Review: Made for More by Hannah Anderson

20140401-231307.jpg Made for More explains how each of us is made in God’s image, for purposes beyond what we can see. The more often we choose to live in God’s image, the closer we come to trusting Him and letting go of our worries.

My family is adjusting to some new situations right now, and we will experience more changes in the coming months. This Spring I’ve been feeling in limbo… not where I’m accustomed, and not yet where I’ll soon be. So far it’s been emotionally difficult. I vacillate between sitting lazily on the couch (“I give up”) and feeling restless… like there must be something more to these months of my life. I’m not meant to just sit around and wait for the next chapter, right?!

So I picked up Made for More. Reading it gave me an authoritative nudge to live each day in God’s image. Helping others, doing mundane chores, loving my family, and working at my job outside the home all need to be done for God’s glory and with my eyes on Him. Hannah Anderson explains that looking for ways we can glorify God in our CURRENT lives (yep, even my crazy limbo life) is the way to reflect God’s image. And whenever we reflect God’s image, we become more like Him.

I know I need to get off the couch. God put me here for much more than being a bystander to all his glorious world. Since I’ve been nudged, I will take more opportunities to serve Him and trust him throughout my day. Everyday.



Review – Will in the World: How Shakespeare became Shakespeare, by Stephen Greenblatt

137717Stephen Greeblatt is touted as the preeminent authority on the study of Shakespeare, and for the longest time, I have been meaning to read some of his work. It’s taken me a while, but I finally got there! As someone who predominantly reads fiction, getting through this nonfiction book took a little bit longer than usual. However, it was well worth it.
Have you ever been interested in what influenced Shakespeare and his plays/sonnets? Of course, there are many theories out there that claim to have some insight into the motives behind the works, but so many of them are based upon urban legend and propaganda, that it is difficult to separate the truth (or as close to the truth you’ll get without actually interviewing The Bard himself) from hyperbole and outright lies. In his book, Greenblatt examines what little remain of historical records relating to Shakespeare, his family, and other figures of the time, and bases his theories upon historical and sociological context. Greenblatt quite clearly states that some of his theories are based both upon the scarce historical records available and some educated conjecture.
Whilst, Greenblatt admits that his theories cannot be taken as the ultimate indisputable truth, with over 45 years of professional experience devoted to Shakespeare studies, this is probably the closest to accuracy as we’ll get for a while.
As I said above, reading this piece of nonfiction took a while to get into. Once I got into it however, his style of writing began to read like fiction. Greenblatt does not assume that we’ve all taken graduate courses in Jacobean drama or 17th century history, but nor does he belittle his reader; Greenblatt’s narrative takes us chronologically through the known history and events of Shakespeare’s time, and presents us with an entertaining, but educated, glance into the influence behind many of the plays that we’ve all known and loved (or hated!) over the years.
~ Pegasus.
Buy it here: Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

Review – LIFE The Day Kennedy Died: Fifty Years Later: LIFE Remembers the Man and the Moment by the editors of LIFE.

17333556I am a self-confessed conspiracy nut, and make no apologies for it.  Saying that however, I am an intelligent conspiracy nut – I like to review the evidence and make my own conclusions.  Now, we’ve all seen in the last few weeks a flurry of books being hastily released in order to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the day that President Kennedy was assassinated.   Most of these have no merit, and are purely released to garner some money and attention.   This is not to say that this book released by LIFE magazine isn’t making money – you still have to pay for it – but I would rather pay for another JFK book by a respected author/collaboration such as LIFE magazine.

Before we get into the review proper, I must warn you that this is a book with media – the original, unedited Zapruder film; it is only downloadable to tablets, Fires, etc… I’m not sure how the DTB edition deals with it.

This book covers events from the emigration of the Kennedy family from Ireland, right up until the horrible day in 1963.  We are treated with many previously unseen personal photos, some in colour, some black and white, with a running commentary.   As it is told in chronological order, there is a sense of a real narrative here, and it actually makes the read all the more shocking.  Like I said above, I am conspiracy/history buff, so I thought I had known pretty much all there was to know about JFK, but I was wrong!  LIFE magazine has a reputation for preserving history through photographs and articles, and I learnt a few new interesting things last night.

Due to the linear narrative, when it comes time to watch the Zapruder film, it really does pack quite the punch.  Even though I knew what was going to happen, I still audibly recoiled and felt a bit sick.   This was real life, with real people, and EVERYONE was affected somehow.  That is proved in the chapter that collects the “where I was on that day” stories from random people from reporters, to Barbara Streissand, to Bill O’Reily.   The Kennedy’s may have been economically out of touch with many Americans, but even when you have staunch republicans, and Russian leaders say that they were dismayed when died, you know that he was someone unique, and someone to look up to.

~ Pegasus.

Buy it here:  LIFE The Day Kennedy Died: Fifty Years Later: LIFE Remembers the Man and the Moment<

Review: The Wal-Mart Effect by Charles Fishman

74915 A close friend recommended this book to me as one that was fairly balanced on the good and the bad parts of Wal-Mart. The idea intrigued me instantly because I worked there for a while after high school and I have a few family members who work there as well. Not to mention that I shop there because of the limited choices in my area, and of course due to the savings they provide.

The author does a great job of detailing so much about Walmart that is usually not made apparent to consumers for one reason or the other. He details how the company began and how it evolved into the huge world power that it is now.

What Fishman does so well is take one case study and examine it from all angles to show how the impact is both good and bad. Early on in the book he uses the tiny company Makin Bacon to show how Walmart could take a small company and make a huge impact. The owner of the company explains how Walmart makes it possible for it to even exist. Not only did Walmart help the company start but even though the item is sold in other companies without Walmart’s business Makin Bacon would literally have to close its doors.

On the flip side the author goes into detail about Walmart’s negative perception. Part of the issue stems from their unwillingness to do almost any press or even allow their vendors to talk to the media, whether good or bad. Fishman goes into greater detail about how Walmart affects the communities and local businesses in the area.

I found the descriptions of the vendor relations and how Walmart keeps their low prices truly low extremely fascinating. I thought this book did a great job of showing positives and negatives. I generally enjoy nonfiction books only if the author can prove the subject interesting enough. This one did not disappoint.

Buy it now The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World’s Most Powerful Company Really Works–and How It’s Transforming the American Economy