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Bo's Café

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  313 ratings  ·  64 reviews
High-powered executive Steven Kerner is living the dream in southern California. But when his bottled pain ignites in anger one night, his wife kicks him out. Then an eccentric mystery man named Andy Monroe befriends Steven and begins unravelling his tightly wound world. Andy leads Steven through a series of frustrating and revealing encounters to repair his life through g ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 25th 2009 by Windblown Media (first published 2009)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Grandma Bev for

Steven Kerner and his wife live the good life, but things sometimes get edgy, and one night his anger explodes. His wife, Lindsey, kicks him out, and he retreats to a hotel. Then Andy Monroe extends a hand of friendship, but Steven is not trusting of that friendship, and carries a massive chip on his shoulder.

Lindsey does not accept Steven's apology. She just doesn't feel that he will be able to change on a deep enough level without outside help. Help
Keiki Hendrix
"A safe place isn’t a soft place.”

Have some unresolved conflict in your life messing up all your relationships? Feeling exasperated because you give it your best to fix the stuff you carry around but it never really gets resolved?

You might identify with Steven Kerner, the main character in Bruce McNicol, Bill Thrall, and John Lynch’s new novel “Bo’s Cafe’“.

Steven Kerner’s living the dream with his executive level job, beautiful wife and daughter, and even finds time to serve on Boards for charit
Nora St Laurent
After reading the last page of this book I’m speechless, pondering all that I had read. Where do I begin to tell you the hope this book released in my heart, mind and emotions. The thing I LOVE about Christian Fiction is the fact that it can take you places you’d never go on your own. It can help you explain things that are just unexplainable, and put you in situations where you can see GRACE and LOVE in a very real way.

The opening scene read like the movie Mr. Destiny, where a distraught man he
Bart Breen
Who has your back?

Bo's Café is a book written in a growing genre of reality fiction that seeks to illustrate and demonstrate what in the past has often been presented as doctrinal teaching. Windblown Media is a recently established publishing venture that was formed to publish The Shack after it had been rejected by about 14 religious and 14 secular publishers. Since that time, "The Shack" has gone on to be nothing less than a phenomenon that has taken on a viral life of its own through word-of-
I just want to know when these guys were privy to my life! Okay, I am not a high-powered executive on the fast track to corporate superstar, but the life experiences and situations described could easily be mine. This was a powerful look, in non-threatening novel form, at the role of grace and how it can transform our lives when we understand just how much we are loved. This was about shame and how it can manifest in destructive behaviors that can threaten our marriages, our careers and our very ...more
I really enjoyed Paul Young’s The Shack so when I realized Windblown Media had finally brought out another book I was very keen to read it. Bo’s Café is certainly an interesting book; very different from the Shack, but with a similar grace-filled message. While the Shack starts with solid real-world tragedy then slides into mystery, Bo’s Café opens with a mysteriously meaningful encounter, only to slide its way into everyday pain.

The main character, Steven, is a person that many men might easily
An excellent book! Truly living out grace might be the most difficult challenge a follower of Jesus (and a church) faces. Among the pitfalls we find that our own self-protection and fear to truly let ourselves be known frequently sabotage the process and keep us from truly receiving and giving grace the way we want to. These authors are among the best out there at helping others live as authentic people, and this lively and entertaining novel does a great job of putting their insights into a con ...more
Angie Golaski
I HATED this book. The author came to my church and I really liked what he had to say, but the novel is SO poorly written. Although I agree with a lot of the base elements (friendship, accountability, etc.) the characters are ridiculously simplified to the point that I felt like it was sexist and the solutions the author brought to the problem (you know...go sit down and chat with people at Bo's Cafe and all will be well) made this a novel that I highly recommend you skip. Boo.
Keith Feisel
Loved this book so much I bought several copies to give to friends and supporters.
I corresponded with the authors about the book and they were willing to sign my copies.
These guys live the grace they write about...
Cary Hatteberg
I really enjoyed this book. While it is fiction, it mirrored what many of us from the Overcomers group at our church experienced in community. I listened to it a second time, just to determine if I missed something that might be relevant or applicable to my journey.
Steven bumps into an older guy called Andy, who turns out to have been a friend of his father's. They get chatting, and while Andy seems rather odd, Steven reckons he's worth getting to know. This seems a little unlikely given that Steven's having marriage difficulties and is - naturally - a bit suspicious of Andy, but it's how the book starts.

Andy takes him to an eclectic, informal gathering at a cafe, where Steven gets to know some rather unlikely people and learns about God's grace and accep
May 23, 2011 Jeff rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Yes, but prob to a Well Rooted Christian...
When reading this book Bo's Cafe, I found myself asking for a while "where is Christ"? Not till you really get into the book does it even feel like I was reading a Christian God Inspired Book. While I realize there is a "movement" going around for "everyone" to be "real and organic", one Can find that in the Institutional Church Today. And if you "feel" its not at your Church, then "You" be the difference, pray, and let God make it start happening through you (to many folks are just giving up on ...more
Dyoan Fernandez
Apr 06, 2012 Dyoan Fernandez is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
"see if this fits: it's like you're stumbling around in a dark room, bumping into furniture.

after many experiences, you've learned to memorize paths around the pain. you think you've finally figured out how to navigate through the dark. you almost get used to doing life in the dark. then the next day, week, month, maybe while you're sleeping, the furniture gets moved, and you slam your shin into an end table.

