Hope Runs by Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Samuel Gachagua Book Review

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Sammy Ikua Gachagua had lost his father to illness, his mother to abandonment, and his home to poverty. By age ten, he was living in a shack with  seven other children and very little food. He entered an orphanage seeing it as a miracle with three meals a day, a bed to sleep in, and clothes on his back.

When Claire Diaz-Ortiz arrived in Kenya at the end of an around-the-world journey, she decided to stay the night, climb Mt. Kenya, then head back home. She entered an orphanage seeing it as little more than a free place to spend the night before her mountain trek.
God had other plans.

Hope Runs
is the emotional story of an American tourist, a Kenyan orphan, and the day that would change the course of both of their lives forever. It”s about what it means to live in the now when the world is falling down around you. It”s about what it means to hope for the things you cannot see. Most of all, it”s about how God can change your life in the blink of an eye. (Taken from Chapters.ca)

What do you get when you have an American Tourist and a boy from Kenya? You get this crazy journey that I don’t think any of them planned on, and that’s what happens sometimes. Sometimes we think we have everything planned out for something, but when we get there what he have planned out is what doesn’t actually happen, and what does happen is something totally opposite from what we want. That’s kind of the case with this story. Here we have An American who goes off to a different country, and well, that’s only just the start of the story. It’s also about hope and love, and life and other things that I bet Claire and Sammy wouldn’t didn’t even realize would happen, but when it did, it was the greatest thing that ever happened, and the impact that it had along with the lasting rippling effect.

It’s a story of how God can take your plans for your life and change them in a way that seems crazy at first, but when you get the bigger picture that God’s showing you, your life will never be the same again.

Honestly, this is such an amazing book, with such a great story in it, and after reading it, you’ll be blown away as I was about the simple love that was poured about through this book.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that likes an amazing story, that afterwards makes yuo want to do something because you can’t sit still.

Claire Diaz-Ortiz leads social innovation at Twitter, Inc., and is the author of several books, including Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time. Named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, she is a frequent international speaker on social media, business, and innovation and writes a popular business blog at http://www.clairediazortiz.com. She holds an MBA from Oxford University and an MA and BA in anthropology from Stanford University. She is cofounder of Hope Runs, a non-profit organization operating in AIDS orphanages in Kenya. Claire has been called a “mover and shaker” by Mashable, “the woman who got the pope on Twitter” by The Washington Post, a “force for good” by Forbes, and “one of the most generous in social media” byFast Company. She has been widely written about in such publications as the New York Times, Business Week, The Washington Post, and Forbes. Find her on Twitter @claire.

Sammy Ikua Gachagua
was born in rural Kenya in 1992. After losing his family at a young age, he struggled to survive until he was placed in an orphanage in Nyeri, Kenya. In 2009 he received a full-ride scholarship to Maine Central Institute, granting him a rare US visa and the chance to begin his sophomore year of high school under the guardianship of Claire Diaz-Ortiz. He is an up-and-coming motivational speaker. Find him on Twitter @sammyikua.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

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Taylor’s Gift Book Review

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“In March 2010, thirteen-year-old Taylor Storch’s life was tragically cut short by a skiing accident. With only a few minutes to consider their options, her grieving family made the life-changing decision to donate her organs. Knowing Taylor’s caring spirit, they were sure this was what she would have wanted. Over the course of the next two years, Tara and Todd Storch connected with four of the five people who now live because of Taylor’s gift. And through these encounters, the Storches have discovered unexpected blessings that are changing countless lives.
Now Tara and Todd share their inspiring story, shining a light at the end of the tunnel for those enduring the suffering of losing a loved one.” (taken from Chapters.ca)

I’m not a parent, but with a book like this, I don’t think it matter’s if you’re a parent, or grandparent, or even single. This book is for everyone. It’s about a devastating accident that happened, and the journey of the parents, and also everyone else, that followed. It’s something amazing and positive that can happen out of such dark times.

It doesn’t matter what part of the world you live in, everyone should be aware of this, and how many people are waiting for organ donations. 5 people now have a new sense of live because of what The Storch’s did, and they’ve connected with 4 out of the 5 people.

This is a story that Tara and Todd have brought forth to everyone, helping people that are in this situation, and the importance of being an organ donor. It will help people know that lives can easily be saved, and the statistics are quite alarming. This is their story, what they weren’t through, how they were dealing with things.

What came out of this was the foundation that Tara and Todd started, The Taylor’s Gift Foundation, bringing awareness to this, and also hope for other’s that are going through this.

Even though this book is American. and talks about American statistics, being Canada, I quickly tried to find the same stats for Canadian organ donors, though I wasn’t successful. (I did only spend maybe 5 minutes on google, but will be looking into this more. If anyone does know these and how they compare with American Statistics, that would be really cool.

This isn’t just a book, this is a story. A story without an ending, as Taylor lives on through the 5 people that have her organs, through the foundation. It’s a story that I don’t believe that has an ending because it’s still going on.

Be an Organ Donor, save lives. Outlive yourself.

Here is the link to the Taylor’s gift Foundation Website so you can be more informed. Http://Taylorsgift.org

Jennifer Schuchmann did an excellent job helping the Storch’s put together this book and it also has a beautiful forward by Max Lucado

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Placebo By Steven James Book Review

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“While covertly investigating a controversial neurological research program, exposé filmmaker Jevin Banks is drawn into a far-reaching conspiracy involving one of the world”s largest pharmaceutical firms. After giving up his career as an escape artist and illusionist in the wake of his wife and sons” tragic death, Jevin is seeking not only answers about the questionable mind-to-mind communication program, but also answers to why his family suffered as they did.” (Taken From Chapter.ca)

Steven James has penned 30+ books spanning the genres of psychological thrillers, prayer collections, dramas, monologues, a nine book series on creative storytelling, YA fantasy, and inspirational nonfiction. He has received wide critical acclaim for his work including four Storytelling World Honor awards, two Publishers Weekly starred reviews, and 2009, 2011 and 2012 Christy Awards for best suspense. His latest thriller, The Queen, won a 2012 ECPA Book Award and the 2012 Christy Award for Best Suspense Novel. Steven earned a Master’s Degree in Storytelling from ETSU in 1997 and is an active member of International Thriller Writers, the Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, and International Association of Crime Writers.  He is a contributing editor to Writer’s Digest, and has taught writing and storytelling principles on three continents. (Taken from Stevenjames.net)

 

As soon as I read the description about this book, that it involved a pharmaceutical company, I had thought about The Circle Series by Ted Dekker. But Placebo is an action packed page turner. Even when I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about what was going to happen when I did read it next. It was an absolutely intense thrill ride. The scenes were descriptive such as you could picture things if they were a movie. The characters were brilliant and just everything was well written, especially the dialogue and the interaction between the characters.

I am a tech person and though some of the terms I didn’t really know, but some of the other terminology I kind of knew.

With everything that was involved with the book, I could almost say I’ve read a book like this, but also at the same time I haven’t read something likes this. The research for this was really well as Steven James knew what was going used and wrote a thoroughly enjoyed book.

If you like a good action oriented with everything else going on, I would highly recomend this book, and ever if you like reading at all you should read this book.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group