Harmony Kent on Her Year in Review 2016
Hello everyone and welcome to The Review Board. This week we will be focusing on 2016. Our Board Members will be offering their independent year in review. First up to give us a look at her thoughts on 2016 is Harmony Kent.
While I had high hopes for my 2016 assigned reads, they proved somewhat disappointing on the whole. Out of 21 books read and reviewed, I only managed to award 10 TRB stars to one, and that was the final read of the year. Usually, I choose the best, worst, and one that left me indifferent; however, the majority of this year’s reads ended up with a 3 star rating, and so it seems impossible to choose an ‘indifferent’ read from all of those.
So, instead (and as I wish to end the year on a high note), I shall share my top three reads with you today.
In first place with 10 TRB Stars: Live Intentionally: 65 Challenges for a Healthier, Happier Life by Cara Sue Acterberg. A non-fiction self-help book on how to live a simpler, greener existence. The book avoids the pitfalls common to these sorts of books and doesn’t get at all preachy. I loved that at the end of each chapter, it gave the reader three levels of suggestions: basic, serious, and extreme. This is a self-improvement book with a difference. It is brim full with ideas, suggestions, and challenges for changing/choosing what you eat, how you shop, raise confident, competent, and caring children, and even how to celebrate the holidays without undoing all your hard work. Forget Earth Day; this book is all about how to live an Earth Life.
In second place with 8 TRB Stars: Help for Hysterical Humans who hope to be Happy in Heaven or Here by James Sterngram. A book of humorous poetry that aims to enlighten and inspire. Although the author states in his foreword (which, by the way, is in humorous verse, and I love it) that this collection of poetry isn’t tied to any one religion, it is clear from the outset that he takes much of his inspiration and knowledge from Christian doctrine. However, I believe that within these pages is something for everyone. Here and there, a non-religious person, or follower of a different faith, may have to do a bit of translating and substituting, but the message remains valid and valuable. This little gem contains both humour and profundity.
In third place also with 8 TRB Stars: In the Cleft, Joy Comes in the Mourning by Dana Goodman. A memoir about the author—mother, wife, and Christian. It chronicles her struggles to cope while cancer ravages her loved ones. First of all, her young husband dies from Cancer. Then her mother-in-law falls ill, and then—at the same time—her eldest son and her second husband succumb to the disease. Honest and oft-uplifting quotes appear throughout the book, which has been sensitively written. I applaud the author’s honesty and strength. Not only does she deal with such multiple tragedy, but also finds the wherewithal to travel to Africa on a healing mission. One line that stood out for me was: ‘With boots caked in mud on the outside, and hearts filled with muddy emotions on the inside, we made our way home.’ The clear imagery shows their suffering far more eloquently than a string of fancy words could. For those of other faiths (or no faith), then the memoir still offers a strong message of hope and courage even without the religious references. No matter from where we take our inspiration, there is always a light even in the greatest darkness.
Well, there you have it folks. Thanks again for stopping by The Review Board. Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. Have a wonderful day.