First Lutheran's Library book reviews


Greetings to our gentle First readers! Our LWML has a custom of sponsoring a book for the church library for those who have passed on the year before and been memorialized by a service at the church. Library volunteers have purchased, prepared the books for shelf placement and made them available to our library users. At this time, you’ll find them on top of the card catalogue. In future Library Corners you’ll read blurbs or reviews about the books. For now, below are book reviews from the “LAST CHANCE” book shelf. – Your faithful library volunteers Janie, Darlene, Shela, MaryLee, Corinne and Janis.

When life gets hard and the bombardment of bad news makes us anxious, it’s good to read a book that reminds us that there are still plenty of good people in the world, and plenty of reasons for hope. – Marie Bostwick, author.

EVERYONE NEEDS A MIRACLE. HE STILL MOVES STONES by Max Lucado. Found at 226.09 Luc on the LAST CHANCE BOOK SHELF. There are 21 chapters with each chapter about 2 pages long; so easy to find the time to read. Mr. Lucado has based each chapter on a parable/story in the Bible which is printed on the first page of the chapter for easy reference. Not Guilty, Don’t Miss the Party, When You and Your Kin Can’t, It’s Alright to Dream Again are just some of the chapters. Blurbs from the back of the book include: People with questions. The bible is absolutely full of them. A crook on a cross. A wild man in a cemetery. A five-time divorcee. A despondent cripple. A grieving sister. A father at the end of his rope. Lucado reminds us, the God who spoke to Moses at the burning bush still speaks loudly to you today. – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.

HE CHOSE THE NAILS by Max Lucado, 232.21 Luc. Copyright from 2000 and put into our library 2005. Taken from the back cover: “Linger on the hill of Calvary. Rub a finger on the timber and press the nail into your hand. Taste the tingle of cheap wine and feel the scrape of a thorn on your brow. Touch the velvet dirt, moist with the blood of God. Allow the tools of torture to tell their story. Listen as they tell you what God did to win your heart.”

LAND AND THE BOOK, THE by Charles R. Page II & Carl A. Volz, 220.9 Pag. Copyright from 1993 and put into our library in 2004. This is an introduction to the world of the Bible. Several appendixes-including charts and descriptions of archeological periods, a chronological chart of biblical events, and a glossary of terms-help the reader better understand the world of the Bible. 

LORD OF ALL – Developing a Christian World-and-Life View D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, 230.0l Ken. Copyright from 2005 and put into our library in 2007. The authors of this book put several of the anti-Christian worldviews that are eroding the foundations of our society up against Christianity, and the contrasts are clear: cynicism and hopelessness vs. meaning and purpose; confusion vs. truth; death vs. life. They define and defend a Cristian world-and-life view and show how to let God guide us as we live and work in an increasingly humanistic world.

Manners and Customs of Bible Lands by Fred H. Wight found at 220.9 Wig. Copyright from 1953 and put into our library in 2006. After paging through the book this caught my eye: The archaeological expedition conducted by Sir Charles Leonard Woolley at Ur of the Chaldees, from 1922 to 1934 has proven that there were schools in the city of Abraham’s youth. Discoveries prove that Abraham came from a city of high civilization. Another page refers to the songs found in the Bible. In addition to the Book of Psalms, there are numerous Hebrew poems that were originally sung as songs and are now a part of the Hebrew Bible. Just to name a few: Song sung by Moses and Miriam at the Red Sea, Song of the well, song Moses taught the Israelites about warnings and instructions, Song of Deborah, Song of Hannah. Another page refers to the importance of water. Archaeologists have discovered at least two ancient cities in addition to Jerusalem that brought water inside their city through a tunnel. – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus

REASONABLE ETHICS - A Christian Approach to Social, Economic, and Political Concerns by Robert Benne, 241 Ben. Copyright from 2005 and put into our library in 2007. 

Paging through it, I found the first part of the book – the autobiographical – as being more a personal account than an argument about ethics. His short essays looked like interesting reading so don’t let the following information taken from the back cover keep you from picking it up: “Robert Benne explores how adherents to Lutheran theology and ethics may lead to conservative convictions in political, cultural, economic and churchly matters in this collection of the best of his writings. Drawing on his own experiences and Lutheran ethics, Benne identifies core theological beliefs that Lutherans share and demonstrates how that core leads to persuasive perspectives on contemporary issues.” – Reviewed by Janie Carlson 

SHARE LIFE’S DEFINING MOMENTS, RELATING TO YOUR GROWN CHILDREN found at 306.87 Wei, published by Concordia Publishing House with 221 pages. Your relationship with your children is filled with constant changes. Little by little you give them room to grow, mature, and succeed as individuals. Now that they are adults, it’s time to redefine your relationship to keep it healthy and growing. And just as you need to know how to change your parenting methods, your adult children also need to learn to redefine their response to you. Taken from back of book. Chapters defining the generation gap, changing diapers to changing of the guard, bringing in the grandchildren and split families, and faith that unites, faith that divides. – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus


Greetings faithful First readers! Last month we finished processing more 2024 donated books and filed them with the others on top of the card catalogue. Soon we will be putting the 2023 donated books in their rightful place on the shelves and the 2024 books will take their place. We encourage you to peruse them as well as the LAST CHANCE books to find some new authors who may become your favorite! – Your faithful library volunteers – Janie, Darlene, Shela, MaryLee, Janis and Corinne.

Given a challenge, be like the sun: rise to the occasion.

AMAZING GRACE – William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas, 92 Met. From the cover: “…is the story of the remarkable life of the British abolitionist William Wilberforce (1759-1833). This accessible biography chronicles Wilberforce’s extraordinary role as a human rights activist, cultural reformer, and member of Parliament. At the center of this heroic life was a passionate twenty-year fight to abolish the British slave trade, a battle Wilberforce won in 1807, as well as efforts to abolish slavery itself in the British colonies, a victory achieved just three days before his death in 1833.”

IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE by Leah Weiss, 813.6 Wei. Taken from the back cover: “Every page has a pulse as fierce and unyielding as its Appalachian setting…It is a lush exploration of the darkest rooms in the human heart, and the brightest fires of the human spirit.” – Erika Marks, author of THE LAST TREASURE.

ORDINARY WOMEN OF THE BIBLE This is a wonderful series of books that depicts little known women of the Bible. The ARK BUILDER’S WIFE by Tracy Higley weaves a story of how Noah’s wife dealt with Noah’s calling of building an Ark. The series can be found together on a shelf above the THE PEOPLE’S BIBLE COMMENTARY series. – Reviewed by Shela Cline. 

RECLAIMING LILY by Patti Lacy, 813.6 Lac. Taken from the back cover: “A mother’s love, a sister’s promise, will two women find the path to save a young woman’s life? When an insidious genetic disease strikes her family, Harvard graduate Dr. Kai Chang must alert Lily, the sister Kai left on orphanage steps years earlier. Standing in her way are the Powells, Lily’s adoptive parents. Gloria Powell, a shy pastor’s wife, distrusts Kai and thinks her presence will send their troubled seventeen-year-old over the precipice of teenaged angst. A Texas-sized tornado whirls when Kai summons the Powells to a Fort Worth hotel. Tempers and cultures collide. Can Kai and Gloria, separated by culture and faith but devoted to Lily, reconcile their differences and trust their dreams to God?”

PEOPLE’S BIBLE COMMENTARY: Psalms 73 – 150. This volume continues the commentary on the book of Psalms. These psalms are the works of various authors, including David, Moses, Asaph, and the sons of Korah. Some psalm collections in this volume include the Passover Hallel (113 – 118), the Songs of Ascents (120 – 134) and the Hallelujah Psalms (146 – 150). Taken from the back of the volume.

One of my favorites is Psalm 100: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.


Greetings to our gentle First readers! Again, we’ve been blessed with donated books, some of which have been entered into the system already and are found on top of the shelf catalogue. We know that you’ll find something you’ll enjoy reading! – Your faithful library volunteers Janie, Darlene, Shela, MaryLee, Corinne, and Janis.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It is not. – The Lorax 

ALL RIVERS TO THE SEA by Bodie & Brock Thoene, 813.54 book 4 of The Galway Chronicles. From the back cover: “It is October 1844. With the death of the evil Colonel Mahon and the greatest harvest of potatoes in living memory, it looks like peace and prosperity are finally on the way to the village of Ballyknockanor. But this is only the calm before the storm. Politically, British invaders threaten to undermine the movement for Irish independence, but it is the impending potato blight that very well may end all dreams and destroy a centuries-old way of life…As Kate waits for the birth of their baby, Joseph is in hiding in London, trying to find his way to come to Ireland and assure himself of his beloved wife’s safety. But plot and counterplot stand between him and a sweet reunion with those he loves.” – Please note that we have bk 1 Only the River Runs Free and bk 3 Ashes of Remembrance of The Galway Chronicles in our church library.

WHEN JESUS WEPT by Bodie & Brock Thoene, 813.54 Tho, book 1 of Jerusalem Chronicles. From the back cover: “LAZARUS-the man Jesus raised from the dead in one of the most extraordinary encounters with The Living Savior in all of Scripture. But the life of Lazarus holds interest well beyond this miraculous event. Living in Bethany, near Jerusalem, Lazarus witnessed many of the most important events of Jesus’s life and ministry…Lazarus owned a vineyard and devoted his life to caring for its vines and fruit. But he encountered another man – Jesus – whose vineyard was the world, its fruit the eternal souls of men. When Lazarus’s story and the story of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection touch in WHEN JESUS WEPT, we are offered a unique vision into the power and comfort of Christ’s love…Brock and Bodie Thoene’s most powerful and climactic writing project to date, WHEN JESUS WEPT, captures the power and passion of the men and women who lived through the most important days in the history of the world.”

BEHOLD THE MAN by Bodie & Brock Thoene, 813.54 Tho, book 3 of Jerusalem Chronicles. From the back cover: “Encounter the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth in this culmination of the Jerusalem Chronicles. Jesus’s last days are explored through three people who interacted with him: Governor Pilate, for whom Judea will either make or break his career; Pilate’s wife, Claudia, desperately seeking aid for her much loved, crippled son; and Centurion Marcus Longinus, caught in the middle between loyalty to the Empire, love for Claudia, and an ever-increasing belief in Jesus as the Son of God. After encountering Jesus, none of them will ever be the same.”

THE PEOPLE’S BIBLE COMMENTARY: PSALMS This volume begins the commentary on the book of Psalms, covering Psalms 1 to 72. King David, a gifted poet and musician, composed many of these psalms to express his faith in the Lord. His psalms have come to be reassured by believers throughout the centuries for their depth of faith and their beauty. Taken from back of book.

Taken from page 39: Psalms 1 and 2 form an introduction to the whole book of Psalms. Together they deal with two of the most important themes of Psalms: the believer’s attitude towards God’s Word and the believer’s attitude toward God’s Messiah. Psalm 1 begins with a blessing on the person who obeys God’s Word. Psalm 2 ends with a blessing on the person who trusts God’s Messiah. – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.


Greetings gentle First readers! Another month already…time flies by swiftly, doesn’t it? Make time for reading and choose a couple books from our church library shelves to transport you to another world. – Your faithful library volunteers Janie, Darlene, Shela, MaryLee, Corinne, and Janis.

Asking me if I like reading is like asking me if I like breathing.

ANNA’S HEALING by Vannetta Chapman, 813.6 Cha. Taken from the back cover: “When disaster strikes…hope and love rise to meet it. When a tornado hits the farms surrounding Cody’s Creek, Oklahoma, Anna Schwartz’s life is changed forever. She suffers a devastating injury and suddenly finds herself learning to negotiate her world from a wheelchair…Three people – Chloe Roberts, Jacob Graber, and Ruth Schwartz – join forces to help Anna through her darkest days. Chloe, an Englischer, writes for the local paper. Jacob, recently arrive in town, stays on as a hired hand at her uncle’s. And Ruth, her grandmother, offers her deep faith and compassionate spirit…Then one morning Anna wakes and finds herself healed. How did it happen? Why did it happen? And what is she to do now? Her life is again turned upside down as the world’s attention is drawn to this young Amish girl who has experienced the unexplainable.”

BRIDGE TO HAVEN by Francine Rivers, 813.54 Riv. Taken from the back cover: “To those who matter in Hollywood, Lena Scott is the hottest rising star to hit the silver screen since Marilyn Monroe. Few know her real name is Abra. Even fewer know the price she’s finally paid to feel like she’s somebody…To Pastor Ezekiel Freeman, Abra will always be the little girl who stole his heart the night he found her, a wailing newborn abandoned under a bridge on the outskirts of Haven. Zeke and his son, Joshua – Abra’s closest friend – watch her grow into an exotic beauty. But Zeke knows the circumstances surrounding Abra’s birth have etched scars deep in her heart, scars that leave her vulnerable to a fast-talking charmer who lures her to Tinseltown. Hollywood feels like a million miles from Haven, and naïve Abra quickly learns what’s expected of an ambitious girl with stars in her eyes. She discovers too late that fame comes at a devastating price…In this riveting saga of temptation, grace, and unconditional love, the beloved author of Redeeming Love delivers big-canvas storytelling at its very best.” 

WAKE UP WITH PURPOSE – What I’ve Learned in My First Hundred Years by Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM with Seth Davis, 92 Sch. Quotes from back cover: “Sister Jean is a national treasure. She’s funny, smart, and tough, and she has learned a lot of important lessons during her first hundred years. This book delivers all of that and so much more.” Jim Nantz, CBS Sports. “We need to be at least a little uncomfortable in order to grow. If you keep moving, eventually you’ll find your balance.” Sister Jean. From the front inside cover: “A century in the making. Part memoir and part spiritual guide…captures the humor, wisdom, and common sense that have made Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt and icon of faith and joy. Join Sister Jean on an inspiring journey through her first century of life, and discover the universal themes that connect us all – from the power of listening to the heavenly joy of a good belly laugh…Just as college students do today in Sister Jean’s office, settle yourself in a chair across from this irrepressible fan of basketball and dynamic symbol of faith. Get ready for a good chat, a great story, and a dose of enthusiastic insight from a woman who never lets the world get her down.”

People’s Bible Commentary on Job:  Job is a literary masterpiece that tells the story of a man described as “blameless and upright” who “feared God and shunned evil.”  Yet Job suffered. In this book God reminds believers that He sometimes sends suffering to test them.  His faithful people patiently endure each trial and trust that God’s ways are far beyond the human ability to understand.  Taken from the back of the book.

I liked the following paragraph from this book.  One writer stated in an article entitled “The Heart of Job’s Theology.” In the Incarnation the divine Christ did appear as man’s Umpire, his Middleman, his Mediator. The Referee, Jesus Christ, laid His one hand on God’s shoulder and His other hand on man’s shoulder and brought them together.  He removed the rod of God’s just wrath from man by deflecting it and making its deadly strokes fall on Himself.  He opened the way for man to approach God and address Him without fear.” Alfred von Rohr Sauer, Concordia Theological Monthly Volume 37, Number 5, page 263.  We think of Jesus standing between God and man.  Reviewed by Darlene.


Happy New Year’s greetings to our gentle First readers!
We encourage you to take time to peruse all the new books added to the 2023 shelves. The Christmas themed-books are still on top of the shelf catalogue and have several new ones there too. You’re sure to find something to spark your interest to check out and take home. Curl up in a comfy chair, in front of a fireplace (if you’re so blessed to have one), and take a trip to somewhere you’ve never been or read one that revisits places of past trips. Perhaps write a review for future Library Corners? Your faithful library volunteers – Janie, Darlene, Shela and MaryLee.
Kindness is like snow – it beautifies everything it covers.
GERMAN GIRL, THE by Armando Lucas Correa, 813.6 Cor. From the back cover: “Berlin, 1939. Before everything changed, Hannah Rosenthal lived a charmed life. But now, the streets of Berlin are draped in ominous flags and Hannah is no longer welcome in the places she once considered home. A glimmer of hope appears in the shape of the St. Louis, a transatlantic ocean line promising Jews safe passage to Cuba. At first, the liner feels like luxury, but as they travel the circumstances of war change, and the ship that was to be their salvation seems likely to become their doom…New York, 2014. On her twelfth birthday, Anna Rosen receives a mysterious package from an unknown relative in Cuba, her great-aunt Hannah. Its contents inspire Anna and her mother to travel to Havana to learn the truth about their family’s mysterious and tragic past…Weaving dual time frames, and based on a true story, The German Girl is a beautifully written and deeply poignant story about generations of exiles seeking a place to call home.” 
LIBYAN DIVERSION, THE by Joel C. Rosenberg, 813.6 Ros. This is the 5th book of the Marcus Ryker series of Thriller Novels. Ryker has been working to destroy the terrorist group Kairos and finally he has succeeded in eliminating the leader, Abu Nakba. Or so he thinks. Just as Ryker is assembling his team for a new assignment in the never ending battle against terrorism, he gets information that he may have made a terrible mistake. His name and reputation have been damaged when it is revealed that Abu Nakba is alive and planning a major terrorist act within the U.S.  The Libyan Diversion threatens to leave Ryker powerless and on the sidelines just when America needs him most.  This is suspenseful and could be ripped right from today’s headlines. A real page turner for those who enjoy mystery thrillers. – Reviewed by Corinne Hultman.
LOVE FINDS YOU IN HOMESTEAD IOWA by Melanie Dobson, FIC Dob. Taken from the back cover: “Times are hard in 1894, desperate for work, former banker Jacob Hirsch rides the rails west from Chicago with his four-year-old daughter, Cassie. When a life-threatening illness strands the pair in Homestead, Iowa, the local Amana villagers welcome the father and daughter into their peaceful society. Liesel, a young Amana woman, nurses Cassie back to health, and the Homestead elders offer Jacob work. But Jacob’s growing interest in Liesel complicates his position in the Amanas. Will he fight to stay in the only place that feels like home, even if it means giving up the woman he loves? Or will Liesel leave her beloved community to face the outside world with Jacob and Cassie at her side?” 
WORDS WE LOST, THE by Nicole Deese, 813.6 Dee. Book 1 of A Fog Harbor Romance series. Taken from the back cover: “A poignant, masterful exploration of the enduring power of friendship and love.” A Goodreads review: “This book is about grief, but also a love story. It’s a story of healing and found family. It’s thoughtful, insightful, moving and one you will want to take your time with and savor. We follow three friends who have a “chance” meeting long ago and find their soulmates in one another.” – I took my time with reading this novel. It had a split-time element that was tricky to follow at times, but got better as it went on. Very satisfying and uplifting read. We’ll want to watch for book 2 coming out in May 2024, THE ROADS WE FOLLOW. Also note that our church library has BEFORE I CALLED YOU MINE which I also highly recommend! – Janie Carlson.

THE PEOPLE’S COMMENTARY ON EZRA, NEHEMIAH, ESTHER: Taken from back of book. After 70 years of captivity in Babylon, God’s people returned to Palestine. Ezra and Nehemiah relate the struggles of God’s people as they returned and restored their homeland. The book of Esther tells of a beautiful Jewish woman who became queen and then risked her life to save her people.
From page 8: The main theme of the book of Ezra is the contrast between God’s grace and human sinfulness. God had graciously restored Israel to the land of promise. And how did the people of Israel show their thankfulness? They neglected the rebuilding of His temple. Nevertheless, God sent the prophets Haggai and Zechariah and the priest Ezra to get them back on course so that the nation would be prepared for the coming of the long-awaited Messiah. This book will be a great blessing to us in that it provides much hope and encouragement for the people of God today. Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.


Greetings gentle First readers! As we usually do during the month of December, we’ve brought out our Christmas-themed books and DVDs and placed them on top of the card catalogue shelf for your convenience. Also, we’re thankful for the many books donated from our faithful readers. They’ve been processed and placed on the 2023 bookshelf. By the time you read this another ten books received from our AngelZs will be processed so be sure to look at the 2023 book shelf. We’re sure there will be something new to catch your interest.

Following the educational wing renovation, we welcomed many wonderful people who helped with cleaning the shelves and books, and moving the books to numerically begin on the renovated magazine side made into flat shelves (thanks Mr. H!). This has made more room for books on the shelves. Please note that the bookshelves for younger people are back-to-back and across from the window. The book shelf for middle and teens is next to the lift. Thanks to all those who helped us! – Your faithful library volunteers Janie, Darlene, Shela, and newbie Mary Lee.  

“When we meet and I discover that we have read and loved the same books, we are instant friends.” – Donalyn Miller

CHILDREN OF THE STARS by Mario Escobar, 813.6 Esc. “Escobar highlights the tempestuous, uplifting story of two Jewish brothers who cross Nazi-occupied France in hope of reuniting with their parents in this excellent tale…Among the brutality and despair that follows in the wake of the Nazis’ rampage through France, Escobar uncovers hope, heart, and faith in humanity.”

RELATIVE JUSTICE by Robert Whitlow, 813.54 Whi. Taken from the back cover: “David Cobb is not a typical lawyer – he’s more interested in dispensing God’s wisdom than pertinent legal advice. High-stakes litigation is way outside his comfort zone…For many years Zeke Caldwell has been concocting home remedies made from natural ingredients found in the coastal marshes near Wilmington, North Carolina. One of his remedies proved so effective that he patented it with the help of David’s father. Now he suspects a big drug company has stolen his formula. What he doesn’t know is that the theft has deeper, more evil roots… Life’s circumstances compel the lawyers to face not only patent piracy but also personal obstacles and struggles that threaten to rip apart the fabric of the family. The fight for Zeke requires all the relatives to unite for justice.” – I found this book to be a page-turner, and hard to put down. Be sure to read the Discussion Questions in the back for more thought provoking insight into the characters and their relationship with God. – Janie Carlson.

