058 - A Leader's Heart

I recently received A Leader's Heart by John Maxwell to review. I read through several days worth of devotional thoughts on several different occasions before offering this review. I thought the book was excellent. Perhaps I like it because of the manly look to it, or the manly illustrations, or the fact that it's a journal/devotional, or maybe just because John Maxwell is a great writer. Regardless, the book was excellent and I'd recommend picking it up for a man in your life that you love. It'd make a great gift this coming holiday season since it starts on January 1st and could serve as someone devotional for 2011. Maxwell makes his points clear and precise only taking up one page a day, with at least half of it being space for notes. The only drawback to this book is the 18.99 price tag. A little steep considering the fact that there’s lots of blank space for journaling.

Also, I’m supposed to let you know that I was given a free review copy of the book, but that has nothing to do with whether or not I liked it.

057 - The Father I Never Had

I was really excited about reading through Joel's book because I lost my dad at a young age and wanted to read his story. The first thing I noticed is that the book flies by. One minute you're starting it the next your finishing it. It's a super quick read and perfect for the occasional reader since they can probably get through it over a vacation. Another thing I noticed was the writing style. Joel is a decent writer who uses illustrations constantly. The writing isn't necessarily deep, but this isn't intended to be an encyclopedia. Joel's words evoke incredible emotion (almost bringing me to tears on a couple occasions).

One of the only problems with Joel’s book is that near the end the illustrations get old and occasionally are a little cheesy. I won’t hold it against him because he’s from Texas and they can’t help but use alliteration and cheesy illustrations occasionally (that was a joke, by the way). I really did enjoy the book and would recommend picking a copy up for any young man you might know who is growing up without a dad. It’s a tough situation to be in and I think they would connect with a great deal of the emotions and feelings Joel writes about.

I received this book free from Lucid Books via Books4Bloggers, which is a bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

056 - One Year Book of Encouragement

Normally I don't really like the page a day type book.  I get bogged down and forget about it for a month or so and then just finish the whole book because I'm tired of remembering to read it each day.  However, recently I received The One Year Book of Encouragement and was very surprised at how easy it was to remember to read it.  Perhaps it has something to do with the devo for each day being an insightful and encouraging word.  I tested the book out for a few days and was blown away by how I remembered each morning what I had read the day before.  I'd highly recommend this book to anyone seeking some additional insights each day.  Don't let it replace your time in God's Word, but it would be a great addition.

055 - Outlive Your Life

What would it be like to live intentionally?  What would it be like to live with boldness?  How amazing would it be if the things we do outlive us?  Those are some of the topics Lucado's latest book tackles.  Not necessarily the most unique topics ever, but when you've published a million books like Lucado who can blame you?  I thought the book was an easy read and like all of Lucado's books I'd have no problem recommending it to someone new to the faith, however if you're looking for fresh insights this book will probably feel familiar and like an episode of Sportscenter on the second time through.  Check it out from a library or encourage your church to buy a copy for their resources.

Also, I’m supposed to let you know that I was given a free review copy of the book, but that has nothing to do with whether or not I liked it.

054 - Uncle Sam's Plantation

I should have looked closer before agreeing to review this book. With endorsements from extremists like Rush Limbaugh I should have known better. This book held no surprises in that it approached the topic of poverty from a right wing capitalist viewpoint. Opposing ideas were set up as strawmen only to be knocked down with the poorest of reasoning. The book never addresses the idea of capitalism allows individuals to be the slave-owners rather than the government. No government is perfect, but Star Parker seems to believe that a Republican Congress with a Republican President would be the next best thing to Jesus. I’m also disappointed that a publishing company like Thomas Nelson would cave to print such one-sided material. But then again, if they didn’t someone else would, and that other company would make the $$$ off the book.

Also, I’m supposed to let you know that I was given a free review copy of the book, but that has nothing to do with whether or not I liked it.

053 - The Butterfly Effect

Rarely am as disappointed in a well published author than when I read through one of their "gift books."  I recently flew through The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews.  I always wonder why a book with half the information of a normal book could be worth the same cost.  The Butterfly Effect would have made an excellent real book.  Andrews is an excellent writer, and makes a great point.  However, the entire book felt like an extended blog post and took less than an hour to read through.  I got my copy for free, read through it, wrote this review, and gave it away.  I wouldn't recommend spending money on The Butterfly Effect.  If your interested in Andrews writing (and rightly so) then check out one of his real books.

Also, I’m supposed to let you know that I was given a free review copy of the book, but that has nothing to do with whether or not I liked it.