Make Their Day: 101 Simple, Powerful Ways To Love Others Well, by Karen Ehman
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
In reading a book like this, a reader has to ponder how fussy or picky they are going to be about the materials that are included. For example, if one finds the book talking about days that one does not celebrate because of their heathen origin, or one finds a lot of repetition regarding the ways to love others well–chores, for example, appear often–does one disregard what the book has to offer? As a reader, I tend to be of the personal opinion that wherever one can find something useful in a book like this one, then one has some reason to praise and enjoy the book. And I indeed find things of use in this book. As I read the book, for example, I was able to send one of the suggestions to a friend of mine who was mourning the life of a beloved pet. And given that use, the book demonstrate that it had a great deal of value, even if not everything about the book was to my own personal tastes and I would have preferred less repetition between the suggestions. When of 101 simple ways to love others well there is a call to do chores for one’s spouse, chores for one’s parents, chores for busy mothers, and chores for people who are struggling with adulting, that demonstrates that the author really doesn’t have enough ways to show love for others that are in fact different.
This book is a short of around 100 pages and it groups ways to love people into several categories. After an introduction, the first category of ways to love someone talks about one’s circle of friends, and here the author makes suggestions about pretend-spa dates and tea parties and the like that make it clear the author’s friends are middle-aged and middle-class women, not that this is a bad thing. After that the author suggests ways to show love within one’s family, including by listening, something that many of us find rather trying and difficult sometimes. This is followed by a discussion of ways to show love throughout one’s day and around town, including showing love to one’s local civic leaders and others. The third part of the book discusses ways to show love remotely, whether through mailing handwritten cards and the like or showing love through screentime. The fifth section of the book deals with showing love to those who are hurting or need help, and this includes things like losing a pet or struggling with difficult seasons in one’s life. After that comes a look at how to show love to those in the household of faith (6), then a chapter on holidays (7, including Juneteenth), and finally, showing love by opening one’s home. There are also some printables and some recipes included in the book for such things as a salsa garden, pizza garden, and a basic recipe for pretzels as well as a frozen food that sounds tasty.
As far as this book’s approach goes, I found the book to be one of the many books I have the occasion to read and review that are written by women and for women. Many of the suggestions appear to be made with what interests the author and presumably other women of her class, as these suggestions are pretty much what a middle class woman would likely think worthwhile. It would have been good to have seen the author show some awareness of the sort of ways that one could show a man love, but judging by the books that tend to come my way it appears as if many female authors do not have any knowledge of what men appreciate and little desire to appeal to male readers, or even little awareness that men read their books and find them wanting for their lack of insight. Be that as it may, there is certainly an audience for this book, and those who are a lot like the author will find that the author’s desire for people to love her in particular ways may very well answer for them. As is often the case, when people write about how to love others, what they do most eloquently is tell others how they want to be loved, and that is certainly something that is worthwhile, at least to those who intend on loving the author or those like the author.