…for even the very wise cannot see all ends….

“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Since there’s no Inklings Series post this month, I’m going through withdrawals, so here’s a quote showing one of the many reasons I love reading Tolkien. Any guesses who this quote was about or who said it?

Announcing The 2015 Jody Hedlund Challenge!!!

Of the many reasons I love book blogging, two of them include the friends you meet, whether fellow bloggers or authors (and sometimes both!). It truly is a unique and incredible community. Today, I’m excited to announce an exciting 2015 challenge my friend Cassie, from Bookshelves and Windows, came to me about and I immediately joined in. Why? It’s way fun and we’re featuring one of my favorite authors, Jody Hedlund.

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The 2015 Jody Hedlund Challenge is where we’ll read one of Jody’s books each month and then have something fun the next month! Much like my Inklings series set-up, we’ll announce the book and the following month chat about it! Sometimes it might be discussion questions, guest post, and maybe even a Google + chat (in which I’ll apologize now for how awkward I am on video) and other fun stuff! It’s really all about giving people a chance to read fantastic historical fiction and give me an excuse to re-read them (because I love all of her books. Seriously.)

If you haven’t had a chance to read Jody’s books, you are in for a treat! If you have, I invite you to join in the awesomeness! We’re kicking off January with Unending Devotion, which is perfect for January – it’s Trafficking Awareness Month and that’s something this book deals with. You can check out my review here.

Where to buy Unending Devotion:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Books

Feel free to grab the graphic and spread the word about #HedlundChallenge2015!

To celebrate and help spread the word, I’m giving away her latest, Love Unexpected (which is fabulous!). Help us spread the word and you’re entered!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Comparison of Kindles

I’ve owned just about every Kindle they’ve released. Sometimes at the same time. I’m sadly not kidding and am 100% embarrassed by this fact. Actually 187% embarrassed. Not my wisest moments, but the good news is I now have plenty of insight on Kindles! And what better place to put that knowledge than in a blog post? Right??? Plus, I figure someone out there might be doing a little Christmas shopping, so if this is on the list, here you go! Oh and the starting prices include the ads.

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Kindle (with Touch Screen) – Starting at $79.00. I’m kinda surprised this is still in existence. I get it’s the cheapest of the bunch, but if you’re spending some cash, I promise it’s worth it to upgrade to the Paperwhite. The main reason? Lighting. If you want to read at night/on an evening plane flight, you need outside light with this guy. I’ve tried numerous clip lights and have yet to find one I like. Anyone else annoyed by clip lights? Maybe that doesn’t bother you, so if that’s the case, this one will be great for you. My first Kindle was this guy (a few versions ago) and a few months after I purchased it they released the Paperwhite. So rude of them. I held out for a while on principle, but that didn’t last too long and I upgraded. :)

Kindle Fire HD – Starting at $99.00. I had such high hopes for this fella. I bought this after I had the Paperwhite, thinking an upgrade was just what I needed. Before I continue, I should say my main focus with Kindles has always been reading. I had hoped to possibly use it for a few other things, but it didn’t work out that way. The battery dies much quicker than the Paperwhite (which lasts for weeks). Plus I wasn’t a fan of reading outside with this one. You can adjust the brightness, but I’m rather obsessed with the Paperwhite, so it simply didn’t compare. If you’re looking for something for kids and teens, then I would wholeheartedly suggest this. It’s much cheaper than an iPad and there’s plenty of kid-friendly and fun apps. It’s also more sturdy than its Apple counterpart. But for just reading and writing-related stuff? Not my cup of tea, so I sold it. :)

Kindle Voyage – Starting at $199.00. First, this is the only one I haven’t owned. Second, I appreciate their choice of reading material in their print ad that came out in Sports Illustrated (please see above picture). Points for excellent literature use. The only differences I’ve read about are the Adaptive light sensor, Page Press, thinner, a slightly higher resolution (212 to 300 ppi) and coolest name in the group. But for $80.00 more? Not enough for me to buy one just yet.

Kindle Paperwhite – Starting at $119.00. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways… I choose the best for last. You can read this in the darkest of corners or outside with the sun a blazing and not have to adjust anything. It last for centuries (give or take) and I’ve never had an issue with it. It’s easy to adjust settings and make it work for you. So yeah…I love it.

