Archive for the ‘Tasty Tomes’ Category


Book Review: ‘A Great Catch’

   Posted by: Faith

A Great Catch

by Lorna Seilstad

Historical Romance / Inspirational

Release Date: May 2011


She wants to change the world.
He wants to change her mind.

It’s the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa resort in Iowa, but some things never change. When Emily Graham’s meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.

When their worlds collide, neither Emily nor Carter could have guessed what would come next. Will Carter strike out? Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?

My Thoughts:

If you recall my review of this author’s debut novel, you’ll remember that initially, the cover image threw me off and I read the book expecting to hate it—and was pleasantly surprised to find it was one of the best Christian fiction books I’d read in a long time.

I had a similar negative reaction when I heard about the topic of this novel: baseball. Baseball?! Really?! I mean, I like sports, but if there’s one sport I’d pass up free tickets to—heck, I don’t know if you could pay me to sit through a game—it’s baseball. *hurk*

But, since I enjoyed the previous book she’d written, I gave this one a go.

I’m glad I did! Once again, Seilstad has created memorable characters with unique goals, and placed them back in the same very different setting as her first novel. In fact, without giving any spoilers, I’ll mention that since it’s set in the same place, a number of characters from Making Waves show up here in a very natural way.

As for the negatives, I did find that the main character’s aunts grated on me after a little while, and though I realize they were supposed to be frustrating, there were moments when it seemed to go beyond my ability to suspend disbelief. But that’s a very minor thing over the course of a whole novel.

It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly good reading! I’ll be sharing this one with others and recommending it to library patrons. I hope Seilstad brings us back to Lake Manawa next summer too.

About the Author

Seilstad_Lorna A history buff, antique collector, and freelance graphic designer, Lorna Seilstad is the author of Making Waves and draws her setting from her home state of Iowa. A former high school English and journalism teacher, she has won several online writing awards and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, IncAvailable at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


Book Review: ‘The Lady of Bolton Hill’

   Posted by: Faith

The Lady of Bolton Hill

by Elizabeth Camden

Historical Romance / Inspirational

Release Date: June 2011



When Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain’s worlds collide after twelve years apart, the spark that was once between them immediately reignites into a romance neither of them thought possible.

But time has changed them both.

Daniel is an industrial titan with powerful enemies. Clara is an idealistic journalist determined to defend underprivileged workers.

Can they withstand the cost of their convictions while their hearts–and lives–hang in the balance?

My Thoughts:

I’m sorry, team… but I didn’t make it through this one. *sigh*

There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with the characters, or plot, or setting… in fact, the time period seemed well-researched, and the dialogue and characters authentic.

My problem? I just didn’t care. I got bored… it felt, well, bland. There was nothing about this story that set it apart from other historical romances for me, so by the time I got halfway through the story, I realized that I’d rather do just about anything than continue reading, and that I was probably the wrong target audience for this novel.

So I’ll say this: If you like historical romances that are traditional, with typical characters and black-and-white issues of right & wrong, this book is probably for you. I can think of a number of church library patrons who would enjoy this story, and I’ll recommend the book to them. It feels “safe”, if that makes any sense, and that’s not really the kind of inspirational fiction I enjoy.

To be fair to the author, I recommend that if this is in your reading genre of choice, head to this page and read an excerpt from the novel. See if it’s something you’d enjoy before giving it a complete pass. It’s also worth keeping in mind that this is a debut novel, and I imagine Camden’s writing and ability to develop complex characters and plot will only improve with each book.

About the Author

CAMDEN_Elizabeth A research librarian and associate professor,Elizabeth Camden has a master’s in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s in library science from Indiana University. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband in Orlando, Florida. Visit her website at

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Book Review: ‘An Unlikely Suitor’

   Posted by: Faith

An Unlikely Suitor

by Nancy Moser

Historical Fiction / Inspirational

Release Date: May 2011



AnUnlikeySuitor_cover.indd Spend a season in glamorous 1895 Newport in this compelling tale of friendship, devotion, and sacrificial love.

New York dressmaker Lucy Scarpelli befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she’s designing her 1895 summer wardrobe. Grateful for Lucy’s skill in creating fashions that hide her physical injury, Rowena invites Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, encouraging the unusual friendship.

