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 12, 2014

Book Reviews

My reading year is off to a slow start - I only read four books in January and have finished just one so far this month. At this rate, I won't even come close to my total (118!) from last year. Honestly, the numbers don't matter as long as I'm enjoying what I read and I'm reading something every day. I've been enjoying lots of online class materials and blog reading in the last several weeks, so it's all good! Here's a quick look at three of the books I recently completed.

 
I get a daily email with free or inexpensive eBooks, so when I saw 31 Days To A Clean And Organized Home: How To Organize, Clean, And Keep Your Home Spotless on the free list I downloaded it to read as motivation in my quest to deep clean and declutter our entire home this year. I really didn't learn anything new from the book, which is organized as a 31-day rotation schedule to clean, organize, and maintain a home, however I do find it motivating to be reading about the types of things that I'm working on. One of my favorite ideas from the book was to remove five unnecessary items from a room each time you deep clean. (So far I've removed more than five items as I completed the laundry room and front hall closet!) There were quite a few spelling and grammatical errors in this ebook, which made me think it was put together quickly.

 
A Sweethaven Homecoming is the second in Courtney Walsh's Sweethaven series and picks up where the first book, A Sweethaven Summer, left off. I thoroughly enjoyed this book with its themes of reconciliation and forgiveness and friendship. There are several intertwined story lines that keep the story moving along, and it's a quick refreshing read.

At the end of last year, my sister suggested that we swap a book each month, sharing something that we'd read and enjoyed. I, of course, thought it was a great idea and received Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley from her in early January. This book is about breaking free of emotions that control us and was an extremely interesting read. The four emotions the book deals with are guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy. There's a discussion of each of these emotions and a solution given to deal with each one (confession, forgiveness, giving, celebration). I'm pretty sure my sister sent this book because these are all emotions that we deal with at some point in our lives and there's much that can be learned by reading and being aware of them . . . and not because she thinks I'm a guilty, angry, greedy, jealous sister, right!?![Just kidding! I thought this was a very informative book and highly recommend it.]

Have you read any of these books? If so, please share your thoughts on them in the comments.

6 comments:

Sian said...

No I haven't read any of these. But I definitely think you are right - it's not about the numbers. Going slowly and really savouring a few pages can bring great rewards

Barbara Eads said...

Only 4 books for January!!! I feel soooo sorry for you!!! Only kidding. I'm an avid reader and I only read 37 for last year!! If only I had more time....

Missus Wookie said...

I think I read the first Courtney Walsh Sweethaven Summer - sounds familiar anyhow. That last book sounds interesting, I'll add it to my library list - for after I finish my courses tho' :)

Ellyn said...

haven't read any of those, but I do love Andy Stanley. I don't think you told me he was the author of the book you were describing the other day.

alexa said...

I haven't read either of them, Melissa, but I always enjoy your perceptive reviews. That's a great tip about removing 5 things - off to do this today! And isn't it annoying when there are errors in a book? Somehow it makes it harder to take it seriously.

S said...

My reading has gotten off to a slow start too. I'm bogged down in the middle of my January book club book, and a couple from February are calling my name. I am sometimes leary of paying for ebooks that haven't been printed - sometimes the quality is just so lacking - and not not just talking about proofreading for typos. As far as cleaning goes, I once set up an index card system for that, but abandoned it within 2 months. But as I get older I'm starting to embrace routine a little more, I might have to give it another go. I like the idea of removing 5 items from each room.