Saturday, September 23, 2017

My Review of "Taking Aim"

Eva Shockey's Taking Aim: Daring to Be Different, Happier, and Healthier in the Great Outdoors is a memoir that takes readers through Eva Skockey's adventures, sharing a unique glimpse of what it is like to be a women in a traditionally male-dominated world.

Growing up with a father such as Jim Shockey, you would think that hunting would be as natural as breathing.  This was not necessarily the case with Eva.  She began her life's journey with high hopes of becoming a professional dancer, following in her mother's footsteps.  During one of their family trips to the Tatshenshini River area in British Columbia, Eva age seven, shot her first rifle during a family shooting competition.  With help and guidance from her father, the first shot rang out followed by the dink of the can she was aiming for.  As impressive and exciting as this was for her and her family, dance remained her passion.  Eva enjoyed staying at camp alongside her mother, appreciating the natural beauty and serenity of the great outdoors.  As she got older, she also seemed to develop the same craving her father has for being outside, breathing fresh air and taking in all of Mother Nature's beauty, as well as adding hunting to the mix.

Taking Aim then explores what it means for women to enter that world of hunting, and in the process of discovering how our happiness is connected with learning who we are and what our lives are meant to become.

I received a free copy of this game from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review here.

Monday, September 11, 2017

My Review of "Evicted"

Matthew Desmond's Evicted:  Poverty and Profit in the American City is an amazing book, a narrative with a great degree of research, that highlights the hell in which scores of American poor live in our urban environments.  Desmond is a sociologist with a flair for crafting gripping narratives that demonstrate the statistics that undergird his research.  That's what makes Evicted a real page-turner.

Near the end of his book, Desmond tentatively introduces the concept of "exploitation", "a word that has been scrubbed out of the poverty debate".  But it properly belongs as part of that debate, and Evicted is just the kind of book that will replace it.  Poverty is one of the most lucrative businesses in our country, and Evicted exposes those businesses for what they are -- morally bankrupt.

I received a free copy of this game from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review here.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

My Review of "How to Set a Table"

How to Set a Table is a marvelous entertaining guide for those who love to host friends and family.  It begins with an overview of all the different types of pieces needed for entertaining, and continues with a variety of different table placements (my favorite is the picnic blanket). 

I received a free copy of this game from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review here.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

My Review of "Rewordable"

Rewordable is one of those intriguing things you see on your potential board game lists and, if you're a nerd like me, you can't resist.

At its heart, Rewordable is a card game for 2-8 people -- and the one with the biggest vocabulary wins!

Players take turns making words, using at least one card from their hand.  You can add to constructed words, steal from other players, or take from the common deck.  That's what makes this game a sheer joy for families and a must-have as we start approaching the holiday and winter season -- particularly as school get back into the swing.

I received a free copy of this game from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review here.

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.