Wednesday, July 30, 2008

John Bevere

Dear Readers
I just wanted to mention that the guest reviewer is someone I work with. He reviews a book that I review when it first came out. I really enjoyed it at that time. It is one I still enjoy talking about and selling. It is very very thought provoking. It made me stop and think about different things I was "justifying" to make them ok. I don't know if Andrew will appear again, but feel free to check out his blog -

Happy Reading

Ann H. Gabhart

Dear Readers,
The Outsider is a very different book for Ann. Her three books before this were all set in 1964. A very turbulent time to say the least. This time she takes on 1812 and a Shaker village.

Gabrielle Hope joined the Shaker community, with her mother, 5 years earlier. She is very content and happy with her life. She loves teaching the young sisters, she loves working with the other sisters and isn't worried about commiting matrimony. She doesn't really question the things that are done or why. She believes that Mother Ann was sent from God and they need to follow what she taught. That is until the night of the fire. Enter the handsome Doctor, Brice Scott. Suddenly everything Gabrielle believes and knows is turned upside down.

I enjoyed this story. It is a very simple, gentle love story. It starts just before the war of 1812. It uses that as part of the story and even points out a problem with the "lets be seperate from the world" thinking of the Shaker community. Including the Shaker community really makes this story different and interesting. I am sure there are other fiction books on the Shakers, but I can't think of any off the top of my head.

I knew very little about the Shakers going into this story, but I did learn a lot from this story. In fact I talked to someone who has studied the Shakers a bit and she said that the research on the community is very well done. The information included in the book reflects a lot of what went on in those communities. Let me tell you I would not have been able to survive in them for very long. To many rules and not enough fun. :-)

If you are looking for a light historical novel, this is a great choice.

Happy Reading

Monday, July 28, 2008

"Rescued" - Drowning in theology or swimming in story?

I heard about this novel from two pastors who had differing opinions as to the book’s theology. When it was recommended that I read it I thought I was getting into heavily ideological fiction like The Shack, or The Screwtape Letters and prepared myself to search for theological mis-steps and/or profound truths.

I was pleasantly surprised that in Rescued, by John Bevere and Mark Andrew Olsen, story has pride of place and ideological intentions take a back seat, making the book an excellent, engaging read.

Rescued is the story of Alan Rockaway and his semi-estranged son Jeff. Alan is the pastor of a 6,000 member mega-church in Denver who leads a vibrant ministry and is married to a beautiful, devoted wife.

The problem is that the beautiful, devoted wife is not Jeff’s mother and in his eyes, Alan is not the iconic pastor everyone thinks he is. A submarine accident and a live video feed ultimately lead Alan and Jeff towards confronting Alan’s divorce and the hole in their relationship. But is it for the better?

While the story of the Rockaways will engage you emotionally, Rescued has even more to offer. Much of the book focuses on mysterious characters in the afterlife watching the story of Alan and Jeff unfold, while asking their own questions about life and faith. Without giving anything away I can say that you’ll experience a little of bit of Heaven and a little bit of Hell, quite literally, while reading this book.

Rescued reads like a thriller. It’s not too long, with a fair amount of action and plenty of dialogue. Olsen’s writing will have you flipping pages quickly, so start reading early. I guarantee you’ll be up late trying to finish.

And what of the theology?

In a note following the final chapter John Bevere says: “The themes of life, death, and the Hereafter woven into this story are gleaned from my nonfiction work Driven by Eternity, and in it you will find further expansion of the two certainties I keep ever before me: what I do at the cross of Jesus Christ determines where I will spend eternity, and the way I live as a believer determines how I will spend it.”

Simply put, the nuances of real, true salvation are the focus of Rescued. Though you may find something in the book that you disagree with – because theological differences abound among us – you won’t find anything outside of an orthodox Christian perspective. It doesn’t dive as deeply as The Shack, but it’s not as light as a Ted Dekker novel.

Enjoy reading Rescued. It’s my favorite kind of reading – an exciting story that leaves you thinking!

