Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Unapologetic Bible NKJV

NKJV, Unapologetic Study Bible, Hardcover

By Emmanuel Foundation
Published by Thomas Nelson


This new bible, featuring the New King James Version, features easy to read font as well as relevant topics addressing important social, political and theological issues.  Throughout the bible text are several relevant articles, thoroughly researched to suit the needs of laymen as well as bible students.  Everything from suicide to taxes are addressed.  Unlike traditional apologetic bibles and articles, the articles feature relevant modern issues as they relate to the field of apologetics.  These articles will appeal to a wide range of readers no matter where they are with their bible background.  Skeptics as well as Christians will appreciate the arguments and scholarly research of the selected articles.  Color coded graphics not only add visual appeal but also help the reader to navigate the topics addressed.  The bible is durable and will stand up to years of use. As a blogger I received a copy of this bible for the purpose of writing this review.  For those readers who want to brush up on apologetics for their own knowledge or in response to debates with others, this is a great resource.  The only thing is that I would like to see this bible available in the NIV translation in the future as the NIV will appeal to even more bible readers. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

NIV Thinline bible, comfort print

This new NIV thinline bible is bound in beautiful flexible bonded leather, silver gilded paper edges and thumb indexed.  This is a standard bible, featuring the full text of the NIV.  No additional features: no maps, no concordance and no articles- is what keeps this bible thin and easy to carry while maintaining a readable font.  The font is a newly created comfort print.  It does make this bible easier to read.  When you look carefully at the font style, it appears to be a modern designed font, not a traditional font like New Times Roman.  If you are looking for a basic, but well designed leather bible, this is a good choice.  This bible comes thumb indexed.  I didn't find this feature too useful as each thumb indexed page features 4 different books, so it still takes a bit of flipping to find the book you are actually looking for.  This is a good everyday bible, as it is lightweight and easy to read in bed or on the go.  As a blogger for booklook I received a copy of this bible for the purpose of writing this review.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Pass it On : A Proverbs Journal for the Next Generation by Champ Thorton

Pass it On : A Proverbs Journal for the Next Generation by Champ Thorton is a brand new book that guides the reader  to reflect and journal their way through the book of Proverbs.  The Proverbs are often overlooked, but are a source of much wisdom.  A treasure of wisdom and insight is to be found in this Old Testament book.  Thorton guides the reader through each and every chapter of proverbs, providing the actual bible text of the Proverbs in its entirety as well as questions and insight to encourage readers to reflect on the message read.  Journaling space is provided the answer reflective questions, notable verses as well as free space for general thoughts, ideas and personal reflection.  After completing this book, the reader will have read the entire book of proverbs as well as completed a bible study and journal entries.  The idea of this book is to complete it and offer it as a gift to a child, grandchild or any other special person in your life.  This completed book is certain to become a treasured keepsake.  The book is beautifully bound with a flexible leatherette cover, as well as sturdy thick pages.  I's like to see the author do a series of these books on other bible books as well, especially Job.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by new Growth press for the purpose of writing this review.

The Build by Paul Teutul Jr

The Build by  Paul Teutul, is a must have for any fan of the TV series, American Chopper.
Author Paul Teutul, Jr. from the TV series American Chopper, builds   custom "chopper" styled motorcycles.  This book gives the reader, the behind the scenes back story of the popular series as well as insights into the author's own life as well as insights into the father Son relationship which also makes up much of the storyline in the TV show.  Even those who are not into motorcycles will find insight and inspiration from Paul Teutul Jr's life story.  Not only is this a story about mortorcycles as a hobby and lifestyle, it is also a book about relationships, family as well as finding one's niche or purpose in life. It is ironic, that from watching the TV show, this is the least likely TV character that one would expect to see an inspiring book with a message to all readers about perseverance, family and faith.  This is what makes this book an effective outreach to reach all those readers out there who feel they are beyond the reach of a life changing experience.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Crown Publishing book for the purpose of writing this review.  This book would make a great book for any motorcycle enthusiast or fan of the TV show as well as anyone else who needs inspiration.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Be the Gift

Be the Gift

By Ann Voskamp
Published by Zondervan


The new book, Be the Gift by Ann Voskamp, is the perfect book for pastors and church leaders to distribute to parishners and church goers to encourage generosity and giving.  This beautiful hardcover book is filled with serene picturesque photographs of nature and scenes of cozy upper middleclass life, and idealistic bountiful family gatherings, complete with unique ideas for gift giving and acts of generosity.  For any pinterist fan and for those who have love to host get togethers and meals, this book will encourage people with means to think out of the box in order to encourage gift giving to those around them.  The gift tags included in the book reinforce the book's purpose- to encourage gift giving and generosity of those with resources and time to spare.   It is my opinion that the target audience of this book is for the upperclass socioeconomic class.  Glimpses of traditional families, complete with their comfortable, quality clothing, and well decorated, quaint cottage homes, and complete meals that look like recipes from an upscale cookbook, will appeal most to those readers who are more affluent.  Nevertheless, any reader will be able to glean some gift giving inspiration to show kindness to their neighbors and coworkers.  As a blogger for booklook I received this book for the purpose of writing this review. 


