Saturday, October 14, 2017

"Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But Were Afraid to Ask)" Book Review

**Yes, I realize it's been an eternity since I've posted a book review. But, I'm here to post one today on a book that I've been going through (and am still working on - life has been very, very hectic recently!)**


Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But Were Afraid to Ask) by Eric Metaxas


Image result for everything you always wanted to know about God but were afraid to ask 

So I've seen Eric Metaxas's name on several recommended book lists and finally got a chance to get a taste of his writing. (And you have to admit, the cover looks pretty cool too, all those pretty colors.... 🤗) I wasn't disappointed. Metaxas is a very engaging author, formatting his book in a "Q&A" style, which made it much easier to read! 

**Disclaimer: I'm only through the book halfway because of the craziness of my schedule but if the rest of the book is as good as the first, then this book review will still stand. 😉

The set up of this book makes it great for conversational questions. The topics are different in each chapter, enabling the reader to go straight to the desired topic (topics include "Why Does Anyone Need Religion?" and "Why Would a Loving God Allow Suffering?"). 

Another thing I liked about the book was that the chapters were clear and concise.  Metaxas writes in a very casual tone, which makes difficult concepts easier to understand and digest. In chapter 12, he quickly debunks the idea of heaven being boring and explains the gospel clearly. 

However, in chapter 9 ("Isn't One Religion About as Good as Another?"), Metaxas tries to explain how religions compare, and I have to admit, I felt a bit lost on that one, even after the explanations. 

All in all, this book is a great go-to for one who wants to be able to explain something better. 

Ratings:

Would I recommend this book to a friend? Maybe. It depends on what they need at the time. There are so many different "reference" books out there that it gets confusing!

What would I rate this book? 4.5 stars

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"No Fear" Book Review

Yes, yes, I know for the 1 person who actually reads this, it's been forever. I'm horrible at blogging - I like the idea of blogging but the actual "doing it" part is a whole different story. Anyway, I'm back....with another book review:

NO FEAR: Real Stories of a Courageous 
New Generation Standing for Truth
by Tony Perkins

http://images.randomhouse.com/cover/9781601427427?width=450&alt=no_cover_b4b.gif 

This book caught my eye for several reasons. First, I really want to be able to stand for truth when the time comes and the description "Real Stories of a Courageous New Generation Standing for Truth" sounded very exciting. Second, Franklin Graham endorses it. Founder of Operation Christmas Child.... need I say more? :)

 Well, I got the book a while ago and read it. Honestly, I felt like I was reading another "Do Hard Things" - No Fear contains 12 stories of modern day young people who have taken a stand for what they believe. Not only does it contain the modern day stories, but it also goes back to the Bible and relates stories or verses and applies it to our lives. 

While it was interesting to read these stories, I've heard of many others who have taken a stand for their faith. The stories in No Fear includes stories of people who have been in the spotlight, people such as the Benham Brothers (EEK! Super excited about that one!!! #nationalbiblebee), Moriah Peters, Mariam Ibraheem, and Melissa and Aaron Klein, and also people who I hadn’t heard of before, such as Angela Hildenbrand and Ryan Bomberger. These stories are inspiring and there are many more that no one has heard of.

The downside of all these stories is that it can make some of us “normal” people feel inadequate. What if we aren’t on national TV because we developed a cure for cancer or invented a new type of technology? Are we to feel less important because we aren’t doing these things? I remember having these questions and trying to come up with “BIG” things to do for God. But I was overlooking the small things God was dropping in my life right then (and now). Sometimes, the small things in life are way better than any big things you “could be doing.” Changing a baby’s diaper, reading to a little brother, and talking heart-to-heart with your sister are ways to impact the people God has put into your life without you even taking a step out the door.

As with many things, there’s a balance. If there weren’t people doing BIG things for God, where would we be? But we can’t forget that being faithful in the little things are just as important. And who knows? Maybe those small things will lead to BIGGER things because “he who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much…” (Luke 16:10).

Ratings:

Would I recommend this book to a friend? Maybe. There are so many books out there like this and I feel that No Fear  didn't go as deep as other books (such as Do Hard Things) did. But it was still good. :)

What would I rate this book? 4.5 stars.

