Category Archives: 4 Stars

The 4-Hour Workweek (Expanded!)

My dad has been wanting to read the 4-Hour Workweek for months.  We couldn’t find it at the library, and I kept forgetting to just order for him on Amazon.  Imagine how excited I was to see it available for review!  And my dad was thrilled!  So now we have our own copy.  And not just our own copy, a brand new, updated, revised edition.  Could it get better?

How would you like to double your salary and cut your working hours by more than half?  Instead of a 40 hour week, you work a 4 hour week?  Tim Ferriss outlines how he went from 40,000 a year to 40,000 a week.  Using well written, conversational style, Ferriss walks you through all his information, thoughts and tips for how he did what he did.

You will be encouraged and challenged as you make your way through this book.  I’m planning to read it at least 2-3 times this year.  He guides you through the DEAL – Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation.  I especially enjoyed his thoughts on time management, that was really stuff I needed to hear!  And his chapters on virtual assistants were a close second for me. Not because I want to hire a VA, but because I want to become one.  So it helped to see it from the other side, what he is looking for in a VA.

As Ferriss says, “a lot has changed since 2007”, so this edition has information on controlling and utilizing email, technology, and social media.

One Note: There is some mild language that I was unhappy to see.  Just as a side note.  It’s hardly worth mentioning, but it stood out to me and I wanted to point it out.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

Jeremiah Prins is 10 years old, and leads a sheltered, pampered life in the East Indies.   In 1942, when the Japanese Imperialist invasion begins, Jeremiah’s life is turned upside down and backwards.   He becomes the man of the house for his younger siblings, and realizes that his mother needs more care than he realized.

Life in the camp is full of hardship, cruelty, and a life that Jeremiah never imagined possible.  He comes to lean on Laura, who is quickly becoming his best friend.  Jeremiah and Laura learn a lot about the strength that God gives and the light that shines in the dark as they live through the horrors of camp, and find beauty in life.  But it’s what happens later in life… when Jeremiah is 81 that will bring tears to your eyes.

This book was good and powerful.  I found it a little slow going, but it was good.  And I love historical fiction.  I’ll give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

Thanks to antibiotics, tuberculosis is a thing in the past, that we just don’t think much about.  But in the late 1900s, it was the leading cause of death.  Patients were outcast victims, shunned and ignored by the public.  Desperate to find a cure, doctors began experimenting with surgeries and treatments.  Some of these were cruel and barbaric – killing the patients before tuberculosis got to them.  But other doctors had gentle methods and sought to heal with sunshine, good food, medicine, and lots of prayer.

Trevor McDonough, is just such a doctor.  A well respected graduate of Harvard, Trevor is taking a risk treating patients with tuberculosis.  He takes the failing patients, the ones that are dying and seeks to find a way to help them.  To reverse the damage this disease is doing to their lungs.  

Kate Livingston knew Trevor in grade school, but they didn’t part on the best of terms.  Now he asks for her in particular as his assistant.  Kate’s openness and Trevor’s distance hit heads at first, but they soon develop a friendship.  But then dark secrets from their past start coming out, and Trevor’s are the darkest of all.  Can Kate live with Trevor’s past?  And what that means for his future?

This was a wonderful, light read.  The romance element was woven into the story, and wasn’t silly or overdone.  You found yourself rooting for these characters, willing Trevor to find a cure!  

Rating 4 out of 5 stars.

Child of Mine by David and Beverly Lewis

“What a tangled web we weave…”

Although that quotation does not actually appear in Child of Mine, it reminded me of it.  The the overarching theme of how one lie leads to another, so easily, is convicting.

Eight year old Natalie lives with her uncle, Jack, who adopted her when her parents were killed.   Eight years ago Kelly’s baby was kidnapped and sold for drug money.   Two stories and two lives.  So far apart and so intertwined.  Or are they?

When Jack is traveling, Natalie is cared for by her Amish nanny, Laura Mast.  And Kelly spends her day lying to mothers as she tries to run genetic tests on their young daughters.   One final, desperate lead drops Kelly into the lives of Jack and Natalie – confusing and complicating their lives.

When Jack finds that Kelly has used them and lied to him, what will that do their friendship?  And what will the genetic test say when it comes back?

What I Thought

This book was well written, intriguing, and interesting.  I enjoyed every minute of reading it, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a pleasant, quiet read.  Only two things bugged me:

1) You end up getting frustrated with Kelly when she just won’t come clean and stop lying.

2) The part with Laura Mast, the Amish nanny, felt a little forced.  Like they really just wanted to just have an Amish character in the story and didn’t know where to put her.

But like I said, I enjoyed it, and would recommend it.

4 out of 5 Stars

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton

They bumped into each other.  She thought he was kind.  He knew she was God’s gift.  And they went their separate ways.  Until, after the death of her mother, Tamsen must finally flee her stepfather, in fear for her life.  Then she and Jessie must befriend each other, it’s a matter of life or death.

During their journey together, Tamsen must learn to trust God and His plan.  Tamsen’s wealthy suitor Ambrose Kincaid, is pursuing them, Jessie has been charged with murder, and both of the escapees are harboring secrets about their lives.  Tamsen wasn’t born to the wild of the wilderness, but she finds that her new life is just what she wanted.  And her rescuer may be the man God has in mind.

What I Liked:

I really enjoyed how Tamsen wasn’t spoiled or unwilling to work.  So many times in books the heroine is dainty and refuses to do anything.  It’s become cliche.  However, Tamsen is strong and yet very feminine.  She is just what Jessie needs.

The book is well written, carefully crafted, and very easy to read.

What I Didn’t Like As Much:

The “romance” between Jessie and Tamsen was tactfully handled, but it still got to be a bit much.  I would be uncomfortable recommending this book to many people because of that.  Read with discretion.

Rating 4 out 5 stars

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

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