New Read: Let God’s Word Empower Your Prayers

Let God's Word Empower Your Prayers

As a practicing Christian I like to read Christian literature to help with the growth of my faith and to hear what other Christians have to say. After finishing Stormie Omartian’s memoir, Out of Darkness: My Story of Finding True Light and Liberation, I dived almost immediately into another of her books: Let God’s Word Empower Your Prayers.

In a previous devotional books, The Power of a Praying Woman and The Praying Woman’s Devotional, Omartian reached out to all women who believe in God and his son Jesus Christ, to make prayer a keystone in their lives. In  Let God’s Word Empower Your Prayers Omartian continues this idea by suggesting themes, prayers and scripture in this devotional that could help both men and women in their daily prayer life.

This devotional is broken down into bite-size chapters that each have: a theme, a piece of scripture to read and consider, then the author’s thoughts and reflections, and finishes with a prayer. I thought this structure helped make this devotional perfect to dip in and out. You could read a chapter each time you had a bit of free time or they could easily form part of your usual daily prayer routine. If you are wishing to start reading the Bible but aren’t sure where to begin this could be a good devotional to help you. I read a chapter or two a night during my prayers before bed. I found it a good way to focus and inspire my prayer about aspects of my life I’d forgotten or not thought of before. My only niggle would be these chapters felt even shorter than previous books, so a few times I was left wanting a little more.

I first discovered Stormie Omartian in 2014 and I have read everything by her I have been able to get my hands on since, this has included: The Power of a Praying Woman, Choose Love, The Praying Woman’s Devotional, a short study guide addition of Prayer Warrior and most recently her memoir Out of Darkness. I have found everything I have read by Omartian beautiful and inspiring, so when I saw this I had to request it. This is perhaps not my favourite of her books because I don’t think it touched me as much as previous more women orientated devotionals but it was still well worth a read.

Let God’s Word Empower Your Prayers was a thoughtful and inspiring read and I still look forward to reading even more by Omartian. I recommend this devotional to other Christians interested in enhancing their personal prayer and Bible reading time. Good read.

Thank you to publishers for providing a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Have you read anything by Stormie Omartian? Any recommendations for other faith literature?

New Read: The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code

Back in June, I finally got round to reading The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, which is the second thrilling Robert Langdon adventure but I somehow managed to skip reading it and read all the other books first.

The Da Vinci Code re-unites us with Brown’s well loved protagonist Robert Langdon, a symbolist professor at Harvard University, who is in Paris to give a talk after his famous escapade in Vatican City. Now Robert has unwittingly been drawn in as a suspect for the murder of Jacques Saunière, the elderly curator, who was found in the Louvre with his body covered in baffling symbols. Robert is forced to go on the run with the help of police cryptologist, Sophie Neveu. Together they need to decipher the baffling riddles and follow the hidden clues within Leonardo da Vinci’s work to uncover dangerous secrets and find the true killer.

Robert Langdon has appeared in three of Brown’s others novels; Angels and Demons, The Lost Symbol and Inferno. Robert is in his forties, intelligent, cultured and let’s face it rather geeky; for which I love him. In the film adaptations Tom Hanks plays Robert and while I think Hanks is not quite tall enough he does suit the character very well – I must admit when reading the books now I picture him. For this adventure Robert is joined by the young, beautiful and gifted French cryptologist Sophie Neveu, who just so happens to be the estranged granddaughter of the murder victim, Jacques Saunière. I really liked Sophie and she brings her own mystery to the story too.

I have read three of Brown’s previous thrillers led by Robert Langdon; Angels and DemonsThe Lost Symbol and Inferno. All have been gripping thrillers although the American setting of The Lost Symbol didn’t grab my imagination as much as the Italian settings of Angels and Demons and Inferno. Knowing this you may well have guessed how pleased I was that this novel took us to Paris, the old and beautiful city of love, history, revolution and art. Later in the book, we also got to visit historical sites in London and Scotland – so not only was I gripped but my inner history nerd was happy too.

The Da Vinci Code was another gripping thriller that follows Professor Robert Langdon through the history, art and symbols of Leonardo da Vinci and delves into the secrets of the Priory of Sion. I am now eagerly awaiting the release of the Inferno film adaptation later this year even more. Great read.

Have you read this? Are you a fan of the Langdon thrillers?

10 Books of Summer – 2/10

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books Set Outside the US

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Ten Books Set Outside The US

Unlike the gang over at The Broke and Bookish I don’t actually read a great deal of books set in the USA, so this topic for me was very easy! After looking at what I’ve read, so far, this year I have decided to share with you 10 books (ordered alphabetically by author) that I have enjoyed set outside of the USA – I have also not included completely fantasy settings and instead tried to stick to real places/countries.

~ 1 ~

The Villa in Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson

The Villa in Italy

Set in the 1950s at the beautiful Renaissance Villa Dante, Italy.

~ 2 ~

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Cranford

Set in the small rural town of Cranford, in Victorian England.

~ 3 ~

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night

Set, in the majority, in London the bustling, melting pot of Elizabethan England.

~ 4 ~

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M Harris

The Gospel of Loki

Set in the ancient lands of Scandinavia from Norse Mythology (slightly cheating I know!).

~ 5 ~

Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley

Named of the Dragon

Set in the beautiful, ancient coastal town of Angle, Pembrokeshire (South Wales).

~ 6 ~

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R King

The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Starts on the Sussex Downs of England and contains adventures to Oxford, London, Wales and the Middle East.

~ 7 ~

The Story of the Amulet by Edith Nesbit

The Story of the Amulet

Set, in the majority, in Edwardian London and contains adventures to Ancient Egypt, Babylon and the mythological Atlantis (okay a little more cheating with Atlantis!).

~ 8 ~

Across Great Divides by Monique Roy

Across Great Divides

Spans across Germany, Belgium, France and Spain during the rise of the Nazi Party and the start of WWII. Then moves to Brazil and then finally South Africa too.

~ 9 ~

Turn of the Tide by Margaret Skea

Turn of the Tide

Set in 16th century Scotland during the reign of the young James VI.

~ 10 ~

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian

Set in the year 2035 on the Ares 3 mission to Mars! (yes, technically Mars is a real place…even if we can’t go there yet!)

What books have you read recently set outside the USA? Please let me know and link in the comments if you have taken part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic too.

Re-Read: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts

Later this year, I am really looking forward to returning to the magical ‘Harry Potter’ world with the release of the new film Fantastic Beasts; starring the wonderful Eddie Redmayne. In preparation I thought I would re-read Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander, aka J K Rowling.

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them was originally published in 2001 to raise money for Comic Relief and was written by Rowling under the pseudonym of Newt Scamander; a fictitious adventurer and author from the wizarding world. It isn’t a story but in fact a textbook – that Harry and his friends use in their lessons at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – which is full of magical creatures like mermaids, pixies, dragons, centaurs and many more; where they live; and how dangerous they are! A particularly amusing touch is that Rowling has included Harry’s and Ron’s annotations to the book, which includes: many cheeky comments about Hagrid’s love of dangerous beasts and their own experiences with some of the creatures named.

I first read this as a young teenager when it came out, with its companion Quidditch Through the Ages, right in the middle of the Harry Potter phenomenon – sadly that was quite a long time ago now! Before this re-read, I had only vague memories of this being an amusing read but, if I’m honest, I was struggling to see how it could be made into a film. On re-reading this super slim book in record quick time I discovered it was a lot funnier than I remembered and it has so many interesting (fantasy) facts. I can also now see that there are a lot of ways the film makers could go with this book – the fictitious author, Newt Scamander, must have had so many thrilling adventures researching all the wonderful creatures he writes about.

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them was a quick and fun read for me, and I now can’t wait for the film even more! Before it comes out perhaps I can squeeze in a quick re-read of its companion, Quidditch Through the Ages, too. Good read.

Have you read this? Are you looking forward to the release of the new film?

Once Upon a Time X – #9

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Facts About Me

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Ten Facts About Me

I haven’t taken part in this meme for weeks as the topics just haven’t suited me. I did a little jig of joy when I saw this week’s topic was facts about me – that I can do and I have missed taking part! Our facts can be bookish or just general, so I’ve decided to do 5 of each.

First up, 5 bookish facts about me:

~ 1 ~

My favourite book is The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkien – I have read it more times than I can keep track of!

~ 2 ~

My favourite genres to read are Fantasy, Historical Fiction and Mystery.

~ 3 ~

I also enjoy reading non-fiction books on Faith, Food and History.

~ 4 ~

I am a self-confessed spine breaker however I would never write in a book! (When they used to make us make notes in books at school I used to do it in faint pencil so I could rub it out later).

