Book Review, NonFiction

Book Review: Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen

“Get Out of Your Head” by Jennie Allen is a Christian non-fiction book about stopping spiraling thoughts by committing them to God and renewing your mind.

This is a practical book, and the title explains it perfectly. As a person who struggles to control my thoughts and anxieties, I found it helpful. Most of what the author said was a repeat of what various Christian counselors have told me. The core of it is this: our actions come from our thoughts which come from our core beliefs which we believe because of past experiences, in this case bad experiences. In order to control our thoughts and actions, then, we must deal with our negative experiences and change our beliefs to reflect what God says in Scripture. Changing our beliefs can only be done by prayer and trust in God, encouragement from other Christians, and renewing our minds by repeatedly calling to mind the the truths in Scripture.

I appreciated the much-needed reminder of these truths and of the need to renew my mind. The Jennie Allen talked about these truths in an approachable way. The book was filed with examples from her own life and the lives of her friends, Biblical truths, and comments from counselors. I especially appreciated the author’s emphasis on depending on God’s strength to stop the spiral of toxic thoughts and the role of Satan in inspiring us to begin spiraling. These spiritual aspects are things we often overlook as a Christian community, and I am grateful the author took the time to emphasize them. We cannot do this on our own; we need God’s help.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who struggles with spiraling thoughts and anxiety. It isn’t an instant fix, but it will point you to Christ and His strength and healing, which is the only true solution.



Book Review

Book Review: Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen

An abbey-turned-hotel holds many secrets, but not nearly as many as the guests.

Perhaps inspired by Agatha Christy and Jane Austen, Julie Klassen’s newest novel is a delight to readers. Set in England in the early 1800s, it features a reclusive author, a potentially haunted hotel, and two sweet lovebirds and other guests with myriad secrets. Although it is a murder mystery and romance, it is clean and Christian.

I loved this story, and I have loved nearly every book Julie Klassen has published. The characters are kind, deep, and imperfect, showing true growth throughout the tale. I enjoyed their sweet romance.

The solution to the mystery surprised me, which is not easily done, and makes me love it more. There was foreshadowing, plot twists, and false leads, all contributing to a satisfying end.

As usual, I learned something about the time period, and that was the presence of a doctor who used humane practices to treat mental health patients. General knowledge of asylums in the time period contradicts that fact, so I am grateful to know that was not true of everyone.

I recommend Shadows of Swanford Abbey to fans of clean, Christian, historical fiction.