H. Joaquin Jackson & David Marion Wilkinson’s One Ranger: A Memoir

One Ranger: A Memoir (Bridwell Texas History Series) by H. Joaquin Jackson | LibraryThing

Jackson, H. J., Wilkinson, D. M., & Linn, R. (2005). One ranger: A memoir. Ashland, OR: Blackstone Audiobooks. 9780786179978

Reasons for Reading: Once again, I browsed for eAudio. As I usually prefer hearing nonfiction, I perused biographies when I spotted One Ranger: A Memoir. I scanned the description and decided to listen to the memoir during my work commute. I uploaded the eAudio to my iPhone from HCPL’s Digital Media Catalog.

Summary: Like many other boys who grew up in Twentieth Century Texas, Joaquin Jackson dreamed of becoming part of the legendary Texas Rangers. The 6 foot 5 inch Jackson’s dream came true in 1966. Jackson embarked on a career which led him to many adventures, friendships, and fame. His picture graced the cover of Texas Monthly (see the book cover :)), he gained bit parts in movies with the likes of Tommy Lee Jones, and Nick Nolte even modeled his character in the movie Extreme Prejudice after him. Of course, Jackson experienced many points of heartache as well.

What I Liked: I enjoyed Jackson’s sense of humor throughout his memoir. Also, I thought Rex Linn was the perfect choice to narrate this work. I nearly thought Linn was Jackson himself. Soon after I began listening to One Ranger, I got a mention from UT Press on Twitter and that was awesome!

What I Disliked:  I believe this error was due to the download but one chapter didn’t properly work. I had to check out the print version and read what happened. Also, a sequel – One Ranger Returns – exists but it’s not in eAudio format. I hope this changes soon.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Setting: Texas

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Ron Hall & Denver Moore’s What Difference Do It Make?…

What Difference Do It Make?: Stories of Hope and Healing by Ron Hall | LibraryThing

Hall, R., Moore, D., & Vincent, L. (2009). What difference do it make?: Stories of hope and healing. Nashville, Tenn: Thomas Nelson. 9780849920196

Reasons for Reading: After reading Same Kind of Different as Me for our Bible Study group, my mom found this sequel of sorts.  She checked out What difference do it make?: Stories of hope and healing from HCPL and recommended I read it, too.

Summary: (Warning: Must Read Same Kind of Different As Me… before starting this book.) What Difference Do It Make… is a collection of stories and events which were spurred on by Same Kind of Different as Me.

What I Liked: It was great finding out that a single book led to so many awesome acts. Also, I appreciated the authenticity of it. These people had problems and they didn’t shy away from admitting them.

What I Disliked:  Why couldn’t Same Kind of Different as Me have been this awesome?

Four Out of Five Pearls

Setting: Dallas, Ft. Worth, Louisiana, Italy, United States 
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Akiane and Foreli Kramarik’s Akiane: Her life, her art, her poetry.

Akiane: Her Life, Her Art, Her Poetry by Akiane Kramarik | LibraryThing

Kramarik, A., & Kramarik, F. (2006). Akiane: Her life, her art, her poetry. Nashville, Tenn: W Publishing Group. 9780849900440

Reasons for Reading: I believe I first learned of Akiane Kramarik when she was a guest on Oprah. However, I’m not certain. She made a lasting impression on me when I read Heaven is for Real.  So, when I found HCPL owned Akiane and Foreli Kramarik’s Akiane: Her life, her art, her poetry, I requested a copy.

Summary: Young prodigy Akiane Kramarik’s outstanding body of artwork comes to light in this book. Born to an atheist mother and lapsed Catholic father, Akiane remarkably sought God. Her faith and developing relationship with God brought her family to belief and acceptance. The book tells Akiane’s story, shows her glorious artwork, and shares her poetry.

What I Liked: This book presented Akiane’s artwork beautifully. The paintings nearly leapt off the pages at me. Also, Akiane captures the attention just through this book setting on the coffee table.  

What I Disliked:  As this book came out in 2006, I’m curious to find more recent info on Akiane.

Four Out of Five Pearls

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Ron Hall & Denver Moore’s Same Kind of Different as Me

Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together by Ron Hall | LibraryThing

Hall, R., Moore, D., & Vincent, L. (2006). Same kind of different as me. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.  9780849919107

Reasons for Reading: My Bible study wanted us to read a book over the summer when weren’t meeting as often. One lady suggested Same Kind of Different as Me for this purpose. Down the road, I learned that since I’m the only librarian in the group that I would have the pleasure of reviewing the book for the group. Thus, I checked out Same Kind of Different as Me from HCPL.

Summary: Born on a Louisiana plantation, Denver Moore grew up a virtual slave in the 1960s. Denver rides the rails and wanders aimlessly and lives on the streets of Ft. Worth, Texas. Then, there’s Ron Hall, an international arts dealer who’s accustomed to cavorting with millionaires. These two men are night and day; worlds apart. Yet, God uses Ron’s prayerful wife, Deborah to bring together these two very diverse individuals. It’s at her insistence that the Halls volunteer at a soup kitchen and it’s Deborah who tells Ron of a dream of a wise man saving the city. Their friendship grows despite many hardships as they come together to serve God. Despite their differences, both Denver and Ron are the same in that God loves them.

What I Liked: I liked that each man told his story in his own words. This seemed the most natural way to relate their stories. I appreciated getting perspectives from both Denver and Ron on the same situations.

