Book Reviews

INDIVIDUAL REVIEWS

Aurelia Villa, Publicist – Los Angeles, CA:

Linda Russell’s book is not only intelligent and well written, but her open candor and unabashed honesty made me grow as a person and as a Christian. Her book is inspiring and convicting at the same time. Truly a book inspired by God.  Reminded me of the phrase, God never wastes a hurt. Linda proved that with God on our side, our crosses are a blessing given to help us grow spiritually. Her book reminded me that our ‘thorns’ are given with a purpose, to help us reach for the grace of the ‘throne’.  I challenge anyone to read it and not come away changed a better person.  I highly endorse it!

Isabel Hunter, Cornerstone Community – Belfast, Northern Ireland       

What drew my attention from the beginning was the sheer honesty of Linda’s writing.  She does not gloss over, as most of us would, her own failings or where she might have gone wrong.  Her own sufferings as a child and young person gave her great insights into the kids in crisis that she worked with and it must have been like a cup of cold water to them to have her around. In fact, she has received great insights into people’s longing to be loved. This book shows how, through Christ, we can come close to people, ‘touch’ them, and help them to know Him—insights born in the fire of suffering and now leading the reader into the light of Jesus.
Elisabeth Kines – Santa Monica, CA

Reading Linda Russell’s book feels like having a conversation with an old friend. It’s intimate, refreshingly honest, hilarious and at times heartbreaking. Throughout her book, Mrs. Russell uses the timeless truths of the fruits of the Spirit as the keys to living a life of complete surrender and freedom. Mrs. Russell’s book not only shares her trials and triumphs but also provides encouragement to anyone who has felt the weight of a life burdened with guilt, low self esteem and doubt.  After reading this book, you will feel enlightened, encouraged and empowered to break free of life’s burdens.

Reverend Vicki Franch – Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA

The next best thing to talking with Linda is reading her book. She is a funny, deep and compassionate woman of faith, and the tone of her book is true to her wonderful personality. Her honesty about her struggles in life and in faith will help and encourage every reader. Having this book on your bedside table to read morning or night will comfort and strengthen you in your walk with Christ.

Robert Branney – Construction Supervisor, Habitat for Humanity – Belfast, Northern Ireland

“Why Surrender Is NOT A Four Letter Word” is a book everyone can enjoy and relate to, no matter what your relationship is with God.  Linda openly shares her life experiences and helped me on my journey back to God.  This book opened my eyes and heart to God’s compassion and forgiveness.

Sister Marie Laurent Klein, CPPS – O’Fallon, MO

An inspiring book in which one woman shares with us her personal story.  Using humor and applying Scripture texts that fit her reality, Linda honestly and courageously speaks to us of her journey into the heart of God and the transformation that takes place within her as she surrenders herself to the Holy Spirit.  She challenges us to let God into our reality and to be open to the miracles the Holy Spirit can work in and through us.

Cady Schmitt – St. Louis, MO

First of all, I’m just not in the habit of reading any book that might fall into the categories of Christian or “self-help.”  But a dear friend of mine gave me a copy of this book, and I read it, really just to make her happy.  MUCH to my surprise, I LOVED this book!!  Linda Russell’s story pulls you right along, and is entertaining, warm and funny – even if you weren’t necessarily in the market for a message from above!  Linda puts God’s love in perspective.  Her story takes something that (at least for me) is intangible and elusive, and makes it feel concrete.  Perhaps because the author herself seems like someone you know (or would like to know!), her story becomes very easy to relate to. She is a normal person with normal problems and struggles, who works very hard in her every normal day to have an extraordinary relationship with God. That’s something I can believe in!

