A Vacation


11084134_10153337110419861_5208531105090428927_oMy son turned two months yesterday.  And my daughter will be 19 months at the end of next week.  My wife’s last (paid) day as a teacher for this school year is today. I have had a hard time adjusting to this new reality while keeping up Bookwi.se. So I am going to take some time off. Likely what I am going to do is only post once or twice a week for a while. I will try to build up some reserve book reviews and try to come back with a lighter, but more consistent schedule.

If you usually come to Bookwi.se via social media, I would encourage you to subscribe via email (on right) or RSS so you see the posts that I do have. Facebook, especially, only shows a small percentage of subscribers and I almost never post links on twitter more than once.

(Both pictures were taken by my talented wife.)


Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis (Space Trilogy)

I am reposting this 2013 review because the Kindle Edition is on sale for $3.99.
Out of the Silent Planet by CS LewisSummary: A Philology professor is kidnapped and taken to Mars

It has been a few weeks since I have picked up a CS Lewis book so my goal of reading one a week for a while is off course.

I have heard a lot of positive reviews about Lewis’ Space Trilogy (or Ransom Trilogy as it is sometimes called.)  But they never really interested me.  I am not sure why, maybe because I have such good feelings toward Narnia or because I have such a hard time seeing Lewis as a Science Fiction author.

So I had pretty low expectations coming into the book.  The main character, Elwin Ransom, a professor of Philology (I had to look it up, it is basically historical linguistics), is kidnapped by two brothers.  These somewhat deranged, but brilliant brothers have built a spaceship and gone to Mars.  But for some unknown reason they needed another person and kidnapped Ransom as he was hiking through a rural part of the UK on vacation.

The book was originally published in 1938 and feels like the older style science fiction of HG Wells or Jules Verne. And it is clearly not focused on the science part of science fiction. Lewis is using the book to explore ideas not science.

6 Free Christian Kindle Books – May 24

Fried Chicken and Gravy by Sherri Schoeborn Murray

330 pages, 41 of 44 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Previously Free

Missy may have a knack for fixing cars, but she sure can’t cook. Missy Stuart is humiliated when she burns dinner for the cute, yet outspoken new auto parts rep. But, when he suggests to her father that she should take cooking lessons from the old ladies down at his church, she wants to crawl under a car and die.

Missy is perfectly happy working in their auto repair shop and has no intention of spending more time in the kitchen. When she dutifully accompanies her father to church, she finds that she has more to learn than a bunch of recipes. This quirky Christian romance is set in Ridgefield, Washington, in the late seventies.

Redeeming Luke by Darlene Wells

282 pages, 25 of 25 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled

Luke Morgan ran from the consequences of tragedy at the age of seventeen. For the past eighteen years, he has poured himself into building his ranch and planning his future.

Luke’s world is turned upside down when his sister passes away and he has to take in his sixteen-year-old niece, Ruth, whom he has never met. When Ruth faces her own life crisis, Luke is forced to revisit his own past with all its anger and pain.

Bewildering circumstances hinder Luke’s efforts to guide Ruth through this most painful time. When the girl’s schoolteacher steps into the role of mediator, a confrontation with grace offers Luke a choice. Will he cling to his bitterness, or learn to forgive?

Free to Be Me by Joey Bauer

35 pages, 20 of 20 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Do you feel like being you isnt good enough? Do you think that you have to be somebody different to achieve happiness? Maybe you feel like you just dont add up or you dont matter?

If ANY of these areas apply then, YOU NEED THIS BOOK! “Free to be Me” is a great book on the topic of Individuality. It talks about how God has made you different than anybody else, and how you please God just by being true to who you really are. Maybe you like to do things different than most, God still loves you! Maybe you look, act and talk different than anybody else, God still loves you! You were meant to always be yourself and to be happy with who you are. This is the key to Christian Freedom!

Shaken Awake Book Release

Last October, Bookwi.se Contributor Allen Madding released his new book Shaken Awake. This week it is on sale for $0.99 on Kindle to celebrate the new audiobook edition. I invited him to write a post introducing the book and its background. You can buy the Kindle Edition, Paperback or Audible.com Audiobook.

I have two Audible Audiobooks to give away.  If you are interested leave a comment below and I will randomly choose two on Wednesday at 5 PM Eastern.


Shaken awakeOver 50 million people in America struggle with hunger[1] and 610,000 are homeless[2] while many churches are completely oblivious to the struggle to survive that is going on just outside their front doors. I find it appalling that 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 5 children struggle with hunger in one of the most affluent and powerful countries in the world. But I find it even more appalling that numerous churches are not actively seeking to alleviate the suffering. I wonder what it would take to change the hearts and minds of the leaders of the church bodies that are smack dab in the middle of communities struggling with these issues. If a homeless man froze to death in the front steps of such a church, would it make any difference? Would it give leader pause to reconsider their priorities and reevaluate their mission?

