Christian, inspiration, spirituality

Fruit of My Spirit

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

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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


Tasting Rain

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

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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

inspiration, self improvement

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

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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

Christian, inspiration, music

Songs of Mary

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

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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


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

inspiration, non-fiction

On Admiration

Author: W.D. Wetherell
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Genre: Non-fiction / inspiration
ISBN: 978-1-61608-071-6
Pages: 208
Price $14.95

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Today’s media sensations dazzle us with their talent, but do their lives bear emulating? While we can appreciate what they do in front of the camera, it may be hard to admire what they do in private. W.D. Wetherell has spent a lifetime watching others and formulating his opinions on why he admires certain people, and he shares them in this book.

Beginning in his youth, Wetherell has been making determinations about folks in the limelight. On Admiration takes us on a journey through his own life story, looking at some of these people. Writers, singers, athletes, cartoonists, and others have been influential, and he shares a little about each and the impact they had on him.

Rather than biographical sketches, we’re given only the information that was important to Wetherell. What he saw may not have been what the camera picked up, or what the critics pointed out, but these people demonstrated something that touched him in a deep way. And in writing this book, he shares about himself and his own hopes and dreams in learning from them.

On Admiration isn’t about today’s pop culture icons, but goes deeper than TV and movie talent. Instead it touches the heart and soul of art, as it used to be. If you’re looking for folks to emulate, you can’t help but be inspired by the list Wetherell has given us in this book, and maybe you’ll find some of your own heroes along the way.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

inspiration, self improvement

Giving You the Wow and the How

Author: Sharmen Lane
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Genre:  Self-help / Personal growth
ISBN: 978-1-60037-676-4
Pages: 172
Price $14.95

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Having the life of our dreams feels out of reach for many people. We may be stuck in ruts of our own making or feel as if we have little choice about making changes. But Sharmen Lane believes we can improve our lives, and if she could do it, so can we.

Lane dropped out of high school to become a manicurist. Although at the time, she thought she had no other options, she quickly realized this had not been a smart choice, and she set about changing her life. Getting her high school degree then led to a college degree, and eventually to a job paying more than a million dollars a year. And since she knew how she achieved her goals, she also wants to show us how.

Although Lane presents what she considers a simple plan, she acknowledges that putting this plan into action isn’t always easy. It requires us to change the way we think along with changing our actions. But if we have a solid plan and take action to move us towards our goals, we have a much better chance of success.

Lane’s style is upbeat, friendly and casual, but her words carry a strong message. We get what we put into life. She wants to show us how to make it the best it can be. Giving You the Wow and the How may not present a lot of new information, but what Lane does share is simple, direct, and most importantly, very do-able. If you want to make changes in your life, this book would be a great inspiration in getting you moving towards your own goals.

Reviewer: Alice Berger