Category Archives: Non-Fiction Books I’m Liking

Non-Fiction Books I’m Liking (Fall 2017)

I just realized I have not posted my favorite non-fiction books for this fall yet!  So I will squeak them in the tail end here before December.  My dashboard has not been cooperating with me the last few weeks, so pictures and links are not as I would like but I’m trying to work with it.  So read on for some books about spiritual journeys that I’m sure will be inspiring!

Until We All Come Home, by Kim de Blecourt~  I am finishing up this book (about 90% of the way through it), but am blown away by the incredible journey this ordinary woman of faith endured while she and her husband were in an international battle to adopt their Ukrainian-born son.  I feel it is easy to connect with this woman because A) she does not live too far from my corner of the world; B) she works in voice over; C) it seemed that almost everything imagineable was determined to block her path.  If you find yourself easily frustrated by myriad details, this book might not be for you.  Still waiting to see how this ends, but it is wonderful seeing how God worked in the middle of her long waiting period, during which she battled depression and severe spiritual oppression in a dark part of the world.  I often find myself praising and thanking God for how He answered her prayers, even if her story wasn’t easy.  I hope to meet Mrs. de Blecourt one day.  I highly recommend this read! 

The Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning~  Do you find yourself running on fumes spiritually?  Need a cup of refreshing water in the middle of your desert?  I had heard a lot things about this author, Brennan Manning.  I’ve heard good; I’ve heard bad.  I know people I respect that that admire his work, and others view it with fear.  I determined to read at least one book by him and find out for myself what I thought.  I started with this particular book because it is his most famous.  To be honest, my opinion of it alone is an elevated one.  I found such encouragement in his word pictures, his simple eloquence.  It is imaginative, well-written, and a classic in it’s own right.  It seemed I’d read a passage in a chapter right when I needed it at that time.  The major theme it dwells on is the grace of God.  Manning reflects the easy yoke and light burden God offers to us “ragamuffins”.  I could quote my favorite parts, but would much rather you tried it for yourself.  Does this mean I would agree on everything with Brennan Manning?  No, I will not commit to that; I believe it is always wise to test instead of blindly accept anything we come across.  There were one or two things I’m not sure I would completely agree on even in this book.  And yet, I found the good far, far outweighed those areas.  My advice is to be prayerfully engaged while reading.   

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Posted by on November 29, 2017 in Non-Fiction Books I'm Liking


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Non-Fiction I’m Liking (Summer 2017)

If you’re still looking forward to taking your summer vacation and searching for inspiration in a non-fiction read, consider one of these as your beach companion!:

“At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life,” by Jennifer L. Scott~ Wanting a little more French elegance in your everyday life? The second of Jennifer L. Scott’s non-fiction trilogy (so far) was a memorable read for me a couple of years ago.  Of course I wanted to read this after having read her first book, Lessons from Madame Chic.  I so enjoyed reading about creative ways to establish a lively routine at home.  Conversational in style, Jennifer feels like a trusted friend and I also am a devoted follower of her blog and youtube videos.  I really can’t think of anything to nitpick about it and I’m hankering after Book #3 (Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic)!  This book is perfect for stay-at-home mamas, but not relegated only to that stereotype.  All of us can benefit from living more consciously and happily when we’re at home.

“The Creative Habit”: Learn It and Use it For Life,” by Twyla Tharp~ Speaking of creativity, anyone who claims or aspires to be any type of artist will heartily enjoy this book, written by a NYC dance choreographer. At first I was going to pass on by this, but after taking a closer look I realized it had contained within it lots of encouragement for achieving my dreams of becoming a VO artist.  I’m only on Chapter 5 and I’ve already taken pages of notes and there are even interesting exercises for discovering how you are hardwired creatively.  I was afraid that perhaps the content would be too over my head, but I found it to be easy reading and am having a hard time putting it down.  Having a block and don’t know how or if you should continue forward?  I think you will find the author quite reassuring with a lot of good advice.  This book is a must-read for you!


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Non-Fiction Books I’m Liking (Spring 2017)

Passed and Present, by Allison Gilbert~ Do you have a growing collection of objects that hold fond memories? Maybe they are things that remind you of your childhood, or memorabilia from a deceased loved one.  Over time, these items—as beloved as they are—begin to take up a lot of space.  It can be difficult to part with them and can feel like a loss all over again.  Because I am very sentimental, I am beginning to feel stressed by the amount of material things I am fond of.  That’s why this book caught my eye as I was passing the new release shelf at my local library.  It’s chock-full of creative ideas one use to put their heirlooms and other memorabilia to good use.  Some of it involves art projects, or different display techniques, while other ideas invite the participation of others (friends, family, even strangers).  What’s nice is that this book isn’t just about the practical use of cold objects, but that the point is aimed at keeping the memory of one’s parent/grandparent/friend, etc. alive.  I was able to get a couple of good ideas I would like to implement someday.  It’s worth checking out!

