Book Review: The In-Between

I don’t know exactly when I first discovered Jeff Goins’s writing, but since that day I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything that I’ve read.

Writing with both conviction and familiarity, reading Goins is like having a conversation with an old high school buddy. You instantly know that he cares not only about what he’s writing, but that he also cares about you too, the reader. You find yourself nodding in agreement and smiling because you feel like you’ve known him for a long time, even though you’ve never met.

That’s why I was thrilled when I got my hands on an advance copy of his latest book, The In-Between, which is set to release on August 1. Published by Moody Publishers, The In-Between takes you through the seemingly most mundane and typical seasons of the author’s life, with a twist. He chronicles studying abroad, a train ride home, courtship, his wife’s pregnancy and a ton more by seeing the day-by-day as the true engine of growth.

By the middle of the book, let alone the end, The In-Between had me wanting to slow down and take in all the sights and smells that I’ve been too busy to notice before. It made me want to linger, to cherish.

The-In-Between_KD-570x868Perfectly subtitled, “Embracing the tension between now and the next big thing”, Goins’s latest work spins his tales with the art of a Twain and philosophizes with the pointedness of a CS Lewis. He wins by making you want to slow down and live. To treasure the moment and memorialize it in your mind instead of capturing it with your iPhone.

He makes you think by writing, “God is less concerned with exactly what I’m doing and more concerned with who I’m becoming.”

He echoes the biblical truth that it’s better to give than to receive by reminding us, “…when we pour out our gifts and talents, we receive abundantly more than we ever provide.”

But for me, the quintessential Goins-ism was this one:

Our journey is full of rest stops – park benches and airport terminals – that signal the arrival of things we anticipate. Sometimes they’re worth the wait; other times, the glory doesn’t shine quite like we’d hoped. Regardless, we need to learn to live in this tension, to appreciate what we have and still hope for. This process isn’t easy; we all know that. But it’s part of being human and it’s what connects us to each other.

If it were a hard copy that I read, I’d tell you that I couldn’t put the book down, but since I had the Kindle version, it’s more like, I couldn’t turn it off.

My only complaint? I would have preferred a little more “how” and “why” in exchange for a little less “what”. I’m not fussing, but I could’ve had a few more classic lines like this one:

In the waiting, we become.

And, just a little bit less narration.

So, if you’re the kind of person that’s moving from one thing to the next with neck breaking speed…if you are that guy who can’t relax on vacation because of the strict time schedule that you’ve imposed upon your entirely family…if you’re at all like me and what I’m trying hard not to be, then walk, don’t run to the book store on August 1st or 2nd or 3rd and pick up a copy of The In-Between.

Take your time, but do it. You won’t be sorry.

A special thanks goes out to Moody Publishers for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for this review. Really, thank you.

  • Dani Joy

    I just read about this book this am. wow! It sounds great! What a blessing to have been able to get a copy and write the review. you did a great job.

    We are in an In – between stage. a cross roads again. praying. waiting.


    • Michael

      Dani, thanks for the note. There are several websites where bloggers can get free books in exchange for reviewing the book on their blog. A few that I use are,, and Blogging for books.

  • Mom

    I love a good book. I will definitely get this one. I’m in the “being right now” stage and the “moving forward” stage at the same time. I want to do good things with my unexpected retirement. Maybe his thoughts will spur me on.

    • Michael

      Mom, I’m so excited about what the Lord is going to do with the open doors He’s given you through your retirement. I’ve learned some of what Jeff deals with in The In-Between from you. I’d love to hear your thoughts once you get the book and finish reading it.

  • The Domestic Fringe

    Sounds like a great book! This review is causing me to add it to my reading list. Thank you for the recommendation.
    The Domestic Fringe recently posted..Summer Fun in Photos & A Bonus Pep TalkMy Profile

    • Michael

      FringeGirl, thanks for the note. Sorry I haven’t stopped by your blog lately, but I kind of gloss over the summer fashion tips if you know what I mean. Plus, I’ve been out of pocket for a while. Hugs all around in FringeLand.

  • Jeff Goins

    Thanks, Michael. Very thoughtful review. I appreciate it.

    If you’d like the “tell” parts more than the “show”, stay tuned. We’re coming out with a participant’s guide for the book with more of the practical side of things. I can’t wait! (Which is, of course, ironic.)

    And I’m like you — more of a walk, don’t run, kind of guy.
    Jeff Goins recently posted..Friends Let Friends Dream Big DreamsMy Profile

    • Michael

      Jeff, thank you very much for stopping by. It’s not everyday that the author of a book I have reviewed leaves a comment, and it’s less often that one leaves a positive comment! I’m excited to find out more about the participant’s guide to go along with The In-Between. I’ll keep my eye out for an email or tweet with more info. Next week I start Tribewriters in earnest (I’ve been traveling for the last three weeks and my progress has been seriously hindered..) and I’m looking forward to it.

      • Jeff Goins


  • Joe Lalonde

    I’m one lunch hour away from finishing the book and have to say it’s been a great read so far. Jeff’s narrative always grips me and seems to wreck my world, if you get my drift.

    • Michael

      Thanks for the comment, Joe. Yes, I get your drift about Wrecked. I’m in the middle of it now. I hope that Friday I can post the interview that Jeff graciously did with me yesterday. Stay tuned. Let’s connect on Twitter, ok?

  • Eric Bishop

    I just picked up the book myself and will start reading it before the weekend. I have got to finish “On Writing” by Stephen King first! I expect great things from Jeff because he has given me that expectation through his other works.

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