This is by far one of the most well written, beautiful and helpful Christian books I've ever read. Often I find these sorts of books trite and just reThis is by far one of the most well written, beautiful and helpful Christian books I've ever read. Often I find these sorts of books trite and just regurgitating common sense, and rather over simplistic and condescending. Not so this one. The author Joanna Weaver puts herself firmly in the reader's shoes and you can easily identify with what she says. She identifies with you, and doesn't judge, even though she has a thoroughly important message. And, whilst the message is simple - based on the few verses that tell of the difference between Mary and Martha when Jesus visited them; one sitting at his feet in the living room listening and one busy in the kitchen, it shows how we - mainly women, though applicable and relevant to men too - need a "Living Room" experience of God. Familiar, friendly, intimate ... Which is what He desires.
Written conversationally, with humour and sensitivity, and with many personal anecdotes, Mrs Weaver, a busy Pastor's wife, church leader, wife, homemaker (as Americans say), mother, author etc etc doesn't make you feel inadequate, but takes the reader on her journey of discovery of these wonderful insights, which she shares, and cites many other well known authors as she does so, so it is written intelligently too. An easy fast read. Whilst written in an American style, it isn't too much for British (other) readers to enjoy/relate to, and is written cross-culturally. I especially like Mrs Weaver's observation about how much of the Old and New Testaments speak to anxiousness, stress, and depression etc ... We think of these as modern afflictions but clearly "worriers" are a universal and all-time phenomenon, and that is remarkably reassuring, given how many verses in the Bible speak to that and offer respite.
I challenge any Christian not to take something from this book, but it is especially written for women. In fact, I would go as far as to say something could be gleaned for ANY searching woman, no matter what faith, if they are open minded. I think Muslim ladies who follow the Koran's reverence of Jesus would be blessed by this book too, and Jewish ladies with Messianic curiosity would find much in these pages as whilst it focuses on a few verses of the New Testament, it is essentially about a woman's personal relationship with God (often overlooked in patriarchal religions) and I can't see why any monotheists wouldn't take something away, especially those of the Abrahamic Faiths.
This is a book that really spoke to my heart, and I'm rather cynical if I'm honest. I'd go so far as to say that this lady is firmly in her Living Room and this book is inspired, it certainly passed that inspiration on to me. A must-read for all Christian women, a book to keep around and re-read periodically! This book can also be studied in a group setting, but equally solo-study.
The Symposium (or Dinner/Drinking Party) was a fast, informative, absorbing read. I have not read Plato before nor much of Ancient Greek literature (eThe Symposium (or Dinner/Drinking Party) was a fast, informative, absorbing read. I have not read Plato before nor much of Ancient Greek literature (except the Iliad and Odyssey) so this was an interesting, easy, first step. Socrates of course is well known as a historical figure (even so far as being in popular culture ie Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure!) but it was great insight into his life and philosophies to read of him in this. Plato's story - or rather recitation of an event (be that fiction or non-fiction) - is built around, leading up to Socrates' statements on the subject of Love, and his genius is clear.
The book takes the form of a table of friends, and a dinner party, and instead of the usual carousing and entertainments, on account of hangovers from the previous night's revels, the "master of ceremonies" proposes that each man praises Love - in panegyric - each to his own inclination.
As well as taking advantage of the notes at the back of the book, it is important for the reader to put aside modern, "moral" and personal viewpoints, as the Love that is spoken of most is that of homosexual love, and by that it doesn't necessarily mean physical sexual love. Sexual attraction, yes, admiration of beauty, yes, but not "being gay" as we would know it today, Platonic love, if you will. In The Symposium, the highest form of Love is that of wisdom, and procreation; and by procreation that doesn't mean of one's genetic material but procreation of creativity itself... ideas, thoughts, poetry, art etc. Love that manifests these things, as well as meetings of souls and wise minds for the purpose of spiritual growth is the highest form of love and this - again - is homosexual ie between two men and non-sexual, where sexual desire is noted but not acted upon, or actually superseded and evolved past, and women were not capable of such. Apparently, according to the informative Introduction (that I read secondly), Plato himself, whilst admiring handsome young men, was - at least by later writings - anti physical aspects of homosexual Love and one of the orators around the table stated that love of "little boys", something that many critics of homosexuality and Ancient Greek/Athenian culture focus on - should be against the law and again taking advantage of weaker/younger minds or a man entering into a sexual relationship for money, status or anything other than the expanding of his mind and for lofty and high philosophical reasons was also seemingly frowned upon. Women make little wave in this book, despite Plato being an advocate of equality, and are seen only as vessels of procreation (not contributors to) and not even as companions of man. Perhaps this was Plato's opinion or just a snapshot of Athenian Society at the time, or even just a fiction. Never-the-less this book hailed as philosophy on Love is better aptly titled philosophy on Homosexual Platonic Love - or the Desire of Beauty and Wisdom.
