Tuesday, July 26, 2011

George Washington Carver by John Perry

The “Peanut Man” and More

George Washington Carver by John Perry books covers his life as a child born into slavery and the ordeals of racial injustice during this time while striving to further his education. Carver’s quite demeanor and ability to trust in God was his driving force through many trails and ordeals through his life. The book goes through his childhood, how he was sickly but able to self educate so he could read and write. Driven by his need for more education he provided with more opportunities but again because of the historical period this also brought complications because of his race.

While Carver was very gifted, we could only wonder what would have happened if he had been just a little more structured in his pursuit of documentation while conducting his experiments. His normal method was not to bother with documenting until after the results were completed. With taking the time to document his experiments, to prove the entire process involved, would have opened more job opportunities and recognition. Since documentation was not a concern for him, many companies passed on many of his discoveries.

A fascinating biography, a must read for all historical enthusiast.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing through BookSneeze.com in exchange for my honest review of the book.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lincoln and Darwin: Two Men Who Shaped the World by Robert L. Henn

Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were both born on February 12, 1809. Besides sharing the same birth date, they never met but were similar in so many ways. They both had a great drive for knowledge; both had a high capacity of memory and recall. Both were self-confident and were very persistent even when a great number of people did not agree with what they were doing.

A view of both Lincoln and Darwin is presented in historical detail. Events, timelines and detailed descriptions are shared in many of the key events in both men’s lives. The books purpose is to show how these two men were so similar. What was Lincoln doing while Darwin was sailing on the HMS Beagle or when we wrote the Origin of the Species? What was Darwin doing when Lincoln was giving the Gettysburg Address or when he was assassinated? It is interesting how two men so far apart in the world shared so many traits yet were able to change the world in their own unique manner.

I received a free copy of this book from Dorrance Publishing in exchange for my honest review of the book.

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory

Intriguing and Thought Provoking

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory is about a man caught in today’s rat race. He works long hours, does not see his family much, his relationship with others continues to deteriorate and his faith is all but gone. That is until he receives an anonymous dinner invitation. The main character debates at length if he should go or not. Finally, he decides to go just to see who is dinner partner really is and finds out it is Jesus of Nazareth.

Most of us would think, yeah right dinner with Jesus but what interested me was the thought provoking part that caught me by surprise was “What would I say if I was in his shoes?” The story covers many good questions but I was more intrigued by what was being asked and how or if I would do the same thing? The book is a quick read but generates many internal questions one must ask about how their relationship is with God. Are we just going through the motions? This would be a great book for a Christian book club or a bible study group.

I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing in exchange for my honest review of the book.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

J.R.R. Tolkien by Mark Horne

Tolkien’s Influences

The biography J.R.R. Tolkien by Mark Horne is a quick read. Unlike other biographies about Tolkien, the focus is more on how the events in his life and religious up brings influenced his writing. The book covers his childhood surroundings and impressionable times like the passing of his mother and father at an early age. His fascination with languages and the ability to create his own language at an early age was a lifelong passion. The book also covers many of the groups he belonged to and some he started. The ability to share his thoughts and developed he stories was a great tool to help improve and enhance the stories he had started. Friends who will prove you an honest review are hard to come.

This biography brings out the real human qualities of Tolkien. It shows how creative and imaginative he was but it also revealed his self-doubt and his strive for perfection. You can really visualize and relate to how Tolkien felt in his struggles in writing the stories and how uncomfortable it was for him to publish some of his works.

If you are looking for a quick read about Tolkien but looking for more of how his stories many have evolved, read this book.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing through BookSneeze.com in exchange for my honest review of the book.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Beginning Origami by Pamela L. Wieten

Beginners BEWARE

Beginning Origami by Pamela L. Wieten attempts to show people who are not familiar with origami how to create four basic origami foldings. For a beginner this book will be very confusing and at times difficult to transition from one fold to another. The author does not follow the very basic symbols of what most origami books use to show how folding are done. You can clearly tell an amateur does the drawings because the foldings are not always true to how they should look. Basic origami books that are used to teach both adults and children follow four basic rules: 1) The book should contain at least ten foldings, 3-4 foldings to teach basic folding instructions. 2) Slightly more complex foldings to challenge them and to teach 2 to 3 more bases. 3) Leave one folding at the end that will challenge them and they should not be able to master right away. If they master all the foldings in the first try, their interest level will disappear. 4) Keep the instructions simple, meaning each drawing should represent one and no more than two folding instructions. Showing the beginner eight folding instructions at once will be very confusing for them.

I have been doing origami for over forty years, collected hundreds of origami books, taught children of all ages and adults including college students, developed beginner, intermediate and advanced origami instruction manuals. I could never with a clear concuss suggest this book to anyone I knew was interest in learning origami.

I received a free copy of this book from Dorrance Publishing in exchange for my honest review of the book.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why God Won't Go Away bu Alister McGrath

New Atheism vs. God

Alister McGrath book “Why God Won’t Go Away” brings to light the ongoing battle between if God really exists or not. Unlike his protagonists Harris, Dawkins, Dennett and Hitchens the author of this book, McGrath, does not waste his time bashing the others for their beliefs. Instead, he takes the time in his book so that you fully understand all four of his protagonist’s points of views. After you have a better understanding then he compares all the points of views. McGrath addresses many issues and problematic topics that are conveniently bypassed with the other authors. McGrath does not hide the fact that there are some things that cannot be proven by faith or by science. That does not mean we disregard or abandon our religious beliefs. McGrath clearly states that the New Atheism movement is more or less another fad that is already quickly disappearing. The interesting thing is the numbers of people who believe on God do not seem to be going away but continue to grow.

The idea that religion causes violence based on the wars and terrorist actions we have seen is an unsupported theory. McGrath even provides examples of wars that were started that had nothing to do with religion. The basic fact is if you remove religion, we humans will find something else to fight.

Allow the others time to enjoy their 15 minutes of fame because the in the end if one of us is wrong in our beliefs which one of us will truly suffer for it?

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through BookSneeze.com in exchange for my honest review of the book.