They Were Single Too, Book Review

They Were Single Too, by David M. Hoffeditz 

Singleness is not a sin that needs to be redeemed. Yet for many single Christians, the way the church regards them often feels condemning. Living between these truths can be a painful, frustrating experience.
By examining eight individuals from Scripture who were single at some point in their adult lives - Paul, Anna, Martha, Jeremiah, Ruth, Joseph, Nehemiah, and John the Baptist - Hoffeditz guides readers through common struggles singles face, such as loneliness and disappointment.
Hoffeditz isn't offering a self-help guide, a twelve-step program to recovery, or philosophical musings. They Were Single Too spells out concrete steps for a healthy, God-approved attitude toward unmarried life and how one can truly serve God without a spouse. Brief chapters with questions for reflection allow for either individual or group study.
Long used as a resource for singles ministries, this revised edition updates the language of this timeless biblical study and makes it more attractive for today's reader.
My Thoughts: I was given this book from the publisher so I could review it and am very happy I got the chance to do so. It's so often that people think of their life only as a couple like "oh when I'm married" or "my spouse and I" that they often lose sight of their own life. I'm so glad they released this updated version of They Were Single Too goes into that and gives those of us who are single a guide book. 

A Force So Swift, Book Review

A Force So Swift by Kevin Peraino
Mao, Truman, and the Birth of Modern China, 1949

In the opening months of 1949, U.S. President Harry S. Truman found himself faced with a looming diplomatic catastrophe--"perhaps the greatest that this country has ever suffered," as the journalist Walter Lippmann put it. Throughout the spring and summer, Mao Zedong's Communist armies fanned out across mainland China, annihilating the rival troops of America's one-time ally Chiang Kai-shek and taking control of Beijing, Shanghai, and other major cities. As Truman and his aides--including his shrewd, ruthless secretary of state, Dean Acheson--scrambled to formulate a response, they were forced to contend not only with Mao, but also with unrelenting political enemies at home. Over the course of this tumultuous year, Mao would fashion a new revolutionary government in Beijing, laying the foundation for the creation of modern China, while Chiang Kai-shek would flee to the island sanctuary of Taiwan. These events transformed American foreign policy--leading, ultimately, to decades of friction with Communist China, a long-standing U.S. commitment to Taiwan, and the subsequent wars in Korea and Vietnam.
Drawing on Chinese and Russian sources, as well as recently declassified CIA documents, Kevin Peraino tells the story of this remarkable year through the eyes of the key players, including Mao Zedong, President Truman, Secretary of State Acheson, Minnesota congressman Walter Judd, and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, the influential first lady of the Republic of China. 

Today, the legacy of 1949 is more relevant than ever to the relationships between China, the United States, and the rest of the world, as Beijing asserts its claims in the South China Sea and tensions endure between Taiwan and the mainland.

My Thoughts: I received this book for review from the publisher, but this in no way effects my review. I haven't been able to read a history book in quite awhile so I was happy to get to do so, especially one about China. I couldn't believe how many details that were in this book, so many that I've missed in my history classes. This is a well thought out analysis that seems to get it all! A great read for someone into history. 

Never Look at the Empty Seats, Book Review

Never Look at the Empty Seats by Charlie Daniels 

The Incredible Story of a Country Music Legend
Few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Charlie Daniels.
Readers will experience a soft, personal side of Charlie Daniels that has never before been documented. In his own words, he presents the path from his post-depression childhood to performing for millions as one of the most successful country acts of all time and what he has learned along the way. The book also includes insights into the many musicians that orbited Charlie’s world, including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette and many more.
Charlie was officially inducted into The Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016, shortly before his 80th birthday. He now shares the inside stories, reflections, and rare personal photographs from his earliest days in the 1940s to his self-taught guitar and fiddle playing high school days of the fifties through his rise to music stardom in the seventies, eighties and beyond.
Charlie Daniels presents a life lesson for all of us regardless of profession:
My Thoughts: When I saw this book I immediately wanted to read it and am so glad I was given a copy by the publisher so I could! Charlie tells it like it is and does so in an entertaining way. There's the high points , the low points that tell so much about his life. A great read that tells you all about Charlie Daniels, but the book is more than that. It's a great inspirational read from his point of view. 

The Drinking Food of Thailand, Book Review

The Drinking Food of Thailand by Andy Ricker with JJ Goode 

A cookbook featuring 50 recipes for Thai drinking food--an entire subset of Thai cooking that is largely unknown in the United States yet boasts some of most craveable dishes in the Thai canon, inspired by Andy Ricker's decades in Thailand and his beloved restaurant, Whiskey Soda Lounge. 

A celebration of the thrill and spirit of Thai drinking food, Andy Ricker's follow-up to Pok Pok brings the same level of authority, with a more laid-back approach. Just as America has salted peanuts, wings, and nachos, Thailand has its own roster of craveable snacks: spicy, salty, and sour, they are perfect accompaniments for a few drinks and the company of good friends. Here, Ricker shares accessible and detailed recipes for his favorites: phat khii mao, a fiery dish known as "Drunkard's stir-fry; kai thawt, Thai-style fried chicken; and thua thawt samun phrai, an addictive combination of fried peanuts with makrut lime leaf, garlic, and chiles. Featuring stories and insights from the Thai cooks who taught Ricker along the way, this book is as fun to read as it is to cook from, and will become a modern classic for any lover of Thai cuisine.

My Thoughts: I requested this book thinking it was going to be a story with a few recipes in it. But wishing it would be more than that. Luckily it is. The book is full of recipes and they all look absolutely amazing. The recipes are authentic and true to Andy Ricker's style! An awesome read and for sure a recipe book that would make a great gift for the cook in your life. I especially love the Thai Barbecue Beef Skewers. 

Blessed are the Misfits, Book Review

Blessed are the Misfits, by Brant Hansen 

Warning: If modern church culture makes perfect sense to you, and you always fit in seamlessly, don’t read this. As for the rest of us…
While American church culture (and American culture at large) seems largely designed for the extroverted, it’s estimated that half of the American population is introverted, and they’re often left wondering how, even if, they fit in the kingdom of God. As one of them, popular radio host Brant Hansen brings news. It’s wonderful, refreshing, and never-been-said-this-way-before good news.
In his unique style, Hansen looks to answer questions that millions of people carry with them each day:
  • If I don’t relate to God as emotionally as others do, is something wrong with me?
  • How does one approach God, and approach faith, when devoid of the “good feelings” that seem to drive so much of evangelical church culture?
  • How does God interact with those who seem spiritually numb?
  • Is the absence of faith-based emotion a sign of that God has moved on or was never there?
  • What if we aren’t good at talking to people about our faith, or good at talking to people at all?
  • What if I’m told I’m too analytical, that I “think too much”?
  • Where does a person who suffers from depression fit in the kingdom? Is depression a sure sign of a lack of faith?
This book is good news for people who are desperately looking for it. (And for their loved ones!)
It’s also for those who want to believe in Jesus, but inwardly fear that they don’t belong, worry that don’t have the requisite emotion-based relationship with God, and are starving for good news.
Blessed Are the Misfits is going to generate discussion, and lots of it. It’s simultaneously highly provocative and humbly personal. It’s also leavened with a distinct, dry, self-effacing humor that is a hallmark of Hansen’s on-air, writing, and public speaking style.

My Thoughts: I received this book in exchange for review but as always this does not effect my review. As you probably know there is a whole culture around American worship and church, and I know from experience it isn't easy to be a part of. Brant writes an entertaining book and really encourages the reader through their problems without putting pressure on them. This is a great book for those looking to regain their place. 

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