"Boy am I glad this book does not speak on behalf of all men. I do think Steve Harvey is funny and if this book were a stand-up comedy routine, then ok, it was entertaining. But since the cover claims he is "always truthful", let me dive right in on why I didn't like it.
First of all, Steve suggests so many ways women need to take a step back to let the man feel important, appreciated, and looked up to. Ok, I get that men need to feel needed. I understand there comes a sense of being and pride that comes from having a secure job and providing for your family; these things make sense. But what I don't agree with is being told to be a weakling and not do things I am perfectly capable of in order to let the man have his pride. And there is a difference between romantic (the man opening the door for us when obviously we can get it) and silly (waiting for the man to go to Home Depot to get the tools even though we know what we need). Why does a women need to be completely helpless and NOT do things so the man can feel needed? The security should come from within...(hmmm, maybe read Beth Moore's book So Long Insecurity??)
Secondly, Steve Harvey tells women we have "a good month or so" of not giving a man "the cookie" (you know what he means...) before he will find it somewhere else. Really?? A month? He does take a disclaimer by saying after you've had a baby, men understand there will be a 6 week recovery period. Well, gee, thank you for understanding. I find it offensive to suggest that if women don't provide that "need", a man will go somewhere else. And I felt like throughout the book, Steve made it sound like if your man ended up doing that, you had no one to blame but yourself. Later, he'd say he doesn't promote cheating, but the argument was not convincing at all.
Third of all, WHAT THE HECK is all this talk about meeting the kids? I am going to tread lightly here because there are a lot of single parents in the world raising children because the father (or in some cases, the mother) was of no help or support and they are better without them. And in a perfect world, every child would be raised by two parents that loved and supported them deeply. Obviously, we see more and more single parents trying to do their best. But Steve argues instead of waiting to see if you are serious about someone before introducing them to your children, you need to bring them around sooner because if they don't get along with the kids, it's going to be a problem. I tend to disagree with this. Children do not need to get attached to every person their parent dates. Talk about confusion.
And it's disappointing to read about the "baby mama drama" as if everyone out there is a single parent trying to find their mate. There was way too much talk about the children (for either a man or a woman) and maybe Steve is part of a blended family. But I gotta say, as harsh as it may be, by using some of the suggestions in this book, the pattern will probably be repeated.
I'm left to question the motives of a man who is ok with his wife giving up things she loves (ex: scuba diving) because he doesn't like it and feels he can't "protect" her when she "risks her life". It's a shame that he doesn't see what's wrong with that picture. So HE can feel like man, his wife gives up what SHE enjoys and is even CERTIFIED in! Unreal...
Ladies, do NOT stop being strong and independent women. You can need your man and make him feel that way without pretending to be a weakling you are not, which in a twisted way is what I think Mr. Harvey defines as a "lady". And if your man wanders to another woman, I'd argue he's got other problems that don't involve you. If he was in a committed relationship, he wouldn't need to cheat.
Nobody is a relationship expert, and we all learn with each one. And sure, I may be more on the old fashioned side with some of my beliefs. But I definitely disagreed with a lot of ideas Steve Harvey writes about in this book. I would not recommend it for anyone, except maybe the "serial daters". It's good to have standards and put value on yourself and if you don't already know that, this book could sober you up a bit.
Either way, I do not believe this is a groundbreaking relationship book. I don't even think a lot of it is good advice. I was disappointed, at best."
"A short fable and a very quick read, The Alchemist follows Santiago on his pursuit of his Personal Legend. As we all know, life experiences are changed and shaped based on who we meet, what we experience, how we learn, and how we apply the new information to our lives and our realities. Each person Santiago meets shares new wisdom with him that change and add value to his Personal Legend. As he learns to listen to his heart, his quest becomes more endearing as he fights struggles within himself.
