Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Book Reviewer

               Let's take a breather from all those books reviewed and let me place here in this posting a little article I wrote about my thoughts on book reviewing.

                Just what does it take to be a book reviewer? Have you ever asked yourself that question? It looks like a fine thing to do. Read a book, review it, get the review published.
                A love for books is a big requirement. If you don’t like books and you don’t enjoy reading, than putting yourself forward as a book reviewer is not for you.  So I would say that the primary requirement is that you like books.
                Once you find a book you feel needs to be reviewed you should carefully read it. Notice the genre. Is it fiction or non-fiction? If fiction, notice what type of story it is telling. Is it Mystery, adventure, drama, romance or humor.. all surface genre types.
 What viewpoint is being used? First, second, third. 
                Is the story plot driven or character driven?  By this is meant does the character drive the story or does the plot?
                There are certain genre that always lean itself to one of the other. For example, the mystery genre always has the formula of mystery, sleuth, victim. That would mean it would be driven by the events in the story and not the character.
                Some stories are character driven, but I won’t dwell on them.
                Then there are non-fiction books that you can review. Non-fiction covers biographies, history, religious, how-to-do books, as an example.
                 I was the book reviewer for a paper here in Santa Monica, Ca back in 2007. They would give me the books and I would review therm. I also got hold of the Bethany Book publishers on their website and for a while was doing reviews of their romance books. All these were published weekly in the Santa Monica Press.
                Then there was the blog I started for my book reviews. I started a book blog on blogger. I found I could request books from blogging for books, now Book Lovers, and Multnomah press.
 The requirements for them was I read the book I requested and post the review on my book blog. Also I had to post to a retail site as well before I could request another book to be sent.
                In reviewing a book you should look for the genre.
·         Fiction
·         Nonfiction
·         Historical
·         Mystery
·         Adventure

Then the layout of the book:
1.        How many pages
2.        How many chapters.
3.       How many characters
Ask did they prove their point? Is it something you would recommend to someone else?
                When  you are doing nonfiction you need to say whether it was instructive. Did you learn something new or something that reinforced your opinion? Is it an important addition to a person’s library?
                You, by reviewing the book, are doing a great service. It has been said that of the writing of books there is no end. You, as the reviewer, help people decide where to spend their money.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Futureville by Skye Jethani

Your vision of the future will determine your present lifestyle. How we decide what matters today, Jethani postulates, cannot be separated from what we believe about tomorrow. If we see a bright tomorrow we live today with hope. If we don’t see a bright tomorrow we trend to live pessimistically. We determine what is a meaningful life by understanding the present in light of the future.
Yet this book is not so much about the future but the present. Jethani starts with the vision of the future the generation viewing the 1939 World’s Fair had. There was hope offered in what was presented. It shaped the vision that the people had of the present. Their today was defined by the tomorrow they saw.
 Since that day we have been presented with a different picture of tomorrow.
 What happened? We got our eyes off the picture God presents in the Bible.
 Throughout history our viewpoint and understanding for our purpose has changed. The puritans had a view that Christ not labor was man’s highest calling.
 Os Guinness has said, “First and foremost we are called to Someone (God) not to something (such as motherhood, politics, or teaching) or to somewhere ( such as the inner city or Outer Mongolia)
  I found this book to be an idea stimulator and a call to adjust your view of the future.  I like it and recommend it for all who need to reconsider the present meaning of their life.  It will be a welcome addition to the library of counselors who aren’t afraid of presenting alternate viewpoints.
  I received this book free from BookSneeze for review purposes and any viewpoint expressed is mine and not the publisher’s. I was not required to give a positive review.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Crash The Chatterbox by Steven Furtick

I was sent this book free from Multnomah book publishers to review. It has the subtitle of Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others. That subtitle explains the thesis of the book.
 Furtick puts forth that we can learn to hear the voice of God to combat the ever present internal self speak we walk around with when it comes to self image. Being a student of the word of God and having memorized portions of it we should, he contends, be able to talk back to the voice. He contends that the voice isn’t our own but that of the enemy of the Christian.
The book is formatted into three sections: God says that I am, God says He will, and God says He has. In each section Furtick charts a plan for us to work with our chatter. He illustrates his points with scripture to ground the reader in reality.
There is so much chatter going on in the realm of out though life that we need to have a plan to control it. Furtick offers an easy to read and understand book. He even offers a website for deeper exploration of this subject.
There are even discussion points at the end of the book for those who want to do small groups. The tone is at the level of the common Christian reader and would help all who wish to do the study. I recommend this for people who want to go deeper.
As I said above I received this book free to review from Multnomah book publishers. I was not required to give a positive review. Any viewpoints expressed are those of the reviewer and not the publisher.