Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book Review: The A-Z of C.S. Lewis by Colin Duriez

The A-Z of C S Lewis


About the Book
Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of C. S. Lewis’s death, this complete guide covers all of Lewis’ works, from his literary criticism to Narnia. C. S. Lewis’s work is widely known and regarded, but enthusiasts are often only aware of one part of his work—his children’s stories and his popular theology; and yet he wrote so much more, including science fiction and literary criticism. This volume brings together all aspects of C S Lewis’s life and thought. Arranged in alphabetical order, it begins with The Abolition of Man—written in 1943 and described as “almost my favorite”—to Wormwood, a character in The Screwtape Letters. This book will delight anyone who is interested in C. S. Lewis and wants to learn more about him, his thought, his works, and his life.


About the Author:
Colin Duriez was for many years a commissioning editor at Inter-Varsity Press UK. He has subsequently appeared as a commentator on DVDs of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, and BBC television's The Worlds of Fantasy. He is also the author of The Inklings Handbook (with the late David Porter), J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Story of Their Friendship, and Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, and has contributed to definitive reference works relating to Tolkien such as The Tolkien Encyclopedia (Routledge).

My Review:
This may shock you but I have never read any of C.S. Lewis's writings. However, I've heard a lot about him since almost all Christian non-fiction books I've read contain quotes from him. He must be one of the most quoted authors of all time. It made me curious to know more about him. Wow...this book greatly helps! It is an encyclopedia of his life, thoughts, writings, characters in his writings, friendships, interests, and influencers. It starts with Abingdon and ends with Zardeenah. The book includes tons of fascinating facts about this brilliant thinker and storyteller. Readers will be able to explore C.S. Lewis's world to their heart's content and discover different aspects of his thoughts and imagination. Did you know that he wrote poems, too? Cross-references are quite helpful. At the end of the book, you will find a list of C.S. Lewis's writings and a list of books written about C.S. Lewis. If you're a C.S. Lewis' s fan, you'll really appreciate this book.

~I received a free copy of this book via Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. To read more reviews of this book, visit here.

 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: The Marriage You've Always Wanted

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DR. GARY CHAPMAN
As anyone who has attended one of his marriage conferences knows, Dr. Gary Chapman’s expertise in marriage begins with the success and failures he and his wife Karolyn have experienced in their marriage for more than 45 years. He is just the man to turn to for help on improving or healing our most important relationships. His own life experiences, plus over thirty-five years of pastoring and marriage counseling, led him to publish his first book in the Love Language series, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Many of the millions of readers credit this continual New York Times bestseller with saving their marriages by showing them simple and practical ways to communicate love.

Since the success of his first book, Dr. Chapman has expanded his Five Love Languages series with special editions that reach out specifically to singles, men, and parents of teens and young children.
He is the author of numerous other books published by Moody Publishers/Northfield Publishing, including Anger, The Family You’ve Always Wanted, The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, Desperate Marriages, God Speaks Your Love Language, How to Really Love Your Adult Child, and Hope for the Separated. With Dr. Jennifer Thomas, he co-authored The Five Languages of Apology.

Dr. Chapman speaks to thousands of couples nationwide through his weekend marriage conferences. He hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, A Love Language Minute, and a Saturday morning program, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, both airing on more than 400 stations. Dr. Chapman and his wife have two grown children and currently live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he serves as senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church.

Dr. Chapman holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University, respectively, MRE and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University.

Small group curriculum available: http://experience.5lovelanguages.com

MY REVIEW:

Everyone knows marriage takes work. Growth in marriage takes time and effort. This book aims to help couples take steps towards the marriage they have always wanted...towards oneness that God designs for. Dr. Gary Chapman proposes that "the supreme purpose of marriage is the union of two individuals at the deepest possible level and in all areas, which in turn brings the greatest possible sense of fulfillment to the couple and at the same time serves best the purposes of God for their lives." He talks about why people get married, what love really means, and who takes care of what. He also covers the hot topics of sex, submission, decision-making, money, and in-laws. At the end of each chapter, you will find practical suggestions/assignments that you and your spouse can put into action to help improve your marriage. The book also includes lists of helpful resources (books and websites) for communication, finances, sexual intimacy, and devotional. I enjoyed reading this book and appreciate its Biblically sound advice. Want a healthy and happy marriage? I highly recommend this excellent book! It would make a fantastic Valentine's Day gift for your spouse or yourself :).

