Saturday, May 18, 2019

ESV Prayer Bible

The ESV prayer bible published by Crossway features the full text of the faithful ESV text of the bible with the insertion of passages of timeless prayers across the generations of Christian thinkers, philosophers, and theologians throughout history. 

The bible text is easy to read, and the prayers are inserted in a subtle, understated, minimalist format that will not distract from the main text.  Rather than bold font and bold graphics, the understated, minimalist format will appeal to the traditional reader who prefers minimal distraction from their mediation and daily devotions.  This smaller sized bible is perfect for every day use, as well as for travel and for carrying to work and bible study.  This bible is the perfect size.  It is a welcomed alternative to all the over sized study bibles on the market as it encourages the ready to actually take this bible everyday from school, to work, to even a coffee shop or waiting room.  This bible can fit in a back pack, tote bag or a briefcase.  The styling of this bible is perfect to encourage devotional reading and prayer wherever you are.

This bible is original in its presentation.  It is small enough and compact to allow to take anywhere.   It truly does allow the reader to bring this bible to allow for prayer anytime of the day anywhere due to its small size and portability.  The full text of the ESV as well as the timeless prayers intertwined with the full text allows the reader w wealth of prayers and encouragement within the bible itself.  Although this bible lacks the graphic appeal of many modern study bibles- the minimalist approach is part of this bible's appeal.  The lack of graphics is also helpful in avoiding distraction as well.  Too many graphics, color, photos, tend to take away from the solemn nature and quiet time of morning mediation and prayer.  Perhaps that is what the publishers had in mind when designing this minimalist bible with its quality made, yet basic features. 

If you are looking for a serious edition to jump start your prayer life and morning meditation, then this is the perfect bible for you.  This bible is perfect for you to carry around every where.  It is sturdy and will hold up for years of use.  It includes years of inspiration and wisdom gleaned from countless Church leaders and inspired writers and speakers from early bible history to modern times.  As a blogger I received a copy of this bible for the purpose of writing this review.

Monday, April 29, 2019

The Book of Comforts Genuine Encouragement for Hard Times By Kaitlin Wernet, Rebecca Faires, Cymone Wilder, Caleb Faires

The Book of ComfortsGenuine Encouragement for Hard Times

By Kaitlin Wernet, Rebecca Faires, Cymone Wilder, Caleb Faires is  a brand new gift book filled with short devotional anecdotes, scripture verses, scripture art and serene photos.  This beautiful book, with its sturdy embossed hardcover and matte pages, would make the perfect gift for anyone one grieving a loss of a loved one or anyone going through a difficult period of time.  Each short passage is easy accessible to the grieving reader whose attention span may be limited due to the effects of stress and grief.  The retro designed cover, with its dark navy blue and gold accents are serene and calming..The devotionals are relevant and applicable to a wide variety of readers: men, women of variable ages and socio-economic backgrounds.  The devotionals are neutral enough so as not to alienate or offend any particular group of readers.  I found this devotional to be unique in that it was not repetitive in its format.  The mixture of biblical scripture, scripture graphics, devotionals, anecdotes and a few scattered photographs, added visual appeal to this book, to keep the reader engaged throughout.  The book is divided in several sections or categories.  It maye be read cover to cover, or the reader may go directly to the section that most directly applies to his or her particular need.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this book published by Zondervan for the purpose of writing this review. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

NIV, Starting Place Study Bible, Hardcover, Comfort Print An Introductory Exploration of Studying God's Word By Zondervan Bibles

NIV, Starting Place Study Bible, Hardcover, Comfort PrintAn Introductory Exploration of Studying God's Word

By Zondervan Bibles is a brand new hybrid study bible featuring the NIV version with study notes and features to guide bible students and believers at all levels of their faith.


This retro themed bible features two tones styled graphics in bold, bright yellow-lemon and blue throughout.  Featured are articles about archeology, culture as well as bible application principles at how God's word can apply to how the reader can live out the word of God.  There are articles that answer  basic questions about the bible and about advanced theological and philosophical questions as well. The bible is not just an abstract concept, but rather can be applied to everyday life.  The study notes on the bottom, that elaborate on selected verses are easy to understand, relevant and applicable to everyday life.  The articles within the text, are well rounded and cover a wide variety of topics to appeal to all readers and are not limited to specific narrow topics.  The versatility of topics makes this bible a perfect choice for long term use- a bible that the reader will not quickly outgrow.

