I have read way more than I will mention here, but these are the few that have stuck with me.
Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur
From the cover: Contrary to popular belief, we do not have to be perfect to do God's work. Look no further than the twelve disciples whose many weaknesses are forever preserved throughout the pages of the New Testament. Jesus chose ordinary men - fisherman, tax collectors, political zealots - and turned their weakness into strength, producing greatness from utter uselessness. MacArthur draws principles from Christ's careful, hands-on training of the original twelve disciples for today's modern disciple - you.
I have been working on this book for a while, slowly going through it, re-reading some sections, skimming others... This book goes over the history, both Biblical and historically accepted, of each of the disciples. MacArthur devotes a chapter to each disciple and works through every little reference to them.
Honestly, a fascinating book. Not only does he talk about their relationship to Jesus and how they grew, he also points out their weaknesses and strengths, how knowing Jesus changed them...
Contrary to most preacher's preferences (Peter, always Peter), my favorite disciples, the one I relate to the most, have always been Andrew and John. And again, I was reminded why I admire these men, and how my weaknesses are actually places Jesus' love shines through.
Well worth the time and effort to read.
The Enchanted Emporium by Tanya Huff
From the cover: Alysha Gale is a member of a family capable of changing the world with the charms they cast. Then she receives word that she's inherited her grandmother's junk shop in Calgary, only to discover upon arriving that she'll be serving the fey community. And when Alysha learns just how much trouble is brewing in Calgary, even calling in the family to help may not be enough to save the day.
I LOVE Tanya Huff! I've read most of her books, and have enjoyed them all- from Fankenstein's monsters to assassins and magic, from cats and wizards to space battle.
I really can't say I loved this one, though... I have read LOTS of fantasy and mythology, and my least favorite mythological character is probably the Horned God, (perhaps Morrigan, too). The Horned god represents the male side of divinity in the Wiccan religion and he embodies nature, wildness, sexuality, hunting and the life cycle- And I'm often uncomfortable with the way he is portrayed, especially since I honestly believe he's demonic. And that's the platform Huff has chosen for this new series...
I spent the first couple chapters trying to decide whether I was going to finish it or not, and I ended up choosing to go ahead.
The story itself is a little spotty- (she starts in the middle and kind of drags us along for the ride without much explanation). It is good. Let me repeat that- the story itself is good. It's interesting and fun. But it's not something I'd recommend to just anyone.
Blood Ties by Kay Hooper
From the Cover: The elite Special Crimes Unit, the FBI’s most controversial and effective team, is a group of mavericks and misfits trained to use their unique psychic abilities to hunt the worst monsters imaginable – human ones. Led by the enigmatic Noah Bishop, the SCU team has earned a reputation for pitting their skills and cunning against killers that other cops fear.
But this time Bishop and his agents face an enemy who has them in his sights, a trained sniper with a deadly plan — and more than one ace up his sleeve.
It starts with an unspeakable series of grisly murders across three states, a trail of blood leading, finally, to the small Tennessee town of Serenade. There, two more brutal murders lure the SCU into what may be the ultimate trap.
One of the first investigators on the scene, Special Agent Hollis Templeton is willing to push herself as hard and as far as necessary. Risking more than her life to help and protect her fellow SCU members, Hollis is coping with psychic abilities that are evolving in unprecedented ways, an attraction to the most complex man she’s ever known, and a serial murder investigation that has just turned very, very personal. In her time with the SCU, Hollis has shown an uncanny ability to survive even the most deadly attacks. But what she doesn’t count on is that this killer intends to destroy the team from within.
Over the last few weeks, I've reread the entire Bisshop/SCU series so that I could dive into the new one. Blood Ties is a good finish to Hooper's latest trilogy (She now has published 12 books, divided into 4 trilogies). My favorite is still "Out of the Shadows", but Blood Ties is good.
The best description I've got for these mysteries is 'Criminal Minds' meets 'Medium'. A team of FBI agents defeats serial killers by using their paranormal giftings. They are fun, spooky and twisty mysteries. Hooper generally includes a touch of romance in her books, which I enjoy, but her focus is ALWAYS on the mystery and defeating the "bad guy".
This time we've got a master 'bad guy' guiding & supplying the lesser 'bad guys', plus a mystery I couldn't figure out. I knew who was pulling the strings (the master 'bad guy'), but I didn't know who's strings he was pulling. And I enjoy being surprised. =)
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