and each time, with each new bruise, you lose more and more hope, more confidence, more
High-powered executive Steven Kerner is living the dream in southern California. But when his bottled pain ignites in anger one night, his wife kicks him out. Then an eccentric mystery man named Andy Monroe befriends Steven and begins unravelling his tightly wound world. Andy leads Steven through a series of frustrating and revealing encounters to repair his life through genuine friendship and the grace and love of a God who has been waiting for him to accept it. A story to challenge and encoura ...more
This book began with me feeling as if it wasn't going to be all that good. But I kept reading and am so very glad I did. God continues to amaze me with how He puts things before me that hit right where I am at any given moment. This is the only novel I've ever read that speaks to the subject of grace in a way that really digs in to the psychology of how we get it wrong and how community within God's body is a vital way for us to comprehend the components of grace. My understanding of that subjec ...more
There's a great irony at play with this book. The overriding theme of this book (besides turning your life over to Jesus) is to take off your mask, be real, and not try to hide anything about yourself. And yet the book itself is clearly written with an agenda that seemed to me to be painfully clear. I didn't realize until I was done that it was written by three guys who are all part of the same religious organization, but it makes complete sense given how the book is written.

It's not a bad messa
This book's relevance to everyday life astonishes me. Fortunately, it doesn't embrace the preachy, knock-you-over-the-head style of so much Christian fiction. Jam-packed with grace, this book offers a realistic look at relationships and how shame drives wedges between us and others.

I loved the way hope was slathered all over the pages, but yet there was no "fix-it" mentality or promises that if you follow these 3 steps the problems will go away.

While reading Bo's Cafe, I wavered back and forth
There is a lot to absorb in this book; I will probably try to read it again. Interesting story about a marriage in trouble. Parts of the book reminded me of "The Shack" in the character of Andy. Definitely a Christian novel.
This book is perfect if you need a shake from reality. It's a great piece to remind you that there are others in the world, and there is always another viewpoint to consider. The world does not revolve around a single being. We are strong only because of Him, and we have to line up our will with His! This was great because it takes a very relevant message and puts it into words. This is a typical American family set up, and this provides some insight as to why families are breaking apart. It was ...more
David Woods
Feb 11, 2011 David Woods rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to David by: Jeramy Williams
This was a great little book on living in the grace of God, learning to understand that God loves you exactly as you are, as much as He's ever going to. A great story of the work of God and redemption, the grace and forgiveness from loved ones. If you ever feel like you're trying to measure up, trying to prove yourself, if you feel better about who you are when you achieve something, or worse about who you are when you fail, read this book! God willing, we can all learn to just let go. Sidenote, ...more
I really liked Bo's Cafe. It was recommended to me by my cousin. It sounded interesting so I tried it out. Reading it kind of gave me a sense of what anger can do to people. And it's not overly religious, which I'm sure many people who don't usually read religious stuff will enjoy this.
Nancy Jackson
Jul 26, 2012 Nancy Jackson marked it as to-read
Although for me, the story started a little off center in the first chapter, I was glad I continued to read, and by the time I finished, I found it to be right on point. This entertaining story helped me to understand more of God's grace and how it helps us to move beyond shame into acceptance of those around us and more importantly, of ourselves. I look forward to reading other books by this author.Nancy Jackson
Daniel Sweatman
Jan 22, 2014 Daniel Sweatman rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Daniel by: Steve Sweatman
I think we all need to find a Bo's Cafe and receive grace from others no matter what we have done.
Thanks Bro for giving me this book!
Eric Reidsma
kind of like a sermon I heard a couple of weeks ago that seemed shallow and really didn't like, but I said,"it was meant for someone else rather than me" Later that week I heard several people comment how they were touched by that sermon. This book started out good, I thought I was going to really like it. It has some good points about what is success and being authentic but it was about a guy with anger issues and really wasn't meant for me, but I'm sure others will connect with it.
This book is one that I must buy a personal copy of...I already want to read it again and my fingers are itching for a highlighter!! Reminds me of The Shack in the sense that it uses a fiction format to present Truth. I feel inadequate to describe how deeply it touched my longing for authenticity.. I saw myself in MANY of the pages and I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I want nothing less than to truly, truly follow the path of letting people in. This one's a keeper for sure :-)
Vicki Jaeger
Aug 12, 2009 Vicki Jaeger rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who read Christian fiction
Recommended to Vicki by: advance reading copy
I actually had the book, not the audio version, but it wasn't listed. I stopped at about p.30. It was a story about a not-very-likable main character, and how he's befriended by a mystery man who will help "lead him to a grace and love of God he has never known." If you know me, you know why I stopped--just can't stomach hit-you-over-the-head religious messages. I'm sure it's a perfectly fine book if this is your genre, so no offense intended to the authors.
Patrik Olterman
Re-reading this gem that has become foundational in our ministry (I first read itbin December 2009) a lot of new things stood out. Also listening to it as an audio book change my perspective the characters of Stephen and Lindsey became more real.

Still I wonder how we are to become true protectors and create that community of grace when so few seem interested in truth or grace for that matter.
4.5 stars.
great book! engaging interesting, feels like a real life story of a regular frustrated man. Lots to learn from it, shows how we can transform our lives by relying on God and working on our weaknesses.
If you thought W. Paul Young's book, The Shack, was an intriguing but unrealistic tale illustrating one man's encounter with God the Trinity, you might get a more realistic view of persons finding grace at the unlikely Bo's Cafe. I agree with my friend Sharon ... "Bo's is definitiely what the church, believers in community with each other, should be."
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Who do you think Andy Monroe is? 2 9 Jan 05, 2013 07:52AM  
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“.....there's a stinking huge difference between influence and the authority you get with a title. Any dolt can stumble into a title.....Lots of people with big-sounding titles have people under them listening only because they have to.” 2 likes
“Control is an expression of superiority,” he says, “always using the power of position and title. That’s why you withhold permission from everyone. But protection is an expression of love.” 1 likes
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