Arlene Pellicane – Christian Speaker and Author

Posts Tagged ‘book review

Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn't EnoughIf you could use a little more joy in your life (and who doesn’t?), you will enjoy Kay Warren’s latest book Choose Joy:  Because Happiness Isn’t Enough.  Kay divides the book into four parts:

Part 1  Joy Is My Inheritance:  Embracing the Permission to Be Joyful

Part 2  Joy Is a Conviction of My Mind:  Discovering a New Way of Thinking

Part 3  Joy Is a Condition of My Heart:  Cultivating a Soul-Response That Allows Joy to Deepen

Part 4  Joy Is a Choice of My Behavior:  Ways to Choose Joy Daily

I could not agree more with these Biblical viewpoints of joy.  Throughout the book, Kay gives Scriptural evidence for joy in Jesus’ life and joy in the believers life.  She is an Eeyore personality, so this writing is all the more meaningful as she can relate to anyone who has ever struggled with trading discouragement for joy.

I appreciated her honest stories of hard times in their family, particularly when her daughter-in-law had a brain tumor.  Here is a family that has been through the hardest types of circumstances and can come through, making a decision to rejoice always.

I really like what she says on page 27:

I used to think that life came in waves:  There was a wave of good and pleasant circumstances followed by a wave of bad and unpleasant circumstances, with a lot of ebb and flow in between.  Or life was a series of hills and valleys; sometimes we’re up, then we’re down.  But I’ve come to realize that life is much more like a set of parallel train tracks, with joy and sorrow running inseparably throughout our days.

We must learn how to live in the tension between good days and bad days – and rejoice in them both.

Thank you Revell for giving me a copy of Choose Joy to read and review.  It is a beautiful book that I can joyfully recommend!


I’m working through my books to read in 2012 and loving it so far.  Finished Quitter by Jon Acuff about closing the gap between your day job and your dream job. 

Acuff is just plain funny.  I read the entire book over one weekend when I was traveling to speak in Northern California.  Since I was traveling without children, I had hours to read in the airport and plane.  The book really spoke to me because Jon Acuff wanted to quit his day job to become a speaker and author.  I could certainly relate to that! 

What I found refreshing about the book is the way Acuff  was honest about the challenges of following your dream job.  He didn’t sugar coat that experience – reminding everyone that being a broke dreamer with health, grocery, and insurance bills, a mortgage and car payment, and a financially strained marriage is no picnic.  Be smart about staying in your day job and doing your best there to launch eventually into the job you long for. 

Acuff writes, Anyone can dream; it’s the doing that is such a hassle. 

The doing Acuff describes is hustling.  How much do you hustle for your dream job?  Do you just pine away about it or are you active in your spare time to hone your skills, broaden your network, practice your craft? 

Since reading the book, I’ve been thinking “hustle.”  When I have my 1.5 hour window in the day while Lucy is sleeping, I think HUSTLE!  Get the blog done, answer emails, work on talks, HUSTLE!  Instead of being discouraged by all I can’t seem to accomplish, I’m focusing on hustling on a few tasks at a time. 

Another thing he said was to enjoy being invisible.  On your way to your dream job, don’t despise small beginnings.  Be grateful for them.  They are necessary.  You can make mistakes while being invisible.  If you were the big cheese you’re dreaming of right now – but without the necessary experience – you’d probably fall hard and fall publicly.  Enjoy the stage of being invisible, under the radar. 

Lastly, I liked what he said about recovering your dreams instead of discovering your dreams.  Instead of laying awake at night asking, “What was I made for?” ask yourself, “When have I felt most alive?  What have I really enjoyed doing in my life?”  Ever since I was in junior high, I loved public speaking.  Now 25 years later, I’m recovering those childhood dreams and speaking. 

If you want to recover some of your dreams and explore moving towards a dream job, Quitter is a great read!

My 7-year-old son Ethan celebrated his birthday recently.  At dinner at Chickfila, our family went around and said something we appreciated about Ethan.

He’s kind.

He’s funny.

Ethan’s good at learning new things.

After a few more accolades, Ethan said, “I like everything about me!”

That was so funny!  Most of us don’t feel that way and that’s why Proverbs 31 executive director Renee Swope has lovingly written a new book titled, A Confident Heart:  How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God’s Promises.

