Holy Curiosity by Amy Hollingsworth – Book Review

Amazon Summary
One passage, two verses, four words.

Holy Curiosity: Culitvating the Creative Spirit in Everyday LifeAs a writer and an adjunct professor of psychology, Amy Hollingsworth is on her way to becoming an “expert” on creativity. But just days before delivering her first professional seminar on the topic, she has an unsettling dream. The dream awakens her to the fact that she has missed a crucial element in understanding what true creativity is. Trying to unravel the dream, she soon discovers its contents reflected in a single passage of ancient literature. In this passage she sees for the first time creativity’s core, its spiritual roots, and as its meaning unfolds through months of spiritual reflection and study, it confirms the very scientific theories she’s been teaching all along. In fact, she discovers the underpinnings of the whole body of creativity research tucked into four small words penned centuries ago, kernels of truth that explode with a new depth of meaning. As she digs deeper, she uncovers for the reader God’s blueprint for cultivating the creative spirit in everyday life, through a practical outworking of her spiritual findings. In the end, both writer and reader come away with a new understanding of their own creative abilities–and a profound sense of what’s truly holy about holy curiosity.

My review
This review of Holy Curiosity is unique for two reasons. One is that I actually bought the book. I don’t buy books. More importantly, I bought this book new, not used. When I do purchase books, I always go used, because it’s cheaper. The second is that I have known Amy for several years through an online homeschool group. I’ve become acquainted with a couple of authors after they asked me to review a book for them, but I’ve never reviewed a book when I already had a friendship with the author. Amy didn’t ask me to review this book and I would probably have politely refused if she had. What if I didn’t like it? How do you write a negative review for a book a friend wrote? I was not going there. Turns out I didn’t have to. I loved this book.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” – Albert Einstein

Amy defines creativity this way: “For creativity to happen, something within you must be brought to life in something outside of you.” Curiosity leads to creativity and both come from God. In Holy Curiosity, we learn the three elements that are necessary for creativity. (No, I’m not going to tell you. You have to read the book.)

Every human is creative, and there is more to creativity than just painting and music. I love how Amy says, “It’s not how creative are you, but how you are creative.” The best way to discover how you are creative is to ask family and friends what your talents are or to think back to the things you enjoyed as a child before your curiosity and creativity were crushed by unthinking adults. I loved to write. Had I not recently started writing again (at this point, my writing is in the form of blogging) recently, this book would have inspired me to do so. I have been writing more lately, though, so this merely reinforced my conviction that this is what I should be doing.

An alternative (though not the recommended) way to find your creative strengths is to take the Multiple Intelligences Quiz. The Multiple Intelligence Types are Linguistic, Musical, Logical-Mathematical, Spatial, Kinesthetic, Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, and Naturalist. Amy talks more about this in her book.

Understanding the unique way you are creative is important because we need to express that talent to the best of our ability to honor God. In this encouraging (and sometimes humorous) book, Amy shows us how to bring out the best in ourselves in order to glorify God.

About the book:
Title: Holy Curiosity: Culitvating the Creative Spirit in Everyday Life
Author: Amy Hollingsworth
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Release date: July 1, 2011
Pages: 156
Where I got the book: I bought the Kindle version

Twenty Questions About Me & My Books

I saw this questionnaire on Leeswammes’ Blog this morning and it looked fun, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

The Great Leap-Fraud: Social Economics of Religious Terrorism, Volume 1, Judaism and Christianity1. Which book has been on your shelf the longest? The Great Leap-Fraud: Social Economics of Religious Terroism Volume I- Judaism and Christianity by A.J. Deus. This is the first book I won in a Goodreads giveaway back in March and while it does sound interesting, it’s a huge book and I just haven’t made myself push it to the front of the list.

What About the Boy?: A Father's Pledge to His Disabled Son2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next? I’m currently reading Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris. I’ve read all the Sookie books and I’m really hoping this series goes better than that one. The last book I read was Brave the Wild Wind by Joanna Lindsey. My next book is What About the Boy? by Stephen Gallup. Stephen writes about his autistic son and I know this is one of those books I need to surround with fluff reading so I can get through it without breaking down.

3. What book did everyone like and you hated? I can’t say that I *hated* them, but I recently read Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby, both for the first time, and I really can’t see what’s so great about them that they would be considered “classics”.

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?  Books: the Harry Potter series

5. Which book are you saving for “retirement?”  If I ever get a few weeks when I have nothing else to read (Ha!), I’d like to re-read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Or re-read all the In Death books by J.D. Robb.

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end? Are you kidding? I can’t even stand to read a series out of order. It would drive me crazy to read the last page before I got there.

7. Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside? Okay, I’m such a nerd. I read all of  it. The acknowledgements, the author’s notes, everything.

8. Which book character would you switch places with? I didn’t even have to think about this one. Eve Dallas from the In Death series by J.D. Robb.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)? Not really one book, but reading Johanna Lindsey reminds of high school when my two best friends and I would swap Lindsey books so we could all read them.

Mine Is the Night: A Novel10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.  Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs was the first book I got directly from a publisher as a result of my reviews, rather than as part of a review program.

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person? Not really for a special reason, but I sent a box of books to an online friend a few months ago, and I love giving away books on my blog.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places? I read too quickly to have taken any books many places, but one of my bibles has moved to several houses with me.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later? If I didn’t like it the first time I read it, why would I read it again ten years later?

