Share-a-Tea 2019 Reading Challenge


share a tea challengeThis is the first check-in post for the Share-a-Read 2019 Reading Challenge.

The first book I’m reading for this challenge is Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. This is the second time to read this book; and I’m not finished reading the book in time for the first post. I’m currently on page 150. So, I’m about half-way through the book.
Elinor is my favorite person in the story. I’m amazed at her strength of character! And, I can relate to her in one specific way: her ability to remain calm in spite of highly emotional and difficult people. I wonder, if in at least a small part, Elinor is drawn to Edward Ferrars because he is not “over the top” dramatic in character. He is a person she can remain calm with, and he is a person she can see herself living with, for the rest of her life. Not all women, and men, want a partner who is a Romeo. Instead, a partner who can fully function as a partner in everyway, who can be depended on, who can be a bestfriend, and who can be counted on to remain rational. These qualities lead to a sense of security and peace.

The tea I’ve picked to companion this challenge is Moroccan Mint, green tea, Stash.
Stash Tea on Facebook.
Website for Stash Tea.
The tea is fresh and minty (that’s not too powerful.)

(Review) (in)Courage Devotional Bible, Christian Standard Bible

incourage devotional bible

Publisher and Publication Date: Holman Bibles. October 1, 2018.
Genre: Bible.
Pages: 1984.
Source: I received a complimentary gray hardcover copy from Lifeway Christian Resources. I was not required to leave a positive review.
Rating: Excellent.
Audience: A Bible for women, because the devotionals included in the Bible are written for women.



Christian Book Distributors


Features of the Bible include:
•Christian Standard Bible version.
•Two “My Commitment” pages. Two different types of commitment.
•Essays in the front section: “How to Read the Bible,” “God’s Story of Redemption,” a feature and “devotional theme guide,”  “Introduction to the Christian Standard Bible.” The last feature is important if you want to understand the textual base used for the translation.
•The type font is Bible Serif.
•Every Bible book has an intro page that includes the devotions listed for that book.
•312 devotions.
•Additional content in the back of the Bible: “Beautiful Brokenness”-a Bible reading plan, “Better Together”-a reading plan, “Daily Grace”-a reading plan, “Everyday Leadership-a reading plan, and six additional reading plans. Each of the reading plans are organized by a particular topic. For example: reading about women in the Bible who had leadership.
•5 page topical index.
•8 page author index showing author introduction and the devotionals they wrote.
•Two column text.
•This is not a words of Christ in red print.
•The Bible is available in a light hard cover gray, light blue with flowering on the left cover side, green cloth over board, and navy blue leather.

Additional features I love:
•I now have 2 copies of this Bible: the light gray hardcover and the light blue cover. I prefer the light blue. It may not be, but it feels lighter weight. It is easier for me to pick up the Bible with one hand. Whereas, the light gray hardcover feels like picking up a dictionary. *Update. The light gray hardcover is 3.15 pounds. The light blue cover is 3.25 pounds. So the weight difference is all in my mind!
•2 sewn in book marks that compliment the colors of the Bibles.
•The subtopic headings and chapter numbers throughout the Bible are in aqua color.
•I love the type font and size. However, I cannot find through online research what is the size. The font is in black.
•The pages are a matte finish and easy to turn.
•About 1 1/2 inches are given at the bottom of the Bible pages for writing. The thin lines (minuscule dots) are in a light gray color. I love this feature of the Bible because I’m a BIG note taker.
•I’ve owned several Bibles through the years. Most of them have been study Bibles with many pages of study material to enjoy. However, I’ve grown to love the minimalist clean page look of the Christian Standard Bibles: She Reads Truth and (in)courage. I recommend both Bibles. I love them both!

There is an (in)courage website, Facebook page; and beginning soon, on February 1, a Facebook page for an online Bible study. If you visit the website at this link, you can sign-up and to get an email to join the Facebook page for the online Bible study.

I’m a member of the Dayspring Bible Journaling Facebook group. Some of the members have this Bible and are using it to journal: writing, drawing, stickers, stamping, various art pens, etc. Please note, the pages are not thick like the cream colored pages of the ESV Journaling Bible. But the (in)courage Bible will work for most types of Bible journaling.

Additional links:
Christian Standard Bible also known as CSB
She Reads Truth CSB

(Review) The One Man by Andrew Gross

the one manPublisher and Publication Date: Minotaur Books. August 23, 2016.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Pages: 416.
Source: Library.
Rating: Excellent.
Audience: Readers of historical fiction who love World War II stories.


The story begins with an older gentleman living in a Geriatric wing at the Veterans Administration Hospital near Chicago. He is visited by his daughter who compels him to share his story about war experiences. Then, the story travels back in time to 1944. Dr. Alfred Mendl, a Jewish man, who is an electromagnetic physicist, has been sent to a Nazi concentration camp. His family was torn apart from him at arrival. In America, a young man named Nathan Blum is given a dangerous mission to break into a Nazi concentration camp, and safely bring out a person who the allies believe will help win the war.

My Thoughts:
The following bullet points are why I loved this story!
•All the characters are at their peak of stress. Some of the characters are under the stress of looking for ways to survive or escape. Some of the characters are looking for ways to hold on to their power. Some of the characters are looking for ways to end the war. Some of the characters are at the point of desperation. Andrew Gross through the use of the general theme, plot, pace, and dialogue compelled me to become immersed in the story.
•The story did not give clues as to who would survive the mission. I loved it that Gross did not give away the surprise ending until the final scenes.
•The power of love and sacrifice is displayed in the story.
•Gross states in the “Author’s Note” that he didn’t go in to details as other books about the brutality of a concentration camp. However, through a Lagerkommandant, I saw the evil in his heart that was displayed in his behavior.