SISTERS OF SEA VIEW by Julie Klassen, 813.6 Kla. Book 1 of On Devonshire Shores series. Taken from the back cover: “When their father’s death leaves them impoverished, Sarah Summers and her genteel sisters fear they will be forced to sell the house and separate to earn livelihoods as governesses or companions. Determined to stay together, Sarah convinces them to open their seaside home to guests to make ends meet and provide for their ailing mother. Instead of the elderly invalids they expect to receive, however, they find themselves hosting eligible gentlemen. Sarah is soon torn between a growing attraction to a mysterious Scottish widower and duty to her family…Join the Summers sisters on the Devonshire coast, where they discover the power of friendship, loyalty, love, and new beginnings.”

smart girl’s guide to starting middle school, aeverything you need to know about juggling more homework, more teachers, and more friends! by Julie Williams, JUV Wil. On the back cover “American Girl celebrates a girl’s inner star – that little whisper inside that encourages her to stand tall, reach high, and dream big. We take pride and care in helping girls become their very best today, so they’ll grow up to be the women who make a difference tomorrow.” – Even though it’s written for starting middle school students, whatever grade you’re in, you’ll find something that will speak to you. Parents will get clues as to what their child is going through and find ways to help. I enjoyed reading it too! – Janie Carlson

THE PEOPLE’S BIBLE COMMENTARY ON 2 CHRONICLES:  The second book of Chronicles continues the history of God’s people.  Beginning with the reign of Solomon, the book tells the story of the decline of God’s people.  Eventually God sent the Babylonians, who destroyed Jerusalem and carried God’s people off into exile. The book ends with the decree of Cyrus, which allowed them to return to and rebuild their land.  Taken from the back of the book. 

In his last verse, the Chronicler has given us the goal of God’s rule.  God works in history to restore His people to the Land of Promise, where they may live a life centered around His dwelling place and bask in the joy of His presence.  The Chronicle permits the words of the Persian king to serve as his final words of encouragement and so ends his book on this note of hope and new beginnings. Taken from page 432. These books have been so concise with printing the Bible verses first and then the commentary making it so easy to read.  Reviewed by Darlene Baltus. 


Greetings gentle First readers! It’s a beautiful autumn month and during this time we tend to think about all the things for which we’re thankful. Among other things, your church library volunteers are thankful for the wonderful books being donated by our faithful readers. Many treats are in store for you on our shelves. Take a minute to find a couple to bring home and then curl up in your comfy chair for a relaxing break from the world’s turmoil. As always, if you want to read all of a series of 3 books, feel free to check the three out and return them together when you’re finished.– Your faithful library volunteers – Janie, Darlene and Shela.

Books are a banquet for the mind…Stuff yourself!

ELEMENT OF LOVE, THE by Mary Connealy, 813.6 Con. Bk 1 of The Lumber Baron’s Daughters. Taken from the back cover: “With their sharp engineering minds, Laura Stiles and her two sisters have been able to deal with their mother’s unfortunate choice in husband until they discovered his plans to marry each of them off to his lecherous friends. Now they must run away – far and fast – to find better matches to legally claim their portion of their father’s lumber dynasty and seize control from their stepfather. …During their escape, Laura befriends a mission group heading to serve the poor in California. She quickly volunteers herself and her sisters to join their efforts. Despite the settlement being in miserable condition, the sisters are excited by the opportunity to put their skills to good use. Laura also sees potential in Caleb, the mission’s parson, to help her gaining her inheritance. But when secrets buried in Caleb’s past in the land around them come to light, it’ll take all the smarts the sisters have to help keep trouble at bay.”

INVENTIONS OF THE HEART by Mary Connealy, 813.6 Con. Bk 2 of The Lumber Baron’s Daughters. Taken from the back cover:After her sister’s marriage, Michelle Stiles is left hiding at Two Harts Ranch with the handsome but stubborn Zane Hart. She’s managed to stay one step ahead of her stepfather and his devious plans, but if he finds her, she will no longer be safe. ...Zane has problems of his own. Having discovered a gold mine on his property, he must figure out how to harvest it without kicking off a gold rush. Michelle, educated and trained to run her father’s business, wants to manage all aspects of the mine, but Zane thinks for a person so smart she can have some misguided ideas. Running the mining operation will be a dangerous job, and he can’t risk putting her in harm’s way. …But danger finds Michelle anyway when she’s suddenly attacked. If they go to the sheriff, they’ll reveal her location, but if they do nothing. …their troubles have only just begun.”

MODEL OF DEVOTION, A by Mary Connealy, 813.6 Con. Bk 3 of The Lumber Baron’s Daughters. Taken from the back cover: “A brilliant engineer, Jilly Stiles has been educated since childhood to help run her father’s lumber dynasty. With the company safe from her stepfather after the marriages of her two sisters, Jilly can now focus on her dream of building a mountaintop railroad – and never marry. …Nick Ryder came into Jilly’s life when he saved her mother from her no-good stepfather, and he’s prepared to protect Jilly from anything that threatens to harm her – as long as he keeps his heart from getting involved. ...But when a cruel and powerful man goes to dangerous lengths to make Jilly his own, she must make a decision between her safety and her hard-won independence.”

THE PEOPLE’S BIBLE COMMENTARY: 1 CHRONICLES: The first book of Chronicles traces the history of God’s people from Adam to David. Through this history God reminded His people that the Messiah, the royal descendant of David, would come. When the Messiah did come, He established God’s righteous rule over his people in a way far beyond the rule of any human king. – Taken from back of book.

History summed up in one book, what a time saver! It just becomes a taste for digging deeper into each of the preceding books! In 539 BC a power shift occurred that changed the existing world. Progress was slow in rebuilding the temple and then the restored community went into a period of decline for next 50 years. God works in Ezra and Nehemiah’s life always moving forward. Reviewed by Darlene B.


Greetings to our gentle First readers! We’ve been blessed with more book donations – look for them mixed in with the other 2023 donations in the end book shelf. It’s such a joy to see new and older books being checked out each week. We encourage you to take a look at our shelves and find something that interests you. – Your faithful library workers – Janie, Darlene and Shela. 

“You are not done with a book until you pass it to another reader.”- Donalyn Miller

BEST GIFT, THE by Walt Larimore, MD, 92 Lar. Taken from the back cover: “When Walt Larimore, MD, moved his young family to Kissimmee, Florida, to start a small-town medical practice in 1985, he had no idea he was embarking on an enterprise that would change his life in ways both large and small. … This tender and insightful collection of stories chronicles one young doctor’s growth as a physician, husband, father, and community member. Filled with characters who are both colorful and crusty, warmhearted and hotheaded, witty and winsome, these captivating stories glow with drama and are sprinkled with warmth, love, and humor. …You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll learn some of life’s greatest lessons. And you’ll wish Dr. Larimore was your doctor.” 

TWO RIVERS by Michael W. Henry, 813.6 Hen. Bk 1 of The Two Rivers Trilogy. Taken from back cover: “In 1840 Pastor Allen Hartman leaves behind his white-steepled church in New York, and the woman he hopes to marry, to serve as a missionary to Indians in the Oregon Territory. On his epic westward journey, he is plunged into the dark end of spiritual warfare and vital intercession. His mettle is further tested when he’s asked to stay in the village of Arapaho already contending with a malevolent witch doctor – where Allen has to draw upon courage he didn’t know he possessed and discovers ministering to Indians is not at all what he imagined…Arapaho medicine man Two Rivers knows one thing – the Great Spirit is sending White Falcon to help his people defeat the malicious spiritual forces determined to overpower the tribe. But even as White Falcon teams up with Two Rivers, Allen finds himself enslaved in a cave and in a heaven-meets-earth clash of faith with an evil sorcerer. With his life at stake and his new friends unable to help, will Spirit-led prayers of believers lead to a complete victory, or will something be left undone? – Note that the author’s ministry has spanned from serving as a missionary in Mexico, where he encountered intense spiritual warfare, to planting and pastoring churches in Washington State. 

DOWN THE RIVER by Michael W. Henry, 813.6 Hen. Bk 2 of The Two Rivers Trilogy. Taken from the back cover: “Allen Hartman, missionary to the Arapaho in 1840, finds himself facing disgrace from his denomination, for dressing like the natives and living in their camps. When Allen departs on what should be an uneventful journey to clear his name, he is thrust into a mission to rescue his close friend Deacon Abraham, a former slave who’s been kidnapped by a depraved, vile man. Allen – no stranger to spiritual warfare – will stop at nothing to save his friend, including fending off river pirates out for blood and demonic forces intent on stealing lives…Pastor to a small church in Ohio, Deacon Abraham risks his life daily to help transport runaway slaves to the next leg of their freedom trek. But it’s more than his life that’s at stake when he’s captured by a minion to a dark, formable being – it’s his soul. In bk 2 of The Two Rivers Trilogy, will the prayer warriors interceding for Deacon Abraham and Allen be enough to defeat the haunting evil, or will two men of God be brought to their knees before an insidious power?” – A faithful member who read bks 1 and 2 said they were very good and she would purchase bk 3 for the library!

The People’s Bible Commentary on 1, 2 Kings. Taken from the back of the book:  The two books of Kings trace the history of God’s Old Testament people from King Solomon to the Babylonian exile.  During that time God’s one nation became two:  Israel, to the north, and Judah, to the south.  Both kingdoms drifted away from the Lord.  Yet the Lord sent Elijah and Elisha to call His people to repentance. 

On page 28, it reads:  Since God’s people today often find themselves inadequate for the work God has assigned to them, they would do well to imitate Solomon’s prayer for wisdom. Children might pray, “God, give me wisdom so that I know how to honor my parents and other superiors.”  Parents might pray “God, give me wisdom to understand my children and to discipline them in love.”  Church leaders might pray, “God give me wisdom so that I properly rebuke all sin and unbelief and so that I speak words of real comfort to all who need them.” All Christians might pray, “God give me wisdom to understand correctly the situations that confront me, wisdom to speak fitting words so that others might come to glorify you as their Savior.” Reviewed by Darlene Baltus 


Greetings to our gentle First readers! Such a busy summer we all had. Many of you took time out to read a book or two or… and we hope this trend continues upward. We have so many good new books on the 2023 shelves as well as those on all the other shelves. Check one out and let us know what you think. – Janie, Darlene and Shela, your faithful church library workers.

“Nothing can do what a book can do. Lifts you out of your life…to a whole new world, whole new perspective. A book is like a dream you are borrowing from a friend.” – Dave Kellet

WINDSWEPT WAY by Irene Hannon, 813.54 Han. Book 9 of A Hope Harbor novel. From the back cover: “One house that deserves a second chance meets two hearts that deserve the same…Buying a haunted house was never in Ashley Scott’s plans, but when an intriguing opportunity drops into her lap after a major life setback, she finds herself trekking cross-country to Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast to launch a new life…Wounded warrior Jonathan Gray isn’t sure what to make of the attractive woman on his reclusive older neighbor’s isolated property, but her presence is none of his business – until she enlists his help with an ambitious project. When Jonathan finds his interest in the new arrival becoming more personal than professional, however, his defenses go up. There’s no room in his life – or his heart – for romance. Yet as these two hurting souls join forces to restore life, laughter, and love to a historic estate, might they also find healing, hope, and happiness themselves?”- Please note that we have the first 8 books in our library.

BROKER OF LIES by Steven James, 813.6 Jam. Taken from the back cover: “When Travis Brock, a high-level Pentagon redactor with an eidetic memory, finds a clue to solving the tragic arson that took his wife from him, he risks everything to find the truth – and chances losing himself in the process…With a terror attack looming on the horizon and a pair of assassins on his tail, Brock drops off the grid and joins forces with a disavowed Homeland Security operative. Together they must race to stop the attack before Brock is neutralized by the people he trusts the most. From critically acclaimed, bestselling novelist Steven James comes a smart, wire-tight, and emotionally resonant thriller that asks just how far across the line we might go to see justice carried out.”

SWISS NURSE, THE by Mario Escobar, 813.6 Esc. From the back cover: “Elisabeth Eidenbenz left Switzerland in 1937 to aid children orphaned during the Spanish Civil War. Now, her work has led her to France, where she’s determined to provide expectant mothers and their unborn children a refuge amid one of the worst humanitarian crises of the twentieth century…Based on the true stories of refugees and the woman who risked everything to save them, The Swiss Nurse shares a message of love and strength amid one of history’s often overlooked conflicts.” 


Greetings to our gentle First readers! Watch the shelf for the new books purchased with funds from LWML in memory of our members who died in 2022. Many will be reviewed in future Library Corners. – Janie, Darlene and Shela. 

A smile is a curve that can set things straight!

SARAH’S ORPHANS by Vannetta Chapman, 813.6 Chap. Taken from the back cover: “Orphaned…but never abandoned by God… Sarah Yoder belongs to a Plain community in Oklahoma, but her days are far from simple. Life suddenly gets complicated when a series of tragic events unfold, leaving her in charge of the household. Alone with her younger siblings, Sarah is exhausted but finally at peace. Then she nearly runs over a small Hispanic boy with her buggy…and somehow finds herself sheltering two more orphans.” “A story of extraordinary grace and love in the face of desperate need, it the third standalone novel in the Plain and Simple Miracles collection by Vannetta Chapman.” – This was an amazing story and I recommend reading it! – Janie Carlson

BEIRUT PROTOCOL, THE by Joel C. Rosenberg, 813.6 Ros. Book 4 of a Marcus Ryker Novel. Taken from the back cover: “Marcus Ryker has spent his whole life protecting others, first as a marine, then as a Secret Service agent, and finally as a clandestine CIA operative. But this time it’s his own life in danger…When a routine advance trip along the Israeli-Lebanese border goes horribly wrong, American operatives are ambushed and captured by a rogue Hezbollah special forces team…For the White House, it’s a nightmare scenario. If Marcus and his colleagues are tortured and executed on live television, the president will have no choice but to embroil the American people in yet another war they have no stomach for and likely can’t win…Marcus now faces a life-or-death battle, and the odds of survival are narrowing by the hour. Escape seems impossible. Rescue is a quickly fading hope. All Marcus has to rely on is his training, his experience, and his faith.”

SWEET LIFE, THE by Suzanne Woods Fisher, 813.6 Fis. Book 1 of Cape Cod Creamery series. Taken from the back cover: “Welcome to summer on Cape Cod – a place where the sweet life just might be possible…Dawn Dixon can’t believe she’s on a groomless honeymoon on beautiful Cape Cod…with her mother. She was supposed to be her with Kevin, the man she loves. Still, Mom was the right choice. Dawn’s heart may have been broken, but Marnie Dixon is in need of mending as well…But Mom – being Mom – creates a mess when, on a whim, she buys a run-down ice cream shop in the town’s tightly regulated historic district with big plans to fix it up. She’s never remodeled anything. And she’s never even made ice-cream!...Dawn knows she has to stay and fix this fiasco. But her mother’s money pit ice cream shop may have created a chance for a happy ending…one Dawn could never have expected.” – I read this on vacation in Door County and thoroughly enjoyed it! – Janie Carlson.

The People’s Bible Commentary:  1, 2 Samuel  Samuel’s mother, Hannah, dedicated her young son to the work of the Lord.  Samuel grew up to become one of Israel’s great prophets and led God’s people through turbulent times.  The two books of Samuel tell the story of this great leader who anointed the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David.  Taken from the back of the book.

So many good pages to read and reread; this is just a small section.  The narratives in Samuel present us with the good news of the gospel in Old Testament garb. Here the patience of God and His faithfulness to His Word are displayed.  We see a God who answers prayer and who finds a way to deliver and rescue His own no matter how fearful the circumstances.  We are further encouraged to claim the Lord as our rock, our fortress, our strength and our deliverer.  We learn that there is no sin so terrible that it cannot be forgiven.  The person who has wandered farthest from the heart of God may yet, by repentance and faith, be restored into God’s family and favor. Finally, here we learn that out of weak, sinful nobodies like ourselves, God still can make people after His own heart, all for the sake of Jesus.  The above was taken from page 6.  Another paragraph on page 19:  When Martin Luther was a student at the University of Erfurt, he found a copy of the Bible in the school library.  As he paged through Scripture, he happened upon verse 10 (God calling Samuel) and read it with great interest.  How he wished he could be like Samuel and hear God’s voice!  The great discovery of Luther’s life was that on the pages of the Bible, God does speak to us as He once spoke to Samuel.  Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.


Greetings to our gentle First readers! Summer has arrived and there’s nothing like a good book to read in a comfy chair inside or a hammock in the shade of a tree when it’s too hot to be out in the sun! Be sure to check the new books  on the shelf labeled 2023. We thank our generous book angelZ and others for donating books. – Janie, Darlene and Shela, your faithful church library workers

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. – George R.R. Martin.

DIVINE INTERVENTION by Hope Callaghan, 813.6 Cal. Book 1 of the Divine Cozy Mystery series. Taken from the back cover: “At the centermost point of the United States, lies the tiny town of Divine, Kansas, boasting a population of just over 1,200 and yet, thousands of tourists flock there every year. So what’s so special about this mysterious little town smack-dab in the middle of nowhere? For newcomer and businesswoman Jo Pepperdine, it’s the perfect site for not only a home for women to get back on their feet after being released from prison, but also her Second Chance Mercantile and Divine Baked Goods Shop…But not everyone is ready to welcome Jo and the “outcasts,” and it seems someone is determined to destroy their dream of a second chance…Can Jo and her friends get to the bottom of the crimes…or will it take a Divine intervention to solve the mystery?”

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT by Christina Suzann Nelson, 813.6 Nel. From the back cover: “Popular podcaster and ex-reporter Faith Byrne made a name for herself telling stories of greatness after tragedy – but her real life does not mirror the stories she tells. While her daughters spend the summer in Hawaii with her ex-husband and his new wife, she must manage life on her own. All of that changes when she’s asked to spotlight her childhood best friend’s missing person case on her podcast…Dora Crane has never accepted that her younger daughter could be dead, keeping her home looking the same as when her daughter disappeared. But when her husband leaves her and her older daughter intervenes, she agrees to counselling and to pack up her missing daughter’s belongings under one condition: Faith Byrne comes to Deep Valley and sheds light on the cold case…As the long-abandoned investigation moves forward, old wounds and long-buried secrets are exposed. Will these two women, whose lives have never been the same, finally get the answers they need to reconcile the past and future?” – This heartbreaking story will keep you guessing – and hoping – with the turn of every redemptive page. – Erin Bartels, award winning author of THE GIRL WHO COULD BREATHE UNDER WATER.

WORDS WE LOST, THE by Nicole Deese, 813.6 Dee. From the back cover: “As a senior acquisitions editor for Fog Harbor Books in San Francisco, Ingrid Erikson has rejected many a manuscript for lack of defined conflict and dramatic irony – two elements her current life possesses in spades. In the months following the death of her childhood best friend and international bestselling author Cecelia Campbell, Ingrid has not only lost her ability to escape into fiction due to a rare trauma response, but she’s also desperate to find the closure she’s convinced will come with Cecelia’s missing final manuscript…After Ingrid jeopardizes her career, she fears her future will remain irrevocably broken. But then Joel Campbell – the man who shattered her belief in happily-ever-after – offers her a sealed envelope from his late cousin, Cecelia, asking Joel and Ingrid to put their differences aside and retrieve a mysterious package in their coastal Washington hometown…Honoring Cecelia’s last request will challenge their convictions and test their loyalties, but through it all, will Ingrid and Joel be brave enough to uncover a twice-in-a-lifetime love?” – I’ll guess they will but only after more tribulations. Wonder what’s in the package? Suppose I’ll have to read it to find out. Will you beat me to it?? – Janie Carlson

The People’s Bible Commentary:  JUDGES, RUTH 

The book of Judges records the stories of those leaders God sent to rescue his people before Israel had kings.  Each account reveals how frequently God’s people turned away from him and yet how faithful God was in sending them deliverance.  Ruth is the beautiful story of a Moabite woman who became an ancestor to King David and to Jesus.  Taken from back of the book. There were so many pages I marked for writing this review.  Pages 40, 43, 60, 64, 96,180, 189, 193 to name a few.  The theme of the book seems to be: Apostasy, Oppression, Deliverance, and Rest.  Passage from Ezekiel 33:11 ”I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.”  All kinds of maps helping the reader visualize the events.  A curious note about the tribe of Dan and the 12 tribes of Israel in the book of Revelation 7:5-8. – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.


Greetings to our gentle First readers! We’ve been fortunate to receive more donations of series books. Author Joel G. Rosenberg has written The Twelfth Imam Collection, The Last Jihad Collection and the standalone The Auschwitz Escape. We have all of them and now a new collection of Joel’s is his J.B. Collins Novels that has been added to our end bookshelf: THE THIRD TARGET, THE FIRST HOSTAGE and WITHOUT WARNING. Watch for information about them in future Library Corners.

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. – Mason Cooley

24 HOURS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD by Adam Hamilton, 232.96 Ham. “The aim of this book is to help you better understand the events that occurred during the last 24 hours of Jesus’ life, see more clearly he theological significance of Christ’s suffering and death, and reflect  upon the meaning of these events for your life. Writing this book and creating the videos on location in Jerusalem have deepened my own faith and my sense of love and gratitude for Jesus Christ. I pray that reading this book will have the same effect on you.” – Adam Hamilton.

LOVE AND JUSTICE – A STORY OF TRIUMPH ON TWO DIFFERENT COURTS by Maya Moore Irons and Jonathan Irons, 92 Iro. Taken from the back cover: “One of sports’ greatest champions, with more power and influence than she ever cared to admit, crossed paths with one of America’s forgotten Black sons, wrongfully incarcerated for life. In joining his fight for justice, dignity, and freedom, they won a future more precious than either of them could have imagined. Maya and Jonathan’s story is powerful, their sacrifice is challenging, and their work has only just begun.” – Kyle Korver. – While away on vacation I read this and was blown away by the account of their histories and how their lives intertwined. God had a purpose for everything they experienced.  Please read it – you won’t be disappointed. – Janie Carlson. 

WAITING FOR SUMMER’S RETURN by Kim Vogel Sawyer, 813.6 Saw. Taken from the inside cover: “All alone on the Kansas prairie, Summer Steadman has few options. With her husband and children lost to illness, she has no desire to continue on farther west to where she and her husband had planned to build their future. Instead she seeks employment in a small Mennonite community in order to be near the graves of her family…Widower Peter Ottenburger, the local gristmill owner, needs someone to teach his young son. When he hears of a “learned woman” in town, he believes she is the answer to his prayers. He soon discovers, however, that helping this outsider may have troublesome consequences…There is little this father will not do for his son, but as the boy begins to look at Summer as more than a teacher, Peter must make a choice. Does he marry this woman to give his son a new mother, or does he marry only for love? Will Summer’s broken heart ever be able to love again?” – God’s purpose in everything they experienced worked together for good as they trusted in God and grew in faith. 

The People’s Bible Commentary: JOSHUA

One of the passages I liked was taken from page 23: “If anyone claims that writing skills had not advanced enough to allow Moses to write the Pentateuch by about 1406 B.C., archaeology has proven otherwise. At ancient Ebla in Syria, archaeologists have uncovered thousands of clay tablets written in Sumerian and “Eblaite”, a Semitic language closely related to the Hebrew of the Old Testament.” For more information, see page 24! – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.


