Spirituality

Book Review: EFT

EFT
Author: 
Evans, Janet
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

In her book EFT, Janet Evans describes one of science's biggest breakthroughs in stress-relief: the Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT. EFT is a method of processing and releasing emotions which combines the latest in modern psychology with Eastern acupressure points. Research has shown that by describing what one's emotions are, or the problem being experienced and how it makes one feel, while tapping on a series of acupressure points, the cortisol response in the body is significantly reduced.
After describing what EFT is and how to do this stress-relief technique, Ms. Evans provides readers with a list of 10 experiments to try in stress-relief to prove that, as she says, "Your mind creates your life." This book is interactive, with the experiment portions comprising most of the book. After a brief introduction to each challenge by giving the scientific backing for it, Ms. Evans invites readers to try for themselves and see how their mind helps them create, or re-create, their life.
I enjoyed this book. Ms. Evans's writing style is concise, clear, and her EFT experiments are enjoyable as well as helpful. This book is useful for all ages, as stress-relief is important for everyone.

Reviewer's Name: 
Rebecca D

Book Review: E2

E2
Author: 
Grout, Pam
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

E2 is a book about the fusion of the common wisdom of positive thinking with modern-day science. The premise Mrs. Grout lays out for readers begins with her book's prologue, Albert Einstein's famous theorem e = mc2 (energy = mass* the speed of light)(squared). In her book, Mrs. Grout presents the scientific energetic evidence for why actions such as positive thought so incredibly shape people's lives. By teaching readers how easy it is to influence the energies around them thorough positive thought and belief, she shows how to change one's life for the better.

I enjoyed this book very much, because it is so inspirational and helpful in creating a more positive life. I would recommend this book to any reader looking to influence their life positively. The age range appropriate would be from 15 to any adult age.

Reviewer's Name: 
Rebecca D

Book Review: The Biology of Belief

The Biology of Belief
Author: 
Lipton, Bruce H.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

In this book about the effect of thoughts and belief on the body's cells, Dr. Lipton compellingly shows the science of positivity. A fascinating and encouraging read for teens and above, this book encourages positive thinking for all. The case Dr. Lipton makes, backed by his own research, is "the more we put happiness into our thoughts, the more happiness our bodies experience", meaning release of positive chemicals, less stress, and better healing. This is an important book that encourages positive thinkers and those working to change their thinking. This is because as Mr. Lipton says, positivity heals.

Reviewer's Name: 
Rebecca D

Book Review: Zen and the Art of Happiness

Zen and the Art of Happiness
Author: 
Prentiss, Chris
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This non-fiction book is a great guide full of life improvement tips.
In this book, Chris Prentiss guides you through different strategies on how to be the best you, how to be the happiest you, and so on. The author teaches you different ways to be happy based on many Chinese philosophies and personal experience. What I liked about this book, was how simple it was. The methods presented by the author can be done by anybody and doesn’t require anything else, yet, he still shows how effective his methods are through telling stories about successful friends of his who listened to his advice.
Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: 
Kyle Y

Book Review: Running for My Life

 Running for My Life
Author: 
Lomong, Lopez
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Lopez Lomong is a phenomenal runner. When he runs, he feels as though he is free and it is the one thing that gives him immense amounts of joy. However, Lopez didn't always start out in the spotlight. In fact, his story begins in a South Sudanese war camp. "Running For My Life" is the incredible story of one boys journey from awful refugee camps to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This nonfiction story is told through Lopez himself making it a thrilling autobiography. I personally love this book because my brother was an Eritrean refugee and when he came to America, he got a scholarship for running. I don't know what it is about that particular sport, but it definitely changes lives as shown through Lomong's book. Even if you are not a fan or sports or running, "Running For My Life" teaches valuable lessons and helps us to empathize with others. It shows that love can be found everywhere in the world. Trust me when I say that you will not be bored with this book. Lopez constantly has a good attitude in life even if his best meal of the week is eating out of a trash heap (which actually happens in his refugee camp). Lopez goes with his friends to watch the Olympics on T.V at a rich man's house back in South Sudan. He sees a man holding the flag of America, tears streaming down his happy face. From that moment, Lopez decides that he wants to be that man. He wants to win an Olympic race and make his country proud. I mean he already has the running skills considering that the boys in the refugee camp have to run 18 miles in order to go play soccer!
Lopez has a spiritual journey throughout his life and his faith never wavers. Three older boys helped Lopez escape a war camp when he was six. When they got to safety, the boys disappeared. Lopez is convinced that the boys who helped him were angels. This story like no other will move you and inspire you to follow your dreams. Lomong proves that no matter who you are or where your from, you can do anything through Christ who gives you strength.

Reviewer's Name: 
Megan T.

Book Review: When God Winks at You

When God Winks at You
Author: 
Rushnell, Squire
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

A few months ago, I received an e-mail from my mother that passed along a suggestion from my grandmother that I read this book. While not a long book by any means, my wife and I read a story each night after dinner and finished it in a few months. Basically, this collection of inspiring stories goes so far as to suggest that all the fortuitous coincidences we experience in our lives are evidence of a loving and all-powerful Creator. As a Christian, I did see most of these stories as supernaturally-influenced, even if my scientific mind was skeptical at times.

Separating the coincidental with the God-influenced can be difficult. While some stories seemed like mere coincidence, there were still quite a few contained in this volume that had no other explanation other than God showing off what He can do. Collected into a few different categories, many of these stories had us in tears as they were filled with touching moments that spoke to our ability as individuals to be God’s vessels to impart His timing in the lives of others, either to save their lives or to bring blessing into them.

