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Author: Karen Wiesner
Title - CPR For Dead or Lifeless Fiction (A Writer's Guide)
I do not read, much less review, many non-fiction books because I normally read to escape the problems of everyday life. However, I have often wondered how authors managed to keep us (readers) engaged in their stories, especially if the story is more than one title in length. This book explains it all. As part of the Introduction section states: The purpose of this book is to show writers in any stage of their career, whether unpublished or published, the distinctive core elements of a story and how to build three-dimensional aspects into them through all stages in the writing process.
There are seven chapters in this book, not including the Life Acronym Chart in the front or the Appendix in the back. The chapters include:
The Basics of CPR Development
Three-dimensional Writing and Scenes
Deep, Multi-Faceted Development and Progression of Characters
Deep, Multi-Faceted Development and Progression of Plots
Deep, Multi-Faceted Development and Progression of Relationships
From the Ground Up Techniques to Develop and Progress CPR Elements
Writing in Stages to Avoid Missed Opportunities for CPR Development
Conclusion: Using CPR to Development to Resuscitate Dead or Lifeless Stories
***** FIVE STARS! If you an aspiring author, this book is crucial in making your story something that publishers would want to get out to the public. All writers know that a character must do more than walk and talk if readers are to care for a character. The development is what causes readers to feel as though they know and understand a character. This book also explains ten ways to spot dead or lifeless characters, plots, and relationships. It also talks about the needed research that authors must do. Not only that, but good writers also take detailed notes on each of their characters. This book explains why and how. Even having said all this, it hardly touches everything that the book covers. This is a valuable resource for any author, published or not. *****
Author: Karen S. Wiesner
Title - Writing Blurbs That Sizzle – And Sell!
This novel is for authors or potential authors who hates trying to write back cover blurbs for their stories. The book is broken down into five chapters and three appendices.
Chapter One tells the basics of blurb crafting and gives examples.
Chapter Two goes over how to write a few very specialized types of blurbs. Many examples are given, including blurbs for anthologies.
Chapter Three is full of tips for crafting blurbs.
Chapter Four offers techniques in sizing blurbs for a variety of applications. This chapter shows how to whittle down your blurbs to meet the word quota without sacrificing impact. It also includes facts and information about branding your series.
Chapter Five concludes everything learned.
Appendix A offers blurbs from published works for you to evaluate with the Blurb Evaluation Checklist.
Appendix B has exercises to help develop series, high-concept, and back cover blurb evaluating, writing, and revising skills.
Appendix C contains blank worksheets and checklists discussed throughout the book. These can be used to craft, evaluate, revise, and whittle your own blurbs.
Blurbs are important since they help convince readers to part with their hard earned money and purchase your story. This novel can be your “go-to” reference guide in how to craft your blurb into potential sells. The great thing (to me) about this book is that the author does not just deliver information to you. She also gives several examples and follows up with worksheets and templates to help you hone your new craft of wring excellent blurbs. For extra information, the author encloses links throughout the novel for you to get even more reference material. This book is “a must” for new or aspiring authors to have in their library and most well established authors can benefit from it as well.
Author: Rob Bell
Title - What Is The Bible?
I quote, “This is what we read, again and again, in the pages of the Bible – fearless, pointed, courageous, subversive, poetic, sometimes sarcastic, other times angry, heartfelt, razor-sharp critique of people, nations, systems, and empires endlessly accumulating more at the expense of everybody they’re stopping on along the way.” We also learn that, like with every good book, there is usually more going on than meets the eye. There are meanings that most do not notice as they read the sentences. This author breaks several of those sentences down and to show you what they mean on a deeper level. And, I quote, “These stories insist in a thousand different ways that we don’t have to settle, that tomorrow doesn’t have to be a repeat of today … we can leave behind whatever needs to be left behind so that we can step into a better future.”
Rob Bell reminds us that these stories were written in a different time and what was happening during the narrator’s time greatly impacted how the story was worded. When you take into account what was happening, the words take on a deeper meaning. Often more than one meaning is conveyed, we just did not realize it because we are reading the Bible with today’s problems in mind. However, and I quote again, “This is a dangerous, subversive, explicit, foul, honest, strange, contradictory, paradoxical, ruthlessly hopeful book that makes a number of rather stunning claims about pretty much everything.”
The author also answers various questions that people have:
Isn’t the Bible all myths and fairy tales?
Isn’t it dangerous to take it seriously?
Isn’t it only for Christians?
What exactly is going on?
Can these stories actually help us today?
Just what IS the Bible?
**** FOUR STARS! I like the fact that the author will often stop and insert parenthesis so that he may speak directly to the reader, sometimes off topic. (Sort of breaking the fourth wall.) As for me, I do not read non-fiction. The only reason that I gave this book a shot is because my father asked me to; since I am a book reviewer, I am surprised this is not something he has never asked me to do before. Yet I am glad he did. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. In fact, I read it in one sitting. It is that good. I hope you give this book a shot too. It is worth your time and money. ****
Author: Paul T. Martin
Title - Pivot Points: Creating a Culture of Preparedness & Resiliency in America
Those who seriously prepare in advance for (any type) of disaster have been granted many nicknames from Society. This book mainly covers the ones labeled as the Preppers or Survivalists. The signs of possible crisis are all around us. Few people are so sheltered that they have not seen them. However, human nature lets people believe that nothing so dire could ever actually happen to them. Mr. Martin’s book is an attempt to educate American readers as to why it is wise to be prepared. It does not matter if you believe that zombies will walk the land someday or in the possibility of civil unrest. It could be the fear of pandemics, economic crisis, or any other dozen types of unwanted problems. The author urges people to prepare for any and all problems that they believe could happen in their lifetime.
In the Introduction, the author clearly admits that most of the things in this book are not new. We have simply forgotten them over time. He also tells you up front that he will talk about God, guns, citizenship, charity, politics and will be critical of certain government actions and policies. As I read on, I found myself disagreeing with one or two things; however, I was warned in advance that the author did not expect me (or you) to agree with everything. In fact, I grinned whenever I remembered the warning. I prefer someone to be up front and honest with me – and for that someone to realize/respect that I will not bow down and simply agree with everything he says.
The deeper I delved into this book, the more often I would recall little words of wisdom from my mother. One was “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Another was “Think ahead. Try to be prepared, because it is better to be safe than sorry.” I have always thought that our Elders were encyclopedias of knowledge. This includes anyone older than you. Of example, I am the baby (and only girl) of my family. I grew up with two older brothers. By watching my elder siblings make mistakes and get punished by our parents, I learned NOT to repeat their mistakes. Therefore, my parents told everyone that I was easy to raise or that I seldom got into trouble. I was prepared and avoided disaster.
For myself, I found the most interesting sections of this book involved:
1. A Time Magazine article entitled “Why We Don’t Prepare.”
3. What is a “Culture of Preparedness?”
4. The top ten causes of death in America
5. At what point do someone’s disaster preparedness efforts become a symptom of a mental illness?
***** FOUR & A HALF STARS! It all boils down to the fact that it is not the government’s job or the church’s job to take care of you. You are ultimately responsible for your own safety, well-being and happiness. This book can help you begin. ***** (I borrowed this book from Amazon’s Kindle lending library.)
Author: Siegfried Kra, M.D.
Title - Twilight in Danzig
(A Privileged Jewish Childhood During the Third Reich)
Our Book began in the year 1932. Siegfried Kra was about to reach the age of six. Though Siegfried was a Jewish child, his father, Henry, was a famous industrialist which gave the boy a privileged status. With an important father and lots of money, Siegfried had a governess, Fraulein Marlow. He loved his parents, but they had often been busy being attending parties and doing business (mostly involving coal).
Fraulein Marlow came from a noble but impoverished family and was devoted to her charge; however, she also belonged to the Nazi Party and was scheming to convert Siegfried. Unknown to the parents, the governess took the boy to Nazi meetings and encouraged him to join the German Youth group (that Siegfried imagined to be like the Boy Scouts).
While out with his parents at various times, Siegfried witnessed several terrible things happen to people he knew, simply because they had been Jewish. So when the “Brownshirts” began forming a group during an opera they had been attending, Siegfried pointed them out to his father – who immediately got his family out. Siegfried and his parents watched the horrific beatings from outside, flat on the grass, and being quiet as possible.
**** FOUR STARS! My synopsis only gives a small glimpse into Siegfried Kra’s young life in Danzig. Over half of the book deals with events around the year 1932. Adolf Hitler was on the rise to the Chancellery. By the year 1938, the Nazification of Danzig was completed and Siegfried’s father had finally realized that he had to get his family out of Danzig before they joined the list of rapidly growing casualties. Siegfried details how they managed to escape the Gestapo.
This autobiography is a must for history buffs. The only real flaw of this book is the poor editing, especially toward the beginning. Most of the author’s childhood had been spent daydreaming of becoming a Captain someday. Yet when a doctor saved his life, Siegfried changed his mind about what he wanted to be. (On a side note: It was during the trip to the doctor that Siegfried’s family met Hitler and, not knowing the family to be Jewish, Hitler patted the boy on his head, spoke to Siegfried, and shook hands. Reporters caught it on camera. When it appeared in the newspaper, his family was ostracized from the Jewish community. This too, is detailed.)
Most publishers know that I do not review non-fiction books, due to what I see and hear about during my job at a local hospital. I read to escape real life and to have a “happily ever after” ending; however, I made an exception for this book because (while scanning the inside) it was well written and seemed very interesting. I am now very happy that gave this book a chance. I found it to be enthralling. Had the editing been better, it would have gotten the full five stars from me. ****
Author: Sigrid Fry-Revere
Title - The Kidney Sellers: A Journal of Discovery in Iran
In November of 2008, Sigrid arrived in Iran to research and document how Iran has solved their kidney transplant shortage--they have developed a system for matching living donors and recipients while compensating donors. They now have a donor waiting list rather than kidney disease patients dying while waiting to be matched. This book is about her journey through 6 major cities in Iran--interviewing and recording transplant stories from everyone in the clinics from administrators, to medical teams and of course, to the donors and recipients of kidneys.
***** FIVE STARS! I certainly admire the author's commitment to researching compensated organ donation in the only country in which it is allowed. I didn't think I would enjoy this book as I'm lucky enough to not have had kidney disease impact my life and thus knew little about it. But take an American woman travelling to and around a country like Iran--without official government approval--having to learn customs and behaviour on the fly without attracting attention and you've got a story just in that. Add to that how surprisingly open most of the people she interviewed were with their stories, both good and bad and it ups the anti! Well worth the read!
An added bonus to this book is all profits are donated to S.O.S -- Solving the Organ Shortage project. *****
Author: Dr. Christina Schlachter
Title - Critical Conversations for Dummies
This book is a step-by-step reference manual to help one deal with various difficult conversations. Though the workforce is its main topic, I believe the techniques offered could also be transferred to be of use outside the office.
Schlachter’s writing style is clear and easy to understand. She gives examples of Dos and Don’ts and Why. Whether you are dealing with someone on the phone/email, attending a business meeting, dealing with a hostile client or employee, or one of numerable other situations, this book has sound advice on how to handle, not only the conversation, but your own actions.
***** FIVE STARS! My job is clerical in a hospital (after hours.) Much of my time is spent on the phone with patients or their loved ones. This book helped me visualize why someone may start yelling and what I can do to defuse the situation. I learned about nonverbal cues, how to react to the reactions of others, reducing stress before a conversation begins, making decisions during conflict, and so much more. I cannot recommend this book highly enough and will be keeping my copy close at hand. ****
Author: Karen Wiesner
Title - The World of Author Karen Wiesner
(A Compendium of Fiction)
When it comes to romance, I mostly enjoy authors who seem to have eclectic tastes. Author Karen Wiesner is such a writer. Though Wiesner has written non-fiction, it is her romances that intrigue me. (Contemporary Romance, Holiday Romance, Historical Romance, Inspirational Romance, and even some Romantic Suspense.) Sometimes Wiesner adds in some mystery and/or paranormal elements. To me, the author just seems to enjoy tasting various subgenres whenever she cooks up a new story.
You like romances that are no longer than a single book? How about a series, but each title can stand alone? Do you enjoy anthologies? How about holiday themes? No problem. Wiesner has written them all! Oh, perhaps you are an aspiring author and you need to learn how to make your story more interesting to today’s fickle readers. You need to know how to market your story or just where to start? Again, Wiesner has written it.
This thick, oversized book will give you a close look into Karen Wiesner’s world. Here is every title Wiesner has done since the year 1998. Also enclosed are the upcoming releases for the next few years. Each book has a thumbnail picture of its cover and a synopsis of the story. Then Wiesner gives various types of information; which publisher was used, the cover blurb, information about the cover, honors/awards received, what inspired the story, interesting things that happened while she was working on the book, the status of the book, and even upcoming releases if the title is part of a series. Aspiring authors should strongly consider picking up a copy of this book. Use it to compare which publishing companies accepted what types of genre.
***** FIVE STARS! Wonderful resources can be found within these pages. However, if you are simply a fan of Karen Wiesner – as I am – then you need this compendium more than anyone else. Not only can you reminisce about the stories you have already read and enjoyed, but you will get inside information about reissues, upcoming stories, and so much more. *****
Author: Jeff Ashton with Lisa Pulitzer
Title - Imperfect Justice (Prosecuting Casey Anthony)
(Set in Florida.)
Not quite three-years-old, little Caylee Marie Anthony was last seen on Monday, June 16, 2008. Her mother, Casey, did not report Caylee’s disappearance for (let’s say) thirty-one days. During this time, Casey told numerous people various lies as to where her daughter was. All the while, Casey partied as if there were no tomorrow. She was eventually accused of killing her daughter. On July 5, 2011, nearly three years after her initial arrest, Casey Anthony walked away, virtually scot-free. It was the trial and verdict that shocked America.
Linda Drane Burdick, the chief of the sexcrimes/child abuse unit, had the Caylee Anthony case since the beginning. Frank George, a ten-year veteran of the State Attorney’s Office, was already on board with her, but as this shaped up to be a homicide, Linda wanted Jeff Ashton on her prosecuting team. She got him too.
In this book, prosecutor Jeff Ashton explains how Casey Anthony was (finally) forced by her mother, Cindy, to admit the disappearance of her daughter, Caylee. Ashton then begins to tell the behind-the-scenes story of the investigation, the trial, and the stunning verdict.
**** FOUR STARS! If you are looking for a neutral book about the case, go elsewhere. Prosecutor Jeff Ashton’s version is very biased. Though (personally) I totally agree with Ashton, there are sections in the book that I feel turned into lectures and got off topic. These areas happened too often for me, but I eventually managed to consider these sections as static or filler. However, when it comes to stating facts, showing how conclusions are reached, and explaining the science used in research, Ashton did wonderfully. Ashton goes into detail about how the crime scene is handled, the various lies and mood-swings of Casey, Decomposition Odor Analysis, DNA, forensics, and so much more. Through it all, Ashton’s wording ensures that the reader can easily comprehend everything.
I have a problem with one description (beginning at the bottom of page forty-three) where Casey enters Universal Studios to lead the officers with her through the gate and to her fictional office. This section reads, “She took a left at the first building, walked to the end of the roadway, and took them left again at the next intersection…” One of the photos in this book uses arrow marks showing the route taken. Unless I am viewing it totally wrong, they entered the gate and took a right at the first building. (I had someone else read the section and compare it to the photo. That person agrees that I am not mistaken.) Yes, it may be a minor point, but it still bothered me enough to mention it because I was doing my best to pay strict attention to all the evidence. Still, I found this True Crime novel to be utterly fascinating. (And that is saying something since I seldom read non-fiction.) Well worth your time and money. ****
Author: Gus Pelagatti
Title - The Wicked Wives
(Based on the true story of the 1938 Philadelphia murder scandals)
As the novel begins, the setting is Philadelphia. It is September, 1937. Every year Lillian Stoner and her husband, Reggie, celebrate her birthday with a lavish dinner at the Ritz Carlton. But they are no longer a happy couple. After nine years of marriage, Lillian regrets much. Mostly, Lillian regrets her actions which caused her rich father to leave most everything to her brother.
A pneumonia epidemic is plaguing the city. Several weeks after their dinner at the Ritz Carlton, Reggie dies in bed. The doctor has full confidence that Reggie died of pneumonia, but his mother, Nancy, believes otherwise and demands an autopsy. Nancy had caught Lillian, high on opium, with another man the year before. Reggie may have forgiven Lillian, but Nancy did not. Knowing that Lillian's uncle is Deputy Mayor Bill Evans, Nancy insists that the district attorney's office conduct an independent investigation into the cause of Reggie's death.
District Attorney Pat Connors calls in Thomas "Tom" Rossi. As first assistant district attorney, Tom is respected by his peers and has the complete trust of his superiors. Viewing Reggie's body, Tom notices signs of possible poisoning. Evans wants Tom to not agree to recommend an autopsy. Evans all but promises to make Tom the next D.A. The bribe backfires and Tom decides to treat the investigation no differently than any other. By doing so, Tom places his future political career on the line.
**** FOUR STARS! "The Wicked Wives" is based on the true story of the 1938 Philadelphia murder scandals. The story relates events from 1937-1941, including the trials.
Set during the Depression, several Philadelphia wives were convinced to take out (forged) insurance policies on their husbands before killing them with poison. Most, if not all, of these persuasible ladies were egged-on by Giorgio DiSipio. Giorgio ran a tailor shop in South Philly and built himself quite the menagerie of local married women. Many of the women knew each other through him. Even though each lady knew Giorgio was sleeping with the others, every single one believed he would eventually dump the others and marry her. Other people were also involved in the murders and insurance scams, but Giorgio seemed to be at the center of it all.
I, as the reader, received a glimpse into the lives of these women. I was astonished at how easily this oily con man convinced each woman to push aside the love she had for her husband, commit adultery, and then murder her spouse.
The author, Gus Pelagatti, has experience as a trial lawyer and uses his knowledge to bring the South Philly poison ring to vivid life. At the same time, Pelagatti keeps the speech patterns, forensics, and Philadelphia's scenery true to the Depression era. This is a fantastic story for fans of True Crime and/or Psychology! ****
Author: James A. Chisman, Ph.D.
Title - Travels & Tribulations: A Memoir
If you are looking for some type of travel guide, this book is not for you. This is more along the lines of a journal/memoir. Dr. James A. Chisman is a retired professor from Clemson University. Over the past fifty-three years, Dr. Chisman can boast that he has visited seventy-eight countries. It seems that the good professor is an opportunist. Whenever he spies a good deal, he grabs it. Smart man. After reading this memoir I feel as though I know the man well enough to take the liberty of referring to him by his first name, at least for the sake of this review. I hope that I do not step on any toes by doing so. I will detail each chapter, the country/countries visited, the year(s) James was there, and basically anything I feel will interest potential readers. Several photos are included and I will list them in italics at the end of each chapter.
This section is very short. It details how James spent most of his three-week Christmas vacations traveling while he was a university professor. It also explains his traveling during the summers when he was sent somewhere to consult on industrial productivity.
Chapter 1: Cuba, 1956
James spied an advertisement for a fifty-dollar round-trip ticket to Havana, Cuba, and decided the deal to be too good to pass up. This chapter detailed his dealings with vendors, gunshots in the night, and various tour spots, such as Morro Castle.
Chapter 2: White Sands, New Mexico, 1958
James was working on a missile project and he was able to watch military rockets in the sky.
X-1 Rocket Plane being mated to a B-50 Bomber
Chapter 3: East Berlin to Prague, 1969
Here I found some interesting compositions of James's first visit to a communist country and of when he tried his hand at making money on the black market.
Chapter 4: Pacific Arena, 1972
This chapter spoke about visits to Hawaii, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Bora Bora. The author visited all of these within a four week time span.
Chapter 5: Middle East, 1975
James visited Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, and Greece. The author also spoke about the Russian Baroness, Natasha.
Nile Cruise at Luxor
Chapter 6: Europe, 1980-1981
The author's tour of Europe was ancillary to a work assignment. James amused me with his adventures in East & West Germany, Denmark, Italy, France, Austria, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, San Marino, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Luxemburg, Belgium, Monaco, and Holland. James also told of the need to have some Playboy magazines on hand in order to be processed faster at check points and even receive some Soviet souvenirs. I noticed eleven photos in this chapter.
Marksburg Castle Outhouse
"Night": An engraving by William Hogarth, 1738
Cloak and Bucket Man
Road sign near Innsbruck: The author gave some humorous accounts about his obsessive need to learn what "fahrt" meant in German.
