Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Cole and Sav by Cole LaBrant, Savannah LaBrant Review

Cole And Sav Book Cover
Cole and Sav: Our Surprising Love Story
by Cole LaBrant,  Savannah LaBrant

A chance meeting, a kiss, and the surprise of a lifetime…

Millions around the world followed the fairytale love story of viral YouTube stars Cole and Savannah LaBrant and watched as they said “I do.” Their subsequent YouTube channel, dedicated to family and faith, garners more than 100 million views each month. But now for the first time ever, Cole and Sav invite you beyond the highlight reel and into the beautiful and messy, funny and tender story of how God brought two unlikely people together in a surprising, unexpected way.

With their signature charming and engaging style, Cole and Sav take you behind the camera and open up about past heartaches and mistakes; painful secrets and difficult expectations; the joys and challenges of raising their daughter, Everleigh; and the spiritual journey that changed their hearts—and relationship—forever.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review-   With this book I wonder how much of it is staged and how much is real.  It seems picture perfect even with the certain pointed out flaws and the story is placed together very nicely.   While no one can really be certain if any of the events actually happens exactly how it is written, I still think that it is a good clean love story that gives glory to God. 

NKJV, Ancient-Modern Bible Review

NKJV, Ancient-Modern Bible, Hardcover, Comfort Print
One faith. Handed down. For all the saints.
Many things have changed in the last two-thousand years. The good news of Jesus Christ isn’t one of them. The NKJV Ancient-Modern Bible features all-new book introductions, articles, and commentary from voices both ancient and modern to help you experience the Word of God as never before. Read the Bible alongside Augustine, Luther, Graham, and others—and discover the rich wisdom of ages past and present, which is the rightful inheritance of every follower of Christ. The NKJV Ancient-Modern Bible is an opportunity for readers to experience the Word of God with fresh eyes, as members of the global and historical community of faith. This is a Bible two thousand years in the making.

Features include:

Full-color design that uniquely blends cutting edge modern typography and layout with traditional, sacred elements
Bible commentary from church thinkers past and present, from Huss to Keller, from Chrysostom to Spurgeon, from Aquinas to Wright
Biographies of church leaders & thinkers
Doctrine and history articles on significant councils, creeds, and controversies
Sacred art from throughout church history
Easy-to-read 8.5-point font

More Details:

Thousands of verse-by-verse and passage-by-passage comments from the church's greatest teachers and thinkers, including John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, Augustine, John Wesley, Timothy Keller, Matthew Henry, Billy Graham, A.W. Tozer, C.S. Lewis, Henry Halley, Martin Luther, N.T. Wright, Jack Hayford, John Bunyan, Eugene Peterson, Jerome, Warren Wiersbe, R.C. Sproul, Ulrich Zwingli, D.L Moody, William Tyndale, D.A. Carson, John Knox, Scot McKnight, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Soren Kierkegaard, and John Chrysostom
Full page biography articles sharing the inspiring life stories of men and women who were transformed by the gospel, from the early church, through the Reformation, and beyond.
Sacred art as inspired by the Bible through the centuries, including Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Gustave Dore, Christian Rohlfs, and Makoto Fujimura.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review-  The tiny print is a little hard on the eyes and the pages are very easy to see with the white background.  The Bible is typical with not a whole lot of extra unique features.  I was not thrilled with it overall, but feel like anyone that loves collecting Bibles or studing the faith based literature would really enjoy this as a gift. 

Crude Blessings By T.M. "Roe" Patterson Review

Crude Blessings
by T.M. "Roe" Patterson

Much more than one son's homage to his dad, Crude Blessings is a compelling narrative about a family patriarch who embodied the best qualities of the Greatest Generation, which inspired and powered the success of America. Timely because of the increasing polarization in our country, Glenn Patterson's story and values were noted in the Christian ethos of decency, integrity, faith, and trust throughout his life in his business and family. His mantra, "Always do the right thing" turned out to be an enviable formula for success in a highly volatile industry. His son Roe's firsthand account of Glenn's life is a memorable story about surviving adversity through positive, thoughtful leadership and determination. It is a great tutorial for how to achieve the American dream and how to treat others.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review-  Growing, sharing and gifting memories to the reader of his moments that are heartwarming as well as very open, honest and sincere make this book a must read for older ages. 


Street Date: October 23, 2018
BLU-RAY/DVD SRP: $49.95/$34.95

What happened to Amalia? Who was with her the night she died? Her daughter Delia is saddened by the news, but not surprised. She considers her mother to be a disgrace even before she hears of the sordid circumstances of her death. Delia travels home to Naples for the funeral and tries to piece together her mother's recent life. By doing so, she starts to confront her childhood memories that shaped their family history. Based on the novel by best-selling author Elena Ferrante.

