Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Book Reviews

I've finished several books over the last few weeks and decided to post short reviews of each of them today.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
I read this for the monthly book club I attend at our local library. Honestly, I really did not enjoy the book. To me, it was a "slow" read because it seemed to drag on and on. In fact, I had not even finished it before our book club meeting date last week. Luckily (well, maybe not so luckily), we were iced/snowed in last week and the meeting was rescheduled for this week. I did finish the book, but I had to make myself do it. I didn't like the way the two characters just told their feelings and thoughts and quite a few chapters went off on psychological/philosophical discussions. And then to top it off, the ending was terrible! (Ok, I guess this wasn't really a good review, just my opinion.)

Photo Freedom by Stacy Julian
I love this book that outlines Stacy's Library of Memories system. This was my third time to read through the book over the last couple of years, and I always get inspired to implement something new in my LOM system or get an inspiration for a layout. Stacy recently posted plans for the upcoming LOM 2011 workshop and I'm looking forward to making adjustments and additions to my system again during that workshop.



Esther: A Woman of Strength & Dignity by Charles R. Swindoll
This book is the second in the Great Lives from God's Word series by Swindoll. In this book he delves into the story of Esther, revealing God's hand at work throughout the story. This was my third or fourth time to read this book. I was motivated to re-read it in preparation for the talk I gave several weeks ago at the Ladies' Meeting at our church and the Bible Study I'll begin teaching this week.

Near the end of the book, as Swindoll is retelling the establishing of the Feast of Purim, one thought stood out to me. He reminds us that it is important to remember and celebrate the things we have overcome in our pasts. Instead, often when
"we look back, we don't remember the times of celebration, the great birthday parties, memorable wedding anniversaries, the joys of an evening around the fireplace, the pleasures of family togetherness. You know what we remember? We remember things like earthquakes or tornadoes or hurricanes or floods."
One of the things I love about scrapbooking is that it allows me to remember and record the times of celebration in my life. It also allows me to document the adversities and difficult times that I've come through.

I'm looking forward to a little reading time later today since we have once AGAIN received some snowfall here in the we-shouldn't-have-this-much-snow-in-one-year state of Texas! Please let me know if you've finished any good books lately.

5 comments:

alexa said...

That's an interesting list, Melissa, and I didn't know about the new Stacey Julian class. I started the last LOM but just never managed to complete it. I'm currently enjoying Alexandra Johnson's "On leaving a trace", about keeping a journal. I bet Esther's would have been fascinating. I wonder if that would be an interesting spiritual exercise for participants in a Bible Study - to take a little section of Esther's story, and rewrite it as if you were Esther writing her journal ... Sorry, thinking aloud here!

Sewjoe said...

I will have look for the Photo Freedom book. This is such an area that I need improvement in. You are right about The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I felt like it was really summed up in the last few pages and was slow getting there. We did a Beth Moore study on Esther last year and it was amazing what we learned. Perhaps I will look into the Swindoll book.

Sian said...

Really interesting reviews Melissa - I'm always interested in what you have been reading. I have just finished up this month's Pass The Book - title to be revealed soon!

Sue, a.k.a. midwestgirl said...

Thanks for the link to Stacy's blog. I found her info a bit confusing, but I sure understood that 2010 LOM students get something for FREE, which I suppose we'll get an email about later in the year.

Rebekah said...

I'm anxiously awaiting taking LOM for the FIRST time!!!