2 Free MP3 Audiobooks – X: a Novel and Here in Harlem

Each summer YA Sync gives away two free MP3 audiobooks a week, one new modern book and one classic, usually thematically linked. Unlike previous years the list for the whole 14 weeks of the program is available now so you can see what books you are interested in and put in a reminder to download when they come up. These two books will be free until 7 AM Eastern on May 28, 2015

X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon – 8 hrs and 56 mins

4.8 stars (of 5) based on 4 reviews at Audible, 27 of 30 reviews are 4 or 5 stars at Amazon

Co-written by Malcolm X’s daughter, this riveting and revealing novel follows the formative years of the man whose words and actions shook the world.

I am Malcolm.

I am my father’s son. But to be my father’s son means that they will always come for me.

They will always come for me, and I will always succumb.

Malcolm Little’s parents have always told him that he can achieve anything, but from what he can tell, that’s nothing but a pack of lies – after all, his father’s been murdered, his mother’s been taken away, and his dreams of becoming a lawyer have gotten him laughed out of school. There’s no point in trying, he figures, and lured by the nightlife of Boston and New York, he escapes into a world of fancy suits, jazz, girls, and reefer.

But Malcolm’s efforts to leave the past behind lead him into increasingly dangerous territory when what starts as some small-time hustling quickly spins out of control. Deep down, he knows that the freedom he’s found is only an illusion – and that he can’t run forever.

X follows Malcolm from his childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today.

Here in Harlem: Poems in Many Voices by Walter Dean Myers – 1 hrs and 30 mins

4.0 star (of 5) based on 4 reviews at Audible of this edition, 2 of 3 reviews at Amazon are 5 star

Fifty-four poems, all in different voices, written by one outstanding author. Residents of a fictional Harlem community, from motorman to teacher, from party girl to live-in maid, to jazz artist, a deacon, students, veterans and more – all embodied by 13 remarkable narrators. Original musical recordings from the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Thelonious Monk are included. Each distinctive memory, reflection, thought, or aspiration is evocatively presented in this stunning and memorable tribute to a beloved time and place.

6 Free Christian Kindle Books – May 22

Unmending the Veil by Lisa Heaton

312 pages, 114 of 116 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Mike was once a husband any woman would dream of, but two tours in the Gulf reshaped him. Spiraling out of control and drowning in alcohol, he eventually destroyed his home and family. Recently released from prison, Mike must learn to adjust to life without the woman he loves.

Years have passed since Mike’s nearly fatal attack, and still Robin is paralyzed by fear of reprisal. Having sought healing through the help of a counselor, when faced with the command to forgive all things, will she be able to forgive the man who nearly killed her, forgive God for taking what mattered most, and forgive herself for her own attempt at murder?

Imprinted: Discovering and Parenting Your Child’s Identity by Tai Ann McClendon

114 pages, 30 of 30 reviews are 5-star, Previously Free

Intentionally imprint your child with heaven’s heart. Every child holds a unique display of the glory and wonder of the Lord, it is our job to help them find and cherish their greatness. Imprinted will help you learn how to recognize and partner with what God is already doing in your children’s lives. Tai Ann writes from the heart. She shares personal (often humorous) stories from the pages of her own life, giving you practical, useful, simple tools to discover and parent your child’s identity. Armed with “I Am Statements” and “Bless and Declares,” you will find new and creative ways to imprint your children with God’s identity and plan for them.

Dreaming of a Father’s Love by Sharon Lavy

443 pages, of reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

In the rich back drop of the farming cradle of the Ohio Valley, a peaceful lifestyle seems possible. Highly likely … at least on the surface. It’s 1973. And three young women want to discover their place in this male dominated world.

In spite of the economic slowdown Roberta “Birdie” Alexander is determined their family business will both survive and thrive. She’ll back up that promise with hard work, and Alexander’s foliage will become the standard for all of the Ohio Valley.

From the Library to the Megaplex, Five More Books Come to Life Onscreen

Filmmakers have long turned to novels as a consistent source of inspiration. Over the past few decades, the phenomenon has taken on a life of it’s own with a slew of record-breaking, billion dollar franchises like Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games (which continue to find new fans on iTunes and DTV). Recent films such as The Fault in Our Stars and If I Stay point to the continued and bankable success of YA novels on the big screen.

