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When Maria Hoagland is not working at her computer, she can be found walking barefoot in soft grass, remodeling houses with her husband, or enjoying campfires with their three children. She loves crunching leaves in the fall, stealing cookie dough from the mixing bowl, and listening to musicals on her iPod. Maria earned her degree at Brigham Young University, and although she adores mountain resorts near her Idaho home, she is no longer a fan of ice skating.
on Nov. 08, 2011 :
Nourish & Strengthen was as easy a read, and as intriguing to me, as the Hunger Games or Twilight series' but I came away smarter and better (which I can't really say from those other books). I downloaded it to my phone and had the laziest two days of my life. Yes, two days. I stayed in my pajamas until the kids got home from school. I couldn't put it down. I usually have to read books in 5 minute spurts between chores and other obligations. There were no 5 minute spurts while reading this book.
One of the best things about this book is that it's clean. Absolutely clean. There's nothing I wouldn't want my mom or kids to read. It's written by an LDS author; it talks about church, but it's about relationships and life...and reality. I think everyone who reads this book will be able to relate to the characters in this book, because we've met people in our communities or our own church congregations that are the same. We experience the same emotions that the author describes, of fear, uncertainty, pride, etc., as we deal with other people.
Also, I appreciate the information the author gives about diabetes. It's quite comprehensive and helpful, yet not overwhelming or burdensome. It just comes across naturally throughout the book.
Added bonus, if you're not LDS and you don't know some of the lingo, there is a glossary to help out with unknown terms.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Oct. 31, 2011 :
After reading this book I had to put it down and kind of mull over it for a while. Over a week later I'm still thinking about it. To tell the truth, it took a bit of courage to volunteer for this blog tour because Nourish and Strengthen fits into a category of books that I generally don't like. Somehow this book was different for me. The story is simple, and yet it's not. While Nourish and Strengthen may seem like a book wrtten mostly for Latter-Day Saint women who have diabetes, it's more than that. It subtly speaks truths about relationships, particularly friendships and how those friendships are formed and how they last despite things like big mouths and human frailties. Having friends, especially in an LDS ward setting, is a lot like the family you are born into. You didn't really get a choice, but you make it work somehow. You make mistakes and so do your friends. They forgive and so do you. All of our lives are crazy busy and somehow we have to learn to help each other and lean on each other and, on occastion, stay out of each other's way. This book just gives you a ton to think about. And if that isn't enough, Hoagland's writing is pristine. Take it from a picky reader who likes to know what's going on and likes beauty in the writing of the books she reads and isn't fond of silly mistakes. I give Nourish and Strengthen 4/5 stars.
(reviewed 11 days after purchase)