Book Reviews by Hannah
It's almost autumn! Time to curl up with a book!
Very few pleasures can compare to a frosty autumn evening and hot chocolate combined with a good book. The frosty evenings and hot chocolate are not hard to find (yes, it does get cold here in autumn --especially when we turn the air conditioning on) but excellent books can be difficult to come by. Thankfully, I have found a few in the past year that have stood out from the rest of the library. This post contains a few of my recommendations of books pertaining to the topics discussed on Beauty from the Heart.
(Note: People are different, and so are their opinions. Book recommendations must be taken with a grain of salt. As a result, I’m not just going to present a list of books to read. I’m also going to explain why I liked them. You can be the judge of whether they should be added to your reading list.)
- The Three Weavers
By Robert and Shelley Noonan
What’s this book about? “Once upon a time…there lived three weavers.” (page 19) Three weavers are given the responsibility to manage each of their respective daughter’s gifts. Each daughter was given a special loom at birth, upon which they are to weave a mantle for their future prince. As each daughter grows up, they make different decisions regarding whether to keep their mantle for their future prince, or give it away to the other young men that enter their lives. The parable is a beautiful, poignant allegory of purity.
Who should read this book? The Three Weavers was designed specifically for fathers to introduce the topic of purity to their daughters.
Why did I like this book? The story shows purity to be a precious treasure which the father must guide his daughter in protecting. I especially liked that the book gave fathers the opening to share their hearts regarding purity.
Any cautions? The book is written with very good taste, but due to the nature of the subject matter, I recommend that parents read the book first to decide whether to read it with their younger daughters.
- When God Writes Your Love Story
By Eric and Leslie Ludy
What’s this book about? Surrendering everything to God includes giving Him the pen of your love story. This book is summed up in a quote of Oswald Chambers at the end of the book: “God has ventured all in Jesus Christ to save us; now He wants us to venture our all in abandoned confidence in Him.” (page. 242)
Who should read this book? Christian teens and unmarried adults.
Why did I like this book? Not only was this book enjoyable because of each of the authors’ sense of humor, but because of its honesty. The Ludys openly share from their personal journeys about how they came to terms with the fact that God wanted every piece of their lives devoted to Him. It was inspirational to hear their real-life stories.
Any cautions? As with most books on guy/girl relationships, parental guidance is best.
- I Kissed Dating Goodbye
By Joshua Harris
What’s this book about? In a nutshell, I Kissed Dating Goodbye is written about living your single years for Christ. It also offered perspective on the Biblical view of marriage, and how to let that view impact the way you think about guy/girl relationships.
Who should read this book? If you’re already writing your wedding vows, this may not be the best book for you, since it’s about Christian singleness. But if you’re sitting on the fence, unsure what to do as a single Christian, it may be just the right book for you.
Why did I like this book? It challenged me to focus on Christ, obey Him by pursuing purity, and trust Him with my future.
Any cautions? I echo the caution listed under When God Writes Your Love Story: As with most books on guy/girl relationships, parental guidance is best. (i.e. I don’t recommend you read this book aloud to your baby sister, but in relation to the subject matter and the target audience, it was very tastefully written.)
- Authentic Beauty
By Leslie Ludy
What’s this book about? Leslie Ludy addresses true beauty, femininity, and spiritual apathy in Authentic Beauty. She draws from her own personal experiences, contrasting the culture’s demands for womanhood with God’s design for it. Throughout her book, Christ’s relationship with the Church (us) is compared with a “Prince” and a “damsel-in-distress” (us.) She writes, “Our Prince is eager to begin a heavenly love story with us. He desires to spring from the pages of Scripture and dance with us in our real day-today life. He gave His very life on a cross this opportunity to share life intimately at our side. The defining question of our femininity is this: Will we be willing to give our very life to Him in return?” (page 61)
Who should read this book? Mature teen girls/young women.
Why did I like this book? The heart of Authentic Beauty is to express that we should be wholeheartedly committed to Christ as our Heavenly Bridegroom. Instead of living in spiritual complacency, every fiber of our being should be chasing after Him. This message is the foundation for godly femininity. (It’s impossible to become a woman of God without God. It doesn’t work.)
Any cautions? Some parts of this book are rather descriptive. Parental guidance is definitely a must.
Another caution worth mentioning is the author's use of the word, “Prince” throughout the book. Although the metaphor of Christ being like our “Prince” coming to rescue us is very poignant and has a Biblical basis (see the book of Hosea and the Song of Solomon), readers should be cautioned not to take the metaphor so far as to discard the deity of Christ. The author herself mentions this in the “Author’s Note:” “For the sake of simplicity, when this book refers to our Prince or heavenly Lover, those references are meant to encompass all aspects of God—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit….Additionally, whenever this book uses paraphrased Scriptures to make their message easier to grasp, the actual translations of those Scriptures are provided in the endnotes.” (page 9)
- Boy Meets Girl
By Joshua Harris
What’s this book about? It’s the follow up book to I Kissed Dating Goodbye. The book is not a manual about how to live in regards to the opposite gender, but is a Biblical discussion about purity and courtship. (The title gives a good clue to the subject: It talks about preparing for marriage after Boy has met Girl.)
Who should read this book? Anyone whose single days are numbered (and any parents who wish to form ideas before their daughter’s court ship docks in the harbor.)
Why did I like this book? It has helped my parents and me in our conversations about purity.
- Girl Talk
By Nicole Whitacre and Carolyn Mahaney
What’s this book about? Girl Talk is about various aspects of Biblical womanhood, and how mothers can pass Biblical womanhood on to their daughters. Certain chapters are written specifically for moms, while other chapters are directed at daughters.
Who should read this book? Mothers and daughters should read this book together, as it opens up great opportunities for heart-to-heart chats (aka “girl talks!”). Any females that enjoy the Girl Talk blog will undoubtedly benefit from this book.
Why did I like this book? Girl Talk is thought provoking without being dry or irrelevant. It is obvious that the authors have experienced the struggles of real life, but approach these struggles with Biblical insight. I loved this book.
- Daughters of Destiny
By Noelle Goforth
What’s this book about? Daughters of Destiny is a compilation of stories regarding godly women of the past. Although heroines such as Mary Slessor, Lady Jane Grey, and Martha Washington are mentioned, many of the stories consist of “forgotten heroines.” It is likely that these stories will be new to most readers.
Who should read this book? Anyone who wants to see examples of virtuous womanhood in action.
Why did I like this book? When this book was given to me several years ago, I devoured it. The women in this book came alive to me, and presented me with a vision of true strength, humility, courage and sacrifice.
I hope these reviews are helpful! If you have any input, feel free to leave it here!