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My Review of the New York Times "Footsteps"

The New York Times Footsteps is a fun literary journey a collection of travel essays centered around the homes and haunts of literature "greats."  While the book started out interesting, I enjoyed learning about these literary figures and their places in the world.  After several chapters, though, the stories became more tedious as the writers became more and more obscure.

Ironically, it was the story of Mark Twain that was my favorite; a writer I vowed years ago to never read after discovering the horrid things he said about Jane Austen.  I feel there was a striking imbalance between writers who contributed positivity and decency to the world and those who prattled off drink and sex-fueled mumblings.  Overall, I was not super impressed with this collection.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program, in exchange for my honest review here.
Recent posts

My Review of "The Dream Centered Life"

The Dream Centered Life: Discovering What Drives You by Luke Barnett helps us to center our lives on God.  It's a beautifully-written and spiritually-sensitive guide that focuses God as the center point of our whole life, how putting our trust and faith in him will help us live a better overall life.

God has a specific design for each life he creates, and Barnett outlines the way in which obedience -- though often difficult -- is actually a daring adventure in which we discover what actually drives us.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review here.

My Review of "When Faith Catches Fire"

Samuel Rodriguez and Robert Crosby's When Faith Catches Fire:  Embracing the Spiritual Passion of the Latino Reformation celebrates the so-called "salsafication" of the church and offers a glimpse into the future of the Western church's reformation in the leadership and faith of the growing Latino church.  We're all familiar with the census data that show the growing Latino presence in the US -- but most of us (well, at least me!) might be unfamiliar with the growing faith communities that are a part of that presence.  When Faith Catches Fire is an amazing book that explores those communities in all their depth and richness, and offers was the church might change in the Spirit to offer the passion of that faith to the wider culture.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review here.

My Review of "Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God"

Brian Zahnd's Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News is, in a word, breathtaking!

Zahnd is working toward a radical (getting-to-the-root) Christ-centered biblical hermeneutic.  I was soaking up every word of this beautifully written, entirely accessible, utterly practical theology book that combines rich faith with practical living. 

This really is a book of "Very Good News" and it points toward a sea-change that's happening among Christian evangelical preachers these days.  I won't give away too much, but by the time you get to the second chapter ("Closing the Book on Vengeance"), be prepared to read slowly.  I've dog-eared my copy at page 30 (once you read it, you'll find out why).

But Chapter 7 is my favorite.  Honestly, if all you did was buy this book and read that chapter, you'd have your money's worth.  I have honestly never read anything that so clearly and simply explained the right wa…

My Review of "Roadfood"

Jane & Michael Stern's Roadfood gives us another (this is the 10th edition!) gastro road trip across the US.  Roadfood is like a road map through backroads and interstates for some of the best food in each state and region in the US.

Roadfood celebrates venues most travelers would never venture near, let alone enter.  Most of the state-by-state listed restaurants are, however, for dining on the cheap.  Like Litton's in Knoville, TN -- which really does have amazing burgers.

While one could hardly map a road trip by the Sterns' restaurant finds -- some cities, like Chicago, are overrepresented, while the rest of Illinois is all but ignored -- this fun and fanciful volume is pure pleasure.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review here.

My Review of "The Heist"

Chris Durso's The Heist: How Grace Robs Us of Our Shame is an amazing book!

Sin, as Durso is right to insist, can only be understood in the light of grace.  We cannot know our sin until we know God's grace.  And that grace is known as it overcome and vanquishes our sin.  For Durso, our shame and our brokenness rob us of the life God, in Christ, makes for us.  And, like the Prodigal Sons, God's grace can only be made known because God has come to us in our own squalor and gifted us with more, so much more, than anything of which sin has robbed us.

This is the great "heist" of the Gospel -- that God in Christ takes back what the Enemy has stolen.

This is a book that easily change melt even the hardest heart, because it places the emphasis where the Gospel places that emphasis -- on God's love.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review here.

My Review of "Of Cats and Men"

Sam Kalda's Of Cats and Men:  Profiles of History's Great Cat-Loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers and Statesmen is a fun, stylish, illustrated gift book from an award-winning artist that profiles
notable cat-loving men throughout history in words and pictures.  This is a beautiful little book with lots of fresh biographies about 30 men profiled -- from writers and artists such as Haruki Murakami, T.S. Eliot, William S. Burroughs, and Ai Weiwei, to historical luminaries such as Sir Winston
Churchill, Nikola Tesla, and Sir Issac Newton.

In addition to all the fun art of each profile, there are some great quotes for every cat person -- male or female.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review here.