Monday, July 23, 2012

Tough Guys and Drama Queens (reviewed by Mandy)

In Tough Guys and Drama Queens, author Mark Gregston shares from his experience as director of Heartlight Ministries, a residential counseling ministry for teens, and as host of Parenting Today’s Teens radio show, to help parents as they guide their children through the tween and teen years.
His book is divided into three parts. In the first part, Mr. Gregston reflects on the culture of today’s world. He talks about the many things that young people are facing today and how it affects them. In the second part, there are chapters discussing parenting practices that should be avoided, and part three gives us some parenting practices that are successful.
As I read, there were two points that stood out to me as things that the author was really trying to drive home to parents. One was that above all teens need relationships. He points out that with the popularity of Facebook and texting, most relationships in a teen’s life are surface at best. Face to face communication is being sacrificed. Parents need to invest time in their children, developing a deep relationship with them and encouraging them to do that with other friendships. That brings out the other point that the author wants to drive home to parents. Spend time weekly , on purpose with your teen. In the appendix of the book, the author gives pages of suggestions of Conversation Starters to use as a springboard to get the conversation rolling with your kids.
While I did not agree with all of the author’s reasonings or guidelines, in this book, it did have some very helpful tips to remember in working with and raising teenagers.
*This book was given to me by in exchange for my review.*

Review of Traveler's Rest by Ann Tatlock (by Mandy)

A wounded soldier returning from Iraq very different from when he left, and a confused fiancee looking for direction in things she never would have imagined. This scenario could be repeated many times over in our world today.
In Traveler’s Rest, as her soldier fiancee, tries to deal with his life changing injuries , Jane begins searching for answers and hope in coming to grips with the changed circumstances in her life. Her weak faith is strengthened by the people she meets, mainly Dr. Rockaway, a retired physician. Unknowingly to both of them, Jane’s friendship helps bring healing and closure to some lifelong hurts that Dr. Rockaway has been harboring.
Author Ann Tatlock does a fantastic job writing a story that keeps you turning pages! I really enjoyed reading this book.
*I received this book in exchange for my review by Bethany House Publishers.*

Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Review - Grant, the Savior of the Union by Marcus

This is the second book that I reviewed in this series, and I must say I am very impressed. Grant has never impressed me, and still does not. In fact, this book paints an even darker picture in my mind of the man known as the Savior of the Union. As a person, I think Grant was probably not a very likable person. As a General, he had his strong points, but I came away amazed at his ability to send thousands of men into death traps just to test the enemy.
I also came away impressed at the author’s ability to balance the good characteristic’s of Mr. Grant with the bad. While not afraid to sacrifice his men by the thousands, he also had a great mind when it came to figuring out where and how to attack the enemy.
It is a very balanced read that I believe is great history and an easy reading. Like in the Jackson book, my stomach turns at the thought of so many thousands of lives being sacrificed at the simple guess of a Commander or General. And yet I understand that this is real history, not something watered down to appear politically correct. This is pure history at it’s best.
Overall, this is an awesome book. It’s not boring, but yet it’s very detailed history. Whether you like Grant as a General or President or whether you don’t, this book is great reading. It’s well written history! It’s a great well-researched window into the past. This book was given to me free by in exchange for my review. They in no way influenced this review.