Olivia Folmar Ard

Book Reviews

Here, I will share with you my 3.5, 4- and 5-star reads. Let's fangirl together! 

Note: Unfortunately, I am no longer able to accept review requests. Between writing, working full-time, attending courses for my second bachelor's degree,  and freelance projects, I just don't have the time. Once I finish reading and reviewing the ARCs I've already received, I will be reviewing personal library items only.

Posts tagged nonfiction
Is the Bible Good for Women? by Wendy Alsup

Is it possible to embrace the inherent dignity of womanhood while still cherishing the Bible? 

Many people, both inside and outside the church, are concerned than an orthodox understanding of the Bible is threatening and even harmful to women. After all, the Bible has a number of passages regarding women that are deeply troubling and hard to read. 

But is that assessment correct?

In this fascinating look at God's work of redemption from Creation to today, Wendy Alsup explores questions such as:

 

  • How does God view justice and equal rights for women? 
  • What does it mean to be made in the image of God? 
  • How have the centuries distorted our interpretation of how God views women? 
  • How did Jesus approach the Old Testament and how does that help us read difficult passages today? 
  • What is the difference between a modern view of feminism and the feminism that Scripture models? 
  • How does the Bible explain the Bible to us? 

Using a Jesus-centered understanding to look at both God's grand storyline and specific biblical passages, Alsup gives practical and accessible tools for understanding the noble ways God speaks to and about women in its pages and the dignity He places on His daughters. 

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When the Timer Dings by Katharine Grubb

If there is a sequel to Write A Novel in Ten Minutes A Day, this is it!

If you write (or paint, or read, or crochet, or watch television) in 10-minute increments, then you know what will happen. The timer is going to ding after 10 minutes and you'll have to go back to your to-do lists and your reality. But if your tasks are overwhelming, your stuff is in the way or you've forgotten your plan then you've lost your motivation to do what you really want with your time. This book gives you practical tips on how to organize your foundational truth, attitudes, people, time, stuff, tools, margins and fails so that you go through your day with order and determination. 

This is more than a time management book. This is a confidence management book. You are more than your to-do lists. You are more than your obligations. You are more than your tasks. You have the potential to make some major changes in your life. You have the power to be organized and make more time for the people and passions that you love.

Your dreams are worth ten minutes, but the rest of your life is worth so much more.

You can grab your life by its hand and say, "I'm the boss of you! Let's get busy!"

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With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge

With the Old Breed presents a stirring, personal account of the vitality and bravery of the Marines in the battles at Peleliu and Okinawa. Born in Mobile, Alabama in 1923 and raised on riding, hunting, fishing, and a respect for history and legendary heroes such as George Washington and Daniel Boone, Eugene Bondurant Sledge (later called "Sledgehammer" by his Marine Corps buddies) joined the Marines the year after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and from 1943 to 1946 endured the events recorded in this book. In those years, he passed, often painfully, from innocence to experience.

Sledge enlisted out of patriotism, idealism, and youthful courage, but once he landed on the beach at Peleliu, it was purely a struggle for survival. Based on the notes he kept on slips of paper tucked secretly away in his New Testament, he simply and directly recalls those long months, mincing no words and sparing no pain. The reality of battle meant unbearable heat, deafening gunfire, unimaginable brutality and cruelty, the stench of death, and, above all, constant fear. Sledge still has nightmares about "the bloody, muddy month of May on Okinawa." But, as he also tellingly reveals, the bonds of friendship formed then will never be severed.

Sledge's honesty and compassion for the other marines, even complete strangers, sets him apart as a memoirist of war. Read as sobering history or as high adventure, With the Old Breed is a moving chronicle of action and courage.

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew. 

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Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren

In the overlooked moments and routines of our day, we can become aware of God's presence in surprising ways. How do we embrace the sacred in the ordinary and the ordinary in the sacred? Framed around one ordinary day, this book explores daily life through the lens of liturgy, small practices, and habits that form us. Each chapter looks at something--making the bed, brushing her teeth, losing her keys--that the author does every day. Drawing from the diversity of her life as a campus minister, Anglican priest, friend, wife, and mother, Tish Harrison Warren, opens up a practical theology of the everyday. Each activity is related to a spiritual practice as well as an aspect of our Sunday worship. Come and discover the holiness of your every day.

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