My Book Reviews Galore

Last year I managed to read 23 books which probably matched the number of books I had read in my entire life up to that point. This year I'm not only trying to beat that total but also be more diversified in what I read. I'm keeping a running tally of the books I've read so far in '07 along with my ratings of 0-4 stars on the right side of this blog. Every couple of months I'll write a blog such as this with a brief review of each book I've read during that time period. Here is my first installment:

"A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Bad Beginning" by Lemony Snicket - 2 Stars
I had seen the movie so I knew what to expect which may have been a bad (no pun intended) thing. The book was not as entertaining as the film version and I felt like the author was trying to hard to tech the reader SAT words (complete with definitions). I may pick up one more book in this 13 part series and give it another try but only after I've run out of other things to read.

"Between a Rock and a Hard Place" by Aron Ralston - 3 Stars
This book is the true account about Aron Ralston, the hiker who's hand was trapped by a boulder while hiking in Utah. After several days, Aron was able to cut his hand off to free himself and go for help. This book was hard to rate because it's about twice as long as it needed to be. The chapters focusing on his injury and how he deals with being trapped was gripping. The chapters that told of his background in climbing were not. It could have done a lot better with the "less is more" mentality but it is still a great read. Just save yourself some time and skip the background chapters.

"Eiger Dreams" by Jon Krakauer - 2 1/2 Stars

This book is a collection of articles by Jon Krakauer (Into the wild, Into Thin Air)recalling some of his other climbing adventures and/or folks who are cutting edge in outdoor adventures. Not his best work but an informative read.

"Sex God" by Rob Bell - 4 Stars
Rob Bell's follow up to "Velvet Elvis" is just as good and just as thought provoking as is first best seller. This time Rob tackles how our sexuality is directly linked to our spirituality. I can't explain it in this short amount of room so just go buy it. You won't be disappointed.

"The Bedford Boys" by Alex Kershaw - 4 Stars

The true story of Bedford, Va and the hometown boys who lost their lives in WWII. Bedford lost more men per capita in WWII then any other town/city in the U.S. I've read lots of WWII books lately and this is one of the best. Bedford is now the home of the National D-Day Museum. It's also only 90 min. from my home so I plan on driving up to check it out this spring.

"The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21 Century Church" by Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch - 2 Stars
Again, another book that would have been a lot better if it had been shorter. It's written by 2 guys from Australia that examines the western Christian church and give thoughts on what needs to change if it's going to survive. They have some really good thoughts but the ideas often get lost in the redundant explanations of them.

"The Unexpected Journey: Conversations with People Who Turned from Other Beliefs to Jesus" By Thom Rainer - 4 Stars
Thom Rainer and his wife travel the country and interview 13 people who have left other faiths to follow Jesus. Each persons story is amazing and Thom does a great job of letting the stories guide the flow of the book so nothing seems forced or set up. This is a terrific book for believers who need to understand how to reach people of other beliefs and for the non believer who needs to hear from other former non believers what changed their minds.

"Voices of Valor" by Douglas Brinkley & Ronald Drez - 4 Stars
A fantastic step by step walk through of the Allied invasion of Normandy (D-Day). It gives enough information to make it fresh but not so much that it's an overload. Again, a must read for any WWII buff.


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