Thursday, March 15, 2018

Book Review: Our Father

A must read for Lent, a great gift for Easter! Pope Francis provides new insights into the most popular prayer in Christianity, offering readers a guide to living a life of meaning, purpose and strength.

This new work by Pope Francis illuminates the most important prayer in all of Christianity, verse by verse, in conversation with Father Marco Pozza, a theologian and a prison chaplain in Padua, Italy. Here Francis offers unprecedented insight on Jesus's most profound words, while exploring the importance of social justice, benevolence, and forgiveness, key elements of Bergoglio's papacy. 

Our Father: The Lord's Prayer looks to address the concerns and hopes of today's men and women, seeking to become a guide to living a life that is full of meaning, purpose, and strength. "It takes courage to truly believe that God is the Father that accompanies us, forgives us, gives us bread, is attentive to everything we ask...what if it is not true?" the Pope writes. Challenging this doubt, he issues a call to " each other, one another to dare."

My Review:

The Lord's Prayer is so often under used and discussed especially in general Christian circles.  I grew up Catholic so we studied it quite a bit more and prayed it often.  As a "general" Christian I think we have prayed it maybe twice while in church ever.  No one really even discusses it.  I think we have lost a huge prayer in our lives because of this.  I was happy to add more thought into it with this book.  It is a great resource to have as a Catholic or as any Christian denomination.  I highly recommend reading it!

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.   

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Book Review: Rise and Grind

New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Broke and "Shark" on ABC's hit show Shark Tank explores how grit, persistence, and good old-fashioned hard work are the backbone of every successful business and individual, and inspires readers to Rise & Grind their way the top.

Daymond John knows what it means to push yourself hard--and he also knows how spectacularly a killer work ethic can pay off. As a young man, he founded a modest line of clothing on a $40 budget by hand-sewing hats between his shifts at Red Lobster. Today, his brand FUBU has over $6 billion in sales. 

Convenient though it might be to believe that you can shortcut your way to the top, says John, the truth is that if you want to get and stay ahead, you need to put in the work. You need to out-think, out-hustle, and out-perform everyone around you. You've got to rise and grind every day. 

In the anticipated follow-up to the bestselling The Power of Broke, Daymond takes an up close look at the hard-charging routines and winning secrets of individuals who have risen to the challenges in their lives and grinded their way to the very tops of their fields. Along the way, he also reveals how grit and persistence both helped him overcome the obstacles he has faced in life and ultimately fueled his success.

My Review:
I have not read the first book in this set.  It is definitely not necessary and I think I enjoyed this one more than I would the first.  I love hearing the inside scoops and tips from successful people.  This book is filled with that wisdom.  There are several ideas you've heard suggested before but reading about them from these people inspires you to make changes if you feel so inclined.  This is a bit of a different spin than other business books and I think it's a great read.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Monday, February 12, 2018

Book Review: How Healing Works

Drawing on 40 years of research and patient care, Dr. Wayne Jonas explains how 80 percent of healing occurs organically and how to activate the healing process.

In How Healing Works, Dr. Wayne Jonas lays out a revolutionary new way to approach injury, illness, and wellness. Dr. Jonas explains the biology of healing and the science behind the discovery that 80 percent of healing can be attributed to the mind-body connection and other naturally occurring processes. Jonas details how the healing process works and what we can do to facilitate our own innate ability to heal. Dr. Jonas's advice will change how we consume health care, enabling us to be more in control of our recovery and lasting wellness. Simple line illustrations communicate statistics and take-aways in a memorable way. Stories from Dr. Jonas's practice and studies further illustrate his method for helping people get well and stay well after minor and major medical events.

My Revew:
I was excited to review this book, but wasn't sure how it would read.  Would I have to pay attention to every word?  Would I understand it?  Would it be too much to absorb more than a few pages at a time?  I was pleasantly surprised that it is filled with great stories and it is an easy read while being filled with tons of great advice.  I love the idea of whole body healing and this book is a great focus on that.  Thank God, my family is not filled with sickness that needs healing, but keeping our bodies healthy is vital.  I highly recommend this book to add to your collection or to start your collection on books with the idea of getting or staying well.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Book Review: How to be Married

Everyone tells you marriage is hard, but no one tells you what to do about it.

At age thirty-four, Jo Piazza got her romantic-comedy ending when she met the man of her dreams on a boat in the Gal├ípagos Islands and was engaged three months later. But before long, Jo found herself riddled with questions. How do you make a marriage work in a world where you no longer need to be married? How does an independent, strong-willed feminist become someone’s partner—all the time?

In the tradition of writers such as Nora Ephron and Elizabeth Gilbert, award-winning journalist and nationally bestselling author Jo Piazza writes a provocative memoir of a real first year of marriage that will forever change the way we look at matrimony. 

A travel editor constantly on the move, Jo journeys to twenty countries on five continents to figure out what modern marriage means. Throughout this stunning, funny, warm, and wise personal narrative, she gleans wisdom from matrilineal tribeswomen, French ladies who lunch, Orthodox Jewish moms, Swedish stay-at-home dads, polygamous warriors, and Dutch prostitutes.

