Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Review

I've been reading a lot lately. I love to read, but I am so good at filling my time with other things that reading can get lost. That is not a good thing. I read once that leaders are readers. If memory serves correctly, Bill Hybels reads a book a day. That may be someone else, as my memory tends to get a bit foggy after 72 hours and sometimes sooner. Honestly, sometimes I struggle to remember if I actually did something or I saw it in a movie or I dreamed it. It is so real in my mind that I am convinced that I did it.

Jeanne-Ann often jokes that I told "that other person" about something. I tell her, "We talked about this. I know it for certain! We were sitting on the couch and..." She has a really good memory and sometimes I am in the car and thinking about telling her something and I forget to tell her. Because I have such a vivid imagination I think perhaps sometimes I mix my thinking about telling her and actually telling her. Don't tell her I said that. She usually doesn't read my blog and I don't want to admit that she is likely right. Bottom line: I am sure I told her, she knows I didn't tell her, so I must've told "that other person."

Sorry, I got off track. Now, to the books I have read recently. The three I want to share with you are as different from each other as you can get. One is about blogging, one is about domestic human trafficking and the other is about real life adventures from the perspective of a navy seal.

31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo (blogger must)

If you are a blogger then this book is a must. Bryan Allain takes you on a one month journey on how to become a better blogger. You can read the book much faster than that actually, but if you want to take it slow and just do one exercise a day then you can do it in 31 days.

Each day has a different challenge to help you with your blogging "mojo." He forces you to really look at your blog and why you blog. He doesn't discourage you, he just pushes you. Allain has been blogging for over 10 years and knows his stuff.

It's as if you have a professional blogger be your personal blogging coach. He asks great questions and what you do with it is really up to you. Even if you are not a blogger but you are interested in blogging this is worth your time.

As a bonus, the guy is hilarious! Between each day he has random observations on life and you will smile widely at least, even if you don't laugh out loud. Man, those last three words took a lot of effort to type. If only there were some way to shorten it. Hmmmm...

Double bonus? This book is ONLY $4.99!!! GET IT!

Renting Lacy (hardest book I have read)

This is easily the most difficult book I have ever read. Not because it has really big words that I need Google for, but because the subject matter is so heavy. Linda Smith is a former State Representative of Washington State. After a lot of research overseas and then in the States she has become a HUGE advocate for America's prostituted children. I was in Thailand with my wife a few years ago and saw the reality of prostituted children and I was angry. Yet, I felt like there was nothing I could do. This was something that happens in foreign countries, far, far away from where I live. 

As it turns out, it is happening right here! Right where we live. Renting Lacy is a book that balances the story of young girls and how they are drawn in and lied to and treated with tons of data that is well researched. This is not a book you read and then get angry for a while and soon forget about. It sticks with you. You are changed. You look around at the world differently. When I walk through the food court of a mall I am compelled to look for girls who are being preyed upon. I am changed. So much so that I have become the Regional Advocate for the Justice and Mercy Foundation for Oregon. To give you a little insight to this foundation, this is what it says on their main page.

Helping the world discover a better way to live.
  1. Mobilizing and equipping the Church to pursue biblical justice and mercy.
  2. Networking organizations and coalitions to pursue biblical justice and mercy.
  3. Fostering the creative and innovative pursuit of biblical justice and mercy.
I wish this book didn't have to be written. It did. There is a warning on the cover of the book that this is for mature audiences. It is VERY true. Thankfully Smith does not get too graphic, but the heart of what is happening is not lost. I found myself going through an emotional roller coaster. Anger to sadness with tears flowing to fear to joy at the justice moments. I have 4 children. I know I can't live in fear and worry so much that I am way too over protective, but I also know that I can't be dumb either. This has opened my eyes and I am aware. I need to be proactive.

Read it. Do something. Be part of changing laws that give deeper punishments for men who pay to have sex with little girls. It sickens me how easy it is for a "John" to get away with this. There is one point where a guy gets busted with a girl and the police tell the guy to get lost because he cried and said his wife would leave him if she found out. Then they arrested the girl! Granted the one police officer knew that she would be better off having some time away from her pimp and getting fed better in prison.

Thank you Linda Smith and the many advocates out there making a difference!

Seal Team Six (fun ride)

Seal Team Six. What's that? They are the elite of the elite in the Navy Seals. These are the guys who took out Osama Bin Laden. What an amazing insight into the world of what it means to be the most specialized group of Navy Seals there is. This book reads more like a novel than a non-fiction book. Howard Wasdin takes you on a crazy ride through his process of joining the military all the way to his Seal Team Six days. I had no idea. Every time I hear about them on the news I feel like "I know those guys."

Wasdin messes with your head as he shares about the rough upbringing he had and then you see how that has a pretty major role in why he is a great seal. I was mad when I would read about his step-dad and then I was mad that was the reason why he could handle so much of the difficulty that comes along with all the training.

As I read this book I kept going, “Oh yeah. I remember seeing that on TV or reading that online!” It was like having your own personal insider into history. Do you remember the Battle of Mogadishu? It’s what the movie Black Hawk Down was based on. Wasdin was a key player in that whole event!

I remember a time when I thought, “It would be cool to be a Navy Seal!” I no longer think that.Actually, I still think that, but I have no desire to go through what you have to in order to become one.

This is a PG-13 book. At times it may even dip into R rating, so be forewarned. This is not a book for young readers. That being said, it would make for a great movie, one that I would hope they kept at a PG-13 rating.


LorieN said...

Erik, thanks so much for these reviews! It sure makes me want to read them (all except the blogging book, since I don't blog). It's great to read about people who make a positive difference in this world!!

scooping it up said...

Thanks for these recommendations! I will put The Lacey and Seal Team Six books on my list right now. Hope your now-bigger family is doing well. :)

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