Review by BBH staff member, Andrew Rogers

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Charles Martin - Where the River Ends

Dear Readers,

Any of you that have gotten my reviews of the past few years know how I feel about Charles Martin. I like him better than Nicholas Sparks. He writes good Southern genre books. I can pretty safely say, that if you do like Nicholas you will probably like Charles, if you haven't read him yet.

Where the River Ends has just hit the shelves. It is a tear jerker, without being a "chick" book. I think guys will be able to relate to Doss with very little or no problem. What he wants to do to help his wife is something most girls dream of their husbands doing for them if the need ever arose.

Abbie and Doss are soul mates. They are nothing alike and yet are madly in love. He is a struggling artist and she a super model ( don't worry it isn't about that). He is from a trailer park, her dad is a powerful senator. As you can see their worlds should never have met.

This is a love story. It is a sad love story, but it is a beautiful love story. Most of the book is spent going back and forth between what is happening present time and and their past, but it really adds to the story.

Abbie has a list of things she wants to do before she dies, and they don't have much time left. The one thing she really wants to do is take a 130 mile trip downt he St. Mary's River. She wants to learn about where Doss used to live and work. It could be a trip of a lifetime and it will be.
Charles once again tells a gentle story of two people in love even though society tells them they shouldn't be. He tells the story with great gentleness on a topic most of us don't want to deal with and yet he makes us face our own end. He is easy to read and it is so easy to fall in love with Abbie.

Ok, enough of the sappy stuff, but if you didn't already understand, I liked this book. It is an easy read. It is one that would fit well in a chair on the beach with a tall glass of sweetened iced tea - southern style.

Happy Reading

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Steven James

Dear Readers,

Sometimes an author starts with a fabulous first book and it makes me worry about what his second book is going to be like. Thankfully Steven James follows up his first with a very good book. The Rook does live up to the hype. It is action packed, interesting and very intriguing.
Patrick is back and this time he is helping in San Diego, where they have had a rash of fires. No one seems to be able to figure out who is starting them or why. The arsonist isn't following any of the regular patterns. He doesn't seem to do it for the excitement of watching the fire or the fire dept. He doesn't do it to get rid of an eye sore. None of it makes any sense and nothing is as it seems.

Tessa is along and the father/daughter relationship is being strained. Patrick wants to protect her and she wants to fly. I must say this storyline adds a whole different dynamic to the book. It really does give Patrick a human side. He isn't just a guy trying to do his job, recovering from losing his wife, while falling in love.

I did make one mistake. I assumed a couple of things and totally missed the clues. So if you haven't read it yet, pay attention and I am sure you can figure it all out before the end. :-) Good luck.

Was it neccessary to make this book almost 500 pages long? Yes. I will admit a couple times in the middle I wished he had hurried it along a bit, but when I got to the end I wished The Knight was started. (coming 2009) I know that for those who love a action/adventure/mystery this is a great summer read. It was not one that I wanted to put down much and when I got a chance to read it, I was involved right away. It was plain and simply a good novel.

If you didn't like Patrick at the end of The Pawn, this book will make you like him. He is just a guy trying to do his job while raising a teenage daughter that he didn't even know until a couple of years ago. He is very good at what he does, but he is trying to balance life and work as a single parent. I know there are many of us trying to do the same thing and sometimes it is nice to hear that others struggle with that too.

If you have a week vacation coming up soon, this is the book for that week. Of course you will need another one along, because you will finish this in a couple days. :-)

Happy Reading

Monday, July 7, 2008


Just a couple of things I wanted to let you know. The Rook by Steven James is on the shelves. It is the sequel to The Pawn, which if you haven't read, do that first. I haven't gotten a chance to read it myself, but I am only hearing good things from those who have. I do know that it is about 500 pages long. Which is very good, because The Pawn wasn't long enough.

Second Unbridled Dreams by Stephanie Whitson is now on our shelves. It has arrived a month early, which is always nice. You can check out my review of this in an earlier blog.

Both of these books will make great summer reads. I know I am looking forward to The Rook. If you need any help getting these book, feel free to contact me here at the store.

Happy Reading