Fun Stuff: The "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation "marks"






I just have to share this hilarious blog:  http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com/

The pictures really make me laugh out loud!

And in case you're wondering, I learned about that great "blog" from another blog that is just as funny: Awful Library Books

Take a break, read both "blogs" and enjoy!
"Life" is too "short" for us to have a world of serious "blogs."


Book Review: Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado





Great quote:  "As the clock ticked toward the opening hour of the new and improved Higher Grounds Cafe, Chelsea imagined all the life that would happen there in the years to come. Old friends would reunite. New friends would be made. Hopes and dreams, laughter and tears, they would all be shared over cups of coffee brewed with love and, more often than not, a prayer." (Page 179)

Book summary:  "What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would he answer?"


lucado2

My thoughts:  Prolific Christian author Max Lucado is back. This time his work is fiction, set in a coffeehouse in Texas. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado is a sweet tale, told between lattes and life's heavy moments. 

At the center of the book is a special wi-fi router. One that can access the "God Blog" and nothing else on the internet. Those who access the blog via the glowing router are allowed to ask God one question, which He is guaranteed to answer. Some of the questions are deeper than others, but people flock to the tiny cafe for the chance to ask God one question about life.

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe is a sweet book where people struggle with life, but plenty of angels and family are around to help. At times, I struggle with books like this that suppose the Word of God into modern and hip settings. For example, what would God really say about a son that plays video games? Is Max Lucado's imagining via the God Blog correct? 

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe is worth a read. It's not a definitive work of literature. It's a nice book with a clear message. It's the message that Chelsea, the main character, must learn: You are never alone with God. 


Rating: 4 of 5 stars


Book Facts:
  • Pages:  186
  • Year originally published: 2015 
  • Author:  More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.
    Find Max online: websiteFacebookTwitter
  • Book Tour:  My review is part of a larger collection of reviews. For more information, please visit LitFuse Publicity.

Purchase on Amazon:   Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado


 
FTC Disclosure: Lavish Bookshelf received this product complimentary in exchange for an honest review. The opinions in this review are solely the opinion of the author. Lavish Bookshelf was not required to provide a positive review and did not receive any further compensation. Links in this post may be an affiliate link to another website. When you purchase item through an affiliate link, Lavish Bookshelf may receive monetary compensation for the referral of the sale.

Book Review: A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear


Great quote:  "Peace? That was a fine word - everyone who entered Gibraltar now wanted nothing more than to be enveloped by peace." (Page 3)

Book summary: "Four years after she set sail from England, leaving everything she most loved behind, Maisie Dobbs at last returns, only to find herself in A Dangerous Place..." (Back cover)

My thoughts:  Maisie Dobbs is back, but this time she's left London! This time the adventure of female detective Maisie Dobbs takes her to Canada and India, then on to Gibraltar. In a whirlwind first chapter, Maisie is married, pregnant, widowed and suffers a stillborn birth. Her tragic turns in life occur in Canada, her mourning period is carried out in India. As Chapter Two begins, Maisie is en route to London, however she chooses to disembark early in Gibraltar.



Gibraltar is a small British stronghold located just across the border from Spain. When Maisie arrives there, it is 1937 and at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Gibraltar is a hotbed of activity filled with refugees, spies, sailors and various nefarious types. Maisie is determined to keep a low profile. While out on a walk one evening, however, she discovers a dead body. Detective Maisie feels her old familiar duty to the family of the dead man and is determined to solve the case. Finding the killer may prove to be more difficult, given war's shifting shadows and Maisie's paralyzing grief.

A Dangerous Place is Maisie Dobbs historical fiction at its vintage finest. From the clothing to the war-torn tension, Jacqueline Winspear has brilliantly recreated British Gibraltar in the early days of the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Gibraltar is certainly "a dangerous place" but so is Maisie's emotional condition. In her personal grief, she is occasionally side-tracked on the hunt for the killer and even relying a bit too much on the morphine. 

I enjoyed this Maisie Dobbs book, although I did not really care for crazy whirlwind skimming of important events found in Chapter One. This book is a bit slower than some of the other Maisie Dobbs books because Maisie is frequently dealing with her own grief rather than fighting crime 24/7. 

