Thursday, April 29, 2010

Review: How Should A Christian Live

I really should stop reviewing books and devotionals aimed at younger audiences. "How Should A Christian Live," a devotional for teenagers, is yet another example of an easy to understand yet lacking in depth read. Even as a teenager, I longed for something deeper than this. Maybe I'm alone in that, but I've always thought that Christians, no matter how young or old, should desire the deepest possible relationship with God. Plus, is the Bible really meant to be entirely easy to understand? Isn't that why we have the Holy Spirit to help us understand?

Anyway, back to my review. "How Should A Christian Live" has some great material, although entirely cliche material that I've heard many times before. It's organized with short sections within sections including definitions, Get It, Grab It, Hold It, Live It, and Give It, as well as several word games that are there just for fun. I suppose the games would hold a younger person's attention and get them to actually read some verses, but the games seemed pointless, boring, and easy to me. The devotional also includes a CD with select scripture readings on it. Unfortunately, my copy wouldn't work (there goes another star in my rating).

So, overall, this devotional makes a good read for its targeted younger audience, excluding a younger me. I'll give it 3 out of 5 stars for that.

I received a free copy of this book from in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Friendship for Grownups

We're grownups aren't we? But sometimes we don't act like grownups, especially when it comes to how we manage our friendships. In her latest book, "Friendship for Grownups," Facts of Life star and Women of Faith speaker Lisa Whelchel helps readers grow up a little in their friendships. Using her own personal experience, Whelchel opens up about the importance of both finding and becoming a safe friend. She teaches readers to find friends they can be open with and grow with. In such friendships, people can feel free to be themselves and to act human. Whelchel also discusses how grace in friendships can point toward the true grace of God.

With a beautiful heart for women and a wonderful humility, Whelchel has written a book that will hit a core with any reader. It certainly hit a core with me. I've always been a loner, but I've also always desired deep friendships. While I still have no idea where to start finding such friendships and while my desire to be a part of a team of women (like Women of Faith) has only deepened, Whelchel's story has given me courage. I recommend this book for anyone and everyone with the same deep desires for open friendship.

I received a free copy of this book from in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Review: Essentials for Life

Billed as "Your Back-to-Basics Guide to What Matters Most," "Essentials for Life" by Marcia Ford falls short of the expectations its title sets up. The book does cover the basics of Christianity, as described, but with so many basic to cover there's little room for expanding and explaining. Unfortunately, this effort to include all the basics left the book lacking in depth. New Christians may find this book informative, but for the rest of Ford's readers, this book will be a mere refresher on what is already obvious to most Christians. And sometimes we need those refreshers. Despite its lack of depth, I still found myself extremely interested in the book and unable to put it down (or perhaps that was because of my desire to find something deeper and more profound buried in the book). Still, the book poses more questions than answers. Its short chapters and interesting sidebars (that include quotes from well-known authors, Bible verses, and interesting facts) make it an easy read, but easy does not equal greatness. In this case, "Essentials for Life" misses some essential facts and explanations, leaving the reader wanting more.

I received a free copy of this book from in exchange for my honest review of it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Review: Hand of Fate

Charged with the controversial language and topics of political debate, Lis Wiehl’s “Hand of Fate” never stops building tension. As new plot twists reveal themselves, and as characters’ personal lives intertwine with the mystery, readers find themselves in the middle of a wonderfully pieced together mystery.

After talk radio show host Jim Fate dies from a mysterious gas release in his studio, the Triple Threat Club sort through the chaotic mess left behind to find the murderer behind the crime. The club includes federal prosecutor Allison Pierce, who's pregnant; FBI special agent Nicole “Nic” Hedges; and Cassidy Shaw, a TV crime reporter, who formed the “Triple Threat Club” after a high school reunion. Together, they piece the clues together. But when one of them reveals a secret pertinent to the case, things begin to change. A public suicide sets things on a path even further away from the one the club has been on, and the three women must reconsider the evidence to find the real criminal.

“Hand of Fate” leaves readers confused or shocked at several points throughout the book. Some content may be too graphic for certain readers, and the political background of the book may charge emotions of politically active readers. Overall, however, “Hand of Fate” covers all bases. An intriguing Christian mystery that doesn’t over-push its Christian background, “Hand of Fate” will delight most readers.

I received a free copy of this book from in exchange for my honest review.