Bergers Book Reviews

You Are the Beloved

Author: Henri J.M. Nouwen
Publisher: Convergent Books
Genre: Christian Inspiration
ISBN: 978-1-101-90637-8
Pages: 416
Price: $26.00

Buy it at Amazon

Henri J.M. Nouwen was a Dutch-born Catholic priest, professor, and pastor, who gained international renown as the author of over 30 books on the spiritual life, including such classics as The Wounded Healer, The Inner Voice of Love, and The Return of the Prodigal Son. In You Are the Beloved, editor Gabrielle Earnshaw has compiled some of his most inspirational passages into a daily meditation book.

Each day’s reading is one page or less, making it easy to squeeze into a busy day. These beautiful meditations focus on God’s deep and eternal love for us, and encourage us to see that God is more intimate, more loving, and more longing to be in a relationship with each of us than we have ever imagined. Reading these inspiring and uplifting messages would be a perfect way to begin or end each day. I highly recommend You Are the Beloved.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

December 20, 2017 Posted by | Catholic, Christian, inspiration, meditation | Leave a comment

7 Lessons From Heaven

Author: Mary C. Neal, M.D.
Publisher: Convergent Books
Genre: Christian / Inspiration
ISBN: 978-0-451-49542-6
Pages: 288
Price: $16.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

In 1999, Mary C. Neal died in a kayaking accident when she was trapped underwater and drowned. She tells of this experience in To Heaven and Back, but realized later that she left out important lessons that still needed to be shared – lessons that taught her how to live a joy-filled life.

As a medical professional, Neal first confirms that she had a true near-death experience (NDE). After exhausting all possible physical causes for what happened to her, she speaks with others who had similar experiences, and confirms that they’re all similar. She did have a true NDE. Next she describes her impressions of heaven and meeting Jesus, who was there at the time of her death to comfort her. Finally, she reveals some of the lessons she learned as a result of her NDE, and how she looks at her life today. Death holds no power over her now, and she guides the reader to see God in a new and wonderful way.

God is real, present, and working in our lives today. 7 Lessons From Heaven shows us just how much He loves us and wants us to share eternity with Him in heaven. I am so grateful to Neal for sharing this story with us.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Christian, inspiration | Leave a comment


Author: Marcia Wieder
Publisher: Next Century Publishing
Genre: Inspiration
ISBN: 978-1681020624
Pages: 232
Price: $21.95

Dream University
Buy it at Amazon

Most of us think about our dreams, but how many actually achieve them? What if we had a blueprint for getting what we really want out of life? Would we jump at the opportunity to have our dreams come true? In Dream, Marcia Wieder explains the process we can use to make them happen.

At first glance, the formula is simple: Clarify – Believe – Act. But so much is hidden behind those concepts, and these are the very things that hold us back. Do you really know what your dream is? What are the limiting beliefs that tell you that it’s not possible for you to have it? And what are the action steps you can begin to take today? These and many more questions are explored, as Marcia Wieder guides us through the dream manifestation process.

More than just helping to set goals, Dream inspires the reader to believe in herself and to live life to the fullest. If you have a dream and you’re not sure how you can make it happen, this is the book for you.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 4, 2016 Posted by | inspiration | Leave a comment

I Just Can’t Take It Anymore!

I Just Can't Take It Anymore!
Author: Anthony DeStefano
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Genre: Inspiration
ISBN: 978-0-7369-4854-8
Pages: 64
Price: $10.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Sometimes life feels unbearable and we want to scream, “I Just Can’t Take It Anymore!” But hiding under the covers and waiting for the problems to go away simply isn’t an option. In times like these, an encouraging word can help lift our spirits and put things in their proper perspective.

This short book captures the essence of our frustration through short phrases and humorous photos of kids with expressive faces and gestures. Reading it won’t make our problems magically go away, but we might feel a little more faith in God, believing that He will work everything out for our best interests. This book is a great read for anyone facing struggles and difficulties in their lives – and, really, isn’t that everyone?

Reviewer: Alice Berger

August 19, 2014 Posted by | inspiration | Leave a comment

Touchstones: Stories for Living the Twelve Gifts

Touchstones - Stories for Living the Twelve Gifts
Author: Charlene Costanzo
Publisher: Featherfew
Genre: Inspiration
ISBN: 978-1-891836-01-5
Pages: 272
Price: $9.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

After completing The Twelve Gifts of Birth, Charlene Costanzo spent time reaching out through a year-long tour around the country. Offering her signature gift of a smooth stone, she tried to help others to appreciate their own unique gifts. Now, in this follow-up book, she provides “touchstones” which demonstrate each of these gifts.

Focusing on strength, beauty, courage, compassion, hope, joy, talent, imagination, reverence, wisdom, love, and faith, Costanzo shares her own and others’ stories that deepen understanding and meaning. Each gift is explored through its own chapter, with pertinent quotes and probing questions for reflection, journaling and discussion.

