Thursday, August 27, 2015

Review of Centralia by Mike Dellosso

Centralia is the latest novel from Mike Dellosso and his first to be published with Tyndale House. I've been a fan of Dellosso's ever since I read his book Scream, so I'm always eager to read whatever he has out next. Centralia is a gripping story because of its premise. A man named Peter Ryan can't find his wife and daughter, and although everyone tells him they died, he refuses to believe it's true. He begins a journey to find the truth and soon discovers that not everything is as it seems.

Dellosso has a way of crafting a story that keeps you guessing and also gets you thinking about deep questions of life. This book has been compared to The Bourne Identity, and there are some similarities, but the book struck me as the kind of story that Dellosso would write.

If you haven't read a Mike Dellosso novel, he's a truly gifted storyteller. Centralia is another example of this.

Review copy provided by Tyndale Blog Network

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Review of THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir

When Mark Watney is believed to be dead on the surface of Mars, the rest of his Ares 3 team is forced to leave the planet before ever finding his body. But Watney isn't dead, and now he's alone on the surface of Mars with limited supplies and no way to contact his crew or Earth to let them know he's alive. Anyone in his position would likely lose hope of ever getting off of Mars alive, but Watney is resourceful, and he knows another team will return to Mars someday. If only he can gather all his resources to survive.

The Martian by Andy Weir was one of the most intense and most brilliant novels I've ever read. Weir clearly spent a lot of time researching for his story to make it seem believable. After all, no one has ever been on Mars, and any chance of survival seems hard to fathom, yet Weir tells a story of a man who is desperate to survive and has the wits to give it a solid try.

I loved the way the story was told. Watney writes log entries almost every day of his experiences on Mars. Those log entries are periodically interrupted by third-person narratives because Watney does face death at almost every moment. It's definitely one of those stories that keeps you on the edge of your seat to find out what will happen in the end. I highly recommend reading The Martian.

Review copy provided by Blogging for Books

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Review of Better and Faster by Jeremy Gutsche

Better and Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas by Jeremy Gutsche is a book for business leaders and focuses on creating better ideas. Gutsche gives many examples from his own business, Trend Hunter.

He talks about two overarching metaphors: the Farmer and the Hunter. Both are important, but he lists some specific negative defaults that Farmers tend to fall into. He spends several chapters describing how to be Hunter when it comes to ideas. He discusses the different kinds of opportunities that Hunters need to take advantage of.

Better and Faster is a helpful book for business leaders, but its principles are helpful for anyone who needs to generate better ideas on a regular basis.

Review copy provided by Blogging for Books

Friday, August 7, 2015

Review of the FaithGirlz NIV Bible from Zondervan

My daughter's not quite a pre-teen yet (she's only six), but when I saw the Faithgirlz Bible available for review on the BookLook Bloggers site, I thought it would be a good first Bible for her. First of all, the Bible's exterior is pink and purple, which are my daughter's favorite colors. It's also hardback, which makes it a little more durable, and it has a magnetic snap closure.

Inside the Bible, there are book introductions that are aimed toward young girls. There is also plenty of extras peppered throughout the text to help young girls understand the Bible better, memorize key Scriptures, and test their Scripture knowledge. My daughter can't fully read yet, but she loves this Bible and enjoys having it read to her.

Overall, I'd say this is a great Bible for young girls. It's very durable and the design is very age-appropriate.

Review copy provided by BookLook Bloggers

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review of WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT? by Pete Wilson

Life is stressful, especially if you're trying to figure out exactly what you're supposed to be doing with your life. Many people are overcome with doubt and uncertainty, and they wonder if there is any way to make living by faith easier.

Pete Wilson's new book What Keeps You Up at Night? tackles these problems head on from the perspective of one who lives by faith and finds comfort in relationship with Jesus. Wilson's book acknowledges uncertainty as a reality all people have to face, even people of faith. In fact, we often don't see clearly ahead of us. It isn't until after an event or series of events that we see where God was working. In the midst of uncertainty, we're challenged to trust in God. That's what Jesus did and that's what we're called to do. Our situations may change, but God doesn't, and chasing after the dreams God has placed inside us requires a great deal of faith in God's provision, promises, and power.

What keeps you up at night? While uncertainty may be a staple of your journey, it doesn't have to be debilitating. We can find strength and courage as we pursue the heart of Jesus. Pete Wilson's writing is warm and refreshing, and his message is important for those who struggle with stress in their pursuit of living.

Review copy provided by BookLook Bloggers

Review of THE REASON FOR MY HOPE by Billy Graham

Billy Graham has been preaching the message of Jesus since long before I was born, so when I was growing up in a Christian home, I knew Billy Graham as someone who had been responsible for inspiring more people to follow Jesus than anyone else in history. Throughout the years, though Graham has gotten older and less able to be in front of large crowds, he's still someone many people respect and seek answers to life's most difficult questions from.

The Reason for My Hope is a clear explanation of the message of Jesus by a man who has lived it and seen it lived out by countless people. I personally loved the focus on hope specifically throughout the book because Graham presents Jesus as the only true hope the world has. Reading the book, you can hear his voice and it's almost as if you're listening to one of his Crusades.

Billy Graham loves Jesus and he's committed to his message. The Reason for My Hope is a clear call to have hope in Jesus.

Review copy provided by BookLook Bloggers

Friday, June 12, 2015

Review of THE ART OF WORK by Jeff Goins

I've been following Jeff Goins's career for years now, and it's always encouraging to see the way he's built a life out of doing what he loves and that he's willing to share what he's learned along the way. The Art of Work is Goins's fourth book and in it, he distills the journey he's gone on and w it can help anyone who reads.

Goins talks a lot about calling and about how we often know what we're meant go do at a young age. He shows the value of deliberate practice at what we want to do. One of the most significant pieces of advice Goins give is the challenge to live what he calls a "portfolio life." Living a portfolio life means that you don't focus on just one thing. Some people don't just want to be one thing; they want to use their skills in a variety of areas. These are the people that live portfolio lives.

The Art of Work is just the right kind of book for Jeff Goins to write. His insight is compelling, especially if you've followed his journey. If you struggle with knowing what career you're supposed to be doing, The Art of Work can help you get focused.

Review copy provided by Book Look Bloggers