Jacqueline Winspear has created a wonderful series with Maisie Dobbs. The books are clean crime fiction, without swear words, sex and graphic violence. Maisie Dobbs is an incredibly sympathetic character, while at the same time she really is a tough-as-nails proper British detective. 

Rating: 4 of 5 stars


Book Facts:
  • Pages:   320
  • Year originally published:   2015


  • Book Tour: My review is part of a larger collection of reviews of this title. For more information, please visit TLC Book Tours
Purchase on Amazon: A Dangerous Place: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear
     
 
FTC Disclosure: Lavish Bookshelf received this product complimentary in exchange for an honest review. The opinions in this review are solely the opinion of the author. Lavish Bookshelf was not required to provide a positive review and did not receive any further compensation. Links in this post may be an affiliate link to another website. When you purchase item through an affiliate link, Lavish Bookshelf may receive monetary compensation for the referral of the sale.

Get Involved: Clean Drinking Water Project

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. (Proverbs 27:19)

Image courtesy of Samaritan's Purse


Can you imagine being a mom who can't give her child fresh drinking water? 

Clean water and access to health education is probably the best way to prevent diseases around the world. Cholera, malaria and dengue fever are just a few diseases that can be traced to poor water conditions. It is estimated that 6,000 people die every day due to dirty water. That is completely unacceptable.

Samaritan's Purse works to provide the world with clean drinking water. This week (March 16-22, 2015) Samaritan's Purse is launching a Clean Water Awareness campaign to raise more global awareness and combat preventable deaths. 





 Clean Drinking Water Facts:

  • 783 million people don’t have access to clean water. 
  • 1 in 9 people don’t have access to clean drinking water.
  • Water-related diseases affect children’s education.

Get Involved:
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene | Samaritan's Purse


Samaritan's Purse - Helping In Jesus' Name

Homeschool Review: St. Patrick's Day Fun



Enjoy this special holiday themed
Lavish Bookshelf blast from the past!





We love to mix up the lessons as the season change and the holidays rotate. Especially when my kids were younger, we would spend an entire week before each holiday learning from special themed worksheets and study units. Since St. Patrick's Day is on a typical school day this year, here are a few for your St. Patrick's Day Week of homeschooling!
Irish History:
 Saint Patrick (372-466) - Biography Workbook Unit - Ages 12 & Up
Saint Patrick Biography Worksheet Series by Student Handouts is primarily a reading comprehension text. The first 11 pages of this download consist of the student reading a paragraph or two, then answering the corresponding questions. The text covers the story of Saint Patrick’s Christian travels in Ireland and would be more appropriate for advanced learners who can understand questions such as “17. What is the ecclesiastical metropolis of Ireland?” Download also includes map work of Ireland and vocabulary words such as consternation and tempestuous. Finally this download includes a few internet links for further research of Saint Patrick and Ireland. This download 4 stars for its small but relatively intensive study of Saint Patrick.




A wee bit of everything Irish:



St.Patrick’s Day WebQuest by Brodie Education Consulting relies heavily on internet links in order to complete this project. By completing the project pages, kids will create a short notebook of interesting facts and trivia they have collected from their Quest around the Web for St. Patrick’s Day. This download would be a fun study for upper elementary age kids, but parents should use caution because this item contains no lesson and is entirely reliant on internet research. This item is 4 stars because it is fun and interesting even if it is not completely educational based.


Irish themed Math worksheets:


St. Patrick's Day Basic Operations Puzzles
St. Patrick’s Day Clover Operations by Flap Jack Educational Resources is a fun quick way to review basic math. This small download gives students the chance to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in order to match up all four petals of the four leaf clover. Only six operations are covered in this product (8x7, 9x6, 6x7, 8x12, 8x9, 7x9) so this item is not a complete math review, but would be fun review to use on St. Patrick’s Day. This item is 5 stars as a handy download to bring a little St. Patrick’s Day entertainment to your math lesson.

