Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book Review: Against the Tide

Against the Tide
By Elizabeth Camden
Bethany House, 2012
English, 368 pgs


From the Back Cover

After a childhood rampant with uncertainty, Lydia Pallas has carved out a perfect life for herself. She spends her days within sight of the bustling Boston Harbor, where her skill with languages has landed her an enviable position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.

Lydia's talents bring her to the attention of Alexander Banebridge, a mysterious man in need of a translator. Driven by a campaign to end the opium trade, Bane is coolly analytical and relentless in his quest. He cannot afford to fall for Lydia and must fight the bittersweet love growing between them.

When Bane's enemies gain the upper hand, he is forced to turn to Lydia for help. Determined to prove her worth, Lydia soon discovers that carrying out Bane's mission will test her wits and her courage to the very limits.

When forces conspire against them from without and within, can their love survive?

I had given up on Christian historical romances. But I remembered that I enjoyed previous books by this author, so I gave it a chance when the opportunity for a review came up. I'm very glad I did!

The story is about Lydia and Bane, so they are the most developed characters. The supporting characters are really funny and well written too. Her coworkers at the Navy Yard really made me laugh. The Professor's staff really made me mad!

Reading the romance unfold was heartbreaking at times and really sweet at others. It also made me wonder: how many people have grown up in a city and never been on a farm to see a real cow?

The undercurrent of opium trade and addiction was a nice addition to the plot. It kinda angered me when I read the notes at the end and it said that the opium laced syrup was not fictional. Those poor children.

I can't remember him in it, but Bane was a character in another book by Camden, The Lady of Bolton Hill. I just pulled that off the shelf to refresh my memory on him in it! 

Like most Christian romances, the theme of salvation runs throughout it and is presented near the end. I can live with that on this one. 

 The only thing that could get you hung up is that her work at the Navy Yard and for Bane gets a teeny bit tedious and technical. Just get past it and you'll enjoy the story!

I received a copy of the book from Bethany House in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. No additional compensation has been received.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book Review: The Anger Workbook

The Anger Workbook
By Les Carter and Frank Minirth
Thomas Nelson, Reprint 2012
English, 256 pgs

Don't Let Anger Take Control!

Most people stereotype anger by assuming that it always results in shouting, slamming fists, or throwing things. However, anger is not that one-dimensional.

In fact, all of the statements below represent feelings of anger:
  • When I am displeased with someone I shut down any communication and withdraw.
  • I get very tense inside as I tackle a demanding task.
  • I feel frustrated when I see someone else having fewer struggles than I.
  • There are times when my discouragement just makes me want to call it quits.
  • I can be quite aggressive in my business pursuits or even when just playing a game.
We all deal with anger in our lives, whether it be in a subtle or violent manner. Being angry can involve such emotional expressions as frustration, irritability, annoyance, aggravation, blowing off steam, or fretting.

The good news is anger can be managed. In The Anger Workbook Les Carter, Ph.D., and Frank Minirth, M.D., offer a unique 13-step interactive program that will help you:
  • Identify the best ways to handle anger
  • Understand how pride, fear, loneliness, and inferiority feed your anger
  • Uncover and eliminate the myths that perpetuate anger-"Letting go of my anger means I am conceding defeat" or "No one understand my unique problems."
  • Identify learned patterns or relating, thinking, and behaving in your life that influence your anger.
This is a very intense and involved workbook. It is not something that you can sit down and just "breeze through". This requires you to spend time and effort toward learning about your own anger issues (and note, as in the description above, it's not just violent anger) and coming out a better person, better in touch with yourself and your feelings. The biggest thing you will learn is to discern what is actually causing your anger.

I've taught my sons that it's okay to be angry, it's not okay to act angry. This book will help you work through your anger issues in a methodical manner. It does rely on Biblical principles, but not to the point of it being "preachy".

The format of the book is easy to follow. It has 13 steps, each with its own chapter. The chapters are long. I think a week in each chapter is adequate and really allows you to work through each step. I like that there is a chapter regarding anger in children. Our 6 year old is struggling with learning how to control emotions and I found really good tips and information in that chapter to help him.

I received a copy of the book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review. No additional compensation has been received.