Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Review: Bonhoeffer Abridged: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

I knew many people that have ready the unabridged version of this book, and I the comments were nothing but positive. I was going to borrow it and read it myself when I came across the unabridged version! The unabridged version is very long. While I don't mind long books, the abridged version was seemed to fit my current reading schedule a lot better. That being said, after reading it, I would like to read the longer version of the book. In fact the only fault of the book is that it could have been a little less ABRIDGED. There are a few choppy spots that you could see were missing, and parts of his life that you wished were in this version of the book.

Bonhoeffer Abridged: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, chronicles the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor that stood up for righteousness amidst one of the most darkest times in human history, the Holocaust. Hitler was rising to power and fame, he would have his way no matter what the cost would be. There were few that would speak against him, and if they did so, they would pay the price of their life. Bonhoeffer did just that. I was drawn into the story line that made Bonhoeffer more than just a super hero of history, Metaxas did an amazing job in capturing the humanity of Bonhoeffer. He gives honest details of Bonhoeffer's love life, family, struggles, victories, travels and writings. By the end you will come away with the feeling that you met Dietrich in person. The details in making him a real person, gave me hope that I would be able to stand for righteousness in the face of evil.

As for the writing, Metaxas does not disappoint in being able to draw in the reader with detail and style and even play on your emotions. He has done a great service in making the Bonhoeffer story accessible to the average reader. You will not walk away disappointed that you took the time to look into the life of Bonhoeffer.

I highly recommend reading this book. If it rings true that, "those who do no learn from history are destined to repeat it;" than this is a must read. What does it take to be the kind of person that will stand in the midst of trouble, persecution, and evil? 4.5

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Needle’s Eye: The World’s Greatest Detective Tackles the Bible’s Ultimate Mysteries” by Len Bailey

         Are you a big Sherlock Holmes fan? Do you love the mysteries in the Bible? Then you will probably like Len Bailey's Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye. I wanted this book because I love mysteries in the Bible.  I have bought many books and pondered many hours on the unknowns. Am I a Sherlock Holmes fan? Not exactly; I've enjoyed some of the modern era shows on the character and I've read some short
stories. While I find them interesting, I don't own any of the books nor do I go out of my way to read or watch the shows/movies. All that being said, while the Bible portions of this book were interesting to me, the Sherlock Holmes crossover seemed a little too far fetched and more or less a distraction to me (mainly the time travel).
            Being familiar with Sherlock Holmes, I could see that the author went out of his way to get the writing style, characters and dialogue down to a fine art. He also made sure that he was being true to the scripture while painting a picture of Biblical scenes in front of my. I could actually picture the characters (both from Sherlock and Bible) and it did not feel far removed from the original Sherlock Holmes books. The book got me thinking about things in the Bible that I haven't really thought to ponder, which is a good thing, and it also provides scripture references for you to get acquainted with the scriptural text before you read the Sherlock mystery. The concept of this book is unique and I actually have a great appreciation for what the author is trying to accomplish (and with success). 

             For avid Sherlock Holmes/Bible Mystery fans: 4.5/5
             For the average Christian reader: 3.5/5

I received this book free for my honest review from booksneeze (booksneeze.com)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Awesome Person

Less than 12 hours away from the world premiere of the "Awesome Person Podcast".

Review: A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr

         Errol Stone, the town drunk finds himself short of cash for another night of drinking when a message from clergyman comes into town looking to deliver a message. For a price Errol takes on the challenge. What he didn't know, is that the message of great "kingdom" importance would lead him into precarious situations. He will be the object of scorn for an assassin and led into other adventures which has his life of drunkenness turned upside down as he becomes the hero of the story.

