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Book Reviews

Proverbs Reconstructed (Book Review)

Fridays are now “Resource Friday” around here on the ole’ website. This week’s resource is the book, Proverbs: “Reconstructed”.

Proverbs: “Reconstructed” (Gus Dallas, WestBow Press) is an incredible effort by the author to reorganize the Book of Proverbsinto topical categories for easy reference. I enjoy the wisdom in Proverbs and I greatly appreciate the author’s effort to make this book more usable.

The book breaks down Proverbs into virtually every possible category—both reasonable (fatherhood, wisdom, justice) and confusing (ant, apple, bear, dog)—and defines each category as “Good” or “Bad”, or divides the proverbs on a topic into each definition, as needed.

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Book Reviews

Pershing (Book Review)

I had heard the name of General Pershing a couple of times and the only thing I could remember was that he was the all-time second-highest ranked general in the history of the Army, after George Washington was officially promoted above him in the 1970s. When a reviewer’s copy was offered of John Perry’s latest book “Pershing: Commander of the Great War” as part of The Generals series, I jumped at the chance to learn more about this apparently incredible military commander.

For the book itself, I highly recommend it. Perry walks the reader through General Pershing life in enough detail to answer most of the questions the average reader would want to know in the process of reading the book but not too much as to overwhelm or to let the reader become bored. General Pershing, himself, couldn’t do that as his autobiography was 869 pages long with exacting detail.

Reader beware! Don’t look at the pictures until after reading the entire book. There was one particular picture describing a major event of his life included far before the text itself detailed the event. That soured the reading experience a bit.

General Pershing is written to be an amazing man. He entered West Point as a way to get a cheap education toward his goal of becoming a lawyer and ended up never leaving the military. A fair man who, when serving overseas, did not treat native (barbaric in some sense) peoples poorly but with respect. He stood his ground to French and British commanders in WWI when the U.S. was still the new kid of the block. General Pershing was a military statesman.

Even if you are not a military history buff, this book is a great read that give you insight to American’s most forgotten military hero.

Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a review. I was not required to give a positive review. Links to the book in this review are affiliate links. This review is fully my opinion and not a paid advertisement.

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Book Reviews

Review: Thank You, God, for Blessing Me

I just downloaded and read a cute little children’s book. Thank You, God for Blessing Me, by Max Lucado. In print, it is a board book, about a caterpillar thanking God for the various blessing in his life.
 The illustrations are done well and are colorful enough to keep the eyes of the little ones attracted to the book. There are few ways, if any, to incorrectly thank God for blessings, so this book does not stray into any heretical theological grounds! Simply a cute little book that would make a nice Christmas stocking stuffer for a little one’s first or second Christmas.

I reviewed the ebook version of the book on the Kindle, which I tried both on the eInk device and through Amazon’s PC program. The images in the book did not translate to the greyscale device well. I would suggest changing the orientation to landscape to increase the relative size of the illustration. On the PC, the colors come through nicely, although the illustrations are a bit small compared to what they could have been given the additional screen real estate.

Nevertheless, it’s a good ebook to keep on the device for when you’re stuck somewhere and need to provide some additional entertainment (and catechism) to a pre-reader.

Material disclosure: I was provided the ebook from the publisher for free in exchange for this review. I was not required to post a positive review. The link to the book in the text is an affiliate link, which would give me a small referral fee if you purchase the book.

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Book Reviews

Review: Doing Virtuous Business

I recently read Doing Virtuous Business: The Remarkable Success of Spiritual Enterprise and was disappointed. The book, by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, had the potential to be a great work looking at the various ways businesses have been successful while still leading through an ethical and virtuous approach. I thought this could be a more business-oriented book along the lines of Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership. While a decent book, it did not reach my hopeful ambition for it.

Cover for Doing Virtuous Business

The last half to two-thirds of the book was great. While not perfect and I question a couple of the companies highlighted. Wal-Mart, for example, was studied and, while I don’t intent to indict the company, their status as an ethical company is not held to be true across the board. Choice of example notwithstanding, the author examines the various virtues, how they are elements required for business success, then presents a case about a company that is arguably successful using that particular virtue.

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Book Reviews Daddy's Corner

Review: Daddy Dates

Daddy Dates, by Greg Wright, is a great read. It’s been awhile since I couldn’t set a book down and it grabbed me from the forward until the end. The book is written by a father outlining his method of creating a lasting, meaningful and personal relationship with each of his four daughters. The primary tool outlined in the book are “Daddy Dates”, which are, generally, one-on-one outings with your daughter and designed to make them feel special. The author connects this to when dating your spouse: you had to really work at creating and maintaining that relationship and you have to do the same with your daughters.

As the father of two very young daughters, I was personally excited about this idea. Greg writes in a humorous, personal voice that makes you laugh out loud and tear up on more than one occasion. His idea is simple, but not one articulated very often. The book’s presentation of content is, all-in-all, logical. There is a chapter specifically for divorced dads that was good, but seemed to be awkwardly placed. I’m fine chalking it up to “the content needed to be in there, so it is what it is.” Besides that one issue, the book is excellent. Again, the idea is so simple that any father can do it and if more fathers did do it, the world would be a better place to raise daughters.

Some of his ideas (e.g. the ages that his daughters can date) may seem too “old school” for today’s world, but they way he explains them, it makes sense. While he is sure of his parenting style, his style of writing does not impose his thoughts as the sole way to accomplish these goals, but only as a suggested roadmap that worked for one dad.

This is a guy’s book. Written by a guy for guys. There is a good mix of theory, analogy and real-world experience using language that guys will understand and translate into an applicable vision. I’m sure ladies will enjoy the book too; the author sounds like a really sweet guy.

In short, if you’re the father of a daughter, this book is well-worth it. It would make a great gift, e.g. moms can give a Fathers’ Day gift too!

Pick it up from Amazon today!

Additionally, on May 14th, the author is promoting “National Daddy/Daughter Tea”–go grab tea/coffee with your daughter that morning. On the book’s website, there is a list of locations currently setup.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher for the purpose of writing a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book Reviews

Review: Living Life In The Zone

For the long-time readers, you know that I have reviewed books from Thomas Nelson as part of their bloggers’ reviewer program. I haven’t written a review in a long time, and soon you’ll know why…

I’ve been trying to read Living Life In The Zone by Kyle Rote and Joe Pettigrew for over a year now. I received a complementary copy through Thomas Nelson’s reviewer program before Lent 2010 with the intention of using this 40-day male spirituality program as part of my Lenten journey.

It didn’t happen for Lent 2010, nor anytime else in 2010, nor Lent 2011. I was seeking for a deep set of spiritual reflections and, in my opinion, couldn’t find it in my multiple attempts through the book. I didn’t find any objectionable about the reflections, just not what I was seeking to fill my spiritual need. The reflection questions at the end of each day were interesting, but would be most effective in a group setting. In such a setting, the questions can lead to thought-provoking conversations.

On the positive side, the book’s use of sport metaphors is well done. The text does a great job as coming across as a coach working to get the most out of his players. I found that entertaining and enjoyable. For an group of men involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes or active/interested in sports, this book could be a very fruitful tool.

In short, if you are looking for a tool to use with your men’s group or in a group of friends, order a copy and check it out. If you’re looking for something to use individually, take stock in what you’re really trying to achieve. If you’re attempting to restart a dormant faith life or starting fresh, this could be great for you. If you’re already in the habit, this might not serve you as well.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher’s book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”