I previously reviewed Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy and found both books interesting and informative. I thought the style was somewhat simplistic, but overall they were interesting and decent starting grounds for people who want to look deeper into history. This book, however? It didn't even really serve that purpose. It was just... very, very strange.
Being George Washington wanted to be a biography while also wanting to be a legitimate history book, political history, and a self-help book. It wanted to prove that Washington was religious while also wanting to show how Washington bettered himself by simply being civil and persistent. Essentially? It wanted to be way too many things.
I think an editor needs to go at this book with a machete, restructure it, and find out where the book wants to live. I think the purpose of the book would overall be better served if it simply rested comfortably in the arms of a dramatic narrative such as Killing Lincoln did. I think the book would be better served by relying on primary documents without editorial asides trying to emphasize Christianity over Deism or any other religious point of view.
Just... it was a bit like reading through someone's scribbled notes in a textbook this way.(less)
I received this book through the GoodReads first reads program.
Ricky Maye's book is a concise examination of Christianity and the problems that he has...moreI received this book through the GoodReads first reads program.
Ricky Maye's book is a concise examination of Christianity and the problems that he has with the current incarnation of the faith. He explains how Christian's should strive to be more... well, Christian. What emerges is an understanding of the faith that incorporates the understanding, empathy, and altogether open-mindedness of the faith that existed when the religion first came into existence. I've no problem whatsoever with this message, and indeed, think it is altogether quite a good one.
The book didn't receive more stars from me because altogether this message is one that I've read/heard many times before. I didn't feel that this book brought anything to the table that other authors have not previously thought about and/or wrote about or spoke about in other mediums. Indeed, I thought some other books (such as Jesus for President) did it a bit better. This book, however, may reach a larger audience as it is readily available through more mediums and might catch someone else's eye.
It's a pretty good quick read, in other words. :)(less)
As other reviewers have said, Anne Lamott does come off as annoyingly insecure here. Her insecurity, while an accurate re...moreI liked this book in general.
As other reviewers have said, Anne Lamott does come off as annoyingly insecure here. Her insecurity, while an accurate reflection on the way a lot of writers feel and... well, are is still a bit much at times. Likewise, sometimes she gets a bit carried away talking about her own life and it goes past the point of being merely an example.
All the same, this book did prove helpful. It's a good wake up call to people who think writing is easy, and it's a good wake up call to writers that are struggling that... well, you need to actually sit down and /write/.
I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to write, whether professionally or merely as a hobby.(less)
I won this book through the GoodReads First-Reads giveaway.
I wasn't entirely sure what I expected to get from this book. The title, of course, intrigu...moreI won this book through the GoodReads First-Reads giveaway.
I wasn't entirely sure what I expected to get from this book. The title, of course, intrigued me as did the description. Nevertheless, I don't entirely feel that either quite does the book justice. The book is more than just a treatise on what it means to be a Christian in the modern world and it's a bit more than what it means to be involved in the world in a positive way. For me, the book seemed to be more about what it means to live a full life, according to your own values and expectations.
While the book did drag on in a few places, notably when talking about faith, the words jumped off the page in a few other places. I was surprised by the selflessness with which the authors acted, and the honesty which their children showed. Patience and perseverance were likewise in evidence, and altogether the book served as a good reminder that now and again we all could slow down a bit and perhaps compromise a bit less on what matters most to us. If we want something to happen, we need to take the first step. If someone we love wants something to happen and takes the first step, it would do to help them make it a reality, too.(less)
I won this book through the GoodReads first reads program.
I wanted to enjoy this book far more than I actually did. I had not read anything on Bonhoef...moreI won this book through the GoodReads first reads program.
I wanted to enjoy this book far more than I actually did. I had not read anything on Bonhoeffer prior, beyond a brief reference to him in a book on philosophy that I read years ago. Jon Walker did a decent job of explaining his most basic beliefs throughout the book, but never went in depth in regards to it without it being directly related to horrible events within the authors life.
The basis of the book is admirable - essentially explaining that the hard times we go through are meant to define us and help us fully develop our character and faith. The trouble I had with the book was that I never fully felt that any change occurred. Jon Walker went through tragedy, and says he has come to terms with it but still, the tone was altogether rather bitter. Rather than feeling as if the book had helped me or enlightened me in terms of philosophy and theology, I came away from the book downright depressed and confused.