But the books-as-movies concept isn’t just for kids: some very adult books have also reached blockbuster status, 50 Shades of Grey and Gone Girl being two prominent examples. Any fears associated with film adaptations of beloved literary tales have faded in favor of mass audience approval and enormous payouts. If you’ve been to the theater recently you’ll know that this trend of big budget book adaptations shows no sign of stopping anytime soon – so lets look at some more books that have been optioned for films and see if we’ve got another blockbuster hit in our midst.

Artimis FowlArtemis Fowl

This purchase of the book rights to the successful Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer by Disney was made back in 2013. They grabbed Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and Robert De Niro to produce the film, which was to be adapted to a screenplay by one of the Harry Potter series’ screenwriters; Michael Goldenberg. They made the same announcement that they were in pre-production earlier this year as well, so it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing the film hit theaters for a year or two yet.

UnknownBefore I Fall

This dark, high school version of Groundhog Day penned by Maria Maggenti was released in 2010, and Fox optioned it for a film almost immediately. It’s a promising page-to-screen adaptation because Maggenti herself is likely to be the screenwriter; given her past employment as one in both film and television we can expect to see her working on this film and ensuring it stays true to the story. The film hasn’t gotten past the development stage yet, but they’ve announced a director, Gina Price-Bythewood, so it appears it’s still moving forward.

9 Free Christian Kindle Books – May 21

In Harm’s Way: A View from the Epicenter of Liberia’s Ebola Crisis by Nancy Sheppard with Kren Gruver

147 pages, 56 of 59 reviews are 5-star, Lending Enabled

When long-time American missionary Nancy Sheppard volunteered to work with her friend Nancy Writebol in ELWA Hospital’s Ebola ward, she did not know what to expect. Night after night she worked, suiting up and disinfecting the medical personnel and helping wherever needed. While it was difficult, she recognized she was witnessing something extraordinary.

Author Nancy Sheppard writes, “What am I seeing here? I asked myself. It was invisible to all but me. This dying woman was perhaps the most untouchable person in the world and yet Dr. Brantly was touching her. And he was not just touching her physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Who was I that I should be granted the privilege of witnessing this? It was somehow both utterly tragic and supremely glorious.”

When, despite following protocols to the best of their abilities, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly were diagnosed with Ebola, she knew how they would suffer as they fought this deadly disease.

But, “In Harm’s Way” is more than a book about ELWA Hospital’s Ebola ward, it is the story of Liberia itself. Told in the sympathetic voice of one who cares for the country and her people, Nancy explains the multiple societal and cultural factors that have exacerbated the Ebola crisis in her adopted home. Warm and human, this book takes you into Liberia’s epicenter of the war against Ebola. You will not emerge the same.

A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger than You by Paul David Tripp

167 pages, 85 of 91 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Previously Free

Paul David Tripp expertly traverses the deepest recesses of the human heart and compassionately invites fellow Christian travelers to journey with him into God’s bigger kingdom.

The author promises readers that they will be encouraged, excited, and motivated by hope as they learn how to set aside their “little kingdom” attachments which can expertly masquerade within the church as Christian activism, legalism, emotionalism, formalism, creedalism, and externalism; in favor of God’s expansive and soul-freeing eternal quest. Tripp demonstrates through sound biblical principles how humanity is made by God to transcend far beyond the mere physical realm and is likewise created to be “glory junkies;” those whose visionary lives are governed by God’s grand purposes rather than existing only within their narrow self-interested confines.

Virtually Eliminated by Jeff Gerke

317 pages, no reviews, Lending Enabled

He had a theory that the “accidental” electrocutions killing people online weren’t accidents at all…

but the work of a high tech serial killer.

He called the FBI with his theory, but they blew him off.

Until someone they cared about was “accidentally” electrocuted.

Now the government wants Ethan Hamilton—a regular family guy and virtual reality programmer struggling with his belief—to go after a murderer who kills on principle.

But Ethan’s addiction to online gaming threatens to destroy his family and his faith long before he can track down the assassin.

Virtually Eliminated is a near-future technothriller in the tradition of In the Line of Fire and Snowcrash. A maniac bent on killing in the name of patriotism, a civilian expert with the only chance of stopping him, and the mind-stretching cat and mouse chase that takes them to the depths of the sea, to the craters of the moon, and to the very edge of the online universe.

Virtually Eliminated is book 1 in the Ethan Hamilton series of near future cyberthrillers.

Active Prayers for Busy Families: 90 Activities to Pray to the Go Anytime, Anywhere by David Woody

80 pages, 3 of 3 reviews are 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Families who desire a life of faith and prayer for their children struggle with the constant pull between an active extra-curricular life and an active faith life. With school, work, practices, rehearsals, trips, performances, projects, carpools, tournaments and vacations there is little time left to be together as a family. There is even less time to be together as a family of faith. With the busy schedules, the time for families to pray and develop a life of faith can easily get lost and neglected.

