Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Against All Enemies

This is a book by Tom Clancy that I have recently discovered. He is a good writer. His books are always in the area of espionage. The main character here is a guy named Moore who is CIA. At the beginning of the book he loses his whole team and the rest of the book is about his hunting down the bad guys. It is over eight hundred pages so you are in for a good long read. It moves fast and has many layers, as do all Clancy books.
   Basically, there is a jihad against the USA. The Arabs want to complete 9/11. The CIA man who is a former SEAL is trying to stop them before they complete their attack.
  I highly recommend it for Tom Clancy fans.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Christian Science exposed

For those of you out there who wondered just what happens to a person who is a Christian Scientist and is ill, this is the book for you. Titled  fathermothergod and subtitled My Journey Out Of Christian Science by Lucia Greenhouse, this book follows a daughters experience with the philosophy of the Christian Science Church concerning illness and death. She watches as her mother contracts cancer and is bedridden and slowly dies while her father watches as a Christian Science Practitioner. The author shows the result of denying illness and sickness as an error of the mind.
  Greenhouse never was a member of the Christian Science Church but is the daughter of a father who lead his wife and one of his children into the mind sect.
  It is well written and not preachy. She doesn't rush the prose. It flows in a straight line. The shocker at the end is enough to make a person wonder about the folowers of this belief system.
  I plan sometime in the future to take up a series on Cults in my blog, http://drschristianplace.blogspot.com.
  please feel free to comment at any time. I will read your input and respond. I promise.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


This is going back quite a while. But I have enjoyed this non-fiction book on leadership It is called Lincoln On Leadership by Donald T. Phillips.
  It is good for leadership techniques as developed by our sixteenth presdent and especially during the Civil War period, but also is a good addition to a library on Lincoiln and the Civil War period.
   Lincoln was faced with a war even if he didn't want one. He didn't have a choice. But he used the ledership abilities he had and were developed by him to keep the country going.
  It is subtitled Executive Strategies For Tough Times.  Persoanlly I enjoyed it I think you will also.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Grace of God by Andy Stanley

    This book by Andy Stanley is an easy to read non-technical treatise of one of God's attributes.
    Grace has been defined by theologians as  God's dealing with a person according to his need. Stanley would agree with that and add that there is nothing that must be done to merit it.In this book he traces grace from creation through the early church.
    In 217 pages with  notes he uses a comfortable reading style taking small stories in Scripture to illustrate how generous God is with his grace. He points ouit it was God's attribute of grace that allowed Adam and Eve to live after the disobedience. He shows how unearned it is by showing time and again the people God gave grace to even when their actions were not worthy.
    And that is the point.
    I found this book to be a thought provoking book. Stanley handles the subject in a way that made me think about God. It is not a stodgy theological discussion nor a primer. I would recommend this for everyone who needs an easy to understand explanation. It will help them explain it to others.
  Booksneeze has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How to Read A Book

   I know. I know. What a dull title for a posting. But this is important.
  A book is to be slowly and lovingly digested. That can easily be said of a good fiction book. But how do you read that non-fiction work?
   That is a good question and one that needs to be addressed.
    I find that when I come across a non-fiction book that I look first at the table of contents to get a general idea of where the author is going. Sometimes the titles given each chapter are deceptive. So my next step is to look at the index (This is non-fiction and hopefully the author has been nice enough to include one.) I would look to see who and what is mentioned. I don't concern myself so much with where and on what page, but I look to get an idea of what the author considers important.. Then I would look at the number of pages. It is not always true that the more pages the better the coverage. Some subjects don't need extensive coverage.
    Then I ask myself, or I have before I select a book on the subject, just what am I looking for?  What do I need to know? And having selected the book I read it to answer my questions. It doesn't have to be a profound question. Maybe just something I need to know.
     Please feel free to comment on the posts. I will answer every comment that is not spam or a flame.

