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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Scars of a Chef by Rick Tramonto with Lisa Jackson

This book is the autobiography of celebrity chef, Rick Tramonto. Tramonto takes the reader from his early childhood through his latest venture. Tramonto is transparant and honest, a real inside look of how a high school dropout was determined to succeed. This includes episodes of Tramonto's life that are not flattering - brutal honesty about his dark moods and drug use. Tramonto describes a few encounters with God, but shares his ultimate conversion that changed his life. After years of only knowing how to rely on himself, Tramonto lets go and places his trust in God.

This book isn't what I thought it was going to be about. Coming from a tough childhood and with a determination to succeed, I thought it would be inspiring and focus more on the how the author realized that God had been working in his life all along. It mostly details the author's turbulent life. I like that the ending truly demonstrates how you should really live your life and define yourself. God is to come first. No matter what - always place your trust in God. I wish there was more of that in the book, however. I didn't like the book very well, and I wouldn't recommend it.

Tyndale House Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of this book for me to review. This in no way influenced my review.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pujols: More Than A Game by Scott Lamb and Tim Ellsworth

This book is a biography about baseball player, Albert Pujols. The books consists of an overview of Pujols's life story; baseball stats Pujols's charity activities and Pujols's faith in Jesus. The book is well researched citing many quotes.

The book describes Pujols success as a baseball player and his spiritual life, but it is lacking. I was under the impression that the book discussed Pujols's hardships and how his faith in God pulled him through. Disappointingly, the book simply discusses when Pujols became a Christian and cites quotes by Pujols that describe his deep faith and commitment to Jesus. The book references that Pujols had become upset with reporters because they would cut him off when he tried to talk about his faith in Jesus. This book would have been great opportunity for Pujols to express his belief and commitment to Jesus, but Pujols was not interviewed. The authors simply used quotes by Pujols and bits of interviews with those who know him to describe Pujols's faith.

The book is dry reading. Moreover, it reads like a college term paper. I was very disappointed. I would only recommend the book to die hard Pujols fans. The book would have been so much better if Pujols was interviewed or even particpated in the writing of his biography.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, February 20, 2011

One Month To Live by Kerry & Chris Shook

What if you only had one month left to live? What would you do differently? How would your priorities change? While this isn't really the focus of the book, it is about learning how to change your life to live it to the fullest - within 30 days. The second title more aptly describes the book, "Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life". The inner flap has a very descriptive phrase: Do you suffer from "Someday Syndrome"?

I wouldn't exactly call this a self-help book, but if you apply the principles, you will certainly change your life for the better. The book is all inclusive taking into account every aspect of life - from relationships to personal struggles, this book has much wisdom to offer. It is also backed up with verses from the Bible that relate to similar struggles you may face and how to live life to the fullest. For example, the writings from Paul is used to show how he handled struggles as well as the equation for a fulfilling life. Paul had much Godly wisdom when it comes to relationships and the focus of life.

The book is easy to read and the use of metaphors makes it very easy to understand and apply to your life. I read this book practically in one setting - just couldn't put it down because it has such great insight. I plan on re-reading it and following the 30 day plan to a life with no regrets. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Everyone can find useful insight to improve his or her life!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. This in no way influenced my review.

Friday, February 4, 2011

When the Hurt Runs Deep by Kay Arthur

This book was written to help those in deep pain, whether emotional or physical, to overcome their pain. A second title is descriptive as it states, "Healing and Hope for Life's Desperate Moments". Reflecting on those who faced deep pain in the Bible, as well as Bible verses, the author demostrates that it is possible to overcome deep pain. It is also a Bible Study with discussion questions for each chapter at the end of the book.

No, it may not be easy to apply the principles taught in this book, but it is well worth the effort. The book discusses some of the great stories of the Bible and the pain people went through. For example, Joseph was despised by his brothers. Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery and Joseph's life went into a downward spiral by circumstances that were not his fault. In the end, Joseph had suffered a great deal, but realized his brothers meant him harm, but God used it for good. God ultimately placed Joseph in a position to save Israeal from famine. Many other stories are explored and it would be hard for the reader not to feel a tremendous amount of hope.

I liked this book a lot. In fact, I wished it had been published YEARS ago and I had read it through some really tough times in my life. I know it would have strengthened my resolve and faith in God even more. People suffer from all kind of hurts, some very devestating, but I believe this book is worth reading and can start the healing process.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. This in no way influenced my review.