Reviews by Zachary_Houle

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Morning and Evening Prayerbook

Morning and Evening Prayerbook

On 1/26 Zachary_Houle wrote: Ethicist David Gushee has swiftly become one of my favourite Christian writers. He may be an evangelical, but he swings to the left and has done things — such as openly support the gay community — that leaves me with a bit of a glow as a cheerleader and supporter (and it doesn’t hurt that ... A Morning and Evening Prayerbook

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Wondering Years

The Wondering Years

On 12/22 Zachary_Houle wrote: There has always been a book waiting to be written about God and pop culture. After all, there are areas where the sacred overlaps with the secular. Personally, I’ve always felt that if I had more of a brain for processing what pop culture means in the area of faith, I’d write a book that would at ... The Wondering Years

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

2 Stars

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I Declare War

I Declare War

On 11/2 Zachary_Houle wrote: In the age of Donald Trump as U.S. President, I came to this book with the expectation that something called I Declare War would somehow be political, if not problematic. (See, I review bad books so you don’t have to read them.) I don’t know if I’m thankful and relieved to know that the title is ... I Declare War

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

2 Stars

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The Ministry of Ordinary Places

The Ministry of Ordinary Places

On 10/13 Zachary_Houle wrote: Shannan Martin is a poetic writer. Her sentences are often lyrical and transcendent in a peculiar way in which they lull you in with their rhythms. However, this lyricism can often cover up the fact that Martin can be particularly vague about her subjects. Having read Martin’s previous book, Falling ... The Ministry of Ordinary Places

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

3 Stars

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Inspired

Inspired

On 6/24 Zachary_Houle wrote: When I started reading theologically-based books, I started with Rachel Held Evans’ Searching for Sunday. It was recommended to me by a former member and pastor of my church, and I found within that book a lot of me. I’ve grappled with my faith, as Held Evans does in that earlier book, and I was ... Inspired

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

5 Stars

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The Way of Abundance

The Way of Abundance

On 3/21 Zachary_Houle wrote: Sometimes it’s good to give certain authors another attempt to prove that your initial opinions about them are wrong. This is the case with Ann Voskamp for me. I read one of her previous books, The Broken Way, and found it to be vague — whether it was sketching out details of her family life ... The Way of Abudance

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

3 Stars

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I Don't Wait Anymore

I Don't Wait Anymore

On 2/21 Zachary_Houle wrote: When I read a book, I read it literally cover to cover. With a lot of Christian books, that means you get three or four or five pages of testimonials from other authors at the front of the book. Grace Thornton’s I Don’t Wait Anymore is a little different in this paperback edition in that some of ... I Don't Wait Anymore

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

3 Stars

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FInding Selah

FInding Selah

On 1/10 Zachary_Houle wrote: The nice thing about spiritual memoirs is that, sometimes, they’re written by the average, ordinary person. Sure, the odd pastor with a name or reputation here and there tries their hand at it, but these autobiographies are usually plain-spoken at best. No big names in flashy lights. Just the stories ... Finding Selah

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

5 Stars

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Wounds Are Where Light Enters

Wounds Are Where Light Enters

On 1/7 Zachary_Houle wrote: The late, lamented Leonard Cohen once wrote a lyric that went, “There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.” That line is apropos for Walter Wangerin Jr.’s latest book, Wounds Are Where Light Enters, for what is a wound but a crack? While the book has been out for more than ... Wounds ARe Where Light Enters

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

3 Stars

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How to Fix a Broken Record

How to Fix a Broken Record

On 11/19 Zachary_Houle wrote: No, Amena Brown’s How to Fix a Broken Record isn’t a title that’s meant to be taken literally. So for you vinyl enthusiasts who have come to this page looking for advice on how to cure your record after it has been warped by direct sunlight or shattered into pieces … sorry. What this book is, ... How to Fix a Broken Record

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

5 Stars

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Worry Less, Live More

Worry Less, Live More

On 11/16 Zachary_Houle wrote: This is a season of many Christian-themed books that deal with the topic of anxiety. I’ve already reviewed two of them: one was great (Carlos Whittaker’s Kill the Spider) and one was not so great (Lance Hahn’s The Master’s Mind). Into the fray comes a book that is neither good or bad, just mediocre: ... Worry Less, Live More