Written with refreshing candor, elegant prose, astute reporting, and hilarious insight into the human psyche, How to Be Married offers an honest portrait of an utterly charming couple. When life throws more at them than they ever expected—a terrifying health diagnosis, sick parents to care for, unemployment—they ultimately create a fresh understanding of what it means to be equal partners during the good and bad times. 

Through their journey, they reveal a framework that will help the rest of us keep our marriages strong, from engagement into the newlywed years and beyond.

My Review: 
     I saw the author on a morning show and thought her book sounded interesting.  I was excited to see it offered as a book for me to review.  I have been officially married for 11 years but consider it more like 14.  I have been married longer than many people in my family and even longer than a few of the contributors in this book, which made it fun.  I really enjoyed reading about the different customs and cultures around the world and the perspective that gave them on marriage.  This was definitely a fun read!  
     I highly recommend it for newlyweds or for anyone looking to get some fun (and often powerful) marriage tips and advice!

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Book Review: 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path

Take Heart, Beloved.

His Light Is Shining, 
And Your Path Is Clear.

Wherever you are on your journey, here is the wisdom you need for the road ahead. Maybe you’re stuck and want to move forward. Or you feel anxious and long to know what’s next. Or you’re ready for an uplifting reminder that God holds your future in His loving hands.
Chosen by hundreds of women as their favorite verses in Proverbs, these thirty-one nuggets of truth reveal how faithfully God honors His promise, “I will instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths” (Proverbs 4:11).
Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs examines each word with care and adds a sprinkling of humor through her honest stories and personal examples. For each verse you’ll find a unique “One Minute, One Step” challenge—a do-it-now task that requires one minute or less. You’ll soon discover how practical and meaningful the book of Proverbs is as you apply its ancient wisdom to your thoroughly modern life.
With a study guide included, 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path is a daily devotional and a small-group Bible study, wrapped in a beautiful gift book brimming with encouragement!

My Review:
This book is a great way to connect with God and quiet yourself for a few minutes every day.  The reflections are short and sweet.  Each reflection ends with "one minute, one step", which challenges you to reflect and grow.  I appreciate the short and sweet.  Proverbs is so filled with wisdom and instruction, especially as a woman, wife and mother.  I am excited to delve into all of the Proverbs and reflections in this book.  There is another series that Higgs has written also and I might check that one out next.  I highly recommend this book for the woman in your life.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book Review: The Daily Question

A Simple Way to Reflect on Life and Faith

This keepsake daily journal prompts you to record what is happening in your heart and spirit. The short questions at the top of each page are quick to answer—but their impact could be life changing! You’ll go back and answer the same question a year later for five years in a row, creating a time capsule of soul transformation.
With questions about…

·  your view of yourself (“What three words would people use to describe you?”),
·  your view of God (“What attribute of God are you thankful for today?”),
·  your current circumstances (“Who do you wish you could talk to today?”)

…this journal keeps a beautiful record of your hopes, thoughts, and spiritual journey.

My Review:

This book is so cute.   This book is a great way to reflect on your life over the past 5 years.  The lines for each reflection are only a few and they are written one for each day with spaces for the next 4 years.  I love that you can look back on what you wrote the previous years.  Leaving only room for short answers makes this journal easy to follow through with although I am guessing some answers would use more room.  I appreciate that aspect.  I am excited to start using this journal and am also excited to see my previous responses.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Book Review: A Prairie Girl's Faith

The beloved author of the Little House books was not only one of America's great pioneer storytellers but a woman of vibrant faith.

A Prairie Girl's Faith provides the first extended, in depth discussion of the Christian faith of one of America's most beloved pioneer women--Laura Ingalls Wilder. Although the faith of the Ingalls' family pervades books in the Little House series, the more specific details of Laura's faith have never been fully explored. It took extraordinary pluck for anyone to survive the harshness of frontier life--from the heartbreak of sudden crop losses to murderous storms to unrelenting loneliness. This book reveals how in surviving, the brave Laura drew not just on her character, but found encouragement, strength, and hope in her relationship with God.

My Review: 
I am a huge Little House on the Prairie fan so I was so excited to get this book.  One of the things that I love and admire the most about their family is their faith. I was thrilled to get to read more about that part of their lives.  This book is written in a way that makes it super easy to pick up, read a bit, and then put it down for the rest of the day.  That is what this mom needs in most books!  It is written in short little "stories" or examples of how they lived because of their faith.  I loved this book and will treasure the ideas and stories in it.  I highly recommend this book especially for Little House lovers!

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Book Review: Nourished

A noted entrepreneur, food writer, and recipe developer serves up an evocative adventure story about her quest to find healing, meaning, and a place at the table.
Hunger comes to us in many forms, writes Lia Huber—we long to be satisfied not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Nourished invites readers on Huber’s world-roaming search to find the necessary ingredients to nurture all three. 
     She begins her quest with an Anthony Bourdain moment in a Guatemalan village: she's slipping fresh vegetables into a communal pot of soup she's cooking up for chronically undernourished children. Village grannies look on disapprovingly... until the kids come back for more. 
     From there, Huber takes readers to the Greek island of Corfu, where she learns the joys of simple food and the power of unconditional love; to a Costa Rican jungle house (by way of an 8,000-mile road trip), where she finds hope and healing; and finally to California's wine country, where she steps into the person she was meant to be and discovers her calling to nourish others.

