A Spoonful Of Grace: Mealtime Blessings In Bite-Sized Pieces, by Annette Hubbell
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by the Adams PR Group. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
When I requested this book based on an e-mail I had received, I somewhat foolishly said that I was willing to be on any part of the blog tour from the book, and so I was given the first day. I suppose I can consider that a lesson learned to avoid in the future. As it happens, I received this book about two weeks before the blog tour began, which is a bit closer than I prefer for such posts, especially when reading books more than 400 pages in length. Be that as it may, when I read the book I found it was both somewhat familiar and also strikingly original. The familiar part is that this book was written as a daily devotional in a familiar 365ish day format . The original part consists in the little touches the author makes, like images of various spices at the bottom of the page, and the quirky organization and structure of the book, to which we will now turn.
At over 400 pages, this book is certainly on the large size for devotionals, although truthfully the material is written in bite-sized pieces not meant to be read in one fell swoop. The vast majority of the book consists of “everyday graces,” and close to a quarter of the book consists of Sunday graces for the day the author believes to be the Christian Sabbath in distinction to the biblical Sabbath. The last part of the book consists of various special graces for various holidays and a special his and her birthday grace to bring the total number of devotionals to 366, good for leap years. Each of the devotionals consists of three sections, a short excerpt from the more slangy and less literal translations of the Bible (all 66 of the Bible’s books are represented, even Obadiah), a creative grace that sounds like something a delightfully odd small child would say, and a selection of “grace notes” that almost invariably include some sort of quote from a reputedly wise or successful person (though, since the author includes so many Max Lucado  quotes, the title of wise person is perhaps a bit unearned) that is meant to spur some sort of deep thought and reflection. The end result is something that ought to appeal to busy people who are not particularly knowledgeable and was written by someone who clearly is well-read, at least in quote websites.
So, how is one to judge this book? The author clearly labored over the small details and made an admirable effort at reaching out to people who are looking for a creative encouragement for dinner conversation with family. I must admit that I am not the ideal audience for this book on at least a few grounds–namely, I do not have any small children in my life who would appreciate the occasionally silly dinner graces included, my ideal Bible translations are far more literal and far less casually paraphrased, and I was a bit irked by the sources of some of the quotes and the way that the author incessantly called certain people wise and tried to puff them up in the eyes of the reader, and the way the sources were not cited. That said, while I am not the ideal audience for this book, there is a good audience for this book and there are many people who could find this book to be immensely useful. Such people ought to be pleased by the effort made by the author to distill biblical and secular wisdom in bite-sized daily portions for harried would-be readers looking for enlightening conversation with their family.
 See, for example:
 See, for example: