Quick Book Reviews: What I’ve Been Reading

Now that the Christmas season is behind us(and the Christmas play!!), I have a bit more time to catch up on my reading.  I wanted to fill you in on a couple of great reads as well as warn you away from a few time-wasters.

Finding God in the Hobbit


I wanted to check out this book for my brother who’s a big Hobbit fan. The book was easy to read. It seemed well-written, but part of that came from including so many of Tolkien’s words in the book. I appreciated the chapter excerpts from The Hobbit in order to set the stage for the little devotional. I thought the book was going to be a little more in depth, but it was more like “coffee break devotionals”. Something you could read in 5 minutes and then think about it for a few more minutes as you finish drinking your coffee.  This is one you’d want to get from the library, I think, unless you’re a huge Tolkien fan.

Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley

I cannot say enough good about this book.  It’s challenging, engaging, exciting, intimidating and inspiring all at the same time.  I’m hoping to do a more in depth review post soon, because it is just PACKED with great advice, insight and church management strategies.  If you didn’t get it for Christmas, head to Amazon and pick up your copy of Deep & Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend today! Only $5.99 on Kindle!

Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon

I decided to take a break from my normal nonfiction reading and try a Christmas related novel.  I couldn’t make it past the first chapter.  Just not my thing.  I recently discovered that this is book #8 in a series, so that might explain why I couldn’t get into it.

Real Marriage: by Mark Driscoll

This is a fresh, honest, and inspiring book about marriage and the work that goes into making a marriage work.  I’ve followed Mark on twitter for some time now and appreciate both his blog posts and podcasts, so I decided to give this book a try.  I was not disappointed.  Mark shares some deeply personal stories from his own life, stories that serve as both warnings and encouragement to Christian couples.  Though some parts of this book would be good for single people, many parts are fairly graphic and might be safer to read after you’re married.

Faith Begins at Home by Mark Holmen

I picked this book up at least a year ago when I was trying to get the Legacy Milestones program started at our church (sadly, it never took off).  I wanted to read it as part of my 2013 resolution to read all the books I own.   The introduction was exceedingly boring, which is probably why I never finished it to begin with.  After I decided to skip over that, it was a super quick read.  The book will be very helpful as I work to revamp our Baby Dedication Class.  It’s a good book for families who are starting to get serious about faith at home.  I feel like it’s easy to read, provides a good background for faith at home (Deut 6) and provides some practical tips for getting started.

The Key To Your Child’s Heart by Gary Smalley

I used to read a lot of Gary Smalley, but haven’t picked up much of his work recently.  I got an older edition of this book at the library and it seemed a bit dated to me.  Of course, there were still some good principles and a few goods quotes I wrote in the journal.  Mainly, the premise was keeping your child’s spirit open by not speaking harsh or damaging words.  Also, when you see that your child’s spirit is closing, to take measure to regain trust and restore the relationship.  The rest of the book gave some practical suggestions on how to make that happen.  I love the concept of keeping a child’s spirit open, so I think this book is at least worth a skim for all parents.

What About You?

What have you been reading?  What’s on your list for 2013 or this month??

 

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