I've been wanting to read this book for a while because of so many others telling me how amazing it was and that I should definitely read it. I suppose it's just that kind of build up that can set you up for disappointment. Though I wouldn't say I was disappointed in the book, I don't feel it changed my life in any dramatic way. Most of the wisdom Santiago's new friends shared with him based on ‘ancient history' or a ‘man who lived long ago' came from familiar Bible stories. And in that regard, I believe there is much to learn from stories of those in the Bible. Which is probably why the end of the book was meaningful to me. Santiago used that wisdom and learned to follow his heart and use prayer to achieve his dreams. And isn't that what it's all about anyway?"
"I really loved the story from the dog's perspective. I've always wondered what dogs were thinking and I believe they DO understand what we say when we talk to them. The dog in this story is easy to fall in love with and I found myself doing just that. He was a perfect companion to Denny's character and I loved their bond.
There were a couple plot twists that I didn't expect but I liked them...kept the story intriguing. I definitely recommend this book if you are a dog lover!"
"Talk about an entertaining read! Liz Curtis Higgs is a laugh out loud author. She will keep your interest on every single page of this book while you learn from other Bad Girls' mistakes. Written without a "holier than thou" attitude, Higgs will be the first one to admit she is a former Bad Girl herself. But God's grace is enough for anybody!
At the beginning of each chapter, Higgs writes a fictional story similar to the biblical one. I thought this was a very creative way to get the reader into the story and imagine the characters, the settings, and the plot in more depth. However, I also believe that is a slippery slope and readers can potentially remember the fictional story more than what the Bible says. Despite the latter, I thought it was an entertaining stretch of the imagination for each woman featured.
After the fictional piece, Higgs shares the Biblical account of featured Bad Girl, and then shares "What We Can Learn" portions as well as "Good Girl Thoughts to Consider." Though Higgs is not a theologian, I think she shares valuable insight and interesting points to consider with each Bad Girl. For example, she shares ten possibilities of why Lot's wife may have looked back when her family was fleeing their hometown. Higgs studied several different commentaries to create this book and I think her efforts more than paid off. There are definitely some thought provoking ideas in Bad Girls of the Bible.
I have both Really Bad Girls of the Bible and Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible, both of which I still plan to read soon. I think it's interesting to look at the Bad Girls for once, as it seems the Good Girls are usually the examples set before us. But what about those that have messed up royally, continue to do so, and then find themselves seeking forgiveness and redemption? Higgs is hysterical, creative, and reassuring in Bad Girls of the Bible and I look forward to reading more of her books!
"What a heartwarming story!!! Though I did NOT like 2 particular events (page 64 and 151). But despite those 2 things, the book was adorable. The writer made me laugh out loud, but I had to warm up to her. She was VERY out of touch with animals and dogs before she found Libro. But boy did he do a number on her! I would love to meet this dog in person. I was already a huge fan of boxers before reading this, but the star of this book shines like no other. He did his breed and his owner proud! If you are a dog person, I definitely recommend this for you! A quick and heartwarming story that will make you smile :)"
"This year started with a cruise for me and how fitting to begin this journey with a nice ‘poolside book' by Jennifer Weiner. She never ceases to amaze me. I love the depth of the characters she creates and by the time I'm through with the first few chapters I feel like I'm getting to know a new friend and it's exciting. Best Friends Forever was no exception however it was hard to connect with self-absorbed, yet somewhat clueless Val, and frustrating that Addie didn't have more confidence in herself.
There are a few mysteries throughout the story and it keeps the reader engaged as they try to put the pieces of the puzzle together. I particularly liked a fun little twist thrown in for good measure :)
Jennifer Weiner remains a favorite author of mine and I always enjoy her books. Recommended for your next beach trip or vacation! Entertaining and funny story!"
"This book was my first Danielle Steel novel and I was very excited to read something she wrote. My mom has read most of her books and by the time she was my age, she had probably read about 30 of Danielle's books. I'm fairly certain this isn't your typical novel by the best selling author.
It reminded me of Jennifer Weiner books where typically the main character is overweight and has some self image issues. However, I think the story held its own throughout the book.
