Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Beatitudes Study

"Blessings From Above:  A Deeper Look at the Beatitudes"  by Heather Hart is a study-devotional.  Hart picks apart the Beatitudes from the New Testament and defines them, making them easier to understand and relate to.  She brings to modern day.  Each day covers a beatitude and then gives a "in other words" section.  The "In other words" section involved a little further scripture reading and questions.  I felt the book gave a good place for a group study to start, but without the discussion left the reader feeling a little unfinished.  I would recommend this in a group setting.  There were a few editorial mistakes that interrupted the reading, such as piece for peace and there for their.  Little things that the editor should have caught, but a spell check would not have.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.bodyandsoulpublishing.com 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Shylock

"Shylock is My Name" by Howard Jacobson follows two men, both Jews and both with daughters who have turned away from their Jewish upbringing.    Shylock is the widower who is raising a teenage daughter who has stolen a family treasure to buy a monkey.  Stulovitch's wife had a stroke and has left the primary upbringing of their teen daughter to her father.  Both men are at a loss as to what to do with these girls.  Beatrice Stulovitch has ran away with a football (soccer) player who is in the habit of making the Nazi hand gesture while on the field.  She has been swept away with the art world, celebrities, and the glamour of reality television. 
The book is written in a 1920's Fitzgerald style of writing.  I was surprised when they talked of Tony Blair and realized that we were in modern day.  It is very European and very wordy.  The storyline is good, intriguing and full of drama.  However, the style is so different from the American usual, that it may take a little getting used to before the reader can truly get involved.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.firsttoread.com. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

I'm getting a vision

"The Witch of Lime Street:  Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World" by David Jaher tells the true story of how Houdini and his gang of scientist  exposed the scam artists otherwise known as Spiritualist.  Scientific American, a magazine during the 1920's, had arranged to have a contest for the medium that could pass all of their tests to be claimed "genuine".  During the 20's, America was going through a paranormal phase.  It was all the vogue.  Everyone wanted to believe it was true, though probably no one really did.  But it was fun to believe.  Much like our present day essential oils.  Houdini, however, was a skeptic, mostly because at one time he had been a fake mind reader/ medium.  His job in the contest was to figure out how the medium was faking.  He always got his ghost.  The medium that came the closest was Margery, the wife of a surgeon who deeply believed in spiritualism, even when he was faking it.  Margery was more charming then convincing and sometimes, that is all it takes.
This is a long, detailed book.  It is extremely well researched and beautifully written.  However, it is not a light read.  If you know little about this era or Houdini, I recommend watching the biography movie, Houdini, the one with Adrien Brody first.  It will help with catch up and visualization.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.bloggingforbooks.com.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Daylight

"Street God" by Dimas Salaberrios with Dr. Angela Hunt, is the autobiography of Salaberrios, street name, Daylight, a drug dealing boss from Queens.  Dimas began dealing at the age of 11 and transferred it to a regular career by the age of 14.  Though he wasn't raised to that lifestyle, his mother a principal and father a Community corrections officer, Dimas had big dreams of being a street god.  It was a life he chose.  He had other choices, he wasn't hungry, he knew right from wrong.  He wanted to be a dealer.  After many tangles with both the law and other dealers, Dimas comes to know Jesus.  He goes to Him in a naive state and learns his way around the church world.  Which isn't always better than the drug world.  He eventually learns what God has in mind for him and begins his own church and ministry, taking it to the very streets he that he began.
This book is an incredible story.  He never takes on a bragging atmosphere whether talking about the dealing or the preaching.  I am unsure how much is Salaberrios and how much is Hunt, but the writing is quiet charismatic.  I would highly recommend t his book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Tyndale Blog Network.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Methuselah Project review

"The Methuselah Project" by Rick Barry follows Roger Greene, a WWII fighter pilot who was shot down in Germany.  He was taken prisoner by the Reich and used in the Methuselah Project, which was experiments to achieve a super soldier.  A soldier that healed miraculously quick and didn't age.  Roger was held prisoner until 2015 when he finally escaped and came to the United States.  Katherine is an American woman in her early twenties who works for the modern day Nazi Party called the Heritage Order.  However, she doesn't have any knowledge of the what the Order actually does.  She is assigned to watch Roger and bring him in until her uncle, a high level member, returns from a hunting trip in Africa.  The story idea is great, however, the middle tends to drag.  That would be the only negative I could give.  The end reads similar to a Bourne novel. Lots of excitement and drama.   I really like the beginning and the end.  I received this book in exchange for a review from The Book Club Network. 

Why do bad things happen.......

In Shelley Hitz's "Trusting God When Bad Things Happen", Hitz asks the age old question:  Why do bad things happen to good people?  She never really answers, but she does give the tools to learning to trust God when the bad things do happen.  This is a small book; I used it like a devotional, but it really isn't.  She draws from her own life experiences and encourages the reader to journal.  I received this book from www.bodyandsoulpublishing.com

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Our family Christmas is over.  We have had quiet an eventful one.  Long too.  We've had over night guests.  Some are still here!  From Texas and Arizona to Missouri and Oregon.  Our version of Four Christmases included Star Wars, guitar jamborees, football, 5 hour poker games (twice), target practice, a couple of car wrecks, a tiny blizzard, extreme snacking, three babies, Christmas morning in London, and watching the Chiefs snag the playoffs live and in person.  Presents included homemade dishes, appliances, 4 pairs of shoes, and 6 World Series shirts!  It was fun while it lasted but I am glad things are calming down.  Time to think about the birth of our Savior and the impact of his life (and death).  Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year!