My Review:
I felt like this book was somewhat like a more foodie version of Eat, Pray, Love, which I loved.  In this book Huber discovers more about herself while giving of herself to others.  I am excited to pass this book on to other people who I know will love the introspective, generous nature of this book while also appreciating the recipes and love of food.  I highly recommend this book!

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Friday, September 29, 2017

Book Review: The Creeps

A follow-up to the New York Times best-selling Deep Dark Fears: a second volume of comics based on people's quirky, spooky, hilarious, and terrifying fears. 

Illustrator, animator, teacher, and comic artist Fran Krause has touched a collective nerve with his wildly popular web comic series and subsequent book Deep Dark Fears. Here he brings readers more of the creepy, funny, and idiosyncratic fears they love illustrated in comic form--such as the fear that your pets will tell other animals all your embarrassing secrets, or that someone uses your house while you're not home--as well as two longer comic short-stories about ghosts.

My Review:
This book is pretty hilarious if you have the tiniest bit of dark humor in you.  It is filled with short little comics about many of the things we find strange or creepy.  The comics turn these issues into hilarious little bits.  I chose this book to give as a gift to someone who will appreciate the darker humor that Fran Krause shares in this book.  I know she will love it and I might need to buy another copy or two and definitely check out the first in this "series".

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Book Review: Hacking Growth

The definitive playbook by the pioneers of Growth Hacking, one of the hottest business methodologies in Silicon Valley and beyond.

It seems hard to believe today, but there was a time when Airbnb was the best-kept secret of travel hackers and couch surfers, Pinterest was a niche web site frequented only by bakers and crafters, LinkedIn was an exclusive network for C-suite executives and top-level recruiters, Facebook was MySpace’s sorry step-brother, and Uber was a scrappy upstart that didn’t stand a chance against the Goliath that was  New York City Yellow Cabs. 

So how did these companies grow from these humble beginnings into the powerhouses they are today? Contrary to popular belief, they didn’t explode to massive worldwide popularity simply by building  a great product then crossing their fingers and hoping it would catch on. There was a studied, carefully implemented methodology behind these companies’ extraordinary rise. That methodology is called Growth Hacking, and it’s practitioners include not just today’s hottest start-ups, but also companies like IBM, Walmart, and Microsoft as well as the millions of entrepreneurs, marketers, managers and executives who make up the community of

Think of the Growth Hacking methodology as doing for market-share growth what Lean Start-Up did for product development, and Scrum did for productivity. It involves cross-functional teams and rapid-tempo testing and iteration that focuses customers: attaining them, retaining them, engaging them, and motivating them to come back and buy more.   

An accessible and practical toolkit that teams and companies in all industries can use to increase their customer base and market share, this book walks readers through the process of creating and executing their own custom-made growth hacking strategy. It is a must read for any marketer, entrepreneur, innovator or manger looking to replace wasteful big bets and "spaghetti-on-the-wall" approaches with more consistent, replicable, cost-effective, and data-driven results.

My Review: 
This book is a great read for business owners and people in sales.  The ideas are that businesses need to grow and develop in order to keep up with their customer's demands and desires.  Data backs up the information given but it is given in a way that is still easy to understand and interpret.  The book gives great ideas for the present and also shares how successful businesses have also "hacked growth".  I highly recommend this book if you are in sales or a business owner who wants to grow an even more successful business.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Book Review: Before I Forget

Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer's
“I know where I’m going. I’m still myself. I just can’t remember things as well as I once did. So on short trips, I work hard not to be confused. I’ll say to myself, What are we going to do? How long are we staying? It’s like I’m talking to my other self—the self I used to be. She tells me, This is what we need to buy—not that. I’m conscious of that other self guiding me now.”

Restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef, and nationally known lifestyle maven, B. Smith is struggling at 66 with a tag she never expected to add to that string: Alzheimer's patient.  She’s not alone. Every 67 seconds someone newly develops it, and millions of lives are affected by its aftershocks.

B. and her husband, Dan, working with Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Shnayerson, unstintingly share their unfolding story. Crafted in short chapters that interweave their narrative with practical and helpful advice, readers learn about dealing with Alzheimer's day-to-day challenges: the family realities and tensions, ways of coping, coming research that may tip the scale, as well as lessons learned along the way.

At its heart, Before I Forget is a love story: illuminating a love of family, life, and hope.
My Review: 
This book was heartbreaking for me especially because my grandmother just died and she had Alzheimer's.  The disease is real and scary.  It confuses everyone.  I loved reading this because much of it was written from the woman who is struggling with Alzheimer's.  Her viewpoints were different from what we often hear about and see.  We imagine what it is like to deal with someone who has the disease but we often don't think about how the person with the disease feels. 
This is a great book and unfortunately it is one that we all could use on our shelves.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.
Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer's by [Smith, B., Gasby, Dan, Shnayerson, Michael]