The book would be better served by framing the stories around Bonhoeffer, rather than tragedies within the author's life. By framing it with the philosophy it would have enhanced the events; by framing it with the events, the philosophy was lost in what seemed like self pity. I understand that others thoroughly loved the book, and took a great deal from it. Unfortunately, I simply wasn't one of them.(less)
I won this book through the Goodreads first-reads program. :)
This book was utterly delightful. Preeti Gupta takes a casual look at the different philo...moreI won this book through the Goodreads first-reads program. :)
This book was utterly delightful. Preeti Gupta takes a casual look at the different philosophies of various religions in order to convey her own views of what spirituality entails. While a heady topic, Preeti Gupta writes with all the humor of a book such as He's Just Not Into You and it comes off as more a casual conversation than a book. The asides are hilarious, the perspective no-nonsense, and the message a truly wonderful one. I have to admit, I laughed a great deal.
The book suffered from a few typos, easily enough fixed, and a questionable cover - but we don't judge a book by that, right? I think this book is an excellent primer for anyone interested in spirituality and wanting to ponder what they believe and why. This isn't a book for someone more interested in the scholastic side of theology, the debates about meaning and intention and all of that. This is a book for the practical person, one who wants to learn how to actively invite a more fulfilling life based upon.. well, hedging your bets. Want to learn how to invoke more good Karma than bad without meditating? Well, this book has some good ideas. ;)(less)
Well, I won this book through the goodreads first-reads program.
The Joy Compass is a pocketsized book, a short easy guide towards creating a more rela...moreWell, I won this book through the goodreads first-reads program.
The Joy Compass is a pocketsized book, a short easy guide towards creating a more relaxing and optimistic day to day life. The teachings are essentially an introduction to Buddhism, but the book does manage to not be overly spiritual in its presentation. The tidbits, while simple, are also rather helpful quick fixes towards easily relaxing and approaching life in a more together manner.
So, while not life-changing, this book is a good reminder to sit back every now and then and breathe. I can think of several people in my life who would benefit from slowing down once in a while. The diaphragmatic breathing method mentioned here is also something I could use more of in general.
In essence: decreasing stress is nearly always a good thing. ;)(less)
I won this book through the Good Reads first reads program!
Terri Sjodin has truly done something novel. She has managed to write a book that concisely...moreI won this book through the Good Reads first reads program!
Terri Sjodin has truly done something novel. She has managed to write a book that concisely details what you need to do when making a business proposal, or otherwise attempting to engage someone in a remarkably short amount of time. This, the elevator speech (so called because you should be able to deliver it in the time it takes to take a trip on the elevator), is a business strategy that is the essence of short and sweet.
The chapters explain just how to write it, the back of the book has the outlines needed to draft one of your own, and there's an index for easy searchability. The book couldn't have been more clearly laid out and easier to understand. Everything you need is there, and more than that, it worked.
After reading the book I followed what it said and gave two (!) presentations to local businesses. I got both jobs, and couldn't have felt better. This book, for me, is a keeper and something very good to reference from time to time.(less)
I'm a fan of self-help books, generally because I enjoy improving myself. A good number of self-help b...moreI won this book through the first-reads program.
I'm a fan of self-help books, generally because I enjoy improving myself. A good number of self-help books, though, tend to focus upon immediate improvement and immediate gratification. Well, immediate results tend to be rare, and don't last. Luckily, this book not only acknowledges that fact, but celebrates it.
This book is divided into 52 different short tips that you can execute fairly easily. Everything from napping (Einstein did it) to slowing down your practice is discussed, and in such short snippets that it never feels pedantic.
I, for one, know that I'll be taking these tips to heart... one at a time, and probably for 8 weeks at time waiting for it all to sink in. I think this is a helpful guide for just about anyone, though. Who doesn't enjoy improving their skill sets? :)(less)
I won this book through the first-reads program and was rather surprised when it came all the way from Australia. Then again, those who live in the la...moreI won this book through the first-reads program and was rather surprised when it came all the way from Australia. Then again, those who live in the land of flame and poison where everything can kill you probably know a fair bit about living their lives to the fullest. I'm still trying to imagine looking out the window to see a bunch of kangaroo grazing. Must be quite the sight.
Although I read a fair number of self-help books, I'd yet to encounter any one quite like this. This book takes a very realistic, very pragmatic view about how to enact change in your life. You aren't happy? Then change things. You're afraid of the financial side of it - well here, we'll help you figure it out. The book fully acknowledges that some of the changes may take years to put into place, but it's there for you every step of the way.
