Wednesday, August 16, 2017

My Review of "Convicted"

Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins' Convicted: A Crooked Cop, an Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness and Friendship tells the amazing story of the unlikely pair of men are working side-by-side at Cafe Mosaic in Benton Harbor:  One was unjustly sent to prison and the other is the former officer who sent him there.

Convicted tells the story of former Benton Harbor police officer Andrew Collins, now the manager at Cafe Mosaic, is the mentor for Jameel McGee of Benton Harbor, who spent four years in federal prison because of Mr. Collins' lies.  This story, though, is a unique one -- because it tells the difference Jesus makes in real relationships between those who would otherwise be enemies.

McGee was released from prison just days after Collins finally pleaded guilty to his own offenses in corruption.  With the patience of a good pastor, Collins finds forgiveness and ultimately restoration with McGee.

This is not a book to be missed!

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review here.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

My Review of "Leading Lady"

Stephen Galloway's Leading Lady:  Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker is a fascinating look at Sherry Lansing, whose appointment as head of 20th Century Fox in 1980 made her the first female president of a major Hollywood studio.  He follows Lansing from her Chicago childhood, explaining how her father's death and mother's resourcefulness influenced her strengths and insecurities.  A gawky teenager, she gained from moviegoing a desire to "reinvent herself" and as a young woman moved to California to follow her acting dreams.  Although this first career didn't last long, she found a mentor in producer Ray Wagner, who hired her as a script reader, a move that transformed her life.

Galloway captures the personal drive that allowed Lansing to forge a path through sexist Hollywood and shepherd films such as Kramer vs. Kramer, Forrest Gump, and Saving Private Ryan past creative obstacles to eventual success.  He also shows how she personally left her mark on many films, such as by helping to craft Fatal Attraction's revised, crowd-pleasing finale.

As the book draws to a close, Galloway describes how Lansing realized she wanted more out of life, and by 2005 left Hollywood behind to start a cancer research foundation.  Galloway has created a colorful page-turner chronicling Lansing's legacy as both a filmmaker and a philanthropist.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review here.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

My Review of "How We Love"

Milan & Kay Yerkovich's How We Love:  Discover Your Love Style, Enhance Your Marriage (expanded edition) is a fascinating book that every married couple should read.  Here, these two veteran marriage counselors help place our marriage within the larger context of each person's life -- family of origin, habits and contemporary behavior are all interconnected in ways that readers may not appreciate before How We Love.

The authors take the psychological tools of attachment theory to construct how our lives with early families can create "intimacy imprints" -- an underlying blueprint that shapes your behavior, beliefs, and expectations of all relationships, especially your marriage.  How We Love outlines four of those imprint "styles" and goes to out explore how each of those styles interact with others in particular marriages to create the drama of our marriages.

This is an amazing little book that offers a lot of hope for marriages that may have gotten stuck.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review here.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

My Review of "The Midnight Queen"

Sylvia Izzo Hunter's The Midnight Queen:  A Noctus Magicae Novel blends magic, intrigue and romance to create a fun fantasy, which is set in an alternate Regency England.

Graham "Gray" Marshall has been drained of his magic and blamed for the death of a fellow student at the College of Merlin in Oxford.  He can't really refuse when his teacher, Prof. Appius Callender, drags him off to his distant country house for the summer break -- even though he thinks Callender is part of a conspiracy to murder Lord Halifax, the Master of Merlin College.

Gray is befriended by Callender's middle daughter, Sophie, and the two set to work uncovering the truth about the conspiracy.  Along the way, they discover that Sophie's father has lied to her about her own magical abilities, and find the hidden truth about Sophie's own family history.

Although the novel begins as Gray's story, Sophie quickly takes over the spotlight.  Their romance, the twisty intrigue, and Hunter's colorful alt-Regency setting, complete with drawing rooms, balls, and barouches, will charm fans of romantic fantasy.

The Midnight Queen is a fun page-turner for the summer.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

My Review of "Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God"

Brian Zahnd's Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News is, in a word, breathtaking!

Zahnd is working toward a radical (getting-to-the-root) Christ-centered biblical hermeneutic.  I was soaking up every word of this beautifully written, entirely accessible, utterly practical theology book that combines rich faith with practical living.

This really is a book of "Very Good News" and it points toward a sea-change that's happening among Christian evangelical preachers these days.  I won't give away too much, but by the time you get to the second chapter ("Closing the Book on Vengeance"), be prepared to read slowly.  I've dog-eared my copy at page 30 (once you read it, you'll find out why).

But Chapter 7 is my favorite.  Honestly, if all you did was buy this book and read that chapter, you'd have your money's worth.  I have honestly never read anything that so clearly and simply explained the right way to approach Revelation before.  It's amazing.  Really, amazing.

I'm excited there are books like this in the world.  I plan to get a couple of copies just to share around with friends.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review here.

Friday, May 26, 2017

My Review of "He Calls You Beautiful"

Dee Brestin's He Calls You Beautiful: Hearing the Voice of Jesus in the Song of Songs offers a rich Bible study resource for women -- focusing on the poetry of the Song of Songs as a love poem of Jesus for every woman's heart.

Rather than considering the Song of Songs as being only about marriage or only an allegory about Christ and the soul, Brestin shows that both are true -- in that the Song uses a picture of earthly marriage as a metaphor for the intimacy Jesus longs to have with every woman's heart.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review here.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

My Review of "Finally Focused"

James Greenblatt's Finally Focused is a great resource for parents and educators who struggle to adapt ADHD students into a gracious and productive childhood.  Greenblatt offers a number of non-pharmacological solutions, and in that way Finally Focused will be extremely useful for parents who are searching for help.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review here.