Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Becoming Free Indeed by Jinger Duggar Vuolo


Where Did You Get This Book?

I borrowed this through my local library as an e-book.  Check out a future blog post about the Libby app and how to utilize your local library for e-book lending. 


Why Did You Choose This Book?

While I was never into the TLC reality shows about the Duggar family, I was certainly aware of who they were and that Jinger has 18 siblings.  As an only child who is someone who is childless by choice, their large family was baffling and foreign to me.   I was also curious to read about her evolving faith and if she would address the criminal charges made against her brother and how it impacted her.    


What Did You Like About This Book?

I most liked the parts of the book where Jinger described her current belief system and how she came to ask questions about the very strict and regimented sect of Christianity she was raised in, the Institute in Basic Life Principles founded by Bill W. Gothard Jr..  While she was very critical of the Institute’s teachings and beliefs, she never disparaged her parents for raising her in that faith nor those she grew up with or are still practicing it.  Jinger is clear in stating the purpose of this book was to help others “disentangle” from what she perceived as harmful Christian beliefs and find a truer relationship with God by going right to the source, the Bible and making one’s own personal relationship with the Lord and a belief system based on that.  


What Did you Dislike This About This Book?

What I didn’t like about the book was that in examining the belief system of her childhood, she filled her book with an overwhelming amount of direct quotes from “the Institutes” publications.  It was very dry. At times it seemed there was more quoted text than actual thoughts from Jinger.  This book is also filled with an overwhelming amount of bible quotes as she detailed how she explored and “disentangled” from the faith of her childhood to her current faith. I am a Christian but at times I felt this had more bible quotes than a devotional and was very heavy weighted.  If  you picked up this book expecting to read some serious tea on the Duggar family, this book is not for you.  She only briefly alludes to her brother Josh’s criminal charges but perhaps that was because it’s not her story to tell.  


Would You Recommend This Book?

I would recommend this book only to die-hard fans of the Duggar’s reality shows or anyone who may be questioning their faith or faith from their childhood or past and is looking to explore new beliefs and/or faiths. 


Overall Rating (0-5 stars)

2.5 stars

Monday, March 13, 2023

Meme Crush Monday

Forget about “Man Crush Monday’s,” here #MCM means Meme Crush Monday! For those who don’t have access or don’t wish to use Instagram, I’ll share a bookish meme right here weekly on the blog  

This Week’s #MCM Meme Crush Monday:

Is there a better sign of a good book than one you can completely escape in? What’s the last book you read that really let you shut the world off for a bit? Share with us in the comments below.  

We have heard some reports that our comment section isn't working for some folks.  If you've had an issue, please visit our Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @bwobny and let us know!

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Spare by Prince Harry


BWOBNY is back!! Today we debut our brand new review series "Book Buddies."  Jenn and Mallory met during the first week of Borders Middletown, NY (18 years ago!!) and became fast friends along with Melanie who you may remember for her delightfully snarky reviews elsewhere on the blog.  First up, Jenn and Mallory review the buzzy Spare by Prince Harry.


Where did you get this book (purchased, gift or library?)

Jenn:  Purchased ebook from online retailer

Mallory:  Gift for Christmas


Why did you choose this book?

Jenn:  I was super curious to hear about Prince Harry’s life from the man himself.  I’ve been interested in the workings of the Royal Family since I was in high school. I also wanted to learn more about Meghan as we share a birthday!

Mallory:  I choose this book because I wanted to hear Prince Harry's side. Unfortunately the Media has had a lot of negative comments and articles about him. I was interested in what happened and occurred through the eyes of Prince Harry


What did you like about this book?

Jenn:  I was fascinated and impressed by Harry’s military training and career.  I had no idea how actively he was involved in the military.  His work for his fellow veterans especially wounded warriors is inspiring. 

I also love the way he spoke of his Grandmother, to him she was “Granny” and a much more caring woman than the vision of Queen Elizabeth that I’d built up in my mind.  However his descriptions of his father and Charles' mistress Camilla were even worse than I imagined.  It was heartbreaking to read especially given the devastating loss of his mother.  It was also disheartening to read about the strained relationship with his brother.

Mallory:  The book was really informative. It shed a light on how the death of his mother really affected his life. It was also educating to hear of his experience in the military. Hearing his perspective of life as a royal, really opened my eyes. Just because he is part of a royal family does not make his life perfect.


What (if anything) did you dislike about this book?

Jenn:  At one point, Prince Harry is exposed to frigid temperatures and reportedly suffered frostbite to what I’ll call a sensitive appendage of his anatomy.  He devoted way more time to that experience that I felt necessary.  LOL  You really could’ve kept that to yourself, mate.

I also would’ve liked a little more detail on his life with Meghan now.  What’s a regular day like at home for them with their children?  What does their work life entail?  I would’ve just liked some “slice of life” details there although the book does of course cover their dating life through marriage.


Mallory:  I felt at times that the book was chopped up. He would start telling of a time period in his life and then it would abruptly stop and pick up 10 chapters later. At points I also felt that it was too detailed. This would cause me to lose interest at times.


Would you recommend this book to others?

Jenn:  Absolutely!  Even if you’re not into the royals, this book definitely shows there are at least two sides to every story and also gives one reason to question the media, especially tabloids.


Mallory:  Yes. I would absolutely recommend this book. I feel that the book does give a proper look into his life. It makes you question everything you hear in the media.


Star Rating

Jenn:  ***** /5

Mallory:  ****/5

Have you read Spare?  What did you think?  Share your thoughts with the book buddies (or book biddies as Melanie has taken to calling us)!