Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic

This is a book that will make you cry one minute and then make you laugh the next.  Nick’s story is just that kind of story.

Nick Vujicic was born without arms and legs.  Facing a world designed for arms and legs, Nick found life hard to live.  After attempting suicide at the age of 10, he confided to his brother that  he would kill himself when he turned 21.  But God had a special purpose for Nick and began to show Nick just what his value was to other people.

In Unstoppable, Nick gives some glimpses into his life, as well as sharing his love story with his wife of 2 years, Kanae.  But Nick also offers inspiration for some extreme emotions we face in life.  He speaks to those with suicidal thoughts, relationship crisis, physical handicaps, and career challenges.  God never leaves us, ever.  Even on the darkest, roughest road.

A real, empowering book that everyone in my family is going to read!

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

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10 Days Without by Daniel Ryan Day

“Life is full of good intentions,… Good intentions are cans of paint that could have become amazing works of art… but never did.”

Daniel Day loved God, considered himself a Christian, and lived a good Christian life.  But he was convicted again and again with how “easy” his life really was.  In 21st Century America, we have shoes, we have roofs, we have 3 meals a day (at least!), and we have families around us.  We’re very comfortable.

But Christ wasn’t comfortable.  And he didn’t call us to be comfortable.

So, Daniel Day decided to spend 10 days without shoes or socks.  And he created 10 Days Without.  Through the book, Daniel journals  eight of his journeys.   He goes without shoes, a coat, legs, furniture, media,  and human touch.  Each journey is designed to raise money for a specific need in the world.  And Daniel invites you to join him.

I thought this book was eye opening and thought provoking.  Sometimes it’s easy to say “we’re so blessed” and not really think about it.  This forces you to think of it.

We have shoes, pairs and pairs of shoes.  Children in the Honduras don’t have a single pair.  Their feet are dirty, cut, and blistered.  These sores take in diseases from the filth on the streets.  Would you be willing to live like that?  Do you want your kids living like that?

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

There is little I love more than having a thick book to read over a long period of time.   Some of my siblings are scared of big books, but I love picking one up and starting into it.  A hot cup of tea and a thick book is the perfect recipe.  Our Mutual Friend was a just such a big book, and it was by far my favorite Dickens.

There are so many plots and subplots in Mutual Friend (as in all of Dicken’s works) that it would take too long to go over them all.  But here are some of my  thoughts.

One set of characters I loved was John Rokesmith and Bella Wilfer.  Bella was betrothed to marry John Harmon, the one condition for him to inherit his father’s estate.  At the opening of the book, Harmon is found drowned in the river.   So the estate passes to the Boffins – an elderly couple who worked for Harmon’s father.  They take Bella in and there she spends time with Rokesmith – who is serving as the Boffin’s secretary.

Rokesmith tries to court Bella, who runs him off because of his low status.  She herself is poor, and was excited about marrying into wealth.  Now she finds that taken from her, and refuses to treat Rokesmith with respect.  As time passes, the money begins to affect Mr. Boffin and he becomes a miser with the wealth he inherited.  When he begins to abuse Rokesmith, Bella realizes what money can do to a person and flees their house, after defending Rokesmith.

A little while later you realize that Mr. Boffin had faked being a miser so that Bella would realize how trivial money really is in life.   Mr. Boffin is such a good, kind older man who loved Bella enough to run her off and keep her away from the lure of money.

~Warnings~  Really there is nothing to warn people about.  If you are brave enough to read Our Mutual Friend, you can handle the “thematic elements”.  There are a few dead bodies, 2 murders (not graphic), and the job of one character is to scour the river for bodies.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars