17 August 2012

Review: Dr Dobson’s Handbook of Family Advice by Dr James Dobson

Dr James Dobson has been speaking and writing about parenting for decades, providing advice on marriage, parenting and life in general from a Christian perspective. That voice of experience is immediately apparent, although some of what he says sounds somewhat old fashioned, in style if not in content.

Dr. Dobson's Handbook of Family Advice has been adapted from radio broadcasts and two previous books (Home with A Heart: Encouragement for Families and Coming Home: Timeless Wisdom for Families), and at times it shows. This isn't so much a book as a series of unconnected homilies.

There are some pretty odd subject changes, like from eating together as a family to writing letters to politicians. Frankly, the book would have been improved if there had been some evidence of an overall theme or structure. Some of the stories just don't seem to have a point. In one, Dobson comments that you can learn a lot about people by watching them. But the anecdote didn't actually tell us that he had learnt anything. Odd.

I've read several previous books by Dr Dobson that were much better and didn’t suffer from the de ja vu sensation of feeling like I’ve read all this before. Actually, I have read most of this before - in those previous books by Dr Dobson. If you have children and have never read a Dobson book before, this might be worth reading. Otherwise, this is a pass.

Thanks to Harvest House and NetGalley for providing a free book for review.

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