Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Choice

by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I can’t even begin to say enough good things about this book. This is the first of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s books that I’ve ever read and I can definitely say that it won’t be the last. The Choice is set in an Amish community in Lancaster County, PA. The characters each add their own uniqueness to the stories that Suzanne unfolds for the reader. I found that I became Carrie as I read the book and so I laughed and cried right along with her. The emotions that the characters felt were well portrayed and any reader, whether they’ve gone through similar circumstances or not, can relate to what each character must be feeling at any given time.

This book was easy to read, and hard to put down. It has two parallel running story lines which break the book up a bit so that you don’t become bored with what any one set of characters is doing. In one story you are following Carrie’s life and in the parallel story you are following the life of Solomon. What two different lives they are and yet there is still a common connection of love between Carrie and Solomon.

Another great advantage to reading this book is to learn a bit more about the Amish lifestyle. There are a number of things that Suzanne writes about in this book that are new concepts to me. If you aren’t overly familiar with the Amish ways, then you’d probably enjoy this book just for its educational value. I definitely recommend this book.

Available now at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

50 Ways to Feel Great Today


by David B. Biebel, DMin; James E. Dill, MD; and Bobbie Dill, RN

I really enjoyed reading 50 Ways to Feel Great Today. The authors gave great ideas for simple and inexpensive things that you can do to improve your everyday life. I enjoyed how some of the ideas involved more than just the reader. There were suggestions such as “Kidnapping” someone or planning a treasure hunt. I loved that these ideas could involve others (i.e.: family and/or friends) and would also help reduce their stress levels as well.

There were some points throughout the book where I felt the ideas were geared more towards an older crowd than where I am personally, but each suggested idea would work for any age. In particular, the chapter titled “Use the Internet Creatively”, seemed to be written to explain the wonders of the web for an older generation. The things mentioned were such as Write a Blog, Join a Forum, Find and Share Humorous videos, and Skype someone. As someone who is only 28 these ideas seemed obvious. They are pretty much a part of everyday life and I got thinking about how stress relieving these things could actually be. Personally, there is a lot of drama on forums. I do, however, agree with the Skyping section as I use Skype with my kids all the time so that they can talk with their grandparents.

I am so glad that someone came up with this book and that the ideas are inexpensive. A lot of times with books like these they have suggestions that are a little too pricey (i.e.: take a family vacation, go on a romantic cruise with your spouse, etc.). It’s refreshing to have simple and free things to focus on to better enhance my life experience. I recommend this book to anyone struggling with stress or even to anyone struggling with day to day monotony. It’s a great read and a wonderful book to refer back to time and time again!

Available now at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World

by Dr. David Jeremiah

First I’d like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing this book for me to review. I would never have read or even heard about this book otherwise.

When dealing with all of the stressors in today’s society it’s easy to stray in your walk with God. This book gives great ways to remain confident and ties them into scripture in a meaningful way. The chapters include:

Stay Calm

Stay Compassionate

Stay Constructive

Stay Challenged

Stay Connected

Stay Centered

Stay Confident

Stay Consistent

Stay Committed

Stay Convinced

In each chapter the author talks about an area where many people find chaos and then proceeds to tell the reader how to go about surmounting each stress related area. There is humour sprinkled throughout some chapters and the stories/examples the author uses are engaging. I found this to be an easy read and very applicable to today’s high stress environment.