The Infographic Bible by Karen Sawrey

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

The Infographic Bible was created by conceptual designer and illustrator Karen Sawrey and has a foreword by Nicky Gumbel. This book was first published in Great Britain by Williams Collins before being published by Zondervan. Scripture quotations were taken from the New Revised Standard Version, New King James, and Good News Translation.

This doesn’t cover every story, but it covers topics such as… Created for Relationship, Relationship Broken, A Rescue Plan, The Plan Rejected, Jesus Comes, and Relationship Restored.

This is such a unique, creative, and fun take on the Bible. There are around 220 pages and 88 full color illustrations. The creator of this book used the views of Pentecostals, Roman Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, and Episcopalians. There’s a short church timeline, and a few pages on books of the Bible, along with the Apocrypha/Deuterocanon.

An unexpected bonus: There are activity pages such as coloring pages (as seen above) and some cut-out dice.

I really enjoyed this book, buuuut… The font is painfully small, and a lot of the graphics and text gets lost in the page ditch. Some of the color contrast is also a little hard on the eyes, and the book has to be tilted to see some of the tiny text due to the glossy page glare. Pleeeease make the font bigger, and the pages matte!

The Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver

Love is illegal— A disease called amor delirium nervosa. Four World Wars and walls surrounding the cities to “protect” the citizens. At the age of 18 citizens get the “cure”. The day of her procedure the main character Lena meets Alex, a boy who makes her feelings question everything about her community and herself.

Lena and Alex meet secretly and develop a relationship. When Lena and Alex go to a forbidden party, a raid occurs and they’re left to escape into The Wilds.

Lena learns how to survive in The Wilds and learns about the rebellion and decides to join the fight. Going under cover as a supporter of Deliria Free America, Lena learns about the group’s plans and reports back to The Wilds…

It’s been five years since I read this trilogy, and I honestly don’t remember much of it. I do remember how this is awfully similar to the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie… I often get the two confused. If I had to pick between the two, I’d pick this trilogy. From what I remember, the first two books were really great… The last one? Not so much. The ending was left WIDE OPEN, and I remember being really upset about it. Haha.

A few years ago, there was a Delirium pilot on Hulu. It was the entire first book shoved into about one hour. I actually liked it when I first watched it!

Japanese Drama | Good Morning Call

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Genres: School, Friendship, Romance
Total Episodes: 27
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐1/2

Synopsis: Yoshikawa Nao stays behind to live by herself when her parents leave to inherit her grandpa’s farm in the country. On the day she moves into her new apartment, she discovers that it was rented also to Uehara Hisashi; a cute popular guy from her school. Not only did their housing agency unexpectedly close down, the landlord of the apartment tells them that they had to pay more for their apartment than they had expected. With no money and no home to return to, Nao and Hisashi decide to live together as flatmates.

“Rachel, you need to calm down on these Asian dramas.” No.

This is another cute and fluffy manga to tv show adaptation where the main characters don’t get along at first and fall in love. Other guys are interested in the main character, but she’s completely oblivious to their affections… This show was so cliché, but I couldn’t stop watching it!

I have no experience with the manga or anime, so if you’re looking for a compare/contrast, I’m sorry!

I got some serious Boys Over Flowers vibes during the first episode when Uehera walked into the school and girls were screaming and fangirling over him, then three popular girls laid out some rules… The school has three top guys. Uehera, Nao’s childhood friend Daichi, and someone I can’t remember lol.

I really enjoyed Nao’s friendships, and watching her and Uehara grow together and fall in love (even though I shipped Nao with her childhood friend Daichi at first). I found Uehara to be too cold and distant, even after he and Nao had their relationship established. Nao’s non-stop Uehara talk after they started dating quickly became annoying… and their lack of communication that caused massive misunderstandings drove me crazy at times.

There’s one episode that I absolutely hated towards the end of the first season! Uehara says he wants to move out, and Nao’s best friend Marina totally twists it around, says Uehara is probably going to propose to her, and starts a rumor at school. It was such an annoying episode.

The second lead syndrome is awful in both seasons, but worse in the second season… In the second season, Nao and Uehara are attending college. A few characters I actually enjoyed watching from the first season aren’t in the second season, and a few new characters are introduced. One of the new characters is a flirty guy named Natsume who befriends both Uehara and Nao.