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

3 Stars

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Kill the Spider

Kill the Spider

On 10/6 Zachary_Houle wrote: Carlos Whittaker, who is probably best known for being a contemporary Christian recording artist, has an interesting story to tell at the outset of his latest book, Kill the Spider, which is a metaphor for dealing with anxiety— one that sort of sounds like a humourous joke as it’s being told. You ... Kill the Spider

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Master's Mind

The Master's Mind

On 10/3 Zachary_Houle wrote: If you know me, you know that I currently have a bit of trouble facing a new day. I suffer from intermittent morning anxiety, dreading waking up. I’m not depressed, I think I’m just trying to cope with meeting everyone else’s expectations — so I exhibit nervousness in those first few moments ... The Master's Mind

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

1 Stars

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Take the Lid Off

Take the Lid Off

On 9/12 Zachary_Houle wrote: If you’re wondering about this book’s title, it’s kinda a cooking metaphor. Smokie Norful — who is currently a pastor but had a singing career that brought him numerous awards in the gospel sphere, including a Grammy — takes the title from something he learned as a child. At the time, ... Take the Lid Off

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

3 Stars

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Of Mess and Moxie

Of Mess and Moxie

On 7/29 Zachary_Houle wrote: Of Mess and Moxie is not a book meant for me. That’s only because I’m the owner of a penis, not a vagina. New York Times bestselling Christian author Jen Hatmaker is an author meant for women, but, despite that fact, I’ll always give a new Jen Hatmaker book a read. Why? First of all, and perhaps ... Of Mess and Moxie

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Light is Winning

The Light is Winning

On 6/27 Zachary_Houle wrote: I don’t really know where to begin with Zach Hoag’s The Light Is Winning, a book that seems theological sound but is a narrative mess. Essentially, the book chronicles what’s wrong in the American Christian Church by juxtaposing the author’s upbringing with an authoritarian father in a Texas ... The Light is Winning

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

2 Stars

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Real Artists Don't Starve

Real Artists Don't Starve

On 6/13 Zachary_Houle wrote: Are you a painter, a writer, a start-up founder or a cabinet maker? Wondering how to avoid not paying the rent while you pursue your craft? Well, that’s where Jeff Goins’ Real Artists Don’t Starve comes in. The book offers 12 strategies to create your art, promote your art and make money from your ... Real Artists Don't Starve

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

5 Stars

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A Selfish Plan to Change the World

A Selfish Plan to Change the World

On 6/7 Zachary_Houle wrote: Mind. Blown. Those are the two words I can conjure up having read Justin Dillon’s A Selfish Plan to Change the World. I read the book because I’m getting more interested in doing social justice work, but the problem with that is that I don’t know where to begin. Basically, not knowing where to ... A Selfish Plan to Change the World

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

4 Stars

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Goliath Must Fall

Goliath Must Fall

On 6/4 Zachary_Houle wrote: I recently reviewed Louie Giglio’s The Comeback, but it turns out the publisher might have let reviewers have that book (now in paperback) as a primer for the author’s latest book, Goliath Must Fall. While it’s not quite necessary that you read the earlier book first, it may be helpful to do so ... Goliath Must Fall

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

4 Stars

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Launch Your Dream

Launch Your Dream

On 6/3 Zachary_Houle wrote: Do you work the 9-to-5 shift in drudgery? Do you wish that you can be following your passion? Well, Dale Partridge seems to think so. Citing that people are well suited to an entrepreneurial lifestyle, Launch Your Dream is a book about how you can leave your day job behind for something you’re more ... Launch Your Dream

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

4 Stars

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The Comeback (softcover)

The Comeback (softcover)

On 5/31 Zachary_Houle wrote: Have you been in a spirit ditch and looked for a way out? Well, I know I have. That’s why when The Comeback came onto my scene, I immediately reached out for it. I wanted to know exactly how God might be working in my life to order a complete turnaround. The answer basically takes a whole book to unravel. ... The Comeback

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

4 Stars

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Start with Amen

Start with Amen

On 5/27 Zachary_Houle wrote: When you think of the word “amen”, which means “so be it”, you probably will tend to think about endings. Amen is typically said at the end of a prayer. It is a form of posture that is one of submissiveness. So maybe it’s no surprise that with her new book, Start with Amen, Beth Guckenberger ... Start with Amen

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

3 Stars

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The Evaporation of Sofi Snow

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow

On 5/22 Zachary_Houle wrote: Mary Weber’s The Evaporation of Sofi Snow was supposed to hit three of my sweet spots. One, any book earning comparisons to Blade Runner is right by me. Two, I’m a bit of a sucker, as well, for young adult fiction — sometimes, you’ll find better written stuff written for teenagers than you ... The Evaporation of Sofi Snow

