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Friday, October 26, 2018

"Am I Enough" by Grace Valentine

Written from a female's perspective towards other females, this book is all about how women should find their worth in God.  The author shares her experiences thru childhood and early adulthood.  Issues such as body shame, eating disorders, poor self esteem, boy troubles, and more are covered.  The overall message is that women are already enough.  They do not need to keep striving to be better, smarter, taller, prettier, thinner, etc.  And they certainly should not find their worth in a boyfriend.  Reading this felt like I was talking to a good friend over a cup of tea.  Ten lies young women believe are addressed and combatted thru short chapters.  This book does have Christian undertones and makes many references to Jesus.

Friday, October 19, 2018

"The Food Babe Way" by Vani Hari

As a food conscious person, I found Vani on the web when I read her blog.  She is an investigative person who looks into the ingredients in the American food system.  For those who have seen The Food Babe on TV, they may remember her expose on yoga mat rubber being used in breads, as well as beaver anal gland being used in ice cream, and wood chips being used in cheese.  Crazy, I know!  What Vani does in this book is summarize her work over the years.  While there is a little bit in the book about Vani and her life, the majority of the book is for the reader.  It explains how to read food labels, says what chemicals in food do to the body, highlights good vs bad food choices at restaurants, has a meal plan, lists recipes, and even has a guide on how to start a food petition.  I thoroughly enjoyed Vani's book because she sincerely wants to know what is in food and help Americans make healthy choices.  Did you know that, calories aside, chemicals can make you fat?  Did you know that chemicals can cause cancer?  Did you know that chemicals can age you?  Be your best self and get healthy today the Food Baby Way!

"Don't Forget Your Crown" by Derrick Jaxn

I first heard of Derrick Jaxn on youtube.  He has lots of relationship advice videos, and his straight-shooter attitude is very refreshing.  While this book has the subtitle of "self-love has everything to do with it", it is not a step-by-step guide on self love.  The book reads more like an autobiography or story where Derrick shares how he went from a player to a relationship-conscious husband.  He recounts his regret of cheating on his college girlfriend, who eventually became his wife.  What Derrick emphasizes in his book is that a woman can not change a man.  Yes, a woman can influence a man and push him to be better, but nothing she can do will make him love her or want to be good to her.  Derrick tells the story of when his girlfriend broke up with him because she was tired of the mistreatment.  Years later, Derrick came back.  This advice to women shows that even if a man is mean at one point in time, he may very well regret it later on.  Also, I'd say Derrick was lucky.  Not every man who has wronged a woman gets her back, much less so to marry him.  The book is not only a wake up call to women to start for what they deserve (even if that means walking away from a loser or standing alone) but also to men (they can lose a good woman and never get her back).  Due to the story-telling nature of this book, I'd say it is more anecdotal and less scientific.  Still, it was an entertaining read.

Monday, October 8, 2018

"Queenology" by R.C. Blakes, Jr.

This book was listed as a recommended read to me on Amazon.  Intrigued, I bought it and began reading, and was I impressed!  This book has tried and true advice for women.  There is a foreword by the author's wife, as well as a royal storyline to help readers imagine an actual kingdom where queens rule.  I loved the initial analogy of a damaged $100 bill.  Even if it is written on, stepped on, spit on, torn in half then taped back up, it is still worth $100.  Blakes explains that is how women are always valuable.  However, when women do not move past trauma or they listen to negative voices, they lose track of who they are and where they are going.  The advice is very real and covers a variety of topics from finances to dress to relationships and more.  Blakes also warns queens that they will not make everyone happy and that some will shy away from them.  A true queen has real friends and lets go of those who want to use her, abuse her, or get jealous of her.  This is an excellent read that I will keep for reference.  Ladies, get out of that gutter and back on your throne! 

"Riding Into the Heart of Patagonia" by Nancy Pfeiffer

I first heard about this book thru a local climbing gym that had Nancy come in for a presentation about her book.  I later purchased an autographed copy and read it on a flight to pass the time.  I really enjoyed Nancy's style of storytelling.  The way she makes the mountains, nature, and especially horses of Patagonia come to life is truly remarkable.  I felt as if I was right there with Nancy riding around in South America with her trope.  From the art of sitting still to accepting life as it is to Chilean hospitality to  traveling alone, there are many ways in which one woman's story is shared.  It was amazing to read about a woman who had come so far in life, someone who was brave enough to attempt such a colossal trip with little Spanish skills and little horse skills.  What Nancy ended up learning in Patagonia was what she ended up using to not only make her trip a reality but also to survive.  I personally loved he stories about interacting with the locals and the native horses.  While there is nothing graphic in the book, things do get a little scary when Nancy and her animals must cross a raging river or fall into a mud-like quicksand.  Towards the end of the story, readers learn about environmental protests in South America and how Nancy was involved in a peaceful protest against damming a river.

"Untouchable" by Brittany Rust

The subtitle to this book is "unraveling the myth that you're too faithful to fall."  The story starts off with Rust's childhood and past, as well as how she came to be a prominent woman in her Christian faith / community.  There came a point where Rust had a list of things she would never do, and therefore never considered making appropriate boundaries for.  One of those was that she would never have sex before marriage.  As readers learn, Rust fell into temptation when she was intimate with her boyfriend.  This caused her a breakup, as well as being fired from her church job.  Eventually Rust got back together with her boyfriend and later married him.  However, I think it is important to know that her story could have gone the other way.  She could have lost her virginity to a man who left her and never came back.  The book details how one can overcome what the author calls the "untouchable myth mindset".  This is paralleled with Bible verses, many of which are from the New Testament.  There is a thread of love, grace, and forgiveness throughout.  Whatever your list of untouchables, this book will make you think twice about what you never thought to guard yourself against.