Sunday, June 30, 2013

I've Got Your Back, by James Galvin

I've Got Your Back, by James Galvin is part parable, part theological discourse.  The first section of the book tells the story of a group of four twenty somethings who are struggling with bad bosses and other situations of poor leadership.  The group is mentored by Jack Hendrickson, a former missionary and retired Special Forces Army Sergeant.  He works with them weekly, and ultimately helps them come to understand the nuances of both leading and following in an effective and biblical manner.  The second part of the book breaks down the biblical principles that were discussed and backs them up with scripture.

I have to admit, I approached this book with a little bit of trepidation.  For one thing, I have not worked for someone else for almost two decades, and I am not currently in any positions of leadership, other than being a mom.  Additionally, I've always been somewhat hard-wired to question authority, not blindly follow it.

I was pleasantly surprised then to find that the information this book contained was applicable and sound advice for anyone, regardless of who you do or do not work for.  It was also refreshing to learn that the biblical instruction for both leading and following with discernment and grace is NOT about following blindly at all, but a mutual and respectful partnership between both parties.  The book delves deeply into what it means to both lead and follow well;  the meaning and signs of follower abuse;  different types of authority in our lives, and whose direction we are and are not commanded to follow.

On a practical level, I did find the narrative a little bit difficult to get into at first.  But it ultimately didn't matter, because the subject matter grabbed me, and taught me to look at the topic of leading and following in a way that I honestly never have before.  I feel like I understand it for the first time in my life, and that is no small thing.  My only wish is that this book had been around years ago, when I was working for one difficult boss after another.  It was a good book, with an important lesson for everyone... especially for anyone struggling in the area of leading and/or following.   This book will surely help.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Matter of Trust, by Lis Wiehl

The description of A Matter of Trust painted it as a page-turner, and that's exactly what it was.  I brought it with me on a four-day camping trip, thinking it would last until we headed home.  I ended up devouring it so quickly it barely made it till day two.

Mia Quinn is a prosecutor who, at very beginning of the story, is on the phone with a friend and colleague when she suddenly hears her friend getting shot and ultimately killed.  The story that follows is her journey to solve the murder, while simultaneously trying to keep her own family afloat.  She's recently widowed, and the mother to both a teen and a four year old, who are dealing with problems of their own.

This was a tough book to put down.  The characters are real and likeable, the plot twists are well-timed, and the whole thing just unfolds like an edge-of-your seat thriller.  My only complaint, if I was forced to come up with one, was that it ended rather abruptly.  I wasn't ready to stop reading.  But I guess that's also a positive, as it's always the best books that leave you wanting more, more, more. 

I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading other titles by this author.

I received this book for free from the BookSneeze program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.