One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what Newport man would want to marry an Italian dressmaker working to support her family?

Rowena faces an arranged marriage to a wealthy heir she doesn’t love, but dare a crippled girl hope for anything better?

And Lucy’s teenage sister, Sofia, falls for a man well above her social class–but is he willing to give up everything to marry a woman below his station?

As the lives of three young woman–and their unlikely suitors–become entangled in a web of secrets and sacrifice, will the season end with any of them finding true happiness?

My Thoughts:

Yeah… you want to read this one. If you like Christian historical fiction, or just plain old historical fiction for that matter (with a touch of romance), this one is worth the read.

When the twist came, I sat up on the couch and gasped audibly, then shouted “NO! No WAY!”… and you know, it takes a lot to surprise me in inspirational fiction. I’ve been reading & reviewing these kinds of books for awhile now, and usually these kinds of stories are incredibly predictable (though that doesn’t make them any less entertaining, most of the time).

This one? Definitely didn’t see THAT twist coming.

I also liked the characters, the atmosphere, the setting, and the amount of historical detail that Moser included AFTER the story ended. There are pages and pages of annotations about real historical elements she included (or took liberties with), and she also provides old catalogue illustrations that show some of the dresses she had her characters wear throughout the novel.

There was one little thing I didn’t like… a secondary character who was mentioned just a few times suddenly becoming a big deal almost out of nowhere… but I could easily look past that for how much I loved the historical detail and the twist. It’s rare for me to love an inspirational historical fiction novel these days, but this one definitely fits the bill.

About the Author

mosernancy Nancy Moser is the author of three inspirational humor books and a eighteen novels, including Mozart’s Sister, Just Jane, and Time Lottery, a Christy Award winner. She is an inspirational speaker, giving seminars around the country. She has earned a degree in architecture; run a business with her husband; traveled extensively in Europe; and has performed in various theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She and her husband have three grown children and make their home in the Midwest. Read more about her books at

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Book Review: ‘To Win Her Heart’

   Posted by: Faith

To Win Her Heart

by Karen Witemeyer

Historical Romance / Inspirational

Release Date: May 2011



ToWinHerHeart-TP_Cover.inddDo They Have a Fighting Chance at Love?

After completing his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father’s knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past.

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs in the town her father founded. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she’s reluctant to trust him. Yet as the mysteries of the town’s new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Eden believes she’s finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when the truth about Levi’s prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian’s affections?


My Thoughts:

I’ve enjoyed Witemeyer’s books before, and this historical romance is a well-crafted addition to the author’s bibliography. I much preferred To Win Her Heart over Witemeyer’s previous offering, and many of the things I liked about this book were similar to what I liked in her debut novel, so I’ll try not to repeat myself too much.

The heroine is, of course, a seemingly flawless heroine with a secret in her past, and the hero is a physically attractive man with an even bigger secret. The villain is relentless and clueless, and you know from the beginning how the story is going to pan out. Read the synopsis again—tell me you don’t know what’s going to happen (but I won’t believe you!).

Still, the characters are interesting, the setting feels realistic, and the romance is slow and sweet. Plus, I like the idea of the heroine running a lending library from home. This makes for some easily-relatable discussion about books, which adds a nice dimension to the plot.

I should also mention that Witemeyer changed her tactic for this novel—instead of a young woman coming into town/the area and meeting the geographically-established hero, it’s the hero who’s the new person around. I appreciated the change.

Overall, I’d say that if you enjoy historical romances, or Witemeyer’s previous work, this one is worth the read. I might not recommend it to someone trying historical romance for the first time, but on the whole it’s a nice diversion with good characters, and the kind of story that can be easily shared with friends, mothers, and grandmothers, and chatted about afterward.

About the Author 

Witemeyer_Karen1 Karen Witemeyer holds a master’s degree in psychology from Abilene Christian University and is a member of ACFW, RWA, and the Abilene Writers Guild. She has published fiction in Focus on the Family’s children’s magazine, and has written several articles for online publications and anthologies. A Tailor-Made Bride is her first novel. Karen lives in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children.Visit Karen’s Web site

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


Book Review: ‘Unsinkable’

   Posted by: Faith

Hello, Wonderful Readers!

