Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ten Days Without - Daniel Ryan Day

This nonfiction book is about how the author, Daniel Day, goes 10 days without certain 'necessities' to increase awareness/raise money for different organizations.

He conducts 8 different challenges where he goes 10 days without:
Shoes (to address disease)
A Coat (to address homelessness)
Media (to address distractions)
Furniture (to address global poverty)
Legs (to address our response to disabilities)
Waste (to address the environment)
Speech (to address modern day slavery)
Human touch (to address orphans, widows, prisoners, and other untouchables)

This book doesn't try to make you feel guilty about not doing anything to help.  Instead it motivates you in a very positive, loving way to want to go out and do something, anything to help NOW.

One of my favorite lines from the book is "So maybe instead of trying to change the world, we need to focus on changing someone's world."

The one thing about the book that felt out of place to me was when he went 10 days without media.  He didn't raise money for anyone in that 10 day challenge.  He minimized his use of media to spend more time with family.  While this is admirable, it didn't really follow the theme of the book.

I think the entire point of the challenges is best summed up when Day says this "It's about making a difference in the world.  Its about the sacrifice and pain that lead you to a better understanding of an important issue and what you can do about it."

If you'd like to learn more about 10 days without, visit the website here.  You can also read his blogs here.

Here is the book description from Amazon:

“Life is full of good intentions, but for too many, our good intentions never become good actions—they don’t move us forward, draw us closer to God, or make a difference in the world.
Good intentions are cans of paint that could have become amazing works of art…but never did.”
—Daniel Day, in Ten Days Without

Daniel Day could tell you all about his love for God and his desire to live as a follower of Jesus. But it took a simple but radical experiment to move from simply talking about it to actually living like it. For ten days at a time, Daniel chose to abandon a certain “necessity”—a coat, a voice, shoes, media, furniture, legs, touch—and to blog about it to raise funds and awareness for organizations that are doing amazing things to make a difference in the world. And then he invited others to join him in the experiments and spread the vision. Together they served God and others—and experienced significant personal change in the process. Ten Days Without is the story of their life-altering adventure.

Ten Days Without is a compelling story and practical guide that will equip you and your friends to break through walls of convenience and indifference, and join a movement that is confronting apathy and ignorance around the world to make an impact on people’s lives in a God-honoring way. Ten Days Without is where our good intentions end and making a difference in the world begins.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Provence, 1970 - Luke Barr

Unfortunately, I was not thrilled with this book.  It sounded like something I'd love - famous chefs/cooks gathering together for a holiday period in Provence.  But it turned out to be way to focused on how much of a snob of couple of them were. There were too many parts of the story that was high on gossip and low on cooking.  I wanted it to be  a book about chefs discussing and cooking amazing food.

Now, when it did come around to discussing food and cooking, it was awesome!  I kept getting hungry and looking up recipes!  If there was more of a focus on this stuff, I would have loved the book.

Overall, it was just not my cup of tea.

I will be trying to hunt down some of the cookbooks/memoirs discussed in this book though, so not a total loss.

Book description:  Provence, 1970 is about a singular historic moment. In the winter of that year, more or less coincidentally, the iconic culinary figures James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones found themselves together in the South of France. They cooked and ate, talked and argued, about the future of food in America, the meaning of taste, and the limits of snobbery. Without quite realizing it, they were shaping today’s tastes and culture, the way we eat now. The conversations among this group were chronicled by M.F.K. Fisher in journals and letters—some of which were later discovered by Luke Barr, her great-nephew. In Provence, 1970, he captures this seminal season, set against a stunning backdrop in cinematic scope—complete with gossip, drama, and contemporary relevance.