how readers have the power to have an impact on the spiritual heritage they hand to their children. Reviewed by Margaret Oines.

PRAYING FOR YOUR PRODIGAL DAUGHTER: Hope, Help & Encouragement for Hurting Parents by Janet Thompson (Devotional)
“Janet Thompson comes from a line of prodigal daughters. Her grandmother was one. Her mother was one. She was one. And then her daughter was one…until Janet took action.” In PRAYING FOR YOUR PRODIGAL DAUGHTER, Thompson shares her experiences to help and encourage those who are still struggling. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

 
Click here to read our Marriage and Family Life reviews.

 

FaithfulReader.com Poll

Do you keep your books after you read them?
 

I keep them all.
I keep some.
I do not keep them.
I do not buy books.
 

If you give books away, what do you do with them?
 

Give them to friends or family
Donate them to the library
Donate them to charity
Sell them to used bookstores
Other
I do not give books away.

 

Vote in our Poll here.


 
FaithfulReader.com Question of the Month
If you have to pick FIVE books from your shelves that define you, what would they be?
 

Answer the Question of the Month here.


 
Word of Mouth: What You're Reading
Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't. This contest period, one winner will receive a copy of SOMEDAY by Karen Kingsbury and TALK OF THE TOWN by Lisa Wingate. To put your name in the hat, submit your current reading list and ratings by completing the form here.
Tell us what you are reading here to be eligible to win!

 

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Thanks for reading....and don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend.

--- Carol Fitzgerald (
Carol@bookreporter.com)

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