"My dad served on a B-17 bomber crew during WWII but he never talked about it, so I'm interested in anything that tells me what his experience might h"My dad served on a B-17 bomber crew during WWII but he never talked about it, so I'm interested in anything that tells me what his experience might have been like."
I wrote that paragraph when I first added this book to my list, and seeing it again just now made me roll my eyes. I mean, I read a lot of books about all different aspects of WWII and other wars and don't feel the slightest need to explain my interest in them. But whenever I read a book about B-17s and their crews, a topic so personal to me, I feel very defensive about it. It's weird. I don't understand it at all.
Anyway, this book was a good one. I picked up a lot of good insight from it....more
There's a great story -- several great stories, in fact -- condensed into only 168 pages of text, but that's not necessarily a good thing. Also, the wThere's a great story -- several great stories, in fact -- condensed into only 168 pages of text, but that's not necessarily a good thing. Also, the writing is a bit overwrought.
The carnage at Lubeck Bay in May 1945 was the most amazing part of the book; I can't believe I'd never heard of it before....more
I was raised in the KJV-only tradition, and can remember my dad in the late 1960s looking askance at teenagers and young adults in our congregation buI was raised in the KJV-only tradition, and can remember my dad in the late 1960s looking askance at teenagers and young adults in our congregation burying their noses in Good News for Modern Man. I made a number of attempts to read the KJV in my youth, and might have made it all the way through once. As beautiful as the language is, I couldn't really make heads or tails of it.
It was many, many years later that my husband finally lured me into tasting the forbidden fruit of the NIV. And, hallelujah! The heavens opened and the angels sang! Finally, instead of laboring over what was to my mind a florid, overwrought text, it was all laid out clearly and simply before me. A pure pleasure to read, although, yes, my suspicious little mind insisted on laying out the KJV and NIV side by side on my first read-through. Now my most often-used Bible is an NASB wide-margin edition heavily annotated from my studies with FF Bruce, Alfred Edersheim, and Eusebius.
I tell you all this because I thought I had left the KJV far behind me, but after reading this book I'm tempted to give it another go.
God's Secretaries contains very little information on the actual work of creating the KJV, as so few in-process records have survived. What it does instead is to paint a picture of the environment in which the KJV was conceived and executed. England has passed through the violent paroxysms of the Reformation, old Queen Elizabeth has finally died, James of Presbyterian Scotland has taken the throne, and the Puritans have begun splitting off from the Church of England. Nicolson gives insight into the tenor of the times and the personalities and motivations of many of the men brought together to create this new, definitive English translation. Also, he does a very good job of explaining the lasting success of the KJV and selling it as far superior to any modern translation:
The Jacobean translation process was richly and densely social. Endless conversation and consultation flowed across the final judging committee, testing the translation not by sight but by ear. This Bible was appointed to be read in churches... and so its meaning had to be carried on a heard rhythm, it had to appeal to what T. S. Eliot later called 'the auditory imagination,' that 'feeling for syllable and rhythm, penetrating far below the conscious levels of thought and feeling, invigorating every word.'...more
I told Mark I'd write a review of this book before I was felled by the flu and, though I've lost some of the finer details to the fog of fever and oveI told Mark I'd write a review of this book before I was felled by the flu and, though I've lost some of the finer details to the fog of fever and over-medication, it's time to follow through.
One thing I found amazing was that I'd read some about patent medicines before, but the particular part of American medical history covered in this book had completely slipped under my radar. I was also amazed that so many seemingly intelligent individuals would submit themselves to Brinkley's surgical procedures, but the author explained this phenomenon so effectively that I was like, "Oh, okay, I can see that."
Also amazing were the scope of Brinkley's innovations in the fields of advertising and radio programming. If only he'd used his powers for good instead of evil...
The cast of characters running through this book was really interesting; Sinclair Lewis pops up, as do Eugene V Debs, Carl Sandburg, that Chandler guy who ran the LA Times, and, uh, I can't remember who else. Jung, I think. And others. Not all of them underwent Brinkley's treatments, but some did.
One quibble I had was that the book was such a breezy, witty read that it was easy to forget that Brinkley more than just a wily rascal; he killed or maimed a lot of people. And that's another amazing thing: Brinkley was never prosecuted for killing or maiming anyone. If I remember correctly, the author points out that no doctor (and Brinkley never actually was a real doctor) ever was prosecuted for killing a patient until the 1960s....more
An interesting warts-and-all look at TJ's post-presidential years, as well as the politics and economics of the early 19th century.
Being a descendantAn interesting warts-and-all look at TJ's post-presidential years, as well as the politics and economics of the early 19th century.
Being a descendant of the Eppes family and cousins with the Jeffersons and Randolphs, it was fascinating to see so many familiar names in the flesh, so to speak, and learn about their lives and personalities. I borrowed this book from the library, but enjoyed it so much that I want to buy my own copy to keep....more
On the cover it's described as a "devotional biography" and, after reading it, I'd have to say that tI'm really struggling with how to rate this book.
On the cover it's described as a "devotional biography" and, after reading it, I'd have to say that the term "biography" was applied rather loosely. There isn't a linear presentation of the facts of this man's life and career that you would expect, well, that I expect in a biography; it's more like a series of essays on Mullins' faith, works, and beliefs, with a few bare-bones biographical details thrown in.
This book told me very little that I didn't already know about Rich Mullins. I knew that he was a maverick and a basher of sacred cows, I had correctly deduced quite a bit about his beliefs from the lyrics of songs he wrote and his in-concert talks and from interviews he gave, and I admired the fact that he'd made a fortune and could have been even more successful in his field if he'd played along with the star-making machine but, instead, he chose to give away everything he had and work with the poor. I knew that he was one of those rare souls who put his money where his mouth was.
I wanted the linear biography. A more secular biography, I guess. So, in that sense, this book really disappointed me.
On the other hand, I'd hate to discourage anyone from reading it because there's real value here, especially for somebody struggling with their own faith or with Christianity as a whole, like I did for a good many years. What this book offers is an example of a man who truly lived his faith and whose views might make a lot more sense to anyone (like me) who's appalled by the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of this world and that narrow, bigoted and legalistic brand of Christianity gives all the rest of us such a bad name....more
A quick, absorbing read. It's more of a personal than a political memoir, though it does cover the major events in Iran's history from the mid-20th ceA quick, absorbing read. It's more of a personal than a political memoir, though it does cover the major events in Iran's history from the mid-20th century to the present in order to illustrate the differences in ordinary Iranians' lives under a secular government, then under the restored monarchy, and finally under a fundamentalist Islamic government which instituted sharia law, complete with Taliban-style behavior police.
Ebadi became a judge at age 23 and initially supported the revolution that sent the Shah packing, until she realized the immense personal costs that would follow. Many years later, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize due to her fight for democracy in Iran and for human rights under the law, especially for women, children, and political prisoners.