The Gentle Art of Domesticity, by Jane Brocket~ This was a book I picked up at a book sale and didn’t realize how interesting it was until I got it home and got to looking at the pictures. Just the title alone has won me over, but each chapter after another holds it’s own interest as well.  If you have an interest in noticing art in the everyday small moments, this book is for you.  I don’t pretend to be a June Cleaver, I don’t like crochet or sewing or making every blessed thing from scratch.  But I love the idea of glorying in texture and patterns, identifying one’s style and expressing that in everything.  The author’s own style isn’t particularly my own but I was inspired to create different pinterest boards for myself based on what I like.  Jane Brocket’s conversational rambling of thoughts also make for interesting reading.  And I’m sure the bright colors in the photographs will be enough to brighten anyone’s day!


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Non-Fiction Books I’m Liking (Winter 2016-17)

Life is full of secrets and adventures…  Read all about them this winter in these two fascinating books!

17623735101 Secrets for Your Twenties, by Paul Angone~ I first heard of this book when I heard the author interviewed on Moody Radio by Melinda Schmidt. I was about to turn 27 and was convinced I was having a quarter life crisis.  And so I came across this interview that I had saved on ‘Programs to Listen to Sometime Before They Expire’ list and decided it was a good time to hit the play button.  I liked Paul Agone (see his website here) and his message.  He could empathize on the struggles of Twenty-somethings, having just graduated to his Thirties and being a Millennial himself.  The topics they discussed resonated withme, and I knew I wanted to read his book.  Problem was, none of the libraries among all of my state’s vast interlibrary loan systems had it.  My solution was to order a copy for my church library.  I knew if I could benefit from it, so could others.  (:) But I got first dibs! Ha ha!)  I wish that I had had this book much earlier, but better late than never.  Angone has a humorous writing style and had me Laughing Out Loud (I refuse to abbreviate) throughout.  But more importantly, there are many spots I want to copy out into my quotebook before I turn this over to the church.  It makes life much more bearable when you know that others are going through similar hurdles as they live out their adulthood.  It gives one hope that these same hurdles have purpose.  The author is a Christian and writes from that worldview, but is not preachy.  I suggest this for anyone anywhere in their twenties, and would make a good gift for highschool/college grads.

1441778The Lost Shipwreck of Paul, by Robert Cornuke~ It’s hard to remember when or where I learned of bible explorer Robert Cornuke. Somehow I just ran into his adventures while surfing the internet many years ago and became intrigued by him.  As a former police investigator (and now president of the BASE Institute), Cornuke has made it his mission to explore mysteries from the Bible, such as… The Lost Ark of the Covenant, the location of the real Mt. Sinai, and Noah’s Ark.  Even though many, many people have tried their best to hunt for the same things and made great claims, Cornuke is no sensationalist.  He treats the people he meets and interviews with respect, often gaining their trust and having access to places many other outsiders are not able to obtain.  He also has some unique theories that appear to come closer to the truth than many others.  I’ve been wanting to read one of his books for a long time, and have finally got my hands on one of the least talked about.  I’m still in the middle of reading it, but it is fascinating.  I love how he tells of his adventure from a storyteller’s point of view,– building suspense and making it a fun read.  I don’t think anyone will be disappointed.  If you want to watch some of his videos, Youtube has several of them, including the Temple of YHWH.  I highly recommend them!  You can visit his website here.

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Posted by on January 8, 2017 in Non-Fiction Books I'm Liking


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Non-Fiction Books I’m Liking (Fall 2016)

Let’s get down to the heart of the matter with these two educational non-fiction reads this fall!:

16278109Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice, by Christine Valters Paintner~ Years ago I loved taking photographs of both nature and family events. I lost interest somewhere along the line, but I this past year I have picked the hobby back up again.  I started off the year by reading this interesting book that uses the art of photography as a tool in the spiritual life.  I’ve enjoyed taking walks in tune with the Holy Spirit and with my camera in hand to ‘receive’ images God was showing me.  I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I took lots of notes and am slowly taking each chapter at a time.  The book doesn’t cover a lot of ground as far as the technical aspect of picture-taking is concerned, but it is surprisingly deep spiritually and intellectually.  To be honest, sometimes it was a struggle to try to understand what the author was saying, but that just caused me to reread until I ‘got’ it.  It’s made me look a little differently at life, and for that I highly recommend it.