Marsha Graham – Las Vegas, NV

I loved the book – when I got it out of the mailbox I began to read it right away and did not put it down for the next week. (I am a slow reader!) At the end of each chapter, I felt invited to read more as there was so much to glean from Linda’s story. The anticipation of what was going to happen next along with being able to easily enter into Linda’s story made it an enjoyable read. There were many times when I knew that God was using her story to teach me something. I learned more about the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians and more about how much God deeply and sincerely loves me. There were tough, truthful moments in the book that stretched me to believe and trust more in God in all circumstances. I can see why people would think surrendering is a four-letter word but after reading Linda’s book, I can see where surrendering to God and His good and perfect will for my life is the best thing that I can do.
Jeannette Hamann – Pastoral Associate – O’Fallon, MO

This book is truly a must read. It is a book for everyone. It will have you laughing in hysterics one minute, crying the next, and give you goose bumps throughout. I couldn’t put it down. Most of all, I know that Linda was truly guided by the Holy Spirit.

I realized through her story that God loves me so much, and He is with me through it all…no matter what…forever. “Seek and ye shall find, knock and it will be opened unto you, ask and you shall receive”…Linda’s book truly made that Scripture come to life for me!

Paula R. Ziegemeier, MSW,LCSW

Linda combines both her life experiences and Scripture to reveal truth, which penetrates through the heart, spirit, and soul.  She challenges us to let go of control and put absolute trust in our Divine Savior.  By doing this we can truly manifest the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives and ultimately reflect Christ’s love to others.

Diane Raymer – Grayson, Kentucky

What a privilege it has been to read “Surrender is Not a Four Letter Word.” Linda Russell has opened her front door and allowed us to walk into her heart. She takes us on a journey through Galatians 5, as she gracefully and simply teaches us to live as Christ meant us to. We try to make serving Him hard. But what it is — is “Surrender”.

Stacy Magill – St. Louis, Missouri

“Why Surrender is Not a Four Letter Word”; this book touched my life for 2 different reasons. One was the frankness and sincerity Linda Russell presented through the Bible truths in relationship to her own personal experiences. Two the Bible truths themselves, things I know that I know, such as God’s faithfulness and never-ending love with bountiful blessings are continuous throughout our lives. This book opened my eyes to seeing them even when they are not so apparent in the world around me. In addition, I love this title!! Four letter words are popular, however, surrendering or giving up is NOT!! Linda illustrates beautifully again and again how our Heavenly Father never surrenders or gives up on us!!

OTHER REVIEWS

  FAITHWRITERS

Occasionally you come across a book that you know you are going to enjoy almost from the first page. There’s something about the style and message that immediately connects, building a sense of fellowship between the author and reader that sets the feel for the rest of the book. Why Surrender is NOT a Four Letter Word is such a book, and this reviewer was not disappointed.

With a perfect balance of humor and seriousness, Linda Russell combines solid teaching with real life illustrations. The end result is a charming, honest, delightful, stirring and often challenging book.

The author admits that she had never considered writing a book, and her family was fairly skeptical–until they read the first chapter and realized that it was pretty good. In fact, they thought it was amazing–an opinion Ms. Russell agreed with completely. “But not because of what I had written,” she explains in the chapter on Faithfulness. “The amazing part is God. [My family] knew I had never done anything like this before; there had to be something much bigger behind it. It is truly God’s work and the glory and praise can go only to Him.”

It’s this humility which softens the reader’s heart to receive the author’s message. But Why Surrender is NOT a Four Letter Word is not a “holier than thou” type of book. The author is transparently real, allowing the reader access to the not so perfect parts of her life–the things that we would all usually prefer to tuck away behind the flawless Christian mask. Not so with Linda Russell. In sharing her journey, warts and all, she inspires the reader to follow her lead and surrender to God.
WRITERS DIGEST
14th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards Commentary Sheet
Author: Linda Russell
Title: Why Surrender is NOT a Four Letter Word

Judge’s commentary:

Why Surrender Is NOT a Four Letter Word is a pleasant, often thought-provoking read; the author’s prose style is clear, concise, and persuasive. Her writing is both conversational and confiding, and offers numerous pieces of sound, spiritual advice to her readers. I particularly enjoyed her use of personal anecdotes to illustrate and underline this advice; I found this approach to be extremely effective in communicating her point.