Greg Boyd (theology professor at Bethel College in Minneapolis, Minnesota) had a written dialogue concerning the merits of the Christian faith with hiGreg Boyd (theology professor at Bethel College in Minneapolis, Minnesota) had a written dialogue concerning the merits of the Christian faith with his (non-believing) father Edward Boyd and Letters from a Skeptic is the collection of that discourse. The book consists of twenty-nine questions asked in writing over the course of three years and twenty-nine responses. Both Boyd men approach the conversation with gusto and a steep level of intellectualism.
At first I was uncertain about the book only because having grown up going to church and going to a Christian college I found myself saying, "yeah I know that already". As I read on though and saw Boyd Sr. deepening questions I grew more and more interested. Greg Boyd answers his father's questions with the researched and well-thought out answers and explanations one would expect from a theology professor. Edward Boyd never lets up however asking difficult questions and mulling over the answers.
This personal look into a father and son's discussion is probably the best book on apologetics (defending one's faith) that I've ever read. People looking for answers, an intellectual read will both enjoy and be intrigued by this piece of Christian nonfiction....more
I loved how this book started- a typical writer's problem, how to write a story that is appealing to your audience, but also is new and not a copy ofI loved how this book started- a typical writer's problem, how to write a story that is appealing to your audience, but also is new and not a copy of something else written before. The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Ship that Sank Twice is the story of a writer who decides to craft a story and develop his son to essentially be the main character of the fantasy world.
The real Tommy Taylor's life is briefly described from infancy through the beginnings of toddlerhood. The fantasy Tommy Taylor's life is described from his beginning through adventures that for the sake of this review I will not go into detail about. The ethics of the writer sculpting his real son into a fantasy character is briefly touched upon and provides a very intersting point of discussion and contemptation.
I was very interested by this story. The storyline is intriguing and the artwork is beautiful. Mike Carey does a great job of creating different voices for different characters. The only point of contention I have is that the cursive during the writer's discussion, while pretty, is difficult to read. ...more
I had the opportunity to read “The Warrior” by Wanda Anne Thomas as a winner of Goodreads Giveaways. As a result I really wanted to like this book andI had the opportunity to read “The Warrior” by Wanda Anne Thomas as a winner of Goodreads Giveaways. As a result I really wanted to like this book and give it a good star count and review; it seemed only fitting. Unfortunately I don’t feel I can do this. The beginning of the book dragged on. Perhaps it was my fault for reading the back blurb, but the first hundred pages of the novel were explained in the three paragraphs on the back of the book and I found that irritating. I found it annoying that the engagement and marriage of the two main characters was drawn out so much. If it hadn’t been described so succinctly I may not have noticed The end of the book was slightly exciting and enjoyable; however, as opposed to the beginning the end seemed rushed. Nevertheless it still seemed outlandish and difficult to follow. I wouldn’t recommend this book at all honestly. Truthfully, I would have stopped reading 50 pages in but only did out of respect for the fact that I received it as a First Read. ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Cut Me Loose" by Leah Vincent. Given the subject matter of the book, being cut off from her family and community becauseI thoroughly enjoyed reading "Cut Me Loose" by Leah Vincent. Given the subject matter of the book, being cut off from her family and community because of writing letters to a boy whom she wasn't related to, it seems strange to say it was an enjoyable book but it was a fast and easy read. As a reader who knows very little about Judaism and had never even heard of the Yeshivish sect I thought Vincent did an excellent job explaining the rules, regulations, customs, and traditions of the religion.
I would venture to say that in today's society there are many people who have been abandoned, pushed out, disowned by their families for various reasons and I believe that this book does a good job giving voice to those experiences. It would, in my opinion, be a good read for someone who has dealt with the rejection of the people who are supposed to love them unconditionally.
I think the one part that I was most disappointed of is the brevity to which she gives to the one good relationship she seemed to have- with her husband Zeke. It might as well have been an epilogue. I was also confused as to whether or not she is still married to him. While that information isn't necessarily relevant it was odd that there was no mention of her being married in her "about the author" or seemingly mention of husband or child in the acknowledgments page. Again, just a curiosity factor, but one that I think is semi-justified given the fact that the book is a memoir....more
This is an interesting book. Stitches details briefly part of Anne Lamott's journey through life and how she's learned to deal with suffering and painThis is an interesting book. Stitches details briefly part of Anne Lamott's journey through life and how she's learned to deal with suffering and pain. It is not overly comprehensive, but intriguing nonetheless.
Lamott's overarching idea is to take the things we're faced with and face them (not ignore and pretend they don't exist). Through personal stories she details how she and friends have managed to survive through terrible circumstances. The title Stitches comes from her idea that through "one stitch at a time" we take the "ripped shreds" of lives and sew them back together.