Fascinating as an insight into Athenian life, philosophy and remarkably gripping, relevant and poignant to read approximately 2500 years on. This translation by W.Hamilton was clear and understandable (the Introduction noted this was Plato's least technically worded work), and a pleasant read. (C)1951 it is noteworthy that the work nor the introduction has aged in terms of cultural perception on homosexuality at that time - the 1950s - and it was sympathetically explained. I would be surprised if more modern translations could do any better....more
I really wanted to read this as I've often thought about writing a comical expose of my job, which is also supposed to be rather serious and people miI really wanted to read this as I've often thought about writing a comical expose of my job, which is also supposed to be rather serious and people might not immediately think there's much room for giggles, so thought this might be good inspiration.
I wasn't disappointed with the laughs in the book, there were laughs a plenty, but after a while the humour got a little samey and shallow, and predictable and didn't really go anywhere; sometimes the stories didn't actually conclude, which was a little frustrating. I'd also heard some of the jokes/stories before from elsewhere so wondered whether they were all genuine or at least original. That said, it didn't distract from the easy-reading of the book, and I liked how Donoghue was quite honest about his thoughts and feelings and what was going through his mind, internal monologues are usually rather amusing especially about serious stuff where you aren't supposed to find it funny. It also highlighted some of the difficulties faced by Police, which was eye-opening.
It wasn't the most literary genius book, or particularly well written, but I liked the conversational style and the "but I digress" comical interludes. Enjoyable and distracting. A fast read. ...more
Having had the great pleasure of meeting Mr Eyres at a reading/lecture promoting this book recently, I was able to tell him that I was new to Horace aHaving had the great pleasure of meeting Mr Eyres at a reading/lecture promoting this book recently, I was able to tell him that I was new to Horace and that this book re-awakened in me a desire to learn more Latin. He was pleased, and I said I would read more of Horace's poetry. I doubt however that I could get a better overview than this book. Part biography, part poetry, part philosophical commentary, it is warmly written and easily grasped and accessible. Eyres' style of writing is conversational, intelligent, friendly and is best enjoyed with a glass of wine - truly Horatian.
Known to most for his column in the Financial Times (UK), Eyres in this writes about his rekindled relationship with the ancient bard, and how Horace has informed his life choices and his life was parallel in many ways. Born relatively humbly, striving for beauty in literature, learning, language and epicurean delights, and bucking the establishment in many respects, Eyres and Horace appear to have much in common - Eyres is also a writer of books on wine, somewhat an expert, Horace was a vineyard owner at his small Sabine farm and a connoisseur.
The translations that Eyres proffers in this book are bang up to date - mentioning tsunamis, the Taliban and current events - and I am sure are good modern tellings of Horace's poems.
I couldn't put this book down and know I will read it more than once, and now that it is signed as well I'm sure it will continue to be a treasure, opening up new literary vistas to me. I highly recommend it for lovers of classics, literature, gentle humour, language and philosophy....more
Thoroughly enjoying this book. Interesting, written engagingly and humourously, it has mass appeal. The anecdotes about the elements are often fascinaThoroughly enjoying this book. Interesting, written engagingly and humourously, it has mass appeal. The anecdotes about the elements are often fascinating and the book isn't dry at all. It's not evenly, with some of the elements clearly having more exciting "lives" than others, but I skipped through the book quickly and hopefully took a lot in. The illustrations are oftentimes a little off-beat and not really helpful, but the text doesn't really need them.
The writer obviously has passion for his subject and that boyhood sort of fascination comes across really nicely. I think that Aldersey-Williams has struck the right balance between geeky-factoid-fanzine, academic-reference and popular-science-for-the-masses-text. It's approachable, relatable, not too science-high-brow and ultimately really very readable....more
This is more a booklet than a book, and consequently I got through this in one sitting very quickly. It's 101 small pages, and large font make it an eThis is more a booklet than a book, and consequently I got through this in one sitting very quickly. It's 101 small pages, and large font make it an easy read. It is interesting but like many "proof" books covering a lot of topics it only skims and might be suited to someone without a scientific background.