Checkpoint Charlie, 1980
East German Trabant
Twelfth-Century Marksburg Castle: The author met Gene Simmons of KISS just after they had finished their "Unmasked Tour".
Juliet's Balcony in Verona
Cecilia, Countess Marialena & Count Milone San Bonifacio at their Italian Villa
La Scala Teatro
Chapter 7: Ireland, 1987
James spent nine months in Cork, The Republic of Ireland, where he taught courses at the University College Cork and did consulting for Apple Computer. Due to having family roots in Ireland, James snooped around in the county and parish records. (The British were making random raids as well.) The author enclosed funny examples of Irish pronunciations.
British soldiers checking cars in Fermanagh, North Ireland
Blarney Castle, Ireland
Chapter 8: USSR, 1987
This section covered Hungary and the Balkan countries, including Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Romania. Due to a revolution and a short-lived counterrevolution, the US State Department yanked their visas. But the author and his wife found a sneakier way to see the sights.
East German Officer's boots:The author had been drooling for these for quite some time and finally obtained them.
Chapter 9: Costa Rica, 1992
James toured Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Venezuela. Ruins are visited and a daring trip down the Rio Reventazon - a class-five set of rapids.
Reventazon River rapids
Locals pirating electricity in Caracas
Chapter 10: Zambia, Africa, 1998
James had been asked to go to Zambia in sub-Saharan Africa to consult with their government's Labor Secretary. The author entertained me with some of his consulting and private experiences. James even took time out to shoot the rapids on the Nile.
Entebbe Airport at 11pm
Owen Dam, Lake Victoria, Nile source
Monkey and James
Victoria Falls, Author's Ultralight Overflight
White Rhinos in Rhino Park, Zimbabwe
Mukuni Village, Beer-making
Tarp covered, makeshift sidewalk stalls
Author and unfinished school house
Twelve-foot tall termite mound
Cape Town, South Africa
Chapter 11: Alaska & the Yukon, 2004
To join the Barrow Alaska Polar Bear Club, James swam in the Arctic Ocean, clad only in his skivvies.
Traffic light in Barrow: NOT at an intersection
Barrow Alaska Polar Bear Club patch
The author while in the Arctic Ocean earning the patch
I do not believe the author could have written a shorter one.
***** FIVE STARS! From the first page until the last, I was kept entertained by the author's adventures as he told them in his own unique way. The author gave details that most other memoirs would not. I believe this was because his outrageous sense of humor managed to shine through on every page. The stories are fast paced and never dull. Often I found my interest piqued as James spun a yarn about trying to obtain a pair of WWII German boots. I noticed that the author learned more than one moral during his antics.
Seldom do I open a non-fiction book. I usually prefer to escape reality with various fictional genres. However, this memoir was fantastic and I am very happy that I decided to take a chance and read it. An impressive memoir that I cannot recommend highly enough. *****
Author: Mark Seal
Title - The Man in the Rockefeller Suit (True Crime)
In July 2008, Clark Rockefeller kidnaps his seven-years-old daughter during a supervised visitation. The ultimate failure of his elaborate plan is the last solid brick removed from a purely fabricated 'wall'....30 years of carefully crafted lies and brazen deceit all come tumbling down. Author Mark Seal sifts through the rubble, trying to piece together who is/was Clark Rockefeller--serial impostor.
***** FIVE STARS! This isn't the type of book I would ordinarily go looking for, but from the very beginning I was hooked! At age seventeen, a young German arrives in America on a dubious student visa; he re-invents himself and begins an unbelievable journey. From the incredibly tapestry of woven lies that was James Frederick Mills Clark Rockefeller to the gullibility of the wealthy and highly educated upper-class (including his wife of twelve years!), I was amazed again and again with how readily this man spun stories and how quick others were to accept them. It left me wondering how in the world could anyone live a lie for their entire lifetime. with no one knowing who you really are? And when that life falls apart, who are you then?
The fact that Rockefeller has since been charged with murder adds yet another dimension to this jaw-dropping story. Even if you are not a true crime-type of reader, this book will blow your mind! Mr. Seal's meticulous research combined with a gripping ability to tell the story brings this real-life drama back to life--only this time, the truth is told! *****
Author: Lynn Picknett
Title - The Secret History of "Mary Magdalene" ~ Christianity's Hidden Goddess
In this book, Lynn Picknett sets out to discover the "real" Mary Magdalene. Stripping away long kept lies and assumptions--ignoring the long-held beliefs of what the Magdalene was and wasn't, Ms. Picknett seems to have done a tremendous amount of research into finding the truth(s) about a much-revered and often damned woman. Along the way, she has also found clues that create some incredible questions on other key characters. The information she has found and interpretations made would turn the Catholic Church on it's head if they could be proven. Alas, after 2000 years and untold revisions of "the story" of Jesus and his followers, we will probably never know conclusively who these people really were and what they really did. However, this book shows tantalizing clues as to who the key figures may have really been, where they may have come from and what their goals may have been....and few fit the sanitized version we've all come to know. From the many "Black Madonna's" found in Churches in France, to rites using relics mimicking John the Baptist's head, this book will have you questioning the version of Jesus' life and times that you grew up with.
The Secret History of Mary Magdalene should give anyone enough fodder to start looking for their own truths rather than accept what organized religion has always told us--to question motives behind the Church and hopefully begin thinking for themselves.
****THREE AND A HALF STARS! I find this book very difficult--if not impossible--to rate. It's not exactly an "easy read", however it feels that it may have some truths in it. I don't feel qualified to judge Mr. Picknett's research--is it enough? Is it all relevant? Has it been interpreted correctly? Not being a researcher myself, I have no idea. However! If you've ever had unanswered questions about the Magdalene--little niggling doubts about what you've been led to believe--as well as about the life and times surrounding Jesus, this book may very well answer some of them. At the very least it will hopefully give you a taste of thinking for yourself when it comes to matters of YOUR God. ****
Author: Sam Sidawi
Title - My Rustic Sandwiches (Great Recipes to Savor Artisan Bread)
***** FOUR AND A HALF STARS! For sandwich lovers who want to take their passion to the next level, this book will guide you to eating experiences you have perhaps never imagined. Artisan breads are clearly a passion for Mr. Sidawi, since he has 10 DVD titles featuring instructions on making these delights. However, he readily admits that making your own bread isn’t for everyone. Even so, there is a section in this book with recipes for several of them; along with explanations of ingredients and methods, should you feel adventurous.
The sandwiches? If you are interested in making uncomplicated basic sandwiches or the gourmet variety, you’ll definitely find recipes you will enjoy within the pages of this book. There are mouth-watering examples of everything from suggestions of various cheeses paired with breads (Camembert Cheese on Baguette), to familiar sandwich ingredients (Classic all dressed Ham Sandwich on Baguette), all the way to a variety of exotic stuffing that I had never before thought of putting into a sandwich. For instance, there are sandwiches with Sautéed Dandelion, Caramelized Onions, Shaved Radish and Squeeze of Lemon Juice on Pita Bread; as an added visual delight, all these are accompanied by photographs that are so well done you can almost smell the food!
In addition to the above mentioned recipes, Mr. Sidawi also has recipes for heartier fair that no one would be shy to serve their dinner guests. Some examples of these are: Grilled Chicken, Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise, Roasted Tomatoes with Herbs, and Provolone Cheese on Ciabatta, which is a type of moist Italian bread made with olive oil. As an added surprise, recipes are included (at the back of the book) for the various Spreads and Dips called for in some of the sandwich masterpieces.
Whether you like trying out new recipes or you are a Cookbook-Junky who loves “just looking,” you are bound to enjoy this unique cookbook. *****
Authors: Jarrett Hallcox & Amy Welch
Title - Bodies We've Buried (CSI Training School)
This gem gives readers a look inside the National Forensic Science Institute. This is where students are trained in burial recovery with actual human/animal remains. These are the things that are normally off-limits to anyone outside of law enforcements, medical fields, scientists, and the like.
***** Within these pages are detailed studies, complete with photos, on blood spatters, arson, organic decomposition, photo evidence, DNA, and so much more. It was written by two instructors, so all the information is dead on (no pun intended) and quite unnerving at times. I found this book to be so intense that I could have almost used it as a textbook. With the photos to show me exactly what was being explained (in text) to me, I could easily see everything being played out in my mind's eye.
This is all VERY realistic and hard-hitting even though I was never (physically) at any real crime scene. One thing is for sure, I will never look at the world in the same way again. This book is going onto my Keeper Shelf and, I have no doubts, I will be referring back to it during many TV or movie scenes. (Why? To see if the evidence and the recovery of all the evidence, were really researched or simply thrown together in hope that no one above the intelligence of a slug would check behind the makers.) Highly recommended as a beginners reference or simply for those who want to know the truth. *****
Title - Heroes of the Environment (12 True Stories of People Who Are Helping to Protect Our Planet)
Author: Harriet Rohmer
Illustrator: Julie McLaughlin
In order of the book:
Will Allen's (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) community did not have easy access to healthy food. This is how he changed that.
Kelydra Welcker (Parkersburg, West Virginia) was only fifteen when her experiment proved how much chemical waste was in the Ohio River and then developed a way to filter it out.
Omar Freilla's (South Bronx of New York City) area overflowed in trash. He started the first cooperative in the country dedicated to reusing waste.
Debby Tewa (Hopi Indian Reservation, Arizona) brought solar energy to the Navajo communities.
Margie Richard (Old Diamond, Louisiana) fought the oil company nearby due to air pollution.
John Todd (Woods Hole, Massachusetts) invented an "eco-machine" to clean up waste the way nature did.
Alex Lin (Westerly, Rhode Island) was only a teen when he helped write an E-Waste Law for his state.
Julia "Judy" Bonds (Whitesville, West Virginia) recognized several dangers when coal companies began blasting off mountain tops and did something about it.
El Hijo del Santo (Mexico City, Mexico) is a champion masked wrestler. He teaches kids what they can do to fight pollution and protect wildlife.
Barry Guillot (Destrehan, Louisiana) fights to preserve the wetlands around New Orleans.
When Sarah James (Arctic Village, Alaska) heard that the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuse could soon be opened up to oil drilling, she knew that the caribou herd and the lives of her people were in jeopardy.
Erica Fernandez (Oxnard, California) cleans the beaches and speaks out for the environment. She also rallied her neighbors against a company that planned to build a dangerous processing plant off the coast.
**** FOUR STARS! This book, in my opinion, targets ages 6 - 13. Each of the twelve people have around six pages explaining the problems they noticed around themselves and gives a step-by-step process of what they did about it. Many of these people were young (around first grade) when they recognized the problems, listened to those around them, and kept up with the news. As a result, some grew up and chose a profession which allowed them to do something about those problems. Others figured out a way to get active and fight for justice while still very young. A couple were teenagers who made a difference, not only for their area, but for the entire planet.
This is an excellent way for adults to educate and explain to the next generation (or two) about what they can do make a difference; now and in the future. Public and school libraries would do well to make sure they have at least one copy on their shelves. Since this is a hardback book, it will last a long time. Each story is written in simple words; therefore, younger kids will have no problems understanding. And as an added buying incentive, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will support the efforts of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). ****
Author: Nola Lee Kelsey
Title - Let's Go Visit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (Up to age 8)
The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is located in Angel Canyon, (Southern) Utah. This oversized book reads like an interactive bedtime story for children and is utterly delightful. The sanctuary receives around 20,000 tourists each year. This book entertains children and gives a virtual tour of all the animals living on the sanctuary. Since many of the animals living at the sanctuary have been rescued from bad people or are survivors of disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, readers learn how much care goes into helping them. The book helps children understand why some animals are nervous, shy, or scared of humans. It also explains how people can help care for animals.
As children read or listen to the stories, their eyes and imaginations are tantalized with large, colorful photos of animals found on every page. A couple of the back pages tell how kids can help the animals in their area.
***** All-in-all, I found this to be an exceptional book, perfect for any time of the day or night. Though great for bedtime, I believe it would perfect for class time as well. Teachers should seriously consider picking up a copy to determine whether they could fit this in their class schedule. It is well written with simple, easy to understand, words. Best of all, kids will learn from an early age how to act around and care for animals. Kids will read about all types of animals from plucky duckies to bunnies, from cats to dogs, from horses to pigs, and many more. In a word, "Bunnyreffic!" *****
Author: Evan Wright
Title - Generation Kill (Realistic War Reporting)
***** Combat troops of all branches have, with few exceptions, e.g. Ernie Pyle and Bill Mauldin, little trust or regard for journalists. Having spent time in both camps, I side with my brothers and sisters at arms and understand why they are leery of these foreign beings spying on them. Therefore, I picked up “Generation Kill” with much skepticism. To my surprise, it wasn't what I had expected.
Evan Wright, a contributor to “Rolling Stone” and other journals, joins a United States Marine Corps Recon (Reconnaissance) Battalion and is attached at the platoon level or lower for their blitzkrieg drive through northern Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He endures what they endure and faces what they face with little, if any, more knowledge than they have of their situations. Wright captures the terror, the confusion, the fatigue, the stress, the bonding, the ennui, the bravery, the incompetence, and the soul-searching that are part of combat.
As a read, I found old comrades living on in this younger generation, but the conversations were similar to my generation's and to my father's with only some idiomatic changes. There were the same SNAFUs, FUBARs, REMFs, RAMFs, POGs, and other things that make up the grunt-speak of the various generations. And true today as it has always been, the more specialized and proficient the warrior, and Recon Marines are among the top 1% in the Corps, which puts them among the elite warriors of the world, there is more thoughtfulness about their job and about each mission—mindless drones they are not. A character in a novel once commented, not so tongue-in-cheek, that they should hand out mortarboards instead of berets upon completion of the Army's Special Forces training, except the mortarboards are a pain in a firefight. The ironies of war are not lost on these intelligent young Marines nor are their coping mechanisms ignored or considered particularly unusual...highly paid professional athletes often have quirks, too.
Wright grasps the current socio-political climate quite well, as we see when he recommends “Groundhog Day” as the best film to describe a grunt's view of war. I will wholeheartedly agree with his assessment that, unlike Vietnam, when it comes time to look for those to be held in shame, the veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan shall not and must not be among that group. “The Marine Corps is at war. America is at the mall.” Or as Wright puts it, “It's the American public for whom the Iraqi war is no more real than a video game” (a reference to a quote in the the book about Grand Theft Auto). In short, war is still war and it is a horrible undertaking...but we still wage it upon each other with all the skill and lethality we can muster. Evan Wright's book is masterful telling of how the U.S. does it today; complete with the warts and flaws for all to see. *****
Author: H Wayne House
Title - The Jesus Who Never Lived
*** People have been inventing their own personal Jesus for centuries. As a result, there are many different versions out there of who Jesus was and is. The author helps readers wade through the muck of it all to show who He was, is, and will always be in clear, concise language that takes in a panorama of history in a compact form. ***
Authors: Bruce Bickl, Stan Jantz
Title - Evidence for Faith 101
*** In an easy to read, conversational style, the authors present the modern Christian reader with a primer of facts about why their faith is reasonable and true. Addressing a variety of topics that the relativistic society has dismissed as fable, irrelevant, intolerant, etc, they give reasons for the hope that lies within the Christian and show how to use it most effectively. ***
Authors: William A Dembski, Sean McDowell
Title - Understanding Intelligent Design
*** The authors have undertaken to explain one of the newest versions of the origin of the universe, Intelligent Design, the theory that there is a purposeful plan that goes into making the world, rather than random evolution. While the doctrine is not necessarily Christian, their explanation of it comes from a definite, decided, Christian bias that brings order and logic to it. They debunk evolution and other such theories and show how the Earth had to have a purposed design for existence due to sheer logic, if nothing else. ***
Authors: Ankerberg, Weldon, Burroughs
Title - Fast Facts on Halloween
*** Samhain, Halloween, All Hallow's Eve, All Saints' Eve, whatever you call it, it's not far off and every year, there is a group of Christians who worry about how to deal with it, while others see it as innocent fun, blow it off, or get in a lather of opposition. Which attitude is right? The authors present the history of Halloween, the facts behind many of the customs, and scriptures that support their opinions of what the proper methods of response to the dilemma are. For those of us who just really don't care about Halloween, this book still holds some interest, seeing what the history and lore are. However, if you do have a problem with the day, the answers are concise and useful. If you are strongly committed to a pro or con view, then it probably won't influence you. Fence sitters should be able to make their choice after reading it. ***
Author: Paul Copan
Title - When God Goes to Starbucks
**** Effective communication is key to anything, whether in business, personal relationships, education, or and perhaps especially in your Christian witness. Mr. Copan tackles some of the issues Christians will face as they attempt to do this and just to live a Christian life in a world that often seems stacked against them. He gives reasons we can trust the reliability of our faith in an age of skepticism, addresses issues that are tough to deal with that are a part of contemporary society, and answers some Biblical difficulties. All of this is done in a concise, readable form that does not bog down in ten dollar words or a dry tone. Moreover, at the end of each chapter there is a summary and a list of helpful resources for further reading. The fledgling apologist would be wise to add this or anything he writes to his arsenal. ****
Author: C.S. Lewis
Title - Yours, Jack
**** C.S. Lewis was famous for the amount of time he spent composing letters and answering his mail. Every day brought dozens of pieces of fan mail and other correspondence that he spent hours dealing with daily. In this volume, we get to see the results of this time, the author's unvarnished heart and mind, not polished for publication. His questions and search for deeper answers as he pursued his Christian life, his personal concerns, his hopes, and his sorrows are all exposed for us to see and share in. Through this medium, we get insight into his professional writing and into the life of one of the twentieth century's most influential philosophers. We also gain much in the way of Christian instruction in a very readable format. This is a must for any fan of Lewis and Narnia. ****
Author: Mark Batterson
Title - Wild Goose Chase
**** Although Jesus came to set the captives free and exodus from slavery is a running theme throughout the Holy Word, many Christians live in cages called fear, guilt, assumptions, over responsibility, and more. Inspired by the Celtic name for the Holy Spirit, the Wild Goose, the author explores what each cage means to the Christian walk and how to escape it. With substantial Biblical citation, he concisely provides what he has gleaned as a key to each of these prisons. Though many Christian self help books are ones that are so bland that a non-Christian may read them without taking offense, there is so much of the word here that you must at least be open to the Christian message in order to benefit from it, which is a definite plus. ****
Author: Richard Abannes
Title - New Earth, Old Deception
**** The latest pseudo psychological, New Age fad being promoted by Oprah is New Earth by Eckert Tolle. Indeed, she has had web based seminars and devoted shows to this subject, in the process, leading many astray. Despite the fact that the author of that book heavily quotes Scripture, it is a far from Christian guidebook, as you will see clearly, if you need help, after reading this slim volume. Concisely, yet with utter clarity, Mr. Abannes deconstructs every point Mr. Tolle makes by showing the truth and presenting that Christian answer to each of these alleged revelations. Since most of Mr. Tolle's statements are ones that echo pagan religions and all variants of the New Age heresy, this is a book that will also help readers have ammunition with which to handle those proponents when confronted by them. Particularly welcome is the fact that though Mr. Abannes is firm on the fact that A New Earth is patently wrong, he does not turn anything into a personal attack, as many authors making apologetic presentations will do. By keeping everything factual, he makes a clearer case and one that is enjoyable to read. ****
Authors: James Kennedy, Jerry Newcombe
Title - The Presence of a Hidden God
**** Though St. Paul declared two thousand years ago that nature alone provides ample evidence of the presence of God and that He is not hidden, many people insist that He is unknowable and use that as an excuse for atheism or agnosticism. Never has it been more true than these days. Countering this argument, the authors give concise, yet sufficient proofs that God not only exists, but has been amply revealed by evidence and by the Incarnation of His Son, the second person of the Trinity. Then, they show readers steps that can help them get to know Him. This is an excellent resource for a fledgling apologist or for a seeker of truth. ****
Author: James A. Herrick
Title - Scientific Mythologies
Father Andrew Greeley once called science fiction/fantasy writers the new theologians and philosophers. While not citing fantasy, per se, the author does seem to agree with him on the science fiction angle of that statement. Going through a variety of paradigms, such as genetic advancement, aliens providing humanity with greatly advanced knowledge, psychic phenomena, etc, he explores the history of these fictions and how they might logically be applied to real life.
