Review: Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People by Elizabeth B. Brown

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Book Information:

Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People by Elizabeth B. Brown
Revell
Published in 1999. Republished in 2010.
ISBN 9780800732882
244 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

5 out of 5

Elizabeth B. Brown attempts to help you deal with people who you might consider “Screwed-Up” in your relationships. She uses sayings, personal experiences and stories, and insights from her own life and others to show you how to deal with people who have made your life a living hell.

All right, I’ll tell you what I thought about the book. This book, like almost all non-fiction “how to fix your life books”, starts out with convincing you why you should read their book in order to help you live better lives. And it also starts answering the question of how you can live someone you considered “screwed-up” without severing a relationship by mentioning common things she sees in her grief conferences – and even mentions something about her daughter. Out of the three non-fiction help books I got, this one is the one that got me more pumped up/anxious about what kind of advice the author is going to give you just by reading the introduction part. Another thing I like about the introduction is that when she mentions her daughter’s disease, she calls it a “challenge”; instead of calling it a burden or a handicap – like what most people call others who have diseases, including mentally/physically challenged people. So, right off the bat, I agree with most of her views and how I should view things in life. ^^ The only thing I wasn’t too sure of is when she said to consider the “screwed-up” person as a challenge, not a burden. ^^;

Throughout the book, the author has nice little sayings and comparisons – most of them made me giggle and think how most of them match real life almost perfectly. However, some of the things mentioned in the books are things you kind of know already, but you don’t really acknowledge since your emotions run wild whenever you deal with someone you care about and can’t think straight or acknowledge common sense. It kind of reminded me of someone, a friend on the Internet, who said to me, “I don’t know why they call it common sense, especially when it isn’t really that common.” That is kind of true when you think about it. :D Even some of the things mentioned in the book made me think about my personality and how it interacts with everyone else’s. The author even points out how the person who you think is screwed-up might think you are the one who’s screwed-up because you are different from them – like the reason, most likely, you think that person is screwed-up. So, it might even help the screwed-up person, if you give the book to them – maybe, slight chance of it.

Basically, I think this book has good advice, especially if you want to keep up the relationship with the person. That is, if you listen and remember the advice in the book. ^^; It also helps and encourages you to live your own life – by your own morals. ;) The only thing I didn’t like about the book is how the author kept on putting the screwed-up person as a woman/girl, even though it might be accurate that most of them are women. *COUGHS*

Oh, the medical category is added because it mentions how ailing relationships can make you ill, which was really interesting in my opinion. :) Another thing, there isn’t that much God or prayer thing mentioned, but it does have a chapter about faith – which mentions God and how too much or too little faith might actually be bad for you. I also liked this part. A very good read, I just have to remember some of these things. :D

Out of the three books I got, I found this one and When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up to be the most helpful and insightful. If this is how all the help books this publisher publishes are, I think I will order all the help books I need from them. :X

I recommended this book for anyone and everyone since it give you good things to think about.

Where I Got It:

Bought from Amazon, but I gave it away as a gift after reading it.

Challenges Apart Of:

None.

Re-Reading:

Not planning to re-read.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Elizabeth B. Brown
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing
$New_Bullet My Inner Muse

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: When to SPEAK Up and When to SHUT Up by Dr. Michael D. Sedler

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Book Information:

When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up by Dr. Michael D. Sedler
Revell
Published in 2003
ISBN 9780800787424
156 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

5 out of 5

When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up will help you know when it is better to speak or remain silent by teaching through biblical stories, personal stories, and historical examples.

At first, I didn’t know it was Christian book until I started reading the book, but I’ll tell you this, I found this book much tolerable than the 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue, which was a bit more religious than I could stomach. Anyways, I found this book much more helpful and tolerable than the other book on how to tame your tongue. This book is like a chapter in 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue, but a much better version with actual help for non-religious people or non-Christians in it. :)

Unlike 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue, instead of just giving a biblical passage, this book gives the passage from whatever (personal, biblical, or historical) then explains (or psychoanalyzes) what he thinks it means, how to use it in your life, and questions to ask yourself. This book also has more personal and historical examples than the other book, so it isn’t just biblical stories the author gives examples on.

