The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King (Dark Tower, Book 4.5)

Synopsis: On their way to Calla Bryn Sturgis, Roland and his ka-tet take shelter from a starkblast, and Roland tells the story of his first quest after killing his mother, and within it tells a fairy tale about a brave boy who tangles with a demonic trickster. Review: Oh, my, and it was good to hear Roland’s voice again, you say true and I say thankya. With the series complete, King didn’t need to add to his Dark Tower saga, but The Wind Through the…

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Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free by Elissa Wall

Synopsis: Elissa Wall escaped polygamy and the FLDS after being forced by the prophet Rulon Jeffs to marry her first cousin at the age of 14. Review: I seriously can’t stop reading about Mormon fundamentalism. Stolen Innocence told yet another story of a girl’s life ruined by the out-of-control men who get to do whatever they want with impunity. Share on Facebook

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Escape by Carolyn Jessop

Synopsis: A true story of a woman who escaped polygamy with her eight children, despite being the plural wife of one of the most powerful men in the FLDS. Review: Carolyn Jessop’s story is fascinating and inspiring. As a mom myself, I was moved by her love for her children and her tenacity at making the system work for her. In Escape, she takes readers through her harrowing journey from true believing sister wife to crusader for justice. Share on Facebook

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After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters by NT Wright

Synopsis: Theologian NT Wright’s powerful exploration of the dynamism of sanctification. Review: After You Believe just blew my mind. I never thought much about sanctification beyond feeling like I’m a failure because the fruit of the Spirit don’t come naturally to me and I suck at following the rules. According to Wright, a British theologian, I’ve fallen prey to a very common error. I really can’t do justice to the depth of this book in a short blog post, but basically he says that we…

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Church of Lies by Flora Jessop

Synopsis: After escaping from in the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints, Flora Jessop has devoted her life to rescuing other girls from polygamy and abuse in the cult. Review: Church of Lies is an incredibly powerful story. The beginning chapters describing Flora Jessop’s abuse at the hands of her father were harrowing and there was a lot I had to skip over because it was a bit too explicit. But when the story turned to Flora’s attempts to work within and outside of the system to rescue…

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Asylum by Kristen Selleck (Birch Harbor Series, Book 1)

Synopsis: A college student with a troubled past uncovers a supernatural secret in her dormitory that threatens the love she’s finally discovered, and possibly even her life. Review: I really wanted Asylum to be as awesome as Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan, and it just wasn’t. I loved all the texture and historical detail, but all the scary stuff just didn’t play. And the love story was pretty one-dimensional. I almost didn’t finish it because my unmet expectations were bumming me out too…

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Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider

Synopsis: Techniques and strategies for freeing your life from clutter. Review: I am a bit obsessed with decluttering (and hoarding, too, which I guess makes sense) so I knew I just had to read Organized Simplicity. I have become a huge fan of Tsh’s blog and podcast and at this point I think I will basically read anything she writes! We live in an apartment and don’t really have a ton of space. Basically, if we own it, we are looking at it. I didn’t…

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Spiritual Mothering: The Titus 2 Model for Women Mentoring Women by Susan Hunt

Synopsis: A study on how to cultivate mentoring relationships among women. Review: We read through Spiritual Mothering in my Friday morning moms’ Bible Study, and we all really got a lot out of it. The basic idea is that women grow spiritually both by looking up to women who are older than them, either in age or in spiritual maturity, and that women also grow spiritually by becoming mentors themselves. The book offers insights from the Bible and from the author’s own spiritual journey and…

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I Can’t Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult by Wendy J. Duncan

Synopsis: A woman reflects on her time with Ole Anthony’s Trinity Foundation, which left after realizing that she was in a cult. Review: I Can’t Hear God Anymore was interesting for its insight into how someone becomes involved in a cult, though it was a little on the rambly side. I wanted a bit more theology, though I did appreciate the depth of her psychological self-awareness. Share on Facebook

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Triumph: Life After the Cult–A Survivor’s Lessons by Carolyn Jessop

Synopsis: After fleeing the FLDS with her 8 children, Carolyn Jessop becomes involved in the events following the raid on the FLDS compound where 400 children were taken by CPS because underage girls were being forced into plural marriages with old men. Review: I am fascinated by closed communities, and Triumph taught me so much about the inner workings of the FLDS, a radical sect of Mormonism that puts plural marriage at the forefront of their theology. Even better, I learned so much about what…

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