*** Even the most secular reader could conceivably be comfortable reading this book if the subject intrigues them. Though billed as inspirational, the majority of it does not mention much about the Christian faith. Highly scholarly and detailed, this would make a great asset for those who wish to write academic papers on such matters as the one covered here. ***
Author: Julie Andrews
Title - Home (Biography)
*** For generations Julie Andrews has charmed fans of stage, screen, music, and literature. Through the last, we have gotten inklings of the depths of her heart; the poignancy of Mandy reveals that there is more to her than bubbly optimism or prim dignity. Now, we get to see how those wells were created in her soul as Ms. Andrews takes us on a a journey to her past where a history of abuse, subtle and less than subtle, begins early in her life and is the first of many battles she will have to overcome on her way to achieving her dreams. As the narrative continues, we are allowed backstage to see the magic that created the musicals that made her a star. Time traveling through her words, we gain new insights into what it took to bring Camelot, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, etcetera, before our eyes and make them the timeless classics we still love. Whether you merely want to get to know a personal hero better or are an aficionado of the musical stage, you will be enriched to read this. ***
Author: Phil Callaway
Title - Family Squeeze
*** Many families are undergoing the "sandwich phenomena" as they find themselves with aging parents on one end of the scale, children in the home still, and their own generation stuck in between. While this makes for a stress filled situation, it is not without its smiles and with lessons. The author shares what he's learned through living this situation out in his own life, offering his reflections with wit and wisdom. Imagine Erma Bombeck with a devotional spin to her writing. Through the laughter and tears, you will see that God does have a purpose in this family dynamic. ***
Authors: Henry & Mel Blackaby
Title - Experiencing the Resurrection
**** Though Easter is the turning point of history, those whose life stems from the event it marks, the resurrection of Christ and the beginning of a new world, often fall short of enjoying the new life His gift has granted them. Respected teacher, Henry Blackaby, and his son, Mel, address this problem and explain how readers can change that in their own lives, with God's power. Among the topics addressed, you will find a concise apologetic for the Christian faith, explanations of what it means to experience the gifts of the resurrection, and what might be handicapping your life in Christ. After you complete this book, you will know that hope, joy, peace, and many other spiritual benefits await you in Christ, and with His grace, you will come to live out those blessings. Unlike many Christian living books, this is not a "self help"' guide, but something that points you towards getting real help, aid only God can give you. In effect, it links up the two verses, "Without Me (Christ Jesus) you can do nothing," and "I (Jesus) have come that you might have life, and have in more abundantly." You will have your best life now, by trusting in Him. ****
Authors: Kerry & Chris Shook
Title - One Month to Live
*** The recent hit movie, the Bucket List, has a lot of people thinking about what they would do were they told what the defined limit of their life's remaining time was. Instead of going off on a spree of pursuing impossible feats that you've always wanted to, but never dared to or been able to afford, Pastor Shook suggests it is a time to transform your life and connect with what is truly important. Much like the Purpose Driven Life, it offers the reader action steps for how to make these changes, to live with passion and wisdom, to face the storms and giants in your world. Though it does offer a greater focus on the Bible than the aforementioned book or the current bestseller being sold by his fellow Houstonian that is of a similar nature, non-Christians will not be discomforted by what it does cite scripturally. However, Christians might wish for a greater gospel emphasis. Nonetheless, when choosing a self-help book, this is one of the best you select. ***
Author: John H. Reid
Title - More Bible Wisdom for Modern Times
**** The Gospel of Mark, which most likely was the earliest of the four gospels, is rendered in plain prose and in an abbreviated version, thus making it highly accessible to the pressured, rushed for time modern reader who has little time for even the most important devotional time. It is also recounted as a personal memoir of Simon Peter's, the Apostle who was John Mark's spiritual father. In addition to this, some early Christian writings that though not canonical have value, are included in modern language. Among them are pieces of the Didache, the "Gospel" of Barnabas, and the Shepherd of Hermas, of of which are some of the select few appocrophyl books that received serious consideration at the Council of Nicaea. Such books as this can hopefully be valuable in bringing the Word of Life to the world that so needs it, and it is hoped will encourage true Bible study. ****
Author: Beth Moore
Title - Get Out of that Pit (Self Help)
***** Let me begin by saying the term self-help might be the closest term to apply to this book in secular terms, but it is NOT a self help book; it's a getting God's help book. If you have tried the Secret, to have your "best life now," find your purpose, or have a positive attitude by using what amounts to the Music Man method- just telling yourself to be happy, you have by now found they don't work. This is what you've been searching for, or at least the first step to getting there. In a folksy, yet powerful fashion, Mrs. Moore gives her readers hard hitting reality about how everyone at some point in their life finds themselves arriving in a pit, whether they just got there accidentally, were shoved in, or dove in with their eyes open. She makes it clear that God alone can get you out of there and how surrendering to Him and cooperating with Him is the only rope that will get you free. The back of the book even offers a mini workbook so that you can on your own go through with scriptural prayers and questions designed to help you think about what you've read. Unlike some bestsellers in the "self help" genre, this one is replete with the Bible. Maybe you can't get to a Beth Moore study or you're a guy and would feel like a duck out of water among a few hundred women. This is a good substitute or supplement. *****
Author: Ravi Zacharias
Title - Beyond Opinion
***** If you are Christian and one of your resolutions for the year is to put your mind on an exercise regimen, then heads up; this book belongs in your routine. For the past few decades, our faith has faced a plethora of challenges that truly make the task of apologetics almost live up to the name the word implies to the uninformed, that we are apologizing for being Christian. Whether it is from post-modern relativism, Islam, atheism, New Age and Eastern religions, science, or what have you, the Way is under constant attack, and we must have some help in dealing with this, both on a personal and practical level. Mr. Zacharias and a team of co-writers, many of whom are familiar to regular listeners of his Just Thinking segment, tackle these issues in a manner that is highly intellectual and yet accessible to even a reader with only a high school diploma. Drawing on philosophy, science, and pure reason, the case is made for Christianity in such a way as to set you on fire for evangelism because you now have a more sure arsenal of defense, and to give you a fresh confidence if you had to face any doubts in your own heart. This is a book to get two or more copies of, for you will want to share it and not risk losing it to absent minded friends. *****
Editor: A.T.B. McGowan
Title - Always Reforming (Theology)
*** In this collection of essays, a group of highly respected Biblical scholars addresses the subject of proper theology in its many facets, particularly as related to the current evangelical crisis being created by the "emergent church" movement and the blurring lines of truth created by relativism. Though the title indicates that the church needs to reform, readers should not think that means changing essential doctrines. Like the Reformation that is credited to Martin Luther, though it truly began at least a century before with Hess, the authors are urging the church to return to the truth and not yield to accommodating less than Biblical, new pop theologies. Though the language is highly scholarly and at times dry reading, it will be edifying for readers and help them in their stand for truth. ***
Author: John Stott
Title - The Living Church (Memoir)
*** For decades, Reverend Stott has been one of the foremost teachers in Christianity. Now, he surveys the current church situation, particularly the impact of the "emerging church" movement, and instructs his audience on what a church should be. The picture he draws is one that is far closer to the model presented in Acts and shows clearly how far off the new trendy churches are in their approach to faith. Though, unfortunately, the people who need to read this probably won't, and the text is somewhat dry, more in this vein needs to be written. ***
Author: Ben Hill
Title - Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne
While European royals, such as the English monarchs and those of Monaco, get the lion's share of the press, especially the former, the Japanese Emperor and his princess are not without their problems. An idealistic young man with a destiny and obligations met a young, independent woman one day and suddenly, both of their worlds changed. What should have been a fairy tale romance, and indeed, many tried to bill it as such, ala Charles and Diana or Grace and Rainier, it turned into a nightmare. Duty and honor demand much of the royal couple, and the fact that women are not encouraged to be all they can be in Japan, has turned life into one of misery for Masako, the Crown Princess of Japan. Though she is a highly skilled, accomplished lady, her talents beyond smiling and child bearing go to waste, but, she has no way out of her golden cage.
*** It would seem that the only rosy romances to be found for Princesses lies on the Disney screen. Those fascinated by the lives of Grace, Diana, etcetera will discover this to be an equally interesting read. Though not as unbiased as this genre should be presented as, the author's empathy for his subject comes through clearly. ***
Authors: R Douglas Geivett, James S Spiegel
Title - Faith, Film, and Philosophy
*** It has been noted that movies and media are the means by which modern people communicate, so it is therefore only appropriate that someone should examine what is being communicated to the public and how it relates to Christianity and/or thought in general. Using a wide range of films; from Pretty Woman to the Matrix to It's a Wonderful Life to Silence of the Lambs, the authors give in depth analyses of the message conveyed by each. Feel good movies are taken with many grains of salt, and it is surprising at times, which are praised. Often dry, this book will definitely give you something to think about. ***
Author: Ron Rhodes
Title - What Does the Bible Say About ... ?
*** The Bible prompts many questions and there is a host of misperceptions about what it says or what is in it. Faulty or lazy exegesis, cultic distortions, and simple ignorance have created a need for simple books that point you in the proper direction for answers. The latest is this. Although well organized and concise, the title is in some cases, a misnomer, as the answers often tend to be what Mr. Rhodes believes the Bible says about certain topics. Ergo, especially in the latter sections, readers may wish to consider more than one source for their information before settling on what they take as the proper interpretation. ***
Author: David Marshall
Title - The Truth Behind the New Atheism
**** Atheism has become culturally acceptable in recent years, and the author seeks to explore the reasons behind this as well as the most effective ways Christians can defend their truth claims against the errors presented as fact by the atheists. In a very engaging manner, he unravels the distortions so that the logical nature of Christianity becomes abundantly clear. Though this is a very readable book, it is also not dumbed down, and should be accessible to most any level of readership. ****
Author: Timothy Knight
Title - Great Kisses...& Famous Lines Right Out of the Movies
(Jan. 8, 2008)
***** If you are a movie fan then you will clearly recognize most, if not all, of the quotes in this book. This is a compilation of the most memorable moments and kisses seen in the movies. There are 150 color and black and white photos scattered throughout the book to help you reminisce those wonderful scenes.
Who could ever forget the sizzling kiss between Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in "Gone with the Wind"? Their kissing role is only one of many described. The photos bring it all back in a rush. The quotes are clearly listed and I could not help but smile as I relived it all. This would make the perfect Valentine's Day gift for other half. Outstanding! *****
Author: Jerry Camery Hodggatt
Title - Giver of Gifts
(Three Stories of Christmas Grace)
An expanded version of Mr. Hodgatt's children's story, When Mother was Eleven Foot Four, opens this sweet anthology, recounting what feels like a true story of a family's courage in overcoming the odds to reclaim lost joys after hard times bring them low. Next, we see the Christmas story through Joseph's eyes, as the step-father of Jesus considers the events that brough Mary and himself to this holy day in Joseph's Son. Rounding out the collection is Through a Glass Darkly. Angie's bitterness towards life only gets worse at Christmas, until she is given a mirror that allows her to see the stories that have shaped the lives of her neighbors and understand why they are the way they are. It also gives her a glimpse of a different Angie, one who is not scarred by her hurts. Can she ever become that person?
*** If you are a fan of the Chicken Soup stories, then this little book will have a special place on your library shelf. Though I could have wished for a more Christ centered anthology, at least part of His message is conveyed subtly to the readers. It is also a nice change to see Christmas stories that are not overly cutesy. ***
Authors: Jim Hightower, Susan DeMarco
Title - Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow
***** I seldom read anything non-fiction. Yet the idea of ignoring the big shots, such as top executives, and doing what I believe is RIGHT, rather than abusing the public to make an extra dime for the CEO, was too good for me to pass up. I had to know more.
I have heard people speak of name Jim Hightower before, but never knew to whom they were really talking about. (As I said, I don't read much non-fiction; this includes business newspapers and talk radio/TV shows.) After reading this book, my first impression of him and Susan DeMarco is good, very good.
This book gives readers boring facts in an entertaining way. With use of humor and witty quotes, the readers' attentions never wavers and more of the information is absorbed. I kept picturing Jim Hightower as a seminar speaker. (They MUST keep their audiences attention or forfeit future business, and they definitely want repeat customers.)
The first section mainly tells the stories of a variety of people who, fed up with the major players and middlemen, broke off to do business on a more personal level with their customers. I learned about "co-ops" and how they operate. The second section gets into the real information needed for those brave souls who intend to flip the bird to their work places and try something new. The third section is like a pep-rally. It winds all the subjects up and leaves you with an "I CAN" attitude.
I would like to stress some things to those who intend to strike out on their own. Expect many years of hard financial times. Expect to find doors so hard to open for you that you will feel as though you are banging your head against a cement wall. Success does not come over night. It takes A LOT of hard work. And if you ever finally feel as though you are at the top, remember that you will have to continue working hard to stay there. So don't burn any bridges as you quit your job. You may need them as customers someday or need to be rehired. *****
Author: Kenneth Richard Samples
Title - A World of Difference
*** Through what lens do you see the world? Everyone has a worldview, but some are sounder than others. Mr. Samples compares the predominant worldviews of today and shows why the Christian one is right and true. He explains what logic is, compares the highlights of the major religious worldviews, and the reasons Christianity is true. His argument is, not to be redundant, highly logical and well thought out. He also makes his case in a reasonable and readable fashion. Though it's not exactly a light, fun read, it is one that will give you something worth thinking on. ***
Author: Peter Davidson
Title - Murder at Holy Cross
**** Fans of true crime, with strong mental constitutions, will find this to be a treasure. A young nun was murdered, stabbed ninety-two times. The arrest of her killer followed shortly thereafter, but his defense was one that will make you sick at your stomach. Mykhaho Kofel alleged that the nun made fun of him, and that he had been sexually abused by various priests at the monastery. Though the priests in question avow their innocence, they were still stained by the claims. Details of the abuse are graphic, so readers, be wary. Though this is not the reviewers cup of tea, it is clear that the author is a talented writer who is thorough in his research and in providing background information. ****
Author: John Macarthur
Title - Because the Time Is Near
People either totallly avoid the book of Revelation or spend entirely too much time speculating on the possible, often esoteric meanings they can read into its imagery. Neither approach is correct. In an attempt to offer the proper way to read the book, Pastor Macarthur goes through the last book of the Bible, verse by verse, stating in layman's terms what is being said. Rather than imaginatively interpretting the words, he cites the verses that antecede the ones in Revelation, from both Testaments. There is no time spent on what iffing the identity of the Anti-Christ or applying eisegesis to the text so that the newspaper becomes the lens through which it is viewed. You will not find that sort of interpretation at all, much less statements concerning the timing, other than the fact that it takes a pretrib, premill point of view. Helpful charts and maps enhance the reading as well. ***
Author: Wendy Spero
Title - Microthrills
I do not read much non-fiction. I live real life. I read to escape it. But the bright neon yellow cover of this book was eye-catching. So, against my will, my feet walked up to it, my hand picked it up, and my eyes began reading. Before I knew it, hours had gone by and I had read the whole thing.
In this book, Wendy "Wendaay" Spero tells readers true stories about her life in a way that only she can do. From her childhood, to her awkward years, and on up to the present day. Being raised by a mother like Wendy's makes for some interesting memories. (I will think of Wendy and her mother every time I go to a fair from now on.)
***** Engrossing, packed with humor, and just all around fun, this is one book you will never forget. Very highly recommended! *****
Author: Louis Markos
Title - From Achilles To Christ
*** C.S. Lewis has called Christianity the one myth that is true, and modern books such as the Gospel According to everyone from Harry Potter to Superman have noted the echoes of Christianity that are replete in today's myths. Typological shadows of the gospel message began to infuse literature as far back as the ancient Greeks. The author examines several classic works, including that of Homer, Vergil, and Sophocles, in light of Christianity. Such detailed analysis, while highly instructive, can at times be dry. However, in the final chapter, he makes the point of the entire exercise abundantly clear in a concise fashion. This is an excellent introduction to Greek classics for the Christian student. ***
Author: Lynn Pinkham
Title - Moments of Contemplation
**** Like her earlier work, Eclipse to Sunrise, this volume takes readers on a journey of faith as experienced by the author. Holiness is found in the everydayness of life and most especially, in the darkest moments. This newest work shows the audience more intimately the pains Ms. Pinkham has undergone, and though it is clear she has suffered on an emotional level that would compare to Job's trials, her faith is still something that shines through it all, perhaps even more clearly as a result. The honesty of her faith does not insist that nothing bad ever happens to Christians, as many popular books do. Rather, it gives Christians permission to admit their hurts and find the meaning of Romans 8:28. ****
Authors: James K. Walker, Bob Waldrep
Title - The Truth Behind The Secret
**** Do you want health, wealth, happiness, world peace, and a good parking space? All you have to do is practice The Secret. Conversely, are you unhappy, have any sort of illness, or any problems at all? It's your fault, no matter what it is. Such is what you will learn if you follow the latest trend being pushed by Oprah. However, not only is there a dark side to the Secret, but it is nothing new, and is built on both faulty science and flawed religion. The authors, in a very objective style, expose the truth behind the lie. Though it would have been helpful had they gone further and shown readers how to present the real truth when confronted by Secret fanatics, the concise information they supply is helpful. Moreover, some of the points exposed are so humorous that if you need a laugh, it gives you one. ****
Author: Connie Neal
Title - Wookies, Wizards, and Wardrobes
***** No one will be surprised to see a book praising the merits of C.S. Lewis' beloved Narnia series to Christians. However, suggesting that Christians can and some have already found echoes of their faith and lessons in, of all things, Star Wars and Harry Potter will probably scandalize as many people as it delights. Ignore those crying "heresy" and give this book a hearing. Ms. Neal brings out a wealth of Christian insights gleaned not only from Narnia, but also from that galaxy long ago and far away and from Hogwarts. In fact, I daresay she finds more to glean from the two strictly secular series than from the conventionally Christian one. The introduction to this tome is enough to reassure parents about the merits of reading or watching such things, but reading the entire volume will enhance your enjoyment of all three sagas. *****
Author: Ravi Zacharias
Title - The Grand Weaver
**** Many today insist that life has no meaning, but Christians must deny that statement as untrue. Various threads of life, each of which is infused with meaning and a purposeful place in the tapestry that makes each person, are woven together by the Master Weaver Who designed the entirity of the universe and of eternity. Mr. Zacharias examines eight principle strands of existence and shows what they mean and how they function for an individual. In his clear, concise, elegant, and profound, but extremely comprehensible manner, he gives readers a sense of wonder and purpose about their role and more importantly, in regard to their Creator. This is what I hoped to find when I read The Purpose Driven Life. What is most striking is the way the author's words bring together the ordinary with the holy without diminishing the holy. This is a very re-readable volume, so do not lend it to anyone; just buy the potential borrower a copy. ****
Authors: Marc Schuster & Tom Powers
Title - The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
**** Since November of 1963, an eccentric man who has been old and is sometimes young, not to mention everything in between, who walks in eternity via a Police Public Call Box has captivated fans worldwide with his adventures. He has been called the Evil One, a Lonely Angel, and the Oncoming Storm. But, he would introduce himself simply as the Doctor. What makes Doctor Who so fascinating to so many people? The authors have tackled this question in an absorbing, easy to read volume that like the Time Lord's TARDIS, is bigger on the inside than the outside. Though it is very short, it covers a wide range of subjects from the pilot, The Unearthly Child through Doomsday that ended Season 28. New to Who fans will be able to enjoy this new incarnation twice as much if they read this history, as it clues them in on things they might miss, while long standing fans will find it a treasure of nostalgia. The insights delivered will make you think in a manner that brings a smile to your face. ****
Author: Lee Strobel
Title - The Case for the Real Jesus
***** Thanks to authors such as Dan Brown, sensationalist director James Cameron, and the New Age, recent years have seen a rising tide of questions as to who Jesus Christ is. To answer the most pressing questions that have arisen, Mr. Strobel has conducted an in-depth investigation into that subject. Much as he did in the Cases for Christ, for the Creator, and for Faith, he takes readers along on interviews with academics of unquestionable merit and lets them make the case. Just as Perry Mason often would make Hamilton Burger look like a fool while making it clear that his client was in the right, Mr. Strobel decimates those who try to cast doubt on Christ. Once again, readers have been gifted with a valuable resource in defending their faith that should, as Calvin once said, shut the mouths of skeptics. *****
Author: Phil Yancey
Title - Prayer
**** The Bible clearly states that God is omniscient, knowing all aspects of life from the genesis of time to beyond its end, and unchanging. Yet, Christians are still told to pray, despite the fact that if you think about it, everything about life is somehow already ordained. Does prayer make a difference, then? What is prayer? Is there a right way to pray? These issues and more are addressed with frankness and honesty in Mr. Yancey's latest book. All the answers are not definitively given, but this guide will help you in your path towards a measure of comprehension and perhaps give you peace about what you cannot completely grasp. ****
Author: Timothy Paul Jones
Title - Misquoting the Truth
*** The reliability of the Bible has come into question more so than ever in recent years, largely due to the influence of works such as Dan Brown's thrillers and nonfictions such as Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus. In this book, the author directly addresses the misunderstandings evidenced by Mr. Ehrman's work and in so doing, proves the reliability of the Bible. Though his stance is not as strong as some other apologists, such as R.C. Sproul, he is effective. The greatest flaw of this work is that too often there are what seems to be personal digs made at Bart Ehrman, and that is something out of place in an academic work. ***
Authors: Alistair McGrath, Joanna Collicut McGrath
Title - The Dawkins Delusion
*** Richard Dawkins' work, The God Delusion, is a blistering attack on religion, but does it or anything he says hold water? The McGraths systematically demolish everything Professor Dawkins has ever written with logic and reason. While their arguments are sound and valid, the tone of this book is more one of a personal attack against Mr. Dawkins. In my opinion, this weakens their argument somewhat. Though it does not make their criticism less true, it makes the case appear almost mean. ***
Authors: Ger, Couch, Fruchtenbaum, & Price
Title - The Popular Bible Prophecy Commentary
*** The Bible contains hundreds of prophecies, and not all of the related to eschatology. Thus, it is quite important to understand prophecy to be able to comprehend the Scriptures. From Genesis through Revelation, the authors take readers on a tour of both foretelling and forthtelling words. In the process, readers are given insights into ancient life and vocabulary that can be useful in understanding other parts of the Bible. It is worth noting that while there will be little contraversy regarding how Misters LaHaye and Hindson discuss prophecies not related to the end times, their views on that finale of human history are, not unexpectedly, Premil Dispensational. This may be problematic for Amill, Postmill, Preterist, and so on readers. ***
Author: John MacArthur
Title - The Truth War
**** Long ago, Pontius Pilate asked "What is truth?," then turned away from the One who is the Truth. Today, Pilate would find it difficult to get an answer, if he really wanted one. Modern culture, relativism, existentialism, political correctness, and new movements within the church have made truth hard to come by. Dr. MacArthur defines the problem and urges readers to take a stand for the reality and importance of truth. Primarily exegeting the Epistle of Jude, he makes a powerful statement that everyone who cares about the gospel should read. ****
Author: Paul Levine
Title - Trial and Error
Though Bobby Solomon might be classified as a challenged child, he's also a challenging one, at least for his foster-dad/uncle, Steve. Recently, the boy has become fascinated by dolphins and taken to visiting a pair of them at a local aquarium, even late at night, after hours. When it happens again, Steve is called out and rather than simply having to discipline the child and go home, he finds himself chasing a Vader masked thug who is in the process of dolphin-napping, catching another one, and becoming involved when the dolphins' caretaker kills a third. Under the law, the one animal rights' activist who was caught will be charged with murder. Perhaps that would be the end of it, but then, almost simultaneously Steve is hired to defend him and Steve's lover/partner, is assigned as special prosecutor to represent the Florida in the same case. It seems that the defendant, Gerald Nash, is also the D.A.'s nephew. Despite misgivings and all advice to the contrary, Solomon and Lord find themselves once more on opposite sides of the courtroom. Yet, something is not adding up; Steve knows that there is more to the case than there seems to be on the surface, and he will use the law, both the actual, recognized law and his own spin on it, Solomon's laws, to make sure that true justice is served.
