Saturday, March 26, 2016

black and white bible, black and blue white

Hi again. BookLook Bloggers provided this volume (subtitle: "My Story of Finding Hope after Domestic Abuse," I'm using the capitalization found on the cover here) free in return for a review.  

They specialized in Christian books, including Zondervan publishing. This book is by an author who has wrote for them before. She will be familiar to many, including going by the acknowledgments three unnamed Supreme Court justices who assisted in some fashion. Some will be more familiar with the question posed earlier: "Should marriage be based on a model of mutual submission and equality [her position] or on a model of male headship? Some might also be upset that she does not go into more detail when discussing biblical citations. I found one review that complained about this. 

I don't come at this from the theological background of some readers or the author herself, who has a Ph.D., many books and a long career teaching. So, though I at times did find the biblical snapshots a bit too general, a lack of detailed biblical exegesis did not really upset me. Early on, the author suggested stories, here a biography of her own experiences (with two decades of hindsight from her divorce for perspective), could be most helpful. And, her own story and others (including various biblical and literary lights, including Charles Dickens) is very helpful in that respect. 

The book uses these stories mixed in with a discussion of various angles involved in dealing with domestic violence, focusing on women being the victims.  She overall comes off as a liberal feminist generally speaking but accepts the Bible as is -- e.g., no reference that Timothy is not really "Paul" but Pauline writing written after his death.  She also at one point respects Tipper Gore's concerns over rock lyrics and without context opposes Fifty Shades of Grey. Nonetheless, a person not really biblical orientated could appreciate the book.  It should have a wide readership there.  It helps that it is down to earth, conversational in tone. Again, not reading her past work, don't know if this is a standard style.  It just worked for me. 

I think this was very good but would have appreciated an index. Maybe, that was a cost-saving device. The quotations, including on the Acknowledgment Page (an amusing quirk), worked as well.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I Said Yes

Hi again.  BookLook Bloggers provided this volume free in return for a review. Here you go.

I'm not a fan of the Bachelor or Bachelorette ... at least did not watch either show ... but admit to finding the concept somewhat intriguing.  The mindset of someone who would go on such a show and the chance to provide a behind the scenes look was basically my thoughts when choosing this book.  Looking at her biography and such, she also seemed to be an attractive woman who I was somewhat interested in hearing more about.  To give you a taste on my expectations here.

Early on, a theme was suggested by the author -- she wrote the book with A.J. Gregory who wrote two books (per her website) "which chronicles finding faith in the middle of unavoidable and sometimes harsh realities." -- when Emily admitted to having second thoughts about "saying yes" to a second engagement.  The book in effect is her life story and how she can say "yes," yes to "hoping, dreaming, wishing" again and be satisfied with her choices.

This book is not just a story of her experiences on reality programming though that is eventually handled.  This should be kept in mind if you choose this book.  Some have noted this -- they were disappointed with the amount of time spent on her early years and family life.  But, the book is about Emily Maynard Johnson, not "Emily, reality t.v. star."  And, this is seen in the book as a whole -- it is a very person book.  It if anything overuses the word "I," actually.  The personal is a plus in the book, since you get a sense of the person and it feels real. 

Let me summarize my feelings on the book as a whole.  Overall, it was a pleasant book, easy to read and regarding a subject with a deep enough biography (including some tragedy) to warrant a biography.  Her struggles, keep the faith (multiple biblical references) and success story in finding the "real deal" to be happy with shows how a Christian reader will appreciate this story. Honestly, some might be turned off by us of a reality show to obtain a mate, which might be deemed wrong. I was somewhat disappointed the chapters on her experience there did not go in more detail, but it is good to get her perspective on that point as well.  Finally, honestly, at thirty years old, her life is obviously only in the first stage.  I prefer biographies that cover more ground there.

Basically, it was a middle of the road read, good for what it was.  I would give it three stars out of five.  Till next time!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Garden Gate

I have not reviewed something for a while but by chance saw a reference to Book Look and decided to return to the fold.  To move to a new book, I first have to handle this one.  The book was provided to me free and in return am obligated merely to provide my opinion.  It is my own alone.

Okay.  This book is apparently part of a series, one I'm not familiar with, so perhaps reading it cold is not ideal. But, it also provides a different perspective as well.  Overall, the book is written in the point of view of a young woman and her experience with the spirit world, particularly angels. This book specifcally focuses on Prissie's saying good bye to her angel friend Koji, as well as the further development of her friendship with the young man Ransom. The most interesting story line with in the book is the interactions with Adin, a fallen angel that has been tormenting Prissie for some time.

I think that I would have liked it better if I read it from the beginning of the series.  Nonetheless, overall, it was a decent read.  Average basically thus the three stars.