~ 5 ~

I am now in my fifth and final year of The Classics Club, and I have read 44 books towards my goal of 50.  I have loved taking part and I am really going to miss it!

Now, 5 general facts about me:

~ 6 ~

I use my blog as a sociable reading diary and it is currently in its 6th year.

~ 7 ~

For the last 6 years, I have also been a member of a local belly dancing group – a very fun way to keep fit.

~ 8 ~

I work as a one-to-one teaching assistant for children with special educational needs.

~ 9 ~

As well as reading books, I love to watch TV, film and stage adaptations.

~ 10 ~

I have a black cat called Bonnie – you may have spotted her on here now and again.

I hope you’ve learnt a little something about me. Please link in and let me know if you have taken part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic.

Challenge: Women’s Classic Literature Event (July)

Blog - Women's Classic Literature Event

Hello my fellow bookworms and classic lovers, it is time for the third check-in for The Women’s Classic Literature Event. Since the April check-in I have read:

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Cranford

I’ve long wanted to read something by Gaskell and I was not disappointed. This was a comforting, meticulous and personable tale of the lives of the women of a small rural town.

***


The Phoenix and the Carpet by Edith Nesbit

The Phoenix and the Carpet

The second, charming set of magical adventures with the siblings: Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane and the ‘Lamb’ – this time no ‘It’ but there is a phoenix and a flying carpet.

**


The Story of the Amulet by Edith Nesbit

The Story of the Amulet

The final adventures with Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane and their cantankerous friend ‘It’. Another charming, magical children’s classic and a fitting end to the Psammead series – I’m little sad it is all over.

**


That is 3 books read in 3 months which I am really pleased with and it brings my total, so far, up to 6 books. Now it is time for July’s group question:

‘Describe the writing style of your current author for this event, or if you prefer, your favourite author for the event so far. How does she form a sentence, or get to the next scene, or keep readers riveted?’

I am not currently reading anything for this event, as I am reading my result for The Classics Club 13th spin event: Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. The last author I read, and who I have read the most by too, for this event is Edith Nesbit. So far for this event alone, I have read 4 of Nesbit’s books which include: The Railway Children and the 3 instalments in her Psammead series. I have found her children’s book charming, magical and comforting reads, and after recent busy days of work that is sometimes just what my tired mind needs.

What classic female authors are you currently reading? Who are your favourite classic female authors?

The Classics Club: The Story of the Amulet

The Story of the Amulet

After enjoying the two previous books, Five Children and It and The Phoenix and the Carpet, in June I returned and completed Edith Nesbit’s charming Psammead series with The Story of the Amulet.

The siblings: Robert, Anthea, Cyril and Jane find themselves at a loose end again after being left in London under the care of their old nurse. Their father is away due to the war and their mother has gone away for her health, taking their baby brother ‘the lamb’ with her. Out one day, trying to amuse themselves, the four older children surprisingly stumble upon their old friend ‘It’ (a sand fairy) in a pet shop! They rescue him but he is not their only magical discovery, they also come across a broken ancient amulet which has the power to take them on many adventures in the past.

It was lovely catching up with and sharing some more adventures with Robert, Anthea, Cyril and Jane; but sadly no ‘Lamb’. The four older children are inquisitive, clever, argumentative and can sometimes be rather naughty; which can make them slightly less likeable, than the Railway Children, but equally realistic and amusing to read about. I was a little sad not to be able to catch up with ‘the lamb’, as he was such a sweetie in the last book, but we did have the old nurse and the professor upstairs to get to know. I particularly enjoyed how the professor joins them for one adventure and thinks it’s all a wonderful dream!

As in the previous books, I really enjoyed the children’s quaint and eccentric adventures which this time arose from their wishes to help them find the complete amulet. I travelled with them to Ancient Egypt where they met a suspicious priest, to Babylon where they sing for the queen and the mythological Atlantis before the cataclysmic wave; the latter of which causes much distress to the cantankerous old ‘It’ who hates water. What was nicer about these adventures was they had a purpose: to retrieve the complete amulet with which the children hoped to be able to wish their parents and baby brother safely back to them.

The Story of the Amulet was another charming, magical children’s classic and a fitting end to the Psammead series. I’m almost a little sad that I’ve finished the series, however there are still other novels to discover by Edith Nesbit. Good read.

Have you read this? What other Nesbit novels would you recommend?

The Classics Club – 44/50
Once Upon a Time X – #8
The Women’s Classic Literature Event – #6