Create: Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff by Stephen Altrogge is a motivational book if ever there was one! Stephen urges the reader to get going on your creative idea, the one you stuffed back in your mind, the one you were wanting to get to . . . sometime. He encourages you to create and to learn in the process. He is realistic in that every song, painting, poem, book, and so on isn’t going to be the best in the world. But he says that if you do nothing, you don’t learn anything, and you don’t perfect your craft.
I loved his zeal, Christian focus—our projects should be done for the Lord—and his way with words. He knows how to motivate. I didn’t like a couple of crude words he used, and I would differ with some of the things he mentioned as being appropriate for a Christian who desires to glorify God. Aside from those two caveats, this is a great motivational book that will literally get you producing something creative.
Finding Christmas: Stories of Startling Joy and Perfect Peace by James Calvin Schaap is an edgy Christmas read. This book of eight stories (seven chapters plus a story at the beginning) isn’t your typical Christmas collection, but I loved it! Each story is independent of the rest, and each features a surprise wrap-up. There’s a hint of sarcasm in Schaap’s style. It’s not snarky or unkind, and frankly, I enjoyed it. The stories are thought provoking and inspirational. If you’re looking for a different kind of Christmas book with bite-sized stories, this is a good pick. If you are looking for hot chocolate with marshmallows, though, it isn’t. Schaap’s book is about social issues and love.