BONUS: There’s a Waterproof Kindle Internet. A WATERPROOF KINDLE. In case you missed that WATERPROOF. Summer summer summer time here I come! And it’s the Paperwhite. Sooooo…who wants to buy this for me??? It’s a mere $239.00 ;)

And that, my friends, concludes the official Books and Beverages’ Kindle review :). Do you have an e-reader? Do like all the bells and whistles or do you keep it simple?

Uncommon Marriage Adventure by Tony and Lauren Dungy | Book Review

Oh look, I’m reviewing a devotional book for couples on marriage. How did this go down? Well….so….you see…what happened was… I saw the this book as a review option from Tyndale and that it was by Tony and Lauren Dungy, so requested it without further investigation. I figured it was a book about their relationship, plus, I mean, it’s the Dungy’s.

Turns out this is a devotional for married couples.

That’s what we call a win for a single person.

But I stay committed to fulfilling my book review promises, so without further ado, let’s chat about all things marriage. :)

Marriage is an adventure unlike any other. At times, you and your spouse may feel so close, connected, and in love that you’re ready to take on the world together. But other times, things grow distant, and you wonder where all the joy and excitement has gone. What is the secret to a happy, healthy, God-honoring marriage—one that will last through anything that comes your way?

Join Tony and Lauren Dungy in The Uncommon Marriage Adventure, a series of daily reflections for couples. With transparency, wisdom, and humor, the Dungys share what they’ve learned over 30 years of marriage about faith, teamwork, conflict, communication, and more. Through each day’s reading, you and your spouse will go deeper in loving, understanding, and learning to serve each other. Dare to embark on your own marriage adventure—and discover how to make your relationship truly uncommon.

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Well, with this book the Dungy’s stay strong in my list of favorite famous couples. I loved the stories, the honesty, the chuckles, the serious moments and the truth they aren’t afraid to share. For married couples, this is a gem. They have short daily devotions that couples can read together and a question/action to go through. I love that their heart for people shines through the pages. They truly desire to see people in strong and growing marriages and it’s awesome.

The devotional is based on core principles of an uncommon marriage and many are just as applicable to a non-married person. Some include include: Focus on the Bible and Christ, communicate well and often, not running away from conflict and serving others. Good stuff right? Plus, you don’t have to like sports or football to benefit from this book!

I may or may not get married and it’s something I don’t like to worry about or focus on, but this book was a beautiful reminder that if I do, I want to be with a man who loves the Lord with his whole heart. It’s easy to settle when the wait seems long (do I have a story or two….), but when it comes to relationships, what the Lord has planned is always worth the wait. So fellow singles, be encouraged by the Dungy’s marriage and how amazing a relationship can be when centered fully on Christ!

What’s another book about marriage or relationships you would recommend?

(Thank you to Tyndale for providing a copy in exchange for my honest review)

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Books

10 Days. 10 Minutes. 10 Challenges. | A Do Over Challenge

Happy Friday!! I’m excited today for two reasons. 1. I’m less than two weeks away from seeing the world’s cutest human beings. See such evidence here. 2. One of my favorite authors just opened up sign-ups this week for an exciting challenge to kick off 2015!

I’ve done many of his challenges in the past and they’ve been awesome! I know this one won’t be any different. Plus it’s not overwhelming. You know how some New Year challenges go. They require you to do research papers every day for like 90 days. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but lots of programs out there get one response from me.To quote Denzel, it’s along the lines of “You must be outside your mind.” Not the case with this one!

Plus, by signing up, you join a community of other wonderful folks! One of the most inspiring aspects of the past year has been hearing and reading about what people around the world have been working towards. Stories of people who wrote a book, men and women who took a chance on dating and are now married, communities built, weight lost, debt paid off, moves made, adoptions started and everything in between. It’s been life-changing. I’ve laughed with these folks, cried with these folks and rejoiced with them. This group has helped me in so many ways and much of what you see on my blogs is a result of the wisdom and encouragement of this group.

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That’s what makes this Do Over challenge so awesome and for everyone!! You can sign up here. It’s manageable (10 minutes for 10 days to kick off 2015), it doesn’t cost a thing and is led by someone I respect 187%. Jon and Jenny Acuff are legit-ly awesome. I got to hang out with Jon and Jenny once and it was one of my favorite nights of 2014. Plus they told me about the TSA Instagram and that’s been one of the best follows on Instagram ever. Seriously. FOLLOW.

Anyway…sign up friends!! You can find out more behind the challenge over at Jon’s blog here (he says things much better than me) and I hope you do join in!

Let’s make 2015 the best ever – what do you say? What’s something you want to work in 2015?