***** If I ever needed a lawyer, I would want Steve Solomon on my side. While this case is fascinating, especially if you adore dolphins, the character development is what keeps me coming back to this series and has put it on my list of favorites. The stories and the people that make them come alive will make you laugh - a lot, touch your heart, and challenge your mind. Who could ask for more? *****
Author: Geoffrey Simmons
Title - Billions of Missing Links
*** Could the universe have come into existence by chance? That is what proponnants of atheistic evolution would have us believe. However, after reading the evidence presented in this book, such conclusions should seem to not have a chance to anyone with a reasonable mind. Though little is said about God, the evidence is laid out in such a way as to show that there had to be design, hence a Designer, orchestrating life. Beyond making that case, a variety of fascinating, little known facts are rendered that will enlarge your acumen, even if you never have the need to engage in a debate over evolution vs. intelligent design or creation. ***
Authors: Paul Dobransky, MD & L.A. Stamford
Title - How We Fall in Love (Psychology / May 29, 2007)
The full title of this book (at the top) is "The Secret Psychology of How We Fall in Love". The book cover (at the bottom) states that this is "Dr. Paul's 9 Proven Steps to Lasting Love". Let us look at the contents:
Chapter One: Connecting with Mr. Right Through His Three Brains
PHASE I: THE ATTRACTION PHASE
Chapter Two: "Beauty Is in the (Cool) Eye of the Beholder"
Step One: Displaying Beauty
Chapter Three: Stand by Your Man
Step Two: Demonstrating Your Ability to Raise His Alpha-Male Status
Chapter Four: Playing Hard to Get
Step Three: Winning the Contest for You
PHASE II: THE BONDING IN FRIENDSHIP PHASE
Chapter Five: A Friend in Need
Step One: Demonstrating Mastery of Anger
Chapter Six: If the Cowardly Lion Can Get It, So Can You
Step Two: Demonstrating Master of Anxiety
Chapter Seven: Opposites Attract
Step Three: Demonstrating Teamwork & Complementary Personality
PHASE III: THE COMMITMENT PHASE
Chapter Eight: A Line Drawn in the Sand
Step One: Demonstrating Mastery of the Personal Boundary
Chapter Nine: Like Attracts Like
Step Two: Achieving Joint Life Goals Through Communication, Belief, & Actions
Chapter Ten: Do Unto Others Before "I Do"
Step Three: Deciding to Make Commitment Long-term by Constructiveness
Chapter Eleven: The Mysterious Story of Mr. Right and You
**** As an average person who never majored in psychology, I found myself scratching my head for just a few minutes because I did not immediately see anything past "Step Three". Of course, it did quickly click that the "9 steps" was gotten by adding the 1-3 steps of ALL phases. I like books that tend to make me stop and THINK. This book succeeded in that task. However, this is labeled as "Non-Fiction" instead of "FEMALE Non-Fiction".
Men, if you are looking to figure out how to attract a female, go elsewhere. Women, if you are looking to figure out how to attract a male, read this but be sure to use your own common sense. I found sections that had me rolling my eyes at the idiotic games listed within the facts. No man should be feel so inferior that a woman must do things to make him feel like an alpha-male. No woman should feel as though she should cower before the man, but tell herself it is demonstrating mastery of anger or anxiety. These are, however, exactly the way things naturally go between teen dating. In my personal opinion, a female teen would best benefit from this book. Since a teen naturally oozes drama, she would be more apt to take this all as gospel. But it would only help if she makes sure the male knows before the wedding that she is not really as meek as he originally thought.
All-in-all, this book describes to me what I consider as teenage romances beginning as. It shows the games ladies tend to play in order to stroke his ego and make him look upon her more fondly. Just be sure that if you read this book, take it as (I believe) the authors meant it to be taken; a nine step guide in what (first) makes young women attract and wed young men. Do NOT take this as a "How To" book. Consider yourself to be a student simply studying about young, blossoming romance rituals. In this manner, I found this book to be unparalleled. Definitely worth your time and money! ****
Authors: John Ankerberg & Dillon Burroughs
Title - Middle East Meltdown
*** For thousands of years, the Middle East has been in a turmoil. This has seemed to be even more the case for the last few years and many people have no idea what is going on. The authors attempt to give a Christian perspective on this crisis by explaining the history, the current issues, and how it all relates to a Pre-Trib, Pre-mill prophetic perspective. Though it is an informative read, it was not as objective as it might have been and not quite as informative. However, it is helpful to an extent. ***
Author: Joe Dallas
Title - The Gay Gospel
*** Love the sinner, but hate the sin is what Christians are supposed to do, but sometimes, how to do so gets problematic. This is particularly true in the area of homosexuality. How to take a stand for one's convictions, yet not sound full of hate or compromise Biblical truth involves walking a fine line. By reading this book, Christians can learn how to balance on that line and get some idea of what the other side might be thinking. Though reading and comprehending this volume probably will not completely solve how to deal with this difficult situation in person, especially for the more shy among us, it is a starting point that seems effective. ***
Author: Neil Livingstone
Title - Picturing the Gospel
*** Whatever sort of book one reads, from the most vivid action story to the dryest educational tome, images come into your mind as you interact with the words. This is especially true with the Gospel, but with the sacred text, the images have a living quality that brings life today into an intersection with the ancient words. The author takes nine word pictures from the Bible and shows how they relate to modernity. He offers an illuminating view of familiar stories in a most readable way, adding a fresh perspective for his audience. ***
Author: Graeme Goldsworthy
Title - Gospel Centred Hermeneutics
*** Although it is clearly stated that the gospel was ordained before the foundation of the world, many Christians tend to focus solely on the New Testament and give little regard to the Old. How different their attitude might be if they could do as the author of Hebrews advises, and see the entire Bible through the lens of the gospel. The author details the importance and propriety of approaching the Bible with this view in mind and with a mindset that is based in Reformed theology. He also goes through the variety of heresies as well as the alternate methods of hemeneutics, both good and bad, then gives a lesson in how to use the proper method. Though this is all sound advice and the book is well written, be advised that it is rather dry reading. ***
Editor: Philip S. Johnston
Title - The IVP Introduction to the Bible
**** Reading the Bible is at once simple and complex. To help you understand the structure of the Bible, having a book like this one can be useful and facilitate your reading plan, especially if you have signed onto a speed Bible reading program, ie, The Bible In Ninety Days or similar plans. However, this book can also be a useful tool for those who are already quite comfortable with the Holy Word. Detailed charts and outlines breaking down the books of the Bible and clarifying where things fit on a timeline are almost worth the price of this volume alone. ****
Author: Rev. Andrew M. Greeley
Title - Jesus: A Meditation on His Stories and His Relationships With Women
***** Recent years have brough an onslaught of books, films, and other various forms of speculation about Jesus and his relationships with women, especially the notion that there could be a Mrs. Jesus. In the rush to look for gossip and scandal, or to refute the same, people have drifted between two heresies, gnosticism and docestism, while completely missing the glorious truth about the wondrous being of Christ, who is both God and man. Part of that identity was indeed how he related to women, and another major part of his persona was that of a storyteller. Father Greeley examines these two facets with a joyous love that makes you want to rush to find a Bible and re-experience the whole saga all over again. There are many books that give fascinating, intellectual insights into Scripture, but none of these unbiased, strictly factual volumes exudes the warmth and joy you find flowing for Father Greeley's pen. He offers a few new perspectives and insights, some startling, and some I do not fully agree with, but he is not offensive and does not provoke ire. If you have ever thought about Jesus, then this is a book that you should read. *****
Author: Gerald R McDermott
Title - God's Rivals
*** Why are their so many religions, since there is just one, true God? If you have ever wondered that, you are not alone. The author examines this issue in detail, examining the angles from the perspective of the Bible, including the Massoretic text and the apocryphal books, such as Sirach and Jubilees. While his perspectives are interesting, despite his purported Reformed orientation, as a Reformed Christian, Ican say that his views are somewhat troubling. Seemingly, he advocates the idea that all other gods are real, simply subordinate to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. However, it does give one much to think about. ***
Author: Roger E Olson
Title - Pocket History of Evangelical Theology
*** Although the term evangelical can mean a variety of things, there is a branch of Christianity that can be said to use that as a name for its aspect of the church universal. The author traces the Evangelicalistic movement from the late sixteen hundreds to the present, identifying the major influencers of it and the particular disputes under this umbrella. Although the cover blurb calls this a concise, lively, and readable history, the first adjective is the only one that is actually on target. However, since I do not expect such reading to be lively, the concise nature is highly appreciated. The facts given will appeal to anyone wanting a greater grasp of this history, but if you are looking to know exactly how to define Evangelicalism, at the end, the definition will still be somewhat fuzzy. ***
Author: Steven J Keillor
Title - God's Judgements
*** Right after Nine Eleven, there was a host of cries declaring it to be God's judgement on the nation. While much of the hue has died down. the author presents the thesis that such was the situation, citing two examples of "case law," as it were, the Civil War and the burning of Washington D.C. in 1814, as well as the Old and New Testaments, to back up his claim. Though the concept of God judging us is not at all popular, the Bible makes it clear that such things happen. Though the reading will be often uncomfortable, somewhat dry, and slightly esoteric, academics and historians will find it interesting and if its thesis is valid, others might be wise to overlook the lacks and pay attention to the message. ***
Author: James Montgomery Boice
Title - Genesis, vol. 3 (Living By Faith)
***** Joseph's story is one of the best loved tales in the Bible. Even a superficial reading reveals many things to the casual reader. However, to truly appreciate the beauty of this true parable of forgiveness and providence, one needs a good commentary. Dr. Boice's insights into the subject provides one of the best. Among the illuminating aspects of this extensive lesson are insights into the culture of the ancient world, notes on typology, and ties to other areas of the Scriptures. I can't reccommend this author too highly if you want to gain an in-depth education in Biblical studies in the most convenient and completely interesting way. *****
Author: Helen Kay Polaski
Title - A Cup of Comfort for Weddings
**** Little girls dream of the perfect, princess wedding, but, often as not, the wedding can be a little quirky. In the tradition of the Chicken Soup books, this little volume collects stories recounting the funny, touching, and endearing moments that have made weddings and marriages across the years special. Unusual meetings, enduring loves, potential catastrophes, pranks, and fond memories are only a few of the things that are highlighted in this anthology that shows what is truly important about the oldest institution. This is a truly heartwarming gift for any member of a wedding party. ****
Edited by: B.C. Aronson
Title - Love (Quotes & Passages from the Heart)
Have a girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse that you wish you could express your love for? How about your best friend or a relative? This 200 plus page volume can help you express the affection you feel for them in your heart. Perhaps you just enjoy reading quotes and passages for your own pleasure; to make you stop and think. I was amazed at the variety of sources that were tapped into for this book. I will give you some examples.
Famous people in our history:
Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington.
Famous people today:
Woody Allen, Prince Andrew, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, and Julia Roberts.
And let us not forget popular people and characters:
Charlie Brown, Joan Crawford, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Bob Hope, Bruce Lee, Groucho Marx, Ally McBeal, Miss Piggy, Rita Rudner, Ice T, and Mae West.
***** I have named only a small amount of the places tapped into for this book. Sources named from ancient history (Chinese proverbs), up until the end of the year 2006. This volume will not leave my private book shelf. I have no doubts that I will be reaching for it many times in the future. *****
Title - Why I'm Still Married
This novel is a collection of bestselling and award winning female writers telling their stories about marriage. These brave souls let readers walk right into their private lives for an up close and personal look. Some were married for very brief times before the divorces happened. Others were married for decades, yet Divorce, the meanie, still reared his ugly head.
So WHY do we still get married and/or remarried? For the answer to that puzzling question, the following authors speak up: Anne Bernays, Marge Piercy, Susan Dworkin, Aimee Lius, Kathleen Aguero, Bharati Mukherjee, Erica Jong, Julia Alvarez, Jean Trounstine, Susan Cheever, Maria Hinojosa, Eve LaPlante, Jennifer Heath, Elizabeth Graver, Helen Fremont, Liza Wieland, Audrey Schulman, Hannah Pine, Karen Propp, ZZ Packer, Kamy Wicoff, Meredith Maran, Diana Abu-Jaber, and Nell Casey.
*** This book will not only make you think, but even laugh a bit due to many humorous tales. Very good reading! ***
Author: Karen E Sloan
Title - Flirting with Monasticism
*** Fascination with a young Dominican novitiate monk leads the author to learn about the contemplative life, and in this slim volume, she shares her findings about the monastic life. What begins as longing for an impossible romance becomes a romance with a facet of worship that she had never imagined. In that quest, she gives readers an image of Christian unity, reminding Protestants that there are valuable aspects to the Catholic life that we might be missing. ***
Author: Allison Moir-Smith
Title - Emotionally Engaged (Self Help)
*** What do you do when the happiest time of your life brings turmoil and tears instead of sunshine and roses? That is the question brides-to-be face, the question Mrs. Moir-Smith once upon a time faced, and from her experience working through her issues and helping others do so comes this book. She tackles matters such as the effects of the honesty that comes once the dating masks are off has on a relationship, changing family roles, how to deal with friends, etcetera. This is an easy to read guide, and while I cannot judge its accuracy since I have no paradigm from my own experience to base such an assessment, it seems as if it would be helpful to any future bride. ***
Author: Craig A Evans
Title - Fabricating Jesus
*** Between the Davinci Code and other fictional novels of its ilk and purported bad scholarship such as exhibited by the infamous Jesus Seminar, the Savior's image has been taken in vain to the enth degree of late. To correct the distortions, the author has laid out a treatise on who Jesus is as portrayed by the Bible and backed up by other ancient texts. He also debunks the so-called "other gospels" effectively. Though a bit on the dry side and with a touch of unneeded liberalism, this is a worthwhile read for scholars who love the Lord. ***
Author: Buddy Levy
Title - American Legend: Real Adventures of David Crockett
***** David "Davy" Crockett was, is, and always will be one of America's greatest people. Anyone interested in knowing about his legendary life will be enthralled with this biography.
The Dutiful Son Becomes a Man
"My Dander Was Up"
Trials on the Homefront
"The Gentleman from the Cane"
"Neck or Nothing"
Crockett's Declaration of Independence
"Nimrod Wildfire" & "The Lion of the West"
A Bestseller & a Book Tour
"That Fickle, Flirting Goddess" Fame
Lone Star on the Horizon
"Victory or Death"
Smoke from a Funeral Pyre
Sprinkled throughout the entire book are spectacular illustrations; giving life to this fascinating man's history. *****
Author: James Lawrence Powell
Title - Grand Canyon: Solving Earth's Greatest Puzzle
Part One: A Brief History of Awe
Water Catch 'Em
How Old Is a River?
The Saw That Cut the Mountain
Seven Cities of Gold
Part Two: Secrets of the River
America's Greatest Geologists
The Sublimest Thing
Where Everything Is Exposed
Antecedence in Doubt
The Same River Twice?
Part Three: A New Theory
Lazarus and Lakes
Molten Rock, Melted Snow
What Caused the Grand Canyon
Key Terms & Places
***** The middle of the book has several photos with captions. I found this book to be absolutely breathtaking! *****
Author: Andrew Robinson
Title - Thomas Young: Last Man Who Knew Everything
Fellow of the Royal Society
Itinerant Medical Student
Physician of Vision
Royal Institution Lecturer
Let There Be Light Waves
'Natural Philosophy & the Mechanical Arts'
Dr Thomas Young, M.D., F.R.C.P.
Reading the Rosetta Stone
Waves of Enlightenment
In the Public Interest
Dueling with Champollion
A Universal Man
Notes & References
***** A fantastic biography of Thomas Young that is not only great for fans of history, but also for students to use in subject reports! *****
Author: Teri Garr with Henriette Mantel
Title - Speed Bumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood
People who really know me understand that I do not read non-fiction often. Working third shift in a hospital lets me see way too many horrible things. The last thing I want to do is pick up a true crime or autobiography novel during my down time. Yet every now and then a non-fiction book captures my attention. This is such one.
"Speed Bumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood" revolves around the stellar actress Teri Garr. Unlike many actors and actresses, Teri did not settle down into only one movie genre. This lady is extremely versatile. Most people will recall her from comedy movies such as "Young Frankenstein" and "Oh, God!". However she has also starred in science fiction movies ("Close Encounters of the Third Kind") and movies about modern women with working careers ("Mr. Mom").
This novel lets readers walk along with Teri as she reminisces about the experiences she had in Hollywood, as well as with the actors, producers, and agents. In the middle of the novel you will find several glossy pages that overflow with photos. Each has a small caption that will have you smiling or laughing aloud.
Teri, herself, is a multifaceted person. In late October, 2002, Teri announced on national television that she has multiple sclerosis. This not only makes her accomplishments more miraculous, but she has since dedicated herself to making the public more aware of the disease.
