Category : Book Reviews

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Book Reviews, Life Groups, Personal Development, Read Everything
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Book Review: Five Love Languages

5-love-languagesOf all the tag lines for books, the one for this book is probably the best. It says “The Secret to Love That Lasts”. That’s really it. We all want to love and be loved. The big trick is HOW?!

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman will help you understand how to love others in a way that means the most to them.

This book is always my ‘go to book’ when I speak with struggling couples who want to grow in their marriage. Communication is one of the number one issues that all struggle with, especially in the area of showing and receiving love.

This book will take a lot of the guess work out of figuring out LOVE.

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Book Reviews, Leadership, Personal Development, Read Everything
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3 Books to Jump Start Your Leadership Growth

Leadership Growth is a lifelong pursuit. You never stop growing.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received about leadership was to learn that becoming a great leader is a lifelong pursuit. It takes a long time. That helped me a lot because I hoped maybe this whole ‘leadership thing’ could be conquered in a weekend.
Yeah, I had a lot to learn and still do.

If leadership growth is your goal, it’s very important to have a working foundation of what leadership is and where you are in your journey. Here are three books to help you set up the proper leadership foundation. These are not by far the only great leadership books. They are just some of my favorites and some of the books I frequently refer back to.

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Book Review: Killing Lincoln

9780805093070_custom-54bdca8cdcaddc95dbf0e264880bcfb10d87eaed-s6-c30Title: Killing Lincoln

Link to Book

My Review: 

Abraham Lincoln has always been one of my favorite presidents. I couldn’t help but be interested in a book that sheds even further light onto the last days of his life. This book was entertaining and though provoking. While it won’t be for everyone, it was something I was glad to have read. My main takeaway were:

-You leave a legacy when you die. Make sure you are remembered well.

I realize some will not read this book mainly because of who the author is. However, if you can get past your dislike for Bill O’Reilly you will enjoy the best kind of storytelling: True History.

From Amazon:

A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega-bestselling author Bill O’Reilly

The anchor of The O’Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America’s Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln’s generous terms for Robert E. Lee’s surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln’s dream of healing a divided nation, with the former Confederates allowed to reintegrate into American society. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices, perhaps reaching into the highest ranks of the U.S. government, are not appeased.

In the midst of the patriotic celebrations in Washington D.C., John Wilkes Booth—charismatic ladies’ man and impenitent racist—murders Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre. A furious manhunt ensues and Booth immediately becomes the country’s most wanted fugitive. Lafayette C. Baker, a smart but shifty New York detective and former Union spy, unravels the string of clues leading to Booth, while federal forces track his accomplices. The thrilling chase ends in a fiery shootout and a series of court-ordered executions—including that of the first woman ever executed by the U.S. government, Mary Surratt. Featuring some of history’s most remarkable figures, vivid detail, and page-turning action, Killing Lincoln is history that reads like a thriller.

 

My Rating: 5 of 5

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Book Review: Decision Points

decision-points-george-bush-gyanizTitle: Decision Points

Link to Book

My Review: 

While I think life is too short to become separated over which side of the political line you are on, I do think this is one political book worth reading. Mainly because it’s not really about politics. It’s about leadership. Love him or hate him, George W. Bush presided over one of the most difficult presidencies of our time. I would argue his presidency was one of the most difficult of all time second only to Abraham Lincoln. Who knows if we would have done any different if we were in the same situation.

The unfortunate thing about being president is you don’t get to decide what will come your way while you are in office. All you can do is the best you can with what you have.

It’s also important to realize you don’t just get to make decisions and move on. You have to convince people to go along with your ideas, enlist support from opposition, etc, etc.

Putting all that together, this book was fascinating. We were able to see the decision process of a man who encountered several crisis situations, and countless no-win scenarios.

While he admits himself that he got many things wrong, he still stands to me as one of the greatest presidents in modern history. I say that not because I liked everything he did or even because of his vocal faith. I think he was a great president because of how his leadership under pressure and how he endured possibly the most difficult presidency since Abraham Lincoln. (As stated earlier). That’s just my opinion. I would definitely say to hold your judgement of this man until after you’ve read this book.

FYI- If you download this as an audiobook you get to hear him read it as well.

From Amazon:

In this candid and gripping account, President George W. Bush describes the critical decisions that shaped his presidency and personal life.

George W. Bush served as president of the United States during eight of the most consequential years in American history. The decisions that reached his desk impacted people around the world and defined the times in which we live.

Decision Points brings readers inside the Texas governor’s mansion on the night of the 2000 election, aboard Air Force One during the harrowing hours after the attacks of September 11, 2001, into the Situation Room moments before the start of the war in Iraq, and behind the scenes at the White House for many other historic presidential decisions.

For the first time, we learn President Bush’s perspective and insights on:

  • His decision to quit drinking and the journey that led him to his Christian faith
  • The selection of the vice president, secretary of defense, secretary of state, Supreme Court justices, and other key officials
  • His relationships with his wife, daughters, and parents, including heartfelt letters between the president and his father on the eve of the Iraq War
  • His administration’s counterterrorism programs, including the CIA’s enhanced interrogations and the Terrorist Surveillance Program
  • Why the worst moment of the presidency was hearing accusations that race played a role in the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, and a critical assessment of what he would have done differently during the crisis
  • His deep concern that Iraq could turn into a defeat costlier than Vietnam, and how he decided to defy public opinion by ordering the troop surge
  • His legislative achievements, including tax cuts and reforming education and Medicare, as well as his setbacks, including Social Security and immigration reform
  • The relationships he forged with other world leaders, including an honest assessment of those he did and didn’t trust
  • Why the failure to bring Osama bin Laden to justice ranks as his biggest disappointment and why his success in denying the terrorists their fondest wish—attacking America again—is among his proudest achievements

A groundbreaking new brand of presidential memoir, Decision Points will captivate supporters, surprise critics, and change perspectives on eight remarkable years in American history—and on the man at the center of events.

Since leaving office, President George W. Bush has led the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The center includes an active policy institute working to advance initiatives in the fields of education reform, global health, economic growth, and human freedom, with a special emphasis on promoting social entrepreneurship and creating opportunities for women around the world. It will also house an official government archive and a state-of-the-art museum that will open in 2013.

 

My Rating: 5 of 5

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Book Review: UltraMarathon Man

ultramarathonmanUltraMarathon Man (by: Dean Karnazes)

Link to this book

So, it’s no secret that I’m attempting something that many people have thought me crazy for. I’m training to run a marathon. While admittedly a daunting challenge it now seems like a mere walk in the park compared to what is discussed in this book. Dean is simply amazing. This guy made running a marathon not only look possible but downright boring. He has ran in every kind of weather and not just for a marathon distance. He runs for 100 miles at a time! I try to not even dry that far in one day. While I’ll warn you he sometimes uses language which may be offensive to some, you’ll love his honesty and candor.  You might also be tempted to be turned off by the slight hint of hubris as well. I say give him his dues. The guy ran 100 miles in Death Valley. He’s cooler than me. Enjoy.

From Amazon:

Ultrarunning legend Dean Karnazes has run 262 miles-the equivalent of ten marathons-without rest. He has run over mountains, across Death Valley, and to the South Pole-and is probably the first person to eat an entire pizza while running. With an insight, candor, and humor rarely seen in sports memoirs (and written without the aid of a ghostwriter or cowriter), Ultramarathon Man has inspired tens of thousands of people, non-runners and runners alike, to push themselves beyond their comfort zones and be reminded of “what it feels like to be truly alive,” says Sam Fussell, author of Muscle.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

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