This bible features a hardcover with a durable binding and removable jacket cover.  The binding lays flat and will hold up to years of use.  The binding looks sturdy and well made.    The comfort print is modern and the comfort print text of the bible is in bold font and stand out from the text of the articles which is printed in a standard type of font.  This gives some of the page spreads of some of the bible pages more of a magazine type of appearance due to the different font styles and graphics featured.  For those who prefer a more traditional type of font, the comfort print font, might seem unfamiliar and too modern for a bible.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this bible for the purpose of writing this review.

Monday, April 1, 2019

NIV Maxwell Leadership Bible by Maxwell

NIV, Maxwell Leadership Bible, 3rd Edition, Premium Bonded Leather, Burgundy, Comfort Print 

The NIV Maxwell leadership bible is a new edition of the well known bible for leaders.  This beautifully bound bible is perfect for years of study.  It includes the full NIV text as well as a number of inspirational and informative articles for leaders or for anyone looking for spiritual direction.  

Two tone interior graphics are modern; yet maintain a traditional, retro-like overall appearance. 

Threaded throughout the text is the theme of leadership, such as the "21 Laws of leadership" and the "21 Qualities of Leadership".  Simply put, these are effective strategies for anyone when interacting with others whether in the workplace, social networking, at home or anywhere in the community.  Basically it is practical advice based on biblical principles.  These articles are scattered throughout as side bars, paragraphs and even full sized articles.  They can be read independently or as you are reading the bible text.  

In a way this bible can serve as a course on leadership, if you choose to focus on the articles.  The leadership articles, nevertheless are not exclusive to traditional leadership as they can apply to parenting as well or even assertiveness training or sales.  

This bible features the modern typefont known as the comfort print.  This differs from the traditional bible font that many readers may be familiar with.  The font is easy to read, and easy on the eye.  Personally I prefer a larger sized more traditional font.  This would be the only feature of the bible that I did not favor personally.  It would have been good to include a concordance in the back, which is not included in this bible either.  Other than that, I found this bible to be an ideal choice all around. As a blogger I received a copy of this book from Booklook for the purpose of writing this review. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

NKJV, Wiersbe Study Bible, Leathersoft, Black, Red Letter Edition, Comfort PrintBe Transformed by the Power of God's Word

By Warren Wiersbe is a beautiful new bible featuring a beautifully bound flexible sturdy cover, and quality binding to stand up to years of wear for everyday use.  This quality bible features the New king James Version Text of the bible side by side the trusted study features of Warren Wiersbe.  If choosing a study bible for  daily reading as well as for indepth spiritual growth, this is the only bible you need.  The larger font makes this bible a perfect choice for daily reading as it is easy to read unlike so  many bible with very small difficult to read font.  Basically I feel if the font of the bible text is too small as to interfere with comfortable bible reading, it basically makes the bible useless.  The only change I would make with this bible is to offer it in the NIV version in addition to the NKJV.  In my opinion, the NIV is also widely read and also respected.  Many readers trust and understand the NIV bible. Therefore I feel the publishers should consider offering this in a NIV version as well at least to give an option to readers.  Other than expanding the available options of versions, I feel this bible is a great study tool.  The mix between study features and formatting is perfectly combined to make a good study experience for daily reading. Also included are a concordance as well.  As a blogger for booklook I received a copy of this bible for the purpose of writing this review. 