Another thing I like about it is if you aren’t as fanatic-religious as the other author is, you can read this book and not be drawn into the zombie like persuasion of “COME BE A CHRISTIAN, IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE”. This book may have a little of that, but it isn’t as noticeable as the other book – or as annoying. The tone of this book is much more gentle and makes anyone feel welcome – I think even people of different religions can read this and use it in their lives, just tune out the parts about Christian religion.

Go ahead and read it. If you aren’t religious, you can ignore the pray parts and substitute it with “think about it”, “ask for advice”, or something along those lines. It has the perfect balance between for anyone who’s not that religious and for people who might be too religious. :D

Out of the three books I got, I found this one and Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People to be the most helpful and insightful. If those two books are examples of how all the help books from that publisher publishes, then I think I will order all the help books I need from them. :X

Oh, one last thing, this author has another book like this, but it is mostly about gossiping and things like that. I don’t know if I will read it or not, so, we’ll see. ;)

Where I Got It:

Bought from Amazon, but I gave it away as a gift after reading it.

Challenges Apart Of:

None.

Re-Reading:

Not planning to re-read.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Dr. Michael D. Sedler
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue by Deborah Smith Pegues

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Book Information:

30 Days to Taming Your Tongue by Deborah Smith Pegues
Harvest House Publishers
Published in 2005
ISBN 9780736915601
141 Pages

Series Information:

30 Days to “____”
Not really a series, but author has a lot of books with the 30 Days to “___”.

Review/Rating:

1 out of 5

With Deborah Smith Pegues using biblical scriptures as your guides, this book will (or should I say, won’t) help you with what you say and how you should say it, in order to improve both your personal and business relationships.

Let’s see… what to say about this book? All right, let’s start with the reason why I bought a religiously infused (or what I say, “BOOKS WHICH TRY TO MAKE YOU INTO EVEN MORE OF A RELIGION-FANATIC,” how to book. I honestly didn’t read the summary – shame on me, but oh well. I ordered this with two other books, When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up and Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People, which are much better books in my opinion.

The only parts I liked are: some of the metaphors and similes, sayings, (very few) scriptures, able to finish it in one day (and not because I liked the book), and the poem at the end. I think When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up and Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People will help you more than this book. Only if you are a religious fanatic do I think this book will be of any help to you. >.>”

Worst parts: Too much religion to be any good for non-religious fanatics. Too much quoting and not enough explaining of how that particular part of biblical story matches what we should learn and how to put it into use. Also, the book just quotes the scripture without analyzing it or how to ask yourself questions on how to conduct yourself in certain situations. Oh, it had some good points, but nothing really to show how to get to those good points. You can definitely tell it is a religious propaganda – not that there is nothing wrong with that, but it’s a waste of money for something you could get or hear from church for free.  Also, during the beginning part, it says something about how only God can help you tame your tongue – not your own hard earned efforts. Okay, this is me after reading that, “You mean nothing I do will matter, unless I become a mindless zombie of ‘If you don’t follow this, you’ll go to hell.’ Do people really only need divine assistance in order to say and do the right thing?

While this book would be good if you are a heavy religious person, these “lessons” will not work with those who believe mostly in self-efforts and not solely on beliefs (God, divine figure, morals, consciousness) in order to help them succeed. I rated it a one because I found it unhelpful, too religious, not enough real life examples or explanations over the biblical story quotes, and some of the information is kind of altered. If you research some of the fact parts, you’ll know what I mean.

