Saturday, January 31, 2015

Q & A about Satan, Demons, and Hell

This short book (under 150 pages) answers important questions Christians have about demonic possession or oppression, limits to Satan's power, and much more.  You can know you are a follower of Christ (this book tells you how if you are not sure) and you can know that Jesus already won the victory.  You can also know how to behave in a world that is still a mixture of good and evil.

This book successfully walks the line between giving Satan too much credit (or showing too much fascination with him) and minimizing the dangers posed by Satan.  C.S. Lewis warned of both extremes and so does this book.  Dr. Mark Muska answers questions from Scripture.  He is also honest about the limits of what we know from Scripture and does not speculate where God has not chosen to inform us.

I received a free review copy of this book from Bethany House and recommend it for church libraries, Sunday School teachers, and home libraries.

Improve Your Thinking

The Illuminator by Rajith Rajappan has been a #1 best seller in the philosophy/reference category at Amazon.  I recommend it as an interesting read for the person who wants to be more focused on the present and the task at hand.  As a person who has lived over fifty years surrounded by a swarm of ideas buzzing around my head constantly, this is certainly a discipline I’ve needed to develop more fully.

My favorite chapter is Chapter 5, which opens with a Theodore Rubin quote: “Happiness does not come from doing easy work, but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.” By remembering times I experienced that afterglow, I can appreciate the rewards that come from really being present in whatever I am doing right now.

I received a free review copy of this book for my honest opinion.  The Illuminator is an affordable investment in your own life.  Improve your intuition, self-confidence, and focus with some basic exercises and principles appropriate for those of any religious faith.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Incurvatus In Se: What Should I Read?

Incurvatus In Se: What Should I Read?: We've all heard that "you are what you eat," and Jefferson Airplane reminds us to "remember what the dormouse said: feed...

Friday, January 23, 2015

A WWII Veteran's Story

A Review of Something from Eddie by Pam Baker

Eddie Livingston entered the army at the age of fifteen,  He was a paratrooper, POW, and PTSD survivor.  His service in Europe during the war earned him many medals--and a lifelong fight with the Veterans" Administration.

Those of us who prefer our history from primary sources will appreciate that the bulk of this book is taken from letters typewritten by Eddie and sent to newspapers, bureaucrats, and even to United States presidents. Photographs of many actual letters are included, along with heartbreaking pictures of the living conditions Eddie endured as he fought his PTSD and his own government.

Despite his own scars and troubles, Eddie also took time to advocate for others.  He was concerned for fellow veterans, civil rights in his home state of Alabama and across the nation, and a variety of other issues.
We are fortunate that he left such a written record of his life and of the times in which he lived.In light of recent news about some VA hospitals, this book is both contemporary and historical.

I received a free copy of Something from Eddie from the author for my honest review.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Review of CELLOGIRLS: Identity and Transformation in 2CELLOS Fan Culture

Kytka Hilmar-Jezek compiled personal stories from over a dozen fans of Luka and Stjepan, known internationally as 2CELLOS.  An extensive forward to the book explores fandom in detail as an historical phenomenon (e.g. the muses of Greek mythology) and as an aspect of modern pop culture.

These fans of 2CELLOS are not passive observers, simply fainting at the sight of their favorite musicians. These CELLOGIRLS have been inspired to create their own music and visual art in response to the performances they enjoy.  Like muses before them, they even inspire the artists they admire.

It was certainly interesting to explore the concept of fandom as a participatory, creative activity through this unique book. 

I received a free digital copy of CELLOGIRLS for my honest review.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Delightful Story for Young Girls

For generations, girls have enjoyed horses and books about them.  Eliza Becker has created The Forest Horse to appeal to upper elementary and preteen girls.

Alia is a lonely child, with kind, doting parents who worry a bit too much.  Like most children, she sometimes breaks rules--such as going into the forest and not being completely honest with her parents.  She meets a horse, makes some new friends, and learns some valuable lessons about obedience, forgiveness, and generosity.

As a parent,I appreciated that this book did not encourage disobedience to parents.  Alia had some consequences--but she also experienced forgiveness.  This is a story about a solid family that has to work through some conflicts to get to a happy ending.

I received a free review copy of The Forest Horse in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Australian Math Blog

I am a big believer that anyone can learn math with the right approach--and the right approach may vary for each student.  In an effort to cast a wide net for math teaching ideas, I offer a link to a new blog for Australian math students and teachers.  Learn Maths is just starting, but I think it is worth bookmarking and checking in the future.  Maybe your child who isn't responding well to Saxon or Math-U-See (or, God forbid, Common Core) could benefit from some international ideas.  The more we share, the better we can help our students.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Instaread Summary of The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle

This 15-minute summary of Eckart Tolle’s book explains his main theme: the benefits of living in the present.  Anxiety, depression, and general unhappiness come from living in the past or the future.  People of any religion can appreciate this principle.

Tolle’s specific beliefs about Christ do not correspond to those of orthodox Christianity.  Tolle also includes Buddhist influences in his discussion of consciousness and enlightenment.  Read this summary before deciding if the book is a good fit for you.

I received a free review copy of this Instaread Summary.

Wonderful, Touching Story of Friendship

Henry and Tom is an amazing story about friends who save one another’s lives.  The fact that one friend is a human and one is a sperm whale makes the story that much more interesting.

I fell in love with Henry!  I enjoyed the way the book sometimes moved from Tom’s point of view to Henry’s.  The way marine science and adventure were blended with timeless themes of friendship, family, love, and loss made this book a story I want to reread.  This landlubber was truly touched by this tale from the sea.

I received a free copy of the book for my honest review.  I recommend it for anyone who wants a feel-good story. It is appropriate for teen readers as well as adults.

Visit Henry and Tom on Facebook.