Friday, October 20, 2017

The Massacre of Mankind: Sequel to The War of the Worlds by Stephen Baxter

Most everyone has heard of the original War of the Worlds by HG wells, even if they have not read it.  It is one of those classics with a great storyline that stands the test of time, yet not everyone has ventured to read it.  The Massacre of Mankind: Sequel to The War of the Worlds by Stephen Baxter, is like part two, beginning where War of the Worlds leaves off.  It shows an interesting scenario of what happens after the book ends.  It is written by a contemporary author, Stephen Baxter, in the tradition of Wells.  This literary work is full of rich detail.  It is not a simple book that can be read quickly cover to cover.  Rather,  this expansive intellectual novel takes mental energy to follow along the storyline.   The vintage designed cover, as well as the story, takes the reader back to the 1920s- an alternate reality of a futuristic earth that exists in the past.  This book will stretch the imagination of the reader, for those who take the time to read it.  The authentic writing will transport you back into the past, as if reading the account as originally written by Wells.  The reader will be immersed into a world where a threat of invasion by aliens is very real; an alternate reality where futuristic technologies beyond what we can imagine, exists as far back as the 1920s.  For those who wonder what would society be like if an alien invasion was a reality, this book is for you.   This book takes dedication, stamina and perseverance to complete as interesting as it is.  Its not the typical fast paced novel. It is best for those readers, young and old alike, with advanced reading levels- not the typical adult who normally reads romance novels and crime novels from the racks at the check out in Walmart.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Crown publishers for the purpose of writing this review.  Dedicated fan of the original will certainly want to read it.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

What We See in the STars

What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky by Kelsey Oseid is a hybrid between a graphic story and a gift book, about outerspace.  It is difficult to fit this book into a particular genre as it does not quite fit into the category of  an astronomy science book.  This book is filled with trivia facts and cartoon images of the constellations, planets as well as other astronomical bodies found in space.  It is written like a graphic novel- the graphics are somewhat abstract mostly in two tone color shades of blue with occasional spot color throughout.  This casual book presents the topic in an entertainment - trivia format.  Rather than a formal text like introduction to astronomy, this playful book focuses on the popular concept of astronomy- constellation as the focus, as well as the stories behind the constellations.  There is also brief coverage of the moon, as well as the planets, comets and other space facts.  Although the bold graphics may also appeal to younger readers, this book is intended for adults who simply want to broaden their knowledge of popular astronomy without getting into technical  scientific details  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Ten Speed Press for the purpose of writing this review.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A Crazy, Holy Grace: The Healing Power of Pain and Memory by Frederick Buechner

A Crazy, Holy Grace: The Healing Power of Pain and Memory by Frederick Buechner is a compilation of Essays that will help the reader get a better understanding of the purpose of memory and grief.  Drawing from his own experiences of grief, death and suicide, the author helps the reader look at grief and memory in a whole new light.  This complex book is something that requires time to digest and absorb.  The surreal message is both human and spiritually obtained at the same time.  Buechner puts into voice, a message that is relatable on a personal level but inspired by the Holy Spirit as well.  What looks like a relatively simple exercise of remembering and pondering the past , is capable of bringing about lifelong growth simply by paying more attention to the everyday world that surrounds us.  This book is like a psychological exercise that Buechner conducts to facilitate the healing process of complicated grief. He brings back his dead loved ones into a special, designated safe area and has the conversations within his mind that he was unable to have in life.  The work of grief and healing is accomplished through these fictitious mental conversations. The reader can follow this inward journey that takes incredible courage to share with the world. This book is a retreat into the mind of the author.  It is a spiritual and dreamlike journey. 

  This book is suitable for more experienced believers who wish to fine tune their faith as well as skeptics and agnostics who are seeking truth and meaning and healing. The author brings light to topics that are normally hidden and seen as taboo.  This book is a source of relief and comfort to all who take the time to read and reflect on its message.  If you take the time to read this book and think about the message, not only will you make a connection but you too may find the healing you seek.  This book was not what I expected, but I am glad I took the time to read it as it can be a life changer. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Zondervan for the purpose of writing this review.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Remarkable Ordinary: How to Stop, Look, and Listen to Life by Frederick Buechner

The Remarkable Ordinary: How to Stop, Look, and Listen to Life by Frederick Buechner is a compilation of Essays that will help the reader into getting more out of life by seeing everyday things with a more eternal perspective.  What looks like a relatively simple exercise, is capable of bringing about lifelong growth simply by paying more attention to the everyday world that surrounds us.  One does not need to travel to an exotic location or plan  an expensive  pilgrimage to the Holy Land to appreciate the inherent spirituality that exits all around you.  In fact Buechner argues that even greater spiritual growth can be reached when you look within and around your immediate surrounding.  Not exactly a book that needs to be read from cover to cover, this book contains several shorter length essays that take time and perseverance to digest.  Throughout, Buechner shares anecdotes from his own life to illustrate that even challenging life experiences and grief need not forfeit one's ability to appreciate the beauty and the wisdom that life has to offer.  This book is suitable for more experienced believers who wish to fine tune their faith as well as skeptics and agnostics who are seeking truth and meaning.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Zondervan for the purpose of writing this review.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fliers: 20 Small Posters with Big Thoughts by Nathaniel Russell

Fliers: 20 Small Posters with Big Thoughts

by Nathaniel Russell is a unique gift book with a larger social message.  This unexpected book seems like an entertaining coffee table book, but within its pages is a brief commentary of the lack of purpose of life itself and modern society. 
I liked the idea of this book, although some of the posters were not really impressive.  The effect of this book was somewhat to mimic the effect of a quickly drawn poster.  There was little artistic value to these individual posters, but that was probably the point of the author- to capture the essence of a last minute haphazardly drawn poster.  This is a quality book with good reproductions of posters on strong card stock paper.  This makes them suitable for wall d├ęcor; although the content was not too impressive.  Overall I felt underwhelmed.  But perhaps that is the point of the author, to portray mediocrity and apathy that is so prevalent in this modern day.  This might be a good gift to decorate a college dorm room. As a blogger I received a copy of this book  for the purpose of writing this review. 

Jesus, I Need You Honest Prayers from a Trusting Heart By Zondervan   

Jesus, I Need You Honest Prayers from a Trusting Heart

                 Jesus, I Need You Honest Prayers from a Trusting Heart By Zondervan  is a brand new devotional book  for those readers seeking inspiration and guidance for their days. Just as the title indicates, it is a humbling experience to have the wisdom to know that you need Jesus in your day to day life.  This book is organized by topic.  The table of contents is divided into topical prayer areas such as guidance, comfort, wisdom and heartache to enable thye reader to easily navigate the book depending ion need.  For those who need somewhere to turn immediately this is a helpful feature.