"Your marriage can improve and improvement can begin today, regardless of your partner's attitude." (p. 23)
"The kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13 does not emphasize emotion but attitude and action--which are not beyond our control." (p. 41)
"I do not want to discourage you, but your mate will never be perfect. He or she will never do everything that you desire. Your best alternative is the acceptance of love!" (p. 50)
"Selfishness is the greatest barrier to oneness, and we are all afflicted with the disease." (p. 62)
"Many couples need to be reminded that they are on the same team." (p. 87)


GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this book. Open only to residents in the US and Canada.
Deadline: 2/28 at midnight (Pacific time)

To Enter: Leave a comment here with your email address. Please share one marital advice that you find most helpful.



~"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Book Review: The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler


About the book: The book that revolutionized our view of what makes families happy . . .

Determined to find the smartest solutions and the most cutting-edge research about families, bestselling author and New York Times family columnist Bruce Feiler gathered team-building exercises and problem-solving techniques from the most creative minds---from Silicon Valley to the Green Berets---and tested these ideas with his wife and kids. The result is a lively, original look at how we can create stronger parent/child relationships, manage the chaos of our lives, teach our kids values and grit, and have more fun together.

The Secrets of Happy Families includes more than two hundred unique practices that will help your family draw closer and make everyone in your home happier. It has already changed the lives of millions of families, and it can do the same for yours.

Purchase a copy and download the Happy Families Toolkit: http://ow.ly/sSUq6

Meet the Author: Bruce Feiler writes a column in contemporary families for the New York Times and is the author of six consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including The Council of Dads. He is the host of several series on PBS, a popular lecturer, and a frequent commentator on radio and television. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and twin daughters.

Learn more about Bruce at: http://brucefeiler.com


My Review:
Have you ever wished to be a fly on the wall of some seemingly happy families to learn their secrets? Well, this book helps you come close to that :). The author was curious about what happy families do right. He did extensive research and interviewed bunches of experts in various fields. He covers the topics of discipline, dinner, sex, fighting, money, vacation, negotiation, and more. The author shares what he has discovered as important ingredients that make families happy and function successfully/effectively. He has tried them out in his own family with his wife and two daughters. He concludes that adaptability, talks/storytelling, and shared fun time consistently play important roles in keeping families happy. At the back of the book, the author includes The Happy Families Toolkit and Discussion Guide. This book is a self-help book filled with interesting and innovative ideas. It offers practical solutions and tips that are helpful in family relationship (spouse, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, and in-laws). Not all of them will work for every family since each family is unique. Nevertheless, you can glean from the book and test what works and what doesn't for your family.
Note: This is not a Christian book or faith-based book.

"In a survey of a thousand families, Ellen Galinsky, the head of the Families and Work Institute and the author of Mind in the Making, asked children, 'If you were granted one wish about your parents, what would it be?' Most parents predicted their kids would say spending more time with them. They were wrong. The kids' number one wish was that their parents were less tired and less stressed." (p. 16)

"What generates the sense of attachment and emotional toughness is the process of hearing all those old stories and seeing yourself in the larger flow of your family. In other words, what we think of as family dinner is not really about the dinner. It's about the family." (p. 42)

"If you're making a complex decision, the more women you have in the conversation, the easier time you'll likely have in reaching a final decision that makes everyone happy." (p. 124)


~I received a free copy of this book via Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. To read more reviews of this book, visit here.
Enter Today | 1/28 - 2/15!
A Miracle of Hope Ruth Reid
In The Secrets of Happy Families, New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler has drawn up a blueprint for modern families — a new approach to family dynamics, inspired by cutting-edge techniques gathered from experts in the disciplines of science, business, sports, and the military. Written in a charming, accessible style, The Secrets of Happy Families is smart, funny, and fresh, and will forever change how your family lives every day.

Bruce is celebrating the release of his book with a family fun "Happy Family" Kindle HDX giveaway.
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  One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 15th. Winner will be announced February 17th on the Litfuse blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by the Litfuse blog on the 17th to see if you won.