Colonial Women’s Book Club meets in Family Center room FC 201 on the 4th Thursday in January through October and the 3rd Thursday in November and December. We meet from 1pm – 2:30pm to discuss a wide variety of books, selected annually by members, written by Christian authors. Books include biographies, missionary stories, and Inspirational Christian fiction. All ladies who are CBC members and guests of all ages are invited to attend. Contact Donna Bos for more information.
DECEMBER 19, 2019: CHRISTMAS AT HOLLY HILL, by Martha Rogers, fiction, 4.7 of 5, -- 25 reviews, Can Clayton Barlow prove he has changed his ways in time for Christmas?
It is October 1898, and Clayton Barlow has just returned home after serving time in prison for his part in a bank robbery. His family welcomes him, but the townspeople are skeptical. Bored with life in the small town but determined to make a new start, he goes to work with his father, hoping to regain the town’s trust.
Clayton recognizes the schoolteacher at the Prairie Grove School as his childhood friend, Merry Lee Warner, and old feelings surface. Still, he doubts that he could ever get a woman like Merry to love him.
As the townspeople prepare for Christmas, their suspicions about Clayton lead to trouble. Will the trusting heart of an unlikely new friend be enough to restore Clayton’s relationships with his neighbors and reunite him with God and Merry?
Book Club selections for 2020:
JANUARY 23, 2020: FALLING TO PIECES, Vanetta Chapman, fiction, 4.6 of 5, 289 reviews
In this first book of a three-book series, author Vannetta Chapman brings a fresh twist to the popular Amish fiction genre. She blends the familiar components consumers love in Amish books—faith, community, simplicity, family—with an innovative who-done-it plot that keeps readers guessing right up to the last stitch in the quilt. When two women—one Amish, one English—each with different motives, join forces to organize a successful on-line quilt auction, neither expects nor wants a friendship. As different as night and day, Deborah and Callie are uneasy partners who simply want to make the best of a temporary situation. But a murder, a surprising prime suspect, a stubborn detective, and the town's reaction throw the two women together, and they form an unlikely alliance to solve a mystery and catch a killer. Set in the well-known Amish community of Shipshewana, Falling to Pieces will attract both devoted fans of the rapidly-growing Amish fiction genre, as well as those who are captivated by the Amish way of life.
FEBUARY 27, 2020: MISSING ISAAC by Valerie Fraser Luesse, Kevin R. Free, et al., fiction, 4.5 of 5, 156 reviews
When a black field hand disappears, a wealthy white boy he has befriended sets out to find him. But Pete McLean discovers more than he bargained for - including unexpected love and difficult truths about race and class in 1960s Alabama.
There was another South in the 1960s, one far removed from the marches and bombings and turmoil in the streets that were broadcast on the evening news. It was a place of inner turmoil, where ordinary people struggled to right themselves on a social landscape that was dramatically shifting beneath their feet. This is the world of Valerie Fraser Luesse's stunning debut, Missing Isaac.
It is 1965 when black field hand Isaac Reynolds goes missing from the tiny, unassuming town of Glory, Alabama. The townspeople's reactions range from concern to indifference, but one boy will stop at nothing to find out what happened to his unlikely friend. White, wealthy, and fatherless, young Pete McLean has nothing to gain and everything to lose in his relentless search for Isaac. In the process, he will discover much more than he bargained for. Before it's all over, Pete - and the people he loves most - will have to blur the hard lines of race, class, and religion. And what they discover about themselves may change some of them forever.
MARCH 26, 2020: THE INSANITY OF GOD, by Nik Ripken, Gregg Lewis, et al., non-fiction 4.9 of 5, 1707 reviews
The Insanity of God is the personal and lifelong journey of an ordinary couple from rural Kentucky who thought they were going on just your ordinary missionary pilgrimage but discovered it would be anything but. After spending over six hard years doing relief work in Somalia and experiencing life where it looked like God had turned away completely and he was clueless about the tragedies of life, the couple had a crisis of faith and left Africa asking God, "Does the Gospel work anywhere when it is really a hard place?" It sure didn't work in Somalia.
