(Review) The Study Bible For Women, Christian Standard Bible, Published by Holman Bibles and B&H


Publisher and Publication Date: Holman Bible Publishers/B&H Publishing. April 15, 2018.
Genre: Bible.
Pages: 2240.
Source: B&H/Lifeway Publishers. I received a complimentary hardcover copy from B&H Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review.
Rating: Excellent.

For further information about Bible from the publisher: B&H Publishing.


Christian Book  

For a sample chapter: The Study Bible for Women CSB.

For a full bio of the General Editor of this Bible: Dorothy Kelley Patterson.

For a full bio of the Managing Editor of this Bible: Rhonda Harrington Kelley.

Features of the Bible include:
Smyth-sewn binding
Two-column text
8-point type
Two satin ribbons for book marks
Extensive commentary notes
Word studies
Answers to hard questions
Doctrinal notes
Biblical womanhood articles
Dual pages for a family tree
“The Ketubah,” a Jewish marriage contract
“My Spiritual Mother’s Page”
Character profiles
“How to Study the Bible” article by Dorothy Kelley Patterson
“Written on My Heart” applications
“The Christian Life” article by Rhonda Harrington Kelley
“Introduction to the Christian Standard Bible” (includes the textual base for the translation)
Outlines for each Bible book
Extensive book introductions
Presentation page
Ten color maps (at the back of the Bible)
In-text maps
Charts & timelines
A nine page “Index of Features”
A 101 page Concordance

My Thoughts:
This is the third Christian Standard Bible I’ve reviewed. My go to Bible, and the first Bible from this series I reviewed is the, She Reads Truth, Christian Standard Bible. The second Bible I reviewed is the, Study Bible, Christian Standard Bible. Both of these Bibles I purchased. A new Bible from this translation series is The Rainbow Study Bible. This Bible was published May 1: Amazon.

This is the website for the Christian Standard Bible.
To read the “Translation Philosophy of the Christian Standard Bible.”
From the above link: “The CSB was created using Optimal Equivalence, a translation philosophy that pursues both linguistic precision to the original languages and readability in contemporary English.”

Now, for my thoughts.
I’ll start with the less of significant reasons as to why I love this Bible.
1. Aqua is one of my favorite colors. I was not pleased with the color selection of the She Reads Truth, CSB. The choices are white, gray and poppy red. Later, a navy colored leather touch was added. Aqua is easy on the eyes, simple, casual, and a tranquil color.
2. The first several pages are the presentation page, “The Ketubah”, family memories and tree, and spiritual Mother’s page.
The significant reasons why I love this Bible.
1. I love the translation. I believe most people do not read the information about the textual base used for the translation. They see the cover, like the way it reads and they buy the Bible. Possibly certain features of the Bible are a draw like the concordance. I love the readable CSB translation.
2. I love the footnotes at the bottom of the pages. These show the differences in the manuscripts and other OT versions.
3. I love the word studies that are included. The first word study, located on the first page of “Genesis” is “God.”
4. “Doctrine” studies. Early studies in the “Gospel of John” are “Faith, Christology, Incarnation.”
5. “Hard Question.” These are located sporadically throughout the Bible books. In the book of “1 Timothy” the “Hard Question: Is it really possible to be content?”
6. I love the bold easy to read print. I wear bifocals, but the bold print in books help!

Additional points to know:
This not a journaling Bible.
The pages are thin.
They have a matte finish so they are easy to turn.
Only half an inch is on the margins.




(Review) Insomniatic by Valerie Fox



Publisher and Publication Date: PS Books, Regional Publishing National Voice, A division of Philadelphia Stories. October 20, 2017.
Genre: Poetry.
Pages: 26.
Source: I received a complimentary paperback copy from Valerie Fox. I was not required to write a positive review.
Rating: Very good.

Poetic Book Tours

This book is not available in ebook, only paperback for $10.


ValerieFoxPhoto copy

Poet Info:
Valerie Fox’s work has appeared in many journals, including Thrush, Painted Bride Quarterly, Hanging Loose, Apiary, West Branch, Sentence, and Qarrtsiluni. Originally from central Pennsylvania, she has traveled and lived throughout the world, and has taught writing and literature at numerous universities including Sophia University (in Tokyo) and currently at Drexel University (in Philadelphia).
Goodreads, the author page for Valerie Fox.
Poems For The Writing, a blog.
Thrush, a poetry journal published 6 times a year.
Across the Margins

About the Book:
Insomniatic is the newest poetry chapter book from Valerie Fox, author of The Roschach Factory and The Glass Book. These poems haunt and question, dream and wander, asking the reader to question what is a dream state and what does it mean to be awake.