In this modern day of independence, and self sufficiency, where many  take pride in saying they have the strength to navigate life independent of God- this devotional book focuses on prayers that empower the reader to learn to rely more on Jesus.  Psalm 14:1 1The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. Yet, how many actually take this scripture to heart? Not many.  It isn't weakness, nor foolishness that leads to dependence on God.  Quite the contrary, it is wisdom and strength and the wisdom of this world that gives the ever present message that Jesus is irrelevant or antiquated is actually foolishness and leads the way to eternal death.  Self sufficiency, hope and strength cannot be found apart from Jesus.  This book is a good starting point to reflect on these truths.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of the book for the purpose of writing this review.
      

Friday, September 29, 2017

Really Woolly Christmas Blessings by Bonnie Rickner Jensen and Illustrated by Donna Chapman

Its that time of year where it isn't too early to start thinking about Christmas themed reading material for your toddlers and preschoolers.  Unlike the commercialism of Christmas with secular holiday stories featuring Santa Clause, Christmas presents, elves and talking snowmen, this refreshing board book teaches the real meaning of Christmas while not too much theology or preaching.  Christmas Blessing, a part of the Really Woolly series by Bonnie Rickner Jensen and Illustrated by Donna Chapman features the furry sheep named Woolly, who teaches young readers the true meaning of Christmas as well as some Christmas traditions.  This small padded board book features a short devotion, a bible verse and prayer to guide young children in appreciating the Christmas season from the scriptural perspective.  Bright cartoons are inviting to young children as well.  The young child will learn the bible story of Christmas taken from the gospel accounts.  Depictions of Christmas traditions such as baking, playing in the snow, spending time with family, singing carols and Christmas trees  are incorporated in the devotions of this book providing a comprehensive overview of the Christmas season consistent with the bible.  Commercialized gift giving, and the notion that all "good" girls and boys are rewarded for being good with a room full of brightly wrapped presents and overstuffed stocking is not included in this book. These secular tales simply alienate many children especially impoverished children whose family cannot afford to meet the secular commercialized depiction of Christmas. For those families that feel Christmas time is just an excuse to go on shopping sprees- maybe this book may teach you something about the true meaning behind Christmas. As a parent, I found this a good book to read to my little ones as I found it presented a balanced view of Christmas.  I'd recommend this book for all parents of young children as a way to introduce the bible's depiction of this upcoming season. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Tommy Nelson for the purpose of writing this review.

Monsterland by Michael Okon

Everyone has heard of Disneyland and SeaWorld, but here comes a theme park featuring zombies, vampires and warewolves! 

Monsterland,  a new horror novel by Michael Okon, arrives just in time with pumpkins,  falling leaves,  and dark ominous nights to usher in the 2017 Halloween season.    This futuristic horror story incorporates a nightmarish tale of an alternate  reality in which populations of zombies, werewolves and vampire- human abominations transformed by viral contaminants are sequestered into a theme park.  Unlike Disneyland, this new theme park features authentic and dangerous exhibits with an underlying fear of danger that is real.  Not only does the reader find himself immersed into a monster theme park- there is also a social message addressing the issues of equality and autonomy.  The nightmarish creatures are not simply animals- but also portrayed as sick and suffering human beings. Not only that, the risk of contamination and of contracting the same horrific contagion  that infects the living exhibit is an ever present fear.


As a self-published writer of a small book horror short stories, I personally was drawn in particular to Okon's authentic and realistic  depiction of the Zombies and werewolves. As a reader I look for authentic details to hold my attention; I was not disappointed.  The author captured the physical pain as well as emotional anguish suffered by these unfortunate creatures who were once just as human as you and I. His critical eye for detail could satisfy the biggest skeptic.    In fact, one might almost believe that Michael Okon was describing a real creature with the extent of realism portrayed.  Not only that, this author writes with a twist.  Rather than depicting these zombies, warewolves and vampires simply as monsters, he portrays them as unfortunate victims who were held captive by their disease. Ironically, the humans and politicians were more like "monsters" than the werewolves, vampires and zombies.  This book was so captivating I have already read it multiples times.

This is among the best horror stories I have recently read and in my opinion, his works belong right up there with the modern great of horror writing, Stephen King. Anyone who enjoys well written, fast paced, complex horror stories with authentic detail should read this book. 

This book is available online from Barnes & Noble and Amazon!

To learn more please visit Michael Okon @ http://www.michaelokon.com/

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Bible Promises to Live By for Women by Katherine J. Butler

Bible Promises to Live By for Women by Katherine J. Butler is a pocket sized book filled with scripture verses to turn to in a variety of relevant topics.  Addressing issues such as abandonment, jealousy, aging, beauty, gossip and  confidence, this powerful book is the first place to turn to when you are in need of bible inspiration when addressing life challenges.  Each  section is ordered alphabetically and listed in the table of contents to aide the reader in quickly turning to the verses that address her particular need.  This book is not meant to be read cover to cover, but is a help guide to turn to when facing a specific need.  The leatherette flexible textured cover is durable, and light weight making this book the perfect size to pack in a purse or back pack or keep at the bedside table.  It is light enough to be held in one hand.  This is a book worthy of keeping at the bedside table- a perfect companion to the bible in having quick and easy access to relevant scripture when in a time of true need.  Unlike traditional devotional books, this book does not feature lengthy commentary.  Just a sufficient description is included to address each topic followed by 4- 5 relevant scripture verses from the bible.  Selected verses are featured in larger front.  The two tone color scheme is inviting and makes this book easy to read over and over again.  This would make a great gift for yourself or a loved one going through a difficult time. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Tyndale  forthe purpose of writing this review.

