Monday, March 31, 2014

The Surpirsing Secrets of Highly, Happy Marriages by Shaunti Feldhahn

                There are secrets to a happy marriage. Each action is doable and easy, if you decide to do them. They are not hidden. That said, this may be the book you are looking for if you want to know how to have a happy marriage.
                This book is somewhat different from other marriage and relationship books. You won’t find a prescribed formula to patch up something broken. What you will find is the results of a rigorous survey done by Feldhahn. She took a group of married people and had them fill out a satisfaction survey. From the responses she has divided the responses into three subgroups. The three groups are: highly happy couples, mostly happy couples, and the so-so or struggling couples.
                She asked “Are you generally happy and enjoying being married?”
                There are 14 chapters, the first and the last bookending the responses.
                An example is anger- should you do as the Bible infers and not go to bed with unresolved anger? Feldhahn has discovered that a good night’s sleep can resolve or clarify the situation. She presents the results on a chart showing the three groups and how they responded.
                She does that with each response to the factors covered in the survey.
                I found this book to be informative and helpful. It is definitely a book that should be read by all married people. It will give them some ideas on how they can turn their marriage from a happy marriage to the next level, a highly happy marriage.
                This book was sent to me free to be reviewed as part of the blog reviewers for Multnomah publishers and as such I was not required to give a positive review. All viewpoints expressed are those of the reviewer and not of the publisher.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey

            Some books can be read once and the theme and story are clear. There are also some that take a careful, close reading and attention to story line to discern what is happening.        This book by Coffey seems to be the latter.
                Every book has a theme. A possible theme would be redemption
                It is told in three voices. Jake Barnett, the towns’ sheriff, Kate, his wife, and a mountain man called Taylor Hathcock. Years ago, when they were children, they all knew Philip McBride, now dead. Ruled a suicide but they all feel they had a part in his death. Now years later they are adjusting in their own way.
                Another main character is a young girl named Lucy. She is troubled and seeks to be independent. She interfaces with our three major characters.
                Kate is trying to do good to pay for her part in the past. Jake has become the sheriff but one that is not decisive. Taylor has gone crazy and goes around killing people to set them free from the dream.  Now the three of them are being haunted by Philip.
                Another murder happens. Taylor has killed a boy to set him free from this life. Lucy has run away from home and runs into Taylor and they bond. It is up to Jake to find her.  Jake has to prove himself worthy of being sheriff.
                It is hard to place it in a genre. It is not a Christian horror tale nor a suspense thriller. But it tries to be in the psychological mystery motif. I guess this is the best I can do when it comes to determination of storytelling style.
                Having said that I would not advise a person to think it will be light reading. I recommend this book for people who enjoy strange tales.
                I was sent this book free by BookSneeze as part of their BookLook blog review team. I was not required to give a positive review. The views expressed are those of the reviewer and not the publisher.  
I review for BookLook Bloggers

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I, Saul by Jerry Jenkins

What if when Paul mentioned to bring his parchments he was talking about his memoirs?
Paul is in prison awaiting his death. It is AD 67. Only Luke is with him, ministering to his needs as the physician he is. What if Paul wants Luke to take the parchments and copy them and keep them safe? What if Paul stores them somewhere and over time they get lost?
 What if, in the twenty first century, the parchment is found. Now there are people who want to repress it for political reasons. A call is made to a young professor, Augustine Knox, from a tour guide in Rome to come help him keep the document from falling into the wrong hands.
The story is told using multiple viewpoints and the frame of two time periods. We have the period of AD 67 in the dungeon with Paul awaiting execution and we have the twenty first century with a seminary professor. We follow as Knox goes to Rome to help a tour guide, Roger, who is hiding from the authorities because he has a document that is supposed to be the memoirs of Paul.
 Jenkins handles the periods well and   keeps the suspense heightened.
 Jenkins has always been a good Christian fiction writer and this adds to his bibliography of great tales. I can see a this is volume one of a series.
          Augie groaned. “That’s how many photocopies I have, Georgio. The memoir is incomplete.”
         “You think Klaudios held some back?”
          “I have no idea who did this or when. All I know is that pages are missing.”
  I will be looking forward to the continuation.
  I, Saul

Monday, March 10, 2014

I Like Giving by Brad Formsma

It is a great book for the person who says, I wish I could give but I am not sure just where to start or what to do.
 Giving, Formsma points out, is a way of thought that transforms into action. Giving does not always involve vast sums of money. A person can give time and a listening ear and that would be just as acceptable.
  Easily readable and non-threatening, and thought stretching.
The practical ideas and inspiring stories which make up the 12 chapters of the 202 page paperback are laid out in such a way that you are not really aware of the tug on your heart as you will no doubt find yourself responding. At the end of the 202 pages Formsma has included six pages where you can jot down your own ideas of things you can do.
 I found this book to be refreshing. Formsma is not pushing his organization so much as informing the reader of the many ways giving can be expressed. For example, if you feel God leading you to buy a cup of coffee for a person who needs a cup, that is a form of giving. Or if you feel lead to help a person pay his rent, that is giving. Just give a smile to an individual counts as an act of giving.
The slant of the whole book gave me the feeling that I also could be a giver. It is pointed out acts of generosity done anonymously feel good.
This book is recommended for those who want to give but aren’t really sure what can be defined as giving.
This book was sent to me free by Water Brook Press to be reviewed as part of their blog review program. I was not required to give a positive review and any opinions expressed are those of the reviewer and not those of the publisher.