My Thoughts:
Twenty-four poems are included in the Insomniatic book.
My favorite poems are Insomnia; And for that matter, what does it mean to be human? and I’ll come see you.
The first poem and chapter of the book is Insomnia. The first stanza jumped out at me. I agree, we do seem to be, “afraid to call upon one another unless the meeting has been pre-arranged.” I think back to the days when we just picked up the land-line telephone and called a person. I remember when there wasn’t answering machines. I remember when there wasn’t caller ID and other specs for phones. I remember a time when the telephone rang I really did want to talk. Now, we text first and then see if it’s okay to call the person. But, I believe this poem goes deeper than calling a person. It resonates with being “afraid” to reach out to another person when we’re in trouble, or lonely, or feeling the need to have companionship. We have to test the waters first so to speak.
The second poem I like is And for that matter, what does it mean to be human? I’ve read this poem several times. Each time I read the poem I pick up something new. I just love this, when a poem teaches me something! In this poem, several words repeat: song, sing, good ear and ears. I take it the narrator wants to be heard? That he feels unheard and wants to share something deep in his heart. He wants to share a story.
I’ll come see you. This poem is direct, in your face and cutting. The narrator is angry and bitter. But, there is also deep disappointment and sadness.
I enjoyed reading Insomniatic! I plan to re-read the book!


(Review) Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic Mission by Hampton Sides


Publisher and Publication Date: Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. 2001.
Genre: Nonfiction. Subtopics: prisoner of war camp. Philippines. Bataan Death March. Military. World War II. Imperial Japanese Army. Pacific War. Army-Ranger Battalion, 6th.
Pages: 342.
Source: Library.
Rating: Excellent.

Amazon $14.39 for the hardcover.

In a book like Ghost Soldiers, the review written is much different than a fictional story. I don’t critique on its characters, movement, immersion, and originality. Hampton Sides gathered information on the people involved. He researched the history of the battles, terrain, Japanese Imperial Army, 6th Army Ranger Battalion, and the prisons. He compiled and arranged the stories to create the book. However, the people who took part in this history tell their stories. Their unique and individual stories mark this history.
On this day, people go to work and school, they invest in hobbies and interests (like reading), and generally go about a life of freedom. However, it is the men (and women) who fought in battles who make our life of freedom in America possible. This is not a political post, it is a statement of fact, whether you agree or not, World War II was a war fought for our freedom and survival.
My first big introduction to the Pacific War was the series titled The Pacific. It aired on HBO several years ago. It is now on Amazon Prime videos. Next, I read books on the various Pacific battles, and the harrowing story of the USS Indianapolis. On this last event, I have a good friend whose young husband died either on board, or in the water after the torpedo bombing of the Indianapolis. She doesn’t want to know what happened to him, it is still very painful for her to talk about.

Ghost Soldiers keys in on the rescue of the prisoners who survived the Bataan Death March. Their rescuers were the 6th Army Ranger Battalion. The camp was called Cabanatuan. The raid itself is carried out in the later half of the book. The beginning shows the horrific situation the prisoners were living in. It shows the brutality of the Japanese. It shows the events of the prisoners before the raid (the march, the other places they were kept in route.) The time period for the raid is January 1945.
I want to emphasize: to speak in mere words of the living conditions and torture these men endured and died under, I could never do justice.
To read another post on the 6th Army Ranger Battalion: Weapons and Warfare.
Further links of interest:
LTC Henry Mucci
Wikipedia (holds several links to read)
An interview with the author on the book from 2001. C-Span.

Ghost Soldiers is a memorable book. It deeply affected me in reading about the terrible living conditions in the camps, and the crimes against the Pilipino people by the Japanese Army.

It was interesting that when the prisoners were liberated they were in disbelief. Many of them were blind. There was chaos and confusion. Some of the liberators scooped up a prisoner as if they were holding a precious child. And in a sense they were.


(Review) Nothing Is Forgotten by Peter Golden

Nothing Is Forgotten

Publisher and Publication Date: Atria Books. April 10, 2018.
Genre: Historical Fiction.
Pages: 352.
Source: Complimentary hardcover copy from Peter Golden and Atria Books for this review. I was not required to leave a positive review.
Rating: Excellent.