Greetings to our gentle First readers! My goodness – April gave us a taste of spring/summer then returned us to winter. It’s best that we’ll just enjoy whatever comes our way in May. In the meantime, please note that our 2022 books have been filed in their places on the main shelves. The 2023 books we’ve received so far are on the end book shelf. Check one out and let us know what you think. – Janie, Darlene and Shela, your faithful church library workers.

“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray. Go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall. Then fill the shelves with lots of books.” – Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

COME DOWN SOMEWHERE by Jennifer L. Wright, 813.54 Wri.  “A fiercely woven tale from the birth of the atomic age, Jennifer Wright’s unflinching look at fractured friendship, war-tested families, and hard-won faith grabs the reader from its start and won’t let go. It’s a powerfully rendered testament of how the implements of war, in the end, must come down somewhere, even when our hearts struggle to hold the fallout that only God can redeem.” – Patricia Raybon, award winning author of All that is Secret and My First White Friend.

IF IT RAINS by Jennifer L. Wright, 813.54 Wri. “IF IT RAINS transports you so fully, you catch yourself gasping for breath and praying for rain alongside the characters. And the characters! Each one is multilayered and intriguing: sisters Kathryn and Melissa are loyal but complicated, sincere but imperfect – and fiercely lovable. As they cling to courage and fight for faith, you find yourself doing the same. Their story stays with you long after you reach ‘The End.’” – Elizabeth Laing Thompson, author of All the Feels and the When God Says series.

FALL OUT by Carrie Stuart Parks, 813.6 Par. Taken from the back cover: “Her carefully crafted life is about to be demolished…After a difficult childhood, Samantha Williams craves simplicity: jigsaw puzzles, lectures at the library, and the students she adores in her role as an elementary art teacher in the dusty farming community of LaCrosse, Washington. But when an SUV crashes into the building where she teaches, her entire world is upended. Samantha manages to keep the children safe, but her car isn’t so lucky. Oddly, her purse – with her driver’s license, credit cards, and other identification – is missing from the wreckage. After authorities discover that the driver in the accident was shot seconds before the crash, Samantha quickly becomes entangled in increasingly strange events that have her constantly looking over her shoulder.” (Our library also has FRAGMENTS OF FEAR by this author.)

SEA GLASS COTTAGE by Irene Hannon, 813.54 Han bk 8 of A Hope Harbor Novel series. Taken from the back cover: “Christi Reece is desperate. The onetime golden girl’s life has tarnished, and a cascade of setbacks has left her reeling. She needs help, and she’s certain Jack Colby is in a position to provide it…When she shows up in Hope Harbor, however, Jack wants nothing to do with the woman who betrayed him. He’s built a new life on the Oregon coast – and there’s no room in it for Christi, even after she takes refuge in a charming but mysterious cottage nearby. Yet it soon becomes apparent his opinion of her may need revising…especially when he ends up needing her help…Can these two hurting souls open their hearts to a new beginning?” (Please note we have books 1-7 in this series.)

The People’s Bible commentary:

DEUTERONOMY: The commentary from the back of the book reads: Deuteronomy records the final words of Moses, one of God’s greatest leaders. While Moses led God’s people, an entire generation died in the wilderness, and a new generation took its place. Moses repeated the laws God had given on Mount Sinai and reapplied them for a new generation as the people prepared to enter the Promised Land.

There are so many pages worth mentioning that I cannot copy them down other than give page numbers. Page 10, 81, 97, 313, and 316 are just a few that spoke to me. I also liked that this commentary broke down the Moral Law, the Ceremonial Law and the Civil Law into chapters. Other features are the Endnotes and the Select Bibliography at the end. Deuteronomy is Moses’ swan song. It’s like a father blessing his children before he dies.  Reviewed by Darlene Baltus


Greetings to our gentle First readers! By the time you read this, perhaps we’ll be enjoying lovely springtime weather…or maybe not. There is still an abundance of deep snow that needs to melt first. Whatever happens we are secure in the knowledge that God is with us no matter what happens. – Janie, Darlene and Shela.

Stop worrying about missed opportunities and start looking for new ones!

AUSCHWITZ ESCAPE, THE by Joel C. Rosenberg, 813.6 Ros a Novel. Taken from the back cover: “In a time of darkness…When all seems lost…A ray of hope remains. The Protestant pastor and the Jewish freedom fighter seem an unlikely pair, yet these two are chosen to risk one of the most daring feats imaginable – escape from Auschwitz. Their task is to get beyond the fences, evade the Gestapo trackers, and make it to the Allied forces, where they must reveal the awful truth of what is happening in Poland before Fascism overtakes all of Europe. The fate of millions hangs in the balance.”

IN PLACES HIDDEN by Tracie Peterson, 813.54 Pet. Book 1 of the Golden Gate Secrets series. Taken from the back cover: “Camrianne Coulter’s brother Caleb is a successful San Francisco attorney. But when three months go by without a word from the usually communicative Caleb, Camri boards a train to the booming West Coast city to find out for herself why he hasn’t written. When she arrives at his home, nobody seems to know where he is, or what has become of him…Camri’s search for her brother leads her deep into the political corruption of the city-and into the acquaintance of Patrick Murdock, who Caleb successfully defended from a false murder charge. Getting to know this handsome Irish contractor challenges all of Camri’s privileged beliefs, but Patrick is unshakably loyal to her brother, and he seems to know more about what happened to Caleb than anyone else…As the two edge closer to the truth behind Caleb’s disappearance, they risk angering the powerful forces that control the city. Can Camri trust Patrick to protect her from the dangers that lie hidden in San Francisco’s backstreets?”

SEA GLASS COTTAGE by Irene Hannon, 813.54 Han. Bk 8 of a Hope Harbor Novel series. (We have bks 1-7 in our church library.) Taken from the back cover: “Christi Reece is desperate. The onetime golden girl’s life has tarnished, and a cascade of setbacks has left her reeling. She needs help, and she’s certain Jack Colby is in a position to provide it…When she shows up in Hope Harbor, however, Jack wants nothing to do with the woman who betrayed him. He’s built a new life on the Oregon coast – and there’s no room in it for Christi, even after she takes refuge in the charming but mysterious cottage nearby. Yet it soon becomes apparent his opinion of her may need revising…especially when he ends up needing her help. Can these two hurting souls open their hearts to a new beginning?”

The People’s Bible commentary:

NUMBERS:  tells the story of God’s people in the wilderness after they left Mount Sinai.  One generation refused to enter the Promised Land and spent the remainder of their lives wandering in the wilderness. But during those years, a new generation arose, which stood at the Jordan River ready to inherit what God had promised. Numbers is the fourth book written by God’s great leader Moses.  Taken from back of book.

The Feast of Weeks, Israel’s spring harvest festival, bears striking similarity to the Christian Pentecost festival.  Just as Pentecost is 50 days after Easter, so the Feast of Weeks was celebrated 50 days after the Passover.  The number 7 is noteworthy again as the Feast of Weeks represents seven sevens (weeks).  Taken from page 208. Page 248 shows a map of the exodus.  Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.


Greetings to our gentle First readers! You may have noticed a bean bag Whale in our children’s section. It was donated by a member and I’m told the kids are enjoying sitting on it. As I write this in February, the Grand Rapids Public Library is finishing up their winter reading activity “Get Your Mitts on a Great Read.” The activity is to complete and check off things just like BINGO. Some of the squares are: Read a book about winter, Help someone with a chore or project, Read a book about outer space, Build a snowperson and make them a book to read, Read a book after dinner, Make a fort and read in it, Read a book with a number in the title, Have a read-aloud with everybody who lives in your house, Write a poem about an animal in winter, Read any nonfiction book, Draw a picture while wearing mittens, Read to your pet or stuffed animal…As you can see, the activities are varied and lots of fun. Those of you with children could try some of the suggestions for fun. One of the best things parents can do is encourage a love of reading and learning! We’re here to help. Your faithful library volunteers – Janie, Darlene and Shela. 

Today is a great day to learn something new!

CODE OF COURAGE by Janice Cantore, 813.54 Can. Taken from the back cover: “Detective Danni Grace has never met a police officer who wants to face a scenario where pulling the trigger on another person is the only option When the worst does occur and there’s a police-involved shooting, it leads to riots and calls to disband the entire police force in La Rosa, Danni’s hometown…After fifteen years on the force, Danni has had enough. Injured in the line of duty when a protester throws a chunk of concrete at her and shaken by the vitriol being shown to the police, Danni realizes for the first time that she’s lost her passion for the job…While she’s on a leave of absence though, a community activist in La Rosa is shot and a fellow officer is blamed for his murder. Taking on this case means stepping back into a job Danni’s not sure she can do anymore…and working closely with her ex-husband, Gabriel Fox, an investigator for the city prosecutor’s office Danni will need to tap into her code of courage to uncover the truth, prevent another injustice, and uphold her oath to serve and protect.” 

STONES INTO SCHOOLS by Greg Mortenson, 371.82 Mor. Through the author’s nonprofit Central Asia Institute (CAI), he has worked to promote peace through education by establishing more than 130 schools, most of them for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The story of how this remarkable humanitarian campaign began was told in his best-selling book THREE CUPS OF TEA which began with a promise – to build a school in Korphe, Pakistan. This book picks up where the other left off in late 2003 and traces the CAI’s efforts to work in a whole new country, the secluded northeast corner of Afghanistan. It brings to life both the heroic efforts of the CAI’s fixers on the ground – renegade men of unrecognized and untapped talent who became galvanized by the importance of girl’s education – and the triumphs of the young women who are now graduating from the schools. Their stories are ones you will not soon forget. (Note: This book was published in 2009.)

WHEN THE SOUL MENDS by Cindy Woodsmalls, 813.6 Woo. Book 3 of the Sisters of the Quilt series. Taken from the inside cover: “A heartwarming tale of love and forgiveness…offers believable characters and a page-turning plot in an Amish setting so real I could almost smell fresh-baked cinnamon rolls and hear the clip-clop of horses’ hoofs. For a book that pulls you in from start to finish, this is a must-read!” – Diann Hunt, (Note: At this writing, our church library doesn’t have Books 1 and 2, so let us know if you’d be interested in having them be purchased. However, we do have Woodsmall’s Christmas in Apple Ridge, 813.6 Woo.)

The People’s Bible commentary:

LEVITICUS is the third book of God’s great leader Moses. The book is filled with types and shadows of Christ and his work of redemption. Reading about Old Testament sacrifices helps us understand Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of the world and reading about Old Testament worship helps us understand our own worship better. Taken from back of the book.

Taken from page 14: God’s people had offered animal sacrifices long before God ever revealed His will about them from Mount Sinai. Adam and Eve’s son, Abel, brought sacrifices from his flock. After the flood Noah built an altar to the Lord and offered sacrifices.  But at Sinai, God regulated the worship of his people in accord with the truth of His divine grace.  “The life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life” Leviticus 17:11. On the last page of the book is a chart showing the Israelite church year (just in case you wanted to know). Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.


Greetings gentle First Readers! Last year when I wrote this February article in January, it was -24 degrees, but the sun was shining and it was glorious. What will February bring this year? We encourage you to find some books that interest you so you’re ready to curl up and read if the weather keeps you inside!

Darlene compiled the totals of books and DVDs checked out this year and included the previous four years for comparison: 

2018 books 257 DVDs 42; 2019 books 448 DVDs 44; 2020 books 388 DVDs 44; 2021 books 583 DVDs 20 and 2022 books 407 DVDs 3. Very interesting. Thanks Darlene.

The second installment about the donated The People’s Bible series is included at the end of this Library Corner article. At this time they are filed in the main library on the end shelf with the books from 2022. – Your library volunteers – Janie Carlson, Darlene Baltus and Shela Cline. 

Here’s to books, the cheapest vacation you can buy.

HIS AMISH SWEETHEART by Jennifer Beckstrand, 813.54 Bec. Taken from the back cover: “Between work and keeping his little brothers out of trouble, Austin Petersheim barely has time to think… much less court the most popular maidel in town. But if he can establish a local market to direct-sell his family goods, he’ll stand out as a potential husband. He’s so grateful for the help of his longtime friend, Hannah Yutzy, who has such practical ideas – and is so easy to talk to…While Austin embarks on his plan, his siblings have a plan of their own: to give Austin and Hannah a little nudge to show them they’re made for each other When their antics wreak havoc with a rival family emporium, Hannah must help Austin set things right. And as she does just that, Austin is stunned to realize his best friend could be his perfect wife. Now he’ll just need the courage and faith to find out if she agrees…”

LOCKET, THE by Richard Paul Evans, 813.54 Eva. The author writes: “The Locket, like all of my novels, is a love story. A story about the young love of Michael and Faye and the challenges they face. It is also a story of old love, between Esther and the man she lost so many years ago. But, ultimately, it is a story of the love between generations, and the nurturing and forgiveness those relationships always require…My hope is for you to come to understand the many gifts the elderly can bring to our lives. And, most of all, that in reading The Locket, you, and those with whom you share my story, will be brought closer to those you love and those whom you should.”

NEW START AGAIN, A by Margo Hansen, 813.54 Han. This is a new book by the author of NEWLY WEDS SERIES, A and TALL TIMBER TRILOGY. It is based in Hoyt Lakes where the author lived her first fifteen years. Taken from the back cover: “It was another new start, only this time not in a city where anonymity was possible, but rather in brand new town carved out of the wilderness of northern Minnesota where Meredith was to learn that people not only helped one another but cared about one another too.” – I had trouble with her naivety at times but appreciated how the author tied everything together in the end. - Reviewed by Janie Carlson.

PERSIAN GAMBLE, THE by Joel C. Rosenberg, 813.6 Ros. Taken from the inside cover: “Shot out of the air in enemy territory in the middle of the greatest international crisis since the end of the Cold War, former U.S. Secret Service agent Marcus Ryker finds himself facing an impossible task. Not only does he have to somehow elude detection and capture by Russian forces, but he must convince his own government to grant safe harbor to the one man responsible for the global mayhem – Russian double agent and assassin Oleg Kraskin. While frantically negotiating with his contacts in the US. Government, Marcus learns that the unstable North Korean regime plans to use the international chaos as a smokescreen to sell nuclear weapons to Iran…With the fate of the entire free world on the line, Marcus makes a deal with the U.S. government – he will go back to work as an international operative and track down the WMDs before they end up in the hands of those with the determination and the means to use them. Marcus and Oleg worked together once before to avert a world war. Can they now find a way to stop world destruction?”

EXODUS is the second book written by God’s great leader Moses. The book’s title means “road out.” Exodus records the departure of God’s people from their slavery in Egypt and the beginning of their journey to the promised Land. In the third month of that journey, Moses and the people came to mount Sinai, where God gave them His law. – Taken from back of book. Passage from inside the book:  “I AM,” God says. God is timeless, constant, unchangeable. Scripture refers to this “I AM frequently. In the book of Revelations, God says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega... who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” 1:8. In John 8:58 Jesus says of Himself, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” The writer of Hebrews declares Jesus to be “the same yesterday and today and forever” 13:8. Through the prophet Malachi, God declares, “I the Lord do not change” 3:6. – I like the way the commentary is written with the references readily available. - Darlene Baltus


Happy New Year’s greetings to our gentle First readers! 

Once again we’ve been blessed with new books. When they are processed, they’ll be placed on the end book shelf labeled 2023 books. More will be written about them in future newsletters. A first installment about the donated The People’s Bible series is included at the end of this Library Corner article. In the meantime, please note that we have books 1-3 of Tracie Peterson’s series Brides of Gallatin County. Feel free to check out all three if they’re on the shelf and return them together – it’s nice to read them in order...Your faithful library volunteers – Janie, Darlene and Shela.

Kindness is like snow – it beautifies everything it covers. – Kahlil Gibran

PROMISE TO BELIEVE IN, A by Tracie Peterson, 813.54 Pet, Book 1 of Brides of Gallatin County. Taken from the back cover: “After years spent following their father in his wanderlust, the three Gallatin sisters begin to fashion a life for themselves in the Montana wilds, operating a roadhouse at the crossroads of two stage lines. When their father is accidentally killed, however, the oldest sister, Gwen, reasons that she’s cursed. Death seems to haunt her every step. As the sisters work to maintain the roadhouse, an unexpected visitor arrives, sending Gwen into turmoil. Is he who he claims to be? And can she hope that love might again be hers?”

LOVE TO LAST FOREVER, A by Tracie Peterson, 813.54, Book 2 of Brides of Gallatin County. Taken from the back cover: “Beth Gallatin has always wanted to settle down in one town, with one man, and raise a family. But with her father’s roaming ways, she found solace in reading romances instead. The passing of her father, however, means that Beth and her sisters can, for the first time, dare to claim the rugged Montana frontier as their home. Nick Lassiter has loved Beth since she first came to town, but she’s always seemed to think of him more as a brother. Just when he finally gets Beth to consider him, an unexpected arrival from Nick’s complicated past threatens the affection growing between them.”

DREAM TO CALL MY OWN, A by Tracie Peterson, 813.54, Book 3 of Brides of Gallatin County. Taken from the back cover: “Lacy Gallatin, the youngest of the Gallatin sisters, is a woman on with a mission: to find her father’s killer. Haunted by the belief that she’s failed her pa, Lacy also battles a desire to have something more than just revenge, something she can’t quite figure out. Enter Dave Shepard, deputy sheriff for Gallatin Crossing, Montana. Dave is close to figuring out who killed George Gallatin, but he always feels inadequate when it comes to the beautiful Lacy.”

THE PEOPLE’S BIBLE series is a series of Bible commentaries for everyone to be able to read and understand. They will be shelved in the Conference Room next to the library. The authors of the series have served as parish pastors, college teachers, or seminary professors, many in more than one role. Each author began with the original Hebrew or Greek text and then worked to bring the message of God’s Word to Christians who face the stress and temptations of everyday life. Two important truths guide all the commentaries: First, the Bible is God’s inspired Word and is therefore true and reliable. Second, the central message of the entire Bible is Jesus Christ. GENESIS: The first of the five books of Moses, it unfolds God’s work through the biographies of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and others. Starting with the words “In the beginning…,” it presents the beginnings, or origins, of the universe, the human race, sin, death, and God’s gracious work of bringing fallen humanity back to Himself.” – (Taken from the back of the Genesis book.)I liked the way these books are written. For instance, “The Hebrew verb (The Lord God FORMED…” describes the activity of a potter. Its use here emphasizes the personal interest and care that the Creator demonstrated in fashioning this highest of His creatures.” Each book is lightweight and 400 pages or less, and the print is very readable. Please give them a try!Darlene Baltus


Greetings gentle First readers! For this month we’ve brought out our Christmas-themed books and DVDs and placed them on top of the card catalogue shelf for your convenience. Also, we’ve been blessed with book donations from our members who love to read. As you see below, we have Books 1-4 of the Under the Northern Skies series by Lauraine Snelling. Feel free to check out all four if they’re on the shelf and return them together – it’s nice to read them in order. For our new members who haven’t used our library yet, you’ll find directions for checking out a book or video, as well as hints on how to pick a book listed in a black frame on top of the book drop. Your faithful library volunteers – Janie, Darlene and Shela.

“There is only one way to read, which is to browse in libraries and bookshops, picking up books that attract you, reading only those, dropping them when they bore you, skipping the parts that drag – and never, never reading anything because you feel you ought, or because it is part of a trend or a movement. Remember that the book which bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when you are forty or fifty-and vice versa. Don’t read a book out of its right time for you.” – Doris Lessing

PROMISE OF DAWN, THE by Lauraine Snelling, 813.54. Book 1 of Under the Northern Skies. Taken from the back cover: “In a compelling new saga, one family strives to make their own future…Opportunities are scarce in Norway, so when Rune and Signe Carlson receive a letter from Rune’s uncle, Einar Strand, offering to loan them money for passage to America, Rune accepts Signe is reluctant to leave her home, especially as she is pregnant with her fourth child, but Einar promises to give them land of their own, something they could never afford in Norway…But life in Minnesota is more difficult than Signe imagined. Uncle Einar and Aunt Gerd are hard, demanding people, and Signe and her family soon find themselves worked nearly to the bone to pay off their debt. Afraid they will never have the life they dreamed of, she begins to lose her trust in God. When the dangers of the North Woods strike close to home, will she find the strength she needs to lead her family into the promise of a new dawn?”

BREATH OF HOPE, A by Lauraine Snelling, 813.54 Sne. Book 2 of Under the Northern Skies. Taken from the back cover: “One man’s past could affect all of their futures…With her younger brother Ivar in tow, Nilda Carlson is on her way to America to join her older brother Rune and his family in the northern forests of Minnesota. While she sees this as a golden opportunity, she has enough experience in life to know it won’t be easy. The transatlantic voyage itself proves to be an adventure, and she hopes she will feel safe in her new home.”

SEASON OF GRACE, A by Lauraine Snelling, 813.54 Sne. Book 3 of Under the Northern Skies. Taken from the back cover: “Just as opportunities unfold, a danger from her past returns…Nilda Carlson’s dreams are coming true. Though her first few months in America were difficult, her life now resembles the images that filled her daydreams in Norway. Together, she and her family work their farm and fell trees for lumber. Everything is finally going right.”

SONG OF JOY, A by Lauraine Snelling, 813.54 Sne, Book 4 of Under the Northern Skies. Taken from the back cover: “Surrounded by opportunity, she will have to choose a path…In Minnesota in 1911, Nilda Carlson is torn between life in the city of Blackduck and spending time with her family back home on the farm. Her employer, Mrs. Schoenleber, gives her more and more responsibility, including leading an exciting new philanthropy project to build affordable homes for Blackduck’s newcomers, but a private detective in town keeps stirring up trouble.”




Greetings to our gentle First readers on this beautiful autumn day! We’re pleased to present four very exciting and interesting books for your consideration. They can be found on the end shelves labeled 2022 books. Let us know what you think of them. So take a moment to find a book or two or more, and check them out and enjoy. Your faithful library volunteers – Janie, Darlene and Shela. 

“You are not done with a book until you pass it on to another reader.” – Donalyn Miller

AMONG THE INNOCENT by Mary Alford, 813.6 Alf. Taken from the back cover: “When Leah Miller’s entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah has left the community and joined the police force. Now, after an Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family’s deaths…As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, work long hours struggling to fit the pieces together in order to catch the killer, they can’t help but grow closer. When secrets from both of their pasts begin to surface, an unexpected connection between them is revealed. But this is only the beginning…What will it mean for Leah – and Dalton – when the full truth comes to light?” “AMONG THE INNOCENT is no buggy ride but a race to stop a killer.” – DiAnn Mills, best-selling and award-winning author of TRACE OF DOUBT.