There are some really amazing paragraphs where the author cites Bible verses that highlight principals that were not accepted scientific thought for, in some cases, over 2,000 years since writing. Of course hindsight is 20:20 but some of the below are compelling. For example, paragraph one: Job 26:7 (written c1500BC when contempories believed the world was on the back of an animal/giant and carried through space) says that God "hangs the earth upon nothing." That Earth is free-floating in space was not "discovered" until 1650... and more of the same:
The earth is round not flat Matter is built up of atoms The Water cycle Radiowaves Entropy and the second Law of Thermodynamics The Earth's rotation on it's axis causing day and night Hygiene Laws and bacteria Nuclear winter/weaponry The stars are too numerous to count The universe is expanding The sun isn't stationary etc ...
Of course there is a large portion of the book given to Creation vs Evolution and here his arguments are not as clear cut, a little sweeping, although still thought provoking if you have an open mind although he's clutching at straws and I'm no expert but can see some of his statements are misleading at best. Much ink is given to the inacuracies of carbon dating (old news) and he mentions an experiment where a living seashell was dated as 27,000 years old, worrying to be sure, and of course the good old Piltdown man was dredged up again, and the other well-known and documented fakes/hoax skeletons in Darwin's closet! I've just finished reading The Origin of the Species and Darwin often states - when you can get him off the topic of his blasted pigeons - how his theory could be disproved or how it is just a theory, and an unlikely one; he never claimed it to be 100% fact. He was rather reasonable about it, in fact. Comfort's book states that there are categorically NO "intermediate" species on the planet (lungfish - good candidate surely?) and like many Creationists has got a skewed vision of what Darwin proposed. There are quite a few progressive eyes, for example, from rudimentary light sensors all the way through to the masterpiece that is the human eye. Argumemts in this book are those given by people who have a Noah's Ark Toy view of the rich fauna of the world; cat, dog, giraffe, cow, pig, monkey, fish, lizard, bird etc. There are some really weird creatures out there which could easily be fitted into a branching progression of creatures showing evolution of species - macro-evolution. I half expected him to say "and why aren't some babies born with tails as throwback if we evolved from monkeys?" They ARE sometimes born with vestigial tails, dear, but the surgeons remove them before they get seen by the rset of the family, and in the past they would have been killed a birth!
There are few sciemtific references in this book and that always annoys me. And no index. One citation from a dictionary definition used as proof that creation was true and evolution was a theory was a little laughable.
A middle portion of the book is given to famous people (mainly Americans) quoted as saying things that show they believe in God. If so and so believes, it must be true sort of thing. Lots of very unreliable people believe in God and the Bible too... it's not proof in an of itself, but the portion on the great scientific minds who believe is significant: Newton, Kepler, Farraday, Galileo, Pasteur, Kelvin, Da Vinci, Bacon, Joule, Compton, Einstein, Pascal and even our great Hawking is quoted in there (not as someone who believes the Bible per se but someone who doesn't see disproof of the Bible/God).
Overall, a good little book to have around to refer to at more length and look into the arguments further, a conversation starter or debate opener. Taken on it's own, written in an easy evangelical style, it is too limited to be entirely convincing but opened my eyes to a few things I didn't know in scientific principals in the Bible ahead of their "discovery" and whilst I don't see eye to eye to him on Evolution/Creation there was much that was new to my understanding....more
There was such a huge hype about this book and I just didn't see it. I guess the title gave it more intrigue and interest than it delivered. Perhaps iThere was such a huge hype about this book and I just didn't see it. I guess the title gave it more intrigue and interest than it delivered. Perhaps if it was worked through in a group discussion setting it would have been more beneficial but on reading it through it was basic and not at all enlightening or containing anything I'd not read elsewhere or was common sense. I'm not even sure I finished it....more
I am interested in Forensic Psychology, and wanted to make it my career, hence I bought the book and have seen Mr Britton speak. I was later surprisedI am interested in Forensic Psychology, and wanted to make it my career, hence I bought the book and have seen Mr Britton speak. I was later surprised when working with other Forensic Psychologists to learn that his input into the cases he cites was not as involved as he claims and his breakthroughs were not soley his own, nor were his ideas. Forensic Psychology is not something that can stand alone like in an Agatha Christie or Jessica Fletcher TV show detective. Evidence analysis is still crutial and there were many other people working on these cases. He didn't solve them!
I also find it difficult to read details of the cases in a "pop-psychology" book, which really should not be available to the public in a self serving manner as this book - case in point that of dear Jamie Bulger. The details in the book are graphic, disturbing, and an author should not be making money off them. These are not fictional characters he writes about but real high profile cases about people who deserve some dignity.
