Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Still Lolo

Even without the propeller incident, Lauren's life story is interesting.  She is a young woman trying to make it on her own in a culture that does not encourage living the truth of God.

I am amazed that less than a year after the accident, Lauren and her family were able to reflect and write about what happened.  Most of the book is back story with the goal of helping the reader understand who Lauren was before the accident.  Even though she is still Lolo, she was honest about her journey and having to overcome severe trauma and pain as well as the loss of her left eye and left hand.

What I most appreciated about this book was the photo essay found in the second half of the book.  I found myself returning to those pictures to see Lauren's face as she talked about having to get a prosthetic eye.  I looked at Lauren doing push-ups with her prosthetic arm and marveling at how she overcame so much just to be able to do that.  Lauren truly is an amazing young woman.

Tyndale House has provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For

In this newest edition of The Purpose Driven Life, the truth is still the same.  God loves you.  He has a plan for you.  He will finish what he started.  The good news is still the good news.

The book is updated with more content (2 additional chapters) as well as links to online content that expands the message of this book.  This would be fantastic in ebook form on a digital device where the reader could upload the videos as chapters are read.

I read the original Purpose Driven Life 10 years ago.  It was, and still is, a life-changing book.  If your life has been changed by this book, you do not need to read it again.  But since 10 years have passed, there is a whole generation of believers who may not have been transformed by this book.  This book is for them.

Thomas Nelson provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Soul's Gate

This book is not for the faint of heart.  It is mind-blowing and spine-tingling.  The story goes beyond the physical realm and deep into the spiritual realm.

A group of 4 people are brought together by a prophecy.  They seek to travel into each other's souls to heal wounds and set captives free.  Traveling into souls is not without danger.  Death may even occur.  However, these people take the risk to pursue freedom from the sin that so easily entangles.

I really enjoyed the truth presented in the story line.  God still speaks to us.  Miracles do happen.  We all have hidden sin or soul crushing wounds that need God's redemption.  We also need each other to stand in the gap for us and to help us when we ourselves are too weak to stand.  What is not true is this idea of jumping into another person's soul.  The writer even admits this truth in the author's note at the end of the book.  He takes artistic license to progress the story.  Knowing that soul jumping is pure fiction, I enjoyed the story even more.

Thomas Nelson provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fire of the Raging Dragon

Action, drama, and suspense are all part of this story.  There is political posturing, military maneuvering, and heroic undertaking.  This book reminds me of Tom Clancy novels where fiction mirrors reality in today's volatile world.

The book is about a military maneuver in the South China Sea that has the potential to start World War III.  The twist in the plot is that the president's daughter is a naval officer on one of the ships in the conflict.  The back of the book describes the dilemma faced by the president and the need to make a decision as a stand against evil.  It is reflective of the sacrifice God called Abraham to make and the willingness of a Godly man to obey.

So as I read the story, I was anticipating this moral dilemma.  However, this dilemma did not appear until 300 pages into the story.  Even then, it was only a small part of the story line.  This was more about military maneuvers and the resulting political response than it was about the decision the president had to make.  The book was not as interesting to me as it lack the personal element.  I was disappointed.  Had I been told the book was about a naval battle, I think I might have enjoyed it more.

Zondervan provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.

Friday, November 16, 2012

If We Survive

Will Peterson is ready to head home after a week in Central America.  Along with 4 other people, he worked to rebuild a school in a small village.  While waiting for transportation to arrive, a man is murdered right in front of him, and a revolution breaks out.  Now Will and his friends have to fight to survive and hopefully, get back home.

The story was action packed with many twists and turns.  I appreciate how the story was told from Will's perspective so that the reader felt what he felt.  When Will had to shoot someone to protect his friends, he described the moral dilemma of what he did.  He admits that it was not like shooting up the enemy in a video game.  In real life, it is not fun and is eye-opening.  

My son loved the book as well as the Homelander series.  I am grateful that Andrew Klavan writes books for teen boys that are full of action without too much blood and gore.

Thomas Nelson provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Happier At Home

Even though I did not read The Happiness Project, I was still able to enjoy this book and glean a small measure of happiness for myself.

Gretchen Rubin is on a quest to go deeper in her desire for happiness.  It is neither a shallow endeavor nor one she enforces on others even within her own family.  In her understanding to be who she is, she  realizes that the only person she can change is herself (The Sixth Splendid Truth).  Therefore, she embarks on a journey to "Be Gretchen" and discover what brings happiness to her life.

I agree with most of what Gretchen shares.  She is non-threatening in her presentation offering that everyone can start their own happiness project to find what makes them happy.  This book is her way of sharing her personal happiness project.

It is good to know, before you read this book, that Gretchen was lawyer which is evident in her writing.  She is thorough in her analysis, extensive in her research, and verbose in her writing.  All in all, it was an interesting enough book with enough wisdom to encourage me to see the happy in my own life.

I received this book for free from Crown Publishing Group through WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  It is important to note that this is not a work of Christian non-fiction. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Against the Tide

Drama, intrigue, suspense, and romance are just a few of the words that describe this book.  There was just enough suspense to make me want to read more but no so much that it annoyed me if I had to put the book down.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story of historical Christian fiction which is saying a lot after reading over 80 books this year.

The story revolves around Lydia Pallas who grew up first on a boat with her parents and then in an orphanage after her parents died.  She works hard to become self-suffient with a good job, a nice place to live, and  in control of her life.  However, life is never perfectly ordered especially when Alexander Banebridge walks in the door.  He turns Lydia's life upside down, but in doing so helps her right some wrongs in her life and in others.

The salvation messages was weaved into the story line in a subtle way.  Some books are so overt in how the salvation messages is presented, but this book did it in a way that made me want to know more even though I am already a believer.

Bethany House provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for this review which I freely give.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Christmas Home

Like a tall glass of iced tea, this story is nice and sweet even if you know what to expect while enjoying it.

The story is about an animal shelter that must close due to cut-backs in the budget.  The people who work and support the shelter try to make the best of a bad situation.  The main character, Todd, does not know what he will do for employment when the shelter closes.  He has a unique diability that is not defined in the story line, but the reader understands that Todd is capable of hard work but not desk work.  His parents love him and want what's best for him even if they are not sure what that is.

For an easy read and a relaxing story over the holiday season, this book is for you.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.