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

3 Stars

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An Outlaw and A Lady

An Outlaw and A Lady

On 5/13 Zachary_Houle wrote: My knowledge of the country music of Jessi Colter is limited to the White Mansions album she made with her husband, Waylon Jennings, and a host of others in the late ’70s. My dad bought it and bequeathed it to me as an adult, but it is, alas, a bit unplayable as it skips. (However, the cover art of ... An Outlaw and a Lady

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

5 Stars

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Swipe Right

Swipe Right

On 5/5 Zachary_Houle wrote: Alright, it’s probably been established by now that I’m a left-leaning Christian who doesn’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus, that the Bible isn’t literal, and that abortion isn’t a sin. What else is new with me? Well, I know that at times that I’m guilty of objectifying the women folk ... Swipe Right

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

3 Stars

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It's Okay About It

It's Okay About It

On 5/4 Zachary_Houle wrote: I’m kind of gobsmacked about this book, and I don’t know where to even begin. I suppose I could start by saying that I’m not in the target demographic. This book is for mamas. But it’s a touching and sweet ode to the author’s adopted five-year-old son. Even though I couldn’t really relate, ... It's Okay About It

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

5 Stars

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The Gospel According to Paul

The Gospel According to Paul

On 4/30 Zachary_Houle wrote: I’ve been interested in learning more about the apostle Paul simply because he’s a hole in my Biblical reading. My church culls no readings from his letters, and I haven’t really tackled his writing. Part of the reason is that he gets a bad rap — not only for being Saul the persecutor in ... The Gospel According to Paul

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

3 Stars

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Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation

Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation

On 4/20 Zachary_Houle wrote: So I might as well as come out and say it: I occasionally meditate. Every so often, on a Monday evening if I’m free, I’ll head to my church and take part in what is called Christian Meditation. Its proponent was a guy named John Main (who died in 1982 in Montreal), and it’s based around a prayer-phase. ... Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

2 Stars

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Dawn of Christianity

Dawn of Christianity

On 4/16 Zachary_Houle wrote: If you’re looking for an overview on how the early Christian church got its start, Robert J. Hutchinson’s The Dawn of Christianity may fill in a few gaps. The book has the monumental task of charting the course of Christianity through Jesus’ ministry, His death and resurrection, onward to the Council ... The Dawn Of Christianity

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

3 Stars

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Finding God's Blessings in Brokenness

Finding God's Blessings in Brokenness

On 4/11 Zachary_Houle wrote: I ordered this book from the publisher to review, and I have to say that my first impressions of it were of embarrassment. Yes, I was embarrassed for ordering Finding God’s Blessings in Brokenness. The reason? This is such a slender volume that I couldn’t believe that Zondervan, the publisher, would ... Finding God's Blessings in Brokenness

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

1 Stars

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Talk Yourself Happy

Talk Yourself Happy

On 3/25 Zachary_Houle wrote: Sometimes books leap out at you when you go to a book galley or just plain book download website, and this one was no exception. I was enticed by the blurb for Kristi Watts’ Talk Yourself Happy, because, well, it was a book about happiness. Seeing as though I’ve had my share of disappointments, difficulty ... Talk Yourself Happy

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

4 Stars

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Destined To Win

Destined To Win

On 1/21 Zachary_Houle wrote: So, I come to a review of a book where I’m speechless. Not so much by the power and execution of it, but more so because this was something I wasn’t really expecting. Destined to Win advertises itself as a sort of devotional book for people to embrace their God-given identities and make a success ... Destined to Win

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

3 Stars

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Assimilate or Go Home

Assimilate or Go Home

On 1/18 Zachary_Houle wrote: I wound up finding out about Assimilate or Go Home when I followed the author on Twitter last summer. When I caught wind of the book’s existence, I thought it would be an interesting read. I tried to get the local public library to order a copy for me, but they wouldn’t — the reasoning being ... Assimilate or Go Home

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

4 Stars

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Falling Free

Falling Free

On 1/8 Zachary_Houle wrote: Reading and reviewing Shannon Martin’s Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted makes me feel like a bad Christian. Not just because it seems to me that Martin is a stand-up person, and I just can’t make her cut for Godliness. (I skipped church today — strike one — to work ... Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted

Zachary_Houle's Rating:

2 Stars

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