Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl by Laura A. Grace

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl by Laura A. Grace

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Dear Author: Letters from a Bookish Fangirl by author Laura A. Grace—a simple little book with a simple task, to encourage. I read it in about a half-hour, and it accomplished its task well.

Yes, the book is plenty fangirly and gushy. Yet, it isn’t silly. Grin-worthy and humorous at times (including the humor in some of the cute illustrations by Hannah S.J. Williams), but not silly.

It can be frustrating, and even scary, when authors have to put writing or publishing on hold for a while to take care of life, and they may wonder if they’ll still have an audience after the delay. Dear Author… One day, you’ll publish this new story you’ve been working hard on, and I’ll be right there celebrating with you when you do. And in a world where there’s “nothing new under the sun” and so many books out there already, authors may wonder if their stories are worth telling at this point. Dear Author… There might be stories that have similar themes or messages, but the heart of the story will be your beautiful heart.

And not to mention the clean and clear but vibrant book cover!

I’d recommend this quick, inspirational read to any fellow authors (especially authors of fiction) in need of a pick-me-up.

 

I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know by W. Lee Warren, MD

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know by W. Lee Warren

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Dr. W. Lee Warren, an Iraq War veteran and practicing brain surgeon, has struggled with how to give hope to his brain cancer and head injury patients after looking at their grave test results and thinking, “I’ve seen the end of you.” Dr. Warren combines several of his patients’ medical stories with a stretch of his own tough journey of faith in his memoir, I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know.

When approaching a hard, tragic read like this, rather than waiting for the author to give me a bunch of perfect, definitive answers to life’s difficult questions, I come looking to see how another human being processes something that everyone faces in some form at one time or another. Seeing how someone else finds light through their dark experiences can give us a little more light for our own.

Fair warning to the squeamish that the medical content in the book can get pretty graphic, and to anyone who may be expecting only literal accounts, the author does use fictitious representatives and composites of several individuals to protect the identities of real people.

But the stories are true, as is the author’s journey. Now, he rehashes some of the same basic statements and questions a number of times, and there are places where he seems to wander while figuring out what to say next or where to stop. I feel that certain points he makes get a little lost; they would have been stronger and easier to remember if the book had been condensed, more concise.

Nevertheless, several of the author’s thoughts echo my own, such as his views on handing Christian platitudes to grieving people, and the danger of building one’s faith on the erroneous assumption that belief in God is supposed to exempt believers from tragedy. No, this isn’t a pleasant read that offers easy fixes, but ultimately, it’s still a message of hope, shining light through darkness.

 

Carpe Diem by Katy Huth Jones

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Carpe Diem by Katy Huth Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Face that “if” if it comes…

I only read poetry collections once in the very bluest of moons, but I decided to take a quick break with Carpe Diem by Katy Huth Jones.

I connected most with her reflections on her experiences with illness, especially where “true love” comes in. Can’t say I didn’t tear up a couple times while reading, and I wasn’t expecting that at all.

Anyone who can appreciate inspirational poetry can find something to appreciate in this collection. Light and sweet here, haunting and defiant there, with moments that are profound and uplifting.

Uplifting–and now I can see just how fitting the balloon on the book cover is!

…For now, live and rejoice.
That is hope.

 

Grace Poured Out by Valerie M. Herndon

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Online Book Club provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

Grace Poured Out

Grace Poured Out by Valerie M. Herndon

Self-Help/Memoir

Here’s an honest and redemptive account of very personal grief and what it means to trust God when one’s prayers don’t lead to a desired outcome. I’d most strongly recommend it to readers in search of a true story that deals with grieving and healing from a Christian perspective.

Officially reviewed at OnlineBookClub.org with 4 out of 4 stars. Do take a look!