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Bo's Café

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  382 Ratings  ·  72 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
Nov 06, 2009 Jennifer Wardrip rated it really liked it
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
Nora St Laurent
Jul 09, 2015 Nora St Laurent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Keiki Hendrix
Sep 04, 2009 Keiki Hendrix rated it it was amazing
"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
Bart Breen
Apr 26, 2012 Bart Breen rated it it was amazing
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 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
Nov 28, 2009 Mark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, spiritual
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
Dec 03, 2009 Tim rated it really liked it
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
Dec 31, 2011 Angie Golaski rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 10, 2014 Keith Feisel rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 16, 2010 Cary Hatteberg rated it it was amazing
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.
Peter Narloch
Oct 14, 2016 Peter Narloch rated it really liked it
Shelves: just-for-fun
Very enjoyable format. Most husbands would benefit from reading this one.
May 11, 2013 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
William "Spig"
Oct 02, 2016 William "Spig" rated it it was amazing
Great book on authentic living and grace. Challenging on many levels. Encouraging for leaders and useful for mentors.
Oct 01, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
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
Dec 09, 2013 Gayle rated it really liked it
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
May 09, 2010 Sue rated it liked it
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
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
May 23, 2011 Jeff rated it liked it
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
Apr 06, 2010 Judy rated it really liked it
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
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
David Woods
Feb 11, 2011 David Woods rated it really liked it  ·  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
Feb 18, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Vicki Jaeger
Aug 12, 2009 Vicki Jaeger rated it did not like it  ·  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.
Eric Reidsma
Apr 02, 2013 Eric Reidsma rated it it was ok
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.
Patrik Olterman
Aug 03, 2011 Patrik Olterman rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 12, 2010 Bednarzterry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 :-)
Feb 16, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
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."
Amber Osborn
Feb 14, 2011 Amber Osborn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was very good. People can relate to the main character. It really makes you think about your own actions and what you can do to make your life better as well as your relationships better. This is a very good christian based book. A must read for someone that has inner conflicts going on in their life.
Chad Stutzman
Dec 14, 2013 Chad Stutzman rated it it was amazing
I don't read much fiction, but this was a great book about how we hind behind our fears and how to reconcile a broken relationship. It's also a great example of how to mentor and encourage someone that is struggling.
Mar 14, 2013 Jim rated it it was amazing
This is fiction but it brings out the real life simplicity of living the faith, honestly following Jesus, and ending the charade that everything is OK. If you don't have a 'Bo's Cafe' right now, you'll want one by the end of the book :)
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Who do you think Andy Monroe is? 2 10 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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