I really would like to see a season 3 following Nao and Uehara as adults… And you know, see Uehara show some emotion towards Nao. Was he supposed to be that distant, or did the actors not have any chemistry? Hmm…

Basics for Believers by D.A. Carson

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

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Basics for Believers: The Core of the Christian Faith and Life (A Study of Philippians) was first published in 1996 (this is a re-print, I love the simplicity of the cover). This short book is four messages D.A. Carson delivered during Holy Week 1994 at the “Word Alive” conference. D.A. Carson has become one of my favorites since I read/listened to Resurrection Life in a World of Suffering: 1 Peter (the book was a manuscript of The Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference a few years ago, you can find it on YouTube, I believe).

This book is less than 200 pages long and only five chapters: Put the Gospel First (Philippians 1:1-26), Focus on the Cross (Philippians 1:27-2:18), Adopt Jesus’s Death as a Test of Your Outlook (Philippians 1:27-2:18), Emulate Worthy Christian Leaders (Philippians 2:19-3:21), and Never Give Up the Christian Walk (Philippians 4:1-23).

The chapters go over thing such as: Putting the priorities of the gospel at the center of your relationships with believers and prayer life, putting the converts of the gospel at the center of your principled self-denial, imitate worthy Christian leaders who make much of the cross and whose spiritual life is growing and constantly focused on Jesus, and resolving to grow in the grace of Christian gratitude and courtesy.

The beginning of each chapter quotes the Bible verses that will be discussed. Carson explains things in a way that makes sense for new believers, but his lessons always have a ton of depth for older believers. This book is excellent for an individual and group study (there aren’t discussion questions at the end of each chapter, or at the end of the book).

I took some notes while reading so things would stick. Here are some things I wrote down. I hope it intrigues you enough to pick up this book! It really is great!

  • Paul prays that the love of the Philippians “may abound more and more.” Growing love for God must be reflected in the love for other believers (1 John 5:1). He wrote “that your love may abound more and more *in knowledge of depth of insight*”. Paul wants them to enjoy insights into God’s word and ways to know how to live light of them, and prays that they will be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. By asking for gospel fruit in their lives, the ultimate purpose of these petitions is to bring glory to God who redeemed them.
  • We are called not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for him. The call to suffer for the gospel is a gracious gift from God (Mark 8:34), we need to take up our crosses daily (Luke 9:23)… Die to self-interest for the sake of others.
  • Emulate worthy Christian leaders… Those who are interested in the well-being of others, not their own. Those who follow Jesus learn to cast self-interest, self-comfort, and self-focus aside.
  • Emulate those who have proved themselves in hardship… Epaphroditus was committed to helping Paul advance the gospel, and it almost cost him his life.
  • Emulate those who are continuing to grow spiritually, not those who are stagnating… Paul doesn’t want power to be powerful, but so he can be conformed to the will of God.

I’m very much looking forward to reading Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation With the World: A Study of Matthew 5-10 next!

Children’s Book Review | Who Sang the First Song? By Ellie Holcomb

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Who Sang the First Song? was written by Ellie Holcomb and illustrated by Kayla Harren. This book was published by B&H Kids. Pre-schoolers are the target audience.

It’s always difficult for me to review picture books… This is a super short book with one sentence per page. The illustrations are absolutely STUNNING. I highly recommend this for the illustrations, both children and adults will love them!

I received a hardcover picture book for review, but Amazon does have a board book listed.

Children’s Book Review | God’s Good News by Billy Graham

*I received a free copy from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.*

God’s Good News: More Than 60 Bible Stories and Devotions was written by Billy Graham and illustrated by Scott J. Wakefield. This book was published by Tommy Nelson and is a re-issue. The target audience is 4 to 11 years old.

This book covers stories in both the Old and New Testament. This is a wonderful book for children’s daily devotions, or for Sunday School. Each story has selected scripture and some words from Billy Graham to go along with it. The illustrations fill up the entire page and are bright and colorful (there are pictures of Jesus/2CV’s).

The book is good quality. The pages are sewn together, and are thick and glossy. There’s also a ribbon bookmark.

October Wrap-Up & November Goals + GIVEAWAYS!

I didn’t have a very successful reading month in October because I spent all my free time re-watching and catching up on Doctor Who… and as I suspected, a reading slump approached so I didn’t finish Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy. I did read…

I have a few books I need to read and review this month from Christian publishers. I currently have three in my possession, and one is on its way after a mixup. On November 7th, Elemental Power, the second book in the Ridley Kayne Chronicles by Rachel Morgan will be released. I’ve pre-ordered it for Kindle and can’t wait!

If you’re interested in any of these books pictured below and live in the continental United States, I’ll be having some giveaways on my Instagram this month! 🙂

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