Tag Archive | Book Review

A Book Review: “The Magnolia Story”

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The Magnolia Story is written by Joanna Gaines in one font, with Chip Gaines chiming-in in another font and co-authored with Mark Dagostino. Chip and Joanna tell the story of how they met and take the reader along on their journey together through dating, their engagement story, wedding day, and family life. It was interesting to learn the ups and downs of their businesses and how they work together.

In the beginning of the book, Joanna describes herself as being introverted, and she talks about how she thinks she could have been happy with the way things were going in her life, before she met Chip. She didn’t mind being on her own and enjoyed working at her father’s tire company. Right before she met Chip, she was trying to decide if she should go back to New York City to pursue her career in communications.

One day at work, the guys Joanna worked with, egged her on to go talk to one of the customers. Her co-workers thought this guy would be a good match for Joanna. Joanna refused but after a while gave in and embarrassed herself by trying to talk to this cute guy. She leaves the building to go outside where she finds Chip sitting on a bench. She sits beside him, and they talk for a while. She doesn’t really think much about the conversation after it’s over. She just thought about how Chip was blessed with the gift of gab and how she didn’t really get a good look at him because he was wearing a baseball cap. Chip calls Joanna soon after they met, and Joanna often wonders why she was so agreeable to being with Chip. She usually had doubts before dating someone and didn’t really have much experience with dating.

Chip is always on the go and working to advance his businesses. When they’re first married, they move into one of Chip’s rental properties, and Joanna comes up with some designs, and they fix it up together. Joanna ends up loving what they’ve done to the place. Just when Joanna is ready to settle in, Chip buys a new property for them to flip. The house flipping is a common theme throughout the book, of course! I personally felt bad for Joanna when they had to move out of their beautiful Victorian home, with four kids, because Chip bought a new place for them to flip. It turned out to be a good decision in the long run, even though Joanna had a hard time accepting it at first.

The story also tells readers how they got discovered for their series Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna didn’t even know about reality TV, because they didn’t own a TV. They asked friends what it was all about. Things that happened in their lives seemed to have worked out for the best. Joanna shares some of the obstacles she’s had to face and how she overcame them, with regard to her experiences with balancing work and raising a family. They both share their trust and faith in God, which they talk about in snippets throughout the book, in a down-to-earth way. Their goal of bringing attention to and supporting their community in Waco, Texas has definitely blossomed.

I rarely watch shows on HGTV, but I liked learning about Chip and Joanna’s lives. If you like inspirational, humorous, and uplifting stories, give The Magnolia Story a try. 🙂

A Book Review: “Unbroken”

Say you are going about your busy day, and you start to think about the character in the book you are reading, and you wonder what’s going to happen next. When that happens to me I know that I have found a treasure in that book. The best thing an author can do is enchant the reader into caring about one of the characters. This is what happened to me while I was reading Unbroken, a World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand. I found that I instantly liked Louis Zamperini, the hero of this story. When I was not reading the book, I felt like I should be because I didn’t want to leave Louie stuck in an awful place. Even though the story was in my mind, I had to keep it moving so that I could find some peace for Louie.

When Louie was younger, he was a little trouble maker, but his brother helped him channel his energy into being a runner. Louie worked hard through high school and became a star athlete by breaking records when he ran the mile. Soon he was off to the 1936 Olympics. I believe that all the stamina that Louie developed as an athlete helped him continue on his journey to survive his trials during World War II and beyond.

I try not to read books that are about war because as Bird, Louie’s arch enemy said after the war was done, “War is a crime against humanity.” It was difficult to read how people treated others during the war. There are very graphic scenes in the book, but since I now had gotten to know Louie, I kept rooting for him and hoping that his situation would get better. I also got to see how compassionate people can be, how they can learn to forgive and move on with their lives.

As you can tell by the title of the book, Louie did not get broken. Louie found a way to save himself, and witnessing his strong spirit could strengthen anyone’s resolve. The life he led is truly inspirational. It’s no wonder this book has been on the New York Times Best Seller List for 114 weeks.

If you can, try to read the book before it becomes a movie. The movie is going to be produced this year. Louie, at 96, will hopefully be able to be a part of the production.

You can find details about the movie here:  http://www.deadline.com/2012/12/angelina-jolie-director-unbroken-olympian-lou-zamerini-universal.

Now I look forward to see which will be better, the book or the movie?