Yep, I’m still on bloggy hiatus for the rest of the month, but there are a few book reviews that’ll be going up in the meantime to prove that I’m still alive… relatively speaking.

Er, anyhow… onward!


A Young Woman’s Courageous Battle on the High Seas

by Abby Sunderland and Lynn Vincent

Memoir / Inspirational

Release Date: April 2011


The stirring narrative of Unsinkable tells sixteen-year-old Abby Sunderland’s remarkable true story of attempting to become the youngest person ever to sail solo around the world. More people have flown into outer space than have sailed solo around the globe. It is a challenge so immense that many have died trying, and all have been pushed beyond every physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual limit.

In Unsinkable, readers follow Abby Sunderland into those depths. This biography delivers a gripping and evocative firsthand account that starts prior to her departure, travels through her daring (and sometimes near-death) encounters on the open sea, to her dramatic rescue in the remotest corner of the Indian Ocean, and the media explosion that happened upon her safe return to dry land. Along the way, readers discover what it means to boldly face any challenge, to strive after something great, and to plumb the depths of faith, fear, and desperation only to emerge changed, renewed, and emboldened.

In this day and age, when the most productive thing a teenager may do is play videogames, Abby’s ambition and tenacity is a real-life parable of what can happen when we choose to exceed our own limits, embrace faith, and strive after what all the naysayers say is impossible.

My Thoughts:

First of all, I resent the videogames comment in the synopsis. Just sayin’. I’m no teenager, but why not say “play Boggle” or “play soccer”? Videogames get a bad rap, despite all the studies on their benefits. Grrr… sorry, this is a sore spot for me.

But anyway. Back to the book.

I’ll be first in line to admit that I thought Abby’s parents were crazy to allow their 16-year-old daughter to sail around the world, alone. I remember reading about this in the paper, as well as reports about another girl attempting it at the same time, and wondering… what are their parents on? What kind of adult lets their teenage daughter sail solo around the world??? Do they want her to die or get kidnapped by pirates?

Well, after reading this book… I still think her parents are a bit nuts to allow it. But at the same time, Abby seems like a capable young woman, and she definitely knew/knows her way around a boat. Heck, I didn’t even understand what was going on half the time, because she explains getting out of tricky or dangerous situations by recounting exactly what she did on board the boat and, uh, marine terminology is not my strong suit.

Fortunately, there’s a detailed glossary and labeled boat diagram at the back of the book for those of us who need it.

After reading the book, I understand why her parents let her make the journey, and I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like out in the ocean during things like 30-foot swells, or going for days without being dry, or having the engine fail and communications die at the worst possible time.

It’s a pretty incredible story, and Abby and her family’s faith is clear and strong throughout. If you’re not all that familiar with boats and marine terminology, parts of the story will be a struggle to get through, but either way, by the last page you’ll have to admit that this young woman was—and is—a capable, strong, and courageous sailor.

About the Author

abbysunderland Abby Sunderland is among the third generation in a family of sailors and adventurers. In 2007, at age 13, Abby discovered her dream of sailing solo around the world and was inspired by her brother Zac’s successful circumnavigation in 2009. Her own journey, in 2010, ended in the Indian Ocean when a rogue wave rolled her sailboat, Wild Eyes. Abby now shares her story of tenacity and courage with audiences everywhere. Lynn Vincent is the New York Times best-selling writer of Heaven Is for Real, Same Kind of Different as Me, and Going Rogue: An American Life. The author or coauthor of ten books, Lynn worked for eleven years as a writer and editor at the national news biweekly WORLD Magazine covering politics, culture, and current events. A U.S. Navy veteran, she teaches writing at colleges and conferences around the country. Lynn lives in San Diego, California.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson”.


W is for ‘Wither’ (Book Review)

   Posted by: Faith


(Chemical Garden Trilogy, Book 1)

by Lauren DeStefano

YA Dystopian

Release Date: March 2011


wither By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems.

Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out?

My Thoughts:

To start: I love the cover. See how the little circles pull your focus to very specific things in the picture? Those things are very important, and tell you a lot about the story inside.

But, cover aside, what about the story itself?

