Thursday, July 31, 2014

Learning To Breathe Fire by J. C. Herz

How far would you go to be fit? What type of exercise program would you sign up for?
There is a movement in the area of physical wellness that goes beyond the yearly gym memberships that are so famous. It is called Crossfit.
This is a way of life. You either do it or you stay away. You are either crazy for abuse or enjoy strength effort and cardio stress. It is a twenty minute routine of pull-ups, box jumps, and bell swings. Each box, that is what the locations are called, is free to set the routine up any way they like.
Yet this is something that has grown. I couldn’t keep up the pace, but enough have responded to this movement there are games held annually.
This is not a membership driven yearly payment deal.  Those type of organizations are referred to as Global-Gyms. Pay your yearly fee and be a member with no need to show up and use the equipment. In fact, a global-gym would prefer you hand them the money and never use the facilities.
Not so with Crossfit. It is a commitment. You show up because you want to be there.
Herz gives the stories of movers within the program. In  Crossfit it isn’t important that you win the event but that you finish. She goes behind the scene, so to speak, and lets the reader see the characters.
It is a book that will be enjoyed by exercise enthusiasts and trainers. The style is easy to digest so it doesn’t seem to slow down and bore the reader.
I received this book free from bloggingforbook to be reviewed. I was not required to give a positive review. Any opinions expressed are those of the book reviewer and not those of the publisher.

Friday, July 18, 2014

No Place To Hide by W. Lee Warren, M.D.

    This is a man’s book.
     My first impression when I was barely half way through the book was that it is gutsy and graphic. It has to be graphic. Dr. Warren is writing about war and it’s devastation.

      Warren being a neurosurgeon writes like a surgeon and doesn’t apologize for it. He wants you to see the damage war has.

      He was part of the medical team that was in Iraq 2004-2005. Details have been toned down somewhat. Battlefield medicine is not pretty.

      Warren writes of the interaction the doctors had with each other as well as the patient. He brings the human side to the war into perspective. Who lived or died depended on the skill and the equipment and the purpose of an ever present God.

       I found this book to be very well written and it kept my attention. Even in the operation details, and the first half of the book covers this area,  Warren was trying to hold his marriage together while dealing with the battle casualties.

      This book shows God’s control over life.

       As I said, this is a man’s book. It shows a strong man who was even able to work around the pressure forced on him by the situation he was thrust into. It changed him. It wasn’t easy, but life isn’t easy.

        Told chronologically it moves forward to the present day
        This book was sent to me free by the group for this review. I was not required to give a positive review. Any viewpoint expressed is that of the reviewer and not those of the publisher I review for BookLook Bloggers

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Public Library, a Photographic Essay by Robert Dawson

Libraries Are Important
   What can be said about libraries?  They are depositories of great and not so great books, both audio and written. They hold CDs and maps. They seem to be the first to go when a b udget cut is proposed.
    Without the library the intelligence of the public would suffer.
    Libraries are open to everyone no matter what your social economic level. Yes, even to the homeless and mental handicapped individuals. Even when they disrupt the running of the system.
     Robert Dawson has traveled around the country taking pictures of libraries They have been housed in small quarters and large quarters. There is even one in Death Valley in a trailer.
    Somehow they survive. People want libraries in their neighborhood. Some have even started loaning libraries in their own yards. Borrow a book and rep[lace it with another. Simple to make and l,ow cost.
    "A free public library is a revolutionary notion, and when people don't have free access to books,  then communities are like radios without batteries." someone has said.
   This volume has great photos of existing and closed library buildings throughout the nation. They have been housed in various abodes. They have even been housed in libraries on wheels for areas that can't  afford one of their own.
    The history of libraries goes far back in our history. Ben Franklin started one and the idea seems to have caught on. Some library buildings are ornate. Others are plan. But knowledge is there for those who will seek it.
    This book has a forward by Bill Moyers and an afterword by Ann Patchett. There are small insightful essays sprinkled in between photos to inform the public of the great history and impact
the free system of information has had on our intellectual growth.
    I highly recommend this book.

Monday, July 7, 2014

My Life In Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead

“Reading is sometimes thought of as a form of escapism, and it’s a common turn of phrase to speak of getting lost in a book. But a book can also be where one finds oneself... There are books that grow with the reader as the reader grows.”
For Mead such a book was Middlemarch by George Elliot. She has written this book as a biography and a memoir;a biography of Elliot and a memoir of what the book means to her in her development.
Some books can read you, she states. She feels Middlemarch is such a book. Some books expand the more we read them.
Never having read the book, I can’t really say that.
English teachers seem to be fond of issuing book reports to be done favoring Elliot, Sir Walter Scott, Thackeray and Dickens. They ask for theme and plot and message. Teachers seem to be able to ruin the joy of reading for many students. 
If we had a book like this which treats the story development as a reflection of where Elliot was at that period in her life, it would have made the reviewing more pleasant.
It seems this book would be understood better by students and book readers who need context for their analysis of Middlemarch.
I was lost in trying to figure out what Mead was doing. It is not the type of book that I can lose myself in.
I was given this book free for reviewing purposes by and was not required to give a positive review. Any views expressed are those of the reviewer and not the publisher.