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Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Reviews: Create, Finding Christmas

Create: Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff by Stephen Altrogge is a motivational book if ever there was one! Stephen urges the reader to get going on your creative idea, the one you stuffed back in your mind, the one you were wanting to get to . . . sometime. He encourages you to create and to learn in the process. He is realistic in that every song, painting, poem, book, and so on isn’t going to be the best in the world. But he says that if you do nothing, you don’t learn anything, and you don’t perfect your craft.

I loved his zeal, Christian focus—our projects should be done for the Lord—and his way with words. He knows how to motivate. I didn’t like a couple of crude words he used, and I would differ with some of the things he mentioned as being appropriate for a Christian who desires to glorify God. Aside from those two caveats, this is a great motivational book that will literally get you producing something creative.

Finding Christmas: Stories of Startling Joy and Perfect Peace by James Calvin Schaap is an edgy Christmas read. This book of eight stories (seven chapters plus a story at the beginning) isn’t your typical Christmas collection, but I loved it! Each story is independent of the rest, and each features a surprise wrap-up. There’s a hint of sarcasm in Schaap’s style. It’s not snarky or unkind, and frankly, I enjoyed it. The stories are thought provoking and inspirational. If you’re looking for a different kind of Christmas book with bite-sized stories, this is a good pick. If you are looking for hot chocolate with marshmallows, though, it isn’t. Schaap’s book is about social issues and love.


  1. I've enjoyed some of Stephen Altrogge's fiction. I've never tried any of his nonfiction, but discovered I did have that book ion my Kindle app, so I hope to get to it some day.

    I didn't think the second book sounded familiar to me until I looked it up on Amazon. Then it did, and I searched for it on my blog and found I had read it in 2010. I don't remember much about it - I didn't review it but just left a brief description with some other Christmas books I'd read that year. I'll have to skim through it when I get out my Christmas books next year.

    1. I enjoyed them both. They're new authors to me. Very good with words, and that definitely is something I appreciate. I like a fresh approach. Both of these are different in a good way.


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