What I Disliked:  As this book goes in tandem between Denver and Ron, I wished the chapters had been prefaced with the narrator’s name. Also, not all editions have the picture section in the middle.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Setting: Louisiana, Ft. Worth  

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Richard Blackaby’s Putting a Face on Grace…

Putting a Face on Grace: Living a Life Worth Passing On by Richard Blackaby | LibraryThing


Blackaby, R. (2006). Putting a face on grace. Sisters, Or: Multnomah Publishers. 9781590524817

Reasons for Reading: My Bible study leader chose Putting a face on grace as our book. As I figured I would be reading it for more than six weeks and that I would want to highlight passages, I purchased two copies of the book (one was for my mom) using my Amazon Prime account.

Summary: Richard Blackaby, son Henry Blackaby (Experiencing God) recognizes that grace is something God extends us.  Yet, Blackaby challenges us to be givers as well as recipients of grace. He wants the Lord’s undeserved favor to flow through us. According to Blackaby, when grace is extended by the saved, this serves as great witness. Great witness leads to further salvation and, thus, putting a face on grace.

What I Liked This book offered numerous anecdotes about those full of His grace and, well, the otherwise. Blackaby even shares situations where he wasn’t so gracious. I found these instances completely understandable and could see how to do better in the future.

What I Disliked This isn’t really a complaint about the book. Our group took around seven months to finish it. The book lost some of its impact due to this. It lost the freshness of a recent reading. I may reread this book when I have fewer items on my TBR list.

Four Out of Five Pearls

You might also like:
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  • The Shack by William P. Young
  • God’s Invitation: A Challenge to College Student by Richard Blackaby & Henry J. Blackaby
  • The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

 For more on Richard Blackaby’s Putting a Face on Grace…, check out the following:

Jorie’s Top Ten Books of 2011

Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

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These are 10 books I enjoyed reading the most in 2011.

1. Kathryn Stockett’s The Help

2. Todd Burpo’s Heaven is for real: A little boy’s astounding story of his trip to heaven and back

3. Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

4. Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Played With Fire

5. Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

6. Michael Connelly’s The Reversal (fourth in the series)

7. Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love

8. Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss

9. Caroline B. Cooney’s What Child is This? A Christmas Story

10. Sarah Addison Allen’s The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love: A novel

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers | LibraryThing

Rivers, F. (2005). Redeeming love: A novel. Sisters, Or: Multnomah. 9781590525135

A number of my friends enjoy Christian Fiction. This is a genre I haven’t explored deeply. When I heard that Redeeming Love paralleled the Old Testament book of Hosea, I placed a request on it through HCPL.

Set during the California Gold Rush of the 1840s – 1850s, Rivers writes the story of Angel (Gomer), a beautiful prostitute, who is saved from a bordello by Michael Hosea, an honest farmer. Angel suffered much as she was sold into the trade as an eight-year old girl and trusts no one, especially not men. However, Michael hears God tell him he is to marry Angel. While he doesn’t exactly want to marry a “soiled dove,” Michael does as instructed. Although Michael treats her with love and respect, Angel can’t resist the depravity of her “previous life.” Michael relentlessly brings Angel back to his farm.

I wouldn’t call this a replica of Hosea but Rivers weaves the Gold Rush into the plot quite well. Also, Rivers paints her version of Gomer with living color. Through Angel, Rivers explores God’s grace and unfailing love. I could also detect Rivers’ previous experience as a secular romance writer. I also appreciated the expression of God’s love. Rivers nor her characters were preachy or sanctimonious and I thank God for that. Love scenes were present but so discreet that I didn’t even notice the first one – definitely for the Christian reader. This may not have been my favorite book for stylistic reasons (repetitive in words and events) but I did like the message.

Three and a Half Out of Five Pearls

Song: YouTube – Third Day – Gomer’s Theme

Places : New England, New York City, California

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Todd Burpo’s Heaven is for Real . . .

Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo | LibraryThing

Burpo, T., & Vincent, L. (2010). Heaven is for real: A little boy’s astounding story of his trip to heaven and back. Nashville, Tenn: Thomas Nelson. 9780849946158

Here’s yet another book that patrons continuously request. My mom placed a hold on one of


 copies and it finally arrived. She read it in an afternoon. It took me a few more days but I would’ve done the same if I hadn’t needed to work and sleep. 🙂 As it’s nonfiction, the book is also another entry for the

2011 Non-Fiction Challenge

 . Pastor Todd Burpo collaborated with writer to Lynn Vincent

(Going Rogue)

to write the account. The Burpos live in a small town in the Western Nebraska. In 2002 – 2003, numerous medical maladies befell Todd and then Colton. At this time, the nearly four-year old Colton grew ill. Nobody realized it was due to his ruptured appendix.

Colton miraculously survived the emergency surgery. Months later, Colton started talking about how he had been to Heaven. While there, Colton saw Jesus, John the Baptist, various members of the Burpo family, and many others. Three-year old Colton told his family things that he couldn’t possibly have known – the Christian faith, a great-grandfather who died long before Colton’s birth, and all the beautiful colors described in the Book of Revelation.  

This was a quick and excellent book. The straightforward, unsanguine style used in this nonfiction made for an easy read. Colton described his experience and used such impressive detail that it blew away his parents. He discussed the Trinity and how much Jesus loves children. References to the Bible occur throughout the book. Some may come away from the book with a belief in the Age of Accountability.  

I’m proud to say I only cried once while reading the book and that was toward the end. If you want to read a spoiler, highlight the following: Little Colton encountered various animals while in Heaven. Since I lost my seventeen year old cat Cassidy in January 2011, I look forward to seeing him again.

Also, I think the book offers hope to those who have lost loved ones. Undoubtedly, the people involved were Christian. This was not in the least Universalism. Also, the book was – well, real, rather than maudlin.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Places: Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Heaven

You might also like:
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  • The Left Behind Series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
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 For more on Todd Burpo’s Heaven is for Real, check out the following:

– Written by Jorie @ Jorie’s Reads