Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Powerful and Moving Story

This was such a powerful story!  In his book, My Best Friends Funeral: A Memoir, Roger Thompson has a deeply moving story about his friendship with his best friend Tim.  He writes about the time they spent together and the meaning of their relationship.  The were best friends as they grew up, eventually going into business together.

The book begins with Roger preparing to speak at Tim’s funeral.  He reflects on the life lessons he learned from his friend.  This book is filled with stories, funny, sad and most of all, stories which help us to reflect upon our lives and relationships. 

This book will move you.  Be prepared. 

I received this book from booklookbloggers reading program.  In exchange for this book, I am providing an honest and unbiased review.

The Patmos Deception

I have not read books from Davis Bunn in the past, and hope to read more of his books in the future.  I’m not sure what genre, The Patmos Deception should really be considered.  It’s not a romantic thriller.  There’s not much romance, which is fine by me.  It’s not a super mystery / suspense novel.  It’s probably more of a mild thriller book.  This does not take away from the story of the book.

As I read other reviews, I believe there is not a great deal of build up throughout the book.  At times it moves slowly.  But unlike other books, there is a level of continual movement in the book which leads you to keep on reading.  I do believe Bunn is very good at helping me to feel part of the environment on the book.  He leads you to experience with the characters are experiencing.  The book kept me interested and ended in an unexpected manner than what I was expecting which makes for a fun read and discussion afterwards with others who have read the book.

Overall, I was pleased with the book, slow at times, but it never lost momentum.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Asking for Wisdom!

In his new book, Ask It: The Question that will Revolutionize how you make Decisions by Andy Stanley is a reprint of an older book entitled, The Best Question Ever.  The revised edition adds one section, while deleting the section on money.  In addition, Ask It also contains a Study Guide in the back of the book which has about 6-8 questions for each chapter.  There are 22 chapters, averaging about 8 pages.

This is an easy to read book, filled with a great deal of logic.  That's one of the strengths of Andy Stanley when writing his books.  They are filled with logic, easy to read, and they make sense in our day to day lives.

In this book he addresses the most important question you can ask, the question which will revolutionize your life because you make better decisions.  He leads the reader to Ephesians 5:15-17 ~

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (ESV)

Stanley believes the best question to ask is, “What is the wise thing to do?”  He goes on to give practical advice in a casual, easy to read manner.  This book is helpful as we make decision after decision which dramatically impact our lives.

I received a review copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Practical and Timely!

In his book, What Am I Supposed to Do with My Life?: God's Will Demystified, Johnnie Moore has written a very practical book.  The premise behind this book were Moore’s years as the Campus Pastor at Liberty University.  The question he seeks to address is one so many Christians struggle with.  If I’m doing all I can to obediently follow Christ, then ‘why is it so difficult to know what God wants me to do?’

We’ve all gone through that dilemma.  Moore discusses a good friend who made a decision between two good things, but to this day still does not know if he made the right choice.  That is disconcerting, and more than that causes us to have doubts about our decisions and God’s presence and role in our lives.

We all want to make a difference in the world, especially in our sphere of the world, but when we feel stymied, even paralyzed to do God’s will, it impacts us in a negative way.  Moore attempts to guide the reader to better understand God’s presence in the midst of our uncertainty.

This book is easy to read, not overly theological, and is filled with many stories which help bring home his points.  I do not believe Moore is beating up the reader, rather he is encouraging the reader not to become discouraged when we are confused.  He reminds us it is about who you are and what God is doing in your life right now.

I would highly recommend this book to those who want to do a little self-discovery so they can better follow God’s will and plan for their lives.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fascinating Book!!

The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks by Bruce Feldman, was a great book.  Initially I thought this was a book about some of the current NFL quarterbacks.  However, while Feldman discusses many quarterbacks, the purpose of the book is to discover 'how a quarterback is created.' 

With that in mind, Feldman went on a discovery process to learn about the process.  He met with former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer and began a process of intense learning.  He came away amazed at Dilfer's knowledge and ability to spot the good and not so good in quarterbacks.  Ultimately this was a book which revealed the process young athletes go through to become an elite quarterback.

Feldman learned about the Elite 11 Camp for the best of the best high school quarterbacks, the processes they go through, the personal coaches they utilize and how talent is defined.  

In the end, if you are into football, the behind the scenes aspect, I highly recommend The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks.  This is really a fascinating look at what happens behind the scenes for the elite quarterbacks, and the people who train them and their programs as well.

I received a review copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Great and Fun Book

Finding Jesus by Winston Rowntree was a great fun book.  It reminded me of those old "Where's Waldo" books.  The pictures are great and the detail is wonderful.  You could spend so much time looking at pictures and making new discoveries about the people in each picture.

Overall, this would be a great book to purchase for the Christmas holidays.  The price is right.  It's a great extra little and fun gift, which can also be passed on to others.

