January 28, 2016

Book Review: Run to Overcome


Run to Overcome, by Meb Keflezighi with Dick Patrick is considered “the inspiring story of an American champion’s long-distance quest to achieve a big dream.”  In the book, Meb (short for Mebrahtom) shares his life story…so far.

Even though he was born in Eritrea, the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia encouraged his family to leave Africa.  They moved to Italy for a short time, and then to the United States in search of the American dream.  On page four, Meb said that "...especially an immigrant like me who, while continuing to love my native country, is so grateful for the privilege of U.S. citizenship."

On page three, Meb remembers, “My running journey began with a timed mile in my seventh grade phys ed class” in the United States.  In Run to Overcome, Meb shares his personal life, as well as his running accomplishments and aspirations.  Two highlights include when he earned the silver medal in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and when he won the 2009 New York City Marathon.  Even though Meb runs for the United States, he still continues to honor his birthplace, Eritrea.

As a member of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Meb respects the church’s values and implements them in his personal life, which correlates to his professional running career.  According to page 224, “Whatever you do, then give it your best.  Persevere in overcoming obstacles.  When you do you’ll be running to win.”

This book is ideal for runners...even former or future runners.  At the end of every chapter, there are two tips based on that chapter: Runner’s Tip and Overcomer’s Tip, which primarily focuses on lifestyle values.  Throughout the book, there are quotes from Meb’s family, friends, coaches, and fellow runners.  Also, eight pages of full-color photos and chapter discussion questions are included.  Run to Overcome shares a professional runner’s inspiring and interesting story.


Note: I received this book from Tyndale Blog Network, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

January 23, 2016

Book Review: A Year with God



A Year with God: Daily Readings and Reflections on God’s Own Words, by R. P. Nettelhorst is a daily devotional book.  This insightful book is about “making His thoughts your thoughts,” by focusing on the actual words from God mentioned in the Bible.  According to page 16, “A Year with God is a 365-day revelation of God’s divine character through His words, with accompanying insight and commentary written in everyday language.”

The ten main sections consist of the following topics:  hope and fear; love and hate; perseverance and quitting; faith and doubt; loyalty and betrayal; companionship and isolation; mercy and judgment; forgiveness and anger; joy and sadness; peace and conflict.

These 365 daily devotionals each contain a scripture passage, with the text included in the book, and a devotional to read each day.  Every devotional is marked by day (not date), so you are able to start reading at any time throughout the year.

With one devotional per page, this book may easily be added to your current quiet time, or it’s a great way to a start setting aside time each day to spend with God.  A Year with God is an ideal devotional for any age, from teenagers to grandparents.  Enjoy spending time “making His thoughts your thoughts.”


Note: I received this book from Book Sneeze, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

January 21, 2016

Book Review: Outlive Your Life




Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference, by Max Lucado is an insightful book, which motivates readers to realign their lives to truly make a difference in this world for Jesus Christ.  According to page four, “Life is racing by, and if we aren’t careful, you and I will look up, and our shot at it will have passed us by….  You want your life to matter.  You want to live in such a way that the world will be glad you did.”

With a focus on scripture, these sixteen chapters challenge readers to examine their lives, as well as encourage them to make a difference.  At the end of the book, there is a Discussion and Action Guide for each chapter, which includes two sections: Questions for Discussion and Ideas for Action.  The questions for discussion are thought-provoking questions regarding the chapter and additional scripture verses to study.  The ideas for action include practical and useful ways to implement each chapter’s focus into the reader’s daily life.

Outlive Your Life is ideal for an individual or group study, particularly a family Bible study.  Even though this book is geared more toward adults, teenagers would highly benefit from reading it, too.  According to page seven, “We are created by a great God to do great works.  He invites us to outlive our lives, not just in heaven but here on earth.”

This is my new favorite Max Lucado book, and I highly recommend reading it, as well as using the included study guide.  Enjoy!


Note: I received this book from Book Sneeze, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

January 18, 2016

Book Review: The Butterfly Effect


The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters, by Andy Andrews is a motivational gift book.

The author starts by sharing the story of the scientific law, commonly known as the butterfly effect, and how it is applied to human life.  Throughout this short book, several examples are expressed through various interlocking important events, based on the actions of numerous individuals' lives.  The main theme is discussed on pages four and five, "How significant is my life?  Do I make a difference?  When I move...when I act...when I do something...does the universe notice?  Do I really matter?"

This gift book is written similarly to a motivational speech, and it may easily be read aloud within twenty minutes.

The Butterfly Effect is an ideal coffee table book with colorful pictures and quite large font.  American readers, or those interested in American history, would be more inclined to enjoy and relate to this book, since Andrews focuses on the story of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and his involvement during the American Civil War, as well as several other important American individuals.  However, on page 105, Andrews challenges all readers, despite nationality, to acknowledge that "You have been created in order that you might make a difference.  You have the power to change the world."  Hence, every action is vital, and on page 109, "Your life...and what you do with it today...matters forever."