Olga's life is shattered when her husband abandons her, prompting her to fall into a period of self-degradation and self-destructive behaviors. Based on the novel by best-selling author Elena Ferrante.

Includes a 32-page booklet containing Elena Ferrante's letters and script notes about the films (excerpted from Frantumaglia: A Writer's Journey, published by Europa Editions, 2016).

Margherita Buy
Angela Luce
Anna Bonaiuto

Type: BD/DVD
Running Time: 200 minutes
Aspect Ratio: The Days of Abandonment/2.35:1 | Troubling Love/1.85:1
Audio: The Days of Abandonment /5.1 Surround Sound/2.0 Stereo | Troubling Love/2.0 Stereo
Language: Italian with English Subtitles

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review-  Very edgy and only for adults, this movie was a little hard to follow with the subtitles because you want to see what it really going on without having to read so much.  Some scenes would make a shy person cringe outright but the film is powerful and emotional with drama filling the moments both good and bad. 

White Picket Fences By Amy Julia Becker Review

White Picket Fences: Turning toward Love in a World Divided by Privilege
by Amy Julia Becker
We need honest conversations about privilege.
As an affluent white woman with southern roots and an Ivy League education, Amy Julia Becker considers what it means to be a person of privilege. She comes to believe that privilege harms everyone—those who are excluded from it and those who benefit from it. Her insights into privilege are rounded out by her experience as the mother of a child with special needs fighting against diminished expectations and withheld opportunities for her daughter. Amy Julia reminds us that the white picket fences that seem pristine and good can also prevent us from knowing and loving our neighbors as we experience the messy, complicated beauty and sorrow of the world.

White Picket Fences is an invitation to respond to privilege with generosity, humility, and hope. This book opens us to questions we are afraid to ask, so that we can walk further from fear and closer to love, in all its fragile and mysterious possibilities.

I received a complimentary copy.

Cassandra's Review Q&A

- What did you like about the book and why? The author was not afraid of backlash and went with openness as well as hitting a topic that would make some people cringe or back away as to not want to be in the middle of any touchy subjects.

- What did you not like about the book and why? It may be a bit offensive to some more picky readers and other may not feel comfortable with how the author  views her white privileged background. 

- What did you learn? The author truly feels her book and it may even be her own conviction that makes this stand out as a read that will open eyes and cause great lengthy discussions. 

- To whom would you recommend this book and why? I feel like anyone who can tolerate the writing style and topics from this author while also taking some moments with a grain of salt, this book is for you, plus younger children will not connect with it. 

Great Fall Reading with Agate Publishing

With the cooler weather ahead fall is a great season to cozy down with some of these excellent reads.

The Leopold and Loeb Files: An Intimate Look at One of America's Most Infamous Crimes
by Nina Barrett

In 1924, University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were young, rich, and looking for a thrill. The crime that came next—the brutal, cold-blood murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks—would come to captivate the country and unfold into what many dubbed the crime of the century. As the decades passed, the mythology surrounding the unlikely killers continued to capture the interest of new generations, spawning numerous books, fictionalizations, and dramatizations.

In The Leopold and Loeb Files, author Nina Barrett returns to the primary sources—confessions, interrogation transcripts, psychological reports, and more—the kind of rare, pre-computer court documents that were usually destroyed as a matter of course. Until now, these documents have not been part of the murder’s central narrative. This first-of-its-kind approach allows readers to view the case through a keyhole and look past all of the stories that have been spun in the last 90 years to focus on the heart of the crime.

Carefully curated and steeped in historical context from Barrett, this book allows the surviving Leopold and Loeb documents, most of which are in the form of either transcripts or narrative, to function as both artifact and literature, recounting the moves of the murder and sentencing hearing as well as addressing the questions that continue to fascinate—issues of morality, sanity, sexuality, religious assimilation, parental grief and responsibility, remorse, and the use of the death penalty.

This comprehensive, ephemera-driven history allows the reader to act as a fly on the wall and speaks powerfully to the unsolved mysteries of this distinct crime, in which the guilt of the perpetrators is unambiguous but almost everything else is open to interpretation.

The Best of Royko: The Tribune Years
by Mike Royko

For more than 30 years, Mike Royko was a part of the daily fabric of Chicagoans’ lives, penning often humorous and always honest columns first for the Chicago Daily News, then the Sun-Times, and finally the Tribune. Culled from thousands of his Tribune columns and edited by his son David Royko, this collection offers up his best material from the last stage in his career, which was cut short by his premature death in 1997.

Vintage Chicago: The Best of @vintagetribune on Instagram
by Chicago Tribune Staff (Author), Pamela Bannos

The @vintagetribune Instagram, a beloved photography account produced by the photo editors of the Chicago Tribune, has been mining the newspaper’s vast subterranean archives since 2014 and breathing new life into its most gram-worthy black-and-white images.