Those things aside, it was an interesting read... if you "like" that sort of thing, which as it was to be my career I did at the time. I was surprised at other Forensic Psychologists being so vehement in their disrespect of their "colleague" when speaking of Paul Britton's professionalism and self-confessed prowess. It seems his selling out and writing this book was not highly regarded nor were his high claims, which were apparently false. This book is quite egostistical on his part and this self centred style of writing is tiring.
He does not have mythic status in his field but was one of the first "Forensic Psychologists" who employed profiling and happened to work on some notable high coverage cases that were solved. It is Psychologists like him that spread that myth that Psychology is hoodoo rather than science. I have often been asked (worryingly not tongue in cheek) when people find out I have a Psychology degree "can you read minds?" and the idea that Forensic Psychologists can get inside criminal's minds and predict all of their moves and that they always follow a pattern (Criminal Minds the TV show is guilty of this too) that is "textbook" is possibly as a result of books like this. Twaddle.
If you take what you read at face value and don't know anything about Psychology this book will blow your mind. Ignore the fact it's claims are exaggerated, and it's an interesting book....more
This book is fascinating. An "hour" is actually about twenty minutes - you'd have to be a really slow reader to take an hour, and it's a very easy reaThis book is fascinating. An "hour" is actually about twenty minutes - you'd have to be a really slow reader to take an hour, and it's a very easy read, nothing of a challenge but has highlighted some amazing connections between old and new testaments, languages in the Bible and meanings of things, and also some amazing insights about Israel and God's love for Israel still. Learned a lot. A LOT. Half way through I realised that it can come in the form of a DVD/Book/discussion group format, which no doubt would be beneficial but I loved just the book on it's own.
I would give it 5/5 as it's interesting and eye opening, but I am frustrated that he throws odd sentences into paragraphs, usually at the end, that are either teasers that you want to know more about, are seemingly unrelated to anything and just contravertial. He spends pages on things that could have been explained in one paragraph, then glosses over things that you are burning with questions over. However, he's not expounding the Bible, he's giving an overview, and that he does. Brilliantly. Although some of his teasers are ridiculous; there's the chapter on Isaiah in which he tells you that in one passage all these words and names are "encyrpted" but doesn't show you how, where or why. It's all very well saying "there are codes in the Bible, isn't it great?" but if you don't SEE the evidence, who's to say there are? His style is a little simplistic and preachy with no evidence, references or citations for his assertions, but taken as overall this is an awesome book packed full of fascinating and incredible things. My biggest bugbear was his repetition, but his final chapter despite further repetition in the overview of the entire book was powerful!
References to the Nephilim still sort of mess with my head, it's all too fantastical, but this book explains why Israel - God bless them - have had such a terrible time and show's how there will be a triumphal end! The chapters on Revelation, and the end times, were great - a serious must read for anyone interested in World Politics. The future is laid out in black and white for all to read.
Everyone should read this. Whatever faith you follow, or don't follow any faith, I'll put money on the fact you have/or have had an opinion about the Bible... READ THIS! It turns the Bible into the Enigma machine of World History....more
This book is hard to review, and at first hard to read. Whilst I loved the style of writing and the way Kerouac put experiences and pictures into wordThis book is hard to review, and at first hard to read. Whilst I loved the style of writing and the way Kerouac put experiences and pictures into words, the actual story, the things he did whilst living the Beat lifestyle were not admirable nor were they "nice" particularly. I didn't much like Sal and his friends and hated the way they treated women and used people's good nature. I grew to like Sal Paradise though, in a quirky sort of way!
This book took some getting into as at first I felt almost bored and frustrated with the characters, their lifestyle was not something I admired... but then you sort of get absorbed by it. It takes you over and you follow them on their trails across America and down into Mexico and you sort of want to continue travelling with them. In order to appreciate this book, I had to focus on the fact that it was a historical tale of the Beat generation and as such was ahead of it's time, in a sense, a precursor for the hippy movement, I think. The joie de vivre Sal narrates, the music and the happy times and pleasure in the small things was actually quite endearing and by the end I was really immersed whereas up until about half way through I just wanted to finish and move on (a bit like the Beat lifestyle in itself!) It does get better, and is a fine example of brilliant early twentieth century American writing, and you can't really argue with a more or less autobiographical account of someone's life can you? Also there is a darkness, depression, desperation, especially with Dean Moriarty -he is seeking something and stepping on everyone, breaking hearts along the way, and whilst I could see his pain, I hated what he stood for.
As a classic piece of American Literature, I would recommend On The Road. You won't necessarily love it but you'll have an interesting opinion, that I can guarantee! ...more