Book Review · Books

How To Break Up With Your Phone

I’m guilty of phone addiction. It’s become a crutch to living our lives online vs outwardly. It’s an easy way to communicate on the go, or research a topic, but the myriad app options are time suckers. I don’t know how many times I’ve gone to check FB, Twitter, or IG and time has flown by. Did I do anything productive in my time online? I might have, but then again I may have just scrolled to see if anyone replied to a post of mine. Usually only a small handful do. Was it worth all that time lost? Approval addiction is an ugly beast that has a big appetite that demands to be fed constantly. That’s why when we don’t check our phones we get antsy.

I recently read the very short book Off which is a similar book to How To Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price; the difference is that this later book was more in depth. The information packed into this little yellow book is disturbing, convicting, enlightening and depressing.

How To Break Up With Your Phone talks about the behind the scenes ways your smartphone is designed on purpose to be addictive and how apps like FB, IG, etc. are set up to suck you in. The chapter on FB creeped me out. Tomorrow I’m deleting my FB account. My friends are like, “I’m sad to see you leave.” Are you kidding me? I haven’t passed on. I’m still reachable by phone, text, in person, snail mail. That social media platform has become a true social crutch and made people lazy to directly communicate with each other offline. It makes me sick because it shows you aren’t worth keeping in contact with unless you are on FB. This book also, discusses how phone addiction has changed our mental states and ways in which we are able to focus. ADHD, anxiety challenges anyone? I know I have anxiety, but that’s probably from my coffee addiction. Lastly, this book gives you a thirty day step by step plan on how to break up with your phone and take back control of your life. The step by step guide is thoughtful and I can’t wait to complete it.

I received my copy of How To Break Up With Your Phone for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for my review. This book should be required reading for schools, work places, friends, family, etc. Let’s be present in our lives. We each have allotted time and who wants to waste it glued to a screen?

Book Review · Books

Everything Happens For A Reason

Whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with a possible fatal disease, Everything Happens For A Reason, is a look at what it’s like when your view of God and how life works goes down the drain. The author, Kate Bowler, was raised a Mennonite. She studied the prosperity gospel. Her life didn’t feel very prosperous when she gets diagnosed with cancer. Kate’s honest memoir tackles the doubt she has in if it’s God’s will, or any other myriad of reasons other believers tell her is the reason she got cancer.

I received Everything Happens For A Reason by Kate Bowler from NetGalley in exchange for my honest feedback. If you enjoy memoirs this one won’t disappoint. I enjoyed Kate’s humor through a time when most wouldn’t want to try to look on the bright side of life.

Book Review · Books

Off: Your Digital Detox For A Better Life

This year I wanted to be different. I wanted to use my phone less. I wanted to unplug more. Have I in the past month of 2018? Nope. I even downsized my phone on purpose so the screen size would dissuade me from being on so much. That confession shows you how deep the phone addiction is. It’s embarrassing, sad and the state of most people unless you don’t own a smartphone. I’ve been seeing a number of books about to come out that deal with this topic.

Off: Your Digital Detox For A Better Life by Tanya Goodin is a short little book with great suggestions on how we can be wise with our phone usage and balance our life more. There are a variety of categories that Tanya addresses from how to unplug when socializing, having family time, exercising unplugged and restoring our love for hobbies that don’t involve a screen. I received my free ARC PDF from NetGalley in exchange for my feedback. So excited I read this short book and hoping to read others on how to divorce my phone addiction. Phones can be helpful, but when they atrophy our socializing skills then that should be a red flag.

Book Review · Books

Shunned

Shunned will break you. This memoir of faith, struggle and rebirth will have you on the edge of your seat. The author, Linda A. Curtis, was raised a JehovahWitness. She was the good girl, a Pioneer putting in many hrs of door to door evangelism. She never envisioned herself going down the road of doubt until one such door to door encounter had her hearing her message from the viewpoint of the receiver. Linda knows doubting is dangerous, but are worldly people that bad? Is what she’s been taught something her conscious can live with? Shunned is Linda’s journey to find out what happens when you step out of your assigned religious box.

If you are questioning the religion you were brought up in then Shunned just might be the book for you. Linda is honestly raw in her account of her journey. This book had me laughing, crying and cringing. There were times I just wanted to sit and weep along with Linda. I, myself, was not raised Jehovah Witness, but I know what it’s like to have your set beliefs ingrained in your brain and to step outside that belief is scary.

I did study with a Pioneer a few years ago for a few months. It was fascinating and intriguing. I felt challenged to explain why I believe what I do, which I think is good. The Pioneer I studied with thought for sure I was a Jehovah Witness because of my Bible knowledge, but I reassured her I was raised Protestant. Their study materials are impressive and they are highly organized. When I came out I pulled away from my studies because I know their view on homosexuality. I had hoped said Pioneer would still be my friend. A real friend. Sadly nope. As soon as I backed away it was like she never contacted me. When I reached out to check in I was advised I knew where I could find her. The Kingdom Hall. As long as I showed interest then you’d think she viewed me as a close friend, but as soon as that opportunity went away then I got black listed. Did she truly care about my spiritual walk and soul? Honestly I don’t think so. It came across as a numbers game. Glad I stepped back.

I received my free ARC of Shunned from NetGalley care of She Writes Press. This book has to be my number one 2018 book. It’s brilliant, respectful, insightful and most of all hopeful. Thank you Linda for sharing your heart.

Book Review · Books

Modern Loss

Modern Loss by Rebecca Soffer And Gabrielle Birkner is a tour de force on the topic of ways in which we deal with the loss of a loved one. Or even the loss of someone we may not be particularly fond of. Both authors experienced the loss of one or both their parents at an age they never expected to. These ladies decided to create an online community where people can be honest in sharing their grief. Modern Loss is a collection of personal essays written by many of the members of their website. Each essay is unique and powerful. The book is broken up into different things we deal with when it comes to loosing someone: the aftermath, what things trigger us in remembering the person, how do we address intimacy if it was our spouse/partner, and many other pertinent topics.

I received Modern Loss from TLC Book Tours care of Harper Wave in exchange for my feedback. This book is helpful in seeing the many facets of dealing with a loss and seeing it from many different perspectives. These essays were at times gut wrenching, humorous and thought provoking. I highly recommend this book.

Book Review · Books

You Are The Beloved

I had heard of Henri Nouwen, but never read any of his works. When I saw You Are The Beloved available on Blogging For Books I clicked the yes option. This book is a collection of different spiritual snippets from his books. Since I’ve never read him before this book gives a great overview. This book is similar to a devotional in that it is broken down by days of the year and sectioned into the months of the year. At the end of every daily meditation it references which book the daily meditation originates from. Each month focuses on different themes.

I received You Are The Beloved from Blogging For Books for free in exchange for my review. If you enjoy Nouwen or reading books by Christian mystics you will savor this book of mediations. This book isn’t one to read through fast. I’m still working through finishing it because I don’t want to hurry the deep spiritual thoughts that are in this book. I never tab my books, so this is the first book to get that special treatment. I had to buy more tabs because I already ran out. Yes, it’s that good.