Honest to goodness, I don’t remember where I used to find or read them. All I recall is the anticipation and delight every time a new copy made its way into my hands. Reader’s Digest was my favorite magazine as a child.
At one point, I memorized which sections featured jokes or humorous stories- I’d flip to those pages first. They were like comic strips for a word-girl.
And then there were the stories. I’d scan to find the brief, memorable, and inspirational tales. As I grew, I turned from Reader’s Digest to Chicken Soup for the Soul. One faithful aunt gave me a new copy annually.
The stories and bits I found in those resources were my guilty-pleasure as a kid. Even then, I knew many were embellished. I recognized that some were more myth than fact. Many focused on inspiration to the exclusion of context.But there’s still just something about a good story. Click To Tweet
Robert Petterson seems to think so too.
A well-known storyteller, Robert Petterson has crafted short story-based devotions in The Book of Amazing Stories. As you might guess by the number of times “story” was used in the last sentence, this is a book of stories.
It’s that plain and simple.
Each devotion is 2-3 pages long. In every one, Petterson shares a story about a figure or event. Many are familiar- like Ronald Reagan or the Battle of Gettysburg. But Petterson approaches them from a unique angle, illustrating a basic principle about life, faith, or God with an element of surprise.
The devotions are wrapped up with a memorable statement like “monumental consequences are shaped by momentary choices.” A Bible verse is also shared.
There’s a lot to love:
- The devotions are concise and memorable
- The principles are faith-based
- The stories are surprising and impactful
- There is a lot of variety in the types of stories shared
Some elements may not find favor with you though:
- The facts behind some of the stories are murky
- The spiritual insight isn’t very deep
- Scripture isn’t directly applied
- If you can’t stand Reader’s Digest, this probably isn’t your style
If you enjoy a good story and are willing to take some “facts” with a grain of salt, I’d recommend The Book of Amazing Stories as a light-hearted read.
<This review is written in exchange for a free copy of the book provided by Tyndale House Publishers.>
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