Well, for a story where nothing much happens, it’s pretty darn compelling. I got halfway through the book before I realized, “wait a minute… it’s been 150 pages and all the main character has done is walk through her daily routine a few times and chat with the other wives… why am I still interested?!?!”

And honestly, I’m not sure. It takes quite awhile for the main character to decide to actually do anything about her situation, but when she does, it’s worth the wait. In the meantime, the interactions between the characters and the simple consequences of a wrong word spoken here, or a strange glance there, are enough to maintain a rather stressful level of tension throughout the narrative, even without much action.

In the end, the worldbuilding in this novel was better than in others I’ve recently read, and the slow reveal of the situation wasn’t as annoying as some others. I’d also say that, compared to the book Bumped, which has a similar premise, I found this story much smoother in terms of the way the fertility/life expectancy issues were introduced (review of Bumped forthcoming…).

Mind you, there are still plenty of questions left unanswered, and a number of bizarre issues not addressed (ie. when did society become okay with rounding up fertile young women and shooting them, if there’s a population crisis? and why are there orphans on the street if children are such a precious commodity?). If you can get past that, it’s a surprisingly good read, and I’m certainly looking forward to the second installment.

About the Author

laurendestefano Lauren DeStefano was born in New Haven, Connecticut and has never traveled far from the east coast. She received a BA in English from Albertus Magnus College recently, and has been writing since childhood. She made her authorial debut by writing on the back of children’s menus at restaurants and filling up the notepads in her mom’s purse. Her very first manuscript was written on a yellow legal pad with red pen, and it was about a haunted shed that ate small children.

Now that she is all grown up (for the most part), she writes fiction for young adults. Her failed career aspirations include: world’s worst receptionist, coffee house barista, sympathetic tax collector, and English tutor. When she isn’t writing, she’s screaming obscenities at her Nintendo DS, freaking her cats out with the laser pen, or rescuing thrift store finds and reconstructing them into killer new outfits.

Radio Shangri-La:

What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth

by Lisa Napoli

Travel / Memoir

Release Date: February 2011


shangrila2 Dissatisfied with her life as a radio journalist, Lisa Napoli takes a stranger at a party up on his random offer: to visit Bhutan and lend some of her expertise to setting up the country’s first youth-oriented radio station, KuzooFM. At the time, Bhutan was known as ‘the happiest place on earth’, measuring its success in GNH (Gross National Happiness) and limiting the influence of the outside world.

Over time, this changed, and through Napoli’s memoir we get to experience the shifting social structure as it happened: democracy, access to Western television stations, modern music, and a growing sense of materialism in a country that was previously focused on family and spirituality. There is one interesting thing to note—even with the changes, Bhutan has retained its $200-per-day tourist tax for visitors wanting to enter the country. The country may be more open, yes, but they still don’t want the hoards of unwashed Westerners traipsing through their sacred spaces.

I’m glad I read the book to learn about Bhutan, which I previously knew very little about. However, you may have noticed that I haven’t yet talked about Napoli and her time at the radio station. That’s because I actually found that part of the narrative somewhat dull and self-indulgent. I’m very glad that Napoli was able to ‘find herself’ in the experience, and was able to discover her priorities in life, but unlike other ‘travel memoir’ style books I’ve read recently, there didn’t seem to be a real point here.

She wasn’t there on a humanitarian mission, so the book wasn’t written to create an awareness of social injustice. She didn’t do anything particularly remarkable, so the book wasn’t written to chronicle how she rose from nothing to conquer to world. There are moments of excitement and flashes of brilliance, but on the whole, I wasn’t quite sure what the point of the book happened to be.

On the whole, I was a little disappointed. The cover (of my ARC, anyway) is lovely, and the title is fantastic. I only wish I’d known the purpose of the book, rather than feeling like I was simply indulging a friend telling a bland travel story, and not really sure how to walk away without being rude…

I will say this, however: If you like travel stories for the sake of travel stories, you’ll probably find much to enjoy here. I really mean that! I suspect the genre may simply not be “my thing.”

About the Author

home_lisa_napoli Lisa Napoli’s last staff job was as reporter and back-up host for public radio show Marketplace. She covered the Internet revolution and the cultural impact of technology as a columnist and staff reporter for the NY Times CyberTimes, and as a correspondent for MSNBC.