 St. Patrick's Day Numbers 1-10 Puzzles
St. Patrick’s Day Clover Number Puzzles by Flap Jack Educational Resources is a cute way to add a little St. Patrick’s Day to your daily math lesson. This download is for young kids who are learning how to count. The puzzle idea is to create a four leaf clover design. Kids create the clover design by matching up the number with the spelled-out word for the number as well as matching up sets of clovers for that number. This item is 5 stars as a quick and entertaining addition to your counting lesson on St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick's Day Fraction and Decimal Puzzles
St. Patrick’s Day Clover Fractions and Decimals Puzzles by Flap Jack Educational Resources is a fast way to review fractions and decimals all with a St. Patrick’s Day theme. Only six fraction/decimals are covered in this product (3/4, ½., ¼, 1/3, 1/10, 2/3) so this item is not a complete math review however it would be a cute St. Patrick’s Day diversion to your usual math lesson. This item is 5 stars as a hands-on manipulative for fast math facts review on St. Patrick’s Day.






CurrClick
Note: I received these items complimentary from CurrClick in exchange for an honest review but the opinion is all mine.

Book Review: Miracle on Voodoo Mountain by Megan Boudreaux








Great quote:  "This is the gospel. One person at a time. One child at a time. Progress might seem small and slow at times, and it might seem impossible to ever really make a difference, but it is moments like this when we are reminded God is at work." (Page 172)

Book summary:  "Miracle on Voodoo Mountain is the inspirational memoir of an accomplished and driven 24-year old who quit her job, sold everything, and moved to Haiti, by herself-all without a clear plan of action. Megan Boudreaux had visited Haiti on a few humanitarian trips but each trip multiplied the sense that someone needed to address the devastation-especially with the children, many of whom were kept as household slaves on the poverty-stricken and earthquake-devastated Caribbean island." (Thomas Nelson)

My thoughts:  I don't know about you, but when I was 24 years old I worried about what clothes I would wear and how much fun I was going to have on Friday night. Megan Boudreaux at 24 years old worried about child slavery, voodoo and poverty. 

Miracle on Voodoo Mountain is Megan's Boudreaux's account of her first few years of living in Haiti. When she was 24, she sold her belongings and quit her job. Without a sponsor and without a clear plan, she moved to Haiti. Relying on God for absolutely everything, Boudreaux forged a path that has resulted in an impressive non-profit organization called Respire Haiti. Now less than 5 years old, the non-profit called Respire Haiti currently runs a school for 500 Haitian children, a safe house for pregnant teens and offers a food program for locals. Plans for the future include a medical clinic, a library and a community center. 

Even before the devastating earthquake in 2010, life in Haiti was not been easy. What makes Boudreaux's story so impressive is that she met the Haitians right where they were at. She lived in a home with no running water and electricity. She was gifted with a profound knowledge of Haitian Creole which has allowed her to interact with Haitians in a special way. Boudreaux's actions have resulted in the closing of several corrupt and evil orphanages. Truly, the list goes on and on.

It may seem strange to rave about a woman's life story when she is not even 30 years old. And yet, that is how remarkable this story truly is! She is brave and bold, humble and dedicated. Megan Boudreaux's life will inspire you and convict you. This is truly a book you won't forget.

Rating: 5 of 5 stars


Book Facts:
  • Pages:     203
  • Year originally published:   2015
  • Author:  Megan Boudreaux, at the age of 24, founded Respire Haiti, a non-profit to fight for the freedom of Haiti's estimated 300,000 child slaves. Megan followed God's call to begin a feeding program and transform a barren hillside into a refuge and a school for 500 children. A medical clinic is nearing completion with future plans for a church, community center, and library. Megan has adopted four Haitian children and in 2013 she married her best friend, Josh Anderson.
Purchase on Amazon: Miracle on Voodoo Mountain: A Young Woman's Remarkable Story of Pushing Back the Darkness for the Children of Haiti 


   

FTC Disclosure: Lavish Bookshelf received this product complimentary in exchange for an honest review. The opinions in this review are solely the opinion of the author. Lavish Bookshelf was not required to provide a positive review and did not receive any further compensation. Links in this post may be an affiliate link to another website. When you purchase item through an affiliate link, Lavish Bookshelf may receive monetary compensation for the referral of the sale.