You’ll enjoy Renee’s sweetness and candor.  She writes about her parents divorce when she was 2, the pain of breaking up with an ex-boyfriend, and the neighborhood “police” coming down on her because the paint on her windowsills and porch columns was peeling.  How do you live confidently when you are constantly questioning yourself? 

The book addresses key issues like:

When doubt whispers “I’m Not Good Enough,” “I’m Such a Failure,” “I Don’t Have Anything Special to Offer,” “I Can’t Stop Worrying,” and “I Can’t Follow God Consistently.”

Renee has a great resource that compares what I say (My life is too hard) to what God says (Let Me help you) along with a Scriptural promise (Ps 91:15 for this example). 

If you want to doubt yourself less and live more, you will really benefit from Renee Swope’s A Confident Heart.  Thank you Revell for my review copy!

I began reading Amish Values for Your Family while waiting for my minivan to get an oil change, which I suppose is ironic.  But I certainly did enjoy my wait time! 

I could relate to many of the values found in the book although I am not Amish.  I really enjoyed the many Amish proverbs in the book such as:

Pray for a good harvest but continue to hoe. 

A happy home is more than a roof over your head, it’s a foundation under your feet.

You can tell when you are on the right track.  It’s usually uphill.

The family that works together, grows together. 

So many thoughtful proverbs contained in the book, followed by stories to illustrate each principle.  One thing I took away was the idea of involving the children in the work of the family and teaching responsibility at a young age.  Amish children are involved in milking cows, picking fruit, planting, hammering nails, etc. 

My children are taking dishes out of the dishwasher.  What else could they be doing?  Finding more tasks for them to do around the house will not only make my life simpler in the long run, it will teach them to work as a team. 

If you want a fresh dose of homespun stories to get you thinking about a different way and pace of life, you will enjoy Suzanne Woods Fisher’s, Amish Values for Your Family. 

Also, you can enter a contest to win a Kindle (to simplify your reading life) from the author Suzanne.  Learn more about the contest here.


Thank you Revell for a copy of Amish Values for Your Family to review.

It’s not surprising that a book titled When You Can’t Find God: How to Ignite the Power of His Presence is filled with prayers.  When you want more of God, you talk with Him often and hope against hope that He will talk back!  This book by Linda Evans Shepherd will help you stay in God’s presence and hear His voice more clearly.   

The author understands that the Christian life is not a pain-free life.  But when troubles come, we are not alone.  Chapters teach us how to pray against the spirit of strife, and to pray for breakthroughs, grace, hope and healing. 

Here’s an example of a prayer in the book about having the peace that passes understanding:

Dear Lord,

Please bless me with peace, even when I walk through the storms of rejection, betrayal, lack, strife or trouble.  For as I have invited you to join me, I know you are with me in the storm.  Forgive me if I have traveled away from you or your purposes; help me to return to and obey you.  As I walk with you through the storm, I say in the name of Jesus, ‘Quiet!  Be still!”

In Jesus’ name,


Prayers are included in each chapter, giving you a great start to your conversation with God.   Linda Evan Shepherd has also created a video to go along each chapter, so you will really feel like someone is walking with you as you go through the book. 

Whether you’re going through a rough spot right now or not, this book will help you draw closer to the heart of God.

From the first page, this book caught my interest.  Dr. Dalton-Smith begins with a patient named Cameron who enters her office with more of an emotional problem than a physical one.

Not exactly what a board certified internal medicine physician usually can take time for. 

But Dr. Dalton-Smith chronicles her time with Cameron and introduces the reader to the seven lies women tell themselves:

Lie #1:  Perfection

Lie #2: Envy

Lie #3: Image

Lie #4:  Balance

Lie #5: Control

Lie #6: Emotions

Lie #7: Limits

If you’ve ever wanted to talk with a doc over latte, this is your book.  Dr. Dalton-Smith gives practical and sympathetic advice without sugar coating what needs to happen for change. 

I love who the author puts the Great Physician on center stage:

Religion has no place in the doctor’s offce, or at least that is what society would suggest.  The reality is that when people are the sickest, God is often in the forefront of their minds: Does he exist?  Does he care about me and my personal situations?  Can I be made whole again?  What better time to confront an issue than when it has pushed itself to the center stage of your life.

Whether you’re stressed or insecure, or simply want to take inventory of your inner life, this is a great read. 

Thank you Revell for providing a review copy of Set Free to Live Free.  This book is available wherever fine books are sold.

Buy Arlene’s book on Amazon

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