A native of Brooklyn, NY and a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. She currently lives in downtown Los Angeles, where there’s a giant swimming pool, and hopes in the second half of her life to be a philanthropist.


L is for ‘Like Clockwork’ (Book Review)

   Posted by: Faith

Like Clockwork

by Bonnie Dee

Steampunk / Romance

Release Date: December 2010


clockwork2 This novella from Carina Press sounded highly intriguing: A young woman named Victoria has pioneered work on automatons, originally intending for them to replace humans in dangerous jobs. However, society quickly latched on to her invention and started using automatons to replace humans in other positions as well, creating mass issues of unemployment.

Fearing social unrest and more potential deaths from disillusioned individuals like the notorious Slasher (who has been killing young women and removing their hearts), Victoria travels to a meeting of scientists and political leaders in order to plead her case: Restrict use of automatons before it’s too late.

Of course, she never makes it to the meeting. She’s kidnapped by an underground faction who are willing to do anything necessary to create the downfall and destruction of the automatons… but her kidnapper’s plan gets skewed when Victoria pledges her assistance to the cause.

Naturally, Victoria and her kidnapper Dash fall in love… and quickly, at that. It seems to just happen, without any real lead-in, and becomes a backdrop for the resolution of the Slasher plot, the automatons, and the underground’s unwillingness to resolve the problem peacefully.

It’s an interesting story, with interesting characters. The problem I found was that the story was too big for its format. Dee could have written a full-length novel with this plot, and been able to better explore the themes of automatons and humans being replaced by machines, social unrest, and so forth. In this short 31,000-word novella format, she’s forced to rush through the causes and consequences, leaving out crucial elements of character development and logical sequencing, resulting in a rushed story and a forced romance.

Naturally, the hero and the heroine defeat the odds and rise above the confines of polite society to be together. That’s fine, as unbelievable as the romance is because of its rushed nature, readers expect the main characters to be together at the end of a romance book.

What I didn’t expect, however, was the randomly tacked on, extremely graphic sex scene at the end of the book. Out of the blue, the main characters consummate their relationship and then the story ends. There’s no lead-in, and there’s no wrap-up. It felt like the author submitted the book, the editor said "okay, that’s good, but we need more heat", and the author tacked a sex scene on to the end because it was ‘required’. I’m not saying that’s what happened, it just read that way.

If you want a quick, entertaining steampunk novella, it’s not bad. It has its flaws, but it’s a decent story and will quench your steampunk thirst without demanding a commitment to a longer book or series.

I’d simply recommend that you stop reading before the final chapter — trust me, the story will make more sense and you’ll enjoy the book much better that way!

About the Author

CaptiveBrideFinal Bonnie Dee began telling stories as a child. Whenever there was a sleepover, she was the designated ghost tale teller, guaranteed to frighten and thrill with macabre tales. She still has a story printed on yellow legal paper in second grade about a ghost, a witch and a talking cat.

Writing childish stories for her own pleasure led to majoring in English at college. Like most English majors, she dreamed of writing a novel but didn’t have the necessary focus and follow-through at that time in her life. A husband, children and work occupied the next twenty years, and it was only in 2000 that she began writing again. Bonnie enjoys reading stories about people damaged by life who find healing with a like-minded soul. When she couldn’t find enough books to suit her taste, she began to write them.


D is for ‘Delirium’

   Posted by: Faith


by Lauren Oliver

YA Dystopian

Release Date: February 2011


This was my first Lauren Oliver read, and I started the book with fairly high expectations. I’d heard that Lauren Oliver’s books were compelling, vivid, and very emotional stories that drew the reader in and gripped them until the end.

In this case? Mostly true. My main issue with this novel was the premise: The United States has decided that love is a disease, and youth undergo a procedure at eighteen to "cure" them of the possibility of ever catching the disease. Marriages are matched by algorithm, and anyone showing signs of the disease is captured and forced to undergo treatment again and again (mind you, this element plays a major role in the plot, so I don’t want to say much more).


