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Join Richard Dahlstrom, author of O2: Breathing New Life into Faith, as he virtually tours the blogosphere in October on his virtual book tour with LitFuse Publicity!

Reviewed by Poppy J.

Richard Dahlstrom’s O2 is a masterful piece that makes good on its promise to agitate the reader’s views on faith, spirituality and serving God in an imperfect world. From the first two sentences: “It happens every weekend. This Sunday, hundreds, even thousands of people will leave their place of worship after the final ‘Amen’ or benediction and never return,” Dahlstrom succeeds in shaking up and subsequently, waking up the spiritually sleepy reader. This is a book that entire congregations, of many faiths, would benefit from reading together. If only for the fact that it is a way to open discussion on the topic of the point of faith, where it comes in a person’s life, where it goes in our busy schedules and practical steps on how to renew it today – this book is a guide to how to fix what needs mending on the topic of how we live and embody our faith daily.

Dahlstrom uses the analogy of breathing to describe how to sort out the particulars of our faith. He states with confidence that we all share either of two aspects of our faith. We are all either exhaling our faith, characterized by people who are “do-gooders” exhaustively serving others as an expression of their faith; or we are inhaling our faith, seen in the way we nourish ourselves and “pause, ponder, wait and listen” to our inner voices, as we make the big decisions that become the point of our faith, and ultimately the purpose of our lives. With simply titled chapters (Journey, Hospitality, Servitude, etc.) and generous biblical referencing, the reader is able to start and stop at will, read long or short passages as convenient and finish the book with an idea of what was the point of the matter and how to apply the new lessons to their lives.

The only detractor from O2 is the font and boldness of the print. It is written in a sans serif typeface with a light print, so light that I was unable to read it after dark without turning on several lights. It only became an issue when I insisted on reading the book at dusk and dawn from the convenience of sitting on my favorite flannel quilt. I can’t remember when I read a book with this much interest. I also can’t remember the last time I slept with a book under my pillow, because I truly couldn’t put it down.

Poppy graduated with a JD from the Michael Moritz College of Law. She worked in several NYC law departments before realizing she’d rather be teaching. After a decade of teaching Business Studies courses, she decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, managing client content from comedy to marketing, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Watch a video about the book and read the first chapter of O2.