Jesus Always Large Deluxe Embracing Joy in His Presence By Sarah Young Published by Thomas Nelson

Jesus Always Large Deluxe,  Embracing Joy in His Presence By Sarah Young  Published by Thomas Nelson is a beautiful printing of the classic devotional book.  For those familiar with the Jesus Calling devotional book this book will not disappoint.  Each page offers relevant devotional entries that are based on bible scripture.  Sarah Young painstakingly threads scripture with common themes to address relevant issues that readers may face in everyday life.  She weaves scripture into a letter as if Jesus himself is writing.  This unique point of view, written in the second person- where the reader is addressed personally by Jesus, adds additional relevancy making scripture promises come alive.  What is even better is the fact that Young also includes the scripture verses each entry is based on making this a more useful tool  when using scripture  to assist with life problems such as anxiety, insecurity, doubt and illness.  This exhaustive book is worth keeping at the bedside to read over and over again.  The scriptures allow even greater effectiveness in this book if you want to return to God's promises for direction and for scripture memorization.  When I read this book I was impressed at the relevancy of this devotional in addressing issues and in providing God's word from the bible for each entry.  So many devotionals out there may be loosely based on scripture but don't provide scripture references as a back up.  Not only are the references included, but the bible verse in its entirety as well.  This beautiful volume features a flexible leather like vinyl cover.  Large font makes it easily readable.  The book is light enough to hold in one hand and read in bed as well.  This book would make a treasured gift for yourself or a loved one.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

A Record of my Vinyl collectors journal

A Record of my Vinyl

Not technically a book or a journal, this specialty collector's book is a way of cataloging your record collection. The title, a pun on words is a clever description for this vintage styled record keeping book.  The book description may be a bit misleading;  because this is a structured book,  rather than containing blank or lined pages, each page contains space to fill in for each of the albums in your collection.  There isn't space for freehand noted or other information.  It is like a structured card catalog for your record collection. This book is similar to an accountants journal but for record albums.  I'd imagine the most dedicated of vintage record collectors would have the diligence and motivation to painstakingly record details on all their albums.

This is a niche book for dedicated record album collectors and enthusiasts.  The casual collector might find this to be a fun item to display on their book shelf with its authentic textured cover that looks and feels like a vintage phot album.  I'd imagine only the most serious record album collectors or record album dealers might actually use the features of this book to hand catalog their entire collection.  For those with the motivation and tome  to catalog their album collection the old fashioned way- this book, once collected will become a treasured keepsake or conversation piece to pass down and display.  This book also includes additional features:

- a small amount of Space for notetaking  or memories about each of your albums
-Tips for cleaning  and maintaining a your record collection
-information about selling your collection of records.  These features take up a few pages and are not the bulk of the book.  This book would make a great gift for yourself or a record collector.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Potter for the purpose of writing this review.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Evidence that Demands a Verdict


I first was introduced to this ground breaking new outreach book as a college student.  It's launch in 2017 brings back memories.  There were not too many publications available addressing issue about the authenticity of the bible.  Especially in college, many student' found their faith challenged and the bible the credibility of the bible was questioned within the classroom by professors  and outside the classroom by peers.  This book was revolutionary in that it gave credibility to the area of apologetics.  It armed bible believing Christians with facts as well as the tools needed to defend one's faith.  For many college students this book was a lifesaver. 

This book is an extensive reference book.  It would be suitable for an apologetics course as well.  This book takes time to read and assimilate the information presented.  There is a lot of supportive evidence provided.  The book is divided topically so that the reader may skip around rather than read cover to cover.  Lastly the gospel message is presented based on vintage bible study tracts.  This is important as the authors point out that the message of salvation is more important than simply winning a debate. 

This book is a must have for anyone who wishes to have the tools needed to defend their faith.  Not only that, this book is the perfect outreach opportunity for skeptics providing common sense, factual support in a systematic and comprehensive format, with sufficient detail and evidence to satisfy even the most stead fast opponent.  This book is the perfect springboard to share your beliefs with others.  This book could not have been published at a better time.  If you are a skeptic and find yourself with questions, this will be a lifechanging book. As a blogger I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.






#TrueEvidence

Pre-Order Evidence That Demands a Verdict and download two chapters, “The Martyrdom of the Apostles” and “The Historical Existence of Jesus,” immediately! Use the link bit.ly/OrderEvidence to take advantage of this bonus offer.

Evidence That Demands a Verdict, the modern apologetics classic that guided millions to defend their faith, is NOW completely revised and updated—because the truth of the Bible doesn’t change, but its critics do.

#TrueEvidence




Overview of Evidence that Demands a Verdict from the publishers:

Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth for a Skeptical World by Josh McDowell, Sean McDowell
The modern apologetics classic that started it all is now completely revised and updated—because the truth of the Bible doesn’t change, but its critics do. With the original Evidence That Demands a Verdict, bestselling author Josh McDowell gave Christian readers the answers they needed to defend their faith against the harshest critics and skeptics. Since that time, Evidence has remained a trusted resource for believers young and old. Bringing historical documentation and the best modern scholarship to bear on the trustworthiness of the Bible and its teachings, this extensive volume has encouraged and strengthened millions. Now, with his son Sean McDowell, Josh McDowell has updated and expanded this classic resource for a new generation. This is a book that invites readers to bring their doubts and doesn’t shy away from the tough questions.