And no, I will not listen to comments along of the lines of “I shall pray for you. You are going to hell.” Why? Because I have my own opinion and my own mind, I don’t need you telling me how to think. Also, if this offends you because you are one of the ones where God is the total aspect of your life, then don’t let it, because as I said before, you have your opinion, and I have mine. I’m sorry, but I can’t help how I am. Let’s just agree to disagree, and don’t shove your views done my throat. Be smart, not confrontational. ^^

Oh, there is also a workbook for this book, but I don’t know how it is since I didn’t buy it along with this book. But if you are like me, I would suggest just going to your church and ask your leaders there to give you some counseling on how to improve your speaking skills and how to “tame” your tongue – and then donate whatever you would have used to buy this book to the church.

Another note, this book isn’t really apart of a series. The author just has a lot of “30 Days to ____” books, and no, I won’t be reviewing or reading those since they aren’t a series like in fiction.

Out of the three books I got, I found When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up and Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People to be the most helpful and insightful. If those books are examples of how all the help books from that publisher publishes, then I think I will order all the help books I need from them. :X Go read those books instead of this one — it really is just a waste of money when you can learn it from your church for free.

Where I Got It:

Bought from Amazon, but I gave it away as a gift after reading it.

Challenges Apart Of:

None.

Re-Reading:

Not planning to re-read.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Deborah Smith Pegues
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: The Garden of Eden by Eve Adams

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Book Information:

The Garden of Eden by Eve Adams
Pseudonym for Stephen Coonts
St. Martin’s Press
Published in 2005
ISBN 0312323638
338 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

2 out of 5

When Sam Neely graduates from State Police academy, he is assigned to the small village of Eden with the population of 47. He has been thinking that it is just a dull little town with nothing going on, but things suddenly get interesting when Ed Harris finds his wife in bed with his best friend, Hayden Elkins. Afterwards, Ed gives Hayden his wife and tells him that he now has two wives, but it then more things spin out of control. Can the community come together and bring peace back to their little town?

What can I say about this book? Hmmm… it was… ummm… odd – in the good way, I guess. Though, I really don’t know what genre to put on this book. It’s mostly about life in the village of Eden, which has a population of 47, and how the community can come together through mostly gossip and trouble. So, I guess, it’s mostly a slice of life genre. >.>”

The writing was almost like a diary telling the life of people in the village of Eden – missing on some details, skipping some parts that would make it more interesting, and a lot of gossip things. ^^; It is told through the point of view of several characters – Sam Neely, Ed Harris, Anne Harris, Hayden Elkins, Junior Grimes, Diamond Ice, and many more. :| For me, the book would have been better if it was told through the point of view of only a couple of them instead of so many of the residents. Though, through telling the story through several characters, they were almost like real life people and very believable, and at times, sort of funny. So it has a good point and a bad point – you got to know the personalities and descriptions through different eyes, but there were so many that it skipped some things that could have made the book better. :(

Also, I like the descriptions and details that the author used, and it seemed like there was enough, but it could have been more enjoyable. It felt like the author skipped some major scenes that would have made the ending have more sense. It feels like he was trying to write it as a way to understand women since they were pretty much the focus of the books – but didn’t succeed. :| Even though some people won’t believe that a spouse wouldn’t take their other half back after they cheat, I believe it because it happened with my parents. :D Though, I don’t think they pretend it never happened – like the characters do in the book. Though, since I’m their kid (no matter how old I am), they won’t discuss things like that with me ;)

So I like how he put the forgiveness in there, despite on how unbelievable it is. The author makes the characters seem human and not hold a grudge, but we all know that isn’t likely in real life. Everyone holds a grudge against something – whether it’s another human, country, animal, etc – sad, but mostly true. So, the no holding grudges and forgiving everything are not like real life, but kind of like utopia. Amazing thought, but with humans being unpredictable, it won’t happen anytime soon. :)

Things I didn’t like were the fast paced events, which didn’t really satisfy me, the off topic things, and kept on adding new problems instead of focusing on just one and build on that (and then add more problems), the amount of God in there – it’s mentioned, then it goes poof, then it appears again (like the author couldn’t decide whether or not if he should add God as one of the solutions to the problems), and how the author made the women’s personalities – gossips, cheaters, nagging, etc.

