I truly enjoyed this book when I read it. Although I agree with other reviewer's that Wallis has a tendency to oversimplify complex social and politic...moreI truly enjoyed this book when I read it. Although I agree with other reviewer's that Wallis has a tendency to oversimplify complex social and political issues, I also feel that politicians and media like to over-complicate those some issues, so perhaps some simplification is in order.
What stuck with me most from this book were Wallis' many examples of how a shared vision could create common ground for Dems and Reps to truly work together to create workable solutions to real problems, even on some of our country's most seemingly polarized issues, such as abortion. I may not agree with all of Wallis' opinions, but I do like his arguments.
However, my opinion of this book has been tainted by a bad experience with the author himself. I had the opportunity to listen to Wallis speak at a conference and to ask him a question. Wallis speaks often about how the majority of religions represented in our country share common morals, supporting his Judeo-Christian vision. I asked him how a political vision with an overtly religious basis could include, rather than alienate atheists and agnostics who are just as much a part of our country's social/moral/political tradition.
Instead of answering my question, Wallis launched into an anecdote about how he once prayed with leaders of three different religions in a jail cell. The story had nothing to do with atheists or agnostics in the least, leaving me feeling ignored and dismissed. Unfortunately, I think that is how Wallis' political vision would leave those in our country who do not practice a religion.(less)
A fun read if you like quirky history and tales of dark deeds. Jack shares different explanations for the origins of English nursery rhymes, some of w...moreA fun read if you like quirky history and tales of dark deeds. Jack shares different explanations for the origins of English nursery rhymes, some of which are fact, but many a combination of history and myth. As entertaining as it is, the book has a few downfalls. One being that if you lack a basic understanding of English history you could very easily become lost amongst all the Marys, Elizabeths, Richards, and Henrys. The fact that the rhymes are ordered alphabetically, rather than in groupings with related origins does not help the fact. The other main downfall is that although Jack appears to consider himself a witty writer, he is not. He makes some lackluster attempts at jokes, but the history can still get a bit dry at times. (less)
**spoiler alert** Fortunately the concluding chapter of Miller's series featured more action than the last installment, which I remember moving very s...more**spoiler alert** Fortunately the concluding chapter of Miller's series featured more action than the last installment, which I remember moving very slowly. Reluctant Mage was slow to start (I didn't think Deenie would ever decide to leave Lur!) but it picked up quickly after that.
I do have to say that I wish Miller had spent more time exploring the developing relationship between Deenie and Ewen and less on her remaining time in Lur. Still enjoyed it overall!
A couple of other failings include Miller's characteristic tendency to have an exceedingly long build-up to an all-to-brief climax. She also seems to enjoy focusing different novels within the same series on entirely different main characters, which makes the overall plot feel a little disjointed and unbalanced at times. The jilting wasn't as extreme in the Fisherman's Children as in the bizarre Godspeaker Trilogy, but it did feel like two entirely separate stories at times, especially with the introduction of Ewen. (less)