Friday, September 9, 2011

James Patterson's New Venture

I don't know how new new it is because Patterson has the habit of co-writing at the present time with so many other authors--each seems to be a series-- that he is always present in the New Book Section of the Santa Monica Library. This is where I pick up his books to read. This one he wrote with a Michael Ledwidge. It is named Now You See Her It is a suspense novel told mostly in first person from the woman's pov. (Point Of View) it is intersperced with third person from Peter's point of  view. This helps the mounting tension as she disappears and later shows up again and a hunter/ hunted motif is used. But mostly the motif of  chase is used. As Paterson's co-authored books go, this is well done. His formula of short chapters, terse language is seen here. Just enough red herrings are used to keep the reader guessing to the end. Is her husband a wife killer? Is she the next? That's one plot line. Another is: who is the Jump Killer? Someone is killing women and leaving them tied up in jump cords. The main character knows the one on death row for the crime isn't the killer. How is she going to prove that and still keep away from Peter whom she has managed to run away from all these years?
   For readers of Patterson novels I recommend this one.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Biography Of Ethel Waters

Found a great biography by Donald Bogle, an instructor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and the University Of Pennsylvania. It is concerning the life of Ethel Waters Heat Wave:  The Life and Career of Ethel Waters  I remembered her only as a back up singer for the Billy Graham Crusades. By that time she had put on lots of weight. But she wasn't always overweight. She was a thin singer/ actress before then. She also was featured, or maybe starred in A Cabin In The Sky . I did see that once at the library here in Santa Monica on one of their movie days. And she did act in Member Of The Wedding. 
I find this book to be a good biography. The author, also black, does not go light on the race issue of the times. Nor should he have done so. It is a matter of history. History must not be  forgotten or placed in an alternative universe, except in sci fi.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Warning-- watch out

Sad to say not all books I read are the type I can recommend. Such is the case concerning Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo. Todd is a pastor and he is telling the true story of his son,Colton, age four, who almost dies from a appendectomy. The boy reports having an out of the body experience (not the words he uses) and going to heaven and sitting on the Lap of Jesus, having angels sing hymns to him.
   It is dangeous.  Dangeous because all we need to know about heaven is found in God's Book, the Bible. Dangeous because to say a person can die and come back again is not according to what God says. Dangeous because this writer is a pastor. People hold pastors in awe and believe what they tell them.
  This pastor is wrong. Dead wrong.
  It is also dangeous because some people trust the publisher, Thomas Nelson, as being a Christian publisher of truth. In this case the publisher blew it.

Set in Santa Monica

I have found a mystery that is set in Santa Monica. It is called No Dice and it is written by Mar Preston. It is written omnipresent and the viewpoint is shared by two persons. Dave Mason, the Santa Monica detective and Ginger McNair, a resident who is up for nomination as a member of the city board. It is up with the rent control faction and the fair wage law issue of a few years ago and I must admit, a present day issue in Santa Monica. Santa Monica is run by a mayor who is part of the city council. The way it works here in Santa Monica is their mayor is elected from among the council.
  The story starts the day before a big vote on bringing a casino into their city. The council woman who is pro-gambling is found knifed.  She is discover by Ginger who is anti-gambling. This makes her a suspect.
  The casino will be built on prime land now used by Sears and Santa Monica Place. There are suspects a plenty. There is also a romance but it is not allowed to dominate the mystery. There are not bodies every place.
   This does follow the mystery formula of victim, murderer, sleuth. Our amateur detective is Ginger who just can't let the Santa Monica Police Department alone to solve the case.
   It has a satisfactory ending and all is well.
   I would recommend it for the mystery reader out there.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thursday Missing

Hi. I picked this book up, One Of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde. The title caugfht my interest. I normally don't read in the fantasy/ Scifi section of the library. I guess because I find it hard to read an area that makes little sense if any at all. I  tend to read in the area of possibility.
  The story concerns the seeking for the real Thursday. It takes place in the Bookworld and the real Thursday has dissapeared and all that is left is the written Thursday. It is told in first person and it is trhe written Thrsday we are seeing the story through. Chartacters around her are fading away because they are no longer read. She feels unneeeded and a shadow of the original. She  wants to find and restore the real Thursday.
  In the end, if I understand it correctly, she discovers she is not a copy.
   I guess maybe I don't get it. But that is okay. There are a lolt of other genres out there for me to read.