Archives For Book Reviews

Love Does

andyallen —  June 29, 2012 — Leave a comment

Love Does | Discover A Secretly Incredible Life In An Ordinary World
By Bob Goff

I remember first reading about this guy named Bob Goff in a Donald Miller book. Don made him sound like a pretty cool dude. Then I had a chance to hear my friend Al Andrews (who wrote a book called The Boy, The Kite & The Wind) talk about how this guy named Bob Goff had challenged him to do more than just dream about making a difference in the world…but to actually go do it.

Love Does is a collection of stories about Bob’s life. Each story is told in the animated and forward manner you’d hear if Bob were sitting in your living room recounting the experience. Each story also explores a refreshing look at the way Bob perceives God being real and accessible…not religious and reserved for the holy few.

The beauty within this book is the encouragement you’ll feel to do more than simply dream your dreams. I felt challenged to do more with my ordinary moments and to look for creative ways to embrace the joy and opportunity that life brings my way every day.

I found the first half of the book to be entertaining and motivating with the second half leading me on a journey to explore how my faith can impact the way I live life with renewed passion. With contagious optimism and a bold approach to loving people without condition…Bob has inspired and reminded me to dream big, embrace whimsy and do love.

Oh yeah…and all the proceeds from this book go to helping people in Uganda…so you should buy it!

Get your copy from Amazon HERE…then let me know what you think.
Leave a comment below…



*I was given this book to review by The opinions in this review are mine alone and are not the opinions of the publisher.

Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me
A memoir…of sorts
Ian Morgan Cron

This is, hands down, one of the best books I’ve ever read!

I had seen some buzz online about this book and it had piqued my interest. Then I had the privilege of hearing Ian speak at a conference I attended in January. That did it…I started reading that night.

The stories he tells of his life are captivating…the stuff of movies really. The way he turns those stories inside out to chronicle a journey of faith that I found entirely relatable is profound…at the very least. But the writing…holy crap…the writing is nothing short of incredible!

Rarely have I seen an author with such command of language. Never have I seen an author with such a command of language use it to speak in a way that is so accessible and vulnerable and real. It’s just simply amazing.

This book is absolutely one of my all-time favorites. I will for sure read it again once my wife returns our copy to me.


Get it on by clicking here.

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I Am Second

andyallen —  March 24, 2012 — Leave a comment

I Am Second | Real Stories. Changing Lives.
By Dave Sterrett and Doug Bender

I’ve been watching the I Am Second videos online for a couple years now. The storytelling through film is well done and the videos are usually very moving. I love that I Am Second is becoming a kind of movement where people use their life story to say that God is First…I Am Second.

I read the new book released by I Am Second. It is essentially a collection that recaps the stories told in the videos. Each chapter focuses on one persons story and typically goes into a little more depth than that persons video did.

For me it was kind of a let down. I’ve watched quite a few of the videos and felt like I already knew the story that I was reading. Unfortunately, I felt the writing was somewhat inconsistent from chapter to chapter so I was drawn into some stories more than others.

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From Santa To Sexting

andyallen —  February 2, 2012 — Leave a comment

From Santa To Sexting  |  Brenda Hunter and Kristen Blair 

I decided to give this book a read because I now have my 4th child going through middle school and I figure I can always do better as a parent. There were some very interesting topics covered. There were also a few opinions expressed by the authors that I didn’t personally agree with.

I enjoyed the informative portions of this book a great deal. Some of the opinions and the less-than-subtle moral agenda didn’t fly with my personal take on things, but I also have to say I can understand why the authors have come to some of their feelings on certain issues concerning middle schoolers.

I particularly found the chapter on Empathy very intriguing. Empathy was defined as the ability to feel someone else’s feelings, but separating them from your own. The authors explored how this has gained cultural awareness because of the current upsurge in bullying. Even with schools attempting to teach empathy, instruction is only a secondary component. Empathy is learned by parents loving and showing a child empathy. It’s not simply gained through cognitive-behavioral education. We can help redirect this in children by modeling empathy. When children of any age are shown empathy, they learn empathy and can then begin to demonstrate empathy to others in their social awareness.

I do part ways with the authors on their position regarding technology and social media. They pretty much purport that children should not have cell phones or access to social media until high school. While I believe in moderation of media consumption, including TV and video games, I don’t lean as far towards limitation as they do (this could be because I’m a bit of a techno-geek and and user of social media.) I do agree there are dangers and that as parents it’s imperitave we’re incredibly involved with our children’s use of technology and their online experience. I don’t necessarily agree that we need to keep our children away from these things for fear that they might encounter something bad.

There was some enlightening information presented on issues of drug abuse, alcohol, sexuality, sexting, cutting, depression and suicide. These issues appear to be far too prevalent in our youth culture and are definitely putting many kids at risk. There were a couple moments where I felt the authors were bordering on being alarmists, but I really appreciated the fact that they really worked hard to encourage parents to engage their kids and be aware of what’s happening in their lives.

Overall, if you’ve got a child in middle school, or soon to be in middle school, this would be a worthwhile read.

You can pick it up on

Publishers Info:
It’s a rough, tough world for middle schoolers today. Yet the decisions they face are pivotal, affecting the whole of life. FROM SANTA TO SEXTING discusses the myriad pressures middle schoolers face and empowers parents to guide and protect their children during these important years.

Not long ago most kids believed in Santa Claus. Now, barely on the cusp of adolescence, they are thrust into an adult world, stripped bare of the protections afforded previous generations. Under greater pressure than ever before from the culture, school, and parental expectations middle schoolers are growing up at warp speed. Their loss of innocence has been profound.

*I was given this book to review by ACU Press/Leafwood Publishers. The opinions in this review are mine alone and are not the opinions of the publisher.

Here are a few of my ‘non-review’ reads over the past few months:


The Boy The Kite and The Wind | Al Andrews
I blogged about this book earlier this year anticipating it’s release. It was cool to finally get my copy and have a chance to give it a read. The story is moving and the illustrations are excellent. I’m really hoping that this book finds a wide audience because the proceeds are going to help those most needy in our world. Find out more about the book and order a copy here.


Start Your Own Coaching Business | Monroe Mann
I found this book to be insightful and interesting.  Motivational Coaching and Speaking are difficult career paths to break into, but Mann gives some helpful direction to the entrepreneur willing to make that leap.  I enjoyed his distinctions between coaching and consulting.  There were also some easy-to-understand business accounting methods introduced that could be quite helpful to the first-time small-business owner.  Overall he does a good job of covering a lot of ground in a short amount of time.  Not a bad read if this is a subject you’re into. Check it out on


How To Start A Home-Based Consulting Business | Bert Holtje
This book is dually geared towards someone looking to break into the consulting industry and the person utilizing a home-based office for the first time. I appreciated the authors insights on consulting as a career choice. There are many factors to consider. Especially useful was the emphasis placed on writing a business plan. Many books talk about the need to write a solid business plan without giving direction as to how to write said plan, but that was covered in detail within this book. Check it out on


Start Your Own Consulting Business | Eileen Figure Sandlin
I love the practical way Entrepreneur Magazine presents information. Consulting and Coaching are burgeoning industries in the current economy and they have done a good job of exploring what it takes to start a consulting business. While a great deal of the information is pretty basic for anyone who’s been in business for themselves, I can definitely see how a lot of this could help someone just venturing out on their own. There were some great ‘nuggets’ that I was able to pull from this book.Check it out on