Victoria Dawson was a character easy to like and sympathize with. Her father was easy to hate. He never had anything positive to say to her and it was so frustrating that her mother was his puppet who went along with everything he said. Surprisingly, Victoria and her sister had an incredible bond despite the fact they had very different experiences with their parents. It's pretty amazing Victoria didn't grow bitter and hateful toward Gracie, who received nothing but praises from both of her parents.
At first I felt the story was written in a sort of rushed way because there were parts where the story skipped 4 or 5 years ahead. But later I found it worked really well for this novel so you could absorb the highlights and get to know the history of the characters.
I enjoyed reading about Victoria's journey to finding who she is and learning how to love herself despite the fact that she had been told her whole life anything but. From leaving the family for college to life in New York where she makes new friends that support her and care for her, it's easy to root for Victoria in this book.
Danielle Steel does a wonderful job at creating characters you could love, hate, want to slap, root for, laugh with, and roll your eyes at. I had all of those moments in reading this novel. An easy, laid back read, I am sure this is not the typical Danielle Steel book. And I would definitely be interested in reading more of her books."
This is such a great memoir of an amazing Golden Retriever named Trixie! I have never read a Dean Koontz book before, mainly because he writes a genre that is not my cup of tea, but he is a laugh out loud author. There were SEVERAL parts of this book that I laughed to myself and read the story with a smile. I took my time with this book because I wanted to enjoy Trixie's life through her memory. She was indeed a VERY special dog.
I cried too. :( I had fallen in love with Trixie early on with this book and it was hard to read about the end of her life. It brought back memories of dogs from my past that it was devastating to lose. It's a heartbreak like no other. But one day when we are reunited in Heaven, it will be the most wonderful feeling in the world to see all those dogs rushing towards me, happy and healthy and to spend an eternity together.
I can't wait to meet Trixie up there, too. I highly recommend this book to any pet owner. Grab a blanket, curl up by the fireplace, and get to know a really special dog named Trixie.
Kudos to Dean and his wife, Gerda, for giving this dog a blissful life and for honoring her memory both in the writing of this story as well as the other efforts they do for Canine Companions for Independence."
"As a MOPs author (Mothers of Preschoolers), this author definitely wrote this book for busy mom's. That's pretty evident on the back cover as well, but I thought I'd check it out anyway. It was hard for me to relate to because I'm not a mom and don't have carpools, kids sports, childrens schedules and activities to handle. Moms definitely have more on their plate and I think if you are a mom feeling overwhelmed, this book is for you :) I particularly enjoyed her chapters on living in Sabbath Simplicity, which led me to her other book, Rest. I have that one in the hopper to read soon!"
"Do you feel drained by the "commonness of your life?" The day to day patterns that cause you to go through the motions without fulfilling you? You were never designed to live that way! God wants you to thrive, to be completely satisfied and to engage in your gifts that he equipped you with before you even came out of the womb.
I've had this book for years and never actually read it. Luckily, the small group bible study I co-lead decided to begin a Christian themed book club while we are in between our bible studies. Having just finished a Max Lucado study, the group voted on Max's Cure for the Common Life as our first book together. I just finished this book today and I'm not surprised at all that I loved it. Max uses such clear teachings and writes laugh out loud examples. I even read parts of it out loud to those who were nearby.
Max is clearly living in his "sweet spot", which is writing and teaching and ministering, and he does a fantastic job in helping show the reader how to find their sweet spot. All those quirks, likes, dislikes, and hobbies of your youth, adolescence, college, and first career ventures are signs of what you are destined to do.
While many are familiar with personality tests that are taken for high school, college, and for some even in the workplace, many may not know their spiritual gifts or their "sweet spot" as well. So what's the sweet spot? It's where what you do (your unique giftedness) intersects with why you do it (making a big deal out of God) and where you do it (every day of your life). We all came pre-packed with a bag of qualities, traits and tools to discover our sweet spot.
Outlined as your S.T.O.R.Y (Strengths, Topic, Optimal Conditions, Relationships, Yes!- what makes you say Yes!), Max helps you define what you are already equipped to do to cure your case of the common life. At the end of the book is a Sweet Spot Discovery Guide by People Management International, Inc. and Steve Halliday where you can really reflect on your experiences and personalize what you've read for your own life.
This was a great read with valuable guidance and teachings. I can't wait to meet with our group next month to hear everyone else's thoughts and feedback. I recommend this book for anybody searching for their sweet spot; Max Lucado never disappoints.
"I've read a lot of books. That is obvious considering this year's challenge and the purpose of this blog. But A Dog's Purpose has shot immediately to my all time Top Five list of favorite books. I usually shy away from animal stories for the sole reason that I don't want to read about anything sad happening to an animal. But this book took me on a heartwarming journey that left my heart smiling and me wanting more of it!
W. Bruce Cameron writes in a beautiful way and crafts a story of a dog's life from the dog's point of view. (Reminiscient of The Art of Racing in the Rain.) It's hard not to fall in love with Bailey from the very beginning, laughing out loud at his thoughts on human behavior and interaction. Bailey is such a good dog and his bond with Ethan is instant. This is an endearing, witty, insightful, and wonderfully told story. While there are twists and turns and Bailey is reborn, I loved the author's imagination the entire time and did not want this book to end. I don't usually say that about a book simply because I get so excited I can't wait to see what happens next. But I fell in love with Bailey and I wanted to spend more and more time with him!
Surprisingly deep, there are more layers to this book than I expected and I loved every minute of it. Everything that happens to Bailey has a purpose and often I found myself with happy tears and smiling. The ending was done beautifully and will leave the reader more than satisfied.
For all dog lovers, I suggest you get a copy of this book today and cuddle up with your loved pups while you read it! This book will make you wonder what your dogs think and really want to love them even more. I cannot imagine a life without them. This is a book I'll be keeping (which is rare; typical protocol is to read them then swap them either on PaperBackSwap or give to someone else.) But this one I know I'll read again and want to share with friends and family.
For more information on the book, or to nominate your pup in the Dog of the Week contest on the author's webpage, visit www.adogspurpose.com. Stay tuned for an author spotlight on W. Bruce Cameron!
"Yet another wonderful read by Charles Swindoll! Reading these books remind me of what my grandmother used to tell me. When I was in the 10-12 year old range, I read a lot of R.L. Stine novels (Fear Street series, anyone?) And my grandmother, a devout Christian with G rated thoughts, used to ask me, "Why don't you read some nicer books like animal stories or biographies?" At the time that just sounded horrendous. But the older I get, the more I really do enjoy both! haha (Guess my Nana was on to something...)
And I can't help but think she would have loved the Great Lives from God's Word series by Charles Swindoll. Biographies dedicated to men and women of the Bible, this series teaches what we can learn and take away from their lives to better our own. I have previously read (and loved) Volume 2: Esther, A Woman of Strength and Dignity and Volume 3: Joseph, A Man of Integrity and Forgiveness.
I was thrilled when I was able to get my hands on a copy of Volume 5 (which was hard to track down; thanks to a local used bookstore I snagged one!) These books not only offer a great study of the person's life, but Charles Swindoll does a fantastic job of sharing life application principles. I especially felt that the take away messages of Elijah's story were very powerful. I've been talking about some lessons I've learned from this volume to anyone who will listen.
I didn't know much about Elijah before reading this book but I'm glad I read this. His life is a wonderful example of how we can put ourselves through "boot camp" for God, trust in the Lord without hesitation, and do it all with a humble attitude. Humility is a lost art in today's world and this was a wonderful refresher on the topic.
I highly recommend this book (and series!) to those interested. Other characters featured in the series are David, Moses, Paul, Job, and the greatest life of all: Jesus"
"I read this book while finishing up Beth Moore's bible study on Esther. Having been in a thorough and in depth study, I noticed this book is not as thorough. However, the story of Esther is incredible and powerful and Charles Swindoll is a great author! I probably should have read this book before I studied Esther in depth, but I liked it a lot anyway!"