         I liked the book, but I didn't love the book. Maybe it is just me, but I could not picture the characters in my mind, the author was unable to paint their picture in my mind enough to make them interesting of believable. While the story was filled with action and little "filler content", it almost moves along too quickly for me, I didn't have enough time to get myself attached or interested in the characters. The story has some great themes and you could definitely see the Christian underlines in the story, this is often difficult to pull off without coming across as cheesy or preachy. Patrick W. Carr was able to pull of this rare ability to pull off Christian message into a Fantasy/Fiction novel without losing quality in the storytelling.
        The writing was fairly descriptive, but sometimes feeling a little forced to sound to "fantasyesque".
I know a lot of people enjoyed this book, and I could see how it would appeal to a large population of people, but I was not able to connect to the book and could not find myself looking forward to the next chapter. If you were to compare this book to the likes of Stephen Lawhead, I would say it does not bring itself to the same level. But for a first novel by the author, I am impressed and I am intrigued to see if he takes his writing up a notch in the next book or series. Overall I could give the book a clean 3/5 stars.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

Friday, January 11, 2013

Book Review: Placebo

Placebo By Steven James 

         Do you like Mystery, thriller, action and conspiracy? These are the words I would use to describe this novel. I was unsure what I would think of this novel when I first read the description. It is a little different style book than what I would normally choose. As soon as you start the novel, Steven James (author) stuns it's readers with a tragedy that ultimately plays a big role in the main character's (Jevin) decisions and personality.  I was drawn into the main character who you you tend to cheer on as the book progresses. 
         I enjoyed the book overall, it was very well written and the characters were well drawn. My only complaint is that this book is very intelligent, a little too intelligent. You can easily get confused with a lot of the science and meta-physics ect... You don't want to read this book, if you are looking for a simple, brainless, entreating novel. This novel makes you have to think about what you are reading and understand it, as it is important to the story line.  You also need to play close attention to the characters as they are introduced, because you can easy wave them off as minor characters only to forget their role earlier in the book at an important part of the story.

        It took me a long time to read this book, not because I was completely bored, but because I had to read it slowly to make sure I am not missing any content. If you want an intelligent novel full of action; pick up Steven James' Placebo, the first book in the Jevin Banks series.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Friday, November 16, 2012

Memoirs of Movember: Day 16

Day 16
Ahhh, Friday. Time to break from the stress of work and concentrate on growing moustaches.  My son decided to join today's Movember picture while wearing a racoon hat. I wonder if I could get my stache as soft and fluffy as that hat? Anyway, I am over halfway through the month and I still haven't had an excuse to by some stache wax for shaping and/or moulding. Would be nice to try some sort of braid as well, unfortunately this month is not long enough for that. I can't believe how many students have stopped me in the hall and said, "nice moustache!". Fortunately I am poor at judging sarcasm, so I will assume that "sick moustache" means that it looks pretty fantastic.

If We Survive by Andrew Klavan

          If We Survive is a story about a group of young people along with their pastor that travelled to small South American country to help rebuild a school that rebels (called the Volcanoes) have destroyed. The country happened to be on the verge of a revolution while the young people were down there. Soon before they were ready to leave, they find themselves running for their lives in danger of being executed from the rebels. They seem to find new perilous circumstances around every corner, battling nature and an army of rebels.
          I generally enjoy Andrew Klavan books. Andrew's previous release (Crazy Dangerous) was a great mystery, and had my attention the whole way through, it kept you guessing. I was hoping for similar intrigue  and mystery that Crazy Dangerous provided it's readers when I requested to review If We Survive. I was disappointed with the mystery aspect, the only mystery in this book are the characters and how they became the way they are. That being said, this was not labelled in the mystery genre, it is a young adult adventure book, and for that genre If We Survive delivers.

           You will find the book to be a page turner with action from beginning to the end. I enjoyed the character development and growth that you would expect to see in young people going through a traumatic experience. The book felt like it was telling a non-fiction story and that made it all the more interesting to me. All in all, I enjoyed the book and I am exited to share it with a few young people that I know will enjoy it. 4/5 stars.

This book was provided to me for free by Thomas Nelson's booksneeze.com reviewers program, for my honest review.