12 Free Christian Kindle Books – May 20

The Bumps are What You Climb On: Encouragement for Difficult Days by Warren Wiersbe

161 pages, 96 of 99 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Are there bumps on your path? Use them to climb higher! Here is powerful encouragement to help you.

We can’t prevent the crisis hours of life. But we can successfully deal with them. In The Bumps Are What You Climb On, Warren W. Wiersbe offers solid hope and comfort for times when you are faced with depression, frustration, disappointment, or loneliness. He extracts wisdom from the Bible and presents it in thirty brief, accessible meditations that guide you to respond with faith.

These meditations will spark a fresh optimism for facing a new day or new week. They show you how to trust in God’s promises, reap the benefits of forgiveness, find contentment, add joy to life, and more. With Wiersbe’s uplifting teaching and empowering challenges, The Bumps Are What You Climb On also makes a compelling devotional for any believer, at any time.

Aftershock: A Stone Braide Chronicles Story by Bonnie Calhoun

pre-order for July 7 Delivery, no reviews, Lending Enabled

Selah may have escaped the Mountain, but the real danger has only begun

It’s been two days since Selah Rishon Chavez escaped the Mountain with her father and dozens of other Landers who had been held captive there. Now it’s time to move on to safety. But no one can agree on a safe route or even the final destination.

Selah’s real problem, however, lies deep within. Ever since her first interaction with a Lander, she has been changing, and the changes go far beyond the mark just below her collarbone. As a novarium, she is destined to be the key to solving a 150-year-old mystery–making her Public Enemy Number One not just to the Company but to other Landers.

Homemade Humble Pie and Other Slices of Life by Annette Smith

208 pages, 14 of 15 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Homespun stories to warm your heart.

Ever read a great story that made you say, “I know someone like that!”? Homemade Humble Pie is rich with memorable stories like those. These heartwarming slice-of-life vignettes capture the simple joys of life as well as the fun, familiar quirks of human nature.

In this collection, you’ll encounter friends and neighbors of all ages and walks of life–an elderly couple deeply committed to each other, newlyweds who argue, a man who drives his lawnmower into town (driving the police crazy), and more.

6 Free Christian Kindle Books – May 19

How to Overcome Sin: A Practical Guide to Freedom by DR Silva

172 pages, 13 of 13 reviews are 5-star, Lending Enabled

How to Overcome Sin goes through scripture and describes the cause and effect of sin, and the stunningly simple solution!

  • Are Christians doomed to sin for their whole life?
  • Is the struggle with a sin nature unavoidable?
  • What does it really mean to be “free indeed”?

D. R. Silva answers those questions and many more in one of the most practical and powerful books written on the subject of sin. Discover empowering new insights about some of the most well-known verses in the Bible, including Romans 7 and the Fall of Man. Learn how sin functions and affects mankind so you can get equipped to live above the problem before it begins. Join the countless people around the world who practice these truths and are now enjoying a lifestyle of effortless victory over sin!

Double Edge: A Fault Lines Story by Thomas Locke (Pre-order, with June 2 delivery)

384 pages, no reviews, Lending Enabled

Reese Clawson’s work is mind-bending–literally. Her company specializes in global data analysis for an elite group of industry executives, and now a lucrative government contract is moving her into the realm of cutting-edge intelligence gathering. She is determined to crack the limits of consciousness–and in doing so, the boundaries of secrets and lies. But her experiment crashes as test subjects slide into a coma-like state. Reese is left scrambling to maintain control, drawing three disparate people into the search for answers–an adrenaline-amped thrill junkie with altered brain chemistry, an Italian scientist working on remote-viewing technology, and a math prodigy whose algorithms subvert computer encryption.

Will this piecemeal team prevail when a government operative is sent to investigate? As the threads of perception and reality become tangled and even time itself twists in unexpected directions, one warning remains clear: what you don’t know can kill you.

With a concept so daring and writing so gripping, readers will swiftly fall under the spell of Thomas Locke’s endlessly creative mind. This thrilling psychological journey into the very nature of causation and consciousness will leave them turning the pages and grasping for solid ground.

Running Home by Barbara Ellen Brink

279 pages, 127 of 139 reviews are 4 or 5-star, Lending Enabled, Previously Free

Ivy’s husband has always been a cheat and a liar, but when he gets caught up in a game of espionage he flees the country with his latest bimbo, and Ivy has finally had enough. She packs up the kids and moves back to her hometown to escape the fallout. Trouble is – her problems don’t stay behind in California, but follow her all the way to Omaha, Nebraska.