GUARDIAN, THE by Bobbie Cheuvront and Erik Reed, 813.6 Che. Taken from a Note from the Authors: Thank you for taking the time to read mine and Erik’s first novel. We hope you will be edified and enjoy the story. And that’s just what it is: a story. Erik and I do not, never have, nor will we ever proclaim to be scholars of the book of Revelation, prophets, or anything of the like. We simply were intrigued by a passage of scripture in Revelation that mentioned a little scroll and took note that there was never any more mention of it throughout the rest of the book. Being scatterbrained and creative (to a fault sometimes!), the story almost wrote itself.  We do not intend for anyone to read into the story for some cryptic meaning or solution to the book of Revelation. It is merely a fictitious story, one that is focused on Anna Riley’s journey of faith. Nothing more. The scriptures are clear: no one knows the hour except the Father. We’ll leave the decoding of Revelation to others, if they wish. But ultimately, we just yearn for the return of our Savior, whenever God chooses that to be. – Robbie and Erik.

TRACE OF DOUBT by Diann Mills, 813.54 Mil. Taken from the back cover: “Fifteen years ago, Shelby Pearce confessed to murdering her brother-in-law and was sent to prison. Now she’s out on parole and looking for a fresh start in the small town of Valleysburg, Texas. But starting over won’t be easy for an ex-con…FBI Special Agent Denton McClure was a rookie fresh out of Quantico when he was first assigned the Pearce case. He’s always believed Shelby embezzled five hundred thousand dollars from her brother-in-law’s account. So he’s going undercover to befriend Shelby, track down the missing money, and finally crack the case…But as Denton gets closer to Shelby, he begins to have a trace of doubt about her guilt. Someone has Shelby in their crosshairs. It’s up to Denton to stop them before they silence Shelby – and the truth – forever.”

WHEN THE MEADOW BLOOMS by Ann H. Gabhart, 813.6 Gab. Taken from the back cover: “If any place on God’s earth was designed to help one heal, it is Meadowland. Surely here, at her brother-in-law’s Kentucky farm, Rose and her daughters can recover from the events of the recent past – the loss of her husband during the 1981 influenza epidemic, her struggle with tuberculosis that required a stay at a sanatorium, and her girls’ experience in an orphanage during her illness. At Meadowland, past troubles become right soil in which faith can grow.”                                    


ACCEPTABLE RISK by Lynette Eason, 813.6 Eas, Book 2 of Danger Never Sleeps series. Taken from the book blurb: “Sarah Denning is a military journalist with the Army in the Middle East when she is taken hostage. When former Army Ranger Gavin Black is asked by his old unit commander – Sarah’s imposing father – to plan an extremely risky rescue, he reluctantly agrees and successfully executes it…Back in the US, Sarah is livid when she’s discharged on a false psychiatric evaluation and vows to return to the army…What they uncover may be the biggest story in of Sarah’s career – if she can survive long enough to write it…..” 

ACTIVE DEFENSE by Lynette Eason, 813.6 Eas, Book 3 of Danger Never Sleeps series. Taken from the book blurb: “Another can’t put it down suspense thriller.” Readers will be kept on the edge of their seats.

AFRAID OF THE LIGHT by Cynthia Ruchti, 813.6 Ruc. Taken from the back cover: “Clinical psychologist Camille Brooks isn’t put off by the lifestyle of her hoarder clients and the distress of their families. She lost her mother to the crippling anxiety disorder – so she’ll go a long way to help others avoid the same pain…With the help of a cadre of unexpected friends, an enigma of a man who refuses to be discouraged, and the God who created and loves her, can she face her fears, pull back the curtains, and let the light into her own life?” – This book taught me a lot about a very difficult disorder. I recommend this book. – Janie Carlson. ANOTHER REVIEW: This book addresses a subject I’ve not previously found in a Christian novel: hoarding. Sadly, this quote from the book is enlightening: “Her disorder had caused her to lose her attachment to what she most loved – her children – while clinging to objects that give false comfort and could not love her back.” This book calls for our compassion, not our disapproval. – Reviewed by Alice Hill. 

ALL MANNER OF THINGS by Susie Finkbeiner, 813.6 Fin. “After Annie Jacobson’s brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he mails her the address of their long-estranged father. If anything should happen to him in Vietnam, Mike says, Annie must let their father know…In Mike’s absence, their father returns to face tragedy at home, adding an extra measure of complication to an already tense time. Letter by letter, the Jacobsons must find a way to pull together as a family, regardless of past hurts. In the tumult of this time, Annie and her family will grapple with the tension of holding both hope and grief in the same hand, even as they learn to turn to the One who binds the wounds of the brokenhearted.”  

ALL THINGS HIDDEN by Tracie Peterson, 813.54 Pet. This is about the 1932 Matanuska Colonization, relocating 200 families from Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota to the Matanuska Valley in Alaska, not yet then a state, during the Great Depression. Though a fictional novel, it is based on much historical research as documented in the book. It will be especially interesting to those who’ve lived in Alaska, as did I in 1954-55. – Reviewed by Alice Hill. 

ALMOST HOME by Valerie Fraser Luesse, 813.6 Lue. “A story of kindness, friendship, and healing. At an Alabama boardinghouse in the 1940s, characters going through troubled times find hope and help through each other.” 

ALL SHE LEFT BEHIND by Jane Kirkpatrick, 813.54 Kir. The fascinating story of Jennie who graduated from medical school in 1879. She was one of the first doctors in Portland working with women and children. She was also a social worker. Her expertise was in medical research. Though classed as historical fiction, the book is based closely on real people and events. See author’s notes at end of book. Reviewed by Alice Hill.

ANGELS OF MORGAN HILL, THE by Donna VanLiere, 813.6 Van. This book “is filled with unforgettable characters who show us the ways and means of the heart and prove that even in the darkest hours, we are never truly alone.”

ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING by Max Lucado, 248.8 Luc. Taken from the back cover: “Do you feel weighed down with worry? Does the road you’re traveling loom large with mountains to cross, obstacles to avoid, and hairpin curves to navigate? Could you use some calm? If so, I have a scripture for you to read. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6-7 is the most underlined passage in the Bible. According to this promise, anxiety comes with life, but it doesn’t have to dominate your life. With God as your helper and this verse at your side, you can sleep better tonight and smile more tomorrow. You can talk yourself off the ledge and view bad news through the lens of sovereignty. You can discover a life that is characterized by calm and develop tools for facing the onslaughts of anxiety….”- Max Lucado.”

ARMED AND DANGEROUS: PRAYING WITH BOLDNESS by Jane L. Fryar, 242 FRY. Taken from the back cover: “Scripture invites us to approach the throne of grace boldly through Jesus Christ. So why don’t we do it more consistently and with more confidence? Perhaps it is because we do not see ourselves as God sees us…warriors in His army of light. Armed and Dangerous-that’s how Satan’s armies of darkness see you, no matter how young, weak, or ineffective you feel. Because you can pray and because God invites you to come to Him, you can and do make a difference in the war between the armies of darkness and the army of light. When you pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” Satan trembles.” I noticed that a dear young woman I know, not a member of our church, checked this book out. She returned it to me just before she left in August 2021 to take part in an 11-month across the globe journey with Adventures in Missions, a World Race program. A statement on her blog says, “I will be sharing the love of Jesus with these individuals who don’t have hope in Jesus. I hope to have the opportunity to share with them who very possibly will make an eternal impact and change the trajectory of their earthly lives.” – Janie Carlson.

ART OF LOSING YOURSELF, THE by Katie Ganshert, 813.6 Gan. Taken from the back cover: “Every morning, Carmen Hart pastes on her made-for-TV smile and broadcasts the weather. She’s the Florida panhandle’s favorite meteorologist, married to everyone’s favorite high school football coach. They’re the perfect-looking couple, live in a nice house, and attend church on Sundays. From the outside, she’s a woman who has it all together. But on the inside, Carmen struggles with doubt. She wonders if she made a mistake when she married her husband. She wonders if God is as powerful as she once believed. Sometimes she wonders if He exists at all. After years of secret losses and empty arms, she’s not so sure anymore…Until Carmen’s sister – seventeen-year-old runaway, Gracie Fisher – steps in and changes everything. Gracie is caught squatting at a boarded-up motel that belongs to Carmen’s aunt, and their mother is off on another one of her benders, which means Carmen has no option but to take Gracie in. Is it possible for God to use a broken teenager and an abandoned motel to resurrect a woman’s faith and marriage? Can two half-sisters make each other whole?”

AUTUMN BLUE by Karen Harter, 813.6 Har. I thought this book very realistic and timely. I couldn’t have come up with a better summary than the one on the back of the book: “Sidney Walker is doing her best at raising her three children alone. But lately her sweet teenage son, Ty, has become broodingly angry. When the deputy sheriff arrests Ty and later invades her home with a search warrant connected to another local crime, Sidney is overwhelmed. As much as she wants to believe her son is innocent, the evidence is too strong to ignore. She fights to save her son and give him renewed hope. Though her options seem very limited, she finds she is not as alone as she thinks, and the solution may be in the most unlikely of people.” – Reviewed by Alice Hill. 

BABYSITTER’S HANDBOOK, THE by Sarah Fletcher found at 649.1 Fle. Maybe there are some young people out there thinking about earning some money during the summer.  There always seems to be the need for good babysitters.  I was thinking of that a couple of weeks ago so I went to the card catalogue and found this book.  Inside you’ll find 15 chapters about how to do your job, what to expect, and what is expected of you.  Included are suggestions for stories, games, and activities and hand forms to help you get all the information you need to do the best job possible. This book was put into circulation in 2007 from a Marie Mueller Memorial fund (maybe some of you remember Marie from the town library), but the information still holds true. – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.

BEARS’ PICNIC, THE by Stan & Jan Berenstain, JUV BER. 

BEFORE I CALLED YOU MINE by Nicole Deese, 813.6 Dee. “With its unique right-love-wrong-timing premise, this is a novel that will keep readers ignoring their chores, reaching for their tissue boxes, and sighing with contentment. It’s fresh, soul-stirring, and romantic…” 

BEFORE I SAW YOU by Amy Sorrells, 813.54 Sor. A very faithful reader writes: Merely by coincidence, two newly shelved books in our library by completely different authors, have a similar theme – two young pregnant girls from disastrous backgrounds with no chance of ever having a hope-filled life: BEFORE I SAW YOU and DEAR CAROLINA by Kristy Woodson Harvey, 813.6 Har. After reading these, it reminds me of Gen. 18:14 where God says “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”     

BELOVED HOPE CHEST, THE by Amy Clipston found at 813.6 Cli. This information came from the back of the book: Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past. But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to open old wounds. This book has a glossary for Amish terms and discussion questions at the end. 


BETWEEN TWO WORLDS - Escaping from Tyranny: Growing up in the Shadow of Saddam by Zainab Salbi, at 92 Sal. “The highly anticipated memoir from the daughter of Saddam Hussein’s personal pilot: An unforgettable story of survival, strength, and one woman’s struggle against tyranny.” “In this intimate portrait, she reveals the tyrant through the eyes of a child, a secretly rebellious teenager, an abused wife, and ultimately a professional woman.” “Between Two Worlds is a story of heroism like no other.”

BEYOND THE ORPHAN TRAIN Series books 1 – 4 by Arleta Richardson. Written in the tender style of Little House on the Prairie, this series tells the story of the Cooper children as they take the orphan train to a new life in the early 1900s. Based on the life of a real family, this charming four-book series is rich in history, adventure and faith. 

BILLY GRAHAM NEARING HOME – LIFE, FAITH, AND FINISHING WELL by Billy Graham, 236 Gra. “Explore with me not only the realities of life as we grow older but also the hope and fulfillment and even joy that can be ours once we learn to look at these years from God’s point of view and discover His strength to sustain us every day.” – Billy Graham.

BLACK SANDS by Colleen Coble, 813.54 Cob. Taken from a Goodreads summary: “A brainy—and perpetually single—volcanologist, Annie Tagama works alongside her father at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. But despite her pedigree, Annie has lost her passion for volcanology. She's quietly grieving the mysterious loss of her brother in the Middle East. When Annie discovers that her brother might still be alive—and in trouble—she shakes off her malaise and joins forces with Mano Oana, the unnervingly handsome family friend she had always blamed for her brother's death.” 

BLOWING ON DANDELIONS by Miralee Ferrell, 813.54 Fer. Book 1 of the Love Blossoms in Oregon series. “Do dandelion wishes actually come true? Katherine Galloway knows the moment of calm she is feeling won’t last, blown away like the dandelion seeds she scattered as a girl. It’s 1880, three years after her husband’s death, and she’s struggling to run an Oregon boardinghouse and raise two girls alone. Things don’t get easier when her critical, domineering mother moves in. Katherine must make the situation work,  but standing up for herself and her family while honoring her mother isn’t easy. And with a daughter soon to turn fourteen, the pressure on Katherine becomes close to overwhelming. Then she crosses paths with Micah Jacobs, a widower who could reignite her heart, but she fears a relationship with him might send things over the edge. She must find the strength, wisdom, hope, and faith to remake her life, because everything is about the change.”

BLUE RIDGE SUNRISE  by Denise Hunter, 813.6 Hun. “Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe – a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.” 

BRINGING MAGGIE HOME by Kim Vogel Sawyer, 813.6 Saw, Bk 1. This book is the prequel to UNVEILING THE PAST which we also have on the shelf. Feel free to check out both at the same time. “High praise for Kim Vogel Sawyer’s BRINGING MAGGIE HOME! Kim intricately weaves the lives of three generations of women, each one affected by the tragedy of Hazel’s losing a sister long ago. The depth of the characters and God’s perfect timing are illustrated throughout their journeys. Already an award winner and a best seller, Kim takes her wonderful story to an extraordinary new level of writing.” – Dianne Burnett, Publishers Weekly reviewer

BRYSON CITY TALES by Walt Larimore, M.D., 92 Lar. Among the many wonderful new books that have been added to our library recently, remains a gem that’s been here since 2007. Walt tells of his first years of practice as a very young man in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Little did he know that not only were the doctors there not impressed with his Duke University education, but that he would learn much from them through their use of many folk remedies and treatments. Written with warmth and humor, but also relating some highly emotional and serious situations, this is a “feel good” book. – Reviewed by Alice Hill.

BURIED SECRETS by Irene Hannon, 813.54 Han. Bk 1 of the Men of Valor series. Bones are discovered buried shallowly in an isolated field being excavated for construction. Local police chief, Lisa Grant, is called in to investigate along with a handsome ex-Navy Seal, now a county investigator. The investigation slowly uncovers deeply hidden secrets going back more than 20 years. There is also a budding romance that builds along with the investigation between Chief Grant and the county investigator. All this while the shadows from the past creep closer by a force to be reckoned with, that wants to prevent the truth from being revealed. Excitement mounts. It was a good read, hard to put down. – Reviewed by Corinne Hultman. 

CAMERA NEVER LIES, THE by David Rawlings, 813.54 Raw. “When Daniel inherits an old camera from his grandfather, he notices an inscription on the bottom: ‘No matter what you think you might see, the camera never lies.’ Daniel begins using the camera, but every time he develops his photos, they threaten to reveal secrets that could sabotage both his marriage and his career – and destroying the life he has worked so hard to build.” The author says that the theme of the book is about the price of accepting honesty with others and ourselves. This was a really strange and interesting book. Readers - let me know what you think. – Review by Janie Carlson.  

CAPTAIN FOR LAURA ROSE,  A by Stephanie Grace Whitson, FIC Whi. “Laura has lost everything she loves; and now she is also about to lose her home, a steamboat called the Laura Rose. Her only hope is to become a licensed pilot; but, as a woman living in 1863 that is easier said than done… Whitson does an excellent job of incorporating spiritual themes of trust, obedience, faith, love, and sacrifice with Bible verses without getting too preachy…This story is mainly geared toward young women, but older teens who admire self-confident females will find this book captivating as well. Mature themes are present but not graphically described.”

CAPTIVE IN IRAN by Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh, at 92 Ros. This is a true story of hope and triumph amid the horror of Tehran’s brutal Evin Prison. We don’t understand God working in our lives until afterwards and then maybe not then. These two women were imprisoned in 2009 because they proclaimed to be followers of Jesus in an Islamic country. They never denied it and God worked what was evil for good. They could talk about Jesus more freely inside prison than outside. God used them for 259 days in Evin Prison giving hope to those imprisoned there. – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.

CENTER OF GRAVITY by Laura McNeil found at 813.6 McN. This is a book, that after reading it, the story will stay with you for a while. Thought provoking, uncomfortable, angry, wanting to get into the story to help these characters were some of the reactions I had. I’m not sure it is considered a Christian book; would like feedback from readers! Ava Carson’s picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, yet she considers it temporary. The chapters tell the story as each character enters. Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things – and people – are not always what they seem. Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.

CHARACTER SKETCHES – FROM THE PAGES OF SCRIPTURE ILLUSTRATED IN THE WORLD OF NATURE 241 Ins. This over-sized book contains animal stories that have a biblical base. “Beautiful book, very intentionally written. Great for family devotions and discussion.” 

CHASING THE WIND by Pamela Ewen found at 813.6 Ewe. Young Amalise Catoir, with her hard-won law degree, was a junior associate in a very prestigious New Orleans legal firm. Excited at her newest assignment in a multi-million dollar deal in the very complex world of big deals and high finance, she found herself in an adversarial position to that of her firm, threatened with losing her job, her license, and her good reputation. You’ll find the surprise ending in this great new book in our library. Reviewed by Alice Hill.

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE GRANDPARENT’S SOUL by Jack Canfield, 808.8 Can. “Stories to open the hearts and rekindle the spirits of grandparents.” 

 CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: THE POWER OF FORGIVENESSby Amy Newmark, 808.8 New. 101 stories about how to let go and change your life. 


CHOSEN PEOPLE by Robert Whitlow, 813.54 Whi. “My verdict: compelling, realistic, and inspiring. Robert combines the intensity of a legal battle against terrorists with a poignant depiction of Israel, with all its tensions and grandeur. As a lawyer who handles cases for terrorism victims, I loved the realism of the novel and felt deeply the joys, disappoints and triumphs of its characters. But the matters of the law were eclipsed by matters of the heart – faith, love and hope in the midst of despair – this is where Whitlow truly shines.” – Randy Singer.  

CHRISTMAS IN WINTER HALL by Melody Carlson, 813.54 Car. Taken from the book blurb: “Spend this holiday season in a town you’ll never forget. Krista Galloway has a good reason to dislike the holiday season, but when her new job as city manager forces her to plan the town’s over-the-top Christmas celebration, she and her daughter may find a new home – and some Christmas spirit – in the process.”  

CHRISTMAS SWAP, THE by Melody Carlson, 813.54 Car. Taken from the book blurb: “All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can’t find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there’s someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade. Tyler Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the houseguests would be so sweet – or so strikingly pretty.” 

CITY OF REFUGE by Ashley King, 813.6 Kin. A horrible accident took the lives of the mother and 3 young children. Alex was the other car’s driver. The surviving family members blamed him (as did he himself) and blamed God. The father, a Baptist pastor, quit the ministry, living a solitary life of bitterness and blame. Can anything be salvaged from this tragedy? The book’s title is based on Numbers 35:11 and you’ll see why as you read this story. Reviewed by Alice Hill.

CLAIM OF HER OWN, A  by Stephanie Grace Whitson, FIC Whi. This book has been around since 2010 but not many readers have checked it out. Determined to put the unspeakable circumstances of her past behind her, 20-year-old Mattie O’Keefe travels to Deadwood, South Dakota in search of her brother, whose letters boast of making a fortune in the gold fields.

COLLATERAL DAMAGE by Lynette Eason, 813.6 Eas. Bk 1 of the Danger Never Sleeps series. Taken from the back cover: “Honorably discharged from the Army after an explosion nearly killed her, former military psychiatrist Brooke Adams has set up shop to help others, but her days of helping military personnel is over. She’s got her own battles to fight from her time overseas, and she’s not equipped to take on more…Former Army Special Ops Sergeant First Class Asher James could handle anything that the war sent his way. The only thing that scares him now is sleep. As the shadows close in, the nightmares begin…Finally convinced that he needs help, Asher makes an appointment with a counselor. When he arrives at her office, she isn’t there – but a dead body is. When it becomes clear that Brooke was the real target of the attack – and that her secrets go even deeper than his own – Asher vows to protect her no matter what.” 

CONVICTION: The Journey of a Lost Principled Man by Don Wharton, 92 Wha. “David Freeman, a clean cut 25-year-old professional salesman, believes he has all of his ducks in a row until he meets Joani Givens, her drug dealing roommate, and a Jesus he never knew existed. His experiences change his life forever, testing his faith in everything he believes about God, his family, and his ability to handle adversity. CONVICTION is David’s great spiritual awakening and has application for every man who deals with his fears, uncovers the short falls of his own self-worth, and explores the depth of his dependence on God. David emerges from his struggles as a man of conviction, man of God, who recovers from getting knocked down to continue the adventure of life before him.” 

COTTAGE BY THE SEA by Robin Jones Gunn, 813.54 Gun.  Wow, this book will stay in my mind for some time.  A daughter’s heartbreak with a father, a son’s estrangement from his family and a beautiful ending all mixed with Iris lyrics.  Gunn has pulled me through so many emotions. This book was written more on Gunn’s experience than storytelling.  Definitely a page turner. – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus. 

COUNTERFEITER by Moritz Nachtstern and Ragnar Arntzen found at 940.53 Nac.   In 1945 Moritz Nachtstern sat down in his Oslo apartment and dictated the story of how he survived the Holocaust.  First published in Norwegian in 1949, this English edition is complemented by a foreword by his daughter Sidsel.  This must have been a hard story to tell and I found it a hard story to read. – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.

CROSS MY HEART  by Robin Lee Hatcher, 813.54 Hat. “In this seamless time slip novel, Hatcher provides inspiration in each character’s growing relationship with the Lord, and prompts readers to reflect on their own journey. This story of loss and redemption is sure to win the hearts of contemporary and historic romance fans alike.”  

