Thursday, December 4, 2014

Book Review: Ask It by Andy Stanley

Ask It by Andy Stanley is subtitled "The question that will revolutionize how you make decisions." I will be honest up front in my review and tell you that I am a big Andy Stanley fan. We often watch him on Sunday's after we have been to our own church. I find his sermons to be solid from the Bible and practical. Ask It is indeed practical and Biblical in its approach just as I expected.

Andy Stanley says there is a question that we can ask when we aren't sure what to do that will work for just about any situation. I will let you read the book to find out just what that question is so no spiller here. However, after practicing with this question for he past couple of weeks, I feel that it is helpful in giving the answer we need. At the same time, Andy Stanley says there are times we need to ask others for advice as Solomon encourages us to do in Proverbs. In the past, I have sought advice from others hat wasn't that sound, so I wish that he had talked more about finding good advisors or mentors for help in discerning wisdom. Otherwise, I found this book to be both helpful and easy to follow. I also really liked the  study guide in back with  questions to think about either alone or in a group. I encourage any Christian wanting to make good decisions in life to read it.

I would also note that this book is a re-release of an earlier book version Best Question Ever. If you have already read that book, this one may be redundant.

I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Book Review: Lean On Me by Anne Marie Miller

Lean On Me by Anne Marie Miller is one of the best books I have read recently. Lean On Me is not a self-help book, but rather a memoir in which the author shares her need for community following a crisis and how that community looked for her. She shares her story in the hopes that you will take away something for yourself to be in your own community.

I appreciate that Anne Marie Miller shares her story so openly. While I can't say that I agree with every choice that she made along the way, I do appreciate her honesty and her openness in sharing her story in this book.(And I know I have struggles and make choices that others wouldn't make.) It helps to see how a real person has done "community" with successes and struggles. I am in the middle of transition as my family is in the hallway of our 2nd move in 3 years. We aren't in our new location yet, but we are no longer living in our former location either. We are halfway between living in temporary housing. I would love to be able to have 15 people, as this author did, that would help my family to stay on the right path through this transition, but honestly I don't know 15 people to e-mail that would form a team to help guide us. I picked up the book to gain some insight on forming community as we get to our new location. I did learn from the author and I think that I took away what I needed to for our situation to start to build that kind of community.

If you are looking for a how-to book, this isn't the book for you. However, the author does list some how-to books in the back of Lean On Me. There is also a Reader's Guide with questions and prayers to either ask yourself or to share in a book group. Lean On Me offers food for thought on how you can build your own community and  I would recommend it to anyone else looking to do so.

I received this book from the publisher at no cost. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Review: The Juice Lady's Remedies For Stress and Adrenal Fatigue by Cherie Calbom

These past 3 years have been fairly stressful for my family and I as we have done some moving around for my husband's job. I was excited to review this little book because I thought it would help us maintain our health rough the challenges. I am so glad that I did.

Cherie Calbom writes about stress and adrenal fatigue quite thoroughly in this little book. She shares how stress affected her, how it affects the reader, lifestyle changes to make and dietary changes to make including juicing. The book is easy to read for a layman, colorfully illustrated and has some good recipes included. I had read some of this information in her book on juices but most of he information is new and specific to this issue. I appreciate how she talks about mind, body and spirit working together for healing. Her holistic approach seems realistic to me. I would encourage anyone to read it who is under a lot of stress.

I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Over the past 3 years, my husband and I have sold one house and moved and are now in process of moving again. During this time, I have done quite a bit of decluttering and de-owning. Yet, as we prepare to move again, I wondered if I could do more so I  read Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

This is a great little book to read and learn from as you seek to declutter and organize your home or apartment. I like that the book is small so I took it back and forth the past 2 weeks as we are in transition to move. It easily fit in my purse to pull out and read whenever I had a few minutes to spare.

Marie Kondo  runs an acclaimed consulting business in Tokyo helping clients transform their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration. With a three-month waiting list, her KonMari Method of decluttering and organizing has become an international phenomenon. In the life-changing magic of tidying up, she shares her experiences, what led her to create this current method of decluttering homes and how you can apply this method to your house.

