Year of the Bookwormz: 2011

52 weeks. 2 friends. 1 challenge.

Book P: Fabookulous May 15, 2011

The Power of a Whisper
(Hearing God. Having the Guts to Respond.)
by Bill Hybels

Book description:

The greatest buzz of the Christ-following life comes from hearing directly from God–sensing his guidance to lean into some situations and steer clear of others, to speak a word one moment and fall silent the next, to adopt bold new practices and ditch the self-destructive habits that only do us harm. By his own declaration, if Bill Hybels could wave a wand over the entire world, he would wish for each person alive today to have this type of personal, meaningful and frequent encounter with the living God. “God’s wish is to speak into the situations faced by every individual, every family, every church, every school, every business, every government, every media outlet, every organization and every organism imaginable,” he says, “and to train their steps according to his good and perfect will.”

If you crave full-throttle faith, the kind of divinely directed life that God alone can provide, then this book is for you. God still speaks relevant words to his followers, and most likely a grand adventure with your name on it is on your heavenly Father’s lips. Tune your ear toward heaven, and he will direct your steps, accompany your path and celebrate your faithfulness one day.

I picked this book up because the title resonated with me during this season of my life. I felt God whispering to me in a particular way and thought this book would help define that for me. It wasn’t what I expected.


Reminiscent of the God Winks by SQuire Rushnell books (yes, the Q is supposed to be capitalized), The Power of a Whisper shares numerous stories and examples of how God “steered” someone in the right direction. To more effectively and accurately know if you are hearing from God, Hybels gives 5 “tests” to line your whisper up with. And the more in tune you are with the Bible, the more familiar you will be with hearing God’s voice when he speaks to you. The idea of a Godwink is that there are no such things as coincidence– rather opportunities God uses to assure you that you are on the right path. When things seem to line up just right, or a series of events works out just as they should or were meant to be, God is winking at you to encourage you on the path you are on. Hybels is basically making the same point, calling them whispers. Whispers of love, direction, and guidance, if you will.

Though it wasn’t what I expected, it is still a good book that offers guidance and tools for those seeking them. Hybels uses very descriptive language and after a while it sort of seemed like filler to me. (Just this reader’s opinion) In my own life, whispers from God have come up in more way than one lately and after reading this book I’ve found the real-life experiences are richer than any guide can show you. Just open your ears and listen.

3.5/5 stars

Fabookulous

 

Book L: LibraryLove

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

Book description~ In neuroscientist Genova’s second novel, a car crash gives a successful younger woman an obscure neurological syndrome called Left Neglect. Upwardly mobile Sarah and Bob Nickerson live in suburban Massachusetts with their three small children. Both work 60-hour weeks, though the economic downturn looms. When Sarah wakes up eight days after crashing her car on the way to work, the doctors inform her of her condition, which causes her brain to ignore the left side of everything, and she begins a long and uncertain recovery. Genova vividly describes Sarah’s fear and frustration about a recovery that may never come, turning her struggle into a lesson in forgiveness, acceptance, and adaptability; insights reveal themselves with extreme clarity, and small moments between Bob and Sarah illustrate his stalwart love, though readers may want a more thorough investigation of his growing role as caretaker, and as a character. More accessible than her somber first book, which dealt with early-onset Alzheimer’s, the central condition causes readers to wonder what brain disease she will think of next.

wow. Wow. WOW. Imagine for just a moment that you can’t feel your left side. Or left leg. Or left arm. Or left toes. Imagine that you can only read words on half the page.  Pretty hard to imagine yes? What if you had 3 children under 10, a high-powered corporate job and a husband all relying on you? This is the reality for Sarah Nickerson, the main character, mother, wife and corporate guru, in Genova’s touching novel set in Boston, about redemption, living fully, and learning how to forgive. Sarah is going about her busy life, when a tragic (and sadly avoidable) accident happens. Sarah sustains a brain injury and is forced into a life of rehab hospitalization, the harsh realities of the health insurance game, and learning how to still be the matriarch to her large family.

It’s clear that author Genova is a neuroscientist yet she makes it so accessible to us lay readers;  I felt like I was suddenly an expert in all matters of Left Brain Neglect! Genova’s writing style is articulate and gentle, yet forceful when need be. Left Neglected is perfectly paced and I have nothing but excellent things to say about Genova’s writing style. What I love about reading is that a week ago, I knew absolutely nothing about brain neglect, also known as unilateral neglect and hemispatial neglect,  a real neurological syndrome occurring as a result of a stroke, hemorrhage,or traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately there is little research on the topic and as Sarah learns, she too, is navigating these uncharted waters in how to move past her disorder and still live a full life.

Sarah was quite distant with her mother, but when her mother moves in to help manage the family responsibilities of her three grandchildren, Sarah and her mother are given a second chance at the mother/daughter relationship they missed out on through Sarah’s childhood. Sarah’s mother wasn’t there for her as a child, but makes up for it tenfold through this novel.

I cannot recommend this book enough. I don’t want to give anything else away, but the highlight of the book for me was the creative and fun way Sarah learns to rehab both her mind, body, and soul. I laughed and I cried during some of her rehab scenes. Something utilitarian had a wonderful way of turning itself into Sarah’s new career and new beginning…

“I’m starting to wonder. What else is there? Maybe success can be something else, and maybe there’s another way to get there. Maybe there’s a different road for me with a more reasonable speed limit. Whether it’s because I can’t, I’m too afraid, something inside me has changed and wants something different, or a complete blend of all three, I can’t say, but I don’t want to back to that old life. My heart is leading me somewhere else. And I trust it. “

I’ve been itching to read this since the end of 2010, when I was given the opportunity to read and review this for Shelf Awareness, but I had too many books to get through and had to pass. I finally got around to it and I am SO happy I did. I also very much look forward to reading Genova’s debut novel, Still Alice, which chronicles the life of a woman with Alzheimer’s Disease.

5/5 stars

10 down, 16 to go!

T minus 2 weeks til pool season!!!!

xo♥xo,

LibraryLove