The formatting of the book is easy and accessible. If going back to the book for further advice, all I'd need to do is decide which chapter and subsection, easy enough, and if a section references something from another chapter, it says so. Very helpful.
In addition to all this the book had a lovely bibliography in the back, stuck right behind the author's offer to hear from those who read her book. Feel like a change? Caroline Cameron is there for you. Just accomplished a change? Caroline Cameron still wants to hear from you. Who knows, maybe you'll be referenced in her next book, or on her lovely website. I have to say, I'd like to redesign a bit of my life right now, and this certainly has given me both the incentive and tools to do such.(less)
You know how sometimes you get so overwhelmed with work you don't know what to do?
That's what this book helps with. I found the advice in it helpful,...moreYou know how sometimes you get so overwhelmed with work you don't know what to do?
That's what this book helps with. I found the advice in it helpful, if a bit annoying at times. While it became painfully obvious at several points that David Allen was trying to get people to go to his seminars or hire him to help, the overall message of the book was still good.
It's a nice guide to how to organize your projects and your life so that you can be more efficient. Just please realize that work and life can be separate things.(less)
This book is a collection of sermons of sorts, all based upon the line in scripture that the title of...moreI won this book through the first-reads program.
This book is a collection of sermons of sorts, all based upon the line in scripture that the title of the book itself comes from. The sections are labeled by topic (i.e. Self-Discipline, Stewardship, Holiness, Thanksgiving, etc.) and each topic is discussed for a number of pages.
The book is a highly personal project, and may of the topics are referenced with anecdotes from the author David Barton's own life, or the life of others that he has met within his parish. This gives the book a bit of a confessional quality, and also a certain level of comfort. 'Ah, so someone else has gone through this trouble' one might think.
The first two thirds of Section I of the book I quite enjoyed. The book had a message that was both religious and secular, and essentially was there to remind one to do good for good's sake. Don't worry too much, but don't slack off. The advice was good, and David Barton deferred to common sense above all else for the most part. I found a great deal of comfort in this section. My trouble with the book arose in the final third of Section I where the book took up a more religious message, which is to be expected.
Section II of the book is divided in a similar fashion to the first, and contains the basis of lesson plans based around the different topics. This way, a Bible Study course, or an action person of religious authority could build their own preachings off of it. These outlines were well thought out, and I would like to hear what some would come up with based on them. It'd be entertaining to listen to, and as I said previously, the message of doing good for good's sake is one I enjoy.
All in all, this book was quite solid. I took a good deal of comfort in it, and in the Further Thinking questions found some aspects of my life that I would much like to improve.(less)
"If you know the theory, you can use it. If you don't, you can't."
Those are the words that generally sum up my response to this book. The Bowen Theory...more"If you know the theory, you can use it. If you don't, you can't."
Those are the words that generally sum up my response to this book. The Bowen Theory is a theory of familial interactions, or more, just relationship interactions in general. If one person is affected by anxiety, the rest of the group reacts to it. The book is concise, succinct, and in general quite easy for the layperson to understand. I found it remarkable how many of the points I was able to relate to my own experiences in life.
Generally, I would recommend that people read this and take away what they care to. If they disagree, then they disagree, but at least they gave it a chance. I believe, in reading this, that I learned a good deal about human interaction and ways to improve my own actions and reactions to society around me.
"Carrots & sticks are so last century. Drive says for 21st century work, we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery & purpose."
Couldn't much say...more"Carrots & sticks are so last century. Drive says for 21st century work, we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery & purpose."
Couldn't much say it better myself.
This book is concise, and quite obviously designed to be used as a guide. Part III, after all, is a toolkit for implementing the ideas that the first two sections cover.
I agree with Pink's idea, though I do believe the economy would have to be a bit better for it to be successful. Either that or a great majority would have to switch to his Motivation 3.0 for it to be massively effective.(less)
I was resistant to this book from the beginning. The introduction, forward, etc. contained far too much spiritual guidance. If there is a God, I someh...moreI was resistant to this book from the beginning. The introduction, forward, etc. contained far too much spiritual guidance. If there is a God, I somehow doubt he is sitting up there and saying to himself "I want you, Fox, to continue writing about zombies." Just a broad thought there, but oh well. The spiritual new agey feel of it got me to refer to it forever as "The Woo Woo Book". Still: I gave it three stars, and was tempted to give it more.