Note: I received this book from Book Sneeze, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

January 15, 2016

Book Review: Your Money God’s Way



Your Money God’s Way: Overcoming the Seven Money Myths That Keep Christians Broke, by Amie Streater shares practical ways to stay on track with financial spending, saving, and giving.  It focuses on seven money myths that keep Christians broke and the reality to these myths, as well as ways to overcome these financial hindrances.  According to the introduction, “Seven key spiritual conditions most often cause Christians to fail in meeting personal financial goals.”

Throughout Your Money God’s Way, the author shares financial stories from her own life, including how she struggled and overcame her own personal financial disaster.  Now, Streater serves as the associate pastor of financial stewardship for the New Life Church in Colorado Spring, and she constantly assists people with their financial situations.  In the introduction, Streater claims, “Understanding how to manage your money God’s way is the key to ending your economic worries forever and living the financial life God designed for you.”

Most chapters end with a special prayer, important chapter points, and financial solution steps.

Even though this book is primarily geared towards adults with financial concerns, Your Money God’s Way is a worthwhile read for anyone, despite their accumulated debt or wealth.  However, the book is quite straightforward, and it sometimes seems a bit harsh.  Yet, it’s a nice starter book, when sorting out financial concerns or dealing with money matters before financial issues arise.

Note: I received this book from Book Sneeze, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

January 11, 2016

Book Review: LOL with God



LOL with God: Devotional Messages of Hope and Humor for Women, by Pam Farrel and Dawn Wilson is an encouraging and uplifting devotional book.  LOL is the well-known abbreviation for laugh out loud, which is commonly used in the texting world.  As avid texters, Farrel and Wilson share seven-eight friendly and insightful devotionals.

Each devotional is about two to three pages and includes a text message scripture, devotional story, quick prayer, additional scriptures, several lines to journal, and funny stories or memories (within the LOL section).  The text message scriptures are rewritten scriptures in a text message style, complete with abbreviations.  However, the full and complete scripture is included at the bottom of the same page, in case the readers might struggle with the texting abbreviations or for those who simply desire to read the scripture properly.

With short chapters, this devotional book is easy to read one a day or even several chapters at once.  LOL with God is geared more toward older text-savvy women, yet women of all ages and texting abilities would enjoy this "laugh out loud" devotional book.

Note: I received this book from Tyndale Blog Network, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

January 8, 2016

Book Review: His Life and Influence


Billy Graham: His Life and Influence, by David Aikman is an intriguing biography of Graham's life.

From his personal life to his public image, the author depicts how Graham strived to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ.  Throughout the book, Aikman refers to various resources, including Graham's autobiography, to provide a well-written, in-depth outline and description of Graham's life from his birth to the present.

One primary topic is Graham's influence in politics, including his spiritual guidance for several American presidents.  Since I'm not deeply interested in that field, several chapters seemed quite long and slightly challenging to read.  However, these particular chapters would be more ideal for those who are thoroughly invested in political aspects, particularly American politics.

Billy Graham: His Life and Influence is definitely a worth-while read, especially for those interested in the Christian movement, American and world politics, and, of course, Billy Graham.

Note: I received this book from Book Sneeze, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

January 6, 2016

Book Review: Same Kind of Different As Me


Same Kind of Different As Me, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent is a riveting and spiritually encouraging story of two men connected through one woman's pure demonstration of God's love.  This true story depicts the lives of Denver Moore and Ron Hall, from their extremely different childhoods and adult lifestyles to how they met and eventually developed a deep friendship, primarily due to Deborah Hall's devotion and desire for everyone to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

As a New York Times bestseller, this inspirational book is written in a compelling, easy-to-read manner.  Yet, it's an extremely powerful story that compels the readers to consider their personal faith journey.  According to page 61,  "All I can do is tell the jagged tale of my own spiritual journey and declare that my life has been the better for having followed Christ."  Same Kind of Different As Me is a wonderful ministry tool to share with others. 

While the historical violence is a bit harsh for young readers, this is still a highly recommended book for all ages and backgrounds.  According to page 235, "We're all just regular folks walkin down the road God done set in front of us....  So in a way, we is all homeless--just workin our way toward home."

Note: I received this book from Book Sneeze, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

January 4, 2016

Welcome to Reading with Beth

The Reading with Beth blog will focus on book reviews and suggestions, as well as book spotlights and giveaways. And it might occasionally feature photography and travel posts.


As an avid reader since childhood, I've read thousands of books over the years. My favorite fiction genres vary from the classics and literary works to science fiction and fantasy to romance books, while my non-fiction preferences range from photography and entertainment to cookbooks and healthy eating to travel and guidebooks. Previously, I studied literature during university and now work at a library. Since I read a variety of adult and children's books, my review will most likely have a broad range.

If you have any questions or comments, then please use the form on the Contact page. Reading with Beth also accepts book review requests and corresponding giveaways.