Sunday, August 18, 2013

Book Reviews - Non-Fiction

I'm behind on my book reviews for the past couple of months, so I'm doing a catch-up post today with quick reviews of seven non-fiction books I've completed lately. As usual, it's quite an eclectic mix!

I read two books as part of the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours that I must complete each year to maintain my teaching certification. Hello! My Name is Public School, and I Have an Image Problem was written by two teachers who see the good that is happening in public schools and encourage other teachers to share the good things happening in their schools in order to combat the negative image of public education that is often portrayed in the media. I enjoyed the book and the authors suggestions as well as the online book discussion that went along with it for CPE credit. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard was about making changes in any area of life - business, career, classroom, personal, etc. After reading this book, I attended an all-day conference where one of the authors spoke about change and then a hands-on workshop allowed participates to work through the steps to plan for a change in the area of our choice. I enjoyed the book and the workshop.

Elisha Snow recommending reading Understanding Exposure in the pre-class materials for the Mastering Manual Mode workshop at BPC. Unfortunately, I have not yet had time to delve into the workshop materials. However, I found the book very informative and at least now have some idea what is meant by shutter speed, aperture, and ISO and how they work together to create great photographs. I'm planning to work through the workshop materials at my own pace this fall and will share my progress along the way.

Some of you may remember that in my review of Charles Swindoll's book on Elijah I mentioned that I wanted to read more about Tom Landry because that book was dedicated to him and he was held up as an example of a man of strength and humility. Tom Landry: An Autobiography was written a year after Jerry Jones (then the new owner of the Dallas Cowboys) fired Landry as head coach of the Cowboys. In this book, Tom Landry shares about his life beginning in the small town of Mission, Texas, through his service in World War II, as a football player for the University of Texas, then as a player and coach for the New York Giants, and ending with his 29 years as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. I enjoyed learning more about this man who appeared completely in control and showed very little emotion on the sidelines. Excellent read!

And finally three Christian books that have been in my to-read pile for a while. How to Study Your Bible by Kay Arthur explains Kay's method of studying the Bible inductively (using scripture to interpret scripture). I've read this book before and am trained to lead Precept Bible studies using this method, so this was just a refresher for me. 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life is the story of Don Piper's life, including his experience during the time he was in a car accident and was proclaimed dead by EMT personnel. He shares his experience of being outside the pearly gates of heaven before returning to life here on earth. Most of the book deals with his life and slow and painful recovery after the accident. It is a fascinating read! And finally, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst shared her (often hilarious) examples of coming unglued (and acting unreasonably or irrationally) and ways she's found to prevent those unglued moments.

Have you read any of these books or enjoyed any other good books this summer?

(BTW - I'll share reviews of the fiction books I've completed in a future post.)


  1. I haven't read any of those! So it is good to have your thoughtful reviews, as ever. The last one looks like someone I might enjoy :).

  2. Sorry, that should say ' something' not 'someone'!

  3. I haven't read any of those either. Of course the one that catches my eye is "Understanding Exposure" - despite numerous online classes, I still don't really "get" it and therefore don't use aperture priority, shutter priority, or manual modes on my camera. Someday (not soon) I will commit to actually learning those things! Too much else on my plate right now!

  4. I read 90 minutes in heaven a while back... liked it a lot

  5. Havent read of these ones - yet!

  6. What a great list! I finally finished a book this summer: The Son, which is all about Texas, and I really liked it. I blogged a little about it today.

  7. Thank you for the reviews. The Switch is on my to read list for personal development and the Understanding Exposure book has been on my shelf since I-don't-want-to think-when.... Like Cheri I do mean to get to grips with such things!

  8. You always amaze me at the number of books you get read!! I average just 2 or 3 a month. We read Proof of Heaven this summer. It was really good---and definitely provided "proof" for a few skeptics in our family!! They deemed it life changing!


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