***** If you are interested in acting, need a little pick-me-up, or simply want a non-fiction novel that will not have you shivering in disgust or fear, then this gem is for you. Highly recommended! *****
Author: Steven Roy
Title - How Much Does God Foreknow?
*** In recent years, the "open theology" theory has become rather popular. According to that, God can be surprised because He does not know everything. He may or may not know more than humans do, but there are definite limits to that knowledge. Although this concept is not overly comforting, it does allow open theologians to skirt uncomfortable issues that might incite people to be angry with God and allows them greater libeterine freedom, at least in their own minds. However, there is great scriptural evidence to refute this entire set of doctrine. The author exhaustively makes his case for the fact that God is, in fact, omniscient concerning the past, the present, and the future. Using the Bible and simple logic as well as delving into etymology to clarify Greek and Hebrew words that may not be strictly clear in their English translations, his point is proven soundly. If you have heard of "openess theology" or were disquieted by the statement in a very popular book that suggests that God's decrees are not always fulfilled, this will be useful for you. It even shows how intercessory prayer can be seen as more effective because of God's sovereignity rather than any alleged open quality to the future. ***
Author: N.T. Wright
Title - Evil and the Justice of God
*** The problem of evil is one that even atheists have to consider, and for Christians, it is perhaps a more troubling issue. Exactly what evil is and how powerful it is take up the majority of the text. Then, Bishop Wright turns to the solution found in the cross and how it should play out in lives that are marked by forgiveness that, as the Lord's Prayer says, delivers us from evil. Though there is nothing new in this very scholarly tome, truth cannot be too often restated. ***
Author: F. LaGard Smith
Title - The Daily Bible Devotional Journal: A Companion for Reading Through the Bible in One Year
**** The English have a phrase - "does what it says on the tin," and that is the perfect summation of this book. It does what it says on the cover. Each day has a reading assignment listed which is followed by a space for you to jot down insights, prayers, and so forth that you have gleaned from the reading. Though not really helpful if you wish to do in depth study, this should help you keep your resolution to read the Bible in a year. ****
Author: James M Houston
Title - Joyful Exiles
*** Six essays are collected inside this slim tome in an effort to present the author's Christian journey. His main focus is what he has discovered via the discipline of dialectics. Though interesting, the text is somewhat rambling and difficult to glean much in the way of coherent insight. ***
Author: Tim Demy & Gary Stewart
Title - 101 Most Puzzling Bible Difficulties
*** Alistair Begg, the Scottish minister, is fond of saying "the main things are the plain things and the plain things are the main things," in regard to the Bible. Unfortunately, many things in the Bible are not plain at first glance, due to several factors. Some are taken out of context, people misidentify the genre of the text, or lack a historical frame of reference. Though not all of the verses listed seem terribly puzzling, the authors do help shed light on a great many difficult lines of scripture. In particular, they tackle what are the Nephilim, did Jesus say people can be deities, what the heck was going on with Jepthath's daughter, and the bane of every Bible teacher's existence, Hebrews six, verses four through six. The answers are given in word-bites, short and to the point, written soundbites. While for many of them, that will suffice, some require more depth, and a list of helpful references is included at the end. ***
Author: James Montgomery Boice
Title - Phillipians: An Expositional Commentary
**** It's been said that if you are depressed and a Christian, reading Paul's letter to Phillipi will cure you. This is even more true if you take the time to delve into this commentary that sheds light and uncovers the depths of it. Dr. Boice illuminates the text with historical references, linguistics, and references to other parts of the Bible. In this way, you learn how to read other sections of the Word and gain new insight into history, learning about life by studying God. Oftentimes, books such as this tend to be dry and boring. However, this is not. It does not read quite like a novel, but it's definitely more fascinating than the average textbook. ****
Author: James Montgomery Boice
Title - The Epistles of John
**** No one who seriously wants to get into the Bible and understand it for all it is worth should be without Boice's commentaries. Without fail, they shed new light onto the texts. He interprets the scriptures with other scriptures, thus keeping everything in its proper context. Furthermore, insight is given into the historical period, adding interest from another angle. Linguistic analysis of what the original words were cracks open the beauty of the original language. Although John wrote some of the shortest books in the Bible, by the time you finish this commentary, it will be clear that powerful and good things come in concise packages. ****
Author: Kenneth Poppe
Title - Reclaiming Science from Darwinism
*** For decades, students have been taught scientific theories about the origins of life based upon the claims of Charles Darwin. Recently, intelligent design has begun to be broached as a reasonable alternative to that concept, and after reading this book, it seems a far sounder theory. Using analogies, illustrations, and mathematical probabilities as well as detailed scientific explanations, the author proves the unworkability of the notion that random chance could produce life from nonlife. In the process, readers are given a rather thorough scientific education, albeit concise. It is worth noting that although this is a book that is friendly to the Judeo-Christian faiths, God seldom mentioned in the text and the author does not buy the six twenty four hour days of Creation hypothesis. However, if you are in the Young Earth camp, that theory is not completely derided. As long as you believe in a Designer, this book will provide substantial fuel for your case. ***
Author: Ron Rhodes
Title - The Truth Behind Ghosts, Mediums, and Psychic Phenomena
*** Just in time for Halloween and the annual last quarter round of "amazing predictions", Mr. Rhodes has provided readers with a concise guide to the reality behind such things. Unusual terms are explained simply and care is taken to note that while some are fakes, others are involved in something darker. The truth is not what Hollywood, fun, fictions portray, but something potentially either dangerous or expensive. ***
Author: Jim George
Title - The Bare Bones Bible Handbook
**** This is not a substitute for the Bible or even a Cliff Notes edition of it, but it is handy. Each one of the sixty-six books of Scripture is summarized in first a minimalistic fashion, then with a little more substance, and then how it applies to daily life is explained briefly. There are also relevant lists and facts included at the end of each chapter as well as a "where to find it" guide. This will help you clarify your focus while reading the Word. It is especially useful if you are engaged in a course such as the Bible in Ninety Days during which you run through the entire book at break-neck speed. This is your road map on the trip. ****
Author: Nicholas Perrin
Title - The Judas Gospel
*** Last spring, it was announced that a "lost gospel" written by Judas had been located. The alleged authorship alone should provoke as much skepticism as curiousity. The author, in plain and simple language, tells us what is contained in the book, that it is only good news for Judas, as it makes his P.R. profile look better. Essentially, it is a gnostic book, with no credibility. He also explains what gnosticism is and why we should care about it. If you have five minutes for a lesson, you can fit this into your schedule. It is only thirty-two pages. ***
Author: Ron Rhodes
Title - According to the Bible
*** A fitting subtitle for this book might be, though it is not given as such, "Systematic Theology Light." Most basic questions about what does it mean to be a Christian and what do Christians believe are addressed. In a society where seeker-sensitivity has watered down what most churches preach, this book attempts to clear up areas that have become blurred. Issues covered include tithing, the afterlife, the Trinity, endtimes, and how to study the Bible. A new believer will find this a useful primer on their faith.
Author: James Sire
Title - A Little Primer on Humble Apologetics
*** What is Christian apologetics and why would anyone need to know about it? It is not an apology for being Christian, despite the name. Rather, it is a defense of the faith. However, though the best defense is a good offense, it is critical that one not be offensive while practicing the art. It is also critical that one know what one is doing. To help the reader begin to learn how to achieve these goals and practice this form of evangelism in a highly skeptical age, the author concisely sets forth a mini-course on the subject. For someone new to the art, this is a good place to begin their education. ***
Author: James M Boice
Title - Genesis Volume I Creation & Fall
**** The first and last books of the Bible are the two most likely to cause an argument. One deals with how the world ends, the other with how it begins. However, Genesis is about much more than simply how did we get here, and Dr. Boice explores this in minute detail. The stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, and the Tower of Babel are thoroughly discussed. Even the long lists of begats are given full viewing. Amazingly, even what might be considered the dryest text in this section of scripture becomes fascinating. How Genesis touches every portion of the Bible is shown clearly. This is a very readable, enjoyable commentary that is also quite educational and illuminating. ****
Author: James Emery White
Title - A Mind for God
*** To love God with all of one's being includes the mind. This means not so much the brain, but the way the brain works, how one thinks. The author explains how modern thinking has degenerated and what corrective measures each individual can take to bring their thought processes back into alignment with God. Not only will following such advice bring one closer to thinking along Biblical lines, but will probably increase one's intelligence as well. While it is true that the book is concise, such elementary principles do not require excess verbage to illustrate. ***
Author: Dick Keyes
Title - Seeing Through Cynicism
*** We live in a cynical age, marked by inherent distrust that leaves every person making a promise or claim of any sort guilty until proven innocent. This sentiment pervades every facet of life and has eroded the institutions of society and religion. In great detail, the history of cynicism and its effects is traced, and then the solution is given. The alternative is quite simple and takes far less time to explore than the problem. It is also almost a no brainer, but perhaps one must thoroughly comprehend the trouble to find the answer. ***
Author: Stephen Skelton
Title - The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero
**** Is it a stretch of the imagination to describe the entire Superman saga as allegorical? Does comparing Kal-El to Christ border on heresy? After reading this book, you'll have to say no. Since the 1930's, Superman's story has run parallel to the gospel of Christ in ways that are so obvious that it's head-smack worthy when they are pointed out as they are in this book. However, there are some nuances that are more subtle, and reading the explanations is not only fascinating, but fun. The story is examined in all forms, radio, comics, the original Superman TV show, Smallville, and the movies, including the current one. The witnessing potential of this slim tome is great, but it's a fantastic read besides. Just don't be surprised if you suddenly want to rent a DVD of at least one of the movies. ****
Authors: Ben Young, Sarah Fuseller
Title - Why Mike's Not a Christian
*** Most people would rather face fire ants than witness/evangelize. Most of this is because of the arguments they know are inevitable, ranging from evolution to Ophrahic theology to the Da Vinci Code, and a few things besides. In a concise fashion, the authors address all of these issues, giving the reluctant evangelist ammunition and advice on how to be a non-threatening, non- nutty spokesman for Christ. The material is much the same as has been presented in Lee Strobel's work, among others, but in less scholarly terms, making it accessable to a wider audience. ***
Author: Tony Coffey
Title - Answers to Questions Catholics are Asking
*** What separates the Protestant from the Catholic? The author, a former Catholic who converted to Protestantism, explains the differences in great detail. The title is somewhat a misnomer, it seems to be filled with content that would answer more Protestant questions about what the other Christians believe than the other way around. He stops just shy of labeling Catholics as Non-Christian, but there is at least a slight implication of such things, that most will probably not agree with. However, knowing more about what they believe and to some extent the issues behind the Reformation, is illuminating. ***
Authors: JI Packer, Carolyn Nystrom
Title - Praying
*** Prayer has been called the radio in the armor of God, but how does one build and use that radio? The authors examine how to pray, types of prayers, obstacles to prayer, what is involved in prayer, and so forth in minute detail. Even prayers of complaint are discussed. Although the two authors' voices do not blend well and the exposition is dry, this is a valuable topic and reading this manual may well be helpful. ***
Authors: Benjamin Wiker, Jonathan Witt
Title - A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of the Universe
**** Is the universe a stage upon which meaningless collections of chemicals and dust portray a chaotic tale full of sound and fury with no meaning? To believe modern philosophers, one would have to reach that conclusion. That barren explanation, that we are a random accident coming from nothing and with no purpose does not satisfy the soul or echo of truth. As proof that there is a Creator and there is inherent meaning and beauty in His work, the authors examine how art, literature, and science reveal the glory of God. The logic of how the world is made, the beauty of the words of the poets, and so on illumine this point beautifully. A student who says school is boring should read this book; it will open their eyes. ****
Authors: Lee Strobel, Garry Poole
Title - Discussing the Da Vinci Code
**** For three years, one book has caused an almost infinite number of arguments; the Da Vinci Code. There have been quite a few books written dissecting it, and the number of web pages doing so would boggle a google search. If you have read the book and looked at the counter arguments at all, then this guide will help you lead a discussion on the subject effectively. Points are made clearly, in a linear fashion, and the appendixes are actually useful, unlike those found in many books. Even if you have no interest in the debate, there are good points made that might be intriguing. ****
Author: Robin Cohen Westmiller
Title - Blood Tastes Lousy With Scotch
I read to escape reality and to assure myself that there will be a "happily ever after" ending. I let other reviewers tackle the non-fiction novels. However, on rare occasions, a non-fiction book captures my attention. Such is the case with "Blood Tastes Lousy With Scotch".
What can one person do when the justice system is set up in such a way that distant relatives, lawyers, and state approved organizations can LEGALLY STEAL your parents' entire life savings and financial assets? The answer is nothing, unless that one person is ready to step up to the plate, chance losing everything they own, and happen to have a miracle or two occur. If your parents live over 3,000 miles away, the chances are worse. This is exactly what Robin Cohen Westmiller faced and won.
Ruby and Reginia Cohen grew up during the Depression Era. They worked hard all their lives tending their bakery business in Ellenville, New York. Robin Cohen Westmiller was their only child. Robin, her husband Bill, and their daughters lived in California; totally across country. As the events in this book were happening, the daughters were in school. Robin, herself, was enrolled in college, as a law student.
In the spring of 2002, Robin's mother called to inform her that Ruby had suffered a minor stroke while working at the bakery. Seventy-nine-year-old Reginia was able to take care of her husband though and did not want Robin to fly all the way to New York. The stroke forced them to sell the family business. Ruby had little or no damage physically, but his memory and mental faculties were severely impaired. Robin had no idea how badly her father was impaired though. The beginning of the end occurred in March 2004 when Ruby flew to Florida, against Reginia's urgent pleas, to visit his niece, Gail. Gail immediately began using Florida's weak justice system to imprison Ruby within the state of Florida, begin stealing all of Ruby and Reginia's financial assets, keep Ruby hidden from his immediate family, get his Power of Attorney, become his beneficiary, and more! Of course, Robin took it all to court. But Florida's court system only ended up giving guardianship to Florida's Jewish Family Service. This did NOT take Gail out of the picture, as hoped. The Jewish Family Service and several different attorneys could now begin legally draining all financial avenues. Ruby never had any idea that the people holding him in Florida were attempting to have him divorced from Reginia, take all his money, hide him from his closest family members, take possession of his home in New York, and so much more! Robin often had no idea where her father was being held or how his health was doing.
***** In this book, the author is exposing everything and everyone involved. Readers will find copies of all the documents that support Robin's experiences. All names and agencies in Florida are revealed. This includes full names of Robin's cousins, the judges, the attorneys and the names of their companies, as well as all the organizations and employees that either helped legally steal from Ruby and Reginia or helped free Ruby from being imprisoned within the state of Florida. Hopefully, this story will offer help and support to those who have been victimized so that no other family has to suffer the same. I found this to be an eye opening experience that chilled me to the core. Look out all you heartless agencies and attorneys! Author Robin Cohen Westmiller is taking names and kicking butts! *****
Author: Tim Stafford
Title - Surprised By Jesus
*** The Post Modern version of Jesus is a very tame figure, not one that could be described as "dangerous, but good" to paraphrase C.S. Lewis. However, contrary to the warm fuzzy version that has become popular, the Bible paints a different portrait, one that will startle readers who have not taken the time to study the Scriptures. The author highlights several points that the New Testament makes clear. Included in his discourse is a chapter that sheds new light on the Lord's Prayer and exhortions to warn people about judgement. If you've read the Bible, then there is nothing new here, but it might give you some idea of how to make these points part of your daily walk. ***
Author: Kelly Monroe Kullberg
Title - Finding God Beyond Harvard (Memoir)
*** Veritas, a forum begun at Harvard that has since its inception spread across the country, is designed to help people search for the truth in a relativistic age. The founder of it and the author of this book explores her own search for ways to apply that truth in daily life. As she goes across the country helping Veritas be established in new locations, she learns new things that are documented herein. Though the writing is beautiful, it tends to ramble, and in the end, lacks focus. ***
Author: Julian Baggini
Title - The Pig That Wants To Be Eaten
(100 Philosophy Experiments)
Here is a book you simply cannot sit down and read in a single afternoon. In fact, I could only read, and really ponder, a few of these "experiments" at a time. This books attacks and/or makes you think about a variety of subjects. Nothing is taboo. I read passages on vegetarian verses meat, religion of all types, the environment, political situations, many moral, social, and personal dilemmas, and even zombies!
The author drew upon many sources. The title of this book is from an issue brought up in the well-known book "The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe" by Douglas Adams. Not impressed? How about just some of the other sources, such as René Descartes, Thomas Nagel, David Hume, Antony Flew, and Bjorn Lomborg?
**** There is no need to be a doctor, professor, or anything else which requires higher education. Each experiment of philosophy is written in such a way that your intelligence will not be offended, no matter your normal or higher education status. If you are looking for a book that will make you actually sit back and THINK, then I highly suggest this one. ****
Author: James Montgomery Boice
Title - Ephesians
**** Ephesians has been termed the Queen of the Epistles, a symphony of the New Testament, and of all the maestros to conduct that suite, James Montgomery Boice is among the most adept. Putting deep theological concepts into layman's terms in a readable fashion without dumbing it down takes a master's touch. That is what you find in this book. Using the rest of scripture to interpret Paul's letter as well as Biblical and modern history, Dr. Boice sheds new light on the ancient text. Yes, there are a plethora of books coming out that tear down sacred texts, but the reader would be far better off diving into an intelligent work like this that illuminates. ****
Author: Bruce Bickel, Stan Jantz
Title - Bible Answers to Life's Big Questions
*** Religion has more questions associated with it than almost anything, and many of those questions are common to the majority of people. The authors of the Knowing series of books invited their readers to send their queries to them, and have chosen the most prevalent ones to answer in book form. The questions and answers run the gamut from simplistic to complex, and surely in there somewhere is at least one that you will think "I've always wondered" in relation to . This is a handy reference for a Christian who has a friend with a lot of questions or someone newly exploring Christianity. ***
Author: Ron Rhodes
Title - Answering the Objections of Atheists, Agnostics, and Skeptics
*** Christians have made some absolute claims and that raises the hackles of those who disagree, leading to some arguments if the two meet. Unless the Christian has the information straight, they could be left stammering, having lived their lives believing because they believe without really thinking about the whys and good reasons for their beliefs. Books to help with this difficulty have been written in the past, and this one joins the ranks of the Case for Christ, the Case for Faith, or More than a Carpenter. The data is presented clearly in a linear fashion, point by point, so that a Christian apologist will have an arsenal of complementary scientific, logical, and scriptural evidences with which to fight the good fight. ***
Author: Dwight Carlson
Title - Overcoming the 7 Obstacles to Spiritual Growth
*** If you are familiar with the Westminster Confession of Faith, then you don't need to spend time figuring out what the purpose of your life is or if there is a purpose. You know that the chief end of man (or woman) is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. But how? It's not as simple as it might sound. The author has defined seven problems that prevent one from fulfilling this goal and then gives a clear method for achieving it. Every chapter is heavily referenced in relation to scripture and to the great Christian thinkers, such as Tozer or Brother Lawrence. Every section includes questions and action steps the reader can take, and it may be used alone or in a group setting. ***
Author: August K. Anderson, Nola L. Kelsey
Title - Keeping The Masses Down
This book is written by a former lawyer, Anderson, and zoologist, Kelsey. The back of the book tells you what it is all about better than I could. This novel gives lessons on:
Building success from obsession
My government / My dealer
The competitive edge of facial warts in the workplace
Reclaiming America for future generations
Journaling your way into a new life (Journal and note pages included already and waiting for your input.)
Why politicians can't be trusted to handle their own erections! (Yes, you read that correctly.)
***** One thing is for sure, you will find yourself laughing while you learn and/or work your way through this book. *****
Author: Sharan Newman
Title - The Real History Behind The DaVinci Code
**** Before you moan and say "not another DaVinci Code book", give this one a chance. Yes, there's a plethora of books examining all the errors in the bestseller. However, this is different. It does point out some errors or points where the truth was tweaked for fiction. However, the delivery of this is done in a matter of fact way that does not offer value judgements. Moreover, it gives readers a look into the real history that the book was at least to an extent based upon. The facts are presented in a highly readable fashion, often in a humorous way as the author's opinions flavor the text. Even if you have absolutely NO interest in Dan Brown's book, this will be a rewarding read. ****
Author: Walter Wangerin Jr.