DANCE, THE 813.6 Wal, book 1 of the Restoration Series by Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley. “Love’s recovery starts with a single step. This powerful and emotional story of healing and restoration is sure to grip your heart from the very first chapter. You won’t be able to put it down.” 

DANIEL: SHELTER BOOK 2 by Robin Merrill, FIC Mer. Taken from the back cover: “Open Door Church has served as a homeless shelter for more than a decade, but when their pastor dies unexpectedly, it’s up to Galen and Maggie to take up the reins and keep the ministry going, which won’t be easy, as newcomers seem intent on tearing it down…And then there’s young Daniel, who seems to be working miracles in their midst, which of course, isn’t possible. Or is it?” 

DANGEROUS ILLUSIONS by Irene Hannon found under 813.54 Han (Book 1). The following is copied from an on-line review: “Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart. When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death—and puts Trish under police scrutiny—her world is once again thrown into turmoil. Detective Colin Flynn isn't certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during his investigation. Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake or is there more to the case than meets the eye? As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge—and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn't just dangerous . . . it's deadly. Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon captures readers with a mind-bending story that will have them doubling back to retrace their steps—and figure out what they missed!” 

DAUGHTER OF ROME  by Tessa Afshar, 813.6 Afs. “Afshar imagines the multi-textured lives of Priscilla and Aquila, coworkers of the apostle Paul, as they are stretched and shaped through their losses and love. What emerges is a compelling story about their faith and faithfulness – a story that invites our response of faith and faithfulness as well.” Please note that our library has another book by this author – THIEF OF CORINTH, 813.6 Afs. 

DEADLY DECEIT by Natalie Walters, 813.6 Wal Bk 2 of Harbored Secrets series. “Welcome back to Walton, Georgia, where everyone knows your name – but no one knows your secret…” “A delicious hero, heart-pounding suspense, and an intricate weaving of a heroine’s journey make DEADLY DECEIT one of my top-of-the-top favorites of the year! Natalie Walters brings it all together with an ending that will stick with you long after you close the book.” – Jaimejo Wright, author. Please note that our library also has LIVING LIES Bk 1 and SILENT SHADOWS Bk 3. 

DEAR CAROLINA  by Kristy Woodson Harvey, 813.6 Har. Taken from the book back cover: “One baby girl. Two strong Southern women. And the most difficult decision they’ll ever make…Frances “Khaki” Mason has it all: a thriving interior design career, a loving husband and son, homes in North Carolina and Manhattan – everything except the second child she has always wanted. Jodi, her husband’s nineteen-year-old cousin, is fresh out of rehab, pregnant, and alone. Although the two women couldn’t seem more different, they forge a life-long connection as Khaki reaches out to Jodi, encouraging to have her baby. But as Jodi struggles to be the mother she knows her daughter deserves, she will as Khaki for the ultimate favor….Written to baby Carolina, by both her birth mother and her adoptive one, this is a story that proves that life circumstances shape us but don’t define us – and that families aren’t born, they’re made…” Another page turner that was hard to put down! – Janie Carlson. 

DEMOLISHING SUPPOSED BIBLE CONTRADICTIONS  Exploring Forty Alleged Contradictions by Ken Ham (and others) found at 239.23 Ham. Some of you may recognize Ken Ham as part of The Answers in Genesis series. From Genesis to Revelation the book brings out the questions and answers that refute it with Bible citations. There are many questions that are spoken by Christians and non-Christians alike. Some thoughtful reading!  Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.

DESTINED FOR YOU by Tracie Peterson, 813.54 Pet, Bk 1 of Ladies of the Lake series. Taken from the book blurb: “Can she withstand the storms of life that blow her way? Gloriana Womack’s family is much smaller since scarlet fever killed her mother and two of her siblings. She’s dedicated her modest life in Duluth, Minnesota, to holding the remains of her fractured family together, caring for her father and younger brother. But it is hard not to be overrun by worry when her father is often gone on long fishing trips, their livelihood coming from the waters of the temperamental and sometimes deadly Lake Superior.” 

DEWEY the LIBRARY CAT by Vicki Myron, 92 Myr. Taken from the back cover: “Abandoned in a library book drop slot in the dead of winter, the small kitten who came to be known as Dewey Readmore Books miraculously endured the coldest night of the year. When librarian Vicki Myron found him in the morning, she wrapped him in her arms, gave him his first bath, and then introduced him to his new home: the library.”  This book is a delightful read for young and old. It gave me such pleasure to read about this special kitten who grows up in a public library and is beloved by everyone who enters. Dewey had way of making everyone he met feel that he was their special cat. Please take time to read this book, you’ll be glad you did! – Janie Carlson.

DISTANT SHORE, A by Karen Kingsbury, 813.54 Kin. Taken from the back cover: “She was a child caught in a riptide in the Caribbean Sea. He was a teenager from the East Coast on vacation with his family. He dove in to save her, and that single terrifying moment changed both their lives forever…Ten years later, Jack Ryder is a daring undercover agent with the FBI and Eliza Lawrence still lives on that pristine island. Only now she’s the untainted princess in a kingdom of darkness and evil, on the brink of a forced marriage with a dangerous neighboring drug lord, a marriage arranged by her father…This time when Jack and Eliza meet, both their lives are on the line, and once again, the stakes are deadly high. Can they join forces in a complicated and dangerous mission, pretending to have a breathtaking love…without really falling for one another? ...Sometimes miracles happen not once, but twice…on a distant shore.”   

EDGE OF BELONGING, THE by Amanda Cox, 813.6 Cox. “When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee her late grandmother’s estate sale, she soon discovers that the woman left behind more than trinkets and photo frames – she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing…Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless.” This is a dual-timeline story and it kept my interest throughout, though at times I got confused and had to do some rereading! It was well worth the time it took to read and I totally recommend this book! – Review by Janie Carlson.

ECLIPSE OF THE SOUL, AN - Christian Resource on Dealing with Suicide at 248.8 Hos. This book “is a compassionate resource on the motives, myths, and effects of suicide. Having recovered from an unsuccessful suicide attempt herself, Helen Kooiman Hosier writes like few can, providing not only sound biblical counsel and resources for suicide prevention but also understanding, empathy, and hope.”

EL DEAFO  by Cece Bell, found in the youth section. This is a Newberry Award-winning graphic novel about being different and finding a true friend. It’s both humorous and poignant. Aimed at middle schoolers, the book is loosely based on the author’s own experience as a deaf child attending a “normal school.” 

ENDLESS CHRISTMAS, AN by Cynthia Ruchti, 813.6 Ruc. Taken from the book blurb: “Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrate every Christmas as if it were their last. This year, their only grandson, Micah, asks his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him – in front of the whole Binder family. But things go terribly wrong when she says no. Now Katie is stuck. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But, sometimes too much is just enough. Especially, when it’s Christmas.” I highly recommend reading this book. – Janie Carlson. 

ENDURING CLASSICS OF BILLY GRAHAM: THE SECRET OF HAPPINESS, HOPE FOR THE TROUBLED HEART, DEATH AND THE LIFE AFTER, THE by Billy Graham, 236 Gra. Billy Graham, the world-renowned author, preacher, and evangelist, has delivered the gospel message to more people face-to-face than anyone in history and has ministered on every continent of the world.  

ESSENTIAL WORKS OF ANDREW MURRAY – 12 COMPLETE BOOKS COVERING THE ENTIRE CHRISTIAN LIFE by Andrew Murray, 248.4 Mur. Includes complete scripture index and over 800 life application questions to encourage spiritual growth.  

EVEN NOW by Karen Kingsbury, 813.54 Kin. Karen has crafted a superb story of ordinary flawed people. Emily was born to 17 year old parents still in high school and was raised by her grandparents. She hadn’t known how both families made sure Emily’s parents were permanently separated from each other. As many problems arose, Emily never lost her faith but as much as she and her grandparents prayed, God just didn’t seem to be listening. But 19 long years later in an amazing turn of events, they realized that God had indeed answered their prayers, just not in their timing or in the way they had always asked. This is a book about forgiveness and reconciliation found in the large print section of our library. Have a box of tissues ready as you read this stirring book. - Reviewed by Alice Hill. 

FACING THE DAWN by Cynthia Ruchti, 813.6 Ruc. Taken from the back cover: “While her humanitarian husband Liam has been digging wells in Africa, Mara Jacobs has been struggling. She knows she’s supposed to feel a warm glow that her husband is eight time zones away, caring for widows and orphans. But she is exhausted, working a demanding yet unrewarding job, trying to manage their three detention-prone and needy kinds, failing at her to-repair list, and fading like a garment left too long in the sun…Then Liam’s three-year absence turns into something more, changing everything and plunging her into a sunless grief. As Mara struggles to find her footing, she discovers that even when hope is tenuous, faith is fragile, and the future is unknown, we can be sure we are not forgotten…or unloved.” – When I first starting reading it, I thought to myself “I hope nobody that’s already feeling hopelessly overwhelmed reads this. It sure won’t lift their spirits.” It wasn’t until the very end of the book that a beautiful and peace-filled plan to all that transpired becomes obvious. (Sound kinda like life?) It is an exceptionally good book. – Review by Alice Hill. 

FINAL GIFTS: UNDERSTANDING THE SPECIAL AWARENESS, NEEDS AND COMMUNICATIONS OF THE DYING by Maggie Callanan, 236 Cal. Written by two hospice nurses who share their intimate experiences with patients at the end of life. Filled with practical advice on responding to the requests of the dying and helping prepare them emotionally and spiritually for death, this book shows how we can help the dying person live fully to the very end.  

FLASH POINT  by Thomas Lock, 813.54 Loc, book 2 in the Fault Lines series. “This book is a true psychological thriller that cannot be put down…An awesome jaunt into a world that may just be closer to reality than we think.” “In the clash of science, government, and big business, one thing remains clear: what you don’t know can kill you.” 

FLIGHT RISK by Cara Putman, 813.6 Put. “Cara Putman does it again. A plane crash, murders, a traumatized teen, and a crack lawyer who will do whatever it takes to protect her family and her clients. Throw in a little romance and FLIGHT RISK is a brilliantly woven story that takes the reader on a breath-stealing ride. I highly recommend this book.” Lynette Eason, author of The Blue Justice Series.  “In her legal thriller, Putman weaves a story that proves what you read in the news isn’t always what it appears to be. Separating truth from what is perceived to be true takes her characters on a journey with twists and turns that will keep the reader turning the pages, anxious to see how it all fits together.” Martha Rogers, bestselling author.  

FOREVER FRIDAY by Timothy Lewis, 813.6 Lew. “Tim has masterfully woven a simple love story, intertwining the joy of new love, the challenge of enduring love, the hope of renewed love, and the joy of lasting love into a beautiful and complex tapestry. Not only does Tim tell a delightful story, he also inspires us all to renew our love and to deepen our relationships. FOREVER FRIDAY will make young lovers dance, old lovers smile, and everyone else who dreams of love strive for better Fridays.” “Every Friday, a postcard. Every Friday, a love poem. Every Friday, for sixty years.” 

FORGIVING PARIS by Karen Kingsbury, 813.54 Kin. Taken from the back cover: “Could Ashley Baxter Blake’s journey to forgiveness lead her back to the City of Lights?...In Indiana, Ashley and her husband are about to take an anniversary trip to Paris, where a French gallery will show her paintings. But Ashley is hesitant. More than two decades ago, she made her most grievous mistake in the City of Lights. She has never forgiven herself for what happened there and still harbors secrets she is afraid will be revealed. Just before the trip, Ashley gets a call from her niece living in Paris. Jessie explains that her boyfriend’s mother, Alice, remembers working at a bakery with an American named Ashley. “Could that be you?” When Alice and Ashley meet, a flood of memories comes for both women, taking Ashley back to a reckless affair and an unexpected pregnancy, and Alice to the night she nearly ended it all. Can this reunion bring healing and closure? Maybe it is finally time for Ashley to forgive herself…and Paris.”

FRAGMENTS OF FEAR  by Carrie Stuart Parks, 813.6 Par. “…is a heart-stopping read of suspense and God’s mercy and grace. Tavish is the type of character who grips you tight in her clutches and takes you along on a wild ride until you turn the last page. It’s a stay-up-late-to-finish novel. Highest recommendation!”  

 GIFTED HANDS – THE BEN CARSON STORY by Ben Carson, M.D. at 92 Car. “Dr. Ben Carson is known around the world for breakthroughs in neurosurgery that have brought hope where no hope existed. In Gifted Hands, he tells of his inspiring odyssey from his childhood in inner-city Detroit to his position as director of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins Medical Institutions at age thirty-three. Taking you into the operating room where he has saved countless lives, Ben Carson is a role model for anyone who attempts the seemingly impossible.” “Filled with fascinating case histories, this bestselling book tells the dramatic and intimate story of Ben Carson’s struggle to beat the odds – and of the faith and genius that make him one of today’s greatest life-givers.” 

GRACE UPON GRACE – SPIRITUALITY FOR TODAY by John W. Kleinig, 248.322 Kle. Taken from the back cover: “The longing for spiritual fulfillment, inevitably paired with spiritual frustration, is common among Christians. Do we read and study the Bible enough? Do we worship often and in the right way? Do we pray enough, in the correct way, and for the right things? How do we become truly spiritual? And the answers from numerous self-help spirituality books only lead to confusion and the fear of missing key steps on the road to becoming spiritual. In response, John W. Kleinig clarifies that there is no process for becoming spiritual. Instead, God graciously gives to us every spiritual gift that we need, beginning with the very gift of faith in Christ, our Savior. Because God has joined us to Christ, He continually comes to give life.” 

GRANDMA’S ON THE GO by Carol V. Weishampel, Ed. D. found at Fiction Wei.  A single mom and her passel of kids hit the road with guts and gusto.  If you like to travel and camp, you will enjoy reading about trips taken from Texas to Montana and points leading from Austin to the state parks in Texas.  Cooking over open fire?  There are recipes in the back along with travel guides and check lists.  This was a fun read. – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.


GRANDPA’S MUSIC: A story about Alzheimer’s by Albert Whitman, found in Juvenile books. This book lovingly portrays the story of a family dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. The colorful illustrations and large type make it an excellent choice for reading to groups of children. Grandpa comes to live with his family in their home. Each family member has responsibilities for his care. He loves singing and playing the piano which encourages his ability to communicate as his Alzheimer’s disease progresses. In the end he enters an elderly care facility. The book is written to increase understanding of Alzheimer’s disease by young children ages 4 – 10. (Review taken from Libraries Alive.)  

HANNAH GRACE by Sharlene MacLaren, 813.6 Mac, Bk 1 of Daughters of Jacob Kane series. Growing up in the west Michigan resort town of Sandy Shores in the early 1900s, Hannah Grace, the eldest of Jacob Kane's three daughters, “is feisty and strong-willed, yet practical. Between working at her father's general store and courting the town's physician, Ralston Van Huff, Hannah has her life planned out in an orderly, meaningful way. Or so she thinks. Hannah's world turns upside down when the new sheriff comes to town. Gabriel Devlin is strong, outspoken, and a Christian to boot – but he's sworn off women, having met ones mostly interested in money and apathetic about God. Determined to ignore the newcomer's handsome looks, Hannah is drawn to him nonetheless by a shy, runaway orphan boy named Jesse. While Hannah works to befriend the shy vagabond, who's living with Gabriel until other arrangements can be made, God works in her heart. What plans does He have in store for this young woman who thought she had it all together?” 

HAVEN FOR HER HEART, A by Susan Anne Mason, 813.54 Mas, Book 1 Redemption’s Light. Taken from the back cover: “Upon her release from a woman’s reformatory in 1941 Toronto, Olivia Rosetti wants nothing more than to forget the horrors of her time there and return to normal. But with her family unwilling to forgive and employers wary of hiring her, she quickly ends up desperate and homeless – until a chance encounter with well-to-do widow Ruth Bennington. The two discover they share a painful history and together decide to open a maternity home for troubled women.” 

HEALER’S TOUCH, THE  by Lori Copeland, 813.54. “It’s 1887, and Lyric Bolton doesn’t ask for much – just friendship and acceptance from her rural Missouri community. But her family is regarded with suspicion and fear because of her mother’s sickness – a sickness that of the mind that grows worse by the day. Lyric is resigned to a life of isolation and doesn’t see a way out…but that’s before Ian Cowley bolts into her life on a runaway stallion…A tender story of God’s love and faithfulness…even when all hope seems lost.”   

HEALING THE HEARTBREAK OF GRIEF by Peter James Flamming, 242.4 Fla. Flamming speaks of the positive wisdom of grief that seeks to take the pain of our loss, and in time, recycle it for our good. This I can do today – remember that God works in all things, past, present, and future. Each chapter closes with “This I can do today” and “This I can remember today” bit of advice. It is written in the language of a layperson.

HEART FOR HOME, A by Lauraine Snelling, 813.54 Sne book 3 of Home to Blessing series. Our library also has books 1 and 2. Taken from the back cover: “Is love forever out of reach if she pursues God’s calling? …Astrid Bjorklund is on the Red Bud Indian Reservation in South Dakota trying to stop the horrific epidemic that is ravaging the tribe. The elders are suspicious of her, but when they see some of their people beginning to recover, they allow Astrid to continue caring for the sick and to train others to help…Upon returning to Blessing, she learns that the man she thought she loved cannot accept that God has called her to be a doctor. Heartbroken, Astrid fears she may have to give up her dream of marriage and family.”  

HEAVENLY MAN, THE by Brother Yun, 92 Yun was reviewed years ago by Jeanene Christianson. She said upon reading the back cover, "I was hooked. This is an appealing read! You feel like you are reading a twenty-first century rendition of the book of Acts. I smiled often but I wept too. Christianity is a rare gift that we don’t treasure as much as we should. Christian Brother Yun was remarkably chosen by God to be His present day apostle at the age of 16! Though he was hunted by China’s Public Security Bureau at every turn for the crime of preaching Jesus Christ, his gift of faith was the driving force to give his all to Jesus Christ, his Savior. After reading this book, I will revere my relationship with Jesus even more."

HEIRLOOMS by Sandra Byrd, 813.54 Byr. With the enchanting Washington State Puget Sound as a backdrop, and set in both modern-day and midcentury, this story of four women intertwines across generations to explore the secrets we keep, the love we pass down, and the heirlooms we inherit from a well-lived life.”

HER EVERY MOVE by Kelly Irvin, 813.6 Irv. Taken from the book blurb: “When a deadly bomb goes off during a climate change debate, librarian and event coordinator Jackie Santoro becomes the prime suspect. Her motive, according to Detective Avery Wick: to avenge the suicide of her prominent father, who was accused of crimes by a city councilman attending the event…”

HIDDEN AMONG THE STARS by Melanie Dobson, 813.6 Dob. Taken from inside the front cover: “…is a glorious treasure hunt, uniting past and present with each delightful revelation. Dobson celebrates faith and the strength of human spirit in true-to-life settings, high-stakes decisions, and heart-gripping characters. It’s a must-read historical fiction that left me pondering well-crafted twists for days.” – Mesu Andrews, award-winning author of ISAIAH’S DAUGHTER. 

HIGH HURDLES by Lorraine Snelling, 813.54 Sne. Something a little different, but of special interest to those who’ve ever been involved in showing and performing with horses. The author has gathered into one thick book the contents previously published in 5 separate volumes about a 14-year-old girl’s dream of someday competing in equestrian events at the Olympics. As she trains and strives to learn all she can, her family pleads with her to pursue an art education in her considerable drawing and sketching skills. Taking part in many local horse competitions, her Olympic dream seems to be a possibility. But when she risks her life freeing horses from a burning stable, her hands are so terribly burned it is feared she may never again draw, or even hold reins. I found this to be an interesting portrayal of a family’s involvement with their daughter in this activity. – Reviewed by Alice Hill. 

HOME BEYOND THE SUN – A FIGHT FOR FREEDODM, A SEARCH FOR TRUTH DVD ADULT HOM. An inspiring story of a young woman, Jenna travels to a foreign country where even possessing a Bible will bring a longer jail term than selling drugs. Brought there by the promise of a resume-building job Jenna is suddenly captivated by a young Chinese girl, Chui Lee.  

HOSTILE INTENT by Lynette Eason, 813.6 Eas. Bk 4 of the Danger Never Sleeps series. Taken from the back cover: “Ava Jackson entered the military shortly after high school, but her mother’s illness forced her to request an early discharge. She already lost her father while deployed, and there’s no way she’s going to let her mother die alone. But after a visit to the nursing facility where her mother lives, Ava is attacked walking back to her car. Fortunately, FBI Special Agent Caden Denning arrives in time to help fight off her attacker…Caden reveals to Ava that she may hold the key to the murders of three families, and he needs her help before anyone else is harmed. The hits show a pattern, and clearly the killer has an agenda. But if Caden and Ava can’t discover what it is, Ava may be next on the list.” 

HOUSE OF LIVING STONES by Katie Schuermann, 813.6 Sch. Another of the delightful recent books added to our library. The trials and triumphs of a congregation from very young children to the saints going to be with their Savior. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll see some very hurting human dilemmas handled with not only the Law, but also with the Gospel’s compassion and wisdom. Be sure and get all 3 books in the series, marked 1, 2 and 3 on the spine, including THE CHOIR IMMORTAL and THE HARVEST RAISE. Reviewed by Alice Hill.

HUNDRED CRICKETS SINGING, A by Cathy Gohlke, 813.6 Goh. “In wars eighty years apart, two young women living on the same Appalachian estate determine to aid soldiers dear to them and fight for justice.”

I, SAUL by Jerry B. Jenkins with James S. MacDonald, 813.54 Jen. Taken from the back cover: “A young seminary professor, Augustine Knox, is drawn into a deadly race to save priceless parchments from antiquities thieves and discovers a two-thousand-year old connection with another who faced death for the sake of the truth. I, Saul consists of two riveting adventures in one, transporting you between the stories of Augustine Knox and Saul of Tarsus…Filled with political intrigue, romance, and rich historical detail, I, Saul is a thrilling tale of loyal friendships tested by life-or-death quests, set two millennia apart, told by a master storyteller.”

I’LL WATCH THE MOON by Ann Tatlock , 813.54 Tat. It’s a good family story with a section explaining the fear of polio in 1946 – 1950. (Activities such as movies, fairs and bathing beaches were closed in summer to keep people at home.) A man tells about his life and family in Germany and Poland during the Holocaust. Many were killed and imprisoned by the Gestapo in 1939 and 1940. Although some people doubt this, it really happened. Reviewed in the past by Virginia Ames.