This was perhaps not the most profound thing I've ever read, but then again I do not believe it is meant to be. This book, I believe, is meant as a comfort for those hurting. A guide for those lost. In those ways Lamott achieves success....more
**spoiler alert** Touched by Fire is one of those fascinating historical fiction novels that whisks the reader away to another time and place. That ti**spoiler alert** Touched by Fire is one of those fascinating historical fiction novels that whisks the reader away to another time and place. That time and place is the early 1900s in Russia, Germany, and America. Irene N. Watts gives a fictionalized account of a young girl named Miriam, a Jew of Russian descent, whose family flees to Berlin after the pogroms inflicted by Tsar Nicholas. The family then works to their way to America- the Golden Land.
What I found most interesting was the connections this book helped me make between cause and effect. The oppressive Russian regime pushed the Jews out of Germany who in turn thirty years down the road imprisoned and executed those same families.
The story also details what is said to have been the biggest factory fire in U.S. history. Watts weaves a fascinating and heartbreaking tale. Though this is a fictionalized account- it's easy to imagine how easily this could be one immigrant's or many immigrants' story.
Reading the account of the Golden Land free from persecution and extreme poverty also helps to reinforce just how lucky I, as an American citizen, am and just how important it is for this country to continue to be safe harbor for "your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free". I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction- specifically the historical fiction set in the early 1900s. It's a captivating and quick read.
The last thing that I would say (and this will give away a good deal) is that it also reinforced just how dangerous being stubborn and refusing to see the truth actually can be....more
V. Arrow's The Panem Companion is quite enlightening. She has done an in depth analysis of The Hunger Games series on everything from a proposed map oV. Arrow's The Panem Companion is quite enlightening. She has done an in depth analysis of The Hunger Games series on everything from a proposed map of the Panem and explanations behind the characters names to the culture and socio-economic realities of Panem.
The depth of research and analysis that Arrow goes in to is quite impressive. I found this book helped expand my thoughts on The Hunger Games series and if Arrow's analysis is correct the depth of research and thought that Suzanne Collins put into her novels.
Over and over again Arrow points out the connections between the world of Panem and present day society: either in compare/contrast or just how closely tied the two are. Perhaps the most thought provoking line (and the most haunting) comes from the last few lines of this book. "The final question behind the Hunger Games series, one that we attempt to answer over and over again, is not What happened to Panem? but What's happening to us?
If you enjoyed the Hunger Games series and you like reading analysis and theories and research behind your favorite books then I would highly recommend this....more
I found this book to take the same trajectory as many of the nonfiction, information laden books I read. The first third of the book I was captivatedI found this book to take the same trajectory as many of the nonfiction, information laden books I read. The first third of the book I was captivated and fascinated. I read every sentence and took copious notes. As the book wore on though I began scanning more and more, reading the headlines, and skipping larger and larger sections that seemed unnecessary and superfluous.
In Church 3.0 Neil Cole explains and espouses the organic church model, a model he terms church 3.0. Learning about the church model was very informative and interesting. Beginning in chapter four however he begins comparing the organic church movement to other movements that are happening across the country and the world. Perhaps this is the postmodern in me (he discusses postmodernism and its effect on culture and the church fairly extensively in chapter one) but I grow suspicious of anyone who knocks down other Christian movements as being wrong. In my opinion and having been part of many different church movements throughout my lifetime I strongly believe God works through all of them. I strongly dislike any time Christians tear one another down- which is what Cole seems to be doing to other church movements. Why can't we just accept that God reaches people in a multitude of ways and get along? Why is it so important that one way of doing church and worshipping God is the "right" way?
I agree with many of Cole's conclusions based on my own study of the Bible and personal experiences. I just don't like the tone he seems to convey in the latter chapters of his book. I understand, of course, that this book's purpose is to espouse the benefits of the organic church movement, but that doesn't change the fact that it makes me uncomfortable that there is a strong tone of superiority that comes off the page.
I'd recommend the first three chapters of the book. They are enlightening and educating. I'd even hesitantly recommend the rest of the book, but not for intensive reading or study. ...more
I eagerly anticipated "Savage Drift" the third and final installment of Emmy Laybourne's Monument 14 trilogy. Perhaps it is the 'curse' of a trilogy tI eagerly anticipated "Savage Drift" the third and final installment of Emmy Laybourne's Monument 14 trilogy. Perhaps it is the 'curse' of a trilogy that I was not as impressed by this final book. I cannot pinpoint exactly what it is- perhaps if I reread all three back to back I'll be able to enjoy the fervor and excitement I had when reading the first two in the series. The story is gritty and has the reader hanging on by a thread as you wonder what will happen to the different characters. But to me it wasn't as gripping. I didn't care as much about the characters and wasn't as concerned about their outcomes as I had been in the previous two books. The connection wasn't the same. The book seemed drier, not as powerful....more
**spoiler alert** I am not, as a rule of thumb, a big fan of the second work of a series. Whether it's a book or a movie, the middle work in a series**spoiler alert** I am not, as a rule of thumb, a big fan of the second work of a series. Whether it's a book or a movie, the middle work in a series tends to be stagnant, boring, and serves only as a means to an end. There are countless examples that I could but will refain from listing. In Sky on Fire though Emmy Laybourne has managed to accomplish the rare, if not the impossible: a middle work that is just as enthralling, possibly even more enthralling than, the original.
