Saturday, May 28, 2016

Book Review: Stars Over Sunset Boulevard

Photo from Amazon.com

The historical aspects of this book were intriguing. I loved learning about some of the history and behind-the-scenes looks into Hollywood and "Gone With the Wind" in particular.  Actually, on several occasions I looked up additional information online- from looking for a picture of Scarlett O'Hara's green hat (that I couldn't recall from memory), to information about various actors, actresses, and studios back then.  I enjoyed the historical aspects of this novel very much- but I am a bit of a fan of history.

However, I felt that the story and characters were a bit predictable. I was disappointed that the gospel didn't play a role at all in the character's lives, which I expected from a book from christianaudio.  There was of course the elements of any great story- a beginning, then a bad decision that leads to a problem and then a resolution.  However, I felt that the climax was breezed over a bit.  The resolution contained aspects of grace, but only after wrongs had been committed by both main characters.  There is however a great deal of grace given by Burt towards Violet, but less so towards Audrey.  The characters, though predictable, weren't always consistent. The beginning of the story seemed a bit slow, but then the pace sped up drastically as months and even years are skipped.  I did like the flash backs from present day to history, but the information was somewhat distracting from the main storyline.

Overall, I found the book to be entertaining, but mostly because of the fantastic narrator. Ann Marie Lee, from the very beginning had a lovely voice and then I was pleasantly surprised at her ability to distinguish the character's dialogue by the accents she gave them- while staying true to the descriptions in the text. Violet had a southern drawl seemingly straight out of "Steel Magnolias" and Audrey's deeper thicker voice was exactly as I imagined. Lee even provided French accents and perfect French for additional characters. Had I been reading the book, I might not have finished it, but listening to the audio recording proved to be delightful.

Overall, I do recommend this audio book for anyone looking for an entertaining reading of a moderately entertaining story of friendship with a glimpse into history.


*I received a copy of this work from christianaudio.com in exchange for my honest review.

I'd love to know your thoughts, so comment below and let me know!

Alyson

Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Review: Tell Someone by Greg Laurie



Tell Someone by Greg Laurie is a book that every Christian should have in their library.  It is a collection of personal experiences with the how-to's and what-not-to-do's of sharing the gospel.  This book is a quick read and very interesting.  I enjoyed reading Greg's personal testimony while at the same time being encouraged to share the gospel through telling my own testimony. 


I appreciate the actual tips on witnessing without this being an actual how-to, step-by-step manual.  The personal touch that Greg offers is the perfect balance.  And as I read each chapter I felt my confidence increase.  I especially like the prayers he includes at the end of each chapter as a reminder that this is not through our power alone, but by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can find the words to say when God leads us to speak.


This book was so encouraging and challenging.  As Christians, we are all commanded to tell others about Christ, though many of us falter and cower from actually telling people about this amazing gift we have received.  If you struggle in the area of witnessing, then I HIGHLY recommend that you read this book.  It has been such a help and encouragement to me.


If you have read this book, I'd love to know your thoughts, comment below or email me here: coveredlifeblog@gmail.com


Love in Christ,

Alyson


*I received a copy of this book from B&H Publishing for my honest opinion.

Book Review: Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs

Photo Credit


This is my first encounter with Annie Downs, but I already feel like we are best friends.  Looking for Lovely, is a collection of experiences recorded by Annie in which she exposes very unlovely periods within her life but shares the healing process she experienced and the lovely she found through it all. 
Annie is completely genuine, open and vulnerable as she shares her struggles with weight, being single, being a quitter, loneliness, and many other areas. Yet, through it all, she doesn't come across as whiney or grumbling.  She shares her story with humor and humility while focusing on Jesus as the source of ultimate lovely.


I found Annie to be completely relatable and endearing. She had a wonderful way of sharing that though not all things are lovely, you can still look for the little lovelies in everything.

The audio version of the book was read by Annie Downs, and as I've mentioned before, I really enjoy the author reading their own work because these are her personal stories. She is completely engaging and you could hear the emotion in her voice- which I like much better than a detached voice that just reads the words.


This book was so enjoyable, I listened to the entire thing every chance I had and finished it within just a few days.  I have also added several of her previous books to my wish list and because we are best friends now, I've found her on Instagram and Twitter but if those aren't for you, have no worries she also has a blog (Annieblogs.com)


If you are looking for a book that will encourage you as well as challenge you this is the book for you.  And if you are looking for a fun author, blogger, Christian to follow then she's your girl!


If you have read Looking for Lovely, or any of Annie Downs' other works, I'd love to hear what you think- comment below!






Love in Christ,


Alyson


*I received a copy of this book from christianaudio.com for my honest review.