Book Review: Reigniting the Spark

As a result of another book review I did on here, I got an offer to read & review this book: Reigniting the Spark: Why Stable Relationships Lose Intimacy and How to Get It Back. I was provided a free copy of this book to read & review, and it took me longer than I’d like to admit to finally dive into it. (I’m going to blame this partly on the fact that we’re living in a pandemic right now, and I’ve had a hard time finding time or energy to do much of anything some days!)

I want to start off by saying this, as it’s how the book was marketed to me and also something I found true while reading it: this book is a valuable read for anyone. I think the title implies that it’s only for people who are in unstable relationships, who are having problems, etc. but I took a lot of value from this book despite the fact that I am in a stable relationship. After all, none of us are perfect. There’s always room for growth and improvement in our relationships, and we should always be working on them. Don’t get complacent!

This book focuses on a few main premises. While I won’t go into too much detail, the first premise is this: kindness is key. It’s about how we treat other people, and whether we see ourselves and our relationship as a unit or as two individuals. It’s about treating your partner as one of your kin:

“Kindness isn’t merely being pleasant to others, or serving their needs, or even putting their needs before your own. You can do all those things in a subservient relationship, out of a sense of civic-mindedness, or as an expression of a religious calling. You can and should do good deeds for employers and employees, neighbors, or even strangers, but that sort of kindness is not what keeps people together as a couple.”

The author then dials in on the two “golden gifts” in a relationship: stability and intimacy. You need both of these in order to make a relationship work, and you’ll learn more about this in a couple chapters worth of content. From examining one’s character, to lowering your partner’s anxiety, both of these factors are necessary pieces for a good, solid relationship.

“If stability provides the roots for a relationship, intimacy provides the energy for growth.”

From there, the book dives further into stability and intimacy, what these mean and how they can and cannot be found.

“You can only say yes if you know you’re able to say no.”

Also, don’t be afraid when the author starts talking about religion in the beginning. This is not a religious book, and you don’t need to follow any certain set of beliefs in order to read it or take anything from it.

With all of this said, I think there’s a lot of good content in this book, and if you’re reading it, you’re probably the type of person who’s willing to absorb some of its advice and wisdom. Regardless, I think it’s important to keep in mind: this book isn’t going to “save” your relationship, if your relationship needs saving. You, and your partner, putting in the work – perhaps *aided* by the advice you get from this book – will.

This book is published by TCK Publishing and is available in multiple formats on Amazon.

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Book Review: A Love Letter Life

A Love Letter Life: Pursue Creatively. Date Intentionally. Love Faithfully is a fairly new release by Jeremy & Audrey Roloff. If you watch “reality TV” at all, you’ve probably heard of the couple and, particularly, Jeremy’s family. But over the past few years, Jeremy & Audrey have branched out on their own and created the enterprises of Beating 50 Percent and Always More, to name a few.

I’ve “followed” them for a while now, and for as long as I can remember, they’ve been big on encouraging couples in their relationships with one another, so it only makes sense that it would be the subject of their (first) book!

In many ways, I admire what Jeremy and Audrey are doing. There is SO much content out there nowadays, and also – so many examples of “bad” relationships. It’s refreshing, quite frankly, to see a couple focused on their marriage, on fostering their love, and on helping others to do the same. They never claim to be experts, and they’re realistic – and authentic, for the most part. They’re not afraid to share the good times of their relationship on social media, but they’re careful to let people know that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows.

With that said, I was eager to dive into their book!

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MY TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2017

Well, here we are: the end of another year! Per my Goodreads, I read 51 books over the course of 2017. Some were good, some were great, some were heartbreaking, and a few, I just couldn’t force myself to finish.

I read a lot of non-fiction again in 2017, just like in 2016 — but there were a few fiction pieces in there too! Without any further ado, here are my top ten books I read in 2017 – in no particular order!

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Book Review: The McDavid Effect: Connor McDavid and the New Hope for Hockey

Having followed the hockey career of Edmonton Oilers prodigy Connor McDavid since his entrance into the Ontario Hockey League several years ago, I was certainly interested in picking up the book “The McDavid Effect: Connor McDavid and the New Hope for Hockey.”

Since my library didn’t own a copy, I put in an interlibrary loan request, and the book arrived shortly after from the library at St. Lawrence University. The really interesting thing about this book is how new it is; it was released in October 2016, making it less than a year old. It speaks on a lot of history, but also includes a lot of relevant, very recent information. I don’t know that I’ve ever read such an up-to-date book.

Although the title of this book starts with “The McDavid Effect,” it is not just about Connor McDavid. Instead, it is about McDavid and his path through junior hockey and into the NHL, even through his rookie season, yes; but it is also about the Edmonton Oilers franchise, then and now. It is a captivating story that discusses the history of the Oilers franchise, their glory years, their downfall, and now, the arrival of McDavid and the new hope that it has brought to the city & franchise.

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