Guest Post — Carole Jarvis, Blogger at The Power of Reading

26 Nov

I connected with Carole at The Power of Words early in my blogging. We participated in many of the same blog tours, and our opinions consistently lined up. We started a back and forth comment communication, and our friendship grew. In her reviews, Carole always says what I wish I had said! Her reviews are insightful and cover everything you need to know about the book without anything extraneous. I get lots of my reading recommendations from Carole. If you don’t follow her already, I urge you to visit her blog. You will love it!

Today, Carole is sharing about her love of books, the creative arts, and her blogging journey. Thanks, Carole, for being a great book friend and for helping me celebrate today!

Guest Post — Carole from The Power of Words

When I first stumbled upon the world of blogging, I was immediately drawn to Beckie’s By the Book and discovered many wonderful books thanks to her recommendations. In addition to sharing a common faith and love for books, the fact that we are southern gals who live in the same state (Georgia) makes our connection even more special.  

I am honored and humbled that Beckie invited me to participate in her ten-year celebration. In reflecting on what to write about, I decided to simply share a little about my love for books and hopefully, in the process, encourage some who read this to become bloggers. 

While I love the creative arts, I’m not a writer; in fact, writing is painfully hard and slow for me most of the time. I’m a musician and have been a church pianist for 56 years. This picture was taken at my daughter’s wedding, which I played for, just before she moved to Germany for eight years to lead a campus ministry – and I can’t think of a better profile picture.

My Mom helped me cultivate a love for reading at an early age by bringing me a Bobbsey Twins book twice a month on her paydays ($1.25 in hardback at the time) – and then on to Cherry Ames, Judy Bolton, Nancy Drew, and Agatha Christie. Then something incredible happened in my late teens when I discovered that books not only entertained, but that many had the power to touch and change lives. Here are a few novels of the past that deepened my faith and literally redirected the ministry path my life took as a young adult, stories that earn the highest of recommendations (titles linked to their Amazon page).

The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas

Dear and Glorious Physician (the story of Luke) by Taylor Caldwell

In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon

The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson


Many years later, I discovered the seasonal catalogues of Christian Book Distributors. While I poured over every page, it was their “New and Recommended” section in the middle on which I mainly focused, and I discovered some absolute gems there. Below are five such books that again earn my highest of recommendations, read when the writing of reviews wasn’t even on my radar

Coldwater Revival by Nancy Jo Jenkins

Saving Sailor by Renee Riva

Daughter of Liberty by J. M. Hochstetler

William Henry Is a Fine Name by Cathy Gohlke

Sutter’s Cross by Dale Cramer

So how does someone who hates to write become a book reviewer? I’m still asking myself that, actually. Bottom line, it was books like the five mentioned above that made me want to somehow let everyone know how incredibly wonderful they were. A friend encouraged me to start a blog where I shared my love for the creative arts – books, music, and artwork. Knowing that detailed reviews like high school and college demanded weren’t the answer, I started searching online for how to write a book review, compiled the best ideas, and came up with what worked for me. Beckie has been not only a friend, but a great encourager – and there are many more like her in the blogging community. So, if you’ve ever wanted to really support authors and share writing that inspires you, let me encourage you to try blogging. It’s easy, fun, and there’s a strong network out there. It may sound trite to say that if I can do it, anyone can, but that’s just about the case.

It was in 2012 that I began this journey and I wanted to share some of my favorite books from those first 2-3 years of blogging. These are all outstanding and have a clear spiritual message (titles are linked to my reviews).

Lost and Found by Ginny L. Yttrup

Mother of Pearl by Kellie Coates Gilbert

In Broken Places by Michele Phoenix

The Air We Breathe by Christa Parrish

When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley

The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson

A Promise Kept by Robin Lee Hatcher

To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander

An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti

I’ll end with a tribute to a personal friend who just happens to be a very talented author, Dale Cramer. Although not currently writing, two of his novels won the Christy Award and all are excellent. Dale and I went to the same church during his years of publication and it was great to share in his book signing at the release of his last book in 2013, Though Mountains Fall.

Beckie, thank you so much for the honor of being on your blog. You are a skilled reviewer of great integrity, as well as a cherished friend, and I wish you many more years of blogging.


Thanks so much, Carole, for sharing from your heart. And I know that my readers have a great list of book recommendations now too!

Wife, mother, pianist, avid reader, Christ follower, Carol Jarvis blogs at The Power of Words.


3 Responses to “Guest Post — Carole Jarvis, Blogger at The Power of Reading”

  1. Suzanne Sellner November 26, 2019 at 4:42 pm #

    I’ve loved The Power of Words with Carol’s book reviews for many years, and just like in Beckie’s reviews, I have found many an author who is new to me along with excellent recommendations. Thanks so much for your diligence and your ministry to book lovers!

    • rbclibrary November 26, 2019 at 6:36 pm #

      Carole is wonderful.

  2. Heidi Reads November 27, 2019 at 12:02 am #

    I’ve been following Carole’s blog for years, and I’m always impressed with her talent of putting her thoughts into such eloquent words! I’m surprised to hear she hates writing, but I understand since I often struggle with how to get my thoughts about a book out in a way that makes a good review for others. Thanks for the book recommendations Carole! Congratulations on your landmark of blogging Beckie!

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