The Insanity of God tells a story - a remarkable and unique story to be sure, yet at heart a very human story - of the Ripkens' own spiritual and emotional odyssey. The gripping narrative account of a personal pilgrimage into some of the toughest places on Earth, combined with sobering and insightful stories of the remarkable people of faith Nik and Ruth encountered on their journeys, will serve as a powerful course of revelation, growth, and challenge for anyone who wants to know whether God truly is enough.
APRIL 23, 2020: TO FLY AGAIN, by Gracia Burnham w/Dean Merrill, non-fiction, 4.8 of 5, -- 55 reviews
The world learned the horrendous details of Martin and Gracia Burnham's yearlong captivity in Gracia's book, In the Presence of My Enemies. To Fly Again, Gracia's reflections on the lessons and spiritual truths she learned in the jungle, contains 21 brief, theme-based chapters that squarely address the challenges each of us face when we lose control of some aspect of life. This book offers no pat answers or easy solutions, just the battle-tested wisdom of a woman who lived her greatest nightmare and came through it more convinced of God's grace than ever before. Even those unfamiliar with her dramatic story will be engaged by Gracia's insights.
MAY 28, 2020: THERE IS A WIDENESS by Mark McAllister, non-fiction, 4.6 of 5 – 8 reviews
History and fiction merge seamlessly in the 1937 oil-town setting of New London, Texas. When a gas-leak explosion kills more than 300 school children, teachers, and visitors, young Luke Robertson loses his little sister, and Russ Smith loses his mind—at least for a while.
Years later, fate mysteriously brings these two men together again, provoking them to seek answers to the questions that have haunted them. Join them on the dusty back roads of Texas as they discover the wideness of God's mercy. Based on a true story!
JUNE 25, 2020: WAVES OF MERCY, by Lynn Austin, fiction, 4.7 of 5 – 356 reviews
Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from the Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she's asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions hidden all these years, including the story of her one true love.
At the nearby Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of a broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after a violent storm aboard a steamship stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.
Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.
JULY 23, 2020: INTO THE WHIRLWIND by Elizabeth Camden, fiction, 4.6 of 5, -- 464 reviews
As owner of the 57th Illinois Watch Company, Mollie Knox's future looks bright until the night the legendary Great Chicago Fire destroys her beloved city. With her world crumbling around her, Mollie will do whatever it takes to rebuild in the aftermath of the devastating fire.
Zack Kazmarek, an influential attorney for one of Chicago's finest department stores, is a force to be reckoned with among the city's most powerful citizens. Bold and shrewd, he's accustomed to getting exactly what he wants--until he meets Mollie Knox, the beguiling businesswoman just beyond his reach.
In the tumult as the people of Chicago race to rebuild a bigger and better city, Mollie comes face-to-face with the full force of Zack's character and influence. Zack believes this may finally be his chance to win her, but can Mollie ever accept this man and his whirlwind effect on her life, especially with her treasured company on the line?
AUGUST 27, 2020: JOHN AND BETTY STAM, by Vance Christie*, biography, 4.9 of 5 – 18 reviews
"The fateful day began with deceptive normalcy at John and Betty Stam's missionary residence in Tsingteh, China. Both the wood-burning stoves had been lit and were starting to heat up nicely, helping to lessen the chill that gripped the large old house that cold, early December morning. The Stams, along with the six Chinese who lived with them in the house, had already eaten breakfast.
So begins this gripping story of missionary endeavor in China. The early church leader, Tertullian, said that 'the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church'. This is just one story of the people whose witness is the cause of the spectacular growth of the church in China today.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2020 GOD, GREED, AND THE (PROSPERITY) GOSPEL, by Costi W Hinn, biography, 4.9 of 5, 125 reviews
Millions desperate for hope and solutions are enticed by the promise of the prosperity gospel - that God will do whatever they need with just a little faith and a financial gift. All the while, prosperity preachers exploit the poor and the needy to stockpile their riches. What can followers of the true gospel do to combat the deception?
