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What's Best Next
What's Best Next
by Matthew Perman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but read it wisely, 8 Jun. 2014
This review is from: What's Best Next (Hardcover)
If you are looking for some helpful material on applying a Get Things Done model in the Christian context then this book is absolutely for you. It is packed full of useful material on how to streamline your life. Perman passes the secular GTD wisdom through a biblical lens and largely ends up with some helpful conclusions. However - and this is my major concern with the book - my own experience is that there is a danger for Christians of idolising efficiency and excellence in a world which already does that. I would have liked to see more emphasis on the place of day-by-day dependence on God rather than on the dogged commitment to 'working the plan'. I say this as an ex-City lawyer in one of the Magic Circle firms in London. GTD methods are hugely useful and also hugely addictive. So definitely read this book - especially if you are not familiar with the variety of GTD practices which can streamline your life - but as you read it do so wisely and critically too.


In My Defense: An Unlikely Romance, a Deadly Gunshot, and a Young Widow's Road to Redemption
In My Defense: An Unlikely Romance, a Deadly Gunshot, and a Young Widow's Road to Redemption
by Leigh Ann Bryant
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A page-turner, 1 Feb. 2014
Bryant married a man whom she met in the context of his mental care during her nursing training. Charming and kind, it seemed that this was to be a relationship which would bring joy. Yet in time the diagnosis which she had seen on his clinical notes began to manifest itself and she became the victim of domestic abuse. Ultimately she killed him in self-defence, an act for which she was imprisoned and had to stand trial. This is her story, one of redemption which tells how she came to faith in the midst of horrific pain and trauma and found new hope again.

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in return for a fair review.


Return to Me: Volume 1 (The Restoration Chronicles)
Return to Me: Volume 1 (The Restoration Chronicles)
by Lynn Austin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful, 1 Feb. 2014
This retelling of portion of Ezra-Nehemiah is masterful. I do love works of fiction which bring Old Testament scriptures to life and this book is no exception. It tells the story of Zechariah and his grandfather, Iddo, as they return to Jerusalem under the edict from King Cyrus and brings to life what this trip and subsequent rebuilding must have been like for the families involved. It drew me back to the biblical text on several occasions as I sought to trace through some of the detail which I was reading in Austin's writing and gave this portion of Scripture a new vibrancy for me.

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in return for a fair review.


Jesus Feminist
Jesus Feminist
by Sarah Bessey
Edition: Paperback

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this and here is why, 17 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Jesus Feminist (Paperback)
I must confess to not being an avid follower of Bessey's blog, so feted in the `blogosphere'. However, I was aware of her blogging when I picked up this book for review. I think that she is a gifted writer and her blogging is rightly well-received. It was therefore with interest that I began to read this book.

Bessey clearly knows how to read Scripture well and she also knows her audience. This comes across clearly in her writing which is in her customary tone. I do like this tone, although I can't help feeling that the style may be better in shorter blog posts rather than a full-length book as its intensity did begin to wear on me a little. However, I do tend to read books like this in one sitting whereas I recognise that most readers would probably only read one chapter at a time and therefore Bessey has probably pitched her writing style quite well for this kind of audience.

I liked this book overall. I would not suggest it as providing a particular insight for a young woman into the debate on what it means to be a woman in Christ, as it does not contextualise itself significantly in the wider debate. However I don't think that Bessey intended it to be such a book and, as a personal memoir, I think it reads very well and will be a great encouragement to many young women.

I received a free copy of this e-book from NetGalley in return for a fair review.


The Church Builder
The Church Builder
by A L Shields
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging but..., 10 Nov. 2013
This review is from: The Church Builder (Paperback)
This fiction book looked interesting and I wanted some light relief this summer! The story was a very engaging one about a battle between light and darkness, set in contemporary society. A thriller, it is largely well-conceived - save for the ending. I have to admit that I was deeply disappointed by this ending: it just did not seem to be fully finished! I suppose that the author is leaving space for the story's continuation in a series...

Whilst I'd like to be more positive about this story, bad endings really do tend to overshadow the rest of the material for me and, unfortunately, this made me wonder why I had spent so much time reading the book. This is a shame because the rest of the writing was quite engaging.

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in return for a fair review.