Title - Jesus
*** Just in time to celebrate His incarnation, a new re-telling of Jesus' life hits the shelves. Fleshing out what is recorded in the four gospels with tradition and history to fill in the gaps, Mr. Wangerin renders a portrait of a man who always knew who He was and why He came to earth. Passages from scripture are given intonation and expression that the Apostles did not record, making them have more life. The story is true to the text, however, there are some problems. Some incidents seem out of chronological order when compared to the Biblical accounts, and the use of present tense, shifting first person points of view is at times, less than perfectly readable, feeling awkward. Yet, for readers new to the good news, this might be a fantastic introduction before diving into a King James. ***
Author: Judy Mahoney
Title - Teach Me ... Italian
This says it is for ages 2-12. However, I do not care how old you are. I'm in my thirties and I am loving this thing! I always wanted to learn some Italian, French, Chinese, German, and Spanish. Oh, not fluently. Just so I can say that I know "some". Thanks to this, I can now sing in Italian. It does not matter if you want to learn a little bit, "some", or become fluent. This small work/coloring book and CD combination is the perfect way to begin.
Now, about those children aged 2-12 years ... Let us say you live in America and have kids. They are going to learn English in school. However, you are proud of your family heritage and want your kids to learn that language too. Then I am here to tell you that you have GOT to give this a try!
This "Teach Me" book teaches Italian in a way kids can enjoy, through song and coloring. There are twenty children's songs on the CD. Between songs a young child speaks in Italian. Every single uttered word is in the book, so you can follow along. If you do not recognize a tune, then look in the back of the book. Everything is translated to English for you. Turn the CD on and let your kids color in the work book. Each page is made with children in mind and they beg to be colored. Here is a tip for you, make copies of the pages. This way your children may color to their hearts' content. It is also perfect for home schooling.
Here are just a few of the songs you will hear on the CD:
Are You Sleeping?
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
The Wheels on the Car
Author: Judy Mahoney, Anne Mahoney
Title: Teach Me French Spiritual Songs: Compact Disc (Audio CD)
Wow! What a find for parents of preschool (and older) children! This Teach Me French Spiritual Songs Compact Disc contains twenty-one songs, and is packaged with a workbook containing all the words to every song – in French. Then, in the back of the workbook, you will find the words also written in English.
Having this workbook will make all the difference for children who experience this CD. It is very similar to a child’s color-book, and would provide children everywhere with hours of coloring fun as they listen and learn another language. Using the workbook, children who have learned to read will be able to follow the words of each song, as well as the conversations of two young characters, Marie and Pierre, as they talk to each other and their friends. The conversations of Marie, Pierre, and their friends are written in the same way that a play is written, making it very easy to listen and follow along with their words. In addition, there are pictures of Marie and Pierre to color, as well as many other pictures depicting scenes of campfires, Vacation Bible School, Sunday school, and many others.
***** This 28-page book and 60-minute audio also features authentic singers and speakers, allowing a child to effectively master the correct pronunciation of the new language.
I can think of no better way to introduce a new language to a young child than through the use of this new Teach Me offering – French Spiritual Songs. *****
Author: Zohar Amihud
Title: Look Mom! I Built My Own Web Site.
***** This is an EXCELLENT guide for beginners! I had my niece come over for a weekend to try it out. Following the step-by-step directions, we created a simple, free web site. Nothing fancy, but plain either. This book begins the creating of a site OFF the internet. In simple words and terms the first few chapters get the "newbie" (for lack of a better term) used to the computer, its files/folders, and inner workings. My niece is around ten-years-old and had only a few problems. I believe that kids around third grade could successfully use this guide. But if you are an adult who is new to computers, this book is perfect for you as well.
The newbie will learn to create a folder on the hard drive at first. Do not worry, there are clear illustrations throughout the book to show you EXACTLY what should be on your monitor. (Added tip for newbies: Put a Notepad short cut on your desk top for easy access.)
Next you will learn about open and closed "tabs". You must understand this part. One error and the page will not work or look correctly. Again, the book CLEARLY shows what you should see. From here on, things get easier. If you do not understand something, go back. If everything is clear to you, then the rest will be a cinch. By now you are in chapter three or four. You will learn about formatting, viewing sources, adding images, links, color and different font types. Next comes cells, tables, how to embed an HTML page within another HTML page. Illustrations show you the way through it all.
From here the book will explain things that you should NOT publish on your web site for all the world to view. This is followed by how to register with free web hosting sites. (Added tip for newbies: Consider using Geocities for your first site. It is easy, free, and gives a good amount of space.) All-in-all, we found this book to be very easy to understand and follow. I highly recommend it for all beginners. *****
Author: R.C. Sproul
Title: Scripture Alone
**** Is the Bible trustworthy? That has been an issue for many years, but issues such as the increasingly hot debates over creation vs. Darwinianism, or whether or not recent bestsellers have any validity have made it more important to be sure that the Bible is what it claims, the word of God. In a scholarly, yet conversational style, this book examines why it is important to know where you stand on that point of doctrine and why the Bible can be trusted. The explanation of complex terms and the historical background of the debate will broaden readers' acumen in multiple ways. Granted, it is not light reading, but it is worth your time. ****
Author: Trisha Howell
Title: The Journeying Workbook
I have been reading (and practicing with) The Journeying Workbook for many weeks now, and I am still very much into it. Although I have always enjoyed what I refer to as "self-help" books, I have to admit that I have never experienced anything like The Journeying Workbook. Heretofore, when someone mentioned the word meditation to me, it only conjured up a mental image of sitting with my eyes closed and waiting for some unknown peace to descend. That was because I had no practical instructions about meditation – only that word. Now, through the guidance of this book, I have been able to experience feelings and understandings that have always been beyond my reach.
For those people who never seem to have enough time to delve into their inner selves, I can only suggest that it will be well worthwhile to MAKE that time and use this book as a guide. It is only through those quiet minutes of true meditation that you can honestly explore your own depths and find your own inner peace.
***** In my opinion, The Journeying Workbook is remarkable and timely. Trisha Howell’s meticulous instructions will allow anyone (even a beginner) to explore his or her inner self. As I have recently told many of my friends, I have enjoyed this experience in so many ways that it is difficult to settle on one explanation. In addition, as other readers have said, this is indeed an amazing technique. *****
Author: Paul Copan
Title: True For You, But Not For Me
**** Many people in the post-modern world would have you believe that there is but one absolute truth, that there is no absolute truth. All roads lead to God, if there is one, they say; and morals can be adapted to fit the current situation. However, in this book, those arguments are quickly revealed to be paper tigers. In a highly readable fashion, Mr. Copan defends the Christian worldview and all that goes along with it. In the end, you will reach the logical conclusion that truth is always true, no matter what. ****
Author: Paul Copan
Title: How Do You Know You're Wrong?
**** In a world where it often seems like the only right some vocal people are willing to grant Christians is the right to remain silent, it is easy to begin to wonder, "am I wrong to believe?" Addressing this question with solid reasons why you are not wrong to believe and what makes Christianity logical, this book will give you the confidence to deal with a world in which Christans are resident aliens. How do we know we have a soul and are more than animals? What about the strange things in the Old Testament that often seem bizarre and harsh? Did a lot of books get left out of the Bible? The answers to these questions and more will give you surety that not only are you, the Christian not wrong, but you are right. ****
Author: Lee Strobel
Title: God's Outrageous Claims
***** For the last few years now, Lee Strobel has been at the forefront of apologetics, presenting the case for the truths contained in the Bible with flawless logic. He's still doing it, however, this time, he argument does appeal more to the emotional practicality of life, showing how to apply that wisdom in your day to day existence, and why it will make your life work better. Forgive others, have a few good, deep relationships, make God a priority, be ethical, your life matters, are just a few of the highlights of this intriguing book. This is as intriguing to read as any work of fiction. Whether you are Christian or not, Mr. Strobel has again penned something that is very useful and can help you change your life. Though it does have much in common with the bestselling Purpose Driven Life, God's Outrageous Claims surpasses that book. *****
Author: RC Sproul
Title: What Is Reformed Theology?
**** For over two decades, RC Sproul has renewed his readers' and listeners' minds through his radio program, teaching tapes, and books. His latest book weaves together several of his finest lessons in a compact, highly readable form that explains several difficult doctrines of the Reformed branch of Christianity. If you approach this book with a firmly Pelagian mindset, be warned, there is a good chance that by the end you will be converted to St. Augustine's position on the subjects covered in Calvin's TULIP. Dr. Spoul's logic is easy to follow, though it never talks down to the reader. Throughout, he continually affirms the sovereignity of God, whether in discussing the five solas, predestination, or clearing up the thorny question of Hebrews, chapter six verse six. If all educational materials were this readable, we might all be a bit smarter. ****
Author: Os Guinness
Title: Prophetic Untimeliness
*** No one inside the Church would argue that the gospel is the most relevant message ever stated. The problem is, basically, that those outside of the Church do not see it that way; and therefore, there are times when modern evangelicals try to make it relevant, thus diluting the true relevance of the gospel. By going through how this has come about, the impact of trying to twist the gospel into something that appeals to all, rather like a bonsai tree, and then outlining how to cure this, Mr. Guiness makes a concise, yet profound argument. His message is a bit counter to the way things work, but tells how things should work. Is that not what the Epistles charge us to do, be in the world, but not of the world? ***
Author: D James Kennedy
Title: Why the Ten Commandments Matter
*** Not since Moses brought the Ten Commandments off the mountain have they been so much in the headlines, or so it seems at times. Many people are making a stand for the right to display them in public, but are they also willing to display them in their lives? Does it matter whether or not they do either? Exactly what are the Ten Commandments? Examing what the Decalouge entails at more than face value, Dr. Kennedy explains what they mean in practical terms so that everyone who cares about living out their faith can display the Commandments in their day to day life. ***
Author: Brennan Manning
Title: The Importance of Being Foolish: How to Think Like Jesus (7/05)
*** Undoubtedly, you have heard of the Importance of Being Earnest; however being foolish is something that most people tend to avoid, though from their actions you might assume that they were pursuing foolishness earnestly- and being remarkably successful in snaring it. Unfortunately, the foolishness that is so easily captured is the wrong kind. The author of the landslide bestselling Ragamuffin Gospel returns to show us what kind of foolishness we need in our lives and how to make it our lifestyle. St. Paul has taught us that Christians are those whose lives seem foolish to the secular world, living a paradoxical existence whereby their weakness is strength, and defeat becomes victory. How does one reach that goal? Rather than going to a monastery to learn these principles, you can read this book that covers the subjects such as living lives based on truth and transparency, how to find the Father, forgiveness, and carrying on the work of the Kingdom of God, among others. With an easy style and simplicity that makes it accessable to all, these practical steps will help you achieve what all the self help books that are worth anything point towards. ***
Author: Dick Staub,Jossey Bass
Title: Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters
**** Although many pastors on the distant right decry the entire Star Wars saga as being something Christians should devoutly avoid, millions of Christians still love it. Is it because it's a good story? Partly. One of the main reasons could well be that even though the adventures of the Skywalkers are not exact allegory to Biblical truth, there is a resonance that is in tune with that truth. Just as in ancient myths there is an echo of the main truth of life, that echo remains in modern ones, such as Star Wars, as well. In this well thought out book, the author connects themes and dialouge from the five movies that have thus far been released to Biblical realities. Not only does he find gems amid the expected lines, such as the "I don't believe it; That is why you fail" conversation between Yoda and Luke, but in more obscure points, like the princess' holographic plea, "Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi," or Qui Gong's line, "Mkae an analysis of this blood sample." How does that relate to Christianity? Read the book and find out that and more. Now, he doe not find anything illuminating in Jar Jar Binks, but if you want miracles, read the Bible. Read it anyway, but read this too. ****
Author: Peter Kreeft
Title: Between Heaven And Hell
*** November 22, 1963 is one of those days that is unforgettable in the minds of many; so much so that at least one man chose November 22 on which to marry so that he could never forget his annerversary. On that day, pretty much everyone will recall that John F Kennedy was shot, but two other men also died, Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, and CS Lewis, one of the most brilliant and influential Christian thinkers of this age. Somewhere between their last breath and eternal destiny, the author has imagined a conversation between the three in which they compare philosophies, JFK representing humanism, Huxley the spokeman for pantheism, and Lewis, naturally being the Christian. In short order, it becomes a two against one debate, but Lewis handles the other two quite well, making a compelling argument that tends to make the other two look foolish to dogmatically oppose him. Though the style is completely different from a similiar book, the Question of God which compares and contrasts Freud and Lewis, those who read that would do well to complement their reading with Between Heaven and Hell. ***
Author: Colin Duriez
Title: A Field Guide To Narnia
*** Millions of people of all ages have read and loved the Chronicles of Narnia. For the most part, they comprehended the message- but there are spots that leave most of us guessing as to what the intent was. It is clear that the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe allegorizes the Gospels; the Last Battle retells Revelation, and the Magician's Nephew refer to the beginning of Genesis. However, one is left scratching one's head when trying to pin down what events the Silver Chair lines up with or the Voyage of the Dawn Treader. In short, you need a guidebook, and this fills the bill. Illuminating what the books refer to and how they fit not only into Christian theology, but also how they relate to Lewis' own life, the author helps readers appreciate the depth and scope of one of the great classics in fantasy literature. ***
Author: Os Guiness
Title: Unspeakable (March 2005)
Evil may seem to be an old fashioned word in this relativistic age where the only absolute truth, many contend, is that there is not absolute truth. It is that attitude that lets evil spread. Using the past as illustrations, Mr. Guiness confronts our attitudes about evil. Correcting them is the key to dealing with evil in the best possible way. By asking seven incisive questions, he takes readers on a journey that will lead them to an apprehension of this enemy and, hopefully, to make a difference in their own hearts.
**** Yes, the book is slanted towards a Christian world view, but he does present other views as fairly as it is possible for a committed Christian to do. Though the answers are staunchly Christian, they are presented logically enough that it is hard to imagine that a non Christian reading this would be offended. Reading a book won't cure the evils of life, but it might help you face them better. ****
Author: John MacArthur
Title: The Book On Leadership
First, the outside cover of this book is extremely impressive. It LOOKS like leather. I had to touch it to make sure that it was not. The edging at the top and bottom of each page is normal, smooth and even. However, the outside edge of each page has an old journal look, uneven or torn. The combined effect draws the eye to the book.
Second, the contents include:
Taking the Initiative
A Leader's Devotion to His People
Paul Defends His Sincerity
"Who Is Sufficient for These Things?"
A Leader Made of Clay
The Leader's Warfare
How Not to Be Disqualified
Who Is Fit to Lead?
The Measure of a Leader's Success
About the Author
Appendix - Twenty-six Characteristics of a True Leader
***** Third, I found the information very helpful. The author uses the apostle Paul to show how leaders today work, as well as, how they should work. Sections of the Bible are quoted throughout the entire book which makes it a pretty decent study guide as well. Very interesting reading! *****
Author: Brian Godawa
Title: Hollywood Worldviews
**** Movies have a deep impact on our society, from fashion to catch phrases, and most importantly attitudes. Even the most trivial movie is shaped by some underlying theme or message that is subtly delivered to millions of minds on a subconscious level at least. By utilizing the steps outlined in this book and on the corresponding website, readers are encouraged to view their entertainment choices seriously to avoid being molded into someone they don't want to be. Some of the films that the author suggests as good choices are startling; and lest anyone think a book on Christian films will only contain fluffy, feel good movies put out by white bread companies, let me assure you that there are quite a few R rated movies, gross out comedies, and even a Christian themed vampire movie described as worthwhile films. This book would make an excellent adult Sunday school curriculum, or serve well as a simple guide for how to use one's free time viewing purposefully. ****
Author: John Gill
Title: Doing Right - Practicing Ethical Principles
*** It is the contention of many, even many "good" people, in the post modern world that the Decalouge, the Ten Commandments, is outdated, written in a time when there was less grey area in life than there is now. Perhaps those contenders merely need the Ten Words of God to be explained to them a bit better. By taking each of them and expanding upon it to illuminate the meaning how it relates specifically to the modern world with its varigated problems that no one in the Pre Christian Sinai wilderness could have imagine, the author proves that the law of Moses is as timeless and relevant as it ever was- perhaps even more so. ***
Author: John Bevere
Title: How To Respond When You Feel Mistreated
An Ignored Truth
Vengeance Is His
The Right Way To Respond
The Issue Of Authority
The Role Of Suffering
Blessed Are The Mistreated
Rising Above Mistreatment
Will He Find Faith?
About The Author
*** The whole concept of this book is for the mistreated person to turn the other cheek and do nothing in revenge ... no matter what. After all, God will "defend and vindicate you". Personally, I agreed with much of the book. However, I disagreed with quite a bit. For example, if someone spread untrue rumors and got me in trouble at work, I simply could not, would not, do nothing and let myself take the blame. I would fight for my rights and my job. After all "God helps those who help themselves" too.
Each person who reads this small book will have to look within themselves to decide what is right. The book reads much like a seminar. The author gives clear examples. The book is paperback size so it fits well in your hands, but the cover is actually hard back. There are only 93 pages, not including the few end pages that are trying to sell you items, and yet the book is over $12.00 in price. So be aware of how expensive this little book is before you run out to a book store to purchase it. ***
Author: Bill Glass
Title: How To Win When The Roof Caves In
**** Let's face it, everyone faces problems in life, and cliched or not, they will either make you bitter or better. Anyone who enters the Christian life expecting a shiny, happy, after the rainbow world is in for a shock. Rather than going the route of blaming it all on the devil, deciding that if you have enough faith you can wave a magic prayer cloth and make it vanish, or insisting that things are fine long enough will make them so, the author takes readers through Biblical events to show how everyone from Joseph of the Old Testament to Paul in the New handled the things thrown their way, and used them to build something wonderful with God's supervision. This book will not solve your problems. It won't reduce them, but it will show you how to live with them and use them. ****
Author: Spider Robinson
Title: The Crazy Years (Nov. 04)
*** Spider Robinson has established a reputation as being one of the masters of science fiction, and here he proves Andrew Greeley's point that sci fi and fantasy writers are the philosophers of the modern world. His collected essays, ranging from the rigors of nicotine withdrawal, the variations of stupidity, and the differences between Canadians and Americans, particularly in politeness often amuse, when not hitting too close to home. His wit runs from dry to laugh out loud, yet the one true drawback of this book is that the more agnostic moments will most likely disturb or even offend those who do have faith. At these points, the best advice to readers is to pick out the bones, but keep the fish. ***
Author: Phillip Yancy
Title: The Jesus I Never Knew
**** In the last eighteen months or so, the question of ''who is Jesus" has been on the minds of many. Although this is not actually a new book, it does answer the question to a great extent, stripping away the Hollywood images to reveal the man who could be termed "a good Jew", and still is the Son of God. Through the lens of the culture into which He came and the affect His life has had since then, Mr Yancy paints a moving portrait. This is not one of his more contraversial books, but it is one of his best. ****
Author: Armand Nicholli
Title: The Question Of God
**** Not everyone can attend Harvard, but everyone can read a book that details one of the more popular courses offered there. Though a generation separated C S Lewis and Sigmund Freud, they played highly influential roles, albeit polar opposites, on the thought life of the last century. Both began as atheists, and both suffered greatly in their times, but Lewis was found by God, Freud rejected God. Thus, their views on life were the antithesis of each other, and in the contrast lies a wealth of debate for the inquiring mind. Though it begins in a rather dry fashion, once past the biographical details, it turns fascinating, especially when the author turns to questions of pain and evil. ****
Author: Meic Pearse
Title: Why The Rest Hates The West
*** At some point in your life, the phrase "Ugly American" has probably been heard in reference not to how Americans or Westerners look, but how they act around less advanced people or people whose beliefs are different. In recent years, political correctness, tolerance for anything but intolerance, and open mindedness have become popular. Yet, if anything, that has made things worse, because as minds have been opened, the brains and hearts have fallen out, crushing values and morality underneath. Readers are given a history lesson in this concise volume, but a lesson with a difference. The past is traced not so much by what happened but by going to the heart, seeing the effects of history on values and philosophy. Although highly academic, it is not incomprehensible to the average reader. ***
Author: Regina Bovill, Rusty Fischer
Title: Stronger Than Kryptonite
This is the true story of a woman named Regina. Her mother was her best friend, she was always on the honor role at any school she attended, she went to church every Sunday, and even sang in the choir. It was during her early college years with a roommate that Regina first sampled any type of drug. This is where and when this book begins, in 1977.