I could barely put this book down. Laybourne takes readers on a heart-pounding, mind-blowing journey. (Please don't read this paragraph if you haven't read the first book!) Sky on Fire switches between Alex's and Dean's points of view chronically detailing both the journey to Devner and evacuation and the fight for survival in Monument at the Greenway. The changing perspectives is helpful given the series is marked by the number of days that have passed but becomes an absolutely essential literary device as the reader reaches the book's climax. Laybourne proceeds to wrap up the story but also create a phenomanal cliffhanger that leaves the reader excited and anticipating of what happens next. Needless to say I cannot wait to read the third book, Savage Drift.
Laybourne's easily accessible and action driven story is highly enjoyable. Anyone who has read and enjoyed the first book of this series (Monument 14), who enjoys post-apocolyptic fiction, and/or who enjoys fast-paced conflict-laden fiction will devour this book....more
This book was awesome and enjoyable to read. It's fascinating and terrifying at the same time as it's one of the most realistic apocalyptic scenariosThis book was awesome and enjoyable to read. It's fascinating and terrifying at the same time as it's one of the most realistic apocalyptic scenarios I've encountered. I couldn't put the book down as I had to know what happened next.
The writing is simple and easy to understand but not dumbed down in any way. I found out about this book from a student and the premise intrigued me so I decided to check it out. As an adult I still found this a good read.
If you enjoy apocalyptic fiction or end-of-the-world tales or really just coming-of-age tales then I would recommend this book to you....more
This quick and easy read was enjoyable. In it Vizzini recounts his high school experience complete with side notes and comics. He describes the awkwarThis quick and easy read was enjoyable. In it Vizzini recounts his high school experience complete with side notes and comics. He describes the awkwardness of a 90s teen nerd and all the challenges that come along with it.
The writing is fast-paced and the book enjoyable. If you're looking for a chuckle, this is a good bet....more
Michael J. Spencer delves into the history of the burgeoning film industry in Hollywood in the Rockies: Colorado, the West, and America's Film PioneerMichael J. Spencer delves into the history of the burgeoning film industry in Hollywood in the Rockies: Colorado, the West, and America's Film Pioneers. He recounts the beginnings of film in Europe to it's inception and growth in the United States. I was unaware and quite fascinated to learn just how pivital Colorado and the filmmakers who flocked there were to the film industry. History seems to have forgotten the first innovators and stars of the film industry; however, Spencer educates his readers on the nearly lost past.
Film enthusiasts and curious purveyors alike will find this read intriguing. Filled with photos and facts this book is both a quick and informative read. ...more
**spoiler alert** I grew intrigued by this book listening to Portia de Rossi's interview with Ellen and Oprah. Her story is heartbreaking and painful,**spoiler alert** I grew intrigued by this book listening to Portia de Rossi's interview with Ellen and Oprah. Her story is heartbreaking and painful, making it difficult to read. There were multiple points where I wanted to just stop reading- after all I know the outcome, she overcomes. I continued though to read and I'm glad I did.
De Rossi recounts in vivid and excruciating detail what her life had become while attempting to reach a perfect weight with a lack of fat. She discusses conversations with family, friends, and therapists from when they unknowingly encouraged/aided her eating disorders to their realizations and pleading for her to seek help. She also discusses how her knowledge of her sexuality and her desire to hide that from the rest of the world played into her feelings of shame and need to hide.
The epilogue of the book was, in my opinion, the most powerful and made the entire book worth reading. She discusses the fact that being (mis)diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and suffering from bone loss and the potential of organ failure helped her begin the road to recovery. She makes powerful statements about listening to one's own body and a different outlook on dieting and exercise. She discusses the difference of ordered eating (eating when you're hungry and stopping when you're full) and disordered eating (obsessing about food and ignoring your body's signals). She also promotes living an active lifestyle as opposed to obsessively running or working out in a gym. It was these, and other insights she gained during her recovery, which I believe send the most powerful message: about recovery, about hope, and about living life happily....more
It felt very weird and even disrespectful at points to read someone else's prayers. They're so intimate and deep. Still I found it fascinating and valIt felt very weird and even disrespectful at points to read someone else's prayers. They're so intimate and deep. Still I found it fascinating and valuable. I couldn't help but nod in agreement with what she had to say and wonder "does God mind if I steal prayers from this book as my own?"
If it's not too awkward to read someone else's prayers then I would definitely recommend this book- to anyone who is struggling with what they want versus what they don't have, who hasn't yet achieved their purpose in life, and just to anyone who seeks to deepen their relationship with God....more