The Baggage Handler, Book Review

The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings 

When three people take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, their lives change forever. 
A hothead businessman coming to the city for a showdown meeting to save his job.
A mother of three hoping to survive the days at her sister's house before her niece’s wedding.
And a young artist pursuing his father’s dream so he can keep his own alive.
When David, Gillian, and Michael each take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, the airline directs them to retrieve their bags at a mysterious facility in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the enigmatic Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed, and carrying it with them is slowing them down in ways they can’t imagine. And they must deal with it before they can leave.
In this modern-day parable about the burdens that weigh us down, David Rawlings issues an inspiring invitation to lighten the load.

I have to start by saying WOW. I did receive a copy of this book to review it but, I had blindly picked it and had no idea what the story would be able. I began reading and was immediately absorbed into the story, and the more I read the more I liked it. The story, while intricate falls together so well. The meaning just behind the surface is powerful and yet the book is still very enjoyable. 

I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening), Book Review

I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening) by Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers

More than ever, politics seems driven by conflict and anger. People sitting together in pews every Sunday have started to feel like strangers, loved ones at the dinner table like enemies. Toxic political dialogue, hate-filled rants on social media, and agenda-driven news stories have become the new norm. It’s exhausting, and it’s too much.

In I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening), two working moms from opposite ends of the political spectrum contend that there is a better way. They believe that we can
  • choose to respect the dignity of every person,
  • choose to recognize that issues are nuanced and can’t be reduced to political talking points,
  • choose to listen in order to understand,
  • choose gentleness and patience.

Sarah from the left and Beth from the right invite those looking for something better than the status quo to pull up a chair and listen to the principles, insights, and practical tools they have learned hosting their fast-growing podcast Pantsuit Politics. As impossible as it might seem, people from opposing political perspectives truly can have calm, grace-­filled conversations with one another—by putting relationship before policy and understanding before argument.

My Thoughts: I am so happy that I was able to read this book, and getting it from the publisher to do so doesn't effect my review in any way. I actually hadn't heard of these women but was immediately interested when I saw the title. I didn't even realize that it was political! It's a great guide book for more than productive political conversations. It really goes into how to examine yourself and your own motives. A great book for self reflection. 

The Third Jihad, Book Review

The Third Jihad
By Michael Youssef 

Radical Islam has been waging war against our global civilization throughout history―and now, it’s closer than ever to American soil. Dr. Michael Youssef, a Coptic Christian who was born in Egypt and now leads a megachurch in America, knows from firsthand experience that radical Islamists have goals that many American Christians believe are “unthinkable.” In this book, he warns Western Christians that it doesn’t help to ignore what’s going on. There’s a third jihad underway, and its goal is to take over the West.

The Third Jihad is a call for Christians to defend their families, protect their nation, and boldly share the good news of Jesus with their communities―especially their Muslim neighbors.

Packed with surprising insights from history, compelling and dramatic stories, and a practical agenda that one person―or one church―can immediately put into practice to make a difference in the world. Rich in encouraging biblical principles and prophetic insights, The Third Jihad leads the reader to an empowering conclusion in our troubling (and even frightening) times.

Michael Youssef’s insights will inspire Christians to take their faith seriously, share their faith freely, and to truly be salt and light in a world of increasing darkness and decay.

Book Review: I have to start by saying that I did receive a copy of this book to review, but that doesn't effect the review in any way. When I first saw The Third Jihad, I didn't know what to think... Because of this I thought it would be worth reviewing. When I realized Michael Youssef himself what from a Muslim majority country, I was immediately interested. Most Christian books written about Islam come from American evangelicals who's experiences would be very different than that of someone living in the Middle East. Michael Youssef does a great job of combining history and his personal stories. This is a brave book that counters a lot of popular beliefs. 

The Secrets of Paper and Ink

The Secrets of Paper and Ink 
By Lindsay Harrel

Brought together by a charming bookstore in England, three women fight to defy expectations, dream new dreams, and welcome love into their lives. 
As a counselor, Sophia Barrett is trained to help people cope with their burdens. But when she meets a new patient whose troubles mirror her own, she realizes she hasn’t dealt with the pain of her recent past. After making a snap decision to get away for the summer, Sophia moves overseas to an apartment above a charming bookstore in Cornwall, England. She is hopeful she will find peace there surrounded by her favorite thing: great literature. 
Bookstore owner Ginny Rose is desperate to save her business without asking for help from a husband who’s decided to take a break from their marriage. Ginny never imagined she’d be solely responsible for keeping afloat her husband’s dream, but the unexpected friendship with her new renter has her feeling more optimistic. Between the two of them—and Ginny’s brother-in-law, William—the bookstore might stand a chance. 
Then Sophia finds a notebook in the bookstore that contains journal entries from Emily Fairfax, a governess who lived in Cornwall more than 150 years ago. Sophia learns that Emily harbored a secret passion for becoming an authoress—as well as a deep love for her childhood friend, Edward, whose station she dared not dream to touch. 
Eager to know more of Emily’s story, Sophia goes on a quest—dragging Ginny and William with her—to discover the heart of the woman behind the beautiful entries. Soon Ginny’s need to save the bookstore becomes more than a way to save her marriage, and Sophia finds new purpose of her own. Together they find that sometimes both heartache and hope can reach across the centuries.

My Thoughts: I have to start by saying I was sent this book so that I could review it but that doesn't change my opinion of The Secrets of Paper and Ink in any way. This is a book that uses multiple voices to tell a story and it does a great job of it. I loved how the characters intertwined and while this book is classified as Christian it really only pops up at the end. A wonderful read and one I'll be passing on. 

Rewired, Book Review

Rewired by Dr. Ajay K. Seth

A raccoon bite on the arm doesn’t seem that serious, but it soon becomes a life-or-death medical crisis for Melissa Loomis. After days of treatment for recurring infection, it becomes obvious that her arm must be amputated. Dr. Ajay Seth, the son of immigrant parents from India and a local orthopaedic surgeon in private practice, performs his first-ever amputation procedure. In the months that follow, divine intervention, combined with Melissa’s determination and Dr. Seth’s disciplined commitment and dedication to his patients, brings about the opportunity for a medical breakthrough that will potentially transform the lives of amputees around the world.
Rewired is the inspirational, miraculous story of Dr. Seth’s revolutionary surgery that allows Melissa to not just move a prosthetic arm simply by thinking, but to actually feel with the prosthetic hand, just as she would with her natural arm. This resulted in what others have recognized as the world’s most advanced amputee, all done from Dr. Seth’s private practice in a community hospital, using a local staff, and with no special training or extensive research funding.

My thoughts: First of all I did receive this book for review but that doesn't change my opinion in any way. When I first got this book I was afraid that it'd be a hard read. You know lots of medical terminology and very dry. Luckily that isn't the case. Rewired is absolutely amazing and I learned so much for reading it. A big inspiration.