Features Include:
• Thoroughly revised and updated from the previous edition
• Now co-authored by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell
• All-new chapters defending against the latest attacks from Christianity’s critics
• Designed to be a go-to reference for even the toughest questions
• Offers thoughtful responses to the Bible’s most difficult and extraordinary passages
• Expansive defense of Christianity’s core truths, including the resurrection of Jesus Christ



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

My Great Big God 20 Bible Stories to Build a Great Big Faith By Andy Holmes         

My Great Big God 20 Bible Stories to Build a Great Big Faith

By Andy Holmes  is a brand new pocket sized board book for preschoolers and toddlers.  Filled with bold bright illustration, each page features a short re-telling of a well known bible story focusing on the power and mightiness of God, lovingly referred to a "My Great Big God". The rhymes make these stories memorable and children will enjoy them over and over again.   The only thing I found might be confusing for some young readers is the New Testament story featuring Jesus.  Rather than simply using Jesus, there is a clarification as Jesus being "my Great Big God's" son.  While theologically true, I feel it does not suit the flow of this book. The glossy thick pages and padded cover are the perfect size for young children.  This book is sturdy enough to stand up to use.  The bright illustrations will draw in even the youngest of children.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this book published by Thomas Nelson for the purpose of writing this review.

David Bowie by Dylan Jones

David Bowie: A Life by Dylan Jones  is a brand new biography that brings the Life of the well known performer in a whole new light.  This non traditional re-telling of Bowie's life is woven together
through the voices of those who personally knew him in life. There are countless chronicles of this musician's life in the bookstore- enough to fill an entire library.  What makes Jones' work stand out is that it is a compilation of the voices and perspectives of well known artists, and figures who knew him or interacted with him in real life.  Like a quilt woven together, a complete and unique portrait is created.  Hundreds of anecdotes make Bowie accessible and real to those who know him from his music, videos and movies.  The back features a timeline to enable readers to put it all in perspective.  This book is a good tribute to Bowie's life.  An original performer deserves a thoughtful, original biography that is as eclectic and unexpected as his musical works. This new biography keeps in line with the unexpected and surprising legacy left by Bowie. This book is like another "gift" for Bowie fans everywhere. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by  crown publishers for the purpose of writing this review.

There is no way that anyone in this  modern era of social media could have missed that the news that the infamous artist, David Bowie died three days after turning 69.  Not only that, he left an intriguing new album released on his birthday- just three days before his death. Without a doubt this music video release was planned to coincide with his imminent death as the artist had been fighting a private battle with cancer.  Although I am unfamiliar with most of David Bowie's works, aware of the musician from the sidelines, listening only when others played his songs on the radio during long car trips, I could not help but find myself intrigued and drawn to his newest release by the title of "Lazarus".  I could only imagine Bowie's giddy anticipation as he knew he would be leaving the world this complicated, musical tidbit of packed to the brim with symbolism for the fans, critics, religious leaders and psychologists alike, to interpret, discuss and dissect long after his death. To describe this last album as a "parting gift" to his fans seems fitting.

The opening scene of the musical video, Lazarus is poignant as Bowie is confined to a hospital bed: empty, devoid and clinical.  His disheveled colorless hair, shiny diaphoretic skin, and the tortured blue vasculature of his distended aged veins are clearly visible as he writhes around in bed, experiencing terminal agitation as well as spiritual distress, engulfed in regret and longing.  The absence of medical equipment normally seen in the hospital setting as well as  the chipped antique metal framed bed, the pilled salmon bedding, the dingy off white tile floor, the antiqued solid wood wardrobe and the threadbare yet ornately ruffled vintage nightshirt suggest that he is in a nursing home.  Confined to bed, deprived of sensory information as he has a band of gauze wrapped around his eyes, his only sensory input is enabled by two tiny pin sized holes provided by the carefully placed metal rivets. 

An ominous dark female figure slinks out of the heavy wooden wardrobe and finds herself underneath the bed grasping hesitantly upwards.  Ironically, while confined to bed, Bowie apparently rises a few inches off the bed- just enough to suggest levitation, but not enough to allow him to escape the confines of his bed reflecting his imprisonment, emotionally, spiritually and physically. 

As a nurse, it is important to allow the aged and terminally ill opportunities to reminisce as they approach the end of life. Bowie accomplishes this literally and figuratively throughout the piece.  In a scene change, from the sick- bed, Bowie is depicted in an eccentrically patterned, form fitting pair of black long underwear.  He finds a burst of energy, dancing as he continues to reminisce and reflect.  His alter ego is energetic and frantic as he pours out his story. His scissor like movements are quick and frantic in an attempt to release excess energy after having been bed bound for an indeterminate amount of time. This burst of energy is short lived, nevertheless.   In a quick change, his animated facial expression goes blank in mid- song. His eyes  become glassy as they stare off into the distance, detached, in an attempt to disengage from the reality of this world, in preparation for his inevitable death.   Adapting a mechanical, repetitive form of movement that can barely be classified as dancing, his song becomes more forced and structured.  The animated,  emotional piece is short lived as Bowie seamlessly retreats into a devoid expressionless human shell.   From that point the only animated personality is confined to the bed as depicted by Bowie's grandiose gesturing and wide range of intense facial expressions ranging from intense pain, regret and anguish as he grimaces and writhes in the bed.

Near the end, he exhibits a pained, tortured expression as he holds up a black quill pen, as if faced with an impossibly difficult choice.  One wonders the significance of the sharp black quill pen- as if it represents an inner battle- as demonstrated by the intense anxiety on his face. While one may ponder some mundane explanations for the anxiety, I can imagine it represents him contemplating major end of life decisions.  The high pitched screeching music only intensifies Bowie frantically scrolls not only on paper but the sides of the table and the legs as he experiences a cathartic release of frantic energy.  The final scene shows Bowie's facing turning off like a light switch as his pained anxious facial expression is replaced by a stone- like gaze.  He slowly retreating back words with an unsteady Parkinson's like gait back to the oppressive, ominous heavy wardrobe- his gaze glassy and dead. His short, uneven shuffled steps end as he backs into the wardrobe and closes himself inside. 

The lengthy music video Black star is even more complicated and intricate as it explores Bowie's search to reconcile his life with spirituality. Disturbing images of  rhythmic, decerebrate, seizure activity minimally resembles dancing. Parodies of barbaric, senseless ritual activity represent Bowie's condemnation of organized religion, no doubt.  Perhaps these disturbing artists with their expressionless seizure like posturing are representing Bowie's belief that faith in the bible is the product of mindless, brain dead individuals automated by antiquated and barbaric superstition.   

