(Review) Bible Gateway New Website


Bible Gateway is an online Bible source. This includes both reading and audio.
Study tools are available. For example, dictionaries and commentaries.
To have full access of the study tools a membership is required. The price is $3.99 a month or $39.99 a year. Taxes are an additional charge.
To read or listen to the Bible there is no charge.
There are 18 choices for Bible reading plans.
You can signup for devotionals, newsletters, and reminders about reading the Bible.
A Spanish language option is available.

What I like about the new changes is the easy access at the top left to look up a Bible book. Don’t enter anything in the empty box. Click on the Bible Book List (down arrow) and a pop-up of all the books of the Bible appears. When you click on a Bible book the contents are shown. For example in the book of Genesis, you will see the content listed: 1 The Beginning, 2 Adam and Eve, 3 The Fall, 4 Cain and Able, and 5 From Adam to Noah. The content choices go all the way through the Bible. I love this. Often when I am looking for something in the Bible I don’t know what chapter to look in, but I am looking for a particular story.
In this same spot, but on the right side is the menu of Bible translation choices. Spanish language Bible translation choices are available.

The main navigation area is a vertical rectangle shaped burgundy colored box on the far left side. If you click on the Study Tools section it takes you to a couple of choices: Scripture Engagement and More Resources. The Scripture Engagement has a lengthy list of choices to better understand Bible reading, memorization, journaling, visual arts, singing, and handwriting Scripture. More Resources holds the information about Reading Plans and additional Study Tools.

Bible Gateway has an app at both Google Play Store and the Apple Store.

This link is a post on how to navigate the new Bible Gateway site.
Tips for Navigating the New Bible Gateway.

(Review) Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer

Publisher and Publication Date: Random House. 2019.
Genre: Nonfiction. Writing skills. Grammar. Punctuation.
Pages: 320.
Source: Self-purchase.
Audience: Readers who want to improve writing skills.
Rating: Excellent.

Amazon link

Benjamin Dreyer is the vice president, executive managing editor and copy chief, of Random House.

Website for Benjamin Dreyer
There are several podcasts and interviews available at the website.

Summary:
In Dreyer’s English, Benjamin Dreyer explains that we want to be good writers no matter the type of writing we are doing. If we are writing an email or blog post, we want to have correct grammar and punctuation.

My Thoughts:
Writing book reviews is a work in progress. I’ve been doing this for 13 years and I still make mistakes. It is a work in progress in regards to the critique of the book. It is a work in progress in how I type out the review.
I am a novice. I didn’t finish college. I have 16 hours of English. There have been many times that I have asked myself, “am I wasting my time and other people’s time by writing a book review?” I love reading. I love talking about books. I love writing. Writing book reviews on a blog is a logical step.

Three things stand out the most in this book.
1. Dreyer makes learning grammar and punctuation fun. He is funny and entertaining.
2. Dreyer is honest. Sometimes he makes mistakes and needs help.
3. He has knowledge and experience from working in a publishing company.

Now, I don’t feel so bad about my shortcomings. He is a person who has experience and he still needs help.

Bloggers are their own editor. I catch mistakes after I’ve posted. Other people catch mistakes after I’ve posted and let me know. It is the craft I’ve chosen, and, I too will be critiqued.
Some book blog reviewers choose to write a relaxed, but fun type of review. Their focus is on entertainment plus how they feel about the book.
I fall somewhere in the middle. I want to be clear about why I love, like, or dislike a book and why. I want to be serious, but not a milk sop.
One of my problems is I write like I talk. Way back in the olden days when I was in school, I was made fun of because of my particular vocabulary of speech. I grew up in a suburb of Houston, Texas. If I had a dollar for every time someone looked at me and said, “what did you just say?” I’d have a good size nest egg.

Several things I learned in Dreyer’s English.
~Benjamin Dreyer likes the Oxford comma. We agree heartily on this point.
~Do not pluralize abbreviations.
~In a parenthesis, the period is outside.
~Do not use too many pronouns.
~Look for and omit repeated words and phrases.
~Words that are confusing: affect/effect, anymore/any more, and discreet/discrete.

Final chapters in the book examine confusable words, “proper nouns,” and how they are correctly written.

I love this book. It now takes a place of permanent authority with my nearby stack of grammar books. These books sit beside me while I peck out a review.
My grammar and punctuation set:
Merriam Webster’s Guide to Punctuation and Style
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White
Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O’Conner
Painless Grammar by Rebecca Elliott, Ph.D.
Easy Grammar Step-By Step by Phyllis Dutwin
Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynne Truss
The New Well-Tempered Sentence by Karen Elizabeth Gordon



(Review) The Gentleman Spy, Serendipity and Secrets Book 2 by Erica Vetsch

Publisher and Publication Date: Kregel Publications. July 28, 2020.
Genre: Christian fiction. Inspirational fiction. Regency romance.
Pages: 304.
Source: I received a complimentary paperback copy from Kregel, but I was not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of inspirational and regency romance.
Rating: Good.

Amazon link
Barnes and Noble

About the Author:

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.  
 
Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.
 
A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.
 
Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor)Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).

Summary:
He only wanted a duchess for a day–but she’s determined to make it a marriage for life
 
When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she’s meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life–as a secret agent for the Crown.
 
But his bride has other ideas. She’s determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society–the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she’d remain in the background as he ordered.
 
Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

My Thoughts:
The opening line of the story caught in my throat like a large pill I was trying to swallow.
“He supposed that someday he would have to forgive the child for being a girl.” Page 9.
I don’t like that statement, but it tempted me to read more.
The character who unsettled me is Marcus Haverly. A new circumstance forces him to create a new path. When I understood his situation I quickly forgave him.
One of the things I love best about this story is the main characters face their difficult situations with courage and resilience.

Marcus is a person who is not satisfied with a role of sitting on the sidelines of life. He wants to serve a greater good. Marcus is a character I admire. He is imperfect, but likable and believable.

Charlotte is bookish. She is easy for me to like. I am a bookish person. She is teased for having her nose in a book. I too am teased.

An uncomfortable scene at a party early in The Gentleman Spy introduces a conflict. It’s a family matter that is not really discussed but is to be accepted as the norm. “It” happens but it isn’t talked about. Charlotte is angry and wants her father to be responsible and do the right thing. She is angry that he is not who she thought he was. This causes a deeper wedge between the father and daughter. It causes a problem between mother and daughter, because the mother wants the problem to not be discussed. Charlotte has broken the code of conduct about this matter. The code is to remain silent.
This situation and the responses are incredibly sad. And the behavior and responses to it continue to the next generation. Unless, the people make a deliberate change.
This conflict showed me how people respond (ignoring is a response) to bad behavior. The husband does what he wants, and the wife ignores and looks the other way. She even makes excuses for him. While their daughter is in fear she will have the same kind of problem. While reading the story I wanted a satisfying resolution to this conflict.

Vetsch shows social and economic conditions for women in The Gentleman Spy. There are two polar places shown where women live and work. I feel this part of the story shows a tiny view of that subculture. The Gentleman Spy is Christian fiction. There is a strong boundary for what they will show in a story about this aspect. I feel the boundary takes away from me feeling a stronger pang for their plight.

Overall, The Gentleman Spy is a good story and wraps up well.

Click on the above image to enter the giveaway!
stone pavement in perspective
stone pavement in perspective