Category: Books

Book Review: Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram

About the Book:

The Enneagram opens a remarkable window into the truth about us, enabling us to see how image, wounds, lies, triggers, and default responses shape us every bit as much as our faith. But simply diagnosing our number doesn’t do justice to who we are. Nor does it necessarily change us or our relationships. Transformation happens as we grow in awareness and learn how to engage and reflect God’s image. And relational repair then results as we apply Enneagram insights to the rhythms and grooves of our ordinary daily lives. For those who have learned about the Enneagram and wonder “What’s next?” this handbook is the answer. Filled with exercises to engage, challenge, encourage, and sustain, Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram will help us grow in greater awareness and lead us to spiritual and relational transformation. Including new insight on the Enneagram and the Harmony Triads, and offering helpful “Soul Resources” in the appendix, this handbook can be used by individuals or groups.

My Thoughts:

I’m looking forward to reading this book. I was sent an unedited, review copy and in this instance I found the unedited version too difficult to read so I decided to set the book aside and wait to keep reading until I can purchase a copy, which is today (release day).

But this is something I’ll share from the brief section of the review document that I did read. I’m paraphrasing as the version I have is not the final text.

Who is this book for?

This is not an introductory text to the Enneagram. It is for individuals who want to grow, transform and bring health to their loving and life.

This book is recommended for spiritual directors, healthcare professionals, coaches and pastors seeking to help their clients integrate and grow in awareness, healing and love of God, others and self through practices, questions and exercises. This book is for those seeking to bring God’s presence and empathy to disharmonious people and systems.

Final Thoughts:

If you have never before engaged with the Enneagram then this book will not be for you. If you are exploring this topic for the first time I’d recommend you start with Ian Cron’s The Road Back To You and then follow up with Suzanne Stabile’s The Path Between Us.

Book Review: Shadow Among Sheaves

About the Book:

A Timeless, Beautiful Allegory of the Biblical Love Story of Ruth and Boaz

The Great Rebellion of 1857 was a remarkably bloody business. At a time when Britain’s imperial influence in India was sparking brutal clashes on both sides, no one could have expected Rena, an Indian woman, to marry a British officer nor do they understand her decision to follow her mother-in-law to England after her husband’s tragic death. 

Once the two widows are in Abbotsville, the stern yet compassionate Lord Barric attempts to help them despite his better judgment. Soon he is torn between the demands of reputation and his increasing desire to capture Rena’s heart for his own.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Shadow Among Sheaves. The re-setting of the story of Boaz and Ruth into England with an Indian widow was thought provoking. The characters were well developed and the writing was vivid. Over all I found the story engaging and would recommend it.

I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review: Restoration Year

About the Book:

This 365-day devotional is comprised of short readings that guide you on a year-long journey of restoration. Each devotion features a Bible verse, a devotion, and a closing prayer or inspiring challenge that will equip you to pursue lasting transformation in your life and relationships.

Packaged to appeal to both men and women, the devotional will cover a variety of topics, including relating to God, understanding who God really is, sustaining friendships, deepening relationships with family members, understanding the future God has planned for us, and more.

Let this year be your restoration year.

New York Times bestselling author John Eldredge offers readers a journey into lasting transformation in their relationships, their interaction with God, and their joy in life.

My Thoughts:

I really like this devotional. I find it thought provoking. I especially like how one day might approach one aspect of an idea or issue and the next day might approach the same idea from another angle.

These are short readings. There is a verse in the heading, but it may be a loose connection to the idea rather than being foundational to what is being discussed. There is a question for prayerful reflection at the end of each section.

I’ll say again, I do like these readings, but I should also say they are in no way a substitute for Bible study. They are more supplemental readings to challenge you in the ways that you think, live and relate to the Lord. And it is for that purpose that I recommend this book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review: A Return to Devotion

About the Book:

Daphne Blakemoor was perfectly happy living in her own secluded world for twelve years. She had everything she needed–loved ones, a true home, and time to indulge her imagination. But when ownership of the estate where she works as a housekeeper passes on, and the new marquis has an undeniable connection to her past, everything she’s come to rely upon is threatened.

William, Marquis of Chemsford’s main goal in life is to be the exact opposite of his father. Starting a new life in the peace and quiet of the country sounds perfect until his housekeeper turns his life upside down.

They’ve spent their lives hiding from the past. Can they find the courage to face their deepest wounds and, perhaps, find a new path for the future together?

My Thoughts:

Return to Devotion is a compelling story of love, forgiveness and learning to live under a mantle of grace. Following a novella (A Search for Refuge) and the first book in the series (A Defense of Honor), Hunter continues to invite us in to the world of Haven Manor and her inhabitants.

The story of Daphne was compelling. Though Daphne’s character seemed so self-protected from the reality of the world, we are invited to join her on her journey from allowing her imagination to deceive her to the place of allowing her imagination to be visionary, grounded in love and truth. The prospect of finding grace and living in it, the reality that forgiveness is a new foundation for life and the truth that love pursues are all aspects of this sweet romance.

William is also key in this story as he wrestles with what it looks like to truly consider people apart from their station and what family honor truly means. I enjoyed the development of his character.

All in all A Return to Devotion was a sweet and uplifting continuation of this series.

I received a free digital galley of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.




Book Review: Flights of Fancy

About the Book:

Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania. Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner. Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

My Thoughts:

I always enjoy reading Jen Turano’s novels. They make me laugh and strike the imagination. In Flights of Fancy Isadora is clearly a character out of place. Her background has not prepared her to be a housekeeper, but circumstances have left her no choice except to succeed. And truly, I loved how when confronted with all the areas of her life in which she measured herself and found herself wanting she refused to wilt into a corner, but instead leaned into learning how to be a better woman.

Ian is a character backed entirely into a corner by his family’s need, a collection of orphans and some crazy antics that come with life on the farm. (The cow…oh how I laughed at the cow!) Though Isadora seems woefully unequipped for the job she is available and determined.

As circumstances build, secrets abound, and the humor and chaos I’ve come to expect from Turano fills page after page. Sparks fly and Ian and Isadora learn valuable lessons about life and love.

I adored this book and would highly recommend it if you want a lighthearted and enjoyable story to brighten your day.

I received a free digital copy of this book for review
in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review: The Rock That Is Higher

About the Book:

We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes… –Madeleine L’Engle, from The Rock That Is Higher

Story captures our hearts and feeds our imaginations. It reminds us who we are and where we came from. Story gives meaning and direction to our lives as we learn to see it as an affirmation of God’s love and truth–an acknowledgment of our longing for a rock in the midst of life’s wilderness.

Drawing upon her own experiences, well-known tales in literature, and selected narratives from Scripture, Madeleine L’Engle gently leads the way into the glorious world of story in The Rock That Is Higher. Here she acknowledges universal human longings and considers how literature, Scripture, personal stories, and life experiences all point us toward our true home.

My Thoughts:

This book is all L’Engle in style.  It is insightful and rambling all at the same time.  In it the author gives us a great deal of auto-biographical insight into her life and her thinking.  She relates her own story to her process of storytelling.  This is not a “how to” book for writers.  This work is not so much about the process of creating a story as it is the process of how she lived her own story and the impact that had upon her work.

 

I received a free digital galley of this book in exchange for my opinion.