Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sticky Faith

Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your KidsSticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids by Kara Powell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an insightful look into how to keep not just your kids, but kids in general in the church. I liked that this was backed up by research and what the real world had to say. It didn't shy away from the reality that our kids live in. I think this is positive reinforcement for anyone working with youth groups or teenagers.

Summary: Nearly every Christian parent in America would give anything to find a viable resource for developing within their kids a deep, dynamic faith that 'sticks' long term. Sticky Faith delivers. Research shows that almost half of graduating high school seniors struggle deeply with their faith. Recognizing the ramifications of that statistic, the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) conducted the 'College Transition Project' in an effort to identify the relationships and best practices that can set young people on a trajectory of lifelong faith and service. Based on FYI findings, this easy-to-read guide presents both a compelling rationale and a powerful strategy to show parents how to actively encourage their children's spiritual growth so that it will stick to them into adulthood and empower them to develop a living, lasting faith. Written by authors known for the integrity of their research and the intensity of their passion for young people, Sticky Faith is geared to spark a movement that empowers adults to develop robust and long-term faith in kids of all ages.

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Plague of Zombies

A Plague of ZombiesA Plague of Zombies by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I always enjoy Lord John's stories. This one wasn't much different. Although I thought the ending was too wrapped up and neat, and missing some of the details - the little "aha!" moments - that I look for when reading a DG story. Entertaining to read on it's own, a little disappointing in the grand scheme of things.

Synopsis: Lord John Grey, a lieutenant-colonel in His Majesty’s army, arrives in Jamaica with orders to quash a slave rebellion brewing in the mountains. But a much deadlier threat lies close at hand. The governor of the island is being menaced by zombies, according to a servant. Lord John has no idea what a zombie is, but it doesn’t sound good. It sounds even worse when hands smelling of grave dirt come out of the darkness to take him by the throat. Between murder in the governor’s mansion and plantations burning in the mountains, Lord John will need the wisdom of serpents and the luck of the devil to keep the island from exploding.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Never Stick Your Tongue Out at Mama

Never Stick Your Tongue Out at Mama: And Other Life Transforming RevelationsNever Stick Your Tongue Out at Mama: And Other Life Transforming Revelations by Max Davis
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

While a cute title, I found the topics covered to be just as trite. Nothing really stands out to me as "life transforming". A lot of common sense teaching.

Synopsis: Max Davis has seen the dark side of life. When he was at his personal worst(unemployed, in enormous debt, divorced and uninvolved with his children, he contemplated suicide. Instead, he systematically rebuilt his life from the bottom up. What he learned along the way is encapsulated in these heartfelt, insightful, and simple essays. Everything from respect for others (the chapter Never Stick Your Tongue Out at Mama) to personal responsibility (Even Toddlers Do It) to facing your fears (Monsters Under the Bed), Max Davis latches onto emotions everyone can relate to and to life issues we all struggle with.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Gendarme

The GendarmeThe Gendarme by Mark Mustian
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was not what I expected at all. I struggled a lot with the shifting timelines. The writing itself was very good, although there were a lot of paragraphs filled with "meh" descriptions that I skimmed through. The ending was a little vague. I recommend this for anyone who likes those forgotten bits of history.

Synopsis: A haunting, deeply moving novel-an old man comes face-to-face with his past and sets out to find the love of his life and beg her forgiveness.

To those around him, Emmet Conn is a ninety-two-year-old man on the verge of senility. But what becomes frighteningly clear to Emmet is that the sudden, realistic dreams he is having are memories of events he, and many others, have denied or purposely forgotten. The Gendarme is a unique love story that explores the power of memory-and the ability of people, individually and collectively, to forget. Depicting how love can transcend nationalities and politics, how racism creates divisions where none truly exist, and how the human spirit fights to survive even in the face of hopelessness, this is a transcendent novel.

Recommended Reading:
The Elephant's Journey by Jose Saramago
The Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay
Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna
Room by Emma Donoghue