Book Review · Books

We Need To Talk

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“We need to talk,” is one of the most intimidating sentences we hear. I know when I hear it my stress and anxiety levels go up. I hate feeling like I’m in trouble, or going to be lectured. If that’s the main sentence you hear from a family member, or friend it doesn’t endear you to want to ever talk with them for fear of being on their crud list. This book, We Need To Talk by Celeste Headlee took that one sentence filled with fear and opened my eyes to a lot more.

This book covers a lot of different aspects of conversation and how we either help, or hinder communicating effectively. I felt convicted on a lot. I interject similar experiences, I interrupt who I’m talking with and sometimes I go off into day dreamland not fully paying attention. When I get excited I get chatty, but if I’m nervous I go quiet. Another aspect to conversation that was addressed in the book is our lack of attention span and empathy as a society. Those statistics were sobering and disturbing. I think the invention of smart phones has given us access to information, but not made us smarter, or more compassionate.

If you are interested in reading more about the topic of conversation and how to be a great listener and conversationalist I highly recommend this readable book. To grab a copy click here. I got an early copy of We Need To Talk from TLC Book Tours for free in exchange for my honest assessment. What an enlightening read. To find out more about the author visit her website.

Book Review · Books

The Grown-Up’s Guide To Teenage Humans

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I don’t have kids. Why would I pick to reciew a book about how to deal with teenagers? I’m not a parent, a teacher, a mentor, a counselor, but I am an aunt. Eventually my nephew will become a teenager and I’ll need to be ready. This book is very readable and has great suggestions on how to handle a myriad of things from sex, dating, dealing with death, anger, eating disorders, school, cell phones, etc. Josh writes with humor and candor. The author even goes over what to expect with teen’s emotions and physical changes, broken down by age category.

Reading this book brought to mind how I related back to my parents and the type of parenting they enacted. There are 4 different parental traps: comfort, approval, control and performance. I’d say my dad falls under the control and performance categories while my mom is under the comfort trap. I unfortunately relate to the approval trap. I still over think and care what others think of me. Even though I’m an adult this section of the book was very enlightening.

If you work with teens in any capacity I highly recommend this book. It has great examples for questions to ask when it comes to talking about the bird and the bees. If you want to put together a house rules document for your home so everyone clearly understands what’s expected of them Josh has a great template for it. I think having a journal to correspond between parent and teen is a wonderful idea. It gives a place to be honest without the pressure of the other person looking intently at you, waiting for an answer to a question. Plus, it gives history you can refer back to, to see how far your communication has improved. I received The Grown-Up’s Guide To Teenage Humans by Josh Shipp for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. To buy a copy click here and find out how you can get further awesome guidance from Josh here.

Book Review · Books

The Alphabet Of Grief

img_2099Grief is not a topic out of popularity, but out of necessity. We don’t know when a friend, family member, spouse, or acquaintance is going to pass away. The Alphabet Of Grace is a small little book packed with lots of wisdom. Chaplain Andrea Raynor brings death and grief to our door in an easy to understand Guide. Her guide of sorts is broken down via the alphabet. Each letter stands for a topic having to do with grief and death. At the end of each short chapter is a meditation and an affirmation.

I have had family members pass away and close friends. Death is never easy to deal with. I still miss my grandparents and my one best friend, but I know they are now not in pain. Personally I don’t find comfort in going to their graves. Honestly cemeteries creep me out. One way I like to remember them is by going to a fave place they liked to eat, or enjoy a favorite pastime they had like watching baseball, or reading a book. We all deal with grief in different ways.

I’m so glad I requested to review this book from Blogging For Books. This book is not preachy, though it is consider Christian. It comes across like a warm blanket on a winter night that keeps you warm and feeling cozy. It’s comforting and yet educational at the same time. I got this book for free in exchange for my review from Blogging For Books. I highly recommend this title for anyone dealing with someone in the process of dying or have passed on. I wish I’d had this book back when my grandparents passed. It would have helped me get through a lot.

Book Review · Books

The Landscapes Of Anne Of Green Gables

img_2107.jpgWho can’t resist reading about one of your all time favorite places even if you have yet to actually visit? In second grade I got to watch, “Anne of Green Gables,” the Kevin Sullivan production. It was breathtaking and Megan Follows will forever be Anne to me. I have watched the new version on Netflix. I was very negative about there being a new one. I chanced and watched it. It’s easily as fantastic as the previous mini series, possibly even better. Gasp. Very sacreligious I know. When this title became a possible ARC I’d be alllwed to read I jumped at my opportunity.

This lovely book takes the reader on a visual delight of the many wonders of Prince Edward Island. The photos show the island at different seasons. This book also, talks about the author of Anne Of Green Gables,  Lucy Maude Montomgery otherwise known as L.M. Montgomery. If you like reading about your favorite author’s life then this book will leave you craving to read more about her. There are photos throughout of her and also, places on the island that inspired her novels.

If you are a big fan of Anne of Green Gables then this book will be a keeper once it comes out. The photos made me want to book my trip right away. It also, inspires one to want to learn more about L.M. Montgomery. I was provided this ARC for free via NetGalley in exchange for my review. Thank you NetGalley and Timber Press.

Book Review · Books

Love Big, Be Well

If you have been burnt by the church, Love Big, Be Well, just might restore your faith in the body of Christ (family of God) aka the church. This novel is the story of Pastor Jonas McAnn whose decided to get back into preaching after doing a stint working at an insurance company. He receives a letter from one of the churches he’s going to be interviewing at. He’s used to getting a long list of questions, but the letter he gets is down to earth and simple. Does he want to be Granby’s pastor? Pastor Jonas writes back. This starts a tradition of correspondence between himself and the congregation. Him and his wife decide to accept the pastorate at Granby Presbyterian. This novel is the correspondence over the years between Pastor Jonas and his new congregation.

Each chapter talks about different topics from Advent, to baptism, death, Christian conferences, friendship and a host of other topics. This novel isn’t preachy, it’s not superficial. This book is down to earth and meets you where you are at. You don’t have to be a believer to read this novel.

I received the e-book ARC of, Love Big, Be Well by Winn Collier from NetGalley in exchange for my honest assessment. This book reminded me a lot of the book, So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore,  by Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman. Both books are sweet and tackle tough topics in a nonpushy manner. If there is a church out there like the fictional Granby Presbyterian sign me up. I miss belonging to a church family like that.

Book Review · Books

Still Christian 

If you were a Christian young adult in the 1980’s this just might be the book for you. Pastor and teacher David Gushee talks about his faith journey in, Still Christian ,  from being a new believer in the summer of 78′ to his current life as a grandfather. Mr. Gushee describes what it’s like to be on the Southern Baptist side of the fence and the liberal side of the Christian fence. He has experienced both sides of Christiandom and come away still a believer. If you have attended an ultra conservative Christian college you may be able to relate to his experiences at both Union and Southern Baptist Theological seminaries, etc. Mr. Gushee discovered what it’s like when you stand by your convictions. Damned if you do and sometimes damned if you don’t. When the author took a stand with the LGBT community he found out how standing up for what you believe in can start you on a whole new spiritual journey than from where you started.

I received the ARC of, Still Christian,  from NetGalley in exchange for my honest assessment. I think I was the wrong age range to read this book. If I was ten years older than I might possibly might be able to relate to it more.

Book Review · Books

Rabbit Hole

David Shurter’s memoir is his journey coming to terms with his nightmarish past. He was raised in a family where his father was a Satanist and a priest within a local Satanic coven. He was raised and groomed from childhood to believe he was the AntiChrist. Some of his memories felt so awful, he wondered if they were merely bad dreams. After talking with his siblings he realized they weren’t bad dreams, but real events he was remembering. I think my mind is still trying to wrap around the events David talks about in his memoir. What Satanic ritual abuse entails is mind-boggling. David’s quest to find answers and healing is intense and filled with hope.

Years ago I discovered an SRA (Satanic Ritual Abuse) survivor, a Christian, who I befriended online. I read her memoir and was floored. When I saw Rabbit Hole as an option to get to possibly read, I grabbed at the first chance I got. The topic of Satanism isn’t for the light-hearted. It is dark, sadistic, demonic, creepy and you might opt to leave the lights on, but to educate yourself about this is subject is very important. Satanist wants to keep what they do in the dark, but the evil committed needs to be brought into the light. I was given an e-book of Rabbit Hole for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. If you are spiritually sensitive this memoir might not be for you, but on the other hand you need to know the truth.