IN EVERY PEW SITS A BROKEN HEART by Ruth Graham (daughter of Ruth and Billy Graham), 248.8 Gra. The broken heart in your pew may be the woman sitting next to you who struggles with breast cancer. It may be the middle-aged man at the far end whose alcoholism has torn his family apart. Behind every face is a story, and the story is not always pleasant. But God knows how to write our stories with redemptive ink, and He can heal our broken hearts. Ruth Graham has found through bitter personal experience that God does His great work in the ruins of our lives. 

INVISIBLE by Ginny L Yttrup, 813.6 Ytt. This is one of the new books in the library reviewed by Alice Hill. She says, “I just finished it and it is excellent!” New and fresh subject matter, informative, and educational – all woven into a very well-written novel. 

JADED, JUSTIFIED AND JILTED all by Varina Denman, 813.6 Den. The main characters change with the books as it all takes place in Trapp, Texas, a small town where everyone knows each other. These series books are fun to read when the ending leaves the reader hanging for the next book. Ruthie in the first book, Fawn, her childhood friend in the second, and Ruthie’s mother in the third weave a nicely paced story with surprise endings.

JERUSALEM ASSASSIN, THE: A Marcus Ryker Series Political and Military Action Thriller (Book 3) by Joel Rosenberg, 813.6 Ros. An international political thriller that will keep you turning the page through the final chapter. Marcus Ryker is a CIA operative whose team is responsible for protecting the U.S. President, the Saudi Arabian Monarch, Prime Minister of Israel, and Palestinian Grand Mufti from terrorists dead set on preventing a peace agreement between these four principals. A novel that lives up to all expectations fans of Rosenberg have come to expect. – Reviewed by C. Hultman (Note: We also have THE KREMLIN CONSPIRACY, book 1, in our church library. Do readers want us to get book 2: THE PERSIAN GAMBLE? Let us know!) 

KEY TO EVERYTHING, THE by Valerie Fraser Luesse, 813.6 Lue. Taken from the back cover: “Peyton Cabot’s fifteenth year will be a painful and transformative one. His father, the heroic but reluctant head of a moneyed Savannah family, has come home from World War II a troubled vet, drowning his demons in bourbon and distancing himself from his son. A tragic accident shows Peyton the depths of his parents’ devotion to each other but interrupts his own budding romance with the girl of his dreams…Struggling to cope with a young life upended, Peyton makes a daring decision: He will retrace a journey his father took at fifteen, riding his bicycle from St. Augustine, Florida, all the way to Key West. Part declaration of independence, part search for self, Peyton’s journey will bring him more than he ever could have imagined – namely, the key to his unknowable father, a longed-for reunion, and a calling that will shape the rest of his life.” 

KINDNESS IS COURAGEOUS by Nicole J. Phillips, 808.8 Phi. “100 stories to remind you people are brave and kind.” Excellent and uplifting Janie

LEAVING NOVEMBER by Deborah Raney, 813.54 Ran. “Faith and love triumph in this small-town story of overcoming the past and finding hope for the future. LEAVING NOVEMBER gently plays the heartstrings and embraces the spirit in the name of love.” 

LETHAL INTENT by Cara Putman, 813.6 Put. Taken from the book blurb: “A fascinating page-turner that isn’t afraid to ask hard questions – the kind that keep you thinking long after you’ve read the last page. You’ll root for Caroline and Brandon as they wrestle with hard decisions that test them and their relationship to the breaking point.” 

LETTER KEEPER, THE by Charles Martin, 813.6 Mar. Book 2 – a Murphy Shepherd Novel. Taken from the back cover: “Murphy Shepherd has made a career of finding those no one else could – survivors of human trafficking His life’s mission is helping others find freedom…When his new wife, her daughter, and two teen-age girls are stolen, Murphy is left questioning all he has thought to be true. With more dead ends than leads, he has no idea how to find his loved ones…Hope feels lost, but Murphy is willing to expend his last breath trying to bring them home.” - (Please note that our library has Book 1 THE WATER KEEPER. If you’ve read both and liked them, please let us know as book 3 THE RECORD KEEPER comes out the summer of 2022.)

LIBRARIAN OF BOONE’S HOLLOW, THE by Kim Vogel Sawyer, 813.6 Saw. Taken from the back cover: “Addie has been forced to start a new chapter – one testing her grit and courage. Will she trust the One who truly pens her story? During the Great Depression, city-dweller Addie Cowherd dreams of becoming a novelist and offering readers the escape that books had given her during her tragic childhood. When her father loses his job, she is forced to take the only employment she can find – delivering books on horseback to impoverished coal-mining families in the hills of Kentucky…But turning a new page will be nearly impossible in Boone’s Hollow, where residents are steeped in superstitions and deeply suspicious of outsiders. Even local Emmett Tharp, the first in his family to graduate college, feels the sting of rejection after returning to the tiny mountain hamlet. And as the crippled economy leaves many men jobless, he fears his degree won’t be worth much in a place where most men either work the coal mine or run moonshine…As Addie also struggles to find her place, she’ll unearth the truth about a decades-old rivalry. When someone sets out to sabotage the town’s library program, will the culprit chase Addie away – or straight into the arms of the only person who can help her put a broken community back together?”

LIGHT IN THE DARK BELT – The Story of Rosa Young as told by herself 92 You. “Known as the “mother of Black Lutheranism in central Alabama” and a strong advocate of education for rural children, Rosa Young (1890-1971) was instrumental in founding and promoting the development of Lutheran schools and congregations in Alabama’s Black Belt. First published in 1930, Rosa Young’s autobiography is a story of faith, courage, labor, and perseverance. Concordia Publishing House is pleased to present this special edition in connection with the film documentary The First Rosa, with the prayer that a new generation may be inspired by her ministry.” 

LIVING LIES by Natalie Walters, 813.6 Wal, book 1 of Harbored Secrets series “is a nail-biter that will make you play hooky from your day job, feed your children cereal for supper, and not stop reading until the last page. Natalie Walters' debut novel is intriguing and enticing.” “This book also talks about two serious issues - depression and PTSD. The heroine deals with depression and the stamina that goes with it and there are others in the story that deal with PTSD. Both issues are handled well by the author. The author brings to light these two illnesses and how they affect everyone involved. She also touched on how people with these illnesses can be treated badly and how we need to have compassion for people with these illnesses. I really like reading it. I like the mystery theme of the story. I recommend this one. This is a clean, Christian read.” 

LONG TIME COMIN’, A by Robin W. Pearson found under 813.6 Pea. The following is copied from an on-line review:  "There are so many things that can happen to a person, things that other people can't understand - even the person involved sometimes doesn't understand." And the one person who has the ability to explain it all is nearing the end of explanations. When Evelyn Lester arrives at her grandmother's little house, she is unprepared for the stream of unfettered words that the crotchety old woman spews out of her mouth. Granny B isn't exactly mean, but she can seem that way to those who don't really know her; she knows a lot more about life and death than most people, but she sure doesn't crave any sympathy; she has lived a lifetime of ups and downs, but is finally ready to admit…..that grace took a "long time comin'". What a lovely journey along the raw edges of a family, where pain always hovered just beneath the surface, and secrets lived and breathed much longer than the truth. What matters most is that in the end, a mother's sacrifice and determination to give her children what they needed the most, gifted them with a legacy that they are finally able to recognize and understand.”

LONG WALK TO WATER, A by Linda Sue Park, FIC Par. The author based this short story largely on the childhood experiences of Salva Dut, who was born in Sudan. He now makes his U.S. home in Rochester, New York, where Ms. Park also lives. He was born in a small village in southern Sudan and he stayed in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya for many years before he came to America. 

LONG WAY HOME by Lynn Austin, 813.54 Aus. Taken from the back cover: “A young woman searches for the truth her childhood friend won’t discuss after returning from World War II, revealing a gripping story of courage, friendship, and faith.” “A must-read for fans of WWII inspirationals.”


MAMA BEAR APOLOGETICS – EMPOWERING YOUR KIDS TO CHALLENGE CULTURAL LIES by Hillary Morgan Ferrer, at 249 Fer. “The problem with lies is they often don’t sound like lies. They seem harmless, and even sound right. So what’s a Mama Bear to do when her kids seem to be absorbing the culture’s lies uncritically?” “…is the book you’ve been looking for. This mom-to-mom guide will equip you to teach your kids how to form their own biblical beliefs about what is true and what is false. Through transparent life stories and clear, practical applications – including prayer strategies – this band of Mama Bears offers you tools to train yourself so you can turn around and train your kids.”

MANGA MESSIAH The greatest story ever told, about the most controversial man who ever lived, presented in the most popular graphic novel format on earth.” This book can be found in the youth section. 

MANY SPARROWS by Lori Benton, 813.6 Ben. The following summary is taken from Goodreads: “Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would… In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail. When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son...especially when her second child is moments away from being born. Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do – be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?” This riveting story kept me reading on about the ferocity of a mother’s love and the beauty and complexity of Shawnee culture and community. However, I must admit that at times I was really annoyed with Clare’s pigheadedness! – Reviewed by Janie Carlson.  

MEDALS IN THE ATTIC by Cathy Elliott, 813.6 Ell. “Join Annie Dawson and the members of the Hook and Needle Club of Stony Point, Maine, as they track down mysteries connected with the contents found in the attic of Annie’s ancestral home, Grey Gables…Let the good people of Stony Point into your heart, and the mysteries of Annie’s Attic will keep you on the edge of your seat!”

 MESSAGE OF THE BIRDS, THE by Kate Westerlund, illustrations by Feridun Oral, at JUV Wes. Taken from the book flap: “Long ago a special child was born, and animals everywhere heard in his coos a song of blessing and good will for all the creatures of the earth. But now the birds wonder why no one sings the song anymore. The old owl tells them, “People don’t listen. Some think the message is for others and not for them.” The other birds determined to bring the message to those they know will listen and understand – the children. And so they fly far and wide, each singing the song of joy and peace, passing it on from bird to bird, and from child to child everywhere.” The author and illustrator “have created a beautifully poetic story about the powerful role we all have to play in hearing the timeless message: “Let there be peace. Peace on Earth.” 

MIDNIGHT ON THE MISSISSIPPI, WHAT HAPPENED ON BEALE STREET, MAGNOLIA MOONLIGHT, and SUNSET IN OLD SAVANNAH are 4 in the series called Secrets of the South Mysteries. All the books are dealing with stories of private investigators helping the police catch the criminal. The author is Mary Ellis and the books are found at 813.6. It has been fun seeing the same characters pop up in each book like old friends. I had hesitations about reading beyond the first book but I was glad I did; each one became a page turner in suspense. Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.

MIRACLE AT THE HIGHER GROUNDS CAFÉ by Max Lucado, 813.54 Luc. “Step inside the Higher Grounds Café, a place brimming with hope, a heaping helping of comfort food, and a direct line to heaven. Where faith lives, all things are possible, for a family, a community, and one woman who wasn’t sure she had the courage to believe again.” – Lisa Wingate, bestselling author. 

MIRIAM’S SONG by Jill Eileen Smith, 813.6 Smi. Taken from the back cover: “She has prayed for deliverance from Egypt. But perhaps the greatest liberation happens within the heart…From the very beginning, Miriam has lived in her younger brother’s shadow. Thrust into the role of protective older sister before Moses was even born, she will grow into a woman who not only keeps her family’s secret but bears the burden of leading a new nation…In her mind, she knows that she is serving both her God and her people. But in her heart, Miriam yearns for more. She longs to experience the privilege Moses has – to talk with God face-to-face. But when God finally does speak directly to her, the outcome is not at all what she expects…With her impeccable research and keen eye for detail, bestselling author Jill Eileen Smith offers this epic novel to fill in the gaps in Miriam’s story, following her from childhood to motherhood, obscurity to notoriety, and yearning to fulfillment as she learns that what God promises He provides – in His own perfect timing.”

MISSING ISAAC by Valerie Fraser Luesse, 813.6 Lue. “When Pete McLean loses his father in the summer of 1962, his friend Isaac is one of the very few people he can lean on. Though their worlds are as different as black and white, friendship knows no color. So when Isaac suddenly goes missing, Pete is determined to find out what happened – no matter what it costs him. His quest will lead him into parts of town that he knows only through rumors and introduce him to a girl who will change his life. What they discover together will change the small Southern town of Glory, Alabama – forever.” “MISSING ISAAC will break – and then heal – your heart.” 

MONEY MATTERS – Answers to Your Financial Questions by Larry Burkett, 332.024 Bur. Taken from the back cover: “Larry’s uniquely personal teaching style and passion for Christ brings hope to those in financial crisis and guidance to those who want to glorify God with spiritually and financially responsible lives.”  

MOONLIGHT SCHOOL, THE by Suzanne Woods Fisher, 813.6 Fis. Taken from the back cover: “…Born in those very hills, Cora knows the twin plagues of illiteracy and poverty. So does Brother Wyatt, a singing school master who travels through the hills. Involving Lucy and Wyatt, Cora hatches a plan to open the schoolhouses to adults on moonlit nights. The best way to combat poverty, she believes, is to eliminate illiteracy. But will the people come?...Inspired by true events, this novel by bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings to life the story that shocked the nation into taking adult literacy seriously.”  

MORE THAN WE REMEMBER by Christina Nelson, 813.6 Nel. The horrible 3-vehicle crash with fatality, the popular high school coach whose car was over the centerline, the smell of alcohol, the tough woman deputy’s special need to see the coach found guilty, the surprise ending this reader didn’t see coming… This book, only months on our shelf, has a refreshingly different, multi-faceted plot. Reviewed by Alice Hill. 

MOST LOVING PLACE IN TOWN: A MODERN DAY PARABLE FOR THE CHURCH, THE by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges, 253 Bla. “How many churches have you entered as a stranger and unmistakably felt loved? Sadly, it’s not uncommon for churches to focus on such things as appearance, doctrinal purity, and activities, yet neglect the most important characteristic Jesus exemplified and taught his followers: love…In the story, a church leader and his pastor independently become aware of the missing element of love in their church, and together they endeavor to reform leaders and laity into a truly loving community.” 

MOTHER’S PROMISE, THE by Sally Hepworth, 813.54 Hep. From the inner cover blurb: “All their lives, Alice Stanhope and her daughter, Zoe, have been a family of two, living quietly in Northern California. Zoe has always struggled with crippling social anxiety and her mother has been her constant and fierce protector. With Zoe’s father shrouded in mystery, their team of two works – until it doesn’t. Until Alice gets sick and needs to fight for her life…Desperate to find stability for Zoe, Alice reaches out to two women who are practically strangers but who are her only hope: Kate, a nurse, and Sonja, a social worker. As the four of them come together, a chain of events is set into motion and all four of them must confront their darkest fears and secrets – secrets about abandonment, abuse, estrangement, and the deepest longing for family…Imbued with heart and humor in even the most dismal moments, this is an unforgettable novel about the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters and the new ways in which families are forged.” This novel grabbed me and never let me go even as twists near the end had me yelling out in dismay – sorry Doug! And be sure to keep the tissues near at hand. – Janie Carlson 

MOUNTAINTOP DRIVE by James R. Coggins, 813.6 is Book 3 of a John Smyth Mystery. None of our First readers had read it since we received it in 2018, so I took it home to see if we should look into getting Books 1 & 2. Online reviews were: “An intriguing and highly readable mystery with plot turns and enough suspects to keep the reader guessing until the end.” “A slick, crisp read. It has just about everything. Mystery, suspense, action, twists in plot and a lot of extras you won’t find in too many mysteries these days – morality, spirituality, and theology. Mountaintop Drive is a page turner but it’s far more than a weekend’s entertainment. It will take you places you never expected to go. A good ride.” I enjoyed this book and can recommend it. However, I went onto GoodReads to get plot lines and reviews of the first two books in the series and nothing about either of them grabbed my attention. So for now we’re holding off on ordering them until someone lets us know otherwise! – Janie Carlson. 

MY BOY BEN - A STORY OF LOVE, LOSS AND GRACE by David Wheaton, 813.54 Whi. Though this is a true story of the warm bond between tennis star David Wheaton and an exceptional yellow lab named Ben, it is much more. When David’s joy in Ben is cut short, his grief is overwhelming. But David, a committed Christian, finds healing and new meaning in these words of 1 Peter 5:10-11: “May the God of all grace who called us to his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after you have suffered a while, make perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you.” – Reviewed by Alice Hill.  

MY PRINCE WILL COME – GETTING READY FOR MY LORD’S RETURN by Sheri Rose Shepherd, 236.9 She (found on the small book shelf). “Sheri Rose Shepherd reminds us that pride, guilt, procrastination, greed, and other sins of the flesh keep us from living out our purpose – but true crowning moments occur when we fix our eyes on eternity. Her message will challenge readers to prepare to meet the Prince of Peace by focusing on the things that matter most.” – James and Betty Robison, Life Outreach International, Fort Worth, Texas. 

NEW TOLERANCE, THE by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler found at 261.21 McD.  A comment from the back of the book states: “THE NEW TOLERANCE offers a thoroughly biblical message of love and hope in the face of a culture increasingly bent on sabotaging the foundations of your faith and that of your children.”  Josh McDowell also wrote MORE THAN A CARPENTER, FIC McD.

NIGHT BIRD CALLING by Cathy Gohlke, 813.6 Goh. Taken from the back cover: “Appalachia, 1941. When Lilliana Swope’s beloved mother dies, Lilliana gathers her last ounce of courage and flees her abusive husband for the home of her only living relative in the foothills of No Creek, North Carolina. Though Hyacinth Belvidere hasn’t seen Lilliana since she was five, she offers her cherished great-niece a safe harbor. Their joyful reunion inspires plans to revive Aunt Hyacinth’s estate and open a public library where everyone is welcome, no matter the color of their skin…Slowly Lilliana finds revival and friendship in No Creek – with precocious eleven-year-old Celia Percy, with kindhearted Reverend Jesse Willard, and with Ruby Lynne Wishon, a young woman whose secrets could destroy both them and the town. But when their plans for the library also incite the wrath of the Klan, the dangers of Lilliana’s past and present threaten to topple her before she’s learned to stand… With war brewing for the nation and for her newfound community, Lilliana must overcome a hard truth voiced by her young friend Celia: Wishing comes easy: Change don’t.” – This book was hard to put down and I recommend it to anyone who is ready for a rollercoaster ride of emotions: laughter and tears, anger at the villains and rejoicing because of the bravery of the characters. – Reviewed by Janie Carlson. 

NINE LIVES TO ETERNITY by Scott D. Gottschalk, 92 Got. This book is a true story of repeatedly cheating death; an inspirational and faith-driven human triumph, and has truly made an impact on readers around the world. This life-affirming book outlines each of the author’s twenty-seven brushes with death. Scott believes in guardian angels, because he’s personally been touched by angels. He was raised on a livestock and cropping farm in southeastern Minnesota near the small village of Byron. He and his wife now live in central Minnesota near the small village of Kimball. “From the very day of my most recent encounter with death, I’ve concluded that God’s plan for me is somehow not yet finished. I passionately believe that the Lord has a mission for me, and until my job on earth is finished, I will not be called to my heavenly Creator no matter how dangerous my situation or how severe my injuries may be. For this reason, I’m completely convinced that my Lord and Savior has blessed me with a message that needs to be shared through the words of this book,” Gottschalk shares. “Hopefully, the messages about my own personal witness to our Lord may in fact make an impact in your own life.” 

NO DISTANCE TOO FAR, a Home to Blessing Book 2, by Lauraine Snelling, 813.54 Sne. “Astrid Bjorklund wants to use her medical training to serve God and feels that He might be leading her in the direction of missionary service. Smarting from a misunderstanding with Joshua Landsverk, the young man she thought she loved, she heads south to a missionary training school, hoping to eventually use her skills in some remote outpost in Africa…When she is called home to help in a family medical crisis, a door of opportunity opens for her unexpectedly. Perhaps the “mission field” God intends for her is not exactly what she imagined…If she follows God’s call, will love pass her by?” I see that many of our readers have read book 1: A MEASURE OF MERCY and I’m pretty sure they’ll want to read this one too! – Janie Carlson

NO HORIZON IS SO FAR – Two women and their extraordinary JOURNEY ACROSS ANTARCTICA by Liv Arnesen & Ann Bancroft, 92 Arn. Taken from the back cover: “Ann and Liv’s historic polar expedition is an awesome accomplishment, but as this book shows, their work as teachers has also had profound impact: they inspire young boys and girls alike to follow their dreams.” – Will Steger, world-renowned polar explorer and best-selling author of North to the Pole.  

NOAH BUILT HIS ARK IN THE SUNSHINE by James Moore, 248.421 Moo. This title jumped out at me in the library after having just returned from the Ark Encounter. On the back cover it indicates that Noah “prepared in advance for the storm that was to come. He didn’t wait until the last minute. He used those bright days in the sunshine to get himself ready, to build up resources he would need when the dark floodwaters came.” The book includes a study guide that can be used at home or with a group. There are 15 chapters that cover the things we need to build our own ark in the sunshine so that we’re ready when troubles come. Perhaps there are members who would like to get their own copy of the book and meet to discuss it together? – Janie Carlson.

NOT FORSAKEN by Louie Giglio, 231.1 Gig. “Pastor Louie Giglio invites us to understand the character of God in a life-changing way: as a perfect Father who wants you to live under the waterfall of His blessing. You see, God is not the bigger version of your earthly dad, He is the perfect version of your earthly dad. And He’s inviting you to walk in freedom as His loved son or daughter.”  

NOWHERE BUT UP by Pattie Mallette with A. J. Gregory, FIC Mal. Justin Bieber is a well-known name but did you wonder about his life BEFORE he became a household name? Pattie tells us about her life growing up, young adulthood and being a mother to Justin. Her comment on the back of the book reads “It doesn’t matter where you find yourself today – how broken, hurting, wounded, or ashamed you are. If God can help me find my way up, I promise, He can do the same for you.” A book worth reading! – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.

OF STILLNESS AND STORM by Michele Phoenix, 813.6 Pho. Taken from the back cover: “It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream – reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing then inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing.” – Just a comment about the book is that the author’s note at the end confirms that she did an excellent job of knowledgeably portraying the delicate subject of some committed but over-zealous missionaries leaving their own families broken and wounded emotionally in the process. – Alice Hill.



