Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Book Review: Nature Girl

Nature Girl; A guide to caring for God’s creation by Karen Whiting ad Rebecca White is a collection of recipes, tips, how-tos, and scripture to help a young girl become better about how to creatively and practically makes changes on her/our lives to help the earth. This book covers electricity saving tips to make your own spa day supplies.

I got this book hoping my 8 year old daughter would like it.  She is very sensitive and aware of the nature. She always wants to save the animals and pick up litter.  I thought this book would in line with that.   I found some of the suggestions very obvious – turn off the lights when you leave a room- and some more enlightening.  I like that they covered alternative energy (even if my daughter isn’t going be the one paying for a solar or wind power system). I also like that they outlined some of the jobs your can have in fields that help with alternative energy and conservation. 

I did have a few things about the book that bothered me.  One, and this may be my “thing” but, one some of the recipes it calls for ingredients such as Crisco.  Crisco??!!  You specifically list un-petroleum jelly but Crisco is okay?  Why not coconut oil with some bees wax?  My other main issue in this book is there has to be a fine line that I don’t feel was thoroughly discussed.  For instance one of the tips is to leave bits of trash and string out for birds to make colorful nests with but there is a fine line between leaving a piece of string out and littering.  Plus, colorful string and other things are not natural materials to birds’ nests and the environment.  I feel like they do more harm than help in most cases.

All and all I am giving this book to my daughter (Merry Christmas).  I hope she enjoys it and I look forward discussing a lot of these topics in detail with her.  Pros and cons. 


Note: I was given a copy of this book to read and review from the publisher.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Book Review: From this day forward

From This Day Forward; five commitments to fail proof marriage by Craig and Amy Groeschel is a look at what a marriage really means and what matters.  IF each spouse is committed to their five pillars the marriage will be solid and happy.

This book is a great short (~150 pages) book about what the true focus of a Christian marriage should be.  I found the flow and writing very easy to read and the five topics easy in theory, hard in practice.  They are things we always strive for in a marriage.  I also really liked how this book is about growing ad building a marriage had application to couples already married, to people about the enter into marriage, and for people who are single but are hoping to prepare themselves (spiritually, not can bake a great pie prepare) for a the future spouse. 

I really enjoyed this book. I hope to pass this book on to friends, married and single, to read, enjoy, and be strive for the five pillars of marriage described in this book.

Note: I was given a copy of this book to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Book Review: The Wisdom of Sadhu

The Wisdom of Sadhu: Teachings of Sundar Singh by Sundar Singh is the collection of stories and teachings by Sundar Singh.  Sundar left his home of wealth in the early 20th century to live the life of a wondering holy man. During these times he re retells his mystical like encounters with Jesus and the stories of thousands of people following him.  He was visited by people from all over the world to hear his teachings.  He was known in his lifetime as the most famous convert to Christianity.

I was a little hesitant about getting this book.  It’s not the normal kind of book I usually read.  In the end I really struggled getting through this book.  I found the book jumped around from different subjects and stories.  I also found the flow and language very hard to easily read.  In general I liked a few of the sayings and quotes in this book but ultimately found the book so tedious and distractible that I only made it through about half of the book.    I hope this book has a great impact on many people.


Note: I was given a copy of this book to read and review from the publisher. The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Book Review: Southern Foodie's Guide to the Pig

Southern Foodie’s Guide to the Pig: Culinary tour of 50 of the South’s best restaurants and the recipes by Chris Chamberlain is exactly what the title says.  It’s a book with recipes and stories from 50 of the greatest BBQ chefs/pit masters in the south. This book combines recipes, with personal stories, history, and culinary lessons. 

When I opened this book I was expecting a cookbook with a few cute tips and stories.  This is so much more.  This book includes real history and knowhow from some of the most acclaimed BBQ/pig connoisseurs in the country.  The first couple chapters cover the anatomy of the pig and how to build your own pit to roast a whole pig.   They describe techniques, reasons why parts are cooked one way and not another, and lots of amazing basic recipes.  I am so excited about this book.  Plus it’s more than… “Here’s a BBQ sauce recipe. Here’s a pulled pork recipe…”  It’s got how to make your own bacon and hams too.

