The Butterfly and the Violin – By Kristy Cambron

butterfly

This is a debut novel in which Sera James seeks out the story behind a painting that she saw in a Paris art gallery.  Her search leads her to William Hanover III and a story of Adele Von Bron during World War II.

Von Bron is an exceptional violinist who finds herself sent to Auschwitz after helping smuggle Jews out of Vienna. She must use her musical gifts and her faith to help her survive every day.

fourstars

I give this book four stars.  I find myself drawn to stories set in the World War II era, and this one was no different. While a fictional story, Cambron does a superb job capturing the horrors and despair of WWII and life in Auschwitz accurately. At the same time, she also eloquently crafts that tiny glimmer of hope that those who lived through those days held onto, despite all odds. Through it all, Cambron reminds us of the poignant truth that, no matter what, God is faithful.

I was very impressed with this author, especially as a debut novel. I look forward to reading another of her books. I’d highly recommend this book to you!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Leadership Lessons – By Ralph K. Hawkins & Richard Leslie Parrot

This book addresses leadership from a perspective of what NOT to do by looking at the life, the struggles, and the failures of King Saul as a leader. In other words, the authors propose to show us how to be more effective leaders by demonstrating what NOT to do. They do this by introducing ten main pitfalls of King Saul:

  1. He did not handle authority with humility.
  2. He isolated himself too much.
  3. He spoke without thinking.
  4. He missed the right time for action.
  5. He let the people lead him instead of vice versa.
  6. He did not make changes in his organization when necessary or deserved.
  7. He did not love people.
  8. He did not remain true to his morals.
  9. He did not admit his mistakes or defer to those with more expertise.
  10. He did not seek God.

four stars of five

I give this book four stars. I really debated giving it three, but ultimately decided that its merit as a leadership development book deserved more.  It’s likely only my labor through it that made me initially think differently. I’m not a nonfiction reader by hobby, but by professional necessity (and for personal growth), so this book took me longer than most to get through.

What I liked most about this book is that it approaches leadership from such a unique perspective.  I’ve read several leadership development books over the past few years, and all of them except this one approach it from the point of view of building on your strengths as a leader or through giving examples of great leaders. While the end result is the same, it was interesting to think about it in this manner.

What I did not like as much about this book included two things.  First, I think this book would be far better read and digested in a small group study setting instead of as an individual. That way there could be discussion and reflection throughout the book.  Second, the book is a little “business-ese” in its writing style which can make it laborious at times to follow or stay tuned into.

Overall, however, if you are looking for a great leadership book to add to your shelf and extend your ability as a leader, I would recommend that this be one of them.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”