Book & Video Reviews

Looking for gift ideas? NEW STUFF! Here are several books, videos, and educational software my family owns and highly recommends (the best of the best). These books and videos are available at 20-40% off retail prices at, and exceptional software and toys are available at Please help support this website. Thank you.

| Featured Picks | Seasonal | Christian Self-Help | Families | Fiction | Get Organized | Toys & Software | Books for Writers | Web Page Resource Books |

Featured Picks of the Month

Click here to read more reviews at Christy Award winner, Oxygen, by John B. Olson and Randall Ingermanson (c.2001, Bethany House), paperback, 368 pgs.

Oxygen is OUTSTANDING. Imagine "Apollo 13 Goes to Mars." Get past the confusing first page, and you'll be hooked on the story, the characters, and the suspense for the next 367 pages. Four astronauts train and then travel to Mars (two men and two women), but they encounter problems, glitches, terrorist threats, and a saboteur mystery in which they spiral into suspicion of each other. The authors are highly educated (Ph.D.'s in biochemistry and theoretical physics), but surprisingly, their writing is accessible--written in an entertaining and appealing style, but including enough science to satisfy technical minds. The two main characters, Valkerie and Bob, also deal with questions of faith and their personal beliefs in God at different crisis points in the book. You won't be able to put it down. This book is so good, it's got to be made into a movie!

Bookends, by Liz Curtis Higgs (2000, Multnomah Publishers), paperback, 400 pgs.

Acclaimed speaker and author Liz Curtis Higgs brings her warm, comedic style into this new fiction book based in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Dr. Emily Getz has returned "home" to unearth the foundation of a lost building, but runs into trouble when she meets Jonas Fielding, a handsome man equipped with genuine charm, who is in charge of constructing a golf course on land Dr. Emily needs to access. Emily faces her feelings about her self-image and the tumult of awakening emotions, while also examining the true depth of her faith. I haven't read Christian romantic fiction in a long while, but Higgs made it worth it by delivering an intensely interesting, funny, and touching novel.

Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo (2001, Candelwick Press), paperback, ages 9-12, 192 p.

I attended an author's presentation by Kate DiCamillo in Cedar Rapids, Iowa last fall, and bought her book there. If only I'd known then how much I'd enjoy Because of Winn-Dixie! It's clear why this book was nominated for a Newbery.

For Writers Only, by Sophy Burnham (c.1996, Ballantine Books), hardcover, _pgs.

Currently reading. I love it so far. Check back to read my review.

Sink Reflections: FlyLady's BabyStep Guide to Overcoming CHAOS, by Marla Cilley (2002, FlyLady Press), paperback, 207 p.

"Are YOU living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)?" This caption caught my attention, and I am currently reading this book. So far, I must it an enthusiastic "thumbs-up!" The premise is simple, but effective--start with a night-time routine of cleaning your kitchen sink. There's more, so check back to read the full review when I've finished reading this book. For more information, you can also visit the author's website.

When the World Was New, by Linda J. Sattgast, illustrated by Steve Bjorkman (1996, Gold'n'Honey Books), ages 4-8, hardcover, 67p.

Okay, so I don't like splurging on picture books, but this one is a keeper. How could I resist? "Once it was black, as black as could be. There was nothing to hear. There was no one to see. Then out of the darkness a Voice could be heard. As sweet as a song, as swift as a bird. It sang with delight...'Let there be... (turn page) LIGHT!'" Telling the story of creation from Genesis in lyrical rhyme, L.J. Sattgast makes reading this book over and over FUN. Text is ideal for reading aloud, but is also geared for learning readers. Bjorkman's illustrations, done in watercolor and ink, are lively and bright. The book comes with a matching dust jacket, and is a perfect addition to any home or church library. SUPERB.

Be sure to check out the Father's Day gift book reviews coming soon in my expanded Seasonal section. Enjoy!

For more information or to search for other good gift ideas, try the search feature:

Go to Kimn's search page for Go to for toys and software

| Featured Picks | Seasonal | Christian Self-Help | Families | Fiction | Get Organized | Toys & Software | Books for Writers | Web Page Resource Books |

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Updated July 17, 2003

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