Some of these stories are heart-felt and touching, reminding us of our inherent self-worth. Many present us with choices, either to live authentically or conform to what is expected. Touchstones: Stories for Living the Twelve Gifts can be read cover to cover, or one can simply focus on a single gift at a time. But no matter how it is read, the stories will inspire.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

February 27, 2014 Posted by | inspiration | Leave a comment

Fruit of My Spirit

Author: Deanna Nowadnick
Publisher: Rhododendron Books
Genre: Spirituality
ISBN: 978-0-9835897-2-3
Pages: 114
Price: $12.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Modeling her actions after Paul’s words has not been an easy task for Deanna Nowadnick. As she reviewed
her life, intending to provide her sons with a short story, she realized she wanted to share her insights with a larger audience. Fruit of My Spirit was born.

Each chapter focuses on one of the fruits of the Spirit. In it, Nowadnick tells of an incident in her own life relating to that particular characteristic. Her strong faith in God and humility shine through, helping the reader see her struggles and giving hope that we too can overcome. With God’s help, we are all able to be better people.

Nowadnick is warm, open and vulnerable in sharing her life stories with us. The reader will come away with the sense that they already know her and share a common bond. A woman who tries to embody the fruits of the Spirit is a true role model for the rest of us. I highly recommend this inspirational book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 25, 2012 Posted by | Christian, inspiration, spirituality | Leave a comment

Tasting Rain

Author: Kim Malchuk
Publisher: Five Star Publications
Genre: Inspiration
ISBN: 978-1589850781
Pages: 196
Price: $16.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Kim is existing in an unsatisfying marriage when Mel enters her life. As they grow closer, she learns he has terminal cancer. Taking a huge risk, she decides to leave her marriage and enter a relationship with Mel, knowing that their time together may be short.

Mel is given only months to live, but they have six wonderful years together. In this time, they refuse to acknowledge the beast always hovering around them. And when Mel leaves this earth, Kim has no regrets about the time they spent together.

Tasting Rain is billed as an inspirational memoir, and someone who knows of a loved one with cancer may find Kim’s message helpful in dealing with the diagnosis. But to me, something felt lacking in this book. Kim relies on the Law of Attraction to get her through this rough time, rather than faith in God, which gives the book a new-agey feel. Although well written, this book just didn’t speak to me.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

September 24, 2012 Posted by | inspiration | Leave a comment

Your Daily Walk With the Great Minds

Author: Richard A. Singer, Jr.
Publisher: Marvelous Spirit Press
Genre: Self-improvement / Inspiration
ISBN: 978-1-61599-114-3
Pages: 252
Price: $19.95

Buy it at Amazon

Those who desire success have learned that starting the day off on a positive note sets the tone for the rest of the day. One way to achieve this is by reading inspirational material.

Each day, Your Daily Walk With the Great Minds provides a meaningful quote from some of the great teachers, both past and present, along with a meditation regarding the subject presented. A question is also posed for personal journaling. These are meant to help us think about our own life and how we could make it better.

Although the subject matter of this book is good, I felt it lacked a personal touch. The author shared none of his own experiences, and also provided no examples of others who have used its guidance. Stories of others’ successes, or even failures, when following the advice given would have had a much stronger impact on me.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

June 28, 2012 Posted by | inspiration, self improvement | Leave a comment

Songs of Mary

Sung by: Various Artists
Producer: Sounds True
Genre: Christian inspiration

Buy it at Amazon

Mary has been revered and adored for centuries as the mother of Jesus Christ. Songs of her worship and praise date back to the early Catholic church. In this collection, various artists join in honoring the Blessed Mother.

Many of these songs are reminiscent of a medieval Catholic church, with plain chant and a minimum of instrumental accompaniment. But there are also Celtic and Spanish influences, reminding us of how much Mary is honored all over the world. A songbook is included with this CD, giving us the words as they are actually sung, in addition to the English translations.

Listen to this music reverently, in anticipation of receiving Mary’s blessings, healing, and guidance.  These beautiful and powerful vocals will inspire all who hear them.

Reviewer:  Alice Berger

March 6, 2012 Posted by | Christian, inspiration, music | Leave a comment

The Little Hope Book

Authors: Josh Hunter and Leah Alagna
Illustrator: Josh Hunter
Publisher: Ecliptic Visions
Genre: Inspiration
ISBN: 978-0-578-03930-5
Pages: 44
Price: $20.00

Author’s website

Josh has always dreamed of becoming an artist. His best friend, a calico cat named Hope, keeps him company as he draws. He relies on her support, since the adults in his life don’t understand his passion. But one tragic day he loses Hope, and almost loses his dream.

Despite losing Hope, Josh keeps trying, and one day he finally succeeds. And just as he thinks he’s created his greatest masterpiece, he realizes Hope never really left him, and she will be with him forever.

Anyone who has ever loved and lost a special pet will relate to Josh’s feelings at losing Hope. And any child or adult with a dream for the future understands how easy it is to let setbacks and criticism deter us from succeeding. In this oversize book with vivid and dramatic illustrations, the authors immerse us in Josh’s world and give us the opportunity to share in his dreams and accomplishments.

The Little Hope Book reminds kids that it’s important to dream big, and to believe in their dreams. If they believe, they can achieve wonderful things.

Dream ~ Believe ~ Hope. You can do it!

Reviewer: Alice Berger

February 4, 2011 Posted by | inspiration | Leave a comment