January 26, 2015

The Real Brass Ring by Dianne Bischoff James

The Real Brass Ring by Dianne Bischoff James is the story of the author’s journey after given some harsh truth about her life from a psychic. Not expecting to drastically change so many things in her life at the age of 38, it wasn’t easy, but was full of necessary changes to help the author discover her true life course.

Book Description
The Real Brass Ring takes The Secret on a high-speed road test in a tale of midlife transformation in the real, flesh-and-blood world of contemporary Chicago. It is the story of a “midlife reboot,” a raw, unfiltered journey of enlightenment that illustrates a woman’s daunting personal reinvention and the rewards of fearlessly pursuing a life’s true calling.” – The Real Brass Ring

My Thoughts
The Real Brass Ring is more of a memoir about the author’s journey than a self-help how-to discover your own life course book, but that is okay because there are a lot of those books out there already. Instead, Dianne gives readers an inside look at her transformation, which is at times funny, sad, happy, and everything in-between.

I quite enjoyed reading about her dating adventures after she and her husband decided to separate. I’m sure all of us in the dating pool can relate to some of those experiences to some degree, and how hard it is to actually find quality people that you want to invest time and emotions in.

Dianne shares an inspiring story that shows you that no matter what age you are, or how successful or happy you may appear on the surface, sometimes what lies below the surface is much different. She shows us that it is possible to make large changes and become a much happier version of yourself.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Real Brass Ring, Turning Stone Press, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

January 17, 2015

The Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible by Phil & Al Robertson

The Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible by Phil & Al Robertson is a Bible written by Phil and Al – stars of Duck Dynasty who hold faith very close to their hearts. If you are a fan of the show, or know someone who is, this is definitely a Bible that you will want to check out.

Book Description
The stars of the hit TV show Duck Dynasty are committed to upholding five core values both on and off the screen: faith, family, fellowship, forgiveness, and freedom.

The Duck Commander® Faith and Family Bible features new stories and testimonials by Phil, the Robertson family patriarch, and his son Al, a pastor with more than 22 years of experience. Together they offer fresh wisdom on biblical values and how everyday people can apply them to their lives.

Powered by relentless dedication to sharing the gospel and celebrating Christ’s kingdom, the Robertson family has become influential to contemporary evangelism and discipleship. The Duck Commander® Faith and Family Bible unleashes the power of their practical insight into critical faith issues, founded on God’s Word.” – The Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible

My Thoughts
The features include the full text for the “New King James” version of the Bible, a welcome note written by Phil and Al Robertson, 125 articles on the most searched for topics on “BibleGateway” and also a life application with scripture references for each article, 30 days of testimonials, and topical index and reading plans.

The five core values that Phil and Al believe in that shape their faith are featured in this Bible, and it is something that we can all learn from. To keep faith, family, fellowship, forgiveness, and freedom important parts of our lives, we live a more content life that we can share better with others.

Overall, I think that fans of Duck Dynasty will enjoy this version of the Bible with the supplemental features included in it. I gave this copy to my Dad, and he really likes it.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible, Thomas Nelson, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Life Purpose Boot Camp by Eric Maisel

Life Purpose Boot Camp by Eric Maisel is an 8-week breakthrough plan for creating a meaningful life. If you are looking for more purpose in your life, be sure to read this book!

Book Description
As life gets busier and more complicated we crave something larger and more meaningful than just ticking another item off our to-do list. In the past, we’ve looked to religion or outside guidance for that sense of purpose, but today fewer people are fulfilled by traditional approaches to meaning. Bestselling author, psychotherapist, and creativity coach Eric Maisel offers an alternative: an eight-week intensive that breaks through barriers and offers insights for living each day with purpose. Once you understand how meaning operates, how meaning and life purpose are related, and what concrete steps you can take toward fulfilling your purpose, you will never run out of meaning again. This program will develop self-awareness and self-confidence and give you what you need to fully live the best possible life.” – Life Purpose Boot Camp

My Thoughts
Life Purpose Boot Camp is an excellent book to push you into your life purpose. The author doesn’t use grandiose ideas that are not likely to work. Instead, he is realistic with what can and can’t happen quickly and over time. Seeing that there isn’t just one path to take or one meaningful path for our life is great. Sometimes we take many paths and have meaningful events in our life take place because of it. This book just helps guide us for the meaningful path that is meant for us right now.

This book has you upgrade your personality, deal with your circumstances, determine your life purposes, create a life mantra, and much more! If you are looking for a book that will help guide you to your life purpose, this is definitely one that you should read! I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Life Purpose Boot Camp, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

January 16, 2015

Hop, Skip, Jump by Marney K. Makridakis

Hop, Skip, Jump by Marney K. Makridakis is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to create a more meaningful life, bring creativity into their life again, and have fun in areas of their life they may have neglected for too long.