Now go change the world!
-Annalysa

*I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest book review.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Doodletopia: Manga Book Review

So, you may remember my last art-book review on Christopher Hart's first Doodletopia book here. Well, I loved that one so much that I was soooooooooooooooooo excited when the next book in the series came out. And that's the book review I'm doing today. :) *drumroll please*

Doodletopia: Manga by Christopher Hart
 http://images.randomhouse.com/cover/9781607746935?height=450&alt=no_cover_b4b.gif

This book is so fun and I'm still using it. I really, really love copying the drawings in the book and following the guidelines. I haven't even gotten through the whole thing because I got so distracted with the international chibis. Agh, they were tooooooooo cute! (sorry about the bad quality, but you get the idea)



There are all different types of manga characters that Hart teaches you to draw. There are some just plain figures, fun drawings to finish, and the silly mazes to finish. It reminds me a lot of his cartoon book and the layout is very similar, only in manga form. There are several pages that have vampires or less than desirable drawings that I do not appreciate, but the rest of the book is great fun!


Like the Doodletopia: Cartoon book, the manga book has a "Master the Manga Mazes". This is a section that has half of a manga maze that you have to finish. The variety of Hart's ideas in his Doodletopia books is really nice because you learn a lot of different ways to draw styles. 

Ratings:

 Would I recommend this book to a friend? Probably. The only thing that I have hesitation about is the vampire pictures that are in the book. There are only a few pages but I don't really appreciate them being in that book.

What would I rate this book? 4.5 stars. The only reason is the same reason I stated above. Other than that, I really like this book!!! :)

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. 

If you want to get one of these fun manga books for yourself, click here for more info.

Thanks so much for reading! Be sure to follow through email or G+ and comment below with your favorite drawing included in this post!

Now go change the world!!

~Annalysa

Monday, June 27, 2016

"Light of the Last" Book Review

So I finally have all of the Wars of the Realm books by Chuck Black...AND I WANT MORE!!!!!! As far as I know, Mr. Black has not released anymore information on future books, but I'm following his Facebook page (be sure to check out their Video and Art contest here !) and am so looking forward to his next series!

Anyway, a few months (yes, I'm sorry it's been months!) ago, I received Light of the Last. Wow. To start of this review, I have to say it is the best book Chuck Black has ever, ever written (at least, in my opinion it is!)

Officially, the book I am reviewing is titled "Light of the Last", the last book in the Wars of the Realm trilogy by Chuck Black.


In the first book, we were left with the fact that Drew Carter had been taken into custody by the FBI and something big was happening in the angels' realm. But that's where it ended. The second book went back in history and focused mainly on the invaders' realm. (see my review on Rise of the Fallen here)   So, with that cliff-hanger ending and not knowing what was going on, I was dying to find out what happened. This book was not a disappointment!

**SPOILER ALERT**

We find Carter in the FBI questioning room, just 2 days after we left off in book one, and see the heartbreaking separation he has to go through with several people very close to him. He then joins the CIA and the things that occur after that are so intense that I was almost quite literally on the edge of my seat the whole way! Just to give you a taste of what is to come, think of leather jackets that have 360* cameras and hidden mics, ISIS attacks, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (yes, someone does get diagnosed with that! I'm not telling who, though!), and Ebola outbreaks...and a microbiology major that helps save the nation. Are you interested now?!

I don't want to give too much away for those of you haven't read it, but I was never expecting what happened in the end. That's one of the reasons I like this book so much: I wasn't exactly sure what was going to happen next (and that's hard to find in today's books, believe me!)!!!

So, would I recommend this book to a friend? ABSOLUTELY!!!

What would I rate this book? 5 out of 5 stars for sure!

Summary: If you're looking for a book that has a million unexpected twists and turns, this is the one! There's a bit of romance, a whole lot of suspension and danger, and some heartbreak too.

If you're interested in getting this book for yourself, click here. If you want to drop me a note, click here.

*disclaimer* "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Now go change the world!

~Annalysa~

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Rebelution's Top 27

If you haven't been over to The Rebelution blog, head over there now!

Brett has just posted a new article titled "27 Books Christian Teens Should Read and Grownups Should Too." So head on over to get the full list by clicking here.


Now go change YOUR world!
~Annalysa

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"Doodletopia: Cartoons" Book Review

Wait, let me read that again - 2 book reviews in one month?! How is that even possible???? (I have an ulterior motive, but motivation is good, right? ;) )

About a week ago, I got this book (Doodletopia: Cartoons) in the mail.