23398059Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes, by Nancy Pearcey~ Everyone has a philosophy- the way in which they see the world. The question is, what is yours?  Can you put your finger on it or explain it?  I first heard of Nancy Pearcey, a professor of worldview studies, on the radio where I heard her interviewed for her book, “Saving Leonardo.” I have yet to read it; I also found “Total Truth” at a thrift store for a dollar and plan on reading that.  But for some reason I decided to start with this book by Pearcey.  This was also a stretch for my brain, but good exercise and I learned so much from it!  Immediately after finishing it, I was better able to understand an intellectual sermon I was listening to, as well as identify different worldviews behind some of my favorite tv shows and movies.  This is a must-read for any serious Christian, or for anyone who is curious how Christians see the world compared to other philosophies.  However, I would recommend that one start with her foundational book, “Total Truth” as it states the basis of what she teaches and it is referred to several times in “FT.”


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Non-Fiction Books I’m Liking (Summer 2016)

Thought I’d get my Summer non-fiction faves posted before summer turns to fall!  Ha!  During what’s left of this season, learn the truth about discounts and controversial figures…

Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family, by Steve & Annette Economides ~ I’ve been on a coupon, money-saving roll ever since last summer when I read “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Couponing” by Rachel Singer Gordon (see book review here). Although I wouldn’t consider myself an extreme couponer, I have felt the thrill of being able to stretch the budget a little further.  As many of you know, I’m an avid listener of Moody Radio and I have heard the Economides interviewed on In the Market with Janet Parshall. So I was curious to take my saving skills a little deeper and check out their book from the library to see what I could learn from yet another book.  I found their style user-friendly and appreciated the fact that they were writing from a Christian worldview.  The Economides aren’t hoarders, but they are savvy and make it their life calling to teach others how to save money.  I probably won’t be following all of their advice in their book (for example, grocery shopping one day a month or grinding my own meat), but I’ve been implementing a few tips here and there.  For example, we’ve reorganized our whole deep chest freezer to be able to utilize it more efficiently.  We’ve also gone the extra step to print out price tracking sheets for each item we regularly buy and chart the price differences from the local stores we frequent.  I wouldn’t have believed it would make that much difference, but it does and the work pays off!  I learned organization is the key.  I’m already benefitting greatly from the Economides’ book.  Hooray!!

The Story of Alice, by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst ~ How much do you know about Charles Dodgson (aka, Lewis Carroll), the author of Alice in Wonderland?  If you’re like me, you knew little snatches here and there.  Something about a boat ride and a real little girl named Alice.  And oh yeah, wasn’t he in love with her?  Forget all you thought you knew about Mr. Dodgson and introduce yourself anew with this well researched biography.  Although I didn’t read it cover to cover, I did find it fascinating as I spent several days skim reading my way through.  I really appreciated that the author didn’t clamp onto scandalous rumors in order to churn out something sensational.  He thoughtfully presented all the possibilities and the end result was a well-balanced account that one can make up one’s own mind about.  It’s my opinion that Charles Dodgson was an old-fashioned Victorian who was terribly misunderstood in his own day, and especially in our’s.  I also enjoyed looking at his hobby photographs displayed in the book.  I think this would be of interest to anyone who is an Alice fan, or who enjoys history.

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Posted by on August 24, 2016 in Non-Fiction Books I'm Liking


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Non-Fiction Books I’m Liking (Spring 2016)

I’m talking all things job/career related this spring with these non-fiction reviews!:

17169570Voice Acting for Dummies, by David and Stephanie Ciccarelli~ I’m currently in the middle of this book, but I want to mention it because it really is a treasurehouse of information for anyone who is interested in doing anything voice over-related as a hobby or career.  If you are a complete newbie to this special industry, you will have pretty much most of your questions answered with the user-friendly chapters.  If you’ve been in the audio world for a while, you may be able to learn some new pointers as far as marketing and technique go.  We can always learn new ways to improve!  As an aspiring voice over artist, I was so pleased with this reference material, that I returned it back to the library without taking any notes from it—I want to buy my own copy!

8804842How to Write Powerful College Student Resumes and Cover Letters: Secrets That Get Job Interviews Like Magic, by Quentin J. Schultze~ I’m guessing that one point or another, whether in the past, or currently, or sometime in the future, almost every person will be looking for a job.  There is lots of information out there about how to go about crafting a dynamic resume, but not all of it is helpful.  Most is repetitive and is what everyone else is following by rote.  How can you stand out from the crowd?  I heard this Christian author interviewed on the radio a few years back and was impressed with what he had to say about resumes.  The advice he gave callers made a lot of sense and people came away from it feeling excited (at least, I know I did… and I wasn’t even looking for a job!).  Now I am borrowing a copy of this book and taking notes for myself.  I am finding that he has tons of advice that anyone can utilize, not just college students.  While I haven’t yet concocted my ‘powerful resume’, I feel confident that by applying the suggestions in this book will make for a pretty convincing one. *Note–  Schultze has also written a more recent book entitled, Resume 101.


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