BOOK REVIEW: What a Son Needs From His Dad, by Michael A. O’Donnell, PhD

Perhaps because of the PhD, Michael A. O’Donnell’s latest offering, What A Son Needs from His Dad: How a Man Prepares His Sons for Life is a re-working of better works found on nearby shelves at the Christian bookstore, library or worse, Goodwill.  Mine will undoubtedly end up at the latter.  Full of labeling tricks, I found it to be pedantic.  Ten short chapters (the book is only a scant 141 pages, no graphics), which seem to follow William Bennett‘s focus points, but with none of the depth, classical touches or inspiration.  One bright light: the tool he offers to work through the Lord’s Prayer on p.75 seems a vital element for spiritual growth, and the only piece of the book I would recommend.

Overall, this book is “preaching to the choir:” godly dads who already want to be better fathers, but it could not reach those who might need beginner’s practical help and simple uplifting chapters (something Dobson or Robert Lewis, or Bennett).  No chance for any mom, either.  In short, academic fluff to keep up the degree.  I have a better idea: save the time buying, reading and processing this dull book, and invest in a respected dad within your church who is humbly trying to raise godly kids.  Better yet, find 3 and start a Bible study or encouragement group!

This quite candid review was made possible by Bethany House Publishers, in return for my advance paper copy.  You are free to join their reviewers too!

 

Resources:

Michael A. O’Donnell

Focus on the Family

christian dad

christian fatherhood: crosswalk article

There are scant resources that pop up with this topic…hmmmm.

 

Book Review: Same Life, New Story: Change Your Perspective to Change Your Life by Jan Silvious

Jan SilviousSame Life, New Story captivated me.  It brought together most of my favorite themes: positive change, encouragement, strength-despite-tragedy, and clear Biblical examples, in order that the reader might actively enjoy their benefits.  Citing Naomi, Leah, and the more unusual Jehosheba, among ten marvelous women’s stories of the Bible, Silvious weaves their facts into your struggles, making it possible to both believe in personal change, and become empowered to see it occur.  Jan speaks to those enduring loss, abandonment, abuse, infertility, and aging, among many other struggles, with cheering grace.  Each chapter grabs your attention, (“Don’t be held hostage by the past” and “Delete the drama of the day”) in a progressive layering of Biblical coaching, week by week, including personal reflection questions, journal entry prompts, and group discussion questions.  I wanted to savor this book slowly, drinking in the hopeful words, and giving myself time to absorb her insights.  I highly recommend it for women seeking life-change of any type.  This would be an excellent choice for group or personal study.

This review was done for Booksneeze: in which I received a complimentary copy of the book, in exchange for my review.  You can do the same: click on the button!