Now, while this is an interesting approach to building a dystopian society, I simply had trouble with the plausibility of it all. We don’t really learn why and how the United States decided that love was a disease, and I find that if I don’t have a clear explanation of how a dystopian society becomes dystopian, I stop caring. If it can’t be explained to me, there’s no logical reason for what’s happening, and I get frustrated.

Beyond that, the issue of eliminating love is so much more complicated than the way it’s presented here. Oliver touches on the inevitability of certain mothers being unable to "bond" with their children and thus needing to be removed from them… or some people committing suicide because of the apathy they develop… but I honestly think she downplayed this aspect. I know it’s for the sake of the story, but if mothers didn’t love their children, or teachers didn’t love the kids they taught, or if no one loved their job, the world would become a very dysfunctional place very quickly.

So for me, the premise was flawed and I didn’t buy it.

However… the actual writing, and the story, and the characters? Beautiful. Oliver has this incredible ability to write so smoothly that you’ll be halfway through the book before you’ve taken a second breath. Her style is clear and to the point, not flowery or melodramatic, allowing you to be drawn in without even realizing it. Honestly, even with all the flaws I mentioned above, I will be reading the second book, if only for the author’s ability to create characters that you really want to cheer for, and for her ability to make the words simply flow across the page like water.

About the Author


Lauren Oliver is the author of Before I Fall, which ALA Booklist called a "compelling book with a powerful message [that] should not be missed." A graduate of the University of Chicago and the MFA program at New York University, Lauren is now a full-time writer and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Delirium is her second novel.


Book Review: ‘If God, Why Evil?’

   Posted by: Faith

My book to share today is a little heavier than usual, but those of you who enjoy philosophy, theology, or even ethics may find it right up your alley!

And just to give you a quick little flash forward, I have a number of book reviews coming up for some fantastic books this month, including:

…among many others! So, stay tuned. :)


If God, Why Evil?:

A New Way to Think About the Question

by Norman L. Geisler

Philosophy / Apologetics

Release Date: February 2011

Synopsis:6974 IfGodWhyEvil_FNL2.indd

Where Did Evil Come From? And Why Doesn’t God Do Something About It?

The problem of evil is perhaps the most difficult question the Christian must face. If God is good and all-powerful, why is there suffering in the world? Can’t God put an end to murder, rape, and starvation? What about earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis? Why couldn’t a perfect God have made a perfect world?

In this concise but thorough book, Dr. Norman Geisler carefully answers these tough questions, using step-by-step explanations and compelling examples. He walks the reader through time-tested answers but also provides a new approach revolving around whether or not this world is the "best of all possible worlds." All this adds up to comforting news for believers: we can rest assured that God is both loving and all-powerful.

My Thoughts:

If you’re interested in the problem of evil, or curious about how an all-powerful, all-loving God could allow bad things to happen to good people – whether we’re talking personal troubles, natural disasters, or even illnesses – you’ll find something of value here.

Geisler approaches the topic as a philosopher and a Christian, using philosophical paradigms that will be familiar to anyone who has taken even a basic philosophy class at any level. He looks at arguments for and against basic points, and uses both historical and scientific data to answer the common objections to issues such as the nature, origin, persistence, purpose, and avoidability of evil, while also addressing the problem of Hell (eternal evil).

The appendices in Geisler’s book were actually the most intriguing part of the book for me personally, because he discusses the evidence for the existence of God using basic scientific principles and insights from prominent physicists and astronomers. He also gives several pages to a critique of the popular novel The Shack, looking at the theological issues surrounding Young’s portrayal of God and the nature of evil.

I found Geisler’s book to be very well put together, very readable, and highly logical. Reading the book doesn’t require a background in philosophy, nor does it present convoluted concepts that might be above the average layman’s comprehension levels.

Rather, if the problem of evil and why a loving God, if he existed, would allow so much suffering in the world is a question you have struggled with in the past (or perhaps are struggling with today), Geisler’s book offers some new, carefully presented, rational ways to think about the issue. And it’s a short read, to boot – a far cry from a textbook slog!

About the Author

geisler Norman L. Geisler (PhD, Loyola University of Chicago) is distinguished professor of apologetics at Veritas Evangelical Seminary in Murrieta, California. He is the author of more than seventy books, including the Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics.


Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications,  Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.