For many musical performers, religion- and specifically the bible- is like the big white elephant in the room. At one point in another, in everyone's life, one must make some sort of decision as to whether to believe the bible's claims about Jesus or to reject them.  There is an in incongruency between the lyrics of the
album with the images portrayed on the video- as if the satanical parody of the cross cancels out the searching spiritual lyrics.  It is apparent that Bowie experienced spiritual anguish near the end of his life as he pondered the truths about God.  Nevertheless the message as portrayed by the disturbing images of the video suggest that Bowie rejected Jesus' claims and also the bible in favor of his own judgment and interpretation of Jesus and spirituality.  The imagery of Blackstar could not have been more evil, more vile, more disturbing, than  if it had come from Satan himself.  On the other hand, Bowie's lip service to the bible may bring out the curiosity of his fans becoming a catalyst to investigate the bible that he alludes to.  There is a quote attributed to Bowie circulating around social media "I don't know where I'm going from here but I promise it won't be boring".  I agree it is accurate, and pretty sure it stands true from his vantage point in the afterlife, but probably not in the way that he intended. 


Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Action Storybook Bible An Interactive Adventure Through God's Redemptive Story

{THE ACTION STORYBOOK BIBLE} An Interactive Adventure Through God's redemptive Story is a new bible in a graphic comic book format.  This full color book features bold illustrations along side, the fast action packed story of the bible.  Unlike other cartoon bible story books, this bible features authentic comic book quality artwork in each and every scene.  There are authentically detailed illustration with text that makes the word of God come alive in a comic book type of format.  This is a book that will appeal to readers of all ages; not just kids but adults as well, especially comic book enthusiasts.  This storybook bible represents a wonderful outreach opportunity to reach more people than ever in spreading the gospel message.  For those new to the bible this is a great way to learn the gospel message.  Those familiar with the bible will enjoy seeing this illustrative adaption and comparing it to the actual bible.  This bible is the perfect outreach opportunity for those who love reading graphic novels as well as comic books.  An entirely new generation will be reached with this new bible.

This bible storybook would make the perfect gift for yourself or a special loved one.  As a mom of 4 kids, I find that I enjoy reading this bible myself as I would to share with my kids ranging from age 3 to 16. Even if you don't have kids, this is still a book you will want.  If you are into comics, superheroes, action sagas and adventure stories, you will love the engaging format of this book that is entertaining enough for young readers, with sufficient attention to detail to engage discriminating adult readers as well.  The Action StoryBook bible is faithful to the word of God.  The dialog is consistent with the bible- other than the format, liberties are not taken to dilute the word of God.  Its the basic message basically in a new innovative format. One is never too old to read the bible in a graphic format.  This bible is available for order online on Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

FEATURES INCLUDE:

Families see the Bible in motion and put their faith into action!

The Action Storybook Bible invites families with young children to explore God's redemptive story together. An entry point into the world of The Action Bible, it tells of the amazing creation story, powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel, God's miraculous gift of eternal life through Jesus, and more! God's promise for the world is displayed throughout every page. Discover your family's place in God's incredible story and together put your faith into action!
Interactive features include:










  • Fifteen key episodes from God's Word-each one loaded with several stories along with over 350 brand-new illustrations throughout.









  • Short and easy readings-for children ages eight and under with rich, colorful images.









  • Life, Faith, Action! features-conclude every episode and invite families to talk about how God moves in the stories, how to see God in life today, how to put faith into action, and how to easily talk to God with a suggested prayer.









  • Hall of Fame visual index-the place to look up favorite Bible characters by discovering their icon connections and finding them in the stories.




  • Discover your family’s place in God’s incredible story and together put your faith into action with the new The Action Storybook Bible from David C Cook! Explore God’s redemptive story together with your children ages 8 and under in the 15 episodes highlighting key milestones in God’s story. Master-artist Sergio Cariello created more than 350 brand-new illustrations to captivate your family and help you recognize how God is moving through each story.Join the adventure to begin to figure out where you fit into God’s beautiful and exciting plan for the world by entering to win the Kindle Fire giveaway!

    One grand prize winner will receive:

    Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on September 29. The winner will be announced October 2 on the Litfuse blog.

    Click to Enter at Litfuse publicity

    http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/the-action-storybook-bible



    Catherine and Sergio

    {More About Catherine and Sergio}

    Catherine has written more than twenty-five books for children, including the bestselling “Adventure Bible Storybook.” As publisher of children’s resources at David C Cook, she leads product development for The Action Bible® collection, which has sold more than a million copies. Catherine lives with her husband, their three children, and their big furry dog in the Colorado forest. ||**|| Brazilian-born Sergio Cariello has been an accomplished artist since childhood, drawing a regular comic strip for his city’s newspaper at age 11. He spent many childhood hours poring over “The Picture Bible” (Portuguese edition), never dreaming he would illustrate an updated edition (“The Action Bible”) decades later. Sergio has worked for Marvel Comics and DC comics and has illustrated Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Iron-Man, Wonder Woman, Fantastic-Four, and dozens more comic book characters.
    Find out more about Catherine and at http://www.theactionbible.com.



    Super Hero Kids Giveaway with David C Cook!


    http://www.theactionbible.com/superherokids/




    DOES YOUR CHILD LOVE COMIC BOOKS?
    HOW ABOUT SUPER HEROES?



    Now is your chance to have DC and Marvel illustrator Sergio Cariello make your child's dream come true!



    Parents!


