Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Secret Scripture (Sebastian Barry) - Book Review

The Secret ScriptureThe Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cover: Lame and weird.
Title: Where'd that really come from?
Story: ULTRA-lame, and the "twist" made me roll my eyes so hard they almost got stuck.
Writing style: Unbelievably gorgeous. Oh my goodness. SO many quotes to save, and thanks to Goodreads for making that easy!
Good stuff: The care and sympathy the doctor and Roseanne had for each other was so gentle and lovely to read about and observe. The descriptions of Ireland made me drool. Someone please take me there asap. Roseanne's loyalty and honor for her father was just so sweet.
Bad stuff: Some strong language, a one-night stand, an attempted rape, and some violence.

Basically I wanted to read this before I saw the movie (which I hear is equally as bad), so I accomplished my goal, but wasn't super excited about it.

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How Not to Die (Michael Greger) - Book Review

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse DiseaseHow Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow, this was so enlightening, inspiring, hopeful, down-to-earth, and actually quite fun! Dr. Greger has a great sense of humor, as well as a wonderful way of putting all the over-your-head medical speak in simple, understandable terms so nothing feels out-of-reach.

Things you should know going into this book:
- He is not paid to promote anything. Even his website (NutritionFacts.org) is 100% free. This is a labor of love for him. He saw his grandmother cured on a plant-based diet and was inspired to help others experience the same.
- The book does however, recommend completely dropping meat, eggs, and dairy from one's diet. Not because being vegan or vegetarian is trendy, but because the science just shows it's healthier.
- He is pro-vaccine, anti-kombucha. lol
- Do NOT be intimidated by the size of this book! I picked it up from the library hold shelf and was like, "Should I even try to get through this?? It looks like a textbook!" GOOD NEWS! The last third is entirely notes that you probably wouldn't even read, so that brings the entire book down to a readable amount (at least for me).
- The layout is great, and would actually almost work better as a reference book than a read-straight-through. The first half discusses the top 15 ways people die in America and how a plant-based diet can cure them, and the second half talks about what exactly the PB diet looks like. Think specifics. (Flaxseeds, what kinds of beans count, what kinds of fruit, how to include everything on a daily basis, etc.)
- It really is a fun read! He's super funny and I LOLed lots. Didn't expect that from a book called How Not to Die.

Definitely need a copy for my personal library, as this will be a book I will reference a lot in the future. It really gave me hope that, while I might not go totally PB, a majorly cleaned-up diet could do wonders to reverse damage that has already been and is being done, and prevent future issues from arising.

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Book Review - My Plea for the Old Sword (Ian Paisley)

My Plea for the Old SwordMy Plea for the Old Sword by Ian Paisley
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Let me say first that I am 100% a KJV-only person. But unlike Mr. Paisley, I don't beat people over the head with it. This book, with its ridiculous ALL CAPS and BOLD SENTENCES and random italics felt more like being forced to chug 2 gallons of water (something that's good for me) in a matter of 5 minutes (feeling quite unpleasantly like drowning).

Now, hopefully I am deeper than just letting the things above scare me away from the actual facts and message the author is sharing. I did read the entire book, and I did try to soak up what info he shared, but it was really very hard to fully pay attention when his haughty, over-one's-head vocabulary clogged everything up. It just screamed "OBVIOUSLY THIS IS THE TRUTH AND YOU ALL ARE DUMMIES!!!!"

Did I get anything out of this? Yes. In addition to a few beautiful, majestic quotes from others that have written on this subject, I also enjoyed the two chapters that described the group of men that carefully translated the KJV we have today, and the techniques those men used. (This was by far the most interesting thing I've read pertaining to the translation issue.) Why was it important to them to keep the original "thee"s and "thy"s? How did they decide which word to use when multiple ones could work?

A very important topic that is dealt with in the penultimate chapter is the verbal preservation of the Scriptures. If one believes in Divine Revelation and Divine Inspiration, but no Divine Preservation, it will be no wonder that modern corrupt versions are born, because how could anyone be proud and foolish enough to claim their translation is the real deal? One's version is just as good as anyone else's. It is imperative to understand and believe that God in His sovereignty and care for His followers in all ages provided a text/translation/version that accurately captures and preserves His original message.

All in all, I'd be thankful to find a different book on the topic, but this was not entirely useless and annoying, and considering it is a very short read, it wouldn't hurt to add it to your list of KJV defenses.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Parenting

Instruction, and advice, and commands will profit little, unless they are backed up by the pattern of your own life. Your children will never believe you are in earnest, and really wish them to obey you, so long as your actions contradict your counsel. Archbishop Tillotson made a wise remark when he said, 'To give children good instruction, and a bad example, is but beckoning to them with the head to show them the way to heaven, while we take them by the hand and lead them in the way to hell.'

J. C. Ryle

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Beguiled (Thomas Cullinan) - Book Review

The BeguiledThe Beguiled by Thomas Cullinan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At first I didn't like the many different POVs because I struggled to keep everybody straight. (Martha, Harriet, Mattie, Alice, Emily, Amelia, Edwina, and Marie all share their perspectives! Whew!) But eventually when I had everyone figured out, I really enjoyed getting to see everything through everyone's eyes. This book was insanely witty and I laughed out loud several times. I can't say enough about how well-written this was. Just brilliant.

However, even though nothing was graphically portrayed or actually described in detail for the reader, this story was more trashy than I expected, even with incest in one of the character's past. That along with some language brings this down to 3 stars from me.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

I Will Always Write Back (Caitlin Alifirenka) - Book Review

I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two LivesI Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Even for someone such as myself who reads a ridiculous amount of books a year, it is rare to read one that changes your life, but this book did just that. I am looking at everything through different eyes because of this true story.

Caitlin and Martin were put together as pen pals as a school assignment, and ended up being the only kids to continue to faithfully write each other. Martin's promise to always write back was harder to keep than anyone knew, because his family was so poor that even postage for his next letter had to be worked for for weeks. Once Caitlin discovered just how poor Martin and his family were, it started her on a journey to make a difference in the lives of her best friend, his family, and his village.

What absolutely blew me away here was the stark contrast between Martin's simple life of poverty (and yet contentment!) and Caitlin's life of American wealth, so easily taken for granted. (I couldn't help but compare it to my own.) Many, many times while reading this I was moved to tears of shame when I remember how often I complain about so many things, and long for so many better things, when I should be on my knees thanking God for the abundance of riches I enjoy every single day. I have never missed a meal. I have never slept on a wet, muddy floor. I have never worried about not getting the education I need to succeed in life. I have never not had dressers and a closet overflowing with clothes I hardy ever wear. The list goes on.

This book was like the missions trip I never had. It opened my eyes so much and has gotten me back into the "1000 Gifts" mentality. All is grace. Give thanks always. We are blessed with so much and need to be looking for opportunities to share the wealth we are given with others.

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Pleasing People (Lou Priolo) - Book Review

Pleasing People: How not to be an Pleasing People: How not to be an "approval junkie" by Lou Priolo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was all over the place with this book. The first half was drier than dry. Everything he was saying was scriptural, but it felt super long and textbookish. But the second half I absolutely loved, and got a few memorable gems out of, so I'm leaving this one with 3 stars.

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