I found this book to be interesting and helpful. I did already have a head start on decluttering so some of what she shared I had already done. She says that people have items spread out through the house like shirts, etc. and asks that they gather all like items together. Maybe I am strange as I had already done this. At the same time, I learned several other things from her technique that proved helpful to me. I can see when we complete our move that I could use this method and make the new house decluttered and keep it that way. She does share some things that sound uniquely Japanese but it is easy to take what works for our western homes and apply it. I would recommend the book to anyone wanting to declutter and keep a tidy home.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for the book.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Book Review: A Star For Jesus by Crystal Bowman

A Star for Jesus is an adorable board book for  children 4 to 8. Before even reading the book, my son loved the die-cut star cover. The illustrations are done in rich colors and are eye-catching throughout the book.

A Star for Jesus is a simple tale of the Christmas story written in rhyming verse that focuses on the special star that led to the baby Jesus. The special ending helps little ones relate the story to the stars in today's sky.Relating to the stars God made, Crystal Bowman helps bring the Christmas story to life for young children. I highly recommend it for your own family reading times or as a Christmas gift for young children. It is a beautiful, well-told story. It honestly made all of our faces light up with reading pleasure.  . .I could see us using it annually at a Christmas gathering.

I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Book Review: The New American Herbal by Stephen Orr

 The New American Herbal is described on the back cover as 'a masterful A-to -Z introduction to the full spectrum of herbal plants." This beautiful book, authored by Stephen Orr, would be a great addition to any gardener, cook or crafter's library.

The New American Herbal is an eye feast of beautiful photographs of foods made with herbs, herbs in the garden and other ways to preserve and use herbs. I thought this book offered sound advice and sage wisdom on growing herbs and using them. Each herb detailed in the book has a side bar listed with the most basic information such as where it is grown, how to grow, how tall it gets and other basics to growing any herb. Herbs include the every day herbs we all know like oregano, parsley and tarragon, as well as those not as well known, such as lungwort, epazote and sweet cicely.

I thought several recipes in the book looked appealing to try. Recipes such as: Baked Stuffed Tomatoes with Oregano, Braised Chicken with Tarragon, and Caraway Orange Biscuits. The back of the book contains a well-organized index.This book also has a Resource List in the back which offers guidance on herbal schools, other herbal books to read, and herbal gardens to visit. It is a nice comprehensive reference book that would be especially helpful to someone new to herbs but there is also plenty of good information for those who already know something about herbs and herbal gardening. I highly recommend it.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Review: Chia Vitality by Janie Hoffman

Chia Vitality by Janie Hoffman is a great guide to overall health--not just a book about chia seeds. Just what are chia seeds anyway, you may ask? Janie Hoffman shares not only what these seeds are, but what they can do for you. In a nutshell, these are little seeds full of protein, calcium, and antioxidants, making them a nutritious superfood for today.

Hoffman shares how chia changed her life--along with her holistic approach involving exercise, meditation and a healthy diet that includes plenty of chia seeds. She includes a 30 day vitality health plan complete with chia recipes. I thought several of the recipes looked good: strawberry chia seed jam, chia chocolate pudding, California fritatta, and chicken chia chili.

Hoffman is the founder and CEO of Mamma Chia, an award-winning organic chi-based food and beverage company. She shares how the idea for this business came about and ways that the business has helped her as a person, as well as her healthy plan with the chia seeds. If you are interested in Chia seeds and their health benefits this is a good book with a lot of information in it. It is also helpful in encouraging the reader to grow as a person and to take their health to a new level and to become more vital in all areas of their life. I appreciated her well-rounded approach to health, a good variety of recipes to try and her encouragement in sharing her business start-up for those that may be interested in starting one. There is a lot of good information in this book in several areas. I highly recommend it.

I received this book from Blogging for Books . I was not required to write  a positive review in exchange for the book.For  More Info  on this book, click the link.