    David C Cook is proud to introduce the newest book in the Action Bible collection: The Action Storybook Bible (coming October 2017). Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Amazon

    Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Amazon

    Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Barnes And Noble

    Plus click the Link below to enter to have a chance to win an illustration of your child as a super hero by Action Bible artist Sergio Cariello (who has also illustrated comics for DC and Marvel!).

    http://www.theactionbible.com/superherokids/








    {THE ACTION STORYBOOK BIBLE}

    Families see the Bible in motion and put their faith into action!
    The Action Storybook Bible invites families with young children to explore God's redemptive story together. An entry point into the world of The Action Bible, it tells of the amazing creation story, powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel, God's miraculous gift of eternal life through Jesus, and more! God's promise for the world is displayed throughout every page. Discover your family's place in God's incredible story and together put your faith into action!
    Interactive features include:






    • Fifteen key episodes from God's Word-each one loaded with several stories along with over 350 brand-new illustrations throughout.





    • Short and easy readings-for children ages eight and under with rich, colorful images.





    • Life, Faith, Action! features-conclude every episode and invite families to talk about how God moves in the stories, how to see God in life today, how to put faith into action, and how to easily talk to God with a suggested prayer.





    • Hall of Fame visual index-the place to look up favorite Bible characters by discovering their icon connections and finding them in the stories.


    • Friday, September 8, 2017

      Start Where You Are Note Cards by Meera Lee Patel

      Start Where You Are Note Cards by Meera Lee Patel

      This boxed set by Merra Lee Patel is a beautiful gift set of inspiring cards paired with art, that comes in its own keepsake box.  This is a beautiful gift set to give as a gift or to use for yourself.  Each of the cards is an inspirational quote from a writer or historical figure.  These cards are almost too beautiful to use, and are perfect for special occasions and for writing letters to family and friends.  These days most people send quick emails and post on social media.  This vintage inspired set will inspire many to pick up a special pen and to discover the satisfaction of letter writing and sending cards. These inspirational cards are even beautiful enough to put in a small frame and to hang on your wall as artwork.  I'm thinking that I might select a few to frame and leave on a nightstand and a wall.  These cards are published by Tenspeed/Potter/Harmony publishers.   As a blogger I received a copy of this set for the purpose of writing this review. 


      Carole P. Roman - anything from history, picture books and even chapter books- this versatile author has something to offer for children of all ages.

      Oh Susannah series: Children of all ages love this new series.  Older children gain reading skills as they read these chapter books on their own.  For younger children they make the perfect bedtime story.



      Captain No Beard- Learn moral lessons and help with problem solving with the Captain No Beard series of picture books


      If You Were Me and Lived in..... geography series teaches children of all ages about the world around them.  The graphic novel format even appeals to older school aged readers as well. 





      Saturday, August 26, 2017

      The Gift of Heaven By Charles Stanley Published by Thomas Nelson

      The Gift of Heaven

      By Charles Stanley
      Published by Thomas Nelson

      The Gift of Heaven By Charles Stanley  is a new small sized gift book that covers the topic of heaven.  Unlike a long book on the theology of heaven, this book features short passages of text along side a full color nature scene.  Selected quotes from the author as well as scripture are featured throughout the book with a featured scene in the back ground- much like a motivational poster.  This book is perfect for those who want answers to questions as well as those who are grieving and seek comfort.  This book is perfect for seekers as well as those who are bereaved or facing terminal illness.   The nature scenes are generic but beautiful: scenes of mountains, flowers and trees.  Each scene is different.  The photographs do not detract from the text.  This book is covered in topical sections.  It can be read from start to finish or be started at any mid point.  This is a perfect gift for those who wish to transition from the worldliness to a spiritual eternity minded mind set. This book is most appropriate as an introduction to biblical teachings on heaven.  This book would make a good outreach opportunity for those on hospice or in a nursing home.  Secular as well as religious readers will find comfort from this book.  Most importantly, near the end, the gospel message is condensed and simplified to point to the reader on what must happen to have eternal life in heaven.  Far too many feel good type of books leave out the gospel message of salvation.  The thing about books like this is that many readers dont fully read it from cover to cover.  It often sits un read on a coffee table or night stand.  It may even become a treasured keepsake.  I encourage anyone who buys this book or receive it as a gift to actually read each page.  It's not just an aesthetically pleasing book.  It has the potential to answer questions and provide words of true comfort.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

      Wednesday, August 23, 2017

      Start Where You Are Week-at-a-Glance Diary by Meera Lee Patel

      Start Where You Are Week-at-a-Glance Diary by Meera Lee Patel is a versatile journal that is as beautiful as it is functional.  Unlike other calendars or schedules, this one can be adapted to start at any day- it is not limited to starting January 1st or in July for the academic year.  The dates are all blank- except for the day of the week.  You can literally pick and choose any start date without having to wait or waste valuable pages.   This simple date book looks like a thin paperback book, it  is bound together like a paperback book- yet the pages are thick and the cover is durable. This date book is portable yet sturdy. Throughout this book- every month/ 30 day period, are inspirational quotes with colorful graphics. This weekly diary is the perfect gift for yourself or for anyone.  The biggest dilemma one may face is to when to actually start this book.  To adapt it as a beautiful keepsake, it can be adapted to begin on a special date such as a birthday, anniversary or the start of a new job.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Potter/Tenspeed/Harmony publishers for the purpose of writing this review.

      Thursday, August 17, 2017

      Super Hero Kids Giveaway with David C Cook!



         


      Super Hero Kids Giveaway with David C Cook!


      http://www.theactionbible.com/superherokids/




      DOES YOUR CHILD LOVE COMIC BOOKS?
      HOW ABOUT SUPER HEROES?


      Now is your chance to have DC and Marvel illustrator Sergio Cariello make your child's dream come true!



      Parents!


