Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Review: Where Has Oprah Taken Us? by Stephen Mansfield

Oprah is a name known by most Americans.  Who hasn’t watched the Oprah show at some time in their lives?  I have enjoyed and learned from some of her show topics and have disagreed with others.   I was looking forward to reading Where Has Oprah Taken Us?  by Stephen Mansfield.  I was curious to find out more about Oprah’s faith journey and learn more about what she personally believes.  Instead, I found this book was filled with unnecessary comments about the promiscuity of her younger years and other scandalous comments.  The book attempts to blame Oprah for leading Christians astray on their faith journey.  I find it odd to blame a celebrity for others short comings. If you are strong in your faith, you are able to listen to the ideas and beliefs of others with acceptance even when they might not worship in the same way you do.  This should not shake your faith, but strengthen it.

I found this book was overflowing with footnotes.  Chapter Two had a whopping 64 footnotes with Chapter Four winning the grand prize with a total of 103 footnotes.  It’s hard to respect an author when he spends most of the pages referencing passages from books that were written by other authors. 

In the introduction of the book, the author tells the reader that there will be sections in the book when he will speak from his personal point of view.  He acknowledges that these biased comments will be set off with italics.  I found these sections to be too “soap box” in nature for my taste.

I would not recommend this book.  Instead, I would recommend that if you disagree with Oprah’s faith practices, you pray for her; that God would reveal His love to her.  I am a Christian who worships God.  I don’t worship Oprah or any other celebrity so why would I be threatened by her belief system.  

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Book Review: Hermie a common caterpillar by Max Lucado

Let me begin by saying that I’m a mom of two children who are now in college.  So I have read many, many children’s books over the years. From the time we brought our babies home from the hospital, they were surrounded by books.  When they behaved appropriately in the grocery store, they were rewarded with a trip to the library.   Hermie a common caterpillar by Max Lucado gives parents an opportunity to develop the love of reading in their children along with teaching them that God loves them, unconditionally and as they are.  That’s a winning combination. It has been a joy to have the opportunity to read and review Hermie a common caterpillar by Max Lucado.  This book is developed for early readers and is part of the Hermie & Friends series.  

The storyline centers around a caterpillar named Hermie and his friend, Wormie.  Hermie is ordinary.  He isn’t visually flashy; no spots or stripes like some caterpillars have.  Hermie talks to God and wonders why God has made him so common.  He isn’t strong like Antonio the ant, or pretty like Lucy the ladybug.  Hermie talks to God and God tells Hermie that He loves him just the way he is and He isn’t finished with him yet.

The book is endearing.  It teaches lessons about friendship, acceptance, prayer, and transformation.  The characters are loveable and the illustrations are appealing.  We get to see the growth in Hermie as the story progresses.  After his transformation into a butterfly, Hermie understands that God has made him special; both inside and out.  I love that Wormie is part of the story; a friend who feels the same way as Hermie feels.  They are not alone, and have each other. 

I think this book would be a great addition to a home library.  On a practical note, the pages of the book are thick, slightly shiny, and good quality.  The colors in the illustrations are vibrant.  The characters are loveable and it left me wanting to learn more lessons from Hermie.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Book Review: Stained Glass Hearts by Patsy Clairmont

A year ago, I declared only to myself … “I want to read more”.  But life sometimes gets in the way.  After a personal year of brokenness and change, I decided to begin my reading journey with, Stained Glass Hearts by Patsy Clairmont.  In this inspirational book, Patsy shares some stories of her personal tattered life; her crashes and her recoveries.  Her quick wit and humor added to the joy of reading this book.  It will be enjoyed by anyone who has ever had a broken heart, or has let fear creep into their life.  The pages in this book will uplift and challenge you to live a grace-filled life. You will learn how these three simple words, "Make your bed" can change your life.

There are two very unique aspects of this book that I really enjoyed.  The first is the wonderful quotes from famous writers, poets, and even unknown authors that are highlighted in eye-catching boxes that appear in the margins of most chapters. This was something extra, some food for thought.  One humorous quote that resonated with me is found on page 148, “The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.”  e. e. cummings.  The second unique gift this book brings is something called “The Art Gallery”.  I absolutely loved this interactive connection that the author makes with the reader.  It’s like having dessert at the end of each chapter. The Art Gallery is full of suggested music, scripture, video, works of art, poems, and prayers.  When was the last time you read a book and were encouraged to “Google” something or listen to an audio piece on “YouTube”?  The book becomes a stepping stone to other explorations. 

Patsy Clairmont is generous in sharing her personal struggles and triumphs.  She inspires and educates.  The next time I view a beautiful piece of stained glass in a church, a museum, or a national building, I will see it as it is … broken bits of life, fashioned together, only revealing its true beauty by the grace and light of Christ.
  • I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.