I will only rate it a two star because it was an enjoyable read, but no higher because of the problems above, which irritate me the most. :| It is pretty much a good summer read since it won’t take that much time to finish it.

Oh, just a warning, there are some sex (smut) scenes, but they aren’t describe in that much details. ;)

Where I Got It:

Checked out from the library.

Challenges Apart Of:

None.

Re-Reading:

Not planning to re-read.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Stephen Coonts
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers

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Book Information:

The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Published in 1996
ISBN 0842335706
324 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

5 out of 5

Even though Cadi knows that it is forbidden to look at the sin-eater, at her Grandmother’s funeral, she catches a glimpse of the sin-eater. However, either by the curiosity of little girls or a more powerful force, she decides to find the sin-eater to help her get rid of her sin. Will she be able to find what she seeks? And, will the sin-eater be able to help her? Or, will everyone be saved from this encounter?

Been over two months since I have posted this, but I’ll try to make a review that is longer than a sentence. >.<

After reading Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, I decided to read another one of her books to see if I would like it. Well, I kind of like it and I kind of don’t. There is more religion down your throat than Redeeming Love, but not so much that you want to stop reading it.

At first, this book kind of starts slow, but after Cadi and some people go find the sin-eater it gets a little bit more exciting. The book has a lot of details almost like her other book that I have read, and the character development is also very good. Also, in the books I have read so far from her has some sense of historical detail in them, which was very interesting to read because I’ve never heard of sin eaters until I read the book.

Go read the book. It’s not as interesting as Redeeming Love, but it is still well written. :)

Where I Got It:

Checked out from the library.

Challenges Apart Of:

None.

Re-Reading:

Not planning to re-read, but leaning towards maybe.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Francine Rivers
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing
$New_Bullet Working Girl Reviews
$New_Bullet Reading to Know

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

%RedeemingLove

Book Information:

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Multnomah Publishers
Published in 1997
ISBN 1576738167
479 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

5 out of 5

As a prostitute, the only way Angel can stay sane and survive is by keeping what she hates the most always in her mind, never forgetting it for a second. What she hates the most are men who only use her, and she always thought men are all the same, that is, until Michael Hosea. One day, when Michael saw her walking, God told him to marry Angel, and so he goes to convince her. It takes several visits to convince her and break what she thinks of men, but when Michael is about to give up, an accident causes them to live together. After they arrive at his house, he is faced with a new challenge: Convincing Angel that he really actually does love her. Though, whenever someone thaws her frozen heart, she runs away out of fear. What will it take for Angel to stay and love Michael? Well, that depends on if she can face the one thing she always tries to run away from.

I don’t normally read Christian fiction, but the summary of the book is what drew me to it — not the fact it was about religion or had religion aspects in the book. I don’t really like Christian fiction due to the fact that normally it is too much religion and not enough plot put into the book — this book doesn’t do that. :)

This book is really inspirational and heart-warming; I was pretty much trying not to cry throughout half of the book. ;) Even though it is a retelling of a biblical story, this book was so good that I couldn’t put it down — I read it in less than 2 days. I love the descriptions she uses (and the author uses a lot of them). :) This book left me thinking of several things that other Christian fiction books don’t let me think about — other Christian books shove religion down your throat, which is another thing I like about this book. :( The plot of this book is really good and will be emotional and get you thinking about things about life and some other serious issues. Though, personally, I was reading it for the romance part of the book. :P And the ending of the book is pretty good — not really rushed and there’s an epilogue chapter to find out what happens to them in the end. :)

I’m not going to post anymore than that because, well, you should really read it. :) Just one more thing, since there are sensitive and serious issues in the book, I wouldn’t read this book if you are immature.

Where I Got It:

Checked out from the library.

Challenges Apart Of:

None.

Re-Reading:

Not planning to re-read, but leaning towards maybe.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Francine Rivers
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing
$New_Bullet Average Girl Reads
$New_Bullet Tina’s Book Reviews

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble