The Finishing School by Valerie Woerner
The Finishing School is unlike any book I’ve ever read. In short, I love it!! Valerie Woerner has created a guide to aid Christians in everyday life. The book is divided into 24 small-ish chapters, each centering on a vital part of the Christian faith. Woerner suggests you approach the book in one of two ways–spend 2 weeks on each chapter, one week reading and doing the homework, the second week applying what you’ve learned; read the book through at your own pace and ask God to reveal which areas you need to focus on. I actually read through the book once for this review, but I’m very much looking forward to rereading and spending a few weeks with each topic. Woerner provides homework sheets (on her website) for each chapter to help the reader go deeper and explore each topic. One thing I especially loved about The Finishing School is Woerner’s reading recommendations at the end of each chapter. She gives relevant information in each section from related books, which reminded me of Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before, and it is so helpful to have a specific direction in which to go. It doesn’t hurt that she recommends a few books I really enjoyed or have been dying to read! Woerner’s writing is easily accessible–reading her work feels like talking to a friend. She seems genuine and honest in sharing her own story to help others. I totally judged this book by its cover–it’s so cute! I’m SO glad I read it–and will absolutely read it again. I’m recommending it to everyone I know–and that includes you! Whether you’re a new Christian, a seasoned one, or are simply curious about the faith, READ THIS BOOK!
About the book:
The Finishing School: How One Book Nerd Began Living What She Learned (Nyree Press, August 2015)
Are you tired of waiting for change to happen in your life? Do you feel stuck, even though you want to live more intentionally?
In today’s world, our most precious pursuit of a life well lived gets squeezed out by the silliest of things: binging on Netflix or ice cream, shopping trips for things we don’t need, bad habits we can’t seem to get a handle on, and so much more. Valerie has been there despite knowing what she wanted for her life. Actually do it? That’s the challenge.
After gobbling up all the non-fiction and self-help books her donut-filled belly could handle, she decided it was time to put her knowledge to good use and start actually living it out. You will hear about her journey through victories and plenty of failures and find practical tips to apply to your own pursuit of holiness. You will find homework at the end of each chapter that includes a worksheet to put real change in motion for your own life as well as recommended books to further study those topics that really test you.
The Story Behind The Finishing School — from The Litfuse Blog
Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Where does a writer find inspiration? What’s the hardest part about writing a book? What do you hope your writing achieves? We asked Valerie Woerner to tell us the story behind The Finishing School.
Tells us a bit about your book—what inspired you to write it?
I was feeling frustrated with my own lack of discipline in so many areas. It wasn’t freeing at all as I like to tell myself. And the thing was, I knew what to do because I’m a serious book nerd and love to learn from them. I just wasn’t practicing anything I had learned. I started figuring out how to practically change my habits and thought it would be fun to design a journal where I could work through changing my habits. This idea morphed into a book but I quickly got overwhelmed with writing that much on one thing. My husband suggested making the chapters individual in nature, each having it’s own area of discipline. Once he said this, I knew I had lots to share and lots to learn myself through the writing process and the writing process came very naturally.
What is the main message of your book?
We have this vision of ourselves becoming refined, looking more like Jesus and living this life to the fullest. These enormous hopes we have for our life get squeezed out as we spend our days on the silliest of things, like binging on Netflix or ice cream.The Finishing School was written to equip women with practical tools and a clear message of how to take back our days and pursue Jesus and the life He desires for us.
What was the hardest part about writing nonfiction?
There is so much responsibility to have the facts straight. I’d never want to lead anyone astray, especially as I share so many truths I’ve learned from the Bible. Mistakes in fiction can be chalked up to creative license, but nonfiction feels a bit more rigid. However, I’m definitely more comfortable with nonfiction. If you asked me to write a fiction book, it’d probably be 30 pages long. I studied journalism and learned the art of brevity instead of description.
What is one thing you learned while writing The Finishing School?
Oh wow. I was immersed in the writing process for 7 weeks and then read the book at least 5 times during the editing process. I’ve learned that talking about, learning about or desiring change isn’t going to change me. I’ve squandered so many days.
Do you have any advice for those interested in writing nonfiction?
This might not work for everyone but the short process had me immersed in the book morning and night. I think if I had written a little here and there, I would have had to warm up my “muscles” before each writing session. I never left the book very long so I was able to pick up pretty quickly without having to find a new groove.
*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.