You won’t find the 300 photos in this collection in your typical time capsule. These aren’t the dramatic, front-page, history-making photographs we’re used to seeing from photojournalists. These are the images that would have been posted had Instagram existed in, say, 1932—the offbeat, gritty, strange, funny, rare, charming, everyday images captured in the moments that happened between the well-documented events that make up the city’s official biography.

This book is an unexpected, inspired portrait of one of the world’s great metropolises, told through the lenses of the countless feet-on-the-street photographers from the city’s hometown paper.

And yes, there are cats. We are talking about Instagram, after all.

Vote Her In: Your Guide to Electing Our First Woman President
by Rebecca Sive 

Men are not the enemy, but they are the problem. It’s easy to feel angry, but much harder to do something about it. This book shows us how.

Women are wildly underrepresented at every level of the US government: federal, state, and local. Research has shown that women in executive government positions are far more likely than men to commit to policies that benefit women, girls, and other marginalized groups, so after centuries of underrepresentation, it’s clear: our best bet for creating a system that is more fair, balanced, and just for everyone is electing our first Madam President—as soon as we can.

Vote Her In is organized around the inspirational messages seen on protest signs carried at the record-breaking 2017 Chicago Women’s March. Part One outlines the case for why we need to mobilize now, and Part Two provides a clear strategy for how to do it. Each chapter in Part Two includes an action plan that women can complete to help each other (or themselves) attain political power and work toward electing our first woman president.

Author Rebecca Sive draws on her decades of political experience to create this crucial book, which empowers every American man, woman, and child who cares about our nation’s democratic future to harness their collective power in the run-up to 2020 and, at last, form a more perfect union.

The Chicago Tribune Book of the Chicago White Sox: A Decade-by-Decade History
by Chicago Tribune Staff

The Chicago Tribune Book of the Chicago White Sox is a decade-by-decade look at one of the American League's original eight teams, starting with the franchise's Windy City beginnings in 1900 as the Chicago White Stockings (the former name of crosstown rivals the Cubs) and ending with the current team.

For more than a century, the Chicago Tribune has documented every Sox season through original reporting, photography, and box scores. For the first time, this mountain of Sox history has been mined and curated by the paper's sports department into a single one-of-a-kind volume. Each era in Sox history includes its own timeline, profiles of key players and coaches, and feature stories that highlight it all, from the heavy hitters to the no-hitters to the one-hit wonders.

To be a Sox fan means to know breathtaking highs and dramatic lows. The team's halcyon days―starting with the championship it won during the first official season of the newly formed American League in 1901―have always been punctuated with doldrums and stormy stretches, including a period of time in the '80s when it looked likely that the team would leave Chicago. But with the diehard support of their fans, the "Good Guys" have always made a comeback―including the team's landmark 2005 World Series win, the first by any Chicago major league team in 88 years. This book records it all.

The award-winning journalists, photographers, and editors of the Chicago Tribune have produced a comprehensive collector's item that every Sox fan will love.

Someone Has Led This Child to Believe: A Memoir
by Regina Louise

In this unflinching, unforgettable memoir, Regina Louise tells the true story of overcoming neglect in the US foster-care system. Drawing on her experience as one of society’s abandoned children, she tells how she emerged from the cruel, unjust system, not only to survive, but to flourish.

After years of jumping from one fleeting, often abusive home to the next, Louise meets a counselor named Jeanne Kerr. For the first time in her young life, Louise knows what it means to be seen, wanted, understood, and loved. After Kerr tries unsuccessfully to adopt Louise, the two are ripped apart—seemingly forever—and Louise continues her passage through the cold cinder-block landscape of a broken system, enduring solitary confinement, overmedication, and the actions of adults who seem hell-bent on convincing her that she deserves nothing, that she is nothing. But instead of losing her will to thrive, Louise remains determined to achieve her dream of a higher education. After she ages out of the system, Louise is thrown into adulthood and, haunted by her trauma, struggles to finish school, build a career, and develop relationships. As she puts it, it felt impossible “to understand how to be in the world.”

Eventually, Louise learns how to confront her past and reflect on her traumas. She starts writing, quite literally, a new future for herself, a new way to be. Louise weaves together raw, sometimes fragmented memories, excerpts from real documents from her case file, and elegant reflections to tell the story of her painful upbringing and what came after. The result is a rich, engrossing account of one abandoned girl’s efforts to find her place in the world, people to love, and people to love her back.

I received complimentary copies.

Cassandra's Review-  The books featured today are a great mix of everything to make hours fly by while enjoying and are perfect for older readers.   They are also perfect for coffee table reading and will lead to discussions.  Vintage Chicago may be a huge blast of nostalgia for some readers while others can really get a glimpse of what once was.  The books can be gifted as well and make a really nice surprise.