Inviting Adventure: a book review on Bob Goff’s Love Does

Photo By: Katie Strandlund
Written By: Sarah J. Baker

I grew up loving and thriving off of adventure and my imagination.

I remember being 7yrs old and adoring the National Geographic magazine. Maybe I couldn’t fully read every article but the photos were what I loved. I always thought about the people who got to take those pictures. What amazing adventures and stories they had from experiencing those incredibly beautiful and sometimes dangerous locations.

I haven’t looked at a National Geographic magazine in a while, but back then, they had these amazing maps in them. They were detailed map inserts that you could rip out and open up. And that’s just what I did.

In fact, I had a club with my cousins Logan and Luke where we collected these maps and let our imaginations run. We’d throw some maps in a backpack and head for the great outdoors.

My childhood home had this wonderful half-acre side yard

–and at the age of 8, a half-acre might as well have been the size of central park. It was the perfect landscape for our treasure hunting adventures. I think this is possibly where my keen sense of direction began, because I was always the navigator directing us on our next strategic move.

I loved it. I loved the scenes I had in my head and stories we played out on our search for the treasure hidden in the center of the Egyptian pyramids… which was obviously at the top of the slide connected to the jungle gym.

Memories of these childhood adventures came rushing back just recently. It all came back as I was reading Bob Goff’s new book “Love Does”. Even in the first chapter I became completely captivated by the life of risk and adventure this man lived and shares about in his stories. And these stories are big and extravagant, from Goff momentarily dropping out of highschool to move to Yosemite with an unexpected friend, failing the LSAT yet somehow talking his way into Law School, and the incredible risks he took in Uganda working dead-end untried cases of forgotten children so they could be released from prison.

He draws you in with amazing storytelling and humor then seamlessly wraps up each chapter with how he saw God in the midst of each experience and how it’s challenged him to live differently from that moment forward.

This book invited me to remember the risk and adventure that playfully and easily filled my life years ago

–and it was also an invitation to asses my life currently and see where ive been comfortable and have not allowed love to be accompanied by action and adventure… and doing.

“There is only one invitation it would kill me to refuse, yet I’m tempted to turn it down all the time. I get the invitation every morning when I wake up to actually live a life of complete engagement, a life of whimsy, a life where love does. It doesn’t come in an envelope. It’s ushered in by a sunrise, the sound of a bird, or the smell of coffee drifting lazily from the kitchen. It’s the invitation to actually live, to fully participate in this amazing life for one more day. Nobody turns down an invitation to the White House, but I’ve seen plenty of people turn down an invitation to fully live.”

Bob Goff’s new book, Love Does, is just that, an invitation to fully live.

It’s an invitation to live with a little more playfulness, a little more whimsy, and to actually go out and do something that may seem out of the ordinary or even make you a little uncomfortable. Bob Goff lives a big courageous life, full of risk and adventure that’s created a tangible and relatable understanding of the nearness and goodness of God – and he is challenging us to experience the same.

He invites us to see life a little differently. More than recounting the adventures and risks in his own life, Goff sets out to demonstrates that love isn’t static or a stoic emotion to be read and contemplated while sitting in a Starbucks chair. Love is an action. Love is an adventure. Love should compel us to move. Because love… Does.


Never has a non-fiction book so captured my imagination and ignited my heart to live and see life differently. I strongly encourage you all to read this book and invite adventure into your life, again.

“I’ve come to understand more about faith as I’ve understood more about whimsy,” writes Goff. “What whimsy means to me is a combination of the ‘do’ part of faith along with doing something worth doing.”

  • curbyalexander

    I am about to finish this book, as well, and it has left an impression on me. He continues to use the phrase “get some skin in the game,” which has really resonated with what I want to do with my faith. I mentioned this book to someone recently, and she asked me what it was about. It’s a hard book to describe. I told her it was like sitting down to coffee with someone who has actually done many of the things most people would like to do with their lives. He just tells stories, but if you pay attention there is a lot of good stuff waiting in there. I plan on reading it again sometime.