Pipsticks Workman Planner- Worth the Wait for the clearance sale in March

As a vintage sticker collector with a collection from the 1980s, I was really excited to learn of Pipsticks and their planners as well.  I even started my own sticker club in the 1980s too, with just a few of my friends.  Of course, the new Workman planners would be something I would want to have to use to organize my schedule.  The Just Getting Started 2019 planner published by PIPSTICKS Workman publishers is the newest edition of the Pipsticks Workman planners.his large sized, hard cover spiral bound planner is perfect for all ages, from teenagers to even grown career women in their 40s. With the retro themed cartoons mature women born in the 70s will appreciate the colorful, simple, line drawings of vintage cord styled telephones, cassette tapes, roller skates, vintage styled bikes, and old black vinyl records that require a record player. The simple stickers of dream catchers, mushrooms, vintage coin purse, coffee cups and mixers will appeal to the baby boomer women. These familiar memorabilia will allow women to reminisce and relive their 80s youth as they fill their busy schedules. While appealing to older women, the colorful art will draw in the younger customers who will use this planner for school assignments and after school activities as well.
his large sized, hard cover spiral bound planner is perfect for all ages, from teenagers to even grown career women in their 40s. With the retro themed cartoons mature women born in the 70s will appreciate the colorful, simple, line drawings of vintage cord styled telephones, cassette tapes, roller skates, vintage styled bikes, and old black vinyl records that require a record player. The simple stickers of dream catchers, mushrooms, vintage coin purse, coffee cups and mixers will appeal to the baby boomer women. These familiar memorabilia will allow women to reminisce and relive their 80s youth as they fill their busy schedules. While appealing to older women, the colorful art will draw in the younger customers who will use this planner for school assignments and after school activities as well.
his large sized, hard cover spiral bound planner is perfect for all ages, from teenagers to even grown career women in their 40s. With the retro themed cartoons mature women born in the 70s will appreciate the colorful, simple, line drawings of vintage cord styled telephones, cassette tapes, roller skates, vintage styled bikes, and old black vinyl records that require a record player. The simple stickers of dream catchers, mushrooms, vintage coin purse, coffee cups and mixers will appeal to the baby boomer women. These familiar memorabilia will allow women to reminisce and relive their 80s youth as they fill their busy schedules. While appealing to older women, the colorful art will draw in the younger customers who will use this planner for school assignments and after school activities as well.

 I purchased this planner from Amazon when it went on clearance sale.  I felt it was well worth the clearance purchase price when I purchased it online from Amazon for under $15.  However I do not feel the quality was worth the full retail sales price of $29.99.

With the retro themed cartoons, graphics and stickers,  adults- "grown", "mature" and older women born in the 70s, as well as the younger generation will appreciate the vintage styled telephones, cassette tapes, roller skates and depictions of antique black vinyl records.  Familiar memorabilia will allow older career women reminisce and relive their youth, while allowing teens, young career women and college students, to daydream of the vintage 1980s.  For some reason, the 80s  has the effectiveness in sales to the bridge the age gap across the generations in marketing any product from clothing to office products. Looks can be deceiving, this planner is great for people of all ages, not just those who are young!


mature women born in the 70s will appreciate the colorful, simple, line drawings of vintage cord styled telephones, cassette tapes, roller skates, vintage styled bikes, and old black vinyl records that require a record player. The simple stickers of dream catchers, mushrooms, vintage coin purse, coffee cups and mixers will appeal to the baby boomer women. These familiar memorabilia will allow women to reminisce and relive their 80s youth as they fill their busy schedules. While appealing to older women, the colorful art will draw in the younger customers who will use this planner for school assignments and after school activities as well.The cover is sturdy and will hold up after wear and tear from daily use.  The golden toned coils are a nice, sophisticated touch.   The matte pages  work well with any pen or pencil. Nevertheless, the pages reminded me of ordinary photo -copy paper.  There are many additional fun features included to break up the monotony of even the most boring of any eight hour work or school day.  There is a holographic storage pocket.  However, the pocket is thin like cellophane which gives it a crinkly nostalgic party like feeling. The press and seal mechanism seems flimsy as well.  Included in the pocket are small colorful post it notes which are bright, cheerful as well as very useful.  There is also a decorative postcard as well.  There are six pages of stickers.  They are themed based on season and other themes.  The art is cheerful.  Nevertheless, the colors are  basic as if from a photocopier for an overall retro theme. The color tones are faded as well.  The stickers are matte and thin, not at all like the traditional glossy stickers you might expect.  This fits in well with the  paper texture of the planner.  The stickers also include a lot of small, filler, scrap type stickers that could be used for "bullet" styled note-taking and highlighting events or notes.  This will appeal to scrap-bookers especially.  Be careful to allow for time and working space when using these, when actually used, these tiny geometric stickers are very thin and are for fine detailed intricate designs for those who care to take the time to really designs their planners.  However I did not find these microscopic sticker shards useful.  These were more like sticker scraps with no actual use or purpose.   In actuality, when used for the planner, I found these small sized pieces of sticky paper made a huge mess.  I wound up throwing them all into the trash in frustration, as they all became stuck to my fingers rather than onto the paper.  Personally, I found them to be useless filler and feel they should be omitted from the sticker package altogether as they are useless.  I found that there were many other stickers that were pretty ambiguous and seemed to serve no other purpose other than as filler.  Out of all the sheets of stickers, I would say a small handful of the printed stickers were actually useful.  The remainder were simply scrap type of stickers or simply an abundance of repetitious "To Do" or "Don't Forget" or "Let's eat" stickers which served little purpose.

