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I’m one of many Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers (the publishing house’s review-generating endeavor which has recently been renamed BookSneeze). Before you start thinking that being part of this makes me special (or before you think I think it makes me special), know that anyone can sign up for this here. It’s really a pretty sweet gig. You request a book, they send it to you (for free), and then you write a 200-word review on your blog and one other online site (such as amazon.com).

And it doesn’t have to be a positive review either. And I wasn’t sure my first BookSneeze review was going to be a positive one. Not at first.

Sure, the book’s initial pages were interesting. But like many nonfiction books I read, I assumed it was going to be much longer than necessary. I expected it to start lagging in chapter 3 or 4. And basically, I assumed the writer was going to take a couple hundred pages to write what would have been more compelling in a 1,000 word article.

But no, not so.

The Guinness brand and the Guinness family really do have a compelling story. The Guinnesses clearly impacted history in a major way. (And in many less-major, but still-intriguing ways…such as the creation of the Guinness Book of World Records…which, in hindsight, I feel I should have been smart enough to attribute to them all along. But I had no clue.)

The book begins with details of the history of the brewing industry (before it was an industry). These details interested me, but they might bore some readers. But after explaining a little bit about the history of brewing, the majority of the book focuses on the Guinness family—their choices, their faith, their triumphs, their mistakes, and the legacy that continues today.

Do I recommend this book?

Not to everyone, no. But if you enjoy history, yes. If you enjoy reading about pivotal business decisions and people who turned their back on business to wholeheartedly pursue a life of faith, yes. If you just enjoy a cold glass of Guinness Stout, um, maybe. But this book is really more about the family than the family’s famous product.

I enjoyed it. And it was a quick and easy read.

If you think you might like it, you probably will.

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