Monday, June 28, 2010

Other People's Rejection Letters - Bill Shapiro

Hmmmm…I really thought this book would have been more entertaining than it was.

Bill Shapiro collected rejection letters from various walks of life – swimming lessons, the workplace, friendships, romance, art galleries, families, etc. There are even rejection letters to people who went on to become famous.  Many of them were just basic form letters that the recipient had decorated. I did like the scathing break-up letters. But probably my favorite part of the book was at the end where there is a little background and follow up story for the recipients of some of the letters. I guess I do just like a little more narrative to go along with the rejection.

Take Four - Karen Kingsbury

I read Karen’s latest book after seeing her at the Baxter Family Reunion in Bloomington. I do have to say, if possible, I like her even better now after hearing her speak and share. But I already liked her and her writing a lot. 

Take Four is the final book in the Above the Line series. Again, Karen does an great job developing and concluding multiple story lines that all tie together – at least slightly. Keith and Dayne are working on filming Unlocked. Andi is dealing with her unplanned pregnancy and the struggle to know whether to keep the baby or give him up for adoption. Bailey and Cody are drifting apart…again (I am really starting to not like Cody very much at all). The Baxters pop in and out. And faith is always there. Clearly it is God they all run to in the good times and the bad.

Well done.

And I do appreciate the fact that her next series will focus on Bailey Flannigan so we can keep up with the Baxters and Ellisons through her life’s intersections with them.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pursuing the Pearl - Dannah Gresh

In Pursuing the Pearl, Dannah Gresh addresses how to build the marriage that God has planned for you – a marriage that is a reflection of the relationship between Jesus and the Church as His bride. She touches on purity that is not just sexual but also purity of mind and heart in many areas. She writes about the “fake pearls” that Satan puts before us to distract us from the true pearl that God has in store.

I really thought there was a lot of good and truth in this book. So much so that I want to own it (this copy was from the library) so I can take the time and do the exercises she has at the end of each chapter.

Definitely worth a read whether your marriage is great or if it’s struggling.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fanny & Sue - Karen Stolz

I will have to admit, I did not like this book much for the first four chapters…and then again at the end.

It is a tale of two sisters – twins – growing up in Depression Era St. Louis. The first four chapters really had no voice. It wasn’t until I got to chapter five and the chapter “voice” swaps between Fanny and Sue for the ensuing chapters that I really started getting into it.

It is definitely an easy read. Nothing real heavy or deep. And it keeps moving (the 236 page books covers from 4 or 5 years old until about 20). I enjoyed reading about the places in St. Louis I have visited – Casa Loma, Ted Drewe’s, the Muny, etc. – and their experience there.

There were some holes in the story and I struggled to understand why Sue always bowed to Fanny’s dictates – so I chalked it up to their connection and Fanny’s first born nature.

And I hated the end. Too many loose ends. Grrr…

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You - Anita Renfroe

Yep, she’s still funny.

Although I did end up rereading some material that was in her other book. Or in the video that I saw of her. That was a bit annoying. But okay.

It also contained a lot of Christmas in it. Which I wasn’t expecting from the cover or can really appreciate in the humid, hot June weather currently experiencing.

Regardless, it was a nice, light read. I laughed out loud more than once. And that was needed right now.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Love Must Be Tough - Dr. James Dobson

Dr. Dobson’s best seller from 1983 republished in 1996.

I read this book upon a recommendation and with the understanding that the “marriage crisis” Dr. Dobson focuses on primarily is adultery but that the “tough love” principles outlines can apply to really any situation. And after reading it I find that to be very valid.

Successful marriages are not about lovey, dovey gooey feelings (I’ve always known that). It comes down to respect and knowing your boundaries. And I’ll be honest – while I have known my boundaries I have not enforced them. They have been trampled all over on a regular basis. So this was a good wake up call to me that if things are going to change I need to change and be “tough” in my love.

Dr. Dobson does not in any way recommend divorce but does stress the value of a separation so the other person can think on and decide what they truly want.

Also, as I was reading I realized that affairs aren’t just with another man or woman. We as humans have love affairs with all sorts of things that can tear down our marriages – work, children, video games, etc. The affair takes place when we get our priorities out of balance and it is no longer God, spouse, etc.

The book also talks about “tough love” in other relationships and in good marriages as well. I’m sure it will be one I revisit from time to time.

Quote to Take Away: Forgiveness is surrendering my right to hurt you for hurting me. ~Archibald Hart

Monday, June 7, 2010

If You Can't Lose It, Decorate It - Anita Renfroe

I am on an Anita Renfroe kick.

And for those of you who may be wondering, I am completely not getting very far on reading through my bookshelves. I’ve read recommendations from others, books I’ve read about, books from the library, etc. But only a handful of books I actually own. I’m hoping to get back on track over the summer. Just a half a dozen more books from the library to finish up first…

Now back to Mrs. Anita. She absolutely cracks me up. I have watched her videos on YouTube and her website, follow her on Facebook, and even rented a full length video of hers from the library.

She is so entertaining and has such a fresh and funny perspective on things yet still the ability to get to the heart of more serious issues.

This book is about dealing with your reality. If you can’t change your reality decorate it, look at it differently, focus on the positives, etc. If you can’t change it, adjust your attitude about it. And in this book, Anita helps us do just that.