Book Review & Giveaway – Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior

booked

A while back, my former college professor and friend, Karen Swallow Prior, sent me a copy of her new book to read and review. She also gave me a copy to giveaway on my blog. I’m excited to finally share this with you as Karen is very dear to me.

Review – Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me 

In Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me author and beloved friend Karen Swallow Prior writes a beautiful and insightful memoir connecting her love for literature to her own life experiences and personal faith in God. From a very young age, books (and animals) have been an integral part of Karen’s life so it’s only natural that her first published book is titled Booked.

In each chapter, Karen skillfully weaves a great literature classic (Charlotte’s Web, Great Expectations, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Gulliver’s Travel and Jane Eyre to name a few) and relates the main and subtle themes of the novel to her life. Karen helps you see these classics through a biblical lens, ultimately leading you to a greater discovery of self and ultimately God.

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Whether you’re familiar with classic literature or not, you’ll fall in love with Karen’s humor, intellect, story-telling, authenticity, depth, and ability to “show” rather than tell a life story. It’s as if you were there with her in every emotion and experience. It’s difficult not to read on to the next chapter.

Having sat under Karen’s teaching for four years as a college student, Booked brought me back to my undergraduate years in Liberty University’s English Department where I fondly remember her contagious passion for the written word and for students to truly grasp just how much words have the power to change a life.

When you finish reading Booked you’ll be encouraged by the truth that God will meet you anywhere at anytime. As Karen writes, “He met me where I was. In the books.” And He reveals Himself in such a way for the purpose of redemption and life transformation.

priorAbout the author: Karen Swallow Prior is Professor of English at Liberty University and an award-winning teacher. She is a contributing writer for Christianity Today, where she blogs frequently at Her.meneutics. Her writing has appeared in Relevant, Think Christian, and Salvo. She is a member of the Faith Advisory Council of the Humane Society of the United States. She and her husband live on a 100-year old homestead in central Virginia with horses, dogs, and chickens. And lots of books.

** To enter to win a free copy of Booked, please leave a comment on this post. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and announced on Monday. 

Devotional Book Giveaway: The Quiet Place

I don’t know about you, but I can never have enough devotional books. I love reading them alongside my time in God’s word. And I love that you can gain so many nuggets of truth in so little time.

This week, Moody Books sent me The Quiet Place devotional by bestselling author Nancy Leigh DeMoss for a book giveaway. I’ve always known about Nancy through my mom who absolutely loves her teaching on the Revive Our Hearts radio program. When I first heard her teach several years ago, I was hooked. She has a contagious passion to see women transformed by the word of God.

In The Quiet Place, Nancy adapts the core themes of her teaching into 366 days of Bible study and practical application. If you’re struggling with having a consistent quiet time or you just need something to spice up your time with the Lord, I highly recommend diving into The Quiet Place for encouragement and refreshment for your soul.

Nancy has authored fifteen books, including Lies Women BelieveA Place of Quiet Rest, and Seeking Him. More than 2,000,000 copies have been sold, and they continue to transform women’s hearts and lives.

If you’d like to enter to win this devotional or consider it as a gift to someone else (Valentine’s Day is approaching!), please leave a comment. The winner will be announced next Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Giveaway: Win a Copy of Fierce Women by Kimberly Wagner

This week I’m really excited that Moody Publishers has given me a copy of the new book Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior by Kimberly Wagner to give away.

Fierce Women is one of the most honest, refreshing, and engaging books I’ve ever read on the marriage relationship when it comes to how wives relate to their husbands. Within our inherited sin nature and living in a culture where women have the tendency to dominate, manipulate, and take charge over men, I appreciate that author Kimberly Wagner has unashamedly called out this kind of behavior, or shall we say heart issue, as sin.

Not only that, Kimberly shares her personal stories and struggles of how her own behavior and treatment of her husband almost led to the destruction of her marriage. She gives women hope that they can change too. But rest assured, this is not a self-help book designed to repair marital problems.

Kimberly makes it clear that real change didn’t occur until she realized that what she calls her “emasculation” of her husband was tied to God’s glory. God opened her eyes and helped her see how damaging her selfishness was to their oneness. Humility, grace, and dying to self is what led to the restoration of her marriage.

Every woman has a type of fierceness within her and God desires to use that fierceness for good. Kimberly describes a  “soft warrior” as a woman who uses her fierce strengths to encourage and inspire her husband toward greatness. A soft warrior trusts in her husband’s leadership, doesn’t try to “fix” him, accepts, admires, appreciates, affirms, and prays for him. She allows him to take the lead because that is his God-given role.

What is at stake if we fail to use our fierceness for God’s glory? Kimberly reminds us that “God designed the most intimate of all earthly relationships to serve as a real-life parable to depict his commitment to his bride. Marriage is God’s platform that displays to the watching world a physical picture of a spiritual reality.”

Fierce Women spoke volumes to me personally because I am a fierce, strong-willed woman myself (just ask my husband!) and I have seen the “bad side” fleshed out in my marriage. I felt like I was seeing myself all over the pages. I was so encouraged that my fierceness can actually be a beautiful thing God can use if I am willing to surrender.

You will want to get your hands on this book as soon as you can. There is so much more to the book that can’t fit into this blog review.

Kimberly Wagner is a frequent guest on Nancy Leigh Demoss’ Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the True Woman and Beyond Bath Time blogs.

To win a copy, simply leave a comment below. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced Monday, Dec. 3.

* (Male readers: please feel free to enter the giveaway as you might benefit from this yourself or consider it as a gift.)

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