I am so excited about owning this book and adding it to my collection. I have already told my husband to be prepared to build me a BBQ pit.  The material list (approximately) is included in the book.  I cannot wait to try out all the new recipes; Rubs, injections, sauces, etc.  They all look so good.

Note: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Book Review: Noah

Noah by Mark Ludy is a picture book depicting the story of Noah.  This is not like any other picture book I have ever received for my children.  I would say most picture books are marketed for the 0-3 year old range. In other words kids who cannot read.  This book appeals to all kids.  The pictures are beautiful and detailed.   He has done a wonderful job visually showing all facets of the story.

There are a few very minor things I saw in the pictures that I may not agree with or was not expecting.  For one he included dinosaurs in some of the pictures of Noah working on the boat. Ok, maybe.  He showed some people swept up in the water when the rain came (scared look on face, drowning).  At first I thought this was a bit too much but it ended up leading into a great discussion with my kids.  What happened to all those people?  They died.   They drowned.  That is an important part of the story that we as parents usually gloss over.  Lastly Noah and his family were very happy on the boat.  In my opinion, a little too happy on day 40 to be smiling that big while eating dinner with lots of animals sitting and scurrying all around them. 

All in all I enjoyed this book immensely.  I am glad I can add this book to my children’s library for us to enjoy.  It was amazing to see/hear them tell me the story of Noah using his beautifully drawn pictures.


Note: I was given a copy of this book from handlebar publishing to read/view and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Book Review: Their Name is Today

Their name is Today by Johann Christoph Arnold is a plea to the people, future, parents, grandparents, teachers, etc. to remember our children’s wellbeing.  In the world there is so much for the future generations to overcome.  Children now have new distractions with video games and televisions everywhere, escalating violence in the world and in their entertainment, obesity and loss of healthy food in the homes and schools, education being taken over by government regulations instead of loving teachers, parents torn between success and quality time with their children.  With all of this Mr. Arnold wants us to remember it’s not too late.  There is still hope. The hope can be found in those children if we give them the tools that we need.  We need to love, teach, instruct, guide, encourage, and build out our children so they know how to become the adults we want them to be. 

I have read books by Mr. Arnold before and have always found his books very interesting.  I usually agree with most of this conservative viewpoint.  You can feel his passion for the subject in every word.  But I always find his books a little hard to read.  There is so much in every word and page it is not a quick or easy read. This is a book that looks small but can take a while to read and you are sometimes forced to reread a sentence two and three times before you fully grasp all that he is saying.

In general I enjoyed this book.  I look forward to digging a little deeper into what he writes and using what I learn to encourage and build up my own children.

Note: I was given a copy of this book from handlebar publishing to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Sarced Year by Michael Yankoski

The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski is the story of the Author’s journey to find peace and balance in his life.  Michael had worked his entire life to be successful at work. He traveled all of over the world to speak. But there was always a frantic feel to his life and a well of discontent.  In the peak of the storm he decided to change his life and go on a one year journey to find peace, contentedness, and his true self.  His journey took him to a monastery, a cave, and his office. 

I know this book is about slowing down and finding purpose in life but this book was too slow for me.  It was too much like a lulling voice describing the minutest detail of everything.  Because that’s what he does.  To slow down he observed and ate an apple.  It took an hour to do and 3-5 pages to describe in the book.  An apple!  I realize for him it was profound and eye opening experience but to me as a reader it was very long.

Because of the excessive detail and disconnected flow of each passage I was unable to read this book for very long in a single sitting.  Honestly, I was unable to finish it.  After 5 minutes of reading I was almost asleep. 

I know this book for a lot of good review and I am happy for the author.  Unfortunately I do not think I was the target audience and could not get into the subject.  I wish him the best of luck with this new life.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free from the publisher.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.