Thursday, November 23, 2017

Book Review: Worry Less, Live More: God’s Prescription for a Better Life by Robert Morgan

In times of economic uncertainty, worrying tends to take over our lives. In addition to the personal issues we always deal with, now comes the worry about jobs, money, and often a good portion of political concerns are thrown in as well.In this book, the author, who is a pastor, tries to help readers to not have their lives be consumed by worry. While this book is focused on the Bible, I was hoping that some of the lessons given could also apply to people as a general guide. Unfortunately, this book is very tightly aligned with the Bible. It does not contain the generally applicable lessons and guidance I have seen in many similar books.
The author uses a good approach, by asking readers to look on bright spots in life and see the positive. But the author always goes back to specific Bible passages. Worry is not just reserved to Christians. In addition, as a pastor, the author should address all people in his community and the book just does not do that. To me, the book was a lot about interpreting the Bible and short on actual guidance on how to approach life and improve it.
It is disappointing that rather than show how lessons from the Bible contain actionable steps that everyone can use, the author focused on the Bible as a guidebook for everyone. Well not everyone is a Christian and this book does not help in bridging the gap between the religions.

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Disclaimer: I received a free book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Book review: ReSYNC Your Life: 28 Days to a Stronger, Leaner, Smarter, Happier You by Samir Becic

I have to admit that I had never heard of Mr. Becic before this book, but the title sounded interesting and with the New Years resolutions coming up, it was the perfect time to read up on fitness and lifestyle changes.
This book is about making healthy changes in your life and making changes that stick - this latter part is really important to me because as a busy working family, we do not have time to waste on fads that promise everything and deliver nothing.
Mr Becic promises that one month, 28 days, is all that you need to turn your life around and not make your healthier, but also happier overall. He clearly believes in a holistic approach to life and does include the mind and not just the body. With minimum equipment and using the body as its workout machine, this book can be used by people like me that travel and people that cannot afford gym membership. It does take discipline and does take commitment, but focusing on the mind in addition to the body, the approach is simple and is fitting into any schedule.
I am impressed with the approach because I used to do Pilates regularly and got into a good shape very quickly using no equipment and training about one hour a week combined with a healthy lifestyle. Back then, I was recovering from a serious illness and considering how bad I felt early on, the use of focused body-based workouts was amazing to me. The new components that I picked up in this book are the time for meditation, something I have never done before but I have heard from many people that meditation not just helps with fitness, but also general stress relief. And who does not need stress relief over the holidays with a house full of relatives?
I am excited to start on this routine and can now feel good about my me time since with a combination of work out, meditation and mind improvement, I can get 2018 off to a great start.


Disclaimer: I received a free book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Book Review: Never Look at the Empty Seats: A Memoir by Charlie Daniels

Anyone who has lived in the US and listens to the radio regularly will know Charlie Daniels and his song about the Devil that went down to Georgia. Charlie has been around the US music scene for decades and has outlived and outplayed many of his early contemporaries such as Elvis Presley. It is amazing to consider what legends this man has known, played music with and just met on a regular basis.
This book is my first direct introduction into the world of country music. I have seen movies and read stories, but I never before took the time and read a book by someone who has been associated with country music and the Southern US music scene for this many years. I am glad I made the decision to read this book. It reads like a crash course on music history of the Southern US and country music from the 1940s on. And despite being a crash course on music history, you get the feeling that Charlie Daniels never really wrote a book, but sat down and talked to someone who shared his interest in music. The book reads like a collection of stories that your old and wise grandfather is sharing with you. Written like a collection of stories in the tradition of the storytellers from the Appalachian Mountains, the book provides valuable life lessons in the form of stories. The reader can draw their own conclusions about what is important in life and people may make different observations in these stories, but anyone of the stories speaks of the experiences of Charlie Daniels from years on the road as a performer. Whether it is never being afraid of failure, doing what you love doing and doing it well or there is some form of reward at the end for hard work, the stories may be focused on Charlie Daniels' life as a performer, but deep down they are stories about people working and living and trying to be good at something.
There may be disappointments and there are maybe few highlights in your life, but you can still be satisfied with any achievement. I recommend this book to any fan of country music, Southern US culture and people just looking for a collection of good stories.
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.