 OFFERING, THE by Angela Hunt, 813.54 Hunt. This novel is an eye-opener and a tearjerker. Readers will find themselves feeling the pain of the characters and getting caught up in their lives. Amanda Lisandra is the wife of a soldier. She and her family are struggling to make ends meet, so she decides to become a gestational surrogate for a family in need. The battles will test her faith in God, her femininity, ethnicity, and citizenship. Hunt gives her readers a glimpse inside the life of a Cuban-American family dealing with financial struggles and grief, while facing decisions about how to survive while also being faithful to God. Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.  

ONE BLOOD – THE BIBLICAL ANSWER TO RACISM by Ken Ham, 261.8 Ham. Taken from the back cover: “More than half a century has passed since the horrors of the Nazi racial extermination camps were revealed to a disbelieving world. Yet the battle of ethnic hate and violence remains one of the burning issues of our time…But what does “race” really mean? Are there really multiple races of humans, and where did this concept originate? The Bible says in Acts 17:26 that God has ‘made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.’ So, is there really such a thing as the “white race”, or “black race”? …For a real solution to ethnic hatred, read this copy of ONE BLOOD. You’ll see this explosive debate in a whole new, startling light.” – Most of what is covered in this book was on display at the Creation Museum in Kentucky. – Janie Carlson.  

ONE LANE BRIDGE by Don Reid (of the Statler Brothers), 813.6 Rei. Taken from the back cover: “The Lord works in mysterious ways…Between trying to run two restaurants, keep his daughter from dropping out of college, and satisfy his lonely, aging mother, J. D. could use a rest. One tranquil evening, he takes off on a ride in the country to clear his mind. Top down, setting sun, wind in his hair…leak in the radiator. Walking up to an old farmhouse to ask for water, J. D. finds a family living in poverty, and he vows to help....But he discovers that nothing about the family – and the one lane bridge that led him there – is as it seems. The more he pursues answers, the less he understands. His wife and best friend think he’s crazy. But solving the mystery will change him forever…” – This book absolutely grabbed me from the first page. By the end J. D. had everything figured out – “We’re all connected in God’s universe, even across generations. And we’re all in need of one another.” I recommend reading this book. – Reviewed by Janie Carlson.  

ONE LITTLE LIE by Colleen Coble, 813.54 Cob. This is book 1 of the Pelican Harbor series. “It started with one little lie. But Jane Hardy will do everything in her power to uncover the truth in this gripping new romantic suspense.” To be continued in TWO REASONS TO RUN, coming out in print September 2020. Let your church librarians know if you’d like to continue this series! - Janie. 

ONE MINUTE AFTER YOU DIE – A PREVIEW OF YOUR FINAL DESTINATION by Erwin W. Lutzer, 236.2 Lut. “One minute after you slip behind the parted curtain, you will either be enjoying a personal welcome from Christ or catching your first glimpse of gloom as you have never known it. Either way, your future will be irrevocably fixed and eternally unchangeable.” “Lutzer marvels that many people spend more time planning a trip to Europe than they do preparing for their eternal home…he urges us to study what the Bible has to say so we might comfort believers and warn unbelievers about the eternity that awaits them.”  

OUT OF THE SHADOWS by J. Thomas Lapacka, 92 Lap is a biography and an inspiring life story of a man’s walk of faith. A complex story, it reads like a novel although you know the end of his story before you begin. It is “how” he is transformed that holds you spellbound. In it, I learned one thing very important. We must devote more time to the religious training of our impressionable children. This intelligent young man was led to accept cultish leanings that could have wasted his very life if God had not chosen him and saved him! It truly has a happy ending. This book has been reviewed by a reader in the past. 

OUTREACH PROMISES – God’s Encouragement for Sharing Your Faith at 269.2 Bic. “Outreach promises are Bible verses in which God assures you His mission is possible and you can make a difference. Outreach promises help you to take action, trusting in God’s ability to use you to reach people for Christ.” 

OVERCOMER  by Chris Fabry, 813.54 Fab. When I first started this book about a high school basketball coach (it was “their year” to win State) who was forced by budget cuts to become instead the cross-country running coach, I thought it wouldn’t be interesting enough to even keep on reading. But as the plot progressed, an amazing story of God’s love and grace and healed family relationships developed. It gives a detailed look at the strategy involved in becoming a winner even while battling a personal disability. A very worthwhile read. Reviewed by Alice Hill. (Please note that we also have the DVD of OVERCOMER.)  

OVER WHAT HILL? by Effie Leland Wilder at 813.54 Wil. A short novel (183 pages) about life in a retirement home. Stories about romance, writing careers at age 86, and different generations all done up in good humor and strong faith. The writer had lived in the Presbyterian Home of Summerville, South Carolina so many of her stories may have come from real life. A fun book to read. Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.  

PASSING STRANGERS by Angela Hunt, 813.54 Hun. They were strangers to each other all running away from something. For instance: a young woman wanting to completely separate herself from her former public life, a recently widowed lawyer trying to juggle an impossible workload and care for children aged 4 and 6, and a 50 year old married woman breaking under an increasingly hostile and threatening situation at home. What will happen when a coincidence throws them all together? And is it really a coincidence??? Reviewed by Alice Hill. 

PRAYER - THE ULTIMATE CONVERSATION at 243.32 Sta. “No matter what confounding questions, perplexing circumstances, or seemingly insurmountable dilemmas you are facing today, the solution to them is absolutely obvious to God – and He longs to share His answers with you. Draw closer to the Father. Get to know God by engaging with Him in Prayer, The Ultimate Conversation.” 

PROMISE KEPT, by Robin Lee Hatcher, 813.54 Hat. Allison felt sure that God’s answer was yes – that He promised to heal and save her marriage to Tony. But as things got worse and Tony finally left and a divorce followed, she knew she had misunderstood what God had told her. She never could have guessed what God’s answer really was. The author adds some surprising facts at the end of the book.  Reviewed by Alice Hill. 

PROMISED LAND by Robert Whitlow, 813.54 Whi. “Bestselling author Robert Whitlow explores the meaning of family and home – and how faith forms the identity of both – in this breathtaking sequel to CHOSEN PEOPLE.”   

PROMISES TO KEEP by Ann Tatlock, 813.54 Tat. This is a trip back in time to a place of innocence and war, love and the delusion of love, childhood friendships and pinky-promises.  


READER’S DIGEST THE BIBLE THROUGH THE AGES 220.9 Bib. This is a great book for the pictures and charts, and maps of the places mentioned in the Bible. I was interested because it breaks the construction of the Bible down to the Oral Tradition, the Written Word, Words of a New Faith, Copying the Word and the Printed Word (see back of book), but it was so much more. Truly appreciated having it in our library. – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus. 

REASON TO BREATHE by Deborah Raney, 813.54 Ran, Book 1. Our library already has Books 2 & 3 of the Chandler Sisters series. Book 1 introduces us to the Chandler sisters just after they’d put their lives on hold to care for their dying mother. After her passing the three sisters choose to buy property together with their shared inheritance from their mother. (Now I have to say that any novel which includes house rehab grabs my attention and this did not disappoint!) Watching how God works in the character’s lives is a testament to His love and concern for us even when we’re not looking for it. – Reviewed by Janie Carlson. 

RELATIONSHIP PRINCIPLES OF JESUS, THE by Tom Holladay, 232.9 Hol. “What would you give to radically improve, even transform, what matters most in your relationships? How about forty days of your time? In forty days, bring new depth and health to your marriage, your family, and your friendships. In six weeks, you’ll explore and implement six foundational principles that Jesus taught and lived. You’ll be equipped with insights and a practical path for fulfilling God’s intention for all your relationships – even the difficult ones.” 

REMEMBER TO FORGET by Deborah Raney, 813.54 Ran, Bk 1 of a Clayburn novel. Our library has bk 2 Leaving November which could be considered a standalone book and bk 3 Yesterday’s Embers. Taken from the back cover: “One morning changed everything about her life. But could it also set her free? Graphic designer Maggie Anderson has lived under her boyfriend’s tyranny for nearly two years…until she’s carjacked in New York. Will this terrifying experience be the end for Maggie – or the beginning of a freedom greater than she dares imagine? To gain that freedom, she’ll have to remember to forget everything about her old life…”

REVIVAL: SHELTER BOOK 3 by Robin Merrill, FIC Mer. Taken from the back cover: “The long-awaited final book in the Shelter Trilogy. A cop killer hiding out in the church. A girl with a terrifying secret. Unpaid bills. Empty cupboards. A pastor so tired, he might not survive the day…Is God still listening?...Has Open Door Church run its course?...Or does God have more in store?...When circumstances force Galen to slow down, he hears something new. And he can hardly believe what God has to say…Yes, God is listening. Get your Revival today!” 

RHINESTONE JESUS by Kristen Welch, 248.8 Wel. What held my interest was the easy, informative writing style that Kristen displayed. Two people meeting at Bible college preparing for full time ministry, one as pastor and the other as youth director; yet God has a different road for them in a series of circumstances that take a 180 from their plans. It involves a trip to Kenya, Africa. Read it to be inspired...and have tissues handy. Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.

RICH IN LOVE - WHEN GOD RESCUES MESSY PEOPLE by Irene Garcia, 248.84 Gar. “Over the past forty-five years the Garcias have birthed, fostered, or adopted thirty-two children. Their story holds difficult endings as well as promising new beginnings. Above all, it reminds us what can happen when ordinary people submit to God’s call. This is a book about a family cemented in hope. About a need to love the orphan. And about a God who never, ever gives up.”

RIVEN by Jerry Jenkins, 813.54 Jen. If you will pardon a pun, RIVEN will keep you “riven to your seat”. This book tells the story of two people who are very different – a young man who continually is on a downward spiral, and a pastor, who feels defeated in his ministry. As their lives intersect through a prison ministry, you will find yourself finding it difficult to put this book down. Chuck Colson has quoted about this book that it was “a deeply personal reminder of why God called me to prison ministry so many years ago.” Dwight, you were right! I would have to put this novel on my list of “favorites”. Reviewed by Sue Zeige.

ROLLING IN THE CHURCH AISLES by Rebecca Christian, 248.8 Chr. When there’s something funny going on in church, it’s a good thing! Laughter and joy can be found anywhere you worship: in church bulletins, sermons, Sunday school lessons, even in the parking lot or the Fellowship Hall after services. A spiritual smile spreads happy faith far beyond the doors of the church. So laugh you way through the day with some holy humor. One of the jokes: “The blessing of the pets will be followed by a hot dog lunch.”

SCARLET CORD, THE by Lindsay Hardin Freeman, 220.9 Fre. This book tells the story of biblical women in a new way, drawing the reader further down her spiritual path and closer to Christ. For too long, women in the Bible have been demonized, sanctified or simply misunderstood. Here, through storytelling and artwork, twelve compelling women of the Bible invite readers to step further into the sacred circle of God’s people. By taking this step, the reader will discover that challenges experienced by biblical women are not so different from her own. This summary comes from the book itself.

SECRETS OF THE SOUTH MYSTERIES SERIES: MIDNIGHT ON THE MISSISSIPPI, WHAT HAPPENED ON BEALE STREET, MAGNOLIA MOONLIGHT, and SUNSET IN OLD SAVANNAH are 4 in the series called Secrets of the South Mysteries. All the books are dealing with stories of private investigators helping the police catch the criminal. The author is Mary Ellis and the books are found at 813.6 Ell. It has been fun seeing the same characters pop up in each book like old friends. I had hesitations about reading beyond the first book but I was glad I did; each one became a page turner in suspense. Reviewed by Darlene Baltus.

SEEK ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART by Beth Wiseman, 813.54.  Alice Hill says this is an excellent book. Check it out!

SHADES OF LIGHT by Sharon Garlough Brown, 813.6 Bro, is a poignant and engrossing look at the reality of psychological struggles even among people of faith. This book follows the impact of depression and anxiety on 22-year-old Wren Crawford and also on those who love her. While seeking professional and spiritual help she searched scriptures to better know the Man of Sorrows himself, Jesus. She also finds many parallels between her spiritual anguish and that of famed artist Vincent Van Gogh as she studies both his paintings and writings.  There is a good list of mental health resources at the back of the book. I found much good content in this book, which is filed with the newer books. – Reviewed by Alice Hill and also heartedly endorsed by Janie Carlson.  

SHADOWS OF HOPE by Georgiana Daniels, 813.6 Dan. “What if…you struggled with infertility but unknowingly befriended your husband’s pregnant mistress? What if…the woman you were seeing behind your wife’s back gets pregnant, threatening your job and marriage? What if…your boyfriend never told you he was married and you discover you’re pregnant?” “When their lives collide, the two women must face the ultimate test of their faith and choose how to move forward as they live in the shadows of hope.” 

SHELTER BOOK 1 by Robin Merrill, FIC Mer. “She begged God to rescue her. He said, “Go.” So she headed out into a blizzard. In a car that wasn’t exactly hers, with a dog who wasn’t exactly a rat terrier, she drove. Until she ran out of gas in the small Maine town of Mattawooptock. Mattawoopwhat? What on earth is God thinking? But it is there, in a weird little bathroom in a weird little church in a weird little town that Maggie Hansen finds herself. And as God would have it, she finds a lot more than that.”  – Our church library also has Bks 2 and 3 of the Shelter Trilogy and you're encouraged to check out all three at once and read them in order. You won't be disappointed! - Janie Carlson. 

SHOUTING AT THE RAIN by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, JUV HUN. Taken from the back cover: “A tender, compelling story about learning to feel complete, figuring out who deserves your love – and making sure those are the folks you give your heart to.”… “A richly embroidered cast of characters, a thoughtful exploration of how real friends treat one another, and the true meaning of family all combine to make this a thoroughly satisfying coming-of-age tale.” “A realistic sketch of small-town life and the agonies of growing up in an imperfect family… Timeless and relatable.” – This book is for ages 10 and up and up means adults! It would be a great read aloud book with your middle schooler too. I’ll be looking for more books by this author. Janie Carlson 

SILENT SHADOWS by Natalie Walters, 813.6 Wal, book 3. “Silent Shadows is the third and final book in the Harbored Secrets series. After reading the book, I no longer know which of the three my favorite is, instead I might have to say that reading them as one continuous story would be my favorite. Though each book can be read and enjoyed separately I would recommend reading them all and in order. I find that each one is good but it is even better if you read them all and in order. So in the final book you have two new main characters. Only one of these main characters has been introduced previously, Pecca. The new main character we are introduced to is Colton. Colton is struggling like a lot of us with what happens when what you planned for is disrupted by something unexpected. He is having trouble remembering and accepting that sometimes our plans aren’t what God has for us and what God has for us is better than anything we could come up with. These struggles are effecting his relationships with the people around him. As for Pecca, she is dealing with something that she thinks has to do with her past. But what she doesn’t know is that it has do with something else completely. If you want to know more, then you’ll have to get the book and read it for yourself. You won’t regret it.”  

SING A NEW SONG by Sunnie Jeffers, 813.6 Jef. This is one of a series of tales from Grace Chapel Inn for those who like series books. The sisters, Louise, Alice and Jane who run a B& B each have unique talents and activities. Louise takes in a music camp with her daughter, Cynthia. Alice reaches out to youth with church activities develops a unique scrapbook at a special weekend. Jane serves guests with her food and quiet support. You’ll like learning about the sisters and their dependence on the Lord for their faith and rewarding lives. Look for all of the Grace Chapel Inn books placed together on the shelf.

SINGLE MOMS RAISING SONS by Dana S. Chisholm, 248.8 Chi. “Preparing boys to be men when there’s no man around.” “Dana S. Chisholm writes from her experience as the single mother of two boys. From financial concerns to teaching a boy to be macho, she knows what it’s like to try to see life through a boy’s eyes. She understands your struggle and shares ways you can support and help your son – even when his dad lets him down again and again. If you’re a woman raising a boy on your own, this book will give you the honest insight, advice, and guidance you need to raise your son to be the solid Christian man you want him to be.” 

SKY WITHOUT STARS, A by Linda S. Clare, 813.6 Cla. The following is copied from an on-line review: “Frankie Chasing Bear is caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she also thinks he will need to learn the white man's ways to succeed. After the untimely death of her husband, Frankie joins the U.S. Government's Relocation Program and moves to Arizona. There she begins sewing a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn, and prayed into it...A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars, but neither the quilt--nor her new life--comes easily to Frankie. Nick Vandergriff, for instance, is the last man Frankie wants to trust. He's half-Lakota but Christian, and Frankie can see no good coming from that faith after her own parents were forced to convert at an Indian school. Can Nick convince Frankie that white men and Christians aren't all bad? And will Frankie learn that love is the most important ingredient--for her son's quilt and life itself?”

 SLAY YOUR DRAGONS by Nell Mohney, at 298.4 Moh. This is a must read for everyone! The author covers the giants we all face, have faced or will face – the giants of grief, depression, procrastination, stress, perfectionism, anger, resentment, jealousy, lust and loneliness. The book begins with David’s victory over Goliath. As David’s greatest weapon was an unswerving trust in God, the author tells us, when we accept Christ’s twin gifts of salvation and eternal life, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit and gain the spiritual equipment we need to fight any giant and win! – Reviewed by Mary Buech.

SOUND AMONG THE TREES, A by Susan Meissner found at 813.6 Mei.  This is taken from the back of the book:  A house shrouded in time. A line of women with a heritage of loss.  As a young bride, Susannah Page was rumored to be a Civil War spy for the North, a traitor to her Virginian roots.  Her great-granddaughter Adelaide, the current matriarch of Holly Oak, doesn’t believe that Susannah’s ghost haunts the antebellum mansion looking for a pardon, but rather that the house itself bears a grudge toward its tragic past.  

STARFISH PIER by Irene Hannon, 813.54 Han. This is book 6 of the Hope Harbor Novels. “A year ago, ex-Delta Force operator Steven Roark left the rigors of combat behind to run fishing charters in Hope Harbor, decompress, and talk some sense into his kid brother. Business is good – but making peace with his past is more challenging than he expected…First-grade teacher Holly Miller leads a low-profile existence – until she’s recruited to advocate for a cause that’s dear to her heart. When she solicits Steven’s assistance, sparks fly – especially after they find themselves on opposite sides of an issue that disrupts their placid seaside community…As these two seemingly incompatible souls wrestle with their differences, might they discover more common ground than they expect – and a future filled with promise?” Readers will be happy to know we have books 1 – 5: HOPE HARBOR, SEA ROSE LANE, SANDPIPER COVE, PELICAN POINT, and DRIFTWOOD BAY. 

STATE OF LIES by Siri Mitchell, 813.6 Mit. “In STATE OF LIES, Siri Mitchell has penned a page turner that I literally couldn’t put down. I confess I kept reading when I should’ve been writing my own novel. My heart breaks with Georgia Brennan as she suffers blow after blow when a past she didn’t even know she had catches up with her. Readers will applaud her resilience and determination to solve the mystery and save the lives of the people she loves – even when the face of the boogeyman turns out to be someone she never expected. Don’t miss this thrilling ride!” – Kelly Irvin, bestselling author. 

STILL LIFE  by Christa Parrish, 813.6 Par. “Ada escaped her family’s self-enclosed world to elope with a mysterious stranger. Five months later, she’s a widow in a strange new world.” “This is a cunningly complex work that captures themes of abusive religion, supernatural love, and merciful escape. It will resonate with anyone who has ever felt called to a drastic change – or tried to hear the small whisper of God’s voice.” 

STRANDS OF TRUTH by Colleen Coble, 813.54. “Harper Taylor is used to being alone – after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own…So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name? Oliver’s son, Ridge, still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.” 

 STRANGER IN A LIFEBOAT, THE by Mitch Albom, 813.6 Alb. Taken from the inside cover: “What would happen if we cried out to God for help and someone claiming to be God actually appeared before us? In Mitch Albom’s profound new novel, a group of shipwrecked passengers must face that challenge when a strange man they pull from the water says he can save them all, but only if they believe in him. “  

STUFF YOU GOTTA KNOW by Minnesota author Guy Doud, 248.82 Dou. “Straight talk on how God helps with friendships and school and measuring up and parents and dating and bad grades and more. All the stuff you gotta know.” I discovered this gem while shelving books and found it to contain down to earth wisdom that parents of teens may want to share with their family. Actually, anyone who is looking for answers to “How do I know God’s will for my life?” “How do I share my faith without sounding like a nerd?” “If God is love, why is the world so full of pain?” will find good stuff in this book! I highly recommend it. – Reviewed by Janie Carlson.  

SUGAR CREEK GANG books 1 – 6 by Paul Hutchens, JUV Hut. The author’s memories of childhood adventures around the fishing hole, the swimming hole, the island, and woods that surround Indiana’s Sugar Creek inspired these beloved tales. 

SWEET MISFORTUNE  by Kevin Alan Milne, at 813.6 Mil. Nine-year-old Sophie had just had the best and very worst day of her life. On the way home from celebrating her 9thbirthday at a fancy restaurant, she insisted her Dad look around at something she held in her hand. The next moment the horrible multi-car accident left her father, mother, and grandmother all dead, as well as another man. Her entire family gone in an instant and it was all her fault. By age 29 her guilt and self-loathing still constantly tormented her. It’s been said that the hardest person to forgive is one’s self. The very surprising ending to the book finally accomplishes that for Sophie. A worthwhile read. – Reviewed by Alice Hill.   

SWEET VOICE, A  by Margo Hansen, 813.54 Han. “Shanghaied, tortured, and beaten down, Keane Wheatly turns to fellow prisoner for help. Together Keane and his friend Jake make their escape back to the Wheatly farm in Ulen, Minnesota, as far from an ocean as they can get. But adjusting to everyday life isn’t easy with the memories they both carry. Each day they rely more and more on God’s grace.” 

TALL TIMBER TRIOLOGY by Margo Hansen, 813.54 Han books 1, 2 and 3. This series titled GREATLY BELOVED, ONLY BELOVED, and BROTHER BELOVED is set in the logging industry of Grand Rapids, Minnesota from 1888 to 1908. Though we’re all thoroughly familiar with this subject, the author has done much research on logging in that time frame. She has managed to craft a unique story of two separate families when a stunning revelation leaves them with an unsolvable problem. The story also contains much personal witnessing by family members to each other. A surprisingly interesting series. – Reviewed by Alice Hill.

