Thursday, April 26, 2012

Busy Mom's Guide to Family Nutrition by Paul C Reisser MD

(Sigh) Well, I feel like I'm going to be disloyal to Focus on the Family with this review. This review is for the book Busy Mom's Guide to Family Nutrition by Paul C. Reisser, MD and is a book which is an "Official Book of the Focus on the Family Physician's Resource Council." In the foreward the author states that this book is a smaller version of a previously published more complete book.

So. . .my first impression of the book, upon receiving it. . .it looks like one of those books you find in the check-out line in the grocery store. Not the tabloids, but those little "meals in 5-minutes" type books, you know what I'm referring to? The table of contents shows a book of only 6 chapters. The book covers such themes as sugars/carbs/proteins, etc; reading nutritional labels, weight, diets, eating plans, etc.

As I read through the book I kept feeling like yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Nothing new, stuff I've read bunches of times in magazines, books, newspapers even. Honestly, this book is written for the "busy mom" but I'd say most "busy moms" probably know this stuff already. Maybe we don't always use the info we have read, but we've read this stuff before.

I did think this book would maybe be helpful to a teenager, someone who hasn't looked into these topics before, maybe.

There was one quote I liked in the book, one which I've read elsewhere also, but I'll give this book credit for it. On page 55 when talking about the various forms of veggies, they state, "Ultimately the best forms of fruits and vegetables are those that you and your family will actually eat." Great pragmatic view--now that sounds like a word of wisdom (or comfort) for a busy mom :) .

So. . .to wrap this up. . .I say save your money on this one. You can probably pick up the same info reading magazines while you're waiting in the dentist's office and the myriad of other places you wait as a "busy mom".

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale Press for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Passages by Brian Hardin

The book Passages by Brian Hardin is subtitled "How reading the Bible in a year will change everything for you" which gives you a good idea of what it's about--the importance of reading Scripture. I will agree with the concept of this book, that reading Scripture every day is an important part of a follower of God's life. I looked forward to reading this book, thinking that it would spur me on to more consistent Bible reading.

As I read through this book, indeed the focus was on the importance of reading the Bible. There were stories from the author's life as well as a discussion of his podcasts (daily audio Bible) and stories of people who have been impacted through the daily audio Bible podcasts. (At times it felt a bit like a big commercial for the podcasts!) The back of the book details different reading plans for reading the Bible in a year.

So--did I like the book? I like the premise of it, the importance of daily Bible reading. To me the book itself seemed rather disjointed and kind of like it jumped around back and forth. I had a hard time reading it through as a matter of fact. Looking at reviews written by others about this book, it seems that many people thoroughly enjoyed it. So--you may enjoy it, who knows. It is a good reminder of the power of reading God's Word on a daily basis. For me--I probably wouldn't read it again.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Momaholic: Crazy Confessions of a Helicopter Parent by Dena Higley

Momaholic, Crazy Confessions of a Helicopter Parent by Dena Higley was a great quick read, easy to read and I really wanted to keep reading it. It's not a Bible study, not a self-help book, not a "beating up of oneself" type book--but rather a story/group of stories from the life of a rather regular mom. Well, she's a bit irregular in that her job is/was writing soap operas, and a bit extraordinary in that she has four children, two of whom are adopted, two of whom are handicapped in some way. But these aside, she really resonates with "regular" women and moms.

Dena is a very entertaining writer (well, she's trained and experienced, right?!), infusing all the situations with a kind of self-deprecating humor. She begins the book with a description of a huge crash in her life and goes on to explain some of what led up to that. She introduces each of her children and talks about each of them and her role in their lives. She discusses her job, her faith, and crises that occurred in her life. Yes, she did learn and grow from them and she shares how God is working in her throughout all of this.

One of the quotes I especially liked was, "That's what I want for my children. Not success in athletics or academics or the arts, but simply to have a sense of self built on a love for their Maker so they can venture anything, face anything. All in all, not a bad dream for any of us to have." Another thing that spoke to me was when she spoke of wondering why, when she had such huge burdens and troubles and crises, why didn't her husband and children help her out? Her conclusion was that since forever she had been a "show no weakness" kind of mom who does it all without showing anyone how tough it may be for her--so then in the time when she most needed help, they just naturally assumed that she can also handle it all. I know I tend toward that; I had never thought about it in that sense.

The phrase used occasionally (and on the cover of the book) "Helicopter parent" annoys me. (not just in this book, but all the time) To me it seems to minimize the responsible parenting and call it a silly name and insinuate that we shouldn't be so close/tight with them . . .but I understand that controlling-ness is what is negative. So, just a little annoying thing.

Altogether, this book was a wonderful read. It was not necessarily too spiritual, but definitely pointed directly to relying on God's help and prayer. I surely enjoyed reading it. I'd recommend it to any mom. It'd make a great gift too--or lend it out! It's an easy way to introduce God's workings in our lives to a non-Christian mom too.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

Are you stuck in a rut when it comes to making dinner? Take a quick look at the book Simply Grilling and you'll want to jump out of that rut and try some new and delicious sounding meals prepared on the grill! I'll readliy admit that our meals tend to folow the same patterns--I do like to try new things, but for our busy lives I tend to fall back into the "winners" that are healthy, easy to prepare, and I already know my family likes.

I will say that I'm not a big grill-er. My husband usually monopolizes the grill, preparing hamburgers, sausage, and chicken. We don't usually branch out more than that. I have seen yummy-looking foods prepared on the grill in magazines and such before, but always wondered how they made them, and how difficult it would be to.

Now, having read this book, a whole new world has opened up to me!! The first section of the book explains all those things I didn't know about, such as "Essential Grill Gear" "Oil Your Grates" "Control the Heat" and the oh-so-important "Checking for Doneness." If you have a lot of broad experience with preparing different foods on the grill, this section may seem obvious to you, but it was a great eye-opener and empower-er to me! This section is followed with the recipes, each one with a beautiful, mouth-watering, full-page color picture of the food prepared from the recipe. Reading through the recipes, they are not filled with obscure, hard-to-find grocery items (for the most part). I was definitely inspired! I started marking different recipes to try soon, and noticed that I have more than twenty that I'd like to try right away! There are appetizers, fruits, veggies, side dishes, and main dishes. Oh, and the all-important desserts as well!

I definitely recommend this book! It's a beautiful cookbook, with very do-able recipes! You will enjoy the addition to your grilling repertoire!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review.