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"Soundtracks - The Surprising Solution to Overthinking" by Jon Acuff



Book Review
by Heather Horn

 A self-help book that is actually helpful? 

Do you have goals in life but talk yourself right out of them? 

Do you allow a conversation to replay over and over in your mind?

Jon Acuff says he can help solve this problem. 

Honestly, at some points while reading I found myself saying, “This is too simple, even too silly, it can’t work.”  But Acuff’s stats and personal experience is undeniable.  I have been putting the advice into practice since I cracked open this book; not only for myself but also for those I supervise at work and even for my kids!  “Before you step on the pitcher’s mound say, ‘I am a good pitcher. I can throw strikes.’”

Acuff gives real life advice that you can apply today.  And without giving away too much of the book I will say if you do everything he says and it doesn’t work…the most you have to lose is becoming a more positive person who still hasn’t met your goals and well I’m ok with that. 

I wasn’t sure if Acuff’s suggestion to listen to the audiobook while reading the hardcopy was just a sales pitch but I have to say it was great.  It kept me engaged and focused.  If my mind wandered, either the words on the page or Jon’s voice in a story would bring me back.  I finished the book in no time and feel like I retained more…time will tell. 

This is a book that will actually change your mindset toward goals.  Plus, I love when an author makes me feel part of the inside joke…maybe it’s that we are the same age and stage of life but Acuff had me laughing out loud while reading.  Acuff has the keen ability to make you feel like you went to high school together and are laughing together about old times. “Start a new hobby. Learn to play guitar (start with “Wonderwall” by Oasis, obviously).” I highly recommend “Soundtracks” especially if you know your own thoughts get in the way of success and well who doesn’t?    

"Tough Stuff Parenting" By Paul Basden and Jim Johnson


Book Review by Colette SanFelice 

This was such a great book to read! This book takes 10 very prominent issues and breaks them down for parents to have open communication with their children. Each chapter spends time breaking down how to communicate with the various age groups of your children. The authors are very sensitive to modern culture yet stand firmly with biblical standards. 

The main topics in this book include but are not limited to: 

Partying 

Divorce

Having sex

Awareness of other religions

Racism

Dealing with "difficult situations"

Porn

Same sex attraction

Drugs and alcohol

Suicide

With each chapter/topic the authors offer specific advice for parents of elementary-age children, tweens and teens. 

The chapters I personally found the most insightful were; Divorce, racism and same sex attraction. I appreciate how this book is nonjudgmental and offers multiple perspectives on handling the situations. 

I would highly recommend this book, especially in light of the temperature of our current society. These are all difficult conversations to have, but beyond important for us as parents to have them with our children. 

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