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book? An old draft card. I kept meaning to go online and see if I could find a way to get it back to the family, but I never did and now I’m not sure where it is.

15. Used or brand new? Who cares? If I can see the words, that’s all the matters.

16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses? I don’t know if he’s a genius, but he was my first author addiction. I’ve read everything he wrote before his accident a few years ago, with the exception of a few articles and stories from magazines. I’ve only read a few things he’s written since the accident. No real reason, except that I’ve kind of moved away from horror.

It17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book? I can’t say that I *liked* Stephen King’s It better as a movie, but it certainly was scarier as a movie, and I really don’t like clowns now.

Cujo18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid? Stephen King’s Cujo. It’s been a while, but I remember I hated watching the movie. I think it was because the book and the movie had completely different endings.

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question? Not that I can think of.

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto20. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take? I’ve just started reading book blogs, and I haven’t found one yet that I mesh with completely, but over the years, my friend Deanna has steered me toward several books and I’ve mostly enjoyed all of them. (Because of the “mostly”, I’ll forgive her for Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, which she didn’t technically recommend anyway.)

Backporch Animals

I spotted a lizard (of some sort) on the back porch this morning and we were watching it eat a bug. It was pretty cool. Of course, by the time I got the camera, it was through eating. I still got the lizard, a squirrel, and Bennett asking “Why?” about 10 times in one minute.

Closed “Make It Mine” Monday – Hot, Shot, and Bothered Book Giveaway

This week’s book is an ARC of Hot, Shot, and Bothered by Nora McFarland.

To enter, just fill out the form below. Follows are still not required; you have the option to skip any part of the entry form. If you prefer, just leave a comment telling me what’s the worst job you’ve ever had. Mine was the horrendously long two days I spent working through a temp service for one of those furniture and appliance rental stores. I had to clean out repoed fridges and deep freezes. You think your fridge is bad? It can’t possibly be as bad as those. Yuck.   (Tell me you if you don’t use the form, so I can add you manually.)

If you missed my review of Hot, Shot, and Bothered, you can check it out now.

It won’t count as an entry, but don’t forget to vote for the book you want to see in next week’s giveaway! You can vote for more than one book.

Entry will close at noon Friday,August 26, 2011. Winner will be chosen using www. randomizer.org. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to claim the book.  For more information, see the “Make It Mine Monday” page.   Sorry, US only.


I really wasn’t planning to do a kid post again so soon, but I’m battling the playroom today and it’s taking longer than I planned so I won’t have time for my intended post.

Here’s how our day went Friday:

Jeffrey: Let’s play Parcheesi!
Bennett: I’ll get the cheese!

Jeffrey (getting ready for a shower): Where did I put my underwear?
Bennett: On your butt.

Jeffrey was working on his History Friday and the first unit is Maps and Geography. Jeffrey asked me if he had to do the lessons since he already knows how to read a map. I told him just read through it and answer the assessment questions, and since he knows it, it won’t take long. (He did end up learning a few things he didn’t know.) When Bennett brought Jeffrey the globe, J asked “Why did you bring me this?”
“Because you’re doing jography.”
Seriously? I already have one kid who’s going to be smarter than me, and now I have to deal with another one? Isn’t there a rule about that somewhere?

“Make It Mine” Monday Winners

For a couple of reasons, I haven’t been able to announce the previous week’s winner for the past three weeks. So here they are.

Darlene G. is the winner of The Mistress’s Revenge. (August 5)
The Mistress's Revenge: A Novel

Kerrie M. is the winner of Summer Rental. (August 15)
Summer Rental

Tammy G. is the winner of A Place Called Blessing: Where Hurting Ends and Love Begins. (August 19)
A Place Called Blessing: Where Hurting Ends and Love Begins

Congratulations to all three ladies and thanks to everyone for entering!

Don’t forget to vote for Monday’s giveaway!

I’m also giving away a banned or challenged book in September during Banned Book Week. You can go to the facebook page to vote for one already listed or to add your own favorite. If you’re not familiar with which books are on the list, check out the American Library Association’s site.

Retiring Pampered Chef Products

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to become a regular thing, but I was trying to figure out how to share this list with my Twitter followers @gapclady and this was what I came up with.

As we come to a new selling season with The Pampered Chef, we will be sharing oodles of new products, but we also are retiring a few old ones. The following products will only be available while supplies last until August 31, 2011.

Cook’s Library
The Pampered Chef® Season’s Best TM Recipe Collection (spring/summer 2011)
Cutting Companions
Collapsible Strainer
Finger Guard
Cutting Board Measure Cups
Striped Kitchen Towel Set (set of 2)
Colander & Bowl Set
Simple Additions®
Rectangle Platter
Large Square Bowl
Dots Coffee & More Cups (set of 2)
Dots Bowl Trio
Rectangle Stand
Outdoor Entertaining
BBQ Basting Brush
Round-Up from the Heart®
Round-Up from the Heart® 2010 Trivet
Gift Giving
Great Grilling! Seasoning and Recipe Collection
Sauce It Up Set
1-2-3 Dip! Set
Host Half-Price Combinations
Grilling Collection
There are also some price increases. Some are as little as 50 cents, some a few dollars. If you want to know about a particular product, just send me a message.