Tag Archives: memoir

Review: 30 Days: A Devotional Memoir, by D. M. Webb

30 Days: A Devotional Memoir30 Days: A Devotional Memoir, by D. M. Webb (Ambassador International, 2013)

Spiritual growth and change often spring from the everyday moments. In 30 Days, D. M. Webb shares through Scripture and anecdotes how God met and cared for her in a 3-year stretch of trials and turmoil. 30 Days is a transparent look at one woman’s life lessons that will encourage and challenge readers in their own lives.

This is a memoir devotional, but it’s not the conventional “life story” autobiography type. These are memoir snippets, each focused to the theme of the particular day’s selection.

Although our life experiences have been very different, D. M. Webb’s devotional memoir connected with me in several places. We both value the book The Search for Significance, by Robert McGee. We both believe that “prayer is the strongest medium there is.” (Kindle location 76)

The lesson that stood out most to me was that it’s okay to ask God “why?” in the hard times – it’s not lack of faith, nor is it demanding and ungrateful. D. M. Webb helped me understand that there’s a way to ask in trust, and that the asking opens us to understand what God wants to teach us in our circumstances.

My favourite line:

My prayers are for those lost in the dark to realize that the Light is nothing to be scared of. (Kindle location 229)

I love how 30 Days ends with two stories passed on from the author’s mother. The stories in this book – and our own personal experiences with the God Who Cares – have value. They need to be shared with our peers and with the generation to come.

30 Days is available in ebook and paper. D. M. Webb (Daphne Self) is also the author of Mississippi Nights. She blogs at Rebel Book Reviews.

[Review copy provided by the author.]

Review: Dog Only Knows, by Barrie MacFarlane

Dog Only Knows

Dog Only Knows, by Barrie MacFarlane (Createspace, 2011)

The subtitle of this slim book is “How to Find Love, Hope and Happiness in an Uncertain World.” The story is written in an endearing voice, from an elderly Labrador Retriever’s perspective as he looks back on life with—and lessons learned from—humans.

Marley the dog (named after reggae singer Bob Marley and with no relation to the Marley and Me movie) was born in Ohio, moved to Los Angeles, then immigrated to Atlantic Canada. I like what he says in one of the early chapters:

There is a reason and a purpose for all life… your life has a purpose, although it may take a search to find it… You don’t have to search frantically. It’s intended to be an adventure. (p. 6)

As he tells highlights from his life story, he shares what he’s learned about common subjects: fear, loyalty, trust, forgiveness, grief, change, attitude, love etc.

Dog Only Knows is a life-affirming book for the general market. Short chapters open with pithy quotes, and they often have a gentle, encouraging message. As one might expect, there are plenty of funny pet shenanigans.

At times Marley speaks directly to young reader, but it’s also a pleasant read for adults. It would make a good family read-aloud story. In places the language can be complex, and an adult reader could make any explanations if needed.

This is the first book I’ve read produced through Amazon’s Createspace, and the only issues I see are about copy-editing. It’s printed on sturdy, cream-coloured paper that’s easy on the eyes. (I’m not a fan of the bright white often used in print on demand.)

There’s a real Marley, and the book is based on his escapades. We can credit his human friend Barrie MacFarlane with providing the thoughts and commentary.

Barrie MacFarlane is a Canadian author who has a strong appreciation for the way animals lift the human spirit. Dog Only Knows is his first book, and you can find it on Amazon: Canada and USA.

 [Review copy provided by the author.]