Monday, June 16, 2014

Love Does by Bob Goff

I was introduced to Bob Goff a year or so ago via the Relevant podcast. Ironically enough, that was the first episode of the podcast I had ever listened to and what a fantastic way to start off. It was a beautiful spring day and I was driving to class with the windows open. I can still remember where I was when Bob's interview came on. I had just pulled out of my apartment complex and was sitting at a light waiting to turn left. Bob's energy was what caught my attention while listening. His life was full of so much adventure and love that I immediately felt compelled to buy his book, Love Does. He told stories on the podcast about how he got into law school by sitting outside the dean's office everyday since his grades weren't good enough to get in and how he answers his phone no matter what to have a discussion with someone who has read his book where his phone number is written in the very back. The man seemed too good to be true. It took me a while before I actually picked up his book though. He appeared on Relevant podcast once again and I knew that now was a good a time as ever to start reading Love Does.
Before I even begin this review, I want to explain what I did right after I finished reading. Bob Goff is a man who takes seemingly insignificant moments and makes them extraordinary. I too wanted to do something of the same nature so when I finished reading, I signed my name on the back cover and wrote the month and year I finished reading. Then I put it in my friends graduation gift. I hope the book will inspire her in new ways like it inspired me and when she finishes, she can sign her name beneath mine with the month and year she finishes and then pass it along to someone else. This way, Bob's book can travel around and inspire tons of people!
Now for my actual review of this book. There is no denying that Bob is a pretty radical and eccentric guy who inspires people with his uncanny ability to love and love to the fullest. He truly is the model in showing that love doesn't just stay still. Love does. That being said, this book is not as incredible as Bob himself.
The book consists of short stories from Bob's life. Each one ends with a devotional type section connecting the story to the Bible and what we can learn from it. And this is where my first critique is. This is unnecessary. Explaining how the story connects to the Bible really underestimates the reader. Not only that but some people come to this book not wanting a theology lesson. I'm not saying take the theology out because it is important. But perhaps it would have worked better in the form of optional discussion questions rather than always mechanically ending with forced biblical lessons. The reader should be able to take from Bob's stories whatever they want.
Here comes another critique. I never expected to get bored with this book but guess what, it happened. I was very surprised while reading to find that most of these stories were blah next to Bob. I expected each one to be mind blowing and life altering but more often than not I was left disappointed. There were only two stories that really moved me while reading. The one was about Bob helping his children cope with the recent terrorist attacks on the the twin towers. Instead of letting them watch the news, he explained the situation to them himself. He then had them write down what they would like to tell a world leader to help solve problems and then had them send their responses to EVERY SINGLE WORLD LEADER. They ended up meeting many world leaders and even though that didn't change much, it pushes a certain ideology forward. It shows that there are healthy ways to deal with the worlds problems and politicians can sure learn from Bob Goff in that regard.
Overall, the book was an okay read. There were too many sub-par stories for my taste and the generic tying in the Bible ending of every chapter didn't help things. The writing was okay at best. Bob is a pretty incredible guy, that is for sure. But I can't imagine turning to another book of his if he writes more. I will give this book a 3 out of 5 stars.

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