Feb 27, 2011

Scars of a Chef by Rick Tramanto with Lisa Jackson

Rick Tramanto’s life was not always as prestigious and fulfilling as it now.  In his autobiography, Scars of a Chef, Tramanto tells the story of hardships he suffered, and the decisions that almost cost him his life.  Having an Italian background, passion was not something he lacked.  He was passionate about the things that caught his interest, and those things were women, drugs, and cooking.  Rick Tramanto takes us back to his childhood where cooking was a big part of his life, as well as his parents dysfunctional abuse of one another.  He then takes us on a journey of discovery into the culinary world, his addiction to “partying” and ultimately a discovery of true love.  Against all odds, Tramanto worked his way from a Wendy’s Chef to opening the four-star establishment Tru.  Scars of a Chef says it all, in this honest, down to earth autobiography you will find the wounds of Rick Tramanto and the healing God brought to create those scars. 

Tramanto takes us from the beginning to the end in this simple yet insightful autobiography.  He takes us into the kitchens of the most esteemed restaurants in the West Coast and reveals to us the struggles he faced, as well as the hardships he endured to get to where he wanted to go.  For a long time Tramanto was doing things his way until one fateful day, when life was falling down all around him.  I loved at the beginning of each chapter he quoted a scripture that went along with what he was sharing, and wrapped each chapter up with a recipe.  This book is just plain outright REAL. 

I received a complimentary copy of Scars of a Chef by Rick Tramanto Tyndale House Publishers as part of their blog review program.  The views and opinions are my own.


Feb 21, 2011

PUJOLS More Than A Game by Scott Lamb and Tim Ellsworth

When you think of RBI’s, Homers, OBP’s, and the diamond you think of baseball, right?  When you think of the St. Louis Cardinals you may often think of Albert Pujols.  What if you were to think of baseball being used as a platform for faith?  In PUJOLS More Than A Game Lamb and Ellsworth illustrate the beautiful story of Albert’s small beginnings to his climb into the Major Leagues.  From his humble beginnings in Santo Domingo, with an alcoholic father we follow Pujols to his first real encounter with Christ, then off to the Minor Leagues and shortly on to the Majors.  Wrapped up within the story of Pujols’ career comes a faith from a man that many children with down syndrome call a hero.  Not only will you find incredible stats and numbers about Pujols, you will find a man that puts God first, and uses baseball as a platform for his faith.

As a woman who does not follow baseball, and never knew who Albert Pujols was until this book, it was very hard to understand the baseball lingo.  I found it hard to follow the story because of the “jumping” around Lamb and Ellsworth did in Pujols career throughout the book. However, I thoroughly enjoyed reading of Albert’s faith, and how he uses his fame as a stage to share Christ with others.  If you love baseball, this is a must read!

This book was provided to me from Thomas Nelson through the BookSneeze program.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Feb 13, 2011

The Resurrection by Mike Duran

Each city has its own spiritual environment, unique with its own atmosphere that creates a passageway to the supernatural.  Much like our own cities and towns, Stonetree holds a spiritual atmosphere that has opened a door to a realm of mystery, darkness, and faith.  When Ruby Case, a crippled woman with a simple faith, resurrects a young boy from the dead the town’s secrets are also restored to life.  Was the resurrection a bonafide miracle or could it be related to the Stonetree curse?  That is what Ian Clark, the reverend of Canyon Springs Community Church, which Ruby attends, is going to find out.  As Reverend Clark searches for the truth about the resurrection, he finds himself charting unfamiliar territory as the secrets of his own past and the towns unfold.  The people of Stonetree have only one hope, a wandering Reverend and a crippled woman.  Interwoven with faith, fear, courage, doubt, and a drive to find the truth, both Ian Clark and Ruby find themselves together at a cross-road of decisions. Will their decisions lead them to unearthing the curse that has plagued the town of Stonetree for many generations, or will they find their faith overpowered by supernatural forces that has driven others away in previous years?

Mike Duran paints a beautiful picture of what real faith looks like when we are faced with powers that are greater than us.  He has an incredible ability to bring the characters to life, and creates a descriptive backdrop that would cause anyone to become part of the story.  I found myself relating to the different characters in The Resurrection, especially Ruby Case.  I could relate to her child-like faith, and her connection with an autistic girl named Jilly who has the ability to see angels.  This book is a must read for anyone who seeks supernatural warfare, and an edge of your seat thrill.

I have received a complimentary copy of The Resurrection by Mike Duran from Strang Book Group as part of the book review program.  The view and opinions are my own.