On My Bookshelf – Biographies & Memoirs

90 Minutes in Heaven90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Pastor Don Piper died January 18, 1989 when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car. Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, Don’s body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes. Don’s soul, meanwhile, was experiencing love, joy, and life like he’d never known before. Don was in Heaven.

When another pastor’s prayers helped bring Don back to life, he became a living miracle! Yet this is one miracle Don wished never happened. Heaven’s bliss was replaced by excruciating pain and emotional turmoil. With the support and prayers of his beloved Eva, their three kids, and friends near and far, Don clings to his faith in God and fights to regain a semblance of his previous life. The Piper family’s incredible true story of perseverance and overcoming the challenges of life – and death – will bring hope and encouragement to all who see it.”

Read my full review here


David Wilkerson: The Cross, the Switchblade, and the Man Who BelievedDavid Wilkerson: The Cross, the Switchblade, and the Man Who Believed by Gary Wilkerson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“This is the story of David Wilkerson, the man who believed against the odds that God could do great things in the rejected and ignored of New York City, who refused to give up on those on the streets even when they had given up on themselves, and who saw in the eyes of the drug addicts and gang members what others failed to see the love of Jesus Christ.

But who was David Wilkerson? Many Christians don t really know. More often than not, we saw the fruit of his faith in God rather than the man himself. David Wilkerson was a man of faith who trusted God would give him what he needed to enter a world of crime and killing. He was a man of conviction who took the dream God gave him and marched forward without ever looking back. And he was a man of vision who could not be shaken from his beliefs sometimes even when counseled otherwise. David Wilkerson was the preacher of New York City.”

Read my full review here


Steel Will: My Journey Through Hell to Become the Man I Was Meant to BeSteel Will: My Journey Through Hell to Become the Man I Was Meant to Be by Shilo Harris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“On February 19, 2007, SSG Shilo Harris was patrolling an infamous southern Iraqi roadway when his Humvee was struck by an IED. Moments later, three members of his crew were dead and Shilo had sustained severe burns over 35 percent of his body, lost his ears and the skin off his face, and lost much of the use of his badly mangled fingers. This fiery moment was just the beginning of an arduous road laced with pain, emotional anguish, and much soul-searching. For forty-eight days Shilo lay trapped in a medically induced coma as his wife, unable to ease his suffering, had to come to grips with a man utterly changed.

This is the story of the survivor not only of an explosion but of more than sixty surgeries to restore both form and function to his broken body. This is the story of the wife who stood by his side, made hard decisions, and continues to support her husband through his struggles with PTSD. This is the story of a God who reshapes us into the people he wants us to be. And in that way, this is the story of all of us.

Read my full review here


 

Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine CatastropheSurviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe by Erin Taylor Young

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“You don’t always know what you’re getting into when you bring home a puppy. Enter Henry, a boxer who suffers from Supreme Dictator of the Universe Syndrome. He vandalizes his obedience school, leaps through windows, cheats death at every turn, and generally causes his long-suffering owner Erin Taylor Young to wonder what on earth she did that God would send this dog to derail her life.

Through his laugh-out-loud antics and escapades, Henry will steal readers’ hearts. Anyone who has ever owned a dog, especially a canine catastrophe like Henry, will enjoy this lighthearted book about a dog who brings new meaning to the concept of unconditional love.”

Read my full review here


 

Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of RedemptionHope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption by Claire Díaz-Ortiz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“She went to Kenya to climb a mountain. But God has other plans. When Claire-Diaz-Ortiz arrived in Kenya at the end of an around-the-world journey, she decided to stay the night, climb Mount Kenya, and then head back home. She entered an orphanage, seeing it as little more than a free place to spend the night before her mountain trek. Hope Runs is the emotional story of one American tourist, one Kenyan orphan, and how one day became one year that would change the course of both their lives forever.”

Read my full review here

 


SuperGal vs GodSuperGal vs God by Lori Hynson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SuperGal vs. God
By Lori Hynson
ISBN 978-0-9890790-0-6

“Prideful – Successful – Stressed Out. She could do anything, but felt the pressure to do everything. Find new love begins to change her heart but what happens when that oy is quickly followed by tragedy and her SuperPowers fail?”

Like it says on the back cover, 2 parts memoir, 1 part fiction, 1 jigger of love story plus a dollop of humor equal SuperGal vs. God.