Through a remarkable and fascinating journey, Costi Hinn went from a next-generation prosperity preacher to the first to abandon the family faith and share the true gospel. Nephew of the world-famous televangelist, Benny Hinn, Costi had a front-row seat to the inner workings and theology of the prosperity gospel. But as Costi's faith deepened, so did his questions about prosperity teaching.
As the deceptions in his past were exposed, Costi came face to face with the hypocrisy and devastation caused by his belief system, and the overwhelming truth about the real Jesus Christ.
This captivating look into the daily lives of one of the world's leading prosperity dynasties offers a thoughtful perspective on the perils of greed, the power of the true gospel, and hope for the future of the global church. Through real-life stories, Costi challenges and equips readers to be living lights pointing the way to the true gospel and the saving grace of Christ. God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel will bolster your faith and encourage your own journey toward the Truth.
OCTOBER 22, 2020: HARVEST OF RUBIES, by Tessa Afshar, fiction, 4.8 of 5 – 557 reviews
Remarkable talent threatens to cloud a life...The prophet Nehemiah's cousin has been catapulted into the center of the Persian court - working long hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and becoming the queen's favorite scribe. Not bad, for a woman living in a man's world. But a devastating past has left Sarah believing that God doesn't love her and that her achievements are the measure of her worth - a measure she can never quite live up to. Darius Pasargadae is accustomed to having his way. A wealthy and admired aristocrat, the last thing he expects is an arranged marriage to the queen's scribe, an intelligent woman who scorns him. Can two such different people help one another overcome the idols that bind them?
NOVEMBER 19, 2020: ANGEL IN AISLE 3, by Kevin West, fiction, 4.6 of 5 – 59 reviews
In the tradition of An Invisible Thread and Same Kind of Different as Me, Angel in Aisle 3 is the “heart wrenching yet hopeful” (Publishers Weekly) true story of an unlikely friendship that began with a chance meeting in a grocery store between a bank executive bound for prison and an elderly stranger.
When Kevin West resigned from his job as vice president of a bank after making fraudulent loans, he spent the time before his trial managing a family-owned, small grocery store in Ironton, Ohio. Dealing with serious marriage problems and with a prison sentence almost certainly in his future, Kevin was overcome with remorse and without a scrap of hope. It was at his lowest moment that Kevin called out to a power beyond himself for help, and God answered his prayer in the form of an elderly vagrant named Don. What began as a chance meeting between two individuals whose lives seemed headed for certain ruin turns into an unlikely friendship that saved them both.
It was this friendship that helped Kevin thrive in prison, restore his failed marriage, and gave Don a chance at a new life that went beyond anyone’s imagination. Moving and awe-inspiring, this story of a pure friendship sheds light on the redemption and hope that can grow out of relationships based in faith.
DECEMBER 17, 2020: ANGEL TREE PROJECT, by Melody Carlson, fiction, 4.5 of 5, -- 123 reviews
Inspired by their late friend's gifts for them, four members of a book club each decide to become someone's Christmas angel - and find their own lives are changed. Perfect for listeners who want a heartwarming and hopeful Christmas story.
Five women from different walks of life have become close friends through their book club - enjoying one another's company even more than they enjoy the books. So when the leader of the book club unexpectedly passes away on the cusp of the Christmas season, the four remaining friends are stunned. They relied on Abby for inspiration and motivation. She was the glue that held them together, and they're sure that without her the group can't continue.
When the group gathers "one last time" to open a bag Abby's husband gives them, they find Abby had made each of them an angel ornament for Christmas, crafted especially for each woman and accompanied by a sweet and personal note. Inspired by their beloved friend, together Cassidy, Louisa, Grace, and Belinda decide to commit themselves to becoming Christmas angels to others in need. Each woman will use her life situation and talents to reach out and help others in her own unique way - little knowing that her own life and her relationships will be changed forever.