Friday, October 24, 2014

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

5 of 5 stars *****

Once again, Donna Tartt creates an engaging story which brings life to words with her unique descriptions and common phrasings that magically transport the reader into the contemporary existence of an adolescent, Theo Decker, who experiences the death of his mother. This tragedy creates a longing for his mother that haunts him through an exquisite painting of a captive pet bird, a Goldfinch. This mysterious attraction, that lives deep in Theo, accompanies him through his schooldays, living in his best friend's household, and into adulthood that includes drugs and crimes of deceit in the art world. Theo's lifestyle gets in the way of his happiness with love and ultimately hardens his view of life as rather difficult and tedious. It's not until the end when he contemplates the masterpiece painting, the Goldfinch, that he sees, up close, the creator's brushstroke, his painstaking attention to an admirer's vision of an undercoating that gives the Goldfinch depth and fluff to its breast; but more significant to Theo is the distance required from the painting that blends the physical reality with the magical intention of the artist to captivate an onlooker into falling in love with his creation. This is the place where Theo sees a softer realm of beauty that he ascribes to the love of his life, Pippa, rather than the harsh realism of his deep secretive life that he is reluctant to share. It takes the Goldfinch to bring this revelation into Theo's consciousness.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Explore the Bible: Adult Personal Study Guide HCSB: (Hebrews, Fall 2014) by David Jeremiah (General Editor), Argile Smith

5 of 5 stars  *****

Hebrews is the Gospel that addresses the wavering believers 30 years after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Christians are ready to avoid the condescension and persecution by the Jews and Romans to lead a more peaceful life. However, returning to the old covenant of Moses law, whereby the path to heaven is paved by good behavior and obedience to the that law, the new covenant, brought by Jesus as prophesied in the old testament, promises life everlasting by believing that Jesus is the Christ, who, by sacrificing his perfect life for mankind's sins, believers are assured a place in heaven with their Father. For the Christians who lean toward reverting back to the old ways, they tend to follow the herd who find comfort in habit, even though the behavior requires extra sacrifices. The people who do turn their backs on Jesus decide to live for temporary moments of happiness rather than a joyous eternal existence with Jesus in heaven. Without Hebrews Christianity may not be the major religion it is today. The most likely author of this gospel is the Apostle, Paul

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bible Promises for You: From the New International Version by Inspirio (Creator)

5 of 5 stars  *****

This is the little book I shall carry with me so that I may refer to the wisdom it offers. The book is about as big as a large-screen phone so it isn't convenient to carry in my pants pocket. I shall carry this book with me along with my phone, which has a downloaded version of the NIV Bible. The advantage of having access to the written word is immediate accessibility to the Word of God without searching through the Old and New Testaments. Two pages are dedicated to every condition and quality that scripture lists in alphabetical order from Accomplishment to Work. Choose the appropriate subject; say, Children, and turn to page 24 to discover what the Old Testament (written in italics) and the New Testament teach on the subject. I read a few entries and put the book down in deep thought. I am amazed at the significance the words have for me at any particular time I open this little gem of wisdom. Bible Promises for You is a book which talks to me in a divine way; therefore, it walks with me so that I may walk the talk.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Fenella Woolgar (Narrator)

4 out of 5 stars ****

A beautifully written story by Kate Atkinson and an exquisite, expressive narration by Fenella Woolgar make this Audiobook a recommended choice for anyone's bookshelf. The subject of life and death never grows old in this genre of historical fiction. Life enters the world and passes through for brief moments only to reemerge in another window by chance to experience what the times offer for the innocent and vulnerable. View life in the last century through Ursula Todd, the traveler in this adventure.