Read my full review here

 


Lost & Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of LifeLost & Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life by Sarah Jakes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Like every girl, Sarah Jakes dreamed of a life full of love, laughter, and happy endings. But her dreams changed dramatically when she because pregnant at age thirteen, a reality only compounded by the fact that her father, Bishop T.D. Jakes, was one of the most influential mega-church pastors in the nation.“ This is her story.

Read my full review here

 


Miss Brenda and the Loveladies: A Heartwarming True Story of Grace, God, and GumptionMiss Brenda and the Loveladies: A Heartwarming True Story of Grace, God, and Gumption by Brenda Spahn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“For Brenda Spahn, entrepreneur and business woman, wealth was a lifestyle – until a brush with the law threatened to send her to prison. In those dark moments, Brenda made a promise to God. This is the story of Brenda’s journey from rags to riches to redemption. It’s the story of the first unlikely year of her “whole-way” house and of the extraordinary lives of the first seven women who came to call her Miss Brenda. It’s a story that testifies to the power of faith and how God changes hearts every day.”

Read my full review here

 


Heaven Is for Real Movie Edition: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and BackHeaven Is for Real Movie Edition: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Heaven is for Real – a Special Movie Edition by Todd Burpo

The cover of this book says it all… “A little boy’s astounding story of his trip to Heaven and back.

I had heard bits and pieces of this young boys (Colton Burpo) story from interviews on the 700 Club and other programs, but I had not had the chance to read his story. I was excited to get the chance to review this book.

Read my full review here

 


Your Guide to Living Life Out LoudYour Guide to Living Life Out Loud by David Bell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


“Life can be frantic, fleeting and full of challenges. It can also be a wonderful discovery, packed with adventure. Whatever your experience, there’s no doubt that it doesn’t come equipped with a step-by-step manual or an instant answer to each daily question. That’s where this book comes in. Having faced some of life’s most daunting issues at an early age, Dave Bell reflects on his path so far and shares some practical insights that will help you plot your own course as you navigate your own uncharged territory. Focusing on the simple truth of God’s word. This real, honest life-story invites us to take a deep breath, look ahead and begin to live every day to the full.”

This book is an amazing story of a life. Specifically the life of Dave Bell… who at a young age was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer. This book chronicles the story of that journey as the author reflects on it ten years later.

Read my full review here


A Starfish at a TimeA Starfish at a Time by Dana Wynn Steele

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Join the Steele’s on the never ending roller coaster ride of their family life as they share the ups, twist and turns of an ever changing family which now numbers nineteen, with more anticipated. Dana Wynn Steele shares the stories of their special needs children and their adoptions including one during her battle with breast cancer.”

Read my full review here

 


Stolen But Not LostStolen But Not Lost by Janet Tombow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“How could a Mother not lover her child? What if you thought you weren’t loved or wanted your whole life… only to learn there was another shocking side to this story?! In this heart-warming true story, see how the author discovered the truth, finally yielded to God’s will, and had a whole new future opened to her… before it was too late!”

The beginning of this book was, for me, very difficult to read. There is a tremendous amount of detail about the abuses this author endured… and survived. This book may not be for everyone… perhaps there should have been a warning about the content, it truly did disturb me.

Read my full review here

 


 

The Long Awakening, a memoirThe Long Awakening, a memoir by Lindsey O’Connor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The riveting true story of a life-threatening coma, a miraculous awakening, and the long quest to regain what was lost.

From the front flap: “The day our baby came into the world was the day I left. A day that began all smiles and excitement and anticipation and joy ended with running and panic and blood and tears. And then coma.I lay suspended in the deep, my newborn unknown. Nothingness. Layers where dark pulled from below, light called from above, and me, trapped in between, longing to break the surface. To live.   Forty-seven days later when I first saw my husband’s face leaning close to me, I knew where, and who, I was. But other things took much longer to know. Learning to restitch life–and love–when everything’s changed, and finding who we are afterward, can be the longest journey of all.  I’m Lindsey O’Connor, and this is the story of my long awakening.”

 Read my full review here


Uniform Decisions: My Life in the LAPD and the North Hollywood ShootoutUniform Decisions: My Life in the LAPD and the North Hollywood Shootout by John Caprarelli

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“February 28, 1997, Los Angeles, California – After a botched robbery at a Bank of America branch in North Hollywood, two robbers, armed with fully automatic assault rifles and wearing full body armor, fired more than 1,100 rounds as they battled police.

Eleven officers and two civilians were wounded. The two robbers, Emil Matasareanu and Larry Eugene Phillips Jr., were killed by gunfire. Officer John Caprarelli was one of the first officers at the scene.

Read my full review here

 


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