Let me just tell you, Christopher Hart is a genius! Can I say how much I enjoy this book???!!! (And I just found out he has more books....Amazon, here I come!)

First of all, Doodletopia: Cartoons is designed to help people enjoy drawing, and believe me, I've really enjoyed this book. It's different than a lot of other drawing books in that it doesn't just give examples of how to draw the character. Doodletopia has cartoons that are halfway done for you and you can finish them. Here's one I did of a panda:


Actually, I traced the half that was done in the book because I can't bear (no pun intented) to write in the book yet!!! (the left side was traced, the right side wasn't)

Another thing I liked about this book was that Christopher Hart doesn't limit you to just animals or people. In the last few pages of the book, there's a whole section titled "Draw Ridiculous Inventions" and it has inventions that you get to draw and add to. Another section is called "Write in Cartoon Calligraphy" and has all sorts of different fonts to try. I haven't gotten brave enough to do either of those yet, but we're going on a trip soon and I'm definitely taking this book along.

Here are a couple  of my drawings from the book: 





Okay, now for the ratings. Drumroll, please!!!!

Would I recommend this book to a friend?: ABSOLUTELY YES! This is a book that's great for all ages and it's not intimidating because you aren't staring at a blank page - you get to finish a drawing or add to a drawing, not start from scratch and pull your hair out trying to make your drawing look like the one in the book.

What would I rate this book? 5 stars, hands down! Like I said, it makes drawing super easy and fun, and for those of you who don't like to draw, this book will change your mind.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

If you want to get one of these great cartoon books for yourself, click here for more info. 

Thanks so much for reading! Be sure to follow through email or G+ and comment below with your favorite drawing included in this post!

Now go change the world!!

~Annalysa

P.S. Here's a bonus drawing that I did in art class a few weeks ago! 


Want to see more drawings? Let me know in the comments below!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

"Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators" Book Review

Okay, first of all, I am not a great artist, so this book review might be a little short. :) I enjoy art (somewhat) but I wish I could draw better (believe me, I'm working on it!). I've actually started art classes with a fantastic art teacher (and I'm with friends and my sister so it's great!!!) so my sketches will hopefully improve with time.

Anyway, this book (Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators) caught my interest and I got it. I have yet to read it word for word, but I'm working on it. As a beginning artist, a lot of this stuff goes way over my head but it makes sense still.

I really appreciate all the example drawings that are throughout the book. Mr. Ross (the author) doesn't just tell you what to do, he explains it through his drawings. The book also progresses in difficulty, starting with describing how to draw different points of view by placing the vanishing points at different places and such. (This is about where I am in my art hobby - I'm actually supposed to do a drawing that contains vanishing points for my art class this week!) He then explains how to draw mannequins, how they are different, and what they should look like for different angles. (I can't wait to get to this point because it looks so interesting!)

Each part of the body (torso, muscle-type for each gender, how the torso and hips are connected, etc.) is explained and illustrated to show how a person would stand and what it would look like from each angle.

Later on in the book, head construction, including the eyes, nose, and ears, are explained in detail. There are great illustrations to refer to from different angles; for example, on pages 98 and 99, there are 7 different drawings of the ear, all from different angles. It's so cool and very, very helpful!

David Ross even gets into the human skeleton and how all the bones connect, which shows why the body looks and moves the way it does. If you are interested in how to draw the human body in ways that you never thought you could, this book is definitely one I would recommend.

*Note: For those of you who are uncomfortable looking at human bodies without clothes (it's not too detailed but detailed enough to make some (including me) uncomfortable at times, you might want to flip through the book before you buy it to make sure it's something you are okay with. Honestly, I don't really appreciate all the female models in sports bras, halter tops, and really-short shorts but I do like the helpful tips and instructions contained in the book.

What would I rate this book?
4 stars - the drawings are very well done and the explanations aren't overly confusing, which is great for me. The only part I didn't really like was the immodesty (noted above) but that's a personal conviction that I realize not everyone has.

Would I recommend this book to a friend?
Maybe, if they are really interested in art.

I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks so much for reading! Be sure to follow through email or G+ and comment below what your favorite things are to draw!

Now go change the world!

~Annalysa