Friday, April 22, 2016

Winter Read Reviews

The winter has past and spring has come with a furry.  I made quite a bit of time to read over the past five months but made little time for writing these reviews. I am going to reach back and try my best to review my winter reads and keep up better through the spring and summer.  Here goes catching up! (if you want to read about why I started writing these reviews click here)

This is a beautifully written gem, straight from the heart of a child of God who has been tested and pressed in on all sides and come out stronger and lovelier than ever. In Steadfast Love, Lauren takes you piece by piece through Psalm 107, weaving portions of her personal story throughout, taking verse 2, "Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story," literally. You will be encouraged, enlightened and challenged as you read this poetically written work.

**and bonus:: it has a great cover & spine so it makes for great decoration around the house!**
The Wisdom of Each Other by Eugene Peterson
Eugene Peterson is one of the most influential authors/pastors/teachers in my life. I found this book as I was searching through works by Peterson that I had yet to read. This little 112 page softback is packed full of wisdom, as the title implies, but not just theological wisdom. In Wisdom of Each Other, Peterson creatively explores how we, as Christians, need each other. He does this by briefly opening with some insights on having older, wiser mentors in our lives and the need for Spiritual Friends. Then he unpacks his points by setting up a letter exchange between two spiritual friends. Right before your eyes you read a back and forth conversation of friends who agree, disagree and agree to disagree. You watch as the back and forth conversations about life grow both parties. While one is more of a mentor figure and the other is a newer believer, the depth of their friendship never wavers as they both have mutual respect for each other's opinions. Inadvertently, Peterson ends up pastoring you a long the way, just as he always does.

Brain Maker by David Perlmutter

In this work, Dr. David Perlmutter presents his (and many others) long standing peer-researched findings on the effects that the gut microbiome have on the brain. This book is chalked full of information on the gut-brain connection.  Many of you know our story with our youngest son and how working on his gut health took him from non-verbal anti-social to fully caught up on all spheres in a matter of a year.  I believe in the gut-brain connection and am so happy to hear that many more doctors and researchers are pushing for this research to be so pervasive that it stops sounding absurd.  I have read Perlmutters other works on Grain & its effects on the guts, which in turn effects the brain, but this book specifically hones in on the living microbiome in the digestive tract.  He teaches about probiotics, prebiotics, the effects of anti-biotics and how to treat the onset of my autoimmune diseases by focusing on the GI. He breaks down how to choose a probiotic, which strands are useful and which are not.  He introduces the reader to FMT and how research is supporting its help towards all kinds of things from Autism to Alzheimer's, from Thyroid Issues to Dementia. This book is technical but well worth your time.  It left me looking up all the resources in the bibliography and trying to find more!

Audacious by Beth Moore
Every page of this work had me feeling like I was sitting across from a dear old friend, full of wisdom and insight, who was pouring all she had in to my young little heart. Some people mentor across the table from you, standing by your side as you cook or parent and others mentor across the pages of their books. This was the perfect way to start 2016, being challenged, encouraged and loved so well by this beloved author.  Beth takes time to unpack what it means to live audacious lives with audacious faith and all who read it will be encouraged to do the same. Grab yourself a copy, pour yourself a cup of joe, get your journal, a pen and a blanket and curl up with this book for a day or so. You will be so glad you did.

 Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
 I read this back to back with Mindy's first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, and it made for an interesting contrast.  Mindy Kaling is still hilarious as ever in Why Not Me? but a lot changed in her life in the 3 years between publications. She changed jobs, moved to a new city and grew in fame. Her first book was more of a story of her life to that point, how she grew up, how she made it in NYC and how she came to be on The Office in LA.  This book, however, is more of a collection of essays of her life in LA, the starting of her own show, her transition to stardom and how she handles life in the public sphere.  She is extremely witty and you will laugh out loud along the way as she tells her stories and gives you glimpses in to the life of a celebrity.

Searching For Sunday by Rachel Held Evans
In this memoir, Rachel Held Evens walks the reader through her "loving,  leaving and finding the Church." She recounts her early love for the body of believers, her on going skepticism toward Evangelicalism and how it all morphed as she became an adult. She tells stories of how God revealed Himself to her through the sacraments and through the people in her life who loved like Jesus loved. This book is light and dark and light again many times over. She takes you on a journey of doubt, belief and the challenges in between.  She pushes in on many of the questions people have but feel unable to present to the evangelical crowd.  It reads like mini-essays you can pick up and put down but also flows well chronologically so it can be read as one.

**if you have ever been one who has written Rachel Held Evans off because of her social media or blog post or the misrepresentation of her by evangelical leaders, I would challenge you to give this book a read and hear her heart and know her story before you throw stones.

Hope these reviews were helpful and you get some books added to your wishlist!

Happy Reading!

No comments: