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Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Magic of Motherhood

By page two of the Introduction I already knew The Magic of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd and writers from "Coffee + Crumbs" would be a good book. The sentence " Rather than offering advice, we're offering ourselves" drew me in. And offer of themselves, they did. Each essay was real, raw, and so heartfelt that you could imagine you were across the table with the authors, having a face to face discussion about motherhood.

   In the "picture perfect online life" it's easy to feel less than the perfect mothers with the magazine worthy home and the fairy tale children so it's a breath of fresh air to read a book of the true struggles, and real rewards, of motherhood. It's not a parenting advice book in the least but offers the best advice of all - we all just make this up as we go and pray that our best was good enough.

This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Woman No. 17

Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki is a book with two characters you love to hate. First up is Lady, who is described as a writer could barely eek out two pages worth of material, yet she hires a nanny to care for her young son while she does everything else possible to avoid working on said "book" (which never materializes). She hires S. to watch her three year old without so much as a background check or knowing anything about her, then spends the whole book seemingly uncomfortable with a young woman being around her older, mute son. The story lines didn't jive.

This book held my attention and was a quick summer read but left me wanting. Lady is a self-absorbed self-sabotaging woman who is not likeable in the least. S. is a young "artist" who seems to use people and has such a weird project going on that you never truly understand what her "art" is. The book went no where - a few month's in someone's life with no point whatsoever. It just ended. The dust jacket read "darkly comic, twisty and tense" and I can't figure out how someone read this book and came up with that. There was no humor, no suspense, no point.

This book was sent to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Approval Junkie

I wasn't familiar with Faith Salie's comedy before this book so maybe should have researched her before attempting her book Approval Junkie. I thought it sounded interesting though so decided to give it a go.

It was around page 27 when I started to realize it wasn't funny and more awkward and trying too hard. It was when she proclaimed, "I'm not crazy about John. I'm sane about John. I've got scar tissue, and I'm not worried about his cutting me. I was crazy about my wasband. I pinned all my happiness on him." Sorry...but it makes me uncomfortable reading a book where a woman actually says that about her current husband verses her ex-husband. It makes me wonder what poor John feels about this statement.

I got to page 60 when Salie describes learning some sex tips from her brother. I get that it was intended to be humorous but I found it desperate and inappropriate. Many comedians use sexual topics to get laughs but I find there is a fine line between funny and "I'm trying way too hard." At this point I realized I didn't like Salie's story, and find no humor in her "comedy" so decided to stop reading.

This book was given to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Can I Just Hide in Bed

Can I Just Hide in Bed 'Til Jesus Comes Back? by Martha Bolton and Christin Ditchfield has been a wonderful resource for me this month. This book dives into how to face life with courage; something that can be hard to do when you've been stressed to the max or exhausted by life. It happens to us all...a point in our life where that one extra piece of straw just breaks our back and we have to find a way to pick ourselves up.

The authors share their real life struggles with depression and anxiety and include humor because laughter really is the best medicine. It's a very light read about some very serious matters and includes many encouraging verses and ways that we can help ourselves but always with the reminder that God is on our side. He is where our strength and courage can come from when we can't face things alone.

This is not a preachy book whatsoever but feels more like a chat over a cup of coffee with a good friend. This for sure will be going on my shelves to be read again.

This book was given to me by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Only Love Today

Only Love Today by the best-selling author of Hands Free Mama, Rachel Macy Stafford, reminds us to breathe more, stress less, and choose love. It is separated into sections based on the four seasons and is a book of encouragement rather than a devotional.

The premise is a good one but I was reminded while reading this of why I didn't finish her first book, Hands Free Mama. Stafford tells us what to do instead of how to do it. The writing is often too poetic to really get deep and I feel that I'm reading one of those memes where someone is trying to tell a depressed person to "cheer up!" and they are like "Why didn't I just think of that?! All better now!"

   Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of good in this book but I didn't feel those earth shattering insights that I get from other books. I stopped half way as I was already starting to feel like the book became repetitive.   

This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Peace In The Face of Loss

I think one of the most helpful things in dealing with grief is meditation and reflection. Peace In The Face Of Loss by Jill Kelly has been one of the most helpful books I've read since losing Jacob close to four years ago. 

 While it is written by a mother who has lost a child and deals a lot with child loss I think it would be great for any type of loss (spouse, parent, sibling, etc.) as it is basically digging into God's word to understand why bad things may (will) happen in our life, how there is a purpose in our pain, how we can lean on God during those times, etc. As a matter of fact, I got so much more than comfort for my grief from this book but also some sound advice for dealing with anxiety, worry, and so on. It is a very comforting and wise book.
   I keep very few books after reading them but this will go onto my shelves. I have a small shelf (that is growing in size) of books dealing with loss that I reread or pull one out from time to time to give to a newly grieving person. This book is leather bound and a would make a great gift for someone who has lost a loved one.

Monday, April 10, 2017

We Stood Upon Stars

We Stood Upon Stars by Roger W. Thompson is all about finding God in lost places. The subtitle spoke to me immediately as that is often when I feel closest to God - out in His masterpiece of nature, feeling the sun upon me and hearing the birds sing. 

"Spearfish Creek descends from heights of the Black Hills like a chinook wink. The canyon whispers of a previous age, a sacred time, when people communed with creation. They were drawn to the mountains because language there spoke of a Creator.
    No one seemed to speak this language anymore. Motorcycles and buses of tourists sped through the canyon from waterfall to waterfall, with brief stops so people could insert themselves into photos to prove they'd been here. We are not meant to be tourists in this life. We are all travelers, like those before and those after. The proof we've been in a place is the part of us we leave there. We know we've been somewhere special because we are forever different as a result of it.
    This land and time are gifts. If we stop long enough, we might hear in the wind the voice of a Creator. We don't have to search for it. It has always been and always will be. We just have to remember the language." Page 142-143

This book calls us back to the wild, to our Creator and what He created. It reminds me of the John Muir quote of "And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul."

Each chapter begins with a drawn map of the area with suggestions of places to visit, eat, etc. then goes on to tell a life lesson Thompson learned while on that particular adventure.  While I got a lot out of this book I felt as though it was a bit disjointed. It would go from a trip he took while single, to one he took with his children, to one of the first trips as a newlywed. That back and forth made this book not flow so well.

This book was given to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.



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