"I love Max Lucado and after reading this book was convinced he is doing what he was meant to do. He is so gifted and knowledgeable. This is an excellent story about David and fighting his giant, and Max does an incredible job of relating this to our lives and what we can learn from it."
"What a great book! Sandi Patty was my grandmother's favorite Christian artist. So when I came across this book, I was intrigued to hear of her affair and "fall" as she calls it. This book is so inspiring and encouraging for anybody who has gone through a crisis or trauma or loss. Which is pretty much all of us. The enemy tries to get in our head with thoughts of hopelessness and worthlessness, but we need to keep our sights on the One who truly values us and wants to make a difference with out lives! It's so easy to judge others and ourselves when we make mistakes, but let's face it. Everybody falls. And God is there to pick us right back up. EXCELLENT read!"
"Fantastic book!! Fasting is a topic I didn't know much about (other than the fact that my highschool did 30 hour famines, but I didn't understand the motives or purpose). This book was well written and I soaked up the information! It made me examine my life to determine what should I fast from for a season in an effort for that thing to regain its proper priority in my life. It's a book that doesn't just make you think, it makes you want to DO what you read about! Highly recommended for anyone interested in the topic of Fasting!"
"I loved this book! Max Lucado is my favorite Christian author and this book is even better than previous ones I've read! Fear is something that just about everyone deals with in one way or another. And Max does an amazing job helping us understand why we shouldn't be fearful and why God has already taken care of the things we dread. It's easier said than done, but this book really inspires the readers to cast their fears aside. It's a quick and encouraging read!"
"Fans of Jennifer Weiner will love her latest novel, Fly Away Home. I don't know how she continues to do it, time and time again, but Jennifer Weiner can keep you enthralled in a story and engaged in the characters on every single page. She continues to be one of my favorites that I've also been fortunate enough to meet on two book tours: last summer's Best Friends Forever tour as well as this year's Fly Away Home tour.
As a Washington, D.C. area local, it seems all too familiar. The tale of the wandering politician. The one who thinks the rules don't apply to him, who indulges in temptation and his selfish desires, and who ultimately ends up making a public statement of apology with his disgraced wife standing by his side. Yet it's rare that we get an inside glimpse at the wife and family's views. The ones who were betrayed and shamed in public. The ones who have to figure out what to do with their lives and how to protect each other from public opinion and interest.
Jennifer Weiner does just this in her newest novel. Exploring "the family side" of the typical political scandal, we follow Sylvie (the scorned wife), Diana (the over-achieving and ‘perfect' oldest), and Lizzie (the younger, more rebellious child.) Told from all three points of views (which is one of the things I love most about Weiner's novels- you get more than one side of the story!), other trials rise in every character's life. From work to parenting to relationships to family, there is so much going on in Fly Away Home, I never lost interest! (Though to be fair, I've never lost interest in a Weiner novel.)
Written with the author's usual humor and wit, you'll laugh out loud with these women. You'll root for them as individuals and as a family as they try to piece back together their lives after their world(s) are turned upside down. Each one has her own desires, her own passions, and her own relationships to reconcile. And I think this book definitely leaves some doors open for a sequel.
I can say I'm happy with the ending, however I do find myself wondering what happens next for Diana and Lizzie! Particularly Diana. Both of their stories and lives were so interesting and, a couple of times, unpredictable. (Maybe we will find out in an upcoming sequel...?) Either way, Fly Away Home, is another fantastic Jennifer Weiner novel that will leave you considering your family and appreciating them all the more. After all, isn't family what it's all about?
Congrats to Jen on signing a four year-four book deal with her publisher! I'm looking forward to meeting new characters and seeing you on tour again! Thanks for supporting our blog after your stop in the D.C.-area. Enjoy the rest of those cupcakes this summer!"