Announcement: New blog for fantasy and fiction reviews

Announcement: New blog for fantasy and fiction reviews

When I started this blog, I wanted to keep it personal and by personal I meant a place where I could share my thoughts and personal life.

With the time that was impossible since it slowly started to become a book review blog. I started to sign up for some review programs and started to receive a couple of books directly from some publishers, and that’s not bad by any means but somehow I felt this was becoming ONLY a book review blog.

Today I’m happy to announce that I’ll be moving my fiction book reviews to another blog. BeardedBookBoy will be a place for a less serious reviews. Note that I’ll be keeping my non-fiction reviews here.

What’s the difference?

Besides reading good fiction and fantasy books I also like to read books about leadership and spiritual growth and while it was a hard decision to separate both types of books in different blogs, I think this will make much easier for you (my awesome visitor/reader) to find your favorite book review. If you love both categories just like me, then you can still follow both blogs, just sign up for the email updates.

If you think there’s a way I can make this blog a better place or you just want to say hi, don’t forget to send me a message, through the contact form or by email.

Review – The Complete 101 Collection

thecomplete101

Book description

Now in one paperback volume, John C. Maxwell’s best-selling 101 series of briefcase-sized leadership books that have helped more than one million people become better leaders.

The Complete 101 Collection includes material that in true Maxwell style helps readers reach their potential at any stage in their career. It can be thought of as a crash course in leadership, a practical tool to sharpen the core fundamentals every professional needs. (Click here to continue reading)

First impressions

Maxwell is one of my favorite authors on leadership. I’ve read a couple of his books and there’s always something new to learn, but also to apply in real life. When I found out this was a collection of his books, it was an easy decision to sign up for this one to review.

Content

This book is a monster, with 624 pages this will take a little more time than the average to finish. It’s important to know that Maxwell’s books are better when they’re read, but also understood. Taking notes is really useful to keep the better ideas at hand.

Maxwell’s principles on each section (Leadership, Self-Improvement, Mentoring) are easy to understand with examples taken from real life, with applications that will challenge anyone in a comfort zone.

Conclusion

The Complete 101 Collection is a must have for anyone taking the first steps in leadership, and anyone that is curious about Maxwell’s writing style and perspective on this topic.

Rating: 

I received this book for free from the Booklook Bloggers program for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review – Finding Favor With the King by Tommy Tenney

finding
Book description

Esther’s Ultimate Secret
“On that night . . .”–Esther 6:1

Have you ever had a “that night” or a “that day”? A point in time before which things were going wrong, but after which things began to go right?

What are the ingredients for a “that night”? What is mixed into the recipe? Understanding what goes into creating that moment of divine favor was Esther’s ultimate secret.

She learned how to find favor with the king.

Favor is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Success is what happens when preparation meets potential.

First impressions

My first encounter with Tommy Tenney was a few years ago when he came to a conference in my city. I always wanted to read one of his books but never had the opportunity until now. Back then we was well known for his novel, Hadassah: One Night with the King.

Content

Tenney takes the story of Esther to demonstrate the way each christian can go from being a common citizen to be the queen of a great empire, or in practical terms the approach one must take to grow in intimacy with God.

Following Esther’s transformation and growing relationship with the king, Tenney shares a list of protocols of the palace to be practiced in order to be prepared to receive favor from the King.

The book if full of parallelisms or comparisons between Esther’s challenges and struggles and our lives as christians or even with the church in general. Sometimes there are really good principles that come from this parallelisms, but sometimes they feel forced as if the author is trying too hard to make them fit with his conclusions.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an inspirational reading which can be helpful in your daily relationship with God, Finding Favor With the King is the right book for you. It can be repetitive at times, which may be the result of bad editing or maybe just the author’s style but the teaching is one that will shape the way you see yourself before God.

Rating: 

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review – Raising Burning Hearts by Patricia Bootsma

raising
Book description

Can the next generation become passionate followers of God, equipped and ready to fulfill their destinies? Christian parents and mentors are entrusted with the call to nurture and train hearts, releasing children to excel in loving and seeking God. In Raising Burning Hearts, Patricia Bootsma draws on her experience of raising six children and mentoring many others, and shares the profound and hopeful news that this calling is not beyond our reach. Combining practicality and spiritual understanding, Patricia covers important strategies that are often overlooked, like the power of blessing our children, of prophetically declaring truth over them, and of teaching young ones how to hear God’s voice, seek Him in the Word, and be constant in prayer. Sharing tangible applications and real-life testimonies, Patricia assures us that parents and mentors can fulfill their heavenly mandate—to raise up and release next generation lovers of God into their epic purpose.

First impressions

Shortly after I finished Unceasing, I started with Raising Burning Hearts by Patricia Bootsma. Although Patricia is not from IHOP in Kansas City, she’s leading a House of Prayer in Toronto and this book is being published under IHOP’s Forerunner Publishing. I’m really interested in mentoring/leadership books and the phrase “Parenting and Mentoring Next Generation Lovers of God” caught my eye but I’m not sure this book delivered what it promised.

Content

From the very beginning Patricia states the main audience of her book:

“This book is designed for the parent who longs primarily for their children to excel in what really matters in life – loving God…” p.1

But then she adds:

“This book is also for those who mentor children, teenagers, and young adults, not necessarily as biological but as spiritual parents.” p.1

That was a relief to me, since I’m not a biological father but I’m considered as a mentor by some young people. But it was just a momentary relief because just after a few pages I discovered Patricia’s intentions to widen her message were hindered by the language and expressions that came from her family and experiences with her children.

There’s nothing wrong with this, but I had a hard time trying to relate my own experiences of being a mentor but not a father. Yes, there are many great principles that can be applied whether you are a biological father or not, but I’m pretty sure parents would enjoy Patricia’s stories about raising her children more than single guys like me would.

Although this is a small book, only 130 pages, it deals with specific details about the seasons in the life of every person, in this case Patricia’s children, and how we can make a difference in each one of these seasons cultivating healthy spiritual habits that will produce big changes in their future.

Conclusion

The amount of personal examples and experiences in this book is overwhelming, just like the extensive promotion to IHOP and its different programs. Raising Burning Hearts was an interesting reading, one that finishes with an appendix in how to experience a supernatural childbirth, and no I’m not talking about a spiritual supernatural childbirth, but a literal one. Now do you see my point?

Rating:

I received a copy of this book for free from Forerunner Publishing for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review – Unceasing by Billy Humphrey

unceasing

Book description

Why night-and-day prayer? What are the biblical precedents for night-and-day intercession? Those who desire a greater understanding of the prayer movement that is sweeping the earth will find Billy Humphrey’s Unceasing to be an invaluable resource. (Previously published as Until He Comes)

First impressions

If you’ve been reading my reviews then you’d know I like to read authors from the International House of Prayer, a.k.a. IHOP. I had the chance to read Unceasing by Billy Humphrey expecting a great message on prayer but my expectations were half met.

Content

This is a small book but it goes straight to the point, the importance of unceasing prayer, its Biblical background, its presence around the world, its consequences in the corporate and in the private life.

The content is well organized and easy to understand. The message is clear and simple. Then what’s the problem? Well, there’s no really a problem, it’s just that each chapter is so small that the deepness of the message feels a bit shallow.

Being a re-release I’m pretty sure the author had the chance to expand his vision and give more insight into every chapter but this edition just has 31 more pages than its predecessor and a prettier cover.

Conclusion

Unceasing definitely has a great message that each christian should know and practice. It’s worth the reading and it won’t take you more than a couple of hours.

Rating: 

I received a copy of this book for free from Forerunner Publishing for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.