"Kryptonite" is street slang for crack cocaine. Now do not go thinking that Regina jumped into drug use with crack. On the contrary, it was a gradual process that began with weed. Her excuse was simply to try it because it could not hurt and she wanted to be nice to her roommate. But the excuses changed often throughout her twenty year addiction. Regina liked the way drugs made her feel. It helped Regina concentrate on her studies or jobs. It helped her stay awake and live on three hours of sleep daily so she could work two full time jobs. It helped Regina cope during hard times. Everyone was doing it. She was not hurting anyone else...The list of excuses go on and on.
**** The editing for the book is not well done. However, the mistakes are not so bad that they detract from Regina's story. And what a story it is! Regina holds back no punches of how bad her life became. Better yet, she blames no one else for her errors of judgement. She takes full responsibility for her actions. I wish that the book told more of what became of Eddie Hall and what happened to James ("the custodian") after he snapped. But the main focus is Regina and her drug life. Through her story, there is hope that others with their lives lost in drugs may read it and decide to change their lives for the better. Or perhaps, a friend or family member will read it to understand and perhaps help. After all, those HARD on drugs have no time or urge to read anything themselves.
All-in-all, this book is a real eye-opener. It gives a real look at the cold, hard, and dark life that drug users go through. Highly recommended reading! ****
Author: Mark I Pinsky
Title: The Gospel According to Disney: Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust
**** For decades, Walt Disney has stood as an icon of family values, fairy tales, and hope; however, there is a very large but at the end of the sentence. Despite all the warm fuzziness, there is only a thin thread of Christian value to be drawn from the tales we all grew up viewing. Delving into the personal histories of the men who shaped the Disney Empire and analyzing the most notable animated features, the author takes us on an odyssey of discovery. After reading this book, it is childishly easy to see how some of the aberrations of Christianity, notably "word of faith" heresy has been able to grab the weak minded by the throat so easily. I won't go so far as to say it will make those who still love Cinderella or Snow White and borrow children for an excuse to watch them will toss out their dvd's or vhs tapes, but it sprinkles them with salt. There is still some goodness to be found, but you can watch knowing what to be wary of as well. ****
Author: Sarah Arthur
Title: Walking With Frodo (Teen)
**** For decades, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and all things Middle Earth have captured the hearts and imaginations of young and old alike. Despite J.R.R. Tolkien's insistance that it was not an allegory, millions of Christians see the greatest story ever told just beneath the surface, as if runic words inscribed its pages. Whether or not you read that into this modern mythos, it can not be denied that Aragorn, Gandalf, and the rest of the Fellowship captured the meaning of virtue in their lives. From wisdom to loyalty to graciousness, they were examples of what we should be. Likewise, in Denethor, Grima, Sauron, etc, we see what we should strive not to be. In this book, the author takes these traits two by two, the good and the evil, and shows us how it played out in Middle Earth, in the Bible, and how to carry it into life. Given the popularity of this saga, it works with great efficiency. It would be a wonderful cross generational Bible study, especially since she takes the time to clue readers in on the teen jargon's meaning. For that alone, parents should invest in this book. It's a book designed to be read over several weeks, but you will have to exercise restraint not to sail through it in one sitting, so readable is it. ****
Author: James Emery White
Title: Serious Times
**** Take a brief glance at the television news or open the paper and you know that life is not a party. It's filled with serious issues that are made more so by the fact that most people don't take life seriously. Using contemporary and historical examples, the problem is explained in detail and then the answers are equally provided. From CS Lewis to Star Trek to the American Revolution come images to make the issues relevant to the reader. Unlike many books of this sort, Serious Times, though as the name implies, is just that, serious, it is in no way dry or boring. I would call it entertaining, however, the author might take exception to that, so I will settle for informative and easily comprehendable. ****
Author: Jan Beazely & Thom Lemmons
Title: King's Ransom (Sept. 21, 2004)
Based on a true story, "King's Ransom" is set in Bulgaria during WWII. Tsar Boris III is in the midst of trying to save his country's fifty thousand Jews from Hitler's regime and to save his country from becoming crushed between the allies and the Third Reich.
During this crisis, Tsar Boris III leads his country with wisdom and poise. Interwoven in his quest is the passionate love story of his personal body guard, Dobri, and the Queen's Jewish confidant, Daria. "King's Ransom" tells how individuals faced with unimaginable fear can use their faith to change history.
***** Remarkable story that is very well written. It does not take long for you to find yourself caught up in the lives of these courageous people. A MUST to read! *****
Author: Ben Witherington III
Title: The Gospel Code: Novel Claims about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and DaVinci
Seldom has a book had as much impact on society, particularly a fiction one, as the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. In the year and a half since it burst onto the bestseller lists, people who never thought much about Jesus have begun talking about Him and some who have thought about Him have changed their views. Those who remain faithful are often challenged at the water cooler to explain where in the Bible the Mrs. Jesus section is, or some such thing, and need something more than being able to say that is untrue because it's what they believe. To fill this gap, a host of books debunking the "Magdalene Files" have emerged, but this one stands ahead of the others.
**** While most are thin volumes that address superficial difficulties, The Gospel Code digs in deeper, exploring the root of the problem that has more branches than just Da Vinci. After reading this, you will know about the gnostic heresies, the alleged "lost books of the Bible," and have a good grounding in early church history. For that alone, even if you never read Holy Blood, Holy Grail, or DaVinci Code, etc., this is a time worthy book. ****
Author: John Granger
Title: Finding God In Harry Potter
In the old days, Christians might hide their pack of playing cards or a cigarrette from the pastor. Now, both young and old stash Harry Potter videos and books. However, after reading this book, you might want to proudly display them instead.
**** John Granger (no relation to Hermione), takes apart all five volumes of the demonized books to miniscule detail and finds vast amounts of Christian allegory inside them. Going beyond the obvious, he brings to light enough material to keep a Sunday School class going for six months, at least, in a style almost as entertaining as the books themselves. In fact, by the end of Finding God in Harry Potter, you will be convinced that we can learn as much at Hogwarts as in Narnia or Middle Earth. Maybe more. ****
Author: Richard Abanes
Title: The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code
(A Challenging Response to the Best Selling Novel)
**** Although the Da Vinci Code is classified as fiction, many seem to take it and its relatives as fact, giving them cause to question their faith or feel justified in their lack of it. As the movie based upon it gets closer, Christians begin to worry that all the good done by Mel Gibson's Passion movie might be undone. To answer the challenge, a host of noted Christian writers have come out with books to expertly tear apart the allegations and mistakes made in Mr Brown's fictional novel. Although much material is repeated in every one of them, the format does vary. Mr Abanes has utilized a most efficient style of presenting his facts, one that is easily readable. Even those who have not read DaVinci or one of its clones may find this educational as it presents a great deal of historical fact in a palatable manner. ****
Author: Art Lindsley
Title- True Truth: Defending Absolute Truth In A Relativistic World
The motto of the post modern age seems to be "even if that's true for you, it doesn't have to be true for me." Intolerance is the unpardonable sin to the pomo mindset, and that leaves Christians as heretics to the new order. Christians have been labeled as intolerant, arrogant, and narrow minded for insisting that there are absalutes. Often, we can add defensive to that list, as we try to defend our stance.
**** To address this, Art Lindsley has written a concise book that will explain why absolute truth is real and how to defend your beliefs without being arrogant or defensive. His source list is impressive, his arguments, logical. All together, this is a fascinating, scholarly treatise. ****
Author: Amy Welborn
Title: De-coding Da Vinci: The Facts Behind The Da Vinci Code
***** To say Dan Brown stirred up a hornet's nest when he wrote "The Da Vinci Code" would be an understatement. More than one Christian has found themselves being cornered by someone asking some variant of "so, what's this about Jesus and Mary?" and it takes a little more than faith to answer them. One needs to be able to refute the historical fallacies and fictions purported as fact in the best seller. To do this, you can either spend a few hours of research on the various aspects or buy this book. Don't be fooled by its brevity. No words are wasted in making a big impact. The facts are well researched and linked to historical texts for further exploration; and each chapter concludes with discussion questions, making it ideal for group study. Much like Strobel's "Case" series, Amy Welborn presents a clear picture in an entertaining and informative fashion. *****
Author: Hak Hanegraff/Paul Maier
Title: The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction
**** The latest game to sweept the nation is not played on a computer screen, an athletic court, or card table. It does not involve dice or score cards. It's the Jesus game, inventing your own version of Jesus and making it sell. So far, Dan Brown seems to have racked up more points than most, dollar wise. However, when the Bible Answer Man and Paul Maier get done with dismantalling and dissecting the runaway best seller, it has more holes than a yard of lace. It turns out that he not only got Jesus and His story wrong, but pretty much everything else, from history to Disney. If as a Christian, you have had to answer the questions raised by Da Vinci and need some facts to back up your beliefs, this book will take care of you. It's also small enough to fit in even a small purse or hip pocket. ****
Author: Jana Riess, Jossey - Bass
Title - What Would Buffy Do?
(The Vampire Slayer As A Spiritual Guide)
***** Although Buffy Summers has taken an almost equal amount of flack as Harry Potter from the most conservative Christians, others have picked up on the ironically religious truths to be found in both her series and the spin off, Angel. Among those enlightened beings is Jana Riess, and she has shared her findings in this snappy, easy to read book. Divided into logical sections that expand outward from the individual, to community, to world, the author uses Buffy to make spiritual truths clear. Many of the lessons could be applied to other fictional settings, such as Tolkien, yet, Buffy has an edge that might not be found in other works. This book will appeal to all ages, and perhaps serve as a bridge. The slant is mostly Christian, but the Christianity is not presented in a way that looks down on other faiths. For those Bible students who look for "aha" moments in their studies, "What would Buffy Do?" has many. If a Youth leader is looking for a new tool to interest a bored Sunday School class, they would not be making a mistake in picking up a baker's dozen of this book. *****
Author: Ron Rhodes
Title - 10 Things You Should Know About The Creation vs. Evolution Debate
**** It's been said that the two books the devil wants people to read the least are Genesis and Revelation. Many think you can either believe science or the Bible, not both. However, the case can be made that you need more faith to believe in macroevolution than in creation. Take the fact that from nothing comes nothing, the lack of transitional fossils, or the outright lies of Darwinism, among other points, and the reader is left with the truth. To support his case, a variety of theologians and scientists including Michael Behe, Hugh Ross, Norm Geisler, William Lane Craig, and Phillip Johnson, etc. The writing is done in lay terms, or when it's not, explained, so anyone can follow it without problems. It is both interesting and informative, demonstrating that you need not bend Genesis to fit science, but that science supports Genesis. ****
Author: Ann Ball
Title - Young Faces Of Holiness
***** Many Sunday School classes have fallen into debates on what Jesus meant by the words we must become as little children to see the Kingdom. Perhaps He was thinking of such children as those recounted in this book. The brief time on Earth these little ones spent only sharpened the impact of their lives of devotion and love. Their lives are ones to inspire readers as they learn of the goodness exhibited by these children, often in the face of terrible pain and suffering. Even Protestants might find a pearl to cling to in times of trial. *****
Author: Rachel Bell & Dr. Howard Peiper
Title: The A.D.D. And A.D.H.D.. Diet!
**** I went through this book marking sections to go back over and re-read. Much of the book is geared toward explaining what A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. is, the symptoms, and possible contributing factors. I could not help but wonder WHY? Anyone looking up information on A.D.D. and/or A.D.H.D. already knows what it is. Chances are they have talked, in depth, to their doctor(s) already.
A.D.D. stands for Attention Deficit Disorder. The "H" stands for someone with A.D.D. and has hyperactivity with it. If you are looking for something with A.D.L.D. ("L" stands for a problem with "Learning" instead of a problem with "Hyperactivity".) Then this book is NOT for you. Nothing in this book even remotely touches A.D.L.D.
This book is put together to give an idea of how to treat the symptoms of A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. naturally. That does not mean you will successfully treat the disorder by what is in this book. But what parent would not want to read everything they can find on the subject and gain an idea of what else they could possibly do? This book will have you parents saying "Yeah! That is exactly what my child is like! I know exactly what you mean!" I may be a "reviewer" but I only agreed to review this book because my own son is A.D.H.D. Whether you give medication or not, this book is for you! The concerned parent! The one who does not want to miss a chance of helping your child have a better life, now and in the future!
This book has been a best seller for a long time. It is revised often, as all good medical non-fictions are. After all, scientists and doctors are learning new things every single day. The public needs to be educated. Here is your chance to BE educated. Do not let it pass!
The chapters include:
If You Want Something Different, You've Got to Do Something Different.
Going Through The Open Door
"But Why Do I Have ADD?"
The First Step Toward Changing Your Diet
What Should You Eat?
The Importance of Detoxifying
Supplements That We Need
Nutrients That Help A.D.D. & A.D.H.D.
Non-Dietary Approaches to A.D.D. / A.D.H.D.
Resource Directory, Bibliography, Index. ****
For your convenience you may read more about, or purchase this book, from Amazon by clicking HERE!
Author: John C. Maxwell
Title - Today Matters
Success depends upon a daily dozen, according to the author. Before you get your hopes up that he means a dozen doughnuts or eggs, the dozen is twelve principals on which to base your life. Before explaining what these are, Mr Maxwell helps you realize that today is important, each one has the potential to be the most important one of your life. Then, methodically, he explores the daily dozen; attitude, priorities, health, family, thinking, commitment, finances, faith, relationships, generosity, values, and growth. Using both is own experience and that of others, the lessons are taught clearly then followed by a "workbook" section to help apply what you were taught.
**** While seeing Mr. Maxwell speak in person is the ideal; if that is not possible, this is the next best thing, or even better. You can schedule it on your own time. While faith is the foundation of the entire book, the religous aspect is not overwhelming. A secular person can derive almost an equal benefit as a Christian. ****
Editor: Dana G. Reed
Title - The ARRL Handbook For Radio Communications 2004
When I recently picked up the newest edition (2003) of the ARRL Handbook, the first thing I noticed was that they had changed the subtitle from “For the Radio Amateur” to “For Radio Communications”. This was done to reflect the fact that a large percentage of these handbooks are purchased by non-amateurs. Electrical Technicians and Engineers, Laboratories and Researchers often have a copy on their shelves. So with the 80th edition they made the slight name change to better appeal to the wider audience of active users. The book covers just about any major category of radio communications one can think of from Fundamental Theory, to Construction Techniques to Operating Practices. It is a excellent reference source for anyone with a question about radio. Off course for anyone with a very specific interest the ARRL has other books that deal with a more specialized subject, but for a starting point I would purchase this book first.
***** The book is published on a yearly basis, but since the soft cover copy I purchased retails for $34.95, I wouldn’t purchase a new copy every year. The basic technology doesn’t change that fast, most of the yearly changes are adding and removing projects. The new edition does have revised chapters, including ones on Modulation Sources and Digital Signal Processing, but I wouldn’t run out to purchase it if I had last year’s copy, unless I had a specific interest in the new material. Personally I have a hard cover edition from the 80’s and a CD edition from the late 90’s and much of the basic information is still the same. I would recommend for the average user that they purchase a new copy every 5 to 10 years unless they have a specific need. I might also recommend alternating between paper copies and CDs. CDs are archival and easy to store and duplicate (for back up purposes of copyrighted material), but for manuals of this sort it is also convenient to have a hard copy to thumb through at their workbench. *****
Author: Bob Reccord, Randy Singer
Title - Made To Count
A brief glance at television listings, magazine articles, and best seller lists reveals that people want their lives to mean something more than just breathing. Most know they want something but the questions are what and how to get there? Books like the Purpose Driven Life have capitalized on this, but just knowing you have a purpose doesn't tell you where to drive it.
The authors have devised an atlas to help you get there. If one is Christian, then according to one of the Creeds, our purpose is chiefly to glorify God, and their point is that no matter what the seconary purpose of our life might be, we have a ministry. God can use anyone from a President to a pot scrubber. They have even included tools to help you know more about who you are and how you are wired to serve.
**** If you have any interest in knowing why you are here and finding out what makes you unique; or how to deal with all the other unique people out there, then read this book. It is both spiritually and psychologically sound; and while very intellectual, is communicated on a level accessible to all. ****
Author: Joseph J. Del Casino
Title - Training Wheels: A Candid Guide To A Career In Business
So you are looking for a career. Not just a job that you could care less about in the long run. I mean a real career. The position you have dreamed about, studied for, and want with all your heart. Well there are many other people out there that want the same position you do. You must put your best foot forward and make yourself stand out.
That is where this gem of a book comes in handy. This book takes you from the first step of deciding upon your career, to past the last step of landing a position and beginning your long climb up the corporate latter. Chapters one - eight help readers develop an idea of what career they wish to strive for. Then shows how to build a strong strategy, research for opportunities, create a resume that won't get passed over or filed and forgotten, and how to shine during interviews. Chapters nine - eleven give sound advice in what to do once you have been hired. Chances are that the position you get hired for is not the one you have dreamed of. It is simply the first step to the climb up the corporate latter so you may reach your coveted position. These last few chapters will show you how to get up those first few rungs faster than normal.
***** The person who gave me this book said that I would probably cruise through the book in an afternoon. After all, it is only 118 pages. I recall thinking to myself that it should not even take me that long to read it. WRONG! I found myself going back and rereading sections. I high lighted parts, took notes, and carried the book with me to work for a few days. Personally, I have been climbing the corporate latter for several years now and found lots of advice that I could immediately put to use.
Whether you are in high school, college, or been part of the work force for a few decades, this book is worth every cent you pay for it. (And costs much less than going to even one business seminar.) This little book is rock solid and highly recommended. *****
Author: Erwin Lutzer
Title - The Vanishing Power Of Death
*** Death is often called the last enemy; yet if you know Christ, He has defeated that enemy and turned it to a friend. It was this truth that gave the early martyrs the strength to face death for the sake of faith, and this promise that makes funerals an issue of personal sorrow at a temporary separation rather than a final goodbye and agony at never seeing the loved one again. This book illustrates all of what death means to a Christian. Whether you are mourning someone or facing death yourself, this book clarifies the issue in a point blank, straight from the hip fashion. In the end, you will agree with Gandalf that death is not the end, but a beginning, and perhaps not "so bad" as Pippin agreed in Return of the King. ***
Author: Hank Hannegraff, Thomas Nelson
Title - The Bible Answer Book
With the opening of the Passion of the Christ, Christians either have had or will be called upon to answer questions about what they believe and why. At least at some point in time, most of us have been faced with either pleading the fifth or having to defend their faith by "well, it's in the Bible and I believe it." Unfortunately, that does not really answer the question.
Hank Hannegraff has made a career of handling the questions people have about Christianity, and giving better answers than it's true because that's what I believe. Christians who buy and read this book will have the equivalent of a question and answer episode of the Bible Answer Man program in their shirt pocket or purse. It's small size will make it easy to carry for handy reference, and the bite sized answers cover a wide range of topics. Some seem a bit simplistic, others are more relevant and thought provoking. Each section is thoroughly cross referenced to books and articles that will help the reader go into more detail.
**** This book may not answer every question a Christian might find themsevles confronted by, but it's a start. As an aside, the photography that illustrates the Bible Answer Book is gorgeous and would be frameworthy if it were larger. ****
Author: Clark LaPointe
Title - A Call To Repentance
(Science & Religion)
Everything was quiet in Jerusalem during the year 1998 when Clark LaPointe, a biotech scientist, is sent there to discuss vaccines with Dr. Jeremiah "Jerry" Worral. Jerry is a renowned American scientist/physician who lived in Jerusalem with his family. Since Valerie Rosier is a lead scientist for several herpes and mononucleosis vaccines projects, she decides to tag along with Clark. This is the setting for this book.
This story is told from Clark LaPointe's point of view. Clark and Valerie spent a lot of time touring of the city, including the museums and market places, and the reader learns quite a bit about the area, Judaism, and even the Dead Sea through their eyes. As they toured the Western Wall, Clark had what he considered to be an epiphany, or mystical experience, that could jeopardize his marriage, if not his sanity.
Much of the book contains information on the history of vaccine science, and some people might get bogged down in all that. Those sections are written in italics though and are easily recognizable. Because of that, the reader could easily skip over them, but the story wouldn't have as great an impact. If read slowly, even readers who know absolutely nothing about the subject, can understand it completely. The author has written it that well.