Book Description
Most of us view work and play as mutually exclusive opposites, but now you can blend them together in your new route to joy-filled success. The 75 techniques in this book will guide you to be more playful and productive as you move through three vital phases of the manifestation process: dreaming (Hop), experimenting (Skip), and taking action (Jump). Discover your Play Personality and learn how to use it to create more experiences in which work feels like play, and struggle gives way to momentum, ease, and joy.” – Hop, Skip, Jump

My Thoughts
Hop, Skip, Jump is a fun, creative, inspiring book to get dreaming, experimenting, and start taking some action. There are 75 things to do to help with this, which is huge! If you don’t like some, don’t do them – there are plenty more for you to try and enjoy!

Hop is focused on exploring new beliefs. Skip is focused on experimenting and being more spontaneous. Jump is focused on bringing us to actions to accomplish our goals.

Marney is excellent at showing us all that we can combine work and play to become more creative and often more productive. Sometimes getting to this result isn’t easy, but with the help of fun exercises, it can be done!

One of my favorite sections is “The Sparkle Scavenger Hunt” and because I personally like to make lists, so the “Sparkle List” was a favorite example of mine that was in this book. Starting small with doing one thing for yourself with physical, mental, emotional, systemic, and mystical health can create changes in your life.

Overall, I found this to be a fun, creative, and limitless book to help push through creative or emotional blocks and create a meaningful life. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Hop, Skip, Jump, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

January 10, 2015

Outsmarting Overeating by Karen R. Koenig

Outsmarting Overeating by Karen R. Koenig is an excellent resource for people who need help with overeating. This book will help you with tips and tricks on what to do instead of eating when you are stressed, sad, angry, happy, or any emotion you are having that would trigger you to grab food. If you or someone you know needs help with this, be sure to check out this book!

Book Description
The reason you turn to food when you’re stressed or distressed is that you don’t have better ways of managing life’s ups and downs. According to Karen R. Koenig, an expert on the psychology of eating, you can transform your eating habits — and your life — by developing effective life skills. When you have enhanced skills, you won’t need to turn to mindless eating to make it through the day and will get the best out of life rather than letting life get the best of you. With Koenig’s guidance, you’ll learn how to establish and maintain functional relationships, take care of yourself physically and emotionally, think rationally, and create a passionate, joyful, and meaningful life. When these behaviors take root and become automatic, food becomes what it is meant to be: nourishment and one of life’s many pleasures.” – Outsmarting Overeating

My Thoughts
Outsmarting Overeating is a book that provides comfort without the extra calories. This author has thirty years of experience helping people with their weight struggles and learning how to use something other than food to help with emotions. She doesn’t promise that this book or tips included in it will happen and work for you overnight, it will take time, and commitment on your part to actually put them to use, but if you do, big changes can happen and that scale you step onto each morning can slowly start to go back down. Worth trying? I think so!

This is a great resource for people who overeat, I definitely recommend it to people who have problems with this.

* Thank you to the publisher of Outsmarting Overeating, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

January 4, 2015

Desert God by Wilbur Smith

Desert God by Wilbur Smith will take you on a journey of ancient Egypt. It is full of action, mystery, magic, intrigue, and romance, and may just leave you wanting more…

Book Description
Game of Thrones meets ancient Egypt in this magnificent epic from one of the world's biggest-selling authors. Conjuring the magic, mystery and bloody intrigue of a fascinating lost world, Desert God presents Wilbur Smith at the helm of one of the greatest stories of all time.

On the gleaming banks of the Nile, the brilliant Taita—a freed slave and advisor to the Pharaoh—devises a plan to destroy Egypt's most feared enemy, the mighty Hyksos. His quest will take him on an epic journey up the ancient river, through Arabia and the magical city of Babylon and across the open seas—all in the company of the Pharaoh's exquisite sisters. With the future of the kingdom itself on his shoulders, Taita plunges into a world where the line between loyalty and betrayal shifts like the desert sands, evil waits in the shadows and death lingers on the edge of darkness.

Hundreds of millions have fallen in love with the magic of Wilbur Smith. In Desert God, he is at the peak of his powers, transporting readers to an extraordinary time and place. This is a novel of supreme adventure, blazing action, heart-racing romance and a sense of history so real that you will feel the dunes moving beneath you and the Nile lapping at your feet.” – Desert God

My Thoughts
Desert God is a captivating novel that has a bit of fantasy mixed with ancient history. I’m not a historian of ancient Egypt, but I do find this culture and part of the world history very interesting, so I especially enjoyed the setting and elements that reflected what I knew about it. The journey of a freed slave to help destroy their enemy, the Hyksos, is an epic tale that I am sure people will be reading for years to come.

I really liked the character of Taita, and the two princesses Tehuti and Bekatha. Most of the characters and plot is believable, which gives the realism that historical fiction needs to draw me in to reading it. This book and the characters within it make me want to read more from this series and author, which I will be doing soon, hopefully.

There are some violent and sexual scenes in the book, so I can’t suggest it for readers of all ages. However, I do definitely recommend it for readers who are of the maturity and age to handle such scenes.

* Thank you to the publisher of Desert God, William Morrow, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.