Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Choices by Lisa Suggs

Book: Choices

Author: Lisa Suggs

Release Date:

Genre: Self-Help (Psychological: marriage and Family)

Pages: 122

Review Date: March 23, 2010

Review: Choices is a quick and provocative read that tackles the subject of divorce from a practical, solution focused perspective. As a clinical psychologist, I found this book had a pragmatism and realistic approach to divorce that clients will probably relate to in a much better way than many books on the market that are probably more geared to professionals.

On the writing style: Everyday, accessible words. Short and to the point phrases. But not in a boring manner. In fact, I felt that the author did an extremely good job making the topic of divorce “non-evil” and personal, as if you were able to get in the mind of the author and see from her perspective how divorce might be managed to the best outcome possible.

On the Target Audience: Well…for people in and around the process of divorce. Parents of those getting divorced, older children of parents getting divorced, and anyone else interested in and fascinated by the perspective of divorce!

On the best parts: I appreciated how the author remained objectively positive throughout the text without being blind to how divorce can be negative. Although I believe some readers may initially suspect this author is in denial about or is too optimistic about the idea that divorce does not have to be ugly, I disagree. Maybe I am too shrinkish here, but I got the sense that what the author is doing is (1) talking about the content of divorce—the facts and thoughts and ideas that are pertinent—but even more is trying to depict (2)the process of divorce, in other words, she is modeling how to have a positive, solution oriented philosophy moving forward with regard to how divorce might be engaged. I wonder and even suspect that divorce was extremely ugly for her—heartbreaking, not something she wanted, even wonder that maybe she had many mature and defining moments that required to her to big the bigger and better person---obviously I don’t know, but that would be my guess because I have worked with so many people in divorce, but you never get this sense from this author. It is more like “hey, this sucks, yeah, but it’s happening, and here’s how it can happen less painfully, and maybe even in a way that some self learning can come out of it.

Closing thoughts and overall summary: I found this book helpful, practical, informative, humanistic, intriguing, emotional yet professional, and overall—and perhaps this is the most important quality—consultative: it did not force guilt into the equation, but offers many wonderful and pragmatic pointers and insights that seem to say, “hey you can do what you want, but here is how I got burned, and feel free to not replicate!” Highly recommended!

Heath Sommer, Ph.D.
Author: The Manufactured Identity

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day of War Book Club Welcome and Question 1

Welcome to all of our followers for the book club review. For those of you participating you will have twenty four hours (and really more....what are we gonna erase this?) to post your responses to the five questions about the book. Be honest, be "pg" rated or under, and most of all have fun!

Question 1: How was the introduction, storyline, character pacing, and your overall impression of the novel?

Day of War Book Club Question 2

What character, storyline, and specific chapter did you like the best and why?

Day of War Book Club Question 3

What other stories, movies, or storytellers come to mind that is like Day of War?

Day of War Book Club Question 4

What if anything do you wish the author had done different?

Day of War Book Club Question 5

What rating (using our Tate Authors scale of course, it is on the right banner of this website) would you give this novel?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Unspeakable Journey by Rinda Hahn

Book: Unspeakable Journey
Author: Rinda HahnPerfect Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing (March 23, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615666931
ISBN-13: 978-1615666935
Genre: Christian fiction; chick lit
Review Date: 3/16/2010
Review: Unspeakable Journey tales the story of the nightmare of being taken captive and brought to a strange land. Excellently imagined, and told in an escalating crescendo, Hahn effectively creates the drama she sets out to in the contemporary Christian fiction novel.

From the beginning I was drawn in by the story, and found myself wanting to read more and further despite the many time constraints I experienced while reviewing Journey.

On the writing style: Hahn does an excellent job of using language and prose that is easily accessed by a wide range of consumers, yet she also finds her voice quickly and expresses her artistic style where appropriate and does so in a way that did not pull me away from the story proper.

Hahn also in my opinion excellently captures the plight and terror of someone held hostage, not only by depicting the behavior and structure of kidnapping and kidnappers, but by also wonderfully depicting the thought processes and human experience of those who would find themselves so powerless and frail.

On the Target Audience: While the story has mass appeal and so I think will be interesting to a wide variety of readers, there is a strong Judeo-Christian philosophy running throughout the text and so I believe individuals with an affinity for such teachings and philosophies will be the most attracted to and satisfied with this well paced and flowing storyline.

On the best parts. I think more than anything else Hahn’s ability to tell a captivating story, as well as her ability to expose that in every death there is a life, or restated that humans emerge with redeeming features regardless of the desperate circumstances creates a message that undoubtedly will touch and inspire many who read Journey.

Closing thoughts and overall summary: An ever escalating read that will challenge the way you think and worship, as well as tease you with the life too many of our earthly kin must live, Journey is the type of novel you will be talking to your friends about when you finish!

Heath Sommer, Ph.D.
Author of The Manufactured Identity