*** This author has written a story that teaches several subjects, but has managed to make the story itself interesting and thought provoking also. Readers will enjoy the tale and perhaps even see a bit of themselves. During the story, and long after the last page has been turned, readers will find themselves fascinated by all they learn. Clark LaPointe, has given the role of science a new and different twist. ***
Author: Frank Ryan, M.D.
Title - Virus X
This author gives a lot of information about how doctors with NOTHING, battling plagues in the wilds of Africa, are forced to improvise equipment.
He discusses what to look for in different diseases in Autopsies, safeguards, etc... He talks about docs performing autopsies outside on the ground, in the dirt, in the rain.
He discusses little known facts about projects USAMRIID has been working on (Counters to weaponized Ebola that the Russians have) and other little known facts like that the Ebola outbreak in Reston VA was Spread by Aerosol! It just happened not to be a strain that was easy to catch by humans (Even though lab workers ALL suddenly showed antibodies to Ebola in their blood, and several got "flu like symptoms" from it). I Was always lead to believe that the workers "Coincidently got the flu".. not true, they had a mild case of Ebola!
He talks about 1st world close calls, like the little girl returning to Britain on a mail plane with a doctor that was sick from Ebola (The Doc died).. even though she was in close physical contact with him, miraculously, she didn't catch it.. There have been SEVERAL of these close calls in several countries, the USA included.
He also discusses how diseases suddenly "pop up out of no where" as Asians and Africans move into more remote regions. They STILL do not know what animal host carries Ebola. Ebola is a HIGHLY mutable disease, which is why the Russians grabbed it for Bio-weapons... He predicts we'll see it many more times in the future.
For some reason, Americans think that "maybe a few hundred people have died from Ebola".. this is not true.. there have been several outbreaks in Africa, killing MANY THOUSANDS and forcing troops to quarentine whole cities.
***** Excellent book. A little dated now (Copyright 1997) but the info is solid. What makes it more believable it that the Trends he forecast in 1997 have come true.. like Species jumping viruses, Human/Bird viruses.
It's VERY easy to read. He gets technical, but he explains what the technical stuff means in such a way in the stories that before you realize it, you are reading the technical info with full comprehension without realizing that you learned it... Kinda makes you proud of yourself ;) What's more, you begin to anticipate what the Doctors in the stories should do... "Hey, he needs to run an ELIZA test from a Capture Assay! What idiot still uses a primitive fluorescent label? Look for the fixed antibody enzyme and then compare the color change bud!" *****
Author: John Stott
Title - Basic Christianity
If the average non Christian consumer were to begin considering conversion, spending less than an hour perusing a Christian book section or facing the lists of churches in the Yellow Pages would be enough to confuse them to the point of reconsidering. Christians come in all shapes, sizes, and variants. Although Paul encouraged unity in the Body of Christ, it has never been achieved. What we all agree on is a short list.
Despite that, there are some essentials that belong in every church, whether Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, or non Demoninational. John Stott has taken the vital facts that you must believe to be called Christian and placed them in a straightforward easy to read book. With a precision akin to Lee Strobel's Case for Christ, he lines out the ABC's of faith. The logic of the Resurrection to the deeper meanings in the Ten Commandments are laid out concisely.
*** Long time believers may not have any "aha" moments, but if they read this, they will have more to defend their faith than "it's true because it is written and I believe it." New believers or seekers will know what is most basic without the rigamorole variations that differ from sect to sect. ***
Author: Walter Dean Myers
Title - Shooter
Ever since Columbine, perhaps before, the public has been aware of the potential for violence in youths. In Shooter, we get a glimpse of the aftermath of a similiar incident. In what is termed a cult shooting, two boys are killed, one of them as a result of suicide, one murder. Six other students are injured. Police and psychologists are left with the task of reconstructing what was going on in the minds of those involved. Their assessments focus on two students, a young black boy who was the best friend of the suicide victim, and the girlfriend of the suicide victim. Both are a mix of anger, confusion, and hurt that cries out for love. Both are too old to be so young.
***** Readers sit in on the interviews with these two and are given a peak into police records, news articles, and reports. It is a harsh, grim, bleak read; but very insightful and telling. Although billed as a teen book, parents should exercise caution due to the darkness of the subject matter. However, adults might benefit from reading it, so as to get an insight into the world that their children are exposed to and may be part of if they are not careful. *****
Authors: Leon Cooper & Don Tait
Title - 90 Day Wonder: Darkness Remembered
Co-author Leon Cooper recounts his experiences as a U.S. Naval officer during World War II. The story goes backwards and forwards in time, but mainly begins around the time Pearl Harbor was bombed. The reader glimpses several key people in Cooper's life, such as Lt. Commander Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Then there is Captain Boda of the Harry Lee who took an instant dislike of Cooper and began to make life very difficult. In fact, Boda is to Cooper what Vader is to Luke, a dark and maleficent force that needed to be reckoned with.
Then there is the return to civilian life. With all he has witnessed, Cooper and Alberta (the love of his life) must somehow cope with not only the events during Cooper's military time, but also events from his childhood.
***** If you enjoy reading about history, biographies, or just the events around the WW II era, then I strongly recommend this novel!
Authors Leon Cooper and Don Tait have done an excellent job in blending Cooper's military time, home life, and even his childhood days into a riveting story for readers. An outstanding piece of work! *****
Author: Vladislav Tamarov
Title - Afghanistan: A Russian Soldier's Story
Here is a riveting memoir by Vladislav Tamarov. In 1984 men were drafted into the Soviet Army at the age of eighteen. There was no choice. Unless you were in college or disabled, you served. Many men broke their legs to avoid serving. Others, the more wealthy, bribed their way out. Vlad was in college two years when the law changed and he was off to boot camp. Training the men needed, they never received. Training the men did NOT need, they got. (For example, lots of time was spent learning to parachute, even though it was a well known fact that no one used parachutes in Afghanistan.)
Vlad was born January 12, 1965. His "Date of Military Service Application" was April 26, 1984. This memoir really began when an officer walked up to Vlad at a distribution center and asked, "Do you want to serve in the commandos, the Blue Berets?" Vlad kept a tiny calendar where he crossed off his six hundred and twenty-one days, one-at-a-time. Vlad kept detailed records of each mission he participated in. He had his own little code, shown in this memoir. Two hundred and seventeen of those days were spent on combat missions. In addition to Vlad's coded diary, he secretly took many photographs. This book has dozens of the pictures littered throughout, and makes a powerful impact on those who read it.
***** Vlad, a minesweeper, portrays the horrors of war in vivid details. The reader can almost hear the explosions nearby and smell the fear of being shot at. Once you have read THIS book, you will never forget it! *****
Title - Brush Country: A Collection Of Western Poetry
***** This is a terrific collection of poetry with a western flavor. There are eighty-one poems in all.
Some touch upon the wildness and harshness of the wild, such as "Brush Country" and "Hide & Seek" ...
Some touch upon nature, such as "Wild Flowers" and "Rebirth" ...
Quite a few are filled with humor, such as "Midwife" and "Jake" ...
But most of these will make the reader picture the Wild West and the towns of long ago, such as "Simon and Seth" and "Sam". Highly recommended for all fans of poetry, western novels, or historical romance novels. *****
Authors: Nina Anderson & Dr. Howard Peiper
Title: The All-Natural High Performance Diet!
**** This self-help book can help readers locate the healing foods that are currently missing from their diets. Many people do not realize simple things, such as thoroughly chewing food before swallowing, can actually help the body extract more nutrition from every bit. Did you know that memory loss may be nothing more than an amino acid deficiency? There are foods that improve sexual performance and others that could cause hair loss.
This book is packed with valuable information. The back pages are filled with other resources you might wish to view on the net. It is a small book that could change your life in a big way. ****
Author: Robert K. Spear
Title - Stay Alive: Survival Tactics For Hostages
There are many different kinds of hostage situations. What you do and how you react may very well decide your fate. The wrong movement or single spoken word could sign your death warrant.
This book takes each different hostage situation and educates you, the reader. You will learn what your uncontrollable reactions will be (such as shock), what your captive is thinking and feeling, and how to recognize the type of hostage situation you are in. Then you learn to know when to stay silent or when to speak, as well as HOW! The book will also teach you how to recognize the symptoms of the Stockholm Syndrome, followed by how you might begin to react if held for a long length of time and how to overcome to Stockholm Syndrome.
Whether you are car jacked, terrorists have just taken over your plane, a thug grabs you as a shield while in a bank, or a student in your school just cracks - reading this book and LEARNING can save your life and the lives of those around you.
***** I was amazed at all I learned from this book. It is written in simple terms so anyone aged twelve can understand clearly. I consider it to be required reading in today's world. Very highly recommended! *****
The Barefoot Fisherman: A Fishing Book For Kids
This "how to" book targets young kids; however, even adults who read it learn new things.
My father and teenage son fish often. Though my son is still learning the basics, my father has spent his life fishing in every pond, lake, river, and body of water he could find. In fact, every year he teaches the kids at the local fairs how to tie flies and cast. yet even he learned one or two new tricks from this book. I kept yelling through the house, "Hey Dad! Did you know..." The instant I finished and set the book down, he picked it up and began.
Author Paul Amdahl wrote out all the basics of fishing, the equipment, and some very helpful tips in a simple, easy to follow, dialogue. If you are age eight or have never touched a fishing rod before, this book is for you! Excellent!
Richard Preston: Demon In The Freezer
You Won't sleep until this book is done, and maybe not then! Another True and chilling book by Preston! Never mind Ebola, the hemorrhagic disease that was the main subject of Preston's 1994 #1 bestseller, The Hot Zone. What we really should be worrying about, explains Preston in this terrifying, cautionary new title, is smallpox, or variola.
But wasn't that eradicated? Officially, yes, nods Preston, who devotes the first half of the book to the valorous attempt by an army of volunteers to wipe out the virus via strategic vaccination; in 1977 the last case of naturally occurring smallpox was documented in Somalia, and today the variola virus only exists officially in two storage depots.. one in Russia, and the other at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta (in the freezer of the title).
To believe that variola is not held elsewhere, however, is nonsense, Says Preston, who delves into the probability that several nations, including Iraq, Iran, Russia and maybe Al-Qaeda, have recently worked, or are currently working, with genetically altered smallpox as a biological weapon!
Preston shows why even "normal" smallpox could (and would) sweep the globe in a matter of weeks killing millions, perhaps hundreds of millions! No one on the planet today has an immunity to this disease.
***** A chilling account of what countries have what Bio-weapons, and what happens if they use them. The research is excellent and accurate. Preston takes you through the recent Anthrax attacks, why they were "different" and what happens if a terrorist unleashes an easily genetically modified Smallpox weapon. *****
Richard Preston: The Hot Zone
***** The dramatic and chilling story of an Ebola virus outbreak in a surburban Washington, D.C. laboratory, with descriptions of frightening historical epidemics of rare and lethal viruses. More hair-raising than anything Hollywood could think of, because it's all true .
In the late 1980's at the Reston Primate Lab in Reston Va, Researchers suddenly realised that they had cases of Ebola infecting monkeys with a 90+% mortality rate. Then the virus did the impossible, It infected Monkeys in other parts of the lab... meaning it had gone airborne! An infectious disease "Swat team" rushed to the scene to try to contain the outbreak, but Suddenly, Lab workers began coming down with flu like symptoms!
Our Government thought that the "Slate wiper Virus", the killer of all humanity, was about to be turned loose on the world... And they decided not to tell us! All True, written by a master of non-fiction. *****
Ken Alibe: BioHazard
The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World--Told from Inside by the Man Who Ran It!
In this fast-paced memoir, Ken Alibek combines cutting-edge science with the narrative techniques of a thriller to describe some of the most awful weapons imaginable. The result will remind readers of The Hot Zone, Richard Preston's smart bestseller about the Ebola virus. That book focuses on the dangers of a freak accident; Biohazard shows how disease can become a deliberate tool of war. Alibek, once a top scientist in the Soviet Union's biological weapons program, describes putting anthrax on a warhead and targeting a city on the other side of the world. "A hundred kilograms of anthrax spores would, in optimal atmospheric conditions, kill up to three million people in any of the densely populated metropolitan areas of the United States," he writes. "A single SS-18 [missile] could wipe out the population of a city as large as New York."
Chilling passages like these, plus discussions of proliferation and terrorism, make Biohazard a harrowing book, but it also has a human side. Alibek, who defected to the United States, describes the routine danger of his work: "A bioweapons lab leaves its mark on a person forever." An unending stream of vaccinations has destroyed his sense of smell, afflicted him with allergies, made it impossible to eat certain kinds of food, and "weakened my resistance to disease and probably shortened my life." But it didn't take away his ability to tell an astonishing story.
Jonathan B. Tucker
Scourge : The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox
The eradication of smallpox was one of the great medical successes of the 20th century. As Tucker (Toxic Terror) explains, smallpox has devastated humankind throughout most of its history. Highly contagious and with a fatality rate of about 30%, smallpox killed three times more people than did wars during the last century. Tucker describes the ravages caused by the disease and succinctly traces its role in history: its use as a biological weapon (by colonists against Native Americans, the British against American colonists during the Rwevolution and by both sides during the American Civil War) and the World Health Organization's remarkable battle, waged largely under the direction of Dr. D.A. Henderson, against naturally occurring smallpox (the battle was won in 1980). Even as the last traces of smallpox were being destroyed, however, the Soviets were experimenting with military uses for the deadly virus. Drawing on popularly published sources, Tucker argues that such research continued at least until the Soviet Union disbanded, and probably beyond. Other than mentioning that President Nixon prohibited such research in the United States, Tucker remains silent about any U.S. offensive strategies involving the disease. Warning that terrorists might well have access to samples of the smallpox virus, he remarks that, if successfully unleashed, the virus could decimate the world's population. Even though a naturally occurring case of smallpox has not been seen in more than 20 years, the government spends millions of dollars annually researching treatment strategies and producing vaccines for storage. Tucker breathes new life into mostly familiar material; the book is difficult to put down.
Tom Mangold, Jeff Goldberg, Goldberg Mangold
Plague Wars: A True Story of Biological Warfare
Anthrax. Plague. Smallpox. Ebola.
These are the weapons of the future - microscopic organisms produced in laboratories and unleashed on unwitting populations to reproduce, spread, and kill. They are as deadly as atomic bombs, much cheaper to create, and much easier to distribute - inside a warhead on an intercontinental missile, in an aerosol can sprayed in a crowded building, or by a crop-duster flying over a major city. Exposure occurs without warning. Infection from only a few minute particles can mean a ghastly and painful death. The kill rates are staggering.
Modern biological warfare began during the 1930s, when the Japanese Army conducted atrocious experiments on Chinese prisoners using lethal bacteria. During the Cold War, both the Soviet Union and the U.S. rushed to build biological weapons programs. In 1972, the Biological Weapons Convention banned the development of bioweapons, supposedly ending the threat. But the threat was only beginning.
Plague Wars tells the stories of the secret battles that are still being waged in many nations, stories filled with international espionage, deceptions, and treachery. Recently, defectors and covert sources from third-world governments such as Iraq have revealed active biological weapons programs, despite international arms inspectors' attempts to eradicate them. A U.S. war game to prepare for a North Korean biological attack went so horribly wrong that the results are still classified. In South Africa, the use of bioweapons represents one of the last untold secrets of the apartheid battles, while in Zimbabwe, people are still dying of anthrax from the dirty wars of independence fought two decades ago. Fringe cults, apocalyptic madmen, and terrorists groups everywhere claim to own bioweapons, and are threatening to use them. Major Western cities are busily planning defenses against such an attack.
The Plague Wars have begun. Are we prepared?
Researched across four continents with exceptional access to many sources from the United Nations, U.S. Department of Defense, and various civilian and military intelligence agencies, and using previously classified government documents, Tom Mangold and Jeff Goldberg have written the definitive account of the state of biological warfare in the world today. Never before has the complete scope of these terrifying weapons been so thoroughly examined.
A startling look into hidden facets of history, dark secrets of the present, and the anticipated horrors of a none-too-distant future, Plague Wars will make you reconsider your safety in a world where death is just a breath away.
Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg, William J. Broad
Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War
Three reporters from The New York Times survey the recent history of biological weapons and sound an alarm about the coming threat of the "poor man's hydrogen bomb." Germs begins ominously enough, recounting the chilling attack by the followers of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in 1984 on the Dalles, Oregon--no one died, but nearly 1,000 were infected with a strain of salmonella that the cult had legally obtained, then cultured and distributed.
While the U.S. maintained an active "bugs and gas" program in the '50s and early '60s, bio-weapons were effectively pulled off this country's agenda in 1972 when countries around the world, led by the United States, forswore development of such weapons at the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. The issue reemerged in the early '90s thanks to Saddam Hussein and revelations of the clandestine and massive buildup of bio-weapons in remote corners of the Soviet Union. The book's description of the Soviet program is horrific. At its peak the program employed thousands of scientists, developing bioengineered pathogens as well as producing hundreds of tons of plague, anthrax, and smallpox annually. The authors conclude that while a biological attack against the United States is not necessarily inevitable, the danger of bio-weapons is too real to be ignored. Well-researched and documented, this book will not disappoint readers looking for a reliable and sober resource on the topic.
Jack & Rick Kamen: Heirloom Stories From The Harnessmaker's Son (Family Humor)
Jack Kamen is the father of Rick Kamen. Rick has compiled this book full of many family tales that Jack has told him. Jack's life began in the year 1913, above his father's harness shop in Brooklyn. So there are many tales to read of the Depression, World War I (aka The War To End All Wars), the amazing changes in society, medical care, politics, and their not-so-ordinary family!
Jack's generation was the first born in America. His family before had been Russian Jewish peasants who survived the 1902 slaughter of the Tzar's army. But most stories are 1913 and later. Each show humor, shout of family pride, and end with a grin. The author even uses the words his elders used when they told him their family stories, so unusual words are printed in italics when first used and included in the glossary at the end of the book. This will bring back wonderful memories for those who have been around this world awhile. And it will educated those of us who want to know what things were like back then!
***** Perfect for those who love to listen and learn stories from their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents! There is no doubt in my mind that every reader who finishes and closes this book will do so with a warm feeling on their inside, a smile on their outside, and the urge to talk to their elders about their own family history! Excellent reading! *****
Frederick Bennett, Ph.D.:title - Computers As Tutors
Here is a book I found to be VERY informative! The author surprised me with his insight on WHY many teachers believe computers are no good in the classroom. Then he offers ways on HOW to make them, not only good in the classroom, but extremely helpful to the student! The author offers insight on what problems programmers and teachers have.
Do not forget the advantages of the computer helping in the home as well! The computer can be a terrific mentor. Better than having a complete set of encyclopedias in the home. Computers can make learning more than simply reading pages in a book. Computers can make learning fun!
In my opinion, parents who home school their children would highly benefit from reading this book as well. Even though it is more geared toward the school system problems with computers in the class. The author's point is clear on how we can make the education of our future leaders smarter than ever before, with the aid of computers! I cannot recommend this one highly enough!
Ruth Maran:title - Windows 95 Simplified (Idg's 3-D Visual)
The perfect "help book" for those who are not computer technicians! Every page is in FULL COLOR and is set up for a 3-D VISUAL approach to learning. It is the winner of the Eleventh Annual Computer Press Awards and an international best seller!
WOULD WE BUY IT? Yes! In fact, we did! I purchased it for my workplace (in a hospital). My co-workers and I use it very often!
For your convenience you may read more about, or purchase, this book from Amazon by clicking HERE!
Dr. Robert C. Atkins, M.D.: title - Dr. Atkins' NEW Diet Revolution!
The original best seller showed millions how to lose weight without going hungry. This one, Dr. Atkins' NEW Diet Revolution teaches not only how to lose the weight, but total body wellness that is made especially for the overweight metabolism. You will not have to count calories, will see results in 14 days, and reduce major health problems (including high bood pressure, diabetes, chronic fatigue.)
*** Much of the above paragraph is from the back of the book. I will tell you that when I saw Dr. Atkins on television talking about this method, I noticed that it made sense AND none of the other doctors could say he was wrong! All that "low fat" stuff we are eating? Forget it! They add tons of sugar for taste. Sugar and carbohydrates turn into...FAT! So we have been eating low fat, high sugar (which turns into fat), and gaining weight. Is there any wonder? So I tried this book for seven days. I have been eating things such as STEAK and...yes...I have lost weight without trying. So I decided to this book worth posting about. Here is a book you may want to seriously consider reading and trying for yourself! ***
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