Monday, June 20, 2011

"Learning" ~ a book you won't want to miss!

I love to read. When I find a good book, it can sort of consume my life until I am done with it. Luke has woken up many times at 3:00AM to find me awake, still reading. I must admit, having three kids now, finding time to read is a lot harder. But I have a few authors that I love and will always make time to read their books- even if it means losing sleep. One of those authors is Karen Kingsbury. My friend, Shelley, recommended Karen's books to me a number of years ago. Thankfully, it was pre-kids, because when I discovered Karen's books, I could not get enough of them. 

Karen is a Christian fiction writer. Her books are all sent in present time with very relevant story lines. I started with the Redemption series, which is based on the Baxter family, a family made up of five adult children. Each book focuses on a different child. It's a great series! Another series that I love by Karen is the 9-11 series; a trilogy of books that are based on 9-11. I would highly recommend these three books- a story based on a real, life changing event in our country. A warning for new readers: always have kleenex handy. If you have heart, you will cry at some point of almost every book.

I won a contest on faceboook about a month ago and was selected to receive and review an early copy of Karen's new book, "Learning," which comes out this Tuesday, June 21st. I received my copy a few weeks ago and wrote the following review of the book. It's a great book! If you have read Karen's books before, go get this book on Tuesday. You will not be disappointed! If you haven't ever read Karen's books before, don't start with this one because it's the second book in a series. Either start with the first book in this series, "Leaving," or if you want to know where to start with Karen's books or my personal favorites, drop me a comment and I will email you back. Enjoy!

Review of "Learning" ~ Another amazing book by Karen Kingsbury
Karen Kingsbury has done it again! “Learning” is another beautifully written story by Karen that will find readers laughing and crying, while comparing the situations in the book to their own lives and walk with God. “Learning” is the continuing journey of Bailey and Cody, as well as the Flanigan and Baxter families. The book will take you to life in Bloomington, Indiana and New York City. Karen has an incredible talent of bringing places and characters to life for the reader- and “Learning” is no exception. Some of the characters are like old friends and we are excited to read about what is happening in their lives. We go through the ups and downs with them and see how God is there to meet their every need. Karen also intermixes new friends; friends you will fall in love with as you read. 

Bailey is coming of age in “Learning” as she moves to New York City to be a part of the cast of “Hairspray.” Brandon Paul is still very much a part of her life. She has said her good-bye to Cody, but can she let go of him in her heart? “Learning” finds Bailey discovering new life lessons as a young woman who is seeking to shine for Jesus in a dark place. 

Cody is back in Indiana coaching high school football and helping Cheyenne recover from her car accident. He is determined to be a friend to her and help her through the rehabilitation process, which he knows the difficulty of firsthand. Cody continues to believe that Bailey has moved on and that he must too. But can he truly move on from his memories of Bailey? And is Cheyenne the woman God has for his future? 

One particular scene from the book that encouraged me was when Bailey is sitting in on a Bible Study with Betty (the older woman she is living with in NYC) and three of Betty’s friends. Bailey is having an off day and is struggling. One of the ladies reminds her that God has great plans for her. Bailey responds by saying, “That’s my prayer, anyway.” One of the ladies encourages her by saying, “You can pray that God will help you understand those plans. But you don’t have to worry. He definitely has good plans for you.” This was of particular encouragement to me because I too often worry about the future. I can so easily lose sight of God’s promises. Reading this was a reminder of God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

This book has so many story lines relevant to our world today that you will find yourself identifying with many of the characters. One of the my favorite aspects of Karen’s writing is how the readers interact with God and how God responds to them through scripture. It’s a reminder to me that I need to be talking to God every moment of the day, as if He is right there. Because after all, He is! Karen’s writing also reminds me of the importance of memorizing Bible verses and shows how those verses come back to us in moments of need. You will love every page of “Learning” with the exception of the last page, because that signifies the book is ending. And let’s face it, we never want these books to end! You will not want to miss “Learning”- you will find yourself learning right alongside of Bailey, Cody, and all of our other friends.

1 comment:

Ellen said...

I have "Learning" on my Kindle and am looking forward to starting it tonight. I can't get enough of Karen's books either! Ellen Porter (Mom or eight + 3 and grandmother to 12 + 8)