What Your Dreams Are Telling You: Unlocking Solutions While You Sleep
What Your Dreams Are Telling You: Unlocking Solutions While You Sleep
by Cindy Mcgill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars OK-ish, 4 Nov. 2013
I always think that I should be more interested in dream interpretation than I am. After all, God speaks through dreams, right? And so I do want to understand them (those that I remember anyway!) but I've not found any particularly good teaching on this subject. How do you discern which dreams are from God and which are the product of the brain processing information from the preceding day? And how do you work out what dream symbols actually mean anyway?

Accordingly, I had hoped that this book would be helpful in extending my thinking on the topic. In the end so, I have to confess to having been disappointed. The writers clearly feel passionately about this topic but I did not feel that they particularly explained how I could interpret dreams. The material was quite generic and I also felt that it may have been intended to be read by anyone, not just Christians. I do believe that, as Christians, we must have a very specific approach to those dreams which may be from God: at the very least, they do not just come from some unnamed God or, more generically, an impersonal 'Universe'. Instead they are part of the revelation which, when it is given to us, comes by the Spirit of Jesus. That was not brought out as much as I would have hoped in this book (although it is clear that McGill claims a converting relationship with Jesus).

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in return for a fair review.


Switch On Your Brain: The Key To Peak Happiness, Thinking, And Health
Switch On Your Brain: The Key To Peak Happiness, Thinking, And Health
by Dr. Caroline Leaf
Edition: Paperback

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not quite what I needed, 4 Nov. 2013
This is a popular-level retelling of Leaf's thinking and practice in neuroscience and related psychology. Set in the context of her Christian faith and her understanding of what Scripture has to say about the mind, her material is fascinating. However, it was clearly simplified for a market with no neuroscientific background. Whilst I am very grateful for this on one level(!), it did also mean that I found the book disappointing. The scientific explanations proffered did not seem to hold together as well as one might hope and at times I was left very confused because there seems to be logical links missing in these explanations. The second part of the book contained practical exercises to 'switch on your brain'. These exercises, which seem to relate broadly to the concept of cognitive behavioural therapy, were interesting but again inadequately explained and thus not of great use. I wish that I could be more positive about this book as I really wanted to read something helpful about neuroscience and psychology and how it interacts with a Scriptural understanding of the mind and being - but this was not that book!

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in return for a fair review.


When God Intervenes: An Extraordinary Story of Faith, Hope, and the Power of Prayer
When God Intervenes: An Extraordinary Story of Faith, Hope, and the Power of Prayer
Price: £9.02

4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!, 30 Sept. 2013
At the age of 25 and six weeks pregnant, Dabney was diagnosed with a form of cancer but chose to postpone medical treatment until after the birth of her first child. This is the true story of her decade-long battle against cancer, pulmonary embolism, acute pneumonia, multiple organ failure, infertility and depression. After a list like that, many of us would have given up but Dabney testifies here to the grace of God in every situation. On more than one occasion when she should have died, she has miraculously lived thanks to the intervention of God. I did not expect this book to be significantly different from many of its genre and perhaps in many ways it is not, but it nevertheless captured my attention and held me until the end.

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in return for a fair review.


How to Be a Good Wife
How to Be a Good Wife
by Emma Chapman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, 30 Sept. 2013
This review is from: How to Be a Good Wife (Hardcover)
This was yet another of my summer fiction reads. I did not know what to expect but was soon drawn into this story of a wife and mother who is the book's narrator. The text is woven with intrigue and it becomes clear to the reader early on that there is something which this woman will not tell us - or perhaps does not know. As the story winds its way to its conclusion, we begin to suspect something which we dare not voice and we wait for the narrator to discover this truth for herself. In my opinion, this was worth a read.

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in return for a fair review.


Otherworld: A Novel
Otherworld: A Novel

3.0 out of 5 stars OK, 30 Sept. 2013
This story of aliens, UFOs and dead cows in small-town America turns out to be a reflection on what Christians will clearly recognise as the demonic. It did hold my attention, perhaps in part because of the writing style which interspersed storylines, making the reader want to continue to read. However, I don't particularly like the style which, after a time, becomes a little frustrating - especially because you know what the writer is trying to do with this technique. I wouldn't buy this book but it did fill a couple of hours!

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in return for a fair review.


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