Book Review · Books

Running From God

Elizabeth grew up with a strict and harsh father. She wanted for him to be proud of her, to tell her that he loved her, but it was an exercise in vain. She was an introvert craving to be loved, but afraid of being hurt and ridiculed. Elizabeth mainly kept to herself, until she met and married her husband Bob. He showed her unconditional love, encouraged her to be her even when it was out of her comfort zone. Elizabeth and Bob had kids.

Sadly when Bob passes unexpectedly Elizabeth is thrown into figuring out who she is apart from her spouse and her kids. Running From God is Elizabeth’s journey from exploring her childhood religion of what being Jewish entails to finding a faith that speaks to her without harsh judgement. Through many different spiritual journeys from Gurus to A Course In Miracles, Elizabeth discovers her spiritual home and her way back to God.

I got my free digital copy from NetGalley in exchange for my review. I enjoyed this spiritual memoir because I can relate to wanting a faith that is yours and not a family members. I was raised a particular faith and set of beliefs. To journey outside that comfort bubble is scary, but also, rewarding. Thank you Elizabeth for opening up your life and sharing all you’ve learned. Your memoir was a joy to read. If you enjoyed Conversations With God, then you just may like Running From God.

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

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.

Book Review · Books

The Slave

The Slave is a short story about a man who is in a coma and can’t respond to those around him in the hospital, though he can see and hear what’s going on around him. He hears this inner voice talking to him about life and its purpose. Since the main character can’t communicate outwardly he has no other choice, but to listen to this voice/Guide. This short story reminds me a lot of Conversations With God by Neal Donald Walsch. The concepts explored in this book range from learning how to forgive, not blame others, being responsible for your own happiness and in the connectedness with everything.

If you enjoyed similar books you will want to pick up a copy of this slim volume. If you have a day to just sit and read you’ll easily complete this short book. Not all books are worthy of being read over and over. This one is. Enjoy. Savor. Learn. Live. Most importantly: LOVE.

I was contacted by an agent with the PR company promoting The Slave by Anand Dilvar. This was due to her seeing one of my book reviews. This makes me happy to see that my blogging is getting noticed. I am thrilled that I was asked to review an ARC of this book. Thank you, Larissa.

Book Review · Books

Holy Rascals

img_2241.jpgHoly Rascals is a short little book that makes the hamsters in your brain get a workout. This book talks about learning to look at your religion through the lense of humor. Not in a mocking, but thought provoking way. I am alright with some spiritual snarkiness. For some reason this brand of humor was lost on me throughout most of this book.

This book talks about the major religions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc. It takes the traditional views and shows you different ways to view them in non literal ways. This book was a lot to take in, mentally and spiritually within one day. The thing I do agree with is that God is bigger than the Holy books that have become idols in a way.

I was raised a Christian and do believe, but don’t go to church. I’ve read up on other belief systems like Buddhism. I’ve even read a few on atheism. I wouldn’t recommend this book for the sensitive doubter. If you have a similar humor to Rami Shapiro you might also, enjoy books by David Hayward.

I received an ebook of Holy Rascals by Rami Shapiro for free from NetGalley and also, complimentary hardcopy from Sounds True in exchange for my review. If you want a book that will challenge what you believe in and get you to think outside the box this book will do just that.