Book Review - Faithful, Fit & Fabulous

I attended a class taught by Connie Sokol at BYU Education Week this year, and I thought she was just fab, so when I was contacted with an offer to review her book, "Faithful, Fit & Fabulous: Get Back to Basics and Transform Your Life - in just 8 Weeks," I couldn't pass it up.

I found the tone of the book and the ideas she shares to be right in line with her presentation at Ed Week, so I was really happy about that.

Despite the subtitle's promise that you can "transform your life in just 8 weeks!" I found the message of the book to be more on the "slow and steady wins the race" end of the spectrum. Connie repeatedly reminds her readers that they should pick just one goal each week and focus on it, rather than trying to implement lots of her ideas all at once.

At the end of the 8 weeks, you will have accomplished one goal from each of the 8 areas. (Holy Habits * A Personal Life Plan * Being Fit & Fabulous * Your Finances* Joy in Womanhood * Balance in Motherhood * Organization * Relationships) At that point, she encourages you to stop and assess what you've done, but then she also gives you tips on how to keep going.

I haven't made it through the whole 8 week program, but I have made some progress. I feel the program as a whole is doable and helpful, and I'm excited to keep going.

You can buy Connie's book here.

Connie has lots of extra tips and resources on her website. Click here to check it out.

Bitter Blessings - Book Review

I've been busily working away on my NaNo novel, and I'm up to 13,000 words so far! Yay, me. :)

I have to take a reading break now and then, though, right? Every month is National Novel Reading Month, after all. Even November.

So, I had the opportunity to read Bitter Blessings by Christine Mehring recently, and I have to say that I completely fell in love with it.

I hadn't heard of the book until I was asked if I would like to review it, and I hadn't heard of the author, either, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The premise caught my attention, though, and the cover art is strikingly beautiful, and I was hopeful that the book would live up to its promises.

First of all, here is the back cover copy: Megan has the perfect life, but when her mother dies in an accident, everything spins out of control. With the rest of her family falling apart, Megan must confront her past to uncover the truths that will keep everyone together. Thought-provoking and heartfelt, this book shows that even in times of trial, you can often find blessings.

Looking back, I can find things I could nitpick about the writing or the characters or the ending, but, honestly, as I was reading, I didn't notice any of those things. I was completely swept up in the drama and I fell in love with the characters. My heart ached for Megan as the story progressed and things went from bad to worse to completely-spiraling-out-of-control.

I will say that I felt the ending may have wrapped up a little too quickly, but on the other hand, I think the story was about how they got to that ending, and not the ending itself. And the story about how they got to that ending was excellent. It definitely wasn't a stereotypical LDS novel by any stretch.

The upshot is, I definitely recommend this book. You can purchase a copy here. Just in time for Christmas! (hint, hint)