The book, for the most part, is quite good. While the practices were something I initially resisted, I did find that the more I did them the more 'creative' I felt. It did spur some surprising revelations in me, it did get me to start questioning some of my habits and become more proactive. It did, and this is the kicker, make me think. I couldn't really ask more of the book, as all of this and more was what it promised it would do.
So, three stars for this. The final two were not granted it due precisely to the annoying and heavyhanded new age spirituality, which really wasn't -that- overwhelming in it. The practical aspects of the book itself deserve five stars. I would recommend this to anyone working through a creative block, but with strict instructions to mock the annoying bits, or at least snicker at them. This book is good at making you face up to your own bad habits.(less)
The general idea of the book is that there are forces at work to take away your joy - the general way that they work is through bad mindsets. Lessons...moreThe general idea of the book is that there are forces at work to take away your joy - the general way that they work is through bad mindsets. Lessons can be learned through the scripture that can set you into a correct mindset.
I found this book incredibly informative and deeply helpful. Just reading the book set me at a greater ease, and I feel that I took a lot out of it. Repeated readings will probably further help me, but in general, I would gladly recommend this book to anyone.
The only annoying part of the book were the annotations to the scripture that Joyce Meyer placed. It made it harder to read at times.(less)
Post Secret is art, but at its heart it is healing.
Somewhere within the secrets you're forced to face yourself, you're forced to realize different as...morePost Secret is art, but at its heart it is healing.
Somewhere within the secrets you're forced to face yourself, you're forced to realize different aspects of your own life and psyche and come to terms with them. That's what Post Secret is about, to me, acknowledgment.
I just wish I had the courage to send in my own.(less)
Post Secret is a beautiful, beautiful thing. It can be humorous, disturbing, shocking, touching, and at times even life-changing. I do not say this li...morePost Secret is a beautiful, beautiful thing. It can be humorous, disturbing, shocking, touching, and at times even life-changing. I do not say this lightly, either. The book is something that will make you question your own life, something that is always a fascinating thing. I'd recommend this to everyone, and someday hope to go to the Post Secret Exhibits myself.(less)
This is another book that has been sitting on my To-Read pile for ages. I saw that Jennifer Connelly was in the film, and felt a distinct need to read...moreThis is another book that has been sitting on my To-Read pile for ages. I saw that Jennifer Connelly was in the film, and felt a distinct need to read the book. The book, needless to say, was hilarious.
As much as I wanted to hate the book, it being a relationship guide more or less that takes the stance of Let The Guy Do the Chasing, after reading it I have to say that... well, it's right. Everyone wants to be the exception, but everyone ends up being pretty much the rule. Exceptions are, after all, exceptional.
I will say, however, that me reading this book now may count as cheating. It pretty much just showed me how lucky I am to be in a great relationship that makes me feel like a superfox.(less)
Although the advice this book gives primarily consists of the obvious (don't talk to your ex, take control of your life, keep m...moreWhat a delightful book.
Although the advice this book gives primarily consists of the obvious (don't talk to your ex, take control of your life, keep moving, etc.) it is presented in a fun and amusing way that makes this book an entertaining read.
The book is formatted into two sections (1: The Break Up, 2: The Breakover) and these two sections are split into chapters that tend to consist of advice, testimonials, and then projects (journal, cooking, etc.). This is very helpful and makes for a concise and pleasurable read.
The rules that the book states in order to get your life back in order are also good and easily applicable. The important thing about this book, and one that makes this a very good self-help book, is that the book is based around helping you make better choices in relationships in the future. The people writing the book aren't gloating about their relationship, just offering tidbits. The book doesn't put you down, and just the ridiculousness of being referred to as a Superfox throughout it makes you feel pretty good.(less)
A very cute, delightful guide on how to make your own beauty products. This book is aimed at children, and as such, it gives very concise, easy to und...moreA very cute, delightful guide on how to make your own beauty products. This book is aimed at children, and as such, it gives very concise, easy to understand descriptions of each of the items it's teaching you to make. It gives a nice overview of different body types and general care as well.
I liked this book, and would gladly experiment with some of the items it gives you to make if I had to money to purchase the ingredients on me. As it is, I'll probably be checking it out again to make some lotion and perfume in the future. :)(less)