Some people on the internet refuse to write or publish “negative” book reviews. They claim the writing world is a community, that every book took a lot of effort and tears from its author, and to “support” each other, we shouldn’t air our concerns or disappointments with another’s work.
The problem with that is that this community is about more than patting each other on the back, or smiling politely at something we think is sub-par. And we’re more than just writers – the readers who consume our work have a right to receive the best possible product we as writers can supply!
How do “bad book reviews” serve that purpose? Let’s break it down by who is benefitted by critical reviews: the reader, and the author. Continue reading
It’s a rare sequel that can match, let alone surpass, its predecessor. As controversial as God’s Not Dead was – an unabashedly Christian movie with steps and missteps – I think the sequel is an improvement.
The story: when popular public school teacher Grace gets a question in her history class about Jesus, she well-meaningly answers it in the historical context, quoting from the historical texts that establish Jesus’s actions and teachings.
Shortly after, she finds herself being sued by the ACLU for “preaching” to her students and trying to spread her Christian faith, with a non-believing young lawyer to advise her. Continue reading
Over the past year or so, I’ve been downloading and reading free ebooks from a number of sources – partly because I have a weakness for free, partly because I want to find greats reads for you that you don’t have to shell out a penny for!
But sometimes “you get what you pay for”. Sometimes a book is free because we wouldn’t slog through it for any other reason.
Is that the rule? Are the reading-gems the exception? I’ve dug back through my review archives to figure out which books are worth reading (and worth paying for, even if I didn’t have to).
Note: All deals are listed as of this writing. Authors naturally have the prerogative to change how they charge for their works. By that same token, some books that I loved but couldn’t list because they didn’t qualify might become free again later 😉! Continue reading
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly list event created and hosted by the Broke and Bookish blog. Today’s theme is “Top Ten Books I Want My Future Children to Read”.
Perfect! I’m approaching the time of life when this consideration is important, so here are the books that will be important for me to share with my children (should they ever appear). From picture books, to chapter books, to read-alouds, here are fun and timeless reads for kids of all ages! Continue reading
G.K. Chesterton was a prolific writer and giant of religious thought around the turn of the 20th century, and his works on theology and philosophy, while from a Catholic perspective, continue to ring true today – even for us Evangelicals.
While I have primarily read his fiction (the semi-fantastical The Man Who Was Thursday; the thought-provoking Father Brown series), I found Eugenics and Other Evils full of his characteristically fanciful turns of phrase and complex, allegorical illustrations. While I didn’t always follow his argument (and while I didn’t always agree with it when I did), his unique perspective (observing the Eugenics movement when it was in an earlier and more intellectual stage of its life-cycle) is worth reading.
As he says, “Eugenics itself is a thing no more to be bargained about than poisoning.” Continue reading
Movie For Christians, Not the Unchurched
A Christian freshman sits down in his Intro to Philosophy class, to find the professor insisting that every student write “God is dead” on a piece of paper and sign their own name.
This one student decides this act violates his conscience, and refuses.
The professor challenges him to prove to the class that God actually exists – or lose 1/3 of his semester grade right off the bat.
While “Christian” films have gotten their share of grief over the years for sappy plotting or lazy writing, my personal reaction to this film was mostly positive. Continue reading
A Cautionary Tale for Writers
Surfing Amazon one day for “Christian mystery” (or some similar keyword) I came across this book about a crime scene cleaner who finds evidence that the police missed – and it was free! I downloaded it, eager to start reading, and went to load it onto my e-reading device.
File is locked with DRM (digital rights management), meaning I couldn’t read it on my Nook (it’s a Kindle/.mobi file), nor on my dad’s Kindle (device registered to him, book registered to me).
Almost a year later, I did finally get to start reading (because AT&T got me a smartphone, long story short)…but needless to say it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Gabby St. Claire is a professional crime scene cleaner, and an interesting enough character. The perky go-getter type, with an interest in chemistry and forensics, she uncovers evidence in one of the houses she’s cleaning that seems to shed light on a murder investigation.
She then immediately jumps to a conclusion, and pursues that conclusion through the rest of the book. Most sleuths pursue a mystery: she pursued her conclusion…and guys. Continue reading
Last month, I joined the rest of the world who have seen The Matrix – sci-fi staple and movie icon.
While I have my disagreements with the minds behind it, there’s no denying the lasting entertainment of this piece. Continue reading
There’s something rotten in the Land of the Dead. Manny Calavera, travel agent to the recently deceased, is desperate for a big commission so he can pay off his dues to the “powers that be” and start his own “four year journey of the soul.”
When he tampers with the system to steal a client from his rival, he falls into an adventure that will have him pointing-and-clicking all over this hilarious Mexican-inspired landscape. Continue reading
It might seem that to pen a review of literary titaness Jane Austen’s best-known (and possibly best-loved) novel would be presumptuous.
Nevertheless, I shall proceed to gild the lily and explain why, when I finally crossed its threshold several years ago, I found it worthy of every adulation ever laid at its door. Continue reading