Overall, I enjoyed this planner, but was but was underwhelmed by the overall quality. While many features were impressive, I felt that some features did not meet my expectation.  My particular planner came with a publishing defect in the cover.  I did not notice it until I started using it. The cover was misaligned when fitted with the coils.  The top edge of the cover tore off due to the misalignment.  It is a very minor issue only affecting the tip upper left corner near the corner.  Considering I paid the clearance price and had already been using the planner, I was not upset.  Had I paid full price I would have returned the planner for an exchange.  Nevertheless for the clearance price, I felt satisfied with this planner. I feel the quality is what I expect from independent publishing houses.  Having worked with independent publishing companies/ self publishers, I know the comparisons with self publishers in contrast to more established publishing companies.  I feel those who opt to pay the full retail price for Pipsticks Workmans Planners will set themselves up to be underwhelmed and not too happy with the quality for the price they have paid.  True, this planner was filled with the unexpected, but the quality could have been a little better for the full retail price.  For those waiting for the 2020 planner, its worth the wait for  for the clearance sale.


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Morning and Evening Prayerbook By Jeanie and David Gushee

Morning and Evening Prayerbook

By Jeanie and David Gushee
Published by Thomas Nelson


Morning and Evening Prayerbook by Jeanie and David Gushee is a compendium of prayers collected from a variety of sources from the Catholic and Protestant churches.  This exhaustive compilation includes prayers from Catholic popes such as Pope John Paul II and Catholic saints such as Francis of Assisi and  therese of Lisieux as well as ancient forefathers such as Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, Aquinas and Augustine.  Also included are prayers from well known authors of literature, Mark Twain, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.  There are prayers from the first century Christians as well as modern day authors, including a few contemporary prayers from the Gushees. As I turned to October 31- out of curiosity to see the selected prayer, it was a pleasant suprise to see a Halloween themed- traditional Scottish prayer for the evening selection: "From ghoulies and ghosties and long- leggity beasties, and all things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!".

There are two prayers selected for each of the 365 days of the year: a morning and evening prayer. Also included are seasonal themed prayers that correspond to the liturgical calendar of "Movable Holy Days" and seasons such as Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Palm Sunday, Advent, Ordinary Time and Lent.  There may be many non denomindational or independant bible students and  believers who may not understand these references- celebrated by the Catholic church and its "main stream" off shoots, as many non denominational or independantg churches simply do not recognise or celebrate some of these days.  Or perhaps they do not use the Roman Catholic terminology.  Nevertheless I do not feel that the inclusion of this calendar or its references detract from the overall purpose of this book.  Also included are traditional religious artwork as an additional ornamental touch.

Initially, based on the appearance of this book I assumed it was just another debotional book- filled with prayers or devotions written by the Gushee couple.  But this was not the case.  This prayer book is a good resource.  It may serve as an encycopedia of prayers throughout Christianity. The prayer book is well suited for the theological student as well as an individual who appreciates prayers throughout historical periods.  This book is also perfect for personal devotions or study. The reader should keep in mind some of the old English styled translations of the more ancient prayers may be difficult for some uneducated readers to follow or understand.  Yet I feel the varied "voices" and styles make this the unique aqnd original prayer book that sets it apart from the saturated market of simplistic modern prayers that are so common today.  As a blogger for booklook I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers for the purpose of writing this review.