Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Gods of HP Lovecraft by Aaron J. French (Editor), Martha Wells (Goodreads Author), Adam Nevill (Goodreads Author), Laird Barron (Goodreads Author), Bentley Little, David Liss (Goodreads Author), Brett J. Talley (Goodreads Author), Christopher Golden (Goodreads Author) , James A. Moore (Goodreads Author), Jonathan Maberry (Goodreads Author), Joe R. Lansdale

3 out of 5 stars  *****

A group of Science Fiction writers pay homage to HP Lovecraft by writing short stories of horror which include the creatures of HP's imagination. Some of the stories are a perfusion of descriptive elements of speech and some are less elaborate in expression. The variety of authors accounts for this stylistic diversity. The stories, themselves, go beyond the mundane human slice of life to the history of living, intelligent beings who predate homo sapiens but interact with mankind either by time travel, dreams, dimensional gates, or misadventure. The short stories become gruesome and terrible before a climax, usually of doom or despair. Such scenarios have their own place in Science Fiction and its own following.

This reader/listener discovers tales of horror to be less entertaining and more intriguing when in a certain but random frame of mind. Listening to The Gods of HP Lovecraft becomes tedious and a bit annoying as the same narrator seems to blend one short story into the next. For these reasons this collection of literary work gets three out of five stars. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Why I Am a Christian by John R.W. Stott

5 of 5 stars  *****

What an inspirational book that also deepens one's understanding of the Old and New Testament. The common denominator in that scripture being Jesus of Nazareth. John R.W. Stott eloquently writes about his accepting Jesus as Christ, the Messiah. He uses scripture from both Old and New Testaments to reinforce his belief and also quotes great minds such as Augustine, C.S. Lewis, Mother Teresa, Bertrand Russell, and Bornhoeffer. 

One appreciates the academic mind and logical rationale of Stott's interpretation throughout this book. He summarizes and further explains each component of the claims about Jesus Christ that confirm his abiding belief in Christianity. For example, the crucifixion's purpose is atonement of sins, revelation of God, and conquest over evil. These three points expand in that chapter's elaborations.

Why I Am a Christian is a short book but a powerful message of profound importance. It would behoove any reader to acquaint themselves with this work for the ability to discern truth in a world filled with lies and deception.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Big Agenda: President Trump's Plan to Save America by David Horowitz

5 of 5 stars  *****

Objective evidence is necessary for truth to be told. David Horowitz writes a book using such evidence exposing Donald Trump's vision for America and his behavior to actualize that goal after becoming the President of the United States. Big Agenda: President Trump's Plan to Save America refutes the character assassination and barrage of negative reporting he receives, still, to this day.

The author accuses the Democrats, Far Left Liberal Progressives, of being taken over by a Socialist ideology and even Communism. Records reveal how Hillary Clinton benefits monetarily while Secretary of State making deals with companies and countries who desire her influence to deliver what they want. Hillary's association with people who are on America's list of enemies comes up in this book which also points out how she avoids any bad press, let alone conviction of crimes against her country. The reason for looking at Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton, is to explain the double standard that applies to Republicans in the White House.

Democrats are not the only opposition to Donald Trump. Republicans who are comfortable with the status quo do not want the non-politician, politically incorrect Trump to shake their worlds into chaos. Some are jealous or spiteful toward Trump because of personal issues and refuse to support his agenda.

The main theme of the book is more of an observation about why America is so divided with the advent of Trump's election victory. Horowitz shows how, over time, the Democratic Party shifts more toward the Left than moderate. The prejudiced institutions of higher education are promoting Progressive, New World Order agendas that influence the malleable minds of young adults. Bernie Sanders popularity is an indication of this indoctrination.

Horowitz presents, in plain language, the opposition to making America great again. Trump's big agenda is a cure for reversing the course on which the last administration put this country.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Art of Reading (Great Courses, #2198) by Timothy Spurgin

3 of 5 stars  ***

I listen to these lectures mainly from my car while driving. Because of this, I miss some of the important lessons The Art of Reading offers. 

Timothy Spurgin uses many classics to point out examples of his lesson for each chapter. Content and structure are not the only discussions. Why we read what we read and how we treat the written word is also a subject upon which the author touches. Tools for approaching the varieties of books, journals, magazines, and papers can assist us to get through what seems tedious at first. 

I enjoy the description of style in certain pieces of literature and understand, now, why an author writes the way he or she does. I appreciate the necessary rules for plot to maintain the integrity of a story. Finally, the difficulty of adapting a book to a movie explains why so many movies fail to deliver the true essence and tone that a book shares. To capture a book's intent on film is truly an art form. 

The purpose of this course is to educate us about reading so it can be more enjoyable. Even though the lectures can be a bit stuffy at times, I believe this course succeeds in achieving that purpose.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Explore the Bible, Personal Study Guide: Psalms : Summer 2017 by Robert Smith (Editor), Lebron Matthews (Author 1-7), Allen Tilley (Author 8-13)

5 of 5 stars  *****

The most referred to section in the Old Testament, today and in the New Testament, is the Book of Psalms. This study expresses a cogent reason for this, Psalms reveal a full array of human experience and emotions. They possess lessons of spiritual growth, weakness, justice, forgiveness, love, and kindness in times of success and peril.

The Psalms are classified into seven categories, which may overlap, to better identify and apply each work: Lament, for distressful times; Thanksgiving, rescue from distress; Hymn, praising God; Royal, celebration of Israels's earthly king; Enthronement, celebrate God's divine kingship; Penitential, for contrition and repentance; Wisdom/Didactic, poetic form with lessons about good and evil that celebrate God's word.

Reading every Psalm is not necessary to understand the lessons each of these categories offer. A few choice Psalms are chosen to explore. in a group setting, their deeper meanings and personal applications.

After this Bible study, this reader feels closer to God with a strong conviction that He is always present with His Love. That love is most evident in the cross where He forgives all sins of those who accept the One whom the Old Testament speaks, Jesus, the son of man and God, Himself, the Christ.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dibs in Search of Self by Virginia M. Axline

5 of 5 stars  *****

This book reveals how too much pressure on a young child can make him/her display autistic behavior confusing the developmental stages and coping mechanisms humans need to grow into normal, functioning adults. Virginia Axline develops Play Therapy in this book with amazing results for the precious, young mind that discovers his self.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen, Amie Parnes

3 of 5 stars  ***

Relive the 2015/2016 Democratic campaigns with Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign. Much of the information is public knowledge but some investigative discoveries reveal how Hillary people feel about the candidate, their co-campaigners, and strategies of the failure to elect the first woman president of the United States. Interestingly enough, the book ends with Hillary rationalizing why she is not president and eventually agreeing to plot against the present president as champion of her stated values and accomplishments of President Obama. A minority of people close to Hillary go as far as to say that Hillary refuses to see her part in that shocking November outcome: her alienation of people who came to see her, her involvement with big money, Russian deals that benefited her husband and the Clinton foundation, her e-mail scandals, the Benghazi fiasco, and her poor response to the question, "Why should you be president?" This reader also picks out that what Hillary says and what she does are two different things when it comes to campaigning for votes.