Peter Golden
Author Bio:
Peter Golden is an award-winning journalist, historian, and novelist who has written nine books and interviewed Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush (41); Secretaries of State Kissinger, Haig, Shultz, and Eagleburger; Israeli Prime Ministers Rabin, Peres, and Shamir; and Soviet President Gorbachev. His first novel, Comeback Love, was praised by the novelist and reviewer Caroline Leavitt as an “extraordinary debut.” Wherever There Is Light, his second novel, was featured in New York Magazine’s Fall Preview issue, widely reviewed, and selected by the New Jersey Star-Ledger as one of the best books of 2016. His third novel, Nothing Is Forgotten, which explores the connection between the Holocaust and the Cold War, will be published on April 10, 2018.

Late 1950s. South Orange, New Jersey.
Michael Daniels is a recent graduate from high school. He is the “Mad Russian” for a radio station. His satire and music is popular in New Jersey and across the ocean to USSR. His Russian-Jewish grandmother who runs the family candy store is found murdered. Michael can’t understand how his beloved grandmother could die in this horrific act. A chance to travel to Europe, and in working to solve the mystery of his grandmother, Michael finds out his grandmother had been preserving another life.

My Thoughts:

What I love about this story:
1. Michael’s sharp sarcasm and voice. Reminds me of his age, era, and the place where he lived.
2. Michael is an intelligent fellow. He is not a nerd. He does not come across as a know-it- all. He is fluent in several languages. He is street smart. He is observant of his surroundings and the people.
3. Peter Golden is simply a great storyteller. I think this is a great book to hear on audio.
4. I loved reading about how the family came to America; and later the circumstances not known in the beginning of the book.
5. History is weaved into the book. For example: John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
6. I love the time period. It is just before the Beatles. It is before America became involved in the Vietnam War. It is before Nixon and Watergate. Rock n Roll is in its infant stages. The fear and angst of communism is shown in the time period.
7. Yulianna Kosoy is a character who lives in USSR. I like her. She is a savvy person. She is a remarkable person. At her introduction, I felt she showed a “whatever” attitude towards certain activities. I believe this is apart of her persona of living life on the edge.
8. I love the unique career of Michael. I’ve not read another story where the character is a jockey of a radio station. Actually, he is the lone operator.
9. I love pulling the history of World War II, Holocaust, post war, communism, spying, espionage, romance, family saga, CIA, mystery, travel, art, and early 1960s culture into one book.
10. The story has a solid finish.





(Review) The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

Publisher and Publication Date: Crown Publishing Group. February 14, 2017.
Genre: Historical Fiction.
Pages: 371.
Source: Library.
Rating: Good.


Chilbury, England is the setting for a fictional village of people during World War II. At first, the village choir was going to end. Later, the choir continued on as a ladies’ choir only. Most of the men are away, or about to leave to fight in the war. Five females are the main characters. The story is told through journals and letters.
The female characters are Mrs. Tilling (nurse), Kitty Winthrop (age 13), Venetia Winthrop (age 18), Silvie (10 year old Czechoslovakian evacuee), and Miss Edwina Paltry (midwife). Other women are included in the book, but are secondary characters.

My Thoughts:
Mrs. Winthrop who is the mother of Venetia and Kitty, would have been a wonderful main character. I wanted more of “her” story to be told. She had a cruel husband, an arrogant son, two teenage daughters, and a baby on the way. I was curious about Mrs. Winthrop all through the novel. I wanted more input from her than some of the main characters and I was disappointed by this.
The scheming midwife and her plan is not feasible. I do not believe it is realistic. However, it is a main plot for the book.
Venetia is a tart. I did not like her as a person until later in the story. I’m glad she developed and matured in her character.
My favorite character is Mrs. Tilling. She worked tirelessly to unravel and understand a plot.
The time period is World War II. The war is talked about in regards to its affect of turmoil, fear, and sadness for the village. The loss of life is a present threat.
The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is a book that’s had strong media coverage. Although I liked the book, it is not a strong like. The main reason is it did not pull at my heart strings, because the story is told through letters and journals. These are written in brief, just a few pages. I didn’t have time to become apart of a character before another character began speaking. The book does not jump back and forth in time like so many fiction books seem to do. However, there are several voices in the book shown in brief chapters all vying for my attention.