      David C Cook is proud to introduce the newest book in the Action Bible collection: The Action Storybook Bible (coming October 2017). Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Amazon

      Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Amazon

      Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Barnes And Noble

      Plus click the Link below to enter to have a chance to win an illustration of your child as a super hero by Action Bible artist Sergio Cariello (who has also illustrated comics for DC and Marvel!).

      http://www.theactionbible.com/superherokids/






      {THE ACTION STORYBOOK BIBLE}

      Families see the Bible in motion and put their faith into action!
      The Action Storybook Bible invites families with young children to explore God's redemptive story together. An entry point into the world of The Action Bible, it tells of the amazing creation story, powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel, God's miraculous gift of eternal life through Jesus, and more! God's promise for the world is displayed throughout every page. Discover your family's place in God's incredible story and together put your faith into action!
      Interactive features include:





      • Fifteen key episodes from God's Word-each one loaded with several stories along with over 350 brand-new illustrations throughout.




      • Short and easy readings-for children ages eight and under with rich, colorful images.




      • Life, Faith, Action! features-conclude every episode and invite families to talk about how God moves in the stories, how to see God in life today, how to put faith into action, and how to easily talk to God with a suggested prayer.




      • Hall of Fame visual index-the place to look up favorite Bible characters by discovering their icon connections and finding them in the stories.


      • Wow! The Good News in Four Words by Dandi Daley Mackall

        Wow!

        The Good News in Four Words by Dandi Daley Mackall is an innovative bible story for young children.  This book is a unique outreach for young kids, telling the story of salvation using four words, literally.  This is a simple yet entertaining way to deliver the life saving message of the bible to kids.  The colorful bold pictures will appeal to children as well.   There is no picture book like this one. The author, Dandi Daley Mackall delivers an original way to tell the story of the bible. I think the words of this book as well as its message will stick in the minds of young children long after they have read it.  I believe parents will also be pleasantly surprised as well.  It is important to continue to come up with new ideas to reach the newer generations of children.  The timeless lifesaving message of the bible is repackaged in an entirely new and relevant way.  As a blogger for Tyndale I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.




        My Rad Life: A Journal by Kate Schatz

        My Rad Life: A Journal  by Kate Schatz  is not what you might expect based on the appearance of the cover.  What looks like it might be  superficial journal for teens, delivers much, much more.  This book is actually an in depth empowering, thought provoking  book for women  and girls of all ages.  This is not simply a "Barbie-esque" type of journal for girls and adults who have outgrown their Barbie and Disney princess coloring books.  You won't find make-up tips, silly boyfriend advise, trendy recipes  or superficial fashion hints.  Do not be deceived by the title, the use of the word "rad"   is used in a nostalgic or vintage sense.  This is a refreshing new journal option for young as well as adult readers that addresses real social issues. This book doesn't promote the sterotypical woman who simply cares about recipes, make up, clothing and other superficial wasteful self indulgent lifestyle choices.   This modern styled journal features inspirational and empowering quotes from women of all generations, from as young as age 16 to classic theorists from previous generations.  Filled with unexpected and powerful quotes of social activists and independent thinkers, this free style journal is a versatile place to include your thoughts, notes and even doodles.  This journal can be a structures catalysts if you choose to follow the writing prompts for your own thought provoking insight.  Or you may choose to simply write freestyle, journaling on your own subject matter.  Either way, this journal can be adapted to any purpose, using the quotes and cartoon illustrations as thought provoking motivators.  Personally I feel this is a great gift for any teenager or college student. This author should be applauded for her  bold new book, not succumbing to what the stereotypes society promotes for women. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Ten Speed Press. 

        NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

        NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture

        By Craig S. Keener , John H. Walton
        Published by Zondervan


        The NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible By Craig S. Keener ; John H. Walton, General Editors  Published by Zondervan is more than just a bible- it brings the culture and historical context of the bible to life.    This bible is now available in the NIV and NKJV as well.

        This is a beautiful study bible- full of articles, full color photos and diagrams.  If you are looking for a study bible- you will not be disappointed! Every page features either an article, photograph or informative graphic.  This bible is far more advanced than a traditional study bible.  Full color graphic study bibles started with the prototypical Archeological study bible printed years ago.  There is some resemblance to the out of print Archeological study bible, and the newly published First Century bible also by Zondervan. If you want to own one single bible that is good for study as well as beautifully designed and illustrated, the full color Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible is the really the only bible you will need.  This bible has every study feature you could ever ask for in a bible- including historical, theological and life application information.  This bible is full of full color photos, maps, charts, illustrations as well as the tiny footnotes- traditional study notes on the bottom of the page.  It is like a history book and bible rolled into one volume.  This bible is great for new bible readers as well experienced readers.

        The font is very easy to read and not too tiny.  As far as everyday study, the font is big enough so as not to require the reader to squint.  Unlike most study bibles where the bible text is extremely tiny, I found the bible text to be readable.  It is nice to see that the publishers recognized the need for a full color bible- with an abundance of study resources and photos from the historical point of view. I do not feel any bible reader would ever need to buy another study bible.  Perhaps teachers, sociologists,  history enthusiasts and tourist travelers will be drawn to this bible as well. There is a wealth of study notes on each page as well.  

        Some of the material may be redundant for those who already own the First Century Study bible.  For example, many of the diagrams, maps and illustrations photographs and charts are in both the Cultural Backgrounds Bible and First Century bible.  There is some unique content and photographs, but maybe not enough to justify owning both of these similar study bibles.

        Although there appear to be quite a bit of study notes included, they are more like foot notes.  The study notes add quite a bit of historical and cultural detail but really do not clarify  spiritual concepts.  If you are looking for a bible with extensive study notes for spiritual clarification- this study bible is not the best choice.

        For anyone looking for a good bible that will provide a lifetime of value and study, the NIV Cultural Backgrounds bible is among the top choices in my opinion. I think any bible reader will be impressed.  It is also easy to read with a somewhat larger and clearer font size.  Jesus' words are in red letter font as well.  As a blogger for booklook I received a copy of this bible published by Zondervan.

        Have a tough time deciding what bible to choose? Please visit this guide online.
        http://pjtheemt.blogspot.com/2011/06/bible-versions-communicating-gods-word.html