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Excellent Information on the Churchless

Churchless: Understanding Today's Unchurched and How to Connect With Them was a very good book.  I was amazed at the level of statistics found in the book.  The statistics helped me to gain a better understanding of where Christians are at in trying to help those outside of the church gain a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.

The book is written by George Barna and David Kinnaman.  both have written extensively as it pertains to the unchurched and have used statistics to help the reader better understand the current situation in our world. 

At times the stats were overwhelming, yet the book was relatively easy to read and was not filled with theological arguments.  I would have appreciated more information about how churches, especially smaller church can engage the churchless people in our communities.  This was a book I will refer back to as I work with other Christ followers to share the Great News of Jesus.

I was provided this book from Tyndale Press in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Excellent NKJV Study Bible

The NKJV Study Bible Full-Color Edition is an excellent choice of Bibles.  I use either the NKJV or ESV.  I found this Bible to be very easy to use and greatly appreciate the study notes on the bottom of each page. 

Each chapter includes a color introduction, which is slightly shorter than I would have liked, but still has good information.  In each Old Testament Introduction, there is a section which attempts to show where Christ can be found in that chapter.  I really appreciated that and have not seen that in other Bibles. 

There are many helps which are not unique to this Bible, but help enhance its value.  For example, the Bible includes ~

Colorful Bible-land photos and graphics
Colored maps and charts within each chapter
Full cross-references with textual notes
Word studies and indexes
Bible Times and Culture Notes
Book introductions, outlines, and timelines
Reader-friendly notes and articles ideal for extended study
Concordance including proper names

Overall, this is an excellent Bible.  Well worth the price.

I received this book from booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an honest review.

Tidying and Organizing!!

The title of this book sounded very intriguing.  I would like to think I’m pretty tidy and keep things organized, then I look around, and not quite as good as I thought.  In her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Marie Kondo has written a very practical, although at times tedious book.

This was an easy to read book, although there were moments I felt as if it took too long to get to the point, which for me, was the practical application of what she was trying to teach.  The premise of the book is to teach people through various methods who to declutter their spaces.  Whether it's work, home or wherever, Marie has a thought about ways to declutter and then organize your space. 

One thing I really appreciated was the small length of each chapter.  It made the book easier to read, and I could put it down and easily pick it up back up to read.  The section about folding shirts was fun to read and one that I am going to try.  I have too many shirts already, so I think this will be a good test to see how it works.

Overall, this was a very good book and one I recommend to others.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  This is an unbiased review.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Nice and Entertaining Book

Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger, was a fun to read and entertaining book.  At times it seemed to drag, but it reminded me of my roots.  The story focuses on a Jewish assisted living facility in which one of the residents is murdered.  Mrs. Kaplan tries to solve the death of Bertha. 

The book has a number of Yiddish expressions in it, which would be used by Jewish adults, especially senior citizens.  I enjoyed the book.

I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Excellent Book About C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors.  I was thrilled to be able to read this book which helped me gain a better understanding of this prolific writer and Christian apologist.  In the book, C.S. Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian, Gregory Cootsona shares part of his struggles and how C.S. Lewis helped him on his journey to Christ.  C.S. Lewis struggled with the issue of faith and this book shares part of his journey as well.  Cootsona breaks this book down into sections dealing with crisis.

There is the ~

Crisis of Atheism
Crisis of Materialism
Crisis of Meaninglessness
Crisis of Anomie
Crises of Christian Faith
Jesus and the Crisis of other Myths
Crisis of the Bible
Crisis of Human Life
Crisis of Feeling
Crisis of Suffering
Crisis of Death

Because Lewis strongly believed in myths, he had to separate the myth of Jesus from the reality of Jesus.  Cootsona did an excellent job helping explain the process Lewis took, along with help from some of his literary friends, and Cootsona shared his journey as well. 

Overall, if you are a fan of C.S. Lewis or want to learn more about this powerful man of faith, I highly recommend this book.

I received this book from Westminster John Knox Press, and NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

Fascinating History of Baghdad

This was a fascinating book.  Justin Marozzi’s book, Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood, is about the city of Baghdad, looking at it from a historical view to the present day.  If you don’t like history, the book will be a struggle, since the book is filled with a great deal of historical accounts.  I enjoy history and appreciated gaining a greater understanding of Baghdad. 

Reading this helped me to better understand more about the people of Baghdad and their civilization.  I also gained a better appreciated for the differences between the Sunni’s and Shia’s.  The book details the brutality of fighting within the land and the peace which was also found in the same land. 

Marozzi leads back to the modern era, discussing themes and images which we have a better grasp of today.  Baghdad seemed to be a place filled with great diversity and a place filled with a great deal of culture.  I appreciated reading this book.  Again, it starts slow, and you need to be interested in history and Middle Eastern history, that is, Baghdad.

I received a digital copy of this book through Net Galley, in exchange for an honest review of this book.