Book Review: Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear




Maisie Dobbs is back! Her latest adventure is called A Dangerous Place. I'll be reviewing that book later this month. To get ready for Maisie's latest escapades, I'm reading (and reviewing) Book 6 in the series. Among the Mad is Book 6 in the Maisie Dobbs series.



Interested in Book 5? Check out the

Book 5 in the exciting Maisie Dobbs series.






Book summary:  "Christmas Eve, 1931. On the way to see a client, Maisie Dobbs witnesses a man commit suicide on a busy London street. The following day, the Prime Minister’s office receives a letter threatening a massive loss of life if certain demands are not met—and the writer mentions Maisie by name. Tapped by Scotland Yard’s elite Special Branch to be a special adviser on the case, Maisie is soon involved in a race against time to find a man who proves he has the knowledge and will to inflict destruction on thousands of innocent people." (TLC)

My thoughts:  Book 6 of Maisie Dobbs series finds Maisie chasing a terrorist bent on public awareness of veteran's rights. While the message is solid, the delivery is frightening and presents the possibility of a mass-killing on New Year's Eve.

Among the Mad is set in London around Christmas and the end of 1931. In Maisie's vintage world of forensic detective work, computers and DNA do not exist. Ms. Dobbs must rely on good old fashioned detective work, with the help of Special Services and MI-5. 

Maisie is smart and independent. Unlike Sherlock Holmes, she is also thoughtful and caring. In Book 6, she is noticed precisely because she is empathetic. Throughout the book, the reader is never certain if Maisie's kindness will be her downfall at the hands of a madman. 

Jacqueline Winspear is a clever novelist, mixing complex themes with clear writing. It's an interesting idea to write a novel about a dangerous war-shocked man who is being pursued by a legion of other wartime survivors. Winspear deftly highlights life and culture in London between the two world wars. Everyone in Europe was touched by World War I, even Maisie herself. As the madman's plot becomes increasingly clear, Maisie and many of the others are forced to look at shadows from their own traumatised war past.

To be honest, I enjoyed Book 5 (An Inconvenient Revenge) a bit better than Book 6 (Among the Mad).  This book was truly a bit too heavy and dark for my tastes. As Maisie wanders through the "pea-soup" thick London fog during Christmas break, she wrestles with themes of mental illness, suicides, veterans literally left out in the cold and mentally unstable people capable of producing nerve gas. 

Overall, I did enjoy Maisie's brilliant detective work and even embraced an untidy ending. I did have to take a break from the book more than once, though. The dark somber tone was taxing. Even so, I definitely look forward to reading more of the Maisie Dobbs series. next up, I will read A Dangerous Place.


Rating: 4 of 5 stars


Book Facts:
  • Pages:   303
  • Year originally published:   2009
Maisie Dobbs, Psychologist and Investigator, began her working life at the age of thirteen as a servant in a Belgravia mansion, only to be discovered reading in the library by her employer, Lady Rowan Compton. Fearing dismissal, Maisie is shocked when she discovers that her thirst for education is to be supported by Lady Rowan and a family friend, Dr. Maurice Blanche. But The Great War intervenes in Maisie’s plans, and soon after commencement of her studies at Girton College, Cambridge, Maisie enlists for nursing service overseas. Years later, in 1929, having apprenticed to the renowned Maurice Blanche, a man revered for his work with Scotland Yard, Maisie sets up her own business. Her first assignment, a seemingly tedious inquiry involving a case of suspected infidelity, takes her not only on the trail of a killer, but back to the war she had tried so hard to forget. (TLC)
  • Book Tour:  To celebrate the release of Jacqueline Winspear’s 11th novel in the Maisie Dobbs series, A Dangerous Place, TLC Book Tours is hosting a series blog tour during the month of March.
Purchase on Amazon: Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs Mysteries Series Book 6)  
      
 
FTC Disclosure: Lavish Bookshelf received this product complimentary in exchange for an honest review. The opinions in this review are solely the opinion of the author. Lavish Bookshelf was not required to provide a positive review and did not receive any further compensation. Links in this post may be an affiliate link to another website. When you purchase item through an affiliate link, Lavish Bookshelf may receive monetary compensation for the referral of the sale.