Thursday, April 29, 2010

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream by David Platt

Radical ... I was asked to read the first chapter of this book as part of a blog tour. (Kinda funny, huh?) This book is a challenge to change everything about your life ... not for yourself but so Jesus Christ gets the ultimate glory. Are you going to believe the things (the HARD things) that Jesus says about Himself? And if you do, are you going to do what He says? I've had the incredible privilege to sit under the teaching of David Platt for the past 3.5 years. Let me just say that I can recommend this book to anyone ... based on that fact alone. But don't read the book unless you want to be challenged in the way you perceive Christianity and the way you live your life.

The book will be released on May 4. Check out the first chapter for FREE.

You can order a FREE copy of The Radical Question (a concise companion book) here.

And if you want to hear what David has to say about the book, check out the video below.

Monday, April 26, 2010

You Can Be Everything God Wants You To Be by Max Lucado

Let me preface this review by saying two things. First, I’m not crazy about gift books. I like to read something that I can really get into and not have little short segments. Second, I have an issue with people publishing the same material (basically) under two different titles. I have been tricked by this before and it is always a let-down when I realize that I am reading the SAME book that I have read before ... just with a different title and cover.

That said ... I was surprised by this little gift book. The basic premise is that most people are unhappy with the work that they do day-in and day-out. Since this takes up most of our time here on planet earth, shouldn’t we be happier? Lucado offers a simple way to determine what we SHOULD be doing. Through the process of asking several simple questions, we should be able to figure out what we do well and what we enjoy doing ... and then do it! And love it! Seems simple right? (Although, once I started thinking about this in my own life, it will probably take a little longer than a day or two!)

I liked the simple message ... the thought that EVERYONE should be in their “sweet spot” ... doing what they enjoy and being good at it. I wished that the book was a little more in-depth. The daily selections were taken from another book, The Cure for the Common Life, and more than anything I think reading this book made me want to read the “whole” story in that book.

Anyway. I would recommend this book only if you really like reading short selections each day (like a devotional) or if you know someone who really likes little gift books. Otherwise, I would probably opt for the original book ... The Cure for the Common Life.

3 stars (out of 5)

I received this book free of charge from Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze blog review program in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ransomed Dreams by Sally John

I began reading Ransomed Dreams by Sally John thinking that the story would be a simple one about an ambassador and his wife who experience major life-change after he is shot while on assignment. Several pages in, I realized that the story is more than that. It’s about relationships ... between two sisters, between a victim and her rescuer, between a daughter and her estranged father, between a daughter and the father she idolized, between daughters and their deceased mother, between a woman and the locals who become her support, between a mom in crisis and her best friend, between a wife and her husband facing tragedy.

Sally John tells the story of Sheridan, Eliot, Luke, and Calissa in a way that grips your heart and pulls you in. The characters become real and feel like friends. Their emotions are on display for everyone to dive in and pick apart. But more importantly, I could relate—not to the details of the plot—but to the emotions that the plot evoked.

I have read other novels by Sally John and am always impressed by her gripping stories and the way she weaves the Gospel throughout. It doesn’t feel forced ... it seems natural ... as though it’s an important part of her life and therefore an important part of each novel she writes.

I would definitely recommend this book to a friend ... If you’re anything like me you’ll have to fight not to read ahead to the last page to see if everything works out “okay.”

5 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review of this book.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rick & Bubba's Big Honkin' Book of Grub by Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey

As an avid fan of The Rick and Bubba Show, I was excited to see this book as one of my choices from Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program. The "Two Sexiest Fat Men Alive" have written an entire book about their favorite subject ... food. They talk about how much they love food, what kind of foods they love (all of them!), what kind of places they like to eat food (anywhere!), and give all sorts of rules for eating.

I will say that the book was really funny. I literally laughed out loud several times as I read this book ... much to my husband's dismay since I usually read it in bed before going to sleep at night!

I've never read a book purely for comedic enjoyment, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I think this book would be most enjoyed in bits and pieces as you're looking for a good laugh ... rather than read straight through.

I especially enjoyed the "Top 10 Lists" and the discussion on "Giblets versus Jiblets" where they cite Rick's Memaw and Big Bird as authoritative experts on the pronunciation of "giblets." Hilarious stuff!

3.5 stars (out of 5)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson's in exchange for my honest review of the book.
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