November 30, 2009

Christmas on Mill Street by Joseph Walker

Review by Susan

Amid the fears brought on by the Cuban missile crisis in the fall of 1962, Sam Andrews is a 10-year-old who has just moved to Utah from Arizona. He is the youngest of a large family and longs to fit in with his new friends. In a fit of bravado, he boasts that he will be able to sled down the infamous steep and dangerous curves of Mill Street. Unfortunately, he knows nothing about sleds and has never seen snow in person. His dilemma is combined with his uncertainty about the reality of Santa whom he is counting on to help in his quest. As he finally faces this challenge on Christmas Day, help comes from an unexpected source. It is evident that Sam and his family are LDS, but all description of his family's church activities are in generic terms so that the story is can be easily understood and enjoyed by those not familiar with LDS terms and practices.

November 19, 2009

Surround Yourself with Greatness by Chad Lewis

Review by Jim

This book written by former BYU and NFL football star Chad Lewis is more than a memoir of his sports life. He attributes his success in all things to the great people and role models that he has been able to rub shoulders with over his lifetime. This book is a combination sports book and a book dealing with the challenges of life. He shares “We live in a world of relationships that are dynamic. We need each other. We need to choose, with conscious awareness, to open our eyes, heart, and mind to the great people who elevate life that are all around us.” I liked this book because I followed the career of Chad Lewis and was fascinated by the behind-the-scene stories that are rarely told to the public. This would be an especially good gift for a sports fan but could also appeal to anyone interested in self-improvement.

November 18, 2009

Women of the Old Testament by Camille Fronk Olson

Review by Susan

Camille Fronk Olson is an associate professor at Brigham Young University who has put together this amazing book focusing on the women of the Old Testament. This book could be mistaken at first glance for an art book because of the beautiful paintings by Elspeth Young which bring the women of the Old Testament visually alive, but there is so much more. The book evolved from institute and religion courses on women in the scriptures, and the introduction was very helpful in understanding the structure of the material. Each chapter focuses on a different woman or group of women, some well-known, some obscure and some unnamed. The stories of these women are put in the context of the customs of the time and enriched by background from archaeological discoveries, historical writings from contemporary sources, other Bible translations and Jewish traditions. Illustrations, chronologies and maps provide enriching clarifications. Scriptural texts are not included due to size limitations, but scripture references are listed at the beginning of each chapter as well as points to ponder at the end of each chapter.

At first I was drawn most to the stories of women I knew little about (who were Shiphrah and Puah or the daughters of Zelophehad?), but then I began to read about the familiar names—Eve, Sarah & Hagar, and Hannah to name a few. I was fascinated by the additional insight and background that gave additional breadth and substance to my understanding of these well-known and less familiar foremothers, the world in which they lived and the faithful testimonies and examples of their lives. The author states she hopes readers will develop greater confidence in studying the Old Testament (the Sunday School course of study for 2010). This book is a great contribution in expanding our vision of circumstances of these faithful women and what we can learn from them to help us be more faithful in our own lives.

November 4, 2009

Used Books

Review by Christine

My comment is on the "Used Book" section of the bookstore. I have become a big fan of the used book section because I can find good reads at an amazing price. Not only that, but it's also a great place for me to turn in old LDS books for store credit and buy newer things I've been wanting. Thank you Beehive Bookstore, for this great idea!