Monday, January 13, 2014

Book Review: Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith (plus a few comments about Starry Night)

 
You may know that at the age of 16 Gabrille Douglas won two Olympic gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. You may not know how close she came to relinquishing her dream nor the cost she paid to claim it. This book tells the story of her journey, which at different times included the twin demons of homelessness and major homesickness.
 
I don’t want to give away the details, so may it suffice to say this book will inspire you. Each chapter opens with a quote such as this one from Dale Carnegie: “Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” An eight-page section of color photos shows Gabrielle at various ages and stages along with her family and others who became near and dear to her. It also shares her struggle with feelings for a father who was mostly absent from her life. And the book closes with a discussion guide, perfect for book clubs or for guiding a talk with a young person who needs encouragement.
 
Written from a Christian perspective, the book shares how the faith of Michelle’s mother inspired her daughter. Michelle posted her mother’s prayer by her bed to help her visualize success. The book also includes a beautiful letter from her mother that Michelle read just before competing. Written with the “lol” exclamations of youth and the vernacular of teenagers, this Zondervan hard cover would be a great book for teens or preteens as well as adults. A beautiful cover shot of Michelle executing a move illustrates her leap of faith.
 
And a second book:
 
Starry Night by Debbie Macomber
 


I had never read anything by Debbie Macomber but had often come across her name, so I thought I'd sample her writing. I am not a reader of romance novels, so I hardly qualify to review it. But I thoroughly enjoyed this story and thought the author did a fine job of developing the plot, which revolves around a journalist ( I love stories that involve writers) who won't give up in tracking down a reclusive novelist for an interview. Enough said. A fast fun read.

If you've already read either of these books, feel free to add your comments.

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