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Showing posts from October, 2015

Book Review: Devil in Modern Eden

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The Devil in Modern Eden by Tom Graneau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Is the Devil real? Does he really manipulate his minions to interfere in the lives of your average citizen? Would a good God really send people to hell?

Yup.

The Devil in Modern Eden explores many of the common questions about hell and evil, and what Christians can do to rebuff it. It should be noted that this comes from a blatantly Christian perspective, and focuses on the Christians interaction and reliance on God to combat the wiles of the devil. Knowing that, it is an interesting history lesson and really a very thorough explanation of salvation and how to act out your Christianity in modern life. Aside from the acknowledgement that there is a real devil, and that he influences you through evil thoughts and uses modern versions of old institutions (media, drugs, sex, etc.) I was actually surprised about how light the information on Satan was. I expected more than a very basic intro, and yet this is what I found. Rat…

Book Review: The Tears of Olive Trees

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The Tears of Olive Trees by AbdulKarim Al Makadma
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Karim has made up his mind, he’s volunteering his skill as a physician in Somalia. His wife, Sara, isn’t super happy about it, but she understands his need to go. For the average person, particularly the average Western person, to understand you have to go back to his homeland, and his father being forced out of it. Karim grew up in the refugee camps of Palestine, and feels a sad kinship with the children in Mogadishu. Karim tells us of his family’s life in Palestine, and how they were forcibly evicted and how his father helped him to rise above circumstance to be a success.

The Israeli/Palestinian conflict started long ago, and this book does not resolve the conflict. Karim himself acknowledges the history and depth of the conflict, and details his personal resolve to rise above it. That being said, if you have never read a first hand account of a Palestinian refugee this is a fabulous insight into the modern …

Book Review: Stop Talking & Start Selling Your Book

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Stop Talking & Start Selling Your Book by Terrance Zepke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I will fully admit to being terrible at marketing myself. I’m a good advocate for other people, but it feels weird to ask people to buy something I created. That being said, I did write an ebook in a niche market (adoption) and I have done a few things to sell it. Like I posted on Facebook once or twice. I know that’s probably not enough, but wasn’t exactly sure what the right amount of self promotion is. This book really gives you lots of ideas and kicks you into gear about selling your own product, and I appreciate that. Zepke points out that you can’t rely on traditional publishers and there are thousands of books published annually, so you have to stand out. Everyone has to be their own marketer, whether you are represented or totally self publish. I had read a few of the suggestions he makes, but not all by any means. If you are looking for some good resources and honest opinions of what works an…

Book Review; The Face on Mars is in the Mirror

I’ll be honest and say in general poetry isn’t my thing. I like a good, thought out poem occasionally, but have never devoted my time to reading volumes of poetry. That said, I really enjoy reading poetry occasionally particularly when it offers insight on a particular subject that prose doesn’t quite capture as effectively. I found Wiskup’s anthology had some excellent selections and some very mediocre, but the poems that I was most drawn had the anti-establishment vibe, even more than specifically supernatural themed, which was what I assumed would be the focus based on the title of the anthology. I tend to push right past poetry with love as the subject, because it’s overdone and often very specific to the author and situation, although I did enjoy some of the scans of the original, handwritten work (I’m kind of a process nerd that way.) But some of the anti-establishment poetry really evoked a lyrical quality reminiscent of 70’s protest songs. Those seemed more natural and free fl…

Book Review: David Finkleman and Dangerous Magic

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David Finkleman and Dangerous Magic by P.K. Burian
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s hard enough to be a sophomore in high school, especially when you number among the smaller, nerdier crowd, rather than the jocks. It’s even harder to keep a secret about your personal identity, which David Finkleman must do. But when strange things start happening in your high school, and you just happen to know a little bit of magic to expose those who may be causing kids to do drugs with stranger than average side effects, can you really keep that to yourself? David has to figure out how to help and hide at the same time.

David Finkleman and Dangerous Magic follows a teen who is training to be a wizard in a muggle world. He can’t tell anyone about his powers, and relies on his family secret, especially his grandfather to help hone his natural skill. It’s not quite the rip off of Harry Potter that you may think, although I think the same type of audience would really enjoy this book. It’s a little amateu…