Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Gazelles (or big-long-book-title) by Jon Acuff

I've been a fan of Jon Acuff's blog for a pretty long time now. Not since the very beginning, but the first time I mentioned it here was in April of 2008, so it's been a while (he uses an address in that post -- how cute is that???). And seriously, he has made me laugh the whole time. And think too, but mostly laugh while I'm thinking, so it doesn't hurt too much.

When his first book came out, I was quick to buy it. Then I didn't read it right away because I had other stuff to read. And then the audio book was available at Christian audio for free, so I downloaded that and listened instead. And then remembered why I love this guy so much. (Seriously, if you haven't bought a copy of Stuff Christians Like, stop reading now and go pick it up. We'll wait.)

But this review isn't about that book. It's about his new book, Gazelles, Baby Steps and 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt.

Again, Acuff absolutely knocks it out of the park with this book. It's written very much in the style of his blog, but is entirely about money management. It's fantastic because you can read it as quickly or slowly as you want. I finished it in two sittings, but you could totally stretch it out over a nice long chunk of time by just reading one chapter (or "post" as I like to think of them) at a time. However you choose to read it, you'll be entertained and informed.

He covers a huge variety of topics. Bridesmaid gowns, Dave Ramsey's blue shirts, velor covered envelopes, designer strollers, shark attacks -- just about anything related to or not related to the Dave Ramsey financial system is covered in this book.

Some of my favorite chapters included (but are by no means limited to):
  • Writing a Break-Up Letter to Your Credit Cards
  • Cool is Fictional
  • Not Everything is an Emergency
  • The Scorecard Chapters (because he makes the best "quizzes" EVAH!)
  • Your First Night at Financial Peace University
Jason and I went through Financial Peace a few years ago and it really is a great program. We're not quite as intensive on it any more as we should be, but it definitely helped us make some financial changes that have stuck with us over time. Of course, after reading this book I totally want to bust out my copy of Ramsey's book and give it a quick once-over.

I want to be very clear. This book is not like Stuff Christians Like. But it's absolutely in the style of SCL. Jon's voice is absolutely unmistakable and it is an absolute joy to read anything that he writes. Whether the man is writing about worship eagles or $1800 t-shirts, he writes with humor, authenticity and top-notch pop culture references.

Buy It: You can pick up Jon's new book over at

Win It: I totally bought two copies of this book because I knew before I read it that I was going to want to give one away. And one lucky reader is going to have the chance to win it! This is open to folks 18 and older in the US.

Mandatory Entry:
  • Share a frugal tip with us! Anything you do to save money qualifies!
Extra Entries:
  • Follow my blog publicly on Google Friend Connect.
  • Follow my blog on Networked blogs.
  • Follow me on Twitter.
  • Like Big Mama's Blog on Facebook.
  • Tweet this contest using the following: Win @jonacuff's latest book from @BigMama247!  (2x per day at least an hour apart)
  • Vote for me on the Fence (see button on the right -- just click! Can do this once a day)

Please make sure that I have a way to contact you (if you leave an email in your Disqus comment, I'll have it even though it's not visible to everyone). If I can't contact you, I'll make a different selection. This contest will be open until 11:59 PM, January 17. I will choose a winner using the random number generator. I will send an email to the winner who will have 48 hours to respond. If I don't hear from you by then, I'll select another comment. 

Thanks and good luck!

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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
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