 TANGLED WEBS by Irene Hannon, 813.54 Han. Bk 3 of the Men of Valor series. Finn McGregor ends his 6 year Army Ranger career after a near death injury and lingering guilt over combat events. He decides to spend some quiet time in the backwoods of Missouri to try to get his life back on track. His stay is anything but tranquil – he meets a beautiful troubled woman, stumbles into the middle of a meth operation, and encounters a sheriff who has his own battles to fight. Finn’s combat skills will soon be needed when danger threatens. Very well written Christian novel with a true-to-life message of love and redemption. A good read for all, especially mystery/thriller lovers. – Reviewed by Corinne Hultman.  

THAT CERTAIN SUMMER  by Irene Hannon, 813.54 Han. “Two very different sisters…an unexpected homecoming…one unforgettable summer.” With her trademark compelling characters and heartwarming hope, award-winning author Irene Hannon pens an inspiring true-to-life tale of complex relationships, the search for forgiveness, and the life-changing process of finding love. 

THIN ICE by Irene Hannon, 813.54 Han, Book 2 of the Private Justice Series. This was another page-turner, sit on the edge of your seat mystery by Hannon. This one had FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor tracking down a would-be kidnapper of a woman who supposedly died 2 months earlier in a house fire. Now her sister, Christy, has been receiving letters that her sister is alive and being held captive. The culprit is a very twisted and shadowy figure who is out to do no good for either of the sisters. Well-written and with a good Christian message intertwined. – Reviewed by Corinne Hultman. 

THINGS LEFT UNSPOKEN by Eva Marie Everson, 813.6 is described in the National Church Library Association Newsletter as follows: “Jo-Lynn is going through a mid-life crisis. Her marriage is faltering and she’s lost her identity as a woman of value. When her uncle dies, great-aunt Stella asks her to come back to restore the old family homestead in Georgia. As she peels back the old layers of the home, Jo-Lynn discovers family secrets hidden for decades. When she starts asking questions, she is threatened. Along the way, she rediscovers the value of family and belonging to a community. The author clearly has a personal understanding of the culture and history of the south and has developed a story with an interesting plot, captivating mystery and the discovery of God’s purpose for the main character.”

THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX AND INSIDE THE BOOK by Paul Durocher, 248.8 Dur. In the author’s forward he says: “The intent of this book is meant to be a popular and practical hands-on-book which demonstrates biblical principles in real life situations.” Topics covered are Priorities, Happiness, Marriage, Children, Education, Money, and Rest – all contained in 175 pages!

THREADS OF SUSPICION by Dee Henderson, 813.54 Hen Bk 2 of An Evie Blackwell Cold Case series. Taken from the book blurb: “Evie and her new partner, David Marshall, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn’t be more different. As Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood over the disappearance of a college student, David searches for a private investigator whose last case involved a high-powered client…With a deep conviction that “justice for all” truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But the questions that lie just beneath the surface in Evie’s personal life are also begging for answers.” 

THROUGH WATERS DEEP by Sarah Sundin,813.6 Sun, book 1. “Fascinating history, interesting location, touching romance – the author packs it all in this page-turning story. Readers are sure to enjoy living this stirring WWII-era adventure.” 

‘TIL I WANT NO MORE by Robin W. Pearson, 813.6 Pea. Taken from the book blurb: “…feels like an extended afternoon at a family reunion barbecue, complete with mouthwatering food, spilled family secrets, and voices of faith that never lose hope. This brilliantly written story reminds us that God is bigger than the struggles that all families face, yet as a woman of color, I love that Robin’s courageous characters look and sound like me” – Barb Roose, speaker and author of Surrendered: Letting Go and Living Like Jesus. 

TIME TO DANCE, A (book 1) and TIME TO EMBRACE, A (book 2) by Karen Kingsbury, 813.54 Kin. These two books must be read in this order. You may have seen the TV movie based on book 1, but the book is far superior to the movie. A family strongly committed to God and each other struggles to maintain their faith as pressures of life drive them further and further apart from each other, from God, and even their community’s support. This excellent Christian author has again crafted a realistic and poignant story of loss and restoration. – Reviewed by Alice Hill. 

TIME TO STAND, A  by Robert Whitlow, 813.54 Whi. “In a small Georgia town where racial tensions run high and lives are at stake, can one lawyer stand up for justice against the tide of prejudice on every side? This highly relevant and griping novel challenges us to ask what it means to forgive while seeking justice and to pursue reconciliation while loving others as ourselves.”  

TO SEE AND KNOW by Margo Hansen, 813.54 Han.  This is a sequel to SWEET VOICE,  A. “Garrett Foxe needs answers and the place to find them seems to be in Ulen, Minnesota. The papers he found among his mother’s things reveal that she had lied to him all his life. Can the people here help him find the truth?” 

TRACES OF GUILT by Dee Henderson, 813.54 Hen Bk 1 of An Evie Blackwell Cold Case series. Taken from the book blurb: “She’s turning up the heat on Carin County’s cold cases. Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police detective…mostly. She’s very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage would work, considering the demands of her job. …Gabriel Thane grew up in Carin County and is now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he’s sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have…When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it’s to help launch a new task force focused on unsolved crimes across the state. She will work with the sheriff’s department on a couple of its most troubling missing persons cases. As she studies old evidenced to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths surprising connections. One way or another, she knows Gabriel Thane and his family will be key to the answers she seeks.” 

TRAVELING A PILGRIM’S PATH – Preparing your child to navigate the journey of faith  by Craig & Janet Parshall, 248.8 Par. Taken from the back cover: “…an essential road map for parents longing to give their children clear guidelines for life’s journey. Drawing from the classic wisdom of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Craig and Janet Parshall give you on-target strategies and hundreds of practical ideas for showing your children how to make wise moral choices. This empowering book will help you prepare your children to successfully navigate life with a steady sense of godly direction.” 

TREASURY OF DAILY PRAYER by Scot Kinnaman, 242.8 Kin. It takes us on a daily journey of Psalmody (Psalms), Old Testament readings, New Testament readings (using NIV), short sermon, Hymnody (short stanza from LSB), Prayer of the Day, and suggested readings from Book of Concord. There are also other helps too numerous to mention. Check it out!

TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY by Karen Kingsbury, 813.54 Kin. Taken from the back cover: “In the shadow of great loss, the only way to live with passion is truly, madly deeply…But Annalee hasn’t been feeling well, and medical tests reveal the unthinkable…While his girlfriend begins the fight of her life, secrets come to light that rock Tommy’s world, and he becomes determined to spend his future fighting crime and making his community safer. Or is he just compensating for the battle he cannot win – the one facing Annalee?” – Kingsbury is known for her deeply heartfelt novels – and her latest is no exception…A tale of faith, strength, and true love.” – Woman’s World.  

UNKNOWN THREAT by Lynn H. Blackburn, 813.6 Bla, Bk 1 of Defend and Protect series. Taken from the book blurb: “US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powel is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He and his team are experts at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection…”   

UNFINISHED – BELIEVING IS ONLY THE BEGINNING by Richard Stearns, 248.4 Ste. “So you believe in God. Now what? Just before he left, Jesus sent his followers into the world with a revolutionary mission: to change the world by proclaiming God’s truth and demonstrating his incredible love. But the single task he gave us to accomplish remains unfinished. Why are we here, what is our purpose, and where do we fit in the bigger story that God is writing? How should our faith affect our careers, our money, our families, and our lives? And why does it matter? We will find our deepest purpose only when we discover the unique role God created for us to play in his unfolding story.” 

UNDER THE BAYOU MOON by Valerie Fraser Luesse, 813.6 Lue. Taken from inside the front cover: “With atmosphere dripping from every page like Spanish moss on a cypress tree, Valerie Fraser Luesse brings the Louisiana bayou to vivid life in this story of one woman stepping out in faith to pursue her purpose. This memorable tale of love – love for self, love for others, and the love for the land – will expand in your heart just as the ripples from a boat’s passage touch every secret corner of the bayou.” – Erin Bartels, author of THE WORDS BETWEEN US (which we have in our church library).   

UNDER THE TULIP TREE by Michelle Shocklee, 813.6 Sho. Taken from the book blurb: “Sixteen-year-old Lorena Leland’s dreams of a rich and fulfilling life as a writer are dashed when the stock market crashes in 1929. Seven years into the Great Depression, Rena’s banker father has retreated into the bottle, her sister is married to a lazy charlatan and gambler, and Rena is an unemployed newspaper reporter. Eager for any writing job, Rena accepts a position interviewing former slaves for the Federal Writers’ Project. There, she meets Frankie Washington, a 101-year-old woman whose honest yet tragic past captivates Rena….As Frankie recounts her life as a slave, Rena is horrified to learn of all the older woman has endured – especially because Rena’s ancestors owned slaves. While Frankie’s story challenges Rena’s preconceptions about slavery, it also connects the two women whose lives are otherwise separated by age, race, and circumstances. But will the bond of respect, admiration, and friendship be broken by a revelation neither woman sees coming?”  

UNVEILING THE PAST by Kim Vogel Sawyer, 813.6 Saw. Sean and Meghan are newlyweds who are no strangers to pain and loss. “As cold-case detectives, they know intimately the anguish family members endure after the murder or disappearance of a loved one. But when a new case hits too close to home, it threatens to pull loose the fragile cords of their young marriage…Sheila was just a girl when her father left for work and never returned. An investigation revealed he had embezzled enough to start a new life elsewhere, but Sheila could never accept the court’s criminalization of her father. Meghan reluctantly takes the case, secretly fearing it will stir up buried feelings about her own biological father. And while Sean investigates the mysterious death of two young brothers, he longs to start a family. But Meghan worries that with a negligent mother and an absentee father as her parenting examples, she might never be fit for motherhood…As they delve deeper into the past, both Meghan and Sheila must choose to either stumble along the road of bitterness and resentment or walk the difficult path toward forgiveness and healing. When the cases begin to break wide open, these young women are poised to discover that while earthly fathers may fail, there is one in heaven who is a father to the fatherless.” “Mysteries, family secrets, and the love of a true Father are found at the heart of this follow-up novel to BRINGING MAGGIE HOME.” 

WALKING IN TALL WEEDS by Robin W. Pearson, 813.6 Pea. The author “takes a brave and deep journey through the tall weeds of a family’s old pain, nagging fears, and challenging choices – painting a portrait of the path any willing family can take to finally walk into the promise of courageous, new life.”

WATER KEEPER, THE by Charles Martin, 813.6 Mar. Book 1 – a Murphy Shepherd Novel. Taken from the back cover: “Murphy Shepherd is a man with many secrets. He lives alone on an island, tending the grounds of a church with no parishioners, and he’s dedicated his life to rescuing those in peril. But as he mourns the loss of his mentor and friend, Murph himself may be more lost than he realizes…When he pulls a beautiful woman named Summer out of Florida’s Intercostal Waterway, Murph’s mission to lay his mentor to rest at the end of the world takes a dangerous turn. Drawn to Summer, and desperate to find her missing daughter, Murph is pulled deeper and deeper into the dark and dangerous world of modern-day slavery…With help from some unexpected new friends, including a faithful Labrador he plucks from the ocean and an ex-convict named Clay, Murph must race against the clock to locate the girl before he is consumed by the secrets of his past – the ghosts who tried to bury them.” 

 WATER’S EDGE by Robert Whitlow, 813.54 Whi. Taken from the back cover: “Sometimes small towns hold the biggest secrets. Ambitious young attorney Tom Crane is about to become a partner in a high-profile Atlanta law firm. But first he must clear one final matter from his docket – the closing of his deceased father’s law practice in his hometown of Bethel, Georgia. Killed in a mysterious boating accident, John Crane didn’t appear to leave his son anything except the hassle of wrapping up loose ends…But instead of celebrating his promotion, Tom finds himself packing up his office, having suddenly been ‘consolidated.’ To add insult to injury, the same night his girlfriend breaks up with him…by letter.”   

 WAY IT SHOULD BE, THE by Christina Suzann Nelson, 813.6 Nel. Taken from the back cover: The author …”doesn’t shy away from the horrors of addiction nor the heartache of the foster system and family brokenness. But in the midst of the hurt, she offers pictures of grace, glimpses of beauty, and the hope of redemption.” – Lauren Denton, USA Today bestselling author. 

 WE HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS by Erin Bartels, 813.6 Bar. Taken from the book blurb: “Take an emotional journey through time – from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to Michigan’s Underground Railroad during the Civil war – to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.” Taken from the Author’s Note: “It was 2012 when I first started thinking about the story that would become WE HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS. It was before a string of highly publicized deaths of African American men and boys at the hands of white police officers. It was before the murders of nine black worshipers in a Charleston church. It was before white nationalism was making national news – again.“ As I researched, wrote, revised, and sought publication (for this book) in the next seven years, I was constantly reminded of its unfortunate timeliness. This novel was not written as a response to those events. It was written in the midst of them, born out of my own struggle to comprehend the scope, understand the roots, and empathize with the victims of racism in America. It was an attempt to reckon with something that could not be reconciled.” 

WHAT HOPE REMEMBERS by Johnnie Alexander, 813.6 Ale, Bk 3 of Misty Willow series. Our library also has Bk 1 Where She Belongs and Bk 2 When Love Arrives. Taken from the back cover: “When you need a new beginning, sometimes the best place to start is home…When Amy Somers leaves her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she’s crossing bridges she’d burned years before. With all the mistakes she’s made and the things she’s done, she can hardly believe that happiness will find her – especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.” 

WHAT THEY NEED TO HEAR - SHARING CHRIST WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS by Klemet Preus, 269.2 Pre. "Maybe above all else, we want our family members and friends to rejoice with us in God as our Savior. Yet, those closest to us often present us with the greatest challenges for our witness.”

WHAT’S GOING ON AMONG THE LUTHERANS?   by Patsy A. Leppien, 284.1 Lep. One of the blurbs on the back of the book states:  “Many lay people underestimate the seriousness of the doctrinal differences which separate confessional Lutherans from liberal Lutheran churches throughout the world.  We pray that wide circulation of this book will open the eyes of those who are threatened by their destructive theology and that it will stir up all those who are complacent about its spread to rise up and oppose its deadly inroads into the Lutheran church.”  - Dr. John F. Brug, Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wisconsin.  

WHEN BAD CHRISTIANS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE by Dave Burchett, 241.21 Bur.  "God loves you just the way you are but He refuses to leave you that way" a quote from Max Lucado. There are so many ideas presented; here are a few. Why do people leave the church? How do we reach these people before the decision is made? A church not relevant will not change lives. Kids pick up what they hear and see adults do. The church is composed of all levels of spiritual understanding, commitment and maturity. As we speak and act, who is our audience? We only have one chance to make a good first impression. It’s never more important than for followers of Christ. How do we view “Christian products” such as Testamints breath mints, Jesus Saves air freshener, bumper stickers, T-shirts? Chick-Fil-A, a company that is closed on Sundays to allow employees to worship. It also supports missions, especially foster homes for children in the southeast. Where are we putting our retail dollars? Are you marketing Jesus by your life? Read and be reenergized into thinking of what we value and what our children see. -  Reviewed by Darlene Baltus. 

WHEN TO WALK AWAY– Finding freedom from toxic people by Gary Thomas, 248.4 Tho. “Have you ever counted how many times Jesus walked away from toxic people or let toxic people walk away from Him? The answer may surprise you. The author draws from biblical and modern stories to equip you with practical insights to overcome the opposition of toxic people in your life and live true to your God-given purpose. Your life’s calling is too important to let toxic people take it away.” You’ll also discover how to “learn the difference between toxic people and “difficult” people” and to “keep a tender heart even in unhealthy relationships”. 

WHERE SHE BELONGS by Johnnie Alexander, 813.6 Ale, book 1. Can love redeem a broken past? “Shelby Kincaid is ready to move forward after the death of her husband left her devastated. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family’s homestead, Misty Willow, so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged. She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home for her memories. But she has her work cut out for her.” 

WINDY CITY SAGA: BOOK 1 VEILED IN SMOKE, BOOK 2 SHADOWS OF THE WHITE CITY AND BOOK 3 DRAWN BY THE CURRENT by Jocelyn Green, 813.6 Gre. These three historical fiction books take place in Chicago starting in 1871 during the Great Fire that swept through Chicago’s business district. Book 2 takes place in 1893 with the World’s Columbian Exposition. Book 3 takes place in 1915 when the SS Eastland capsizes. 

WINNER'S GAME, THE by Kevin Milne, 813.6 Mil. This book is not about sports, but about a dysfunctional family. The hostile parents are near divorce and the three children ages 17, 13, and 8 are becoming increasingly hateful toward each other. They had heard of The Winner’s Game that saved their great-grandparents marriage. When tragedy strikes the family, all involved learn that sometimes a loser is really the winner. “This is an excellent book.” Reviewed by Alice Hill.

WITH THIS PLEDGE  by Tamera Alexander, 813.6 Ale, book 1. From the pages of history and the personal accounts of those who endured the Battle of Franklin in Tennessee, the author weaves the real-life letters between Captain Roland Ward Jones and Miss Elizabeth Clouston into a story of unlike romance first kindled amid the shadows of war.

WORDS BETWEEN US, THE by Erin Bartels, 813.6 Bar. “…this is a story to savor and share: a lyrical novel about the power of language and the search for salvation. A secondhand bookstore owner hiding from a legacy of scandal, tragedy and heartbreak must unlock the secrets of the past to claim her happiness.” “Vividly drawn and told in expertly woven dual timelines.”  

WRAPPED IN RAIN  by Charles Martin, 813.6 Mar. This is a book I liked that you might too – where true brotherly love triumphs over hatefully inflicted injuries of the past. – Alice Hill

YESTERDAY’S EMBERS by Deborah Raney, 813.54 Ran, Bk 3 of a Clayburn novel. Taken from the back cover: “He never thought he’d be widowed…with five young children. She never thought she’d be thirty and still single. But is falling in need the same thing as falling in love?”   



 BEFORE THE WRATH Adult DVD Bef. This is a gripping documentary that explains clearly why Jesus used a Galilean wedding to explain how the second coming of Christ will take place. This film reproduces what Jesus Himself unveiled to the ancient Galileans re: how and why He must return at the end of days. – Donated and reviewed by Corinne Hultman.  

 BUCK DENVER ASKS…WHAT’S IN THE BIBLE? JuvDVD Wha. Follow Buck as he learns all about the decisions that went into choosing the writings included in the Bible. As you watch, you’ll discover who chose the books to appear in the Old and New Testaments learning along the way that God inspired the entire process. You’ll also dive into the second part of Genesis to learn how God used a family to launch His big rescue plan!  

CHOSEN, THE SEASON ONE Adult DVD CHO. “For the first time ever, the greatest story ever told is being presented as a multi-season show. Digging deeper into the backstories and context of the people and events of the gospels, Season One of the #1 highest crowd-funded media project of all time introduces you to people such as Simon Peter, Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene, Matthew, and of course Jesus in a way never before seen on film.”  

COMING CONVERGENCE, THE Adult DVD Com. This movie (documentary) will keep you thinking for days. The Bible foretells many events that precede the end of days. This movie ties past events, current events and events yet to come into place – Jesus said we would know the time is near by the signs in our world. This film was very Biblically sound in my opinion. – Donated and reviewed by Corinne Hultman.  

 DO YOU BELIEVE? DVD Adult DO. From the creators of God’s Not Dead. Taken from the back cover: “When a local pastor is shaken to the core by the visible faith of an old street-corner preacher, he is reminded that true belief always requires action. His response ignites a faith-fueled journey that powerfully impacts everyone it touches in ways that only God could orchestrate. More than a movie, it’s a question we all must answer in our lifetimes: DO YOU BELIEVE?” 

FENCED OFF– Loving your neighbor can be complicated. Found at Adult DVD Fen. A young white couple has just moved into their first house in a black neighborhood in Cincinnati. Their new neighbor has just retired and is ready for life to slow down and shows little interest in giving the young man a warm welcome. This film shows how easy it is for relationships between races to get messed up by misunderstandings and confrontation. Doug and I watched it one evening during the turmoil of the week of May 25 and it brought home how fears and preconceived ideas about others who are different from us can lead to problems. Reviewed by Janie Carlson.

IN HIS IMAGE Adult DVD HIS. “In His Image is a critical and urgent message designed to equip the church to answer culturally controversial questions about gender and sexuality from a biblical perspective. Every church in America is filled with hurting people asking these tough questions: Can you be gay and be a Christian? What if someone genuinely feels trapped in the wrong body? Did God make me this way? Is change even possible?”

INVESTIGATOR, THE found at DVD Adult Inv. For anyone who likes a story about baseball, throw in criminal justice and a Christian message directed towards teenagers, this DVD is a great find. Besides all that, this was inspired by true events. A coach, teacher, and mentor in his search to help others, he found the truth within himself. – Recommended by Darlene Baltus.

MOMS’ NIGHT OUT, a DVD located at Adult DVD MOM. All Allyson and her friends want is a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and conversation. Any parent with small children can understand the situation, right? A long-needed mom’s night out to enjoy high heels, adult conversation and food not served in a paper bag from a fast-food eatery. Husbands will take care of the kids; doing their share of parenting just for approximately three hours. WHAT CAN GO WRONG? You name it and it happens! Wow, what a hilarious movie! – Reviewed by Darlene Baltus. 

PERFECT GIFT, THE ADULT DVD PER. What if the world threw you a birthday party, and You weren’t invited? This DVD tells the story of a spoiled schoolgirl, her overworked executive mother, and a disillusioned young minister and how each received an uplifting message about faith, tradition, and the truest meaning of Christmas from a friendly, but mysterious, drifter named Jes.  

SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME – found at Adult DVD Sam. Successful art dealer (played by Greg Kinnear) and his wife (played by Renee Zellweger) seemingly have the perfect life. But when their faith and family are tested, an unlikely bond with a homeless drifter leads them on a remarkable journey that forges an everlasting friendship. It shows how a simple act of kindness can change everything. It’s based on an inspirational true story. Reviewed by Janie Carlson. 

 STREAMS IN THE DESERT DVD ADULT STR. Taken from the back cover: “After Lettie arrives in Chicago from a cross-country train ride, a local newspaper reporter asks to interview her to talk about her beloved devotional, Streams in the Desert, and her lifelong devotion to missions…Little did they know that the journal would become the most beloved Christian devotional of all time, and their missionary work would continue to this day in over fifty countries on six continents.” 





 Check out a library book bag and then check out some books to place in it to take home to read this fall and winter.  Remember to sign both the book bag and books out. 

Here’s how:   a date, your name and your phone number.  Leave the cards in the cup and enjoy!  Return the bag and books to the book return when you are ready to check another group out.  Such a deal!