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Welcome to Books R Us, a recommended reading blog from InfoSoup librarians and users and home to A Year of Listening Dangerously, the 2014 InfoSoup Reading Challenge! Find a great book to read next, add your own reviews, and check out our book related resources such as NoveList and BookLetters.

inspirational

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Author: Lin Stepp

Not my ordinary read, Down by the RIver is an inspirational Christian novel.  The setting is a B&B in the Smoky Mountains of Townsend, Tennessee.   This is a nice contemporary romance with some real life family drama.    Grace is an older woman intent on changing her life, most of the changes are moved by God. Grace moves to Townsend and purchases an old B&B to run.  She finds romance with Jack , a neighbor,  who finds strength from the Lord while going through his own problems.  Her daughter, Margaret, finds her own road and grows closer to Grace and the Lord. 

An interesting read, the characters are believable and the story line holds your interest.  Just the type of read for a lazy afternoon.  

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Author: Todd Burpo

Mr. Burpo wrote an inspirational book on the experience of his child while sick. This is the first book Mr. Burpo who is a minister has written.  It is an easy read. The concept of heaven was strong within the entire story backed with readings from the Bible.

It was a frightening book when describing the illness of his son. However, as his son's health improved bits and pieces of his son discussing the experiences he encountered in a matter-of-fact tone. It was heartwarming, provided an experience that some day all people will experience, death.

I thought it was a believeable story. The author laid out the story, letting the reader decide. A difficult task when his son offer input that he was not famaliar with.

I recommend the book for all. Rather you have a spiritual or religious belief, or for those that do not. I didn't feel as though the author was trying to prove anything. Just relay his son's responses to his grave illness from the past.

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Author: Kevin Alan Milne

How do we treat others? Do we step out of our comfort zone to reach out? Do we actually live by the "Golden Rule" or is it just something we say to make ourselves feel better? Do we make a difference in someone's life? Have you made a difference in just one person's life today?

Doing "one good thing" for someone else usually requires us to step out of our comfort zone. After a while, stepping out of that comfort zone becomes habit, and becomes a way of life. Nathan Steen decided as a teenager that he would make sure that he always did several good deeds a day for others.

Written in a venue similar to Nicholas Sparks, this is a story, among other things, about how our actions effect others. One good thing turns into one good thing into another good thing, and so the ripple continues. Although the story was predictable, the means to get there was an interesting journey. Negative situations can be defining factors in how we live our lives. We can choose to let the negativity consume us and become bitter, or we can find the good in any situation and make our life better. "The best we can do is to do our best."

An inspirational and thought provoking book. How can one person help so many people? One person at a time.

2012 Fox Cities Reads

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Author: Bill Strickland

Make the Impossible Possible: One Man's Crusade to Inspire Others to Dream Bigger and Achieve the Extraordinary by Bill Strickland, President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation, has been chosen as the 2012 Fox Cities Reads selection.

Visit the Fox Cities Reads web site for more information about the author and the book.

Check InfoSoup for available copies and formats. The book is available from area libraries in print and as an audiobook on CD. The title is also available as an eBook and digital audio file from our OverDrive site.

Home to Harmony

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Author: Philip Gulley

The story takes place in Harmony and is narrated by a Quaker pastor. His roots are there and when he came home he found joy. He talks about the people of Harmony and the everyday happenings. For those that enjoyed visits to Mitford with Jan Karon, they will enjoy checking in with the people of Harmony.

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Author: Philip Gulley

The author is a Quaker minister. In a short story format, he talks about different small town happenings and ends each section with a thought. The title comes from his belief that we'd all be better off if our homes had front porches where families and neighbors could talk. Very easy reading and thought provoking.

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Author: Neil Pasricha

I like this premise--identifying the tiny things that make us so very happy. In these trying times, the success of this book (& accompanying website) show how we are all craving the identification of good things. I think the word awesome is so misused but I use it myself, so who am I kidding? It seems like I gravitate toward the entries about sleeping. There was one about waking up and still realizing you have more time to sleep (I love that). There was one about how good it feels to slip into fresh sheets--oh, yeah! And then there was one about how amazing it is to flip your pillow and have a whole new feeling of relaxation. Oh, yes, the little things--they ARE wonderful. Thanks, Wisconsin Public Radio, for interviewing the author!

Sweet Harmony

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Author: Felicia Mason

The book is definitely a romance. Boy meets girls, sparks fly, conflict keeps them apart but is resolved in the end. The book was not overly preachy, religious beliefs provided the basis for the main character, Dr. Kara's life and when she saw the main man, Marcus, also had deep faith, they became a couple. Book was rather formulated so it you liked this one, check out all the Love Inspired publications.

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Author: Nicholas Sparks

Clay is a marine who did three tours in Iraq. He finds a photo of a fellow marine posing with his sister @ a county fair. Clay decides to track down this woman whose name is Beth. He is never able to find the fellow marine who originally owned the photo. The photo becomes somewhat of a lucky charm for Clay and he feels that it has saved his life. This belief is intensified by another marine named Victor. Clay eventually finds Beth and falls in love with her, her son, and her grandmother. The ex-husband of Beth is mostly evil. The story culminates with conflict between Clay and the ex. The plot is pretty strong but the writing is weak. I found too much use of prepositions and adverbs and would have enjoyed the book more if the writing had been edited and tightened up.

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Author: Karen Kingsbury

Just okay. We read it for book group at the library. The Tuesday morning in the title is 9.11. It was hard to revisit that day and all the mix-ups that occurred within the chaos of that disaster. I have to say that I had a visceral response to the author's description of that morning. There was an interesting premise (that I won't spoil) but it defies logic. Therefore, I thought the plot was a little hokey. Also, the religious overtones were overbearing for me, personally.

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