In the end, the book does highlight how our lives can either be seen as a series of coincidences or as God-inspired plans. If we live our lives with the mindset that any lucky break or prescient reminder is just random chance, then we might miss out on some of the truly spectacular coincidences that have no other explanation than being orchestrated by a higher power. On the other hand, if we recognize even the smallest connections in our lives as God acting through the slightest details, we can be comforted in the fact that He cares about us, even down to the minutia.

A little book filled with inspirational stories, I give When God Winks 4.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin W.

Book Review: The Secret

The Secret
Author: 
Byrne, Rhonda
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

"The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne reveals the science behind the Law of Attraction and how to apply it to every day life. I'm not kidding when I say this book changed my life. After discovering how I have personal power to positively change my life using the Law of Attraction just by thinking positively, everything opened up. I learned that life doesn't simply happen to us; we can make our lives extraordinary. Incredibly well written and very powerful, this book is full of inspirational quotes and success stories used to motivate you towards achieving your goals. I highly recommend this book if you want to affect positive change in your life.
Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Gillian P.

Book Review: Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion, and Purpose

Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion, and Purpose
Author: 
Robertson, Sadie
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

"It's not that things aren't scary. They are, and they will continue to be. But each of us has to come to a deep, personal realization that God has already conquered fear - and by the power of His Spirit we can live completely free from fear."

Daughter of the star from Duck Dynasty, Sadie Robertson shares her personal testimony of overcoming fear and anxiety while she was a teen. Fear, anxiety, and depression are just a few struggles that teens deal with today, so through personal stories of her experiences on Dancing With the Stars, Winter Jam, and growing up as a celebrity, along with interactive questions, helpful Bible verses, and challenges, Sadie demonstrates for us how to be rid of our fear through the power of Jesus Christ. She also shows us how to embrace our individual purposes and pursue our passions, ignoring and putting away the fear that's trying to hold us back. As Sadie discusses in her book, sometimes our fear can become SO great, that it causes us to miss out on amazing opportunities and fulfilling our full potential. So if you're tired of having fear hold you back from things you are longing to do, I strongly recommend this book to you!!
Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: 
Ella S.

Book Review: Pensées

Pensées
Author: 
Pascal, Blaise
Rating: 
2 stars = Meh
Review: 

While I do enjoy and appreciate the ease of which I can listen to an audiobook and absorb the content of a variety of books, there are always a few books that don’t translate well into the format. Sure, I might have my qualms about the narrator’s pronunciation, volume control, or other technical issues. However, this is the first book where the rating I’m giving applies explicitly to the audiobook version, and not necessarily to the book’s contents. The difference here is that the audiobook version of Pascal’s Pensées doesn’t allow the reader enough time to adequately absorb the content.

If I were to classify this book, I’d probably say it’s closer to a listing of complaints/observations that would work better on a multi-year “item-a-day” calendar than in an audiobook format. The majority of Pensées is a series of proverbs by Blaise Pascal, a name that most scientists will recognize. The fact that he so thoroughly analyzed the theology of the Bible and came to the conclusions that he did perhaps speaks volumes about scientific atheists today who have not done nearly as much research on their spiritual beliefs. There are plenty of gems of wisdom in this book; it’s just that the audiobook format doesn’t easily allow the reader to dwell on them for more than a moment.

Perhaps when I have a little more time to fully appreciate Pascal’s Pensées, I’ll sit down and read it. Fortunately, since it’s in the public domain, this book is free to read on Project Gutenberg. Until then, though, I can’t recommend people read the audiobook version of this text.
If I manage to physically read this book in the future, I’ll likely give it an adequate rating, but as it is right now, I only have the audiobook version to go off of.

A book of proverbs you should read instead of listen to, I give Pensées 2.5 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin M. Weilert

Book Review: Notes From the Tilt-a-Whirl

Notes From the Tilt-a-Whirl
Author: 
Wilson, Nathan D.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book is an Ecclesiastes-type project. In some ways, you could say it comes to the same conclusions as Ecclesiastes. There is nothing better than to simply enjoy life, says the sage. Woven throughout this delightful commentary on the world in which we find ourselves living, runs the same thread of truth. This world is full of enough mystery and wonder to fill infinite life times; so wake up and discover it. Don't become numb to the inescapable miracles everywhere you look.

With wit and humor, you will find yourself agreeing that humanism and materialism are the most bazaar and ridiculous of all philosophies. They are too inane to even warrant serious discussion. How does Wilson deals with someone like Nietzche? "I want to ruffle his hair. I want to take the poor Lutheran boy's head in my hands and kiss his creased forehead." This is perhaps a good illustration of this book's intentions. Wilson ruffles the hair of all philosophies which turn deaf ears to the noise that all creation is loudly proclaiming: there is a creator.

One can almost imagine a serious-minded humanist bursting into laughter while reading this and realizing how deliberately closed-minded he has been all his life.

But Wilson not only opens our eyes to the wonders of God's design in creation, but tackles the mysteries of suffering, pain, and hell head on. He does not try to neatly sum it all up for us in trite sayings, but instead simply stares reality in the face. You will not find any sugar-coating in this book. An atheist once asked Wilson, "So do you really think I'm going to hell?" Wilson promptly answered, "Don't you want to? You won't have to be with God there. Whereas you would have to be with God all the time in heaven." In the end, Wilson concludes, everyone will get what he truly desires.

This is enjoyable reading, much like the book of Ecclesiastes, and at times, could be categorized with the stream-of-consciousness genre. But it was refreshing, humorous, and most of all starkly truthful. You will be enlightened and refreshed!

Reviewer's Name: 
Leslie Taylor

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