Category Archives: Book review

Review of “Kisses From a Good God: A Journey Through Cancer” by Paul Manwaring,


A review of Kisses from God

I do not read many Christian books, always thought they would be boring and irrelevant, however this Lent I have read a couple and this is one of them.

A very interesting account of how a Committed Christian dealt with the challenge to his faith from dealing with cancer.

“It is not just in the naming of the daughters that we see the Bride of Christ in the story of Job. After he names them, we learn that “their father gave them inheritance among their brothers” (Job 42: 15). It seems that somewhere in history we lost this. We generally have a culture where the males inherit first, but Job, as I have said, in potentially the oldest book in the Bible, gave the daughters inheritance among their brothers . Not only that, but this inheritance was apparently given before Job died.”

“But here is the good news: I think that when we put our women in their rightful place, we are going to begin to see the Church return to its rightful place.”

“As we battle the principality of disease, we must remember that it is simply darkness, and we are the light of the world. When a culture opposite to heaven’s culture threatens to invade your world, remember to shine His light. Get prayer, worship, eat well, make sure you live in the light of His presence , and go to the doctor. Walk through all of the steps, but take some light, hope, joy, and love with you. They will be your best companions and guides.”

“If there is one lasting message that I would want to convey from this book, it is the message of His goodness. There will likely be things along your path, as there were along mine, that you do not understand. The task is never to allow those things to obscure the goodness of God. Far better would it be that His goodness would be put on display in our lives. Our journeys should testify that He really is good: goodness is the substance of His being . As for me and my journey, His goodness has enabled three generations of male Manwarings to be alive together. We are especially grateful for this!”

 

Reading this has helped me as I deal with my very long term health issues 17 years and counting. But also how and where God is in it all.

Well worth a read even if you do not suffer from ill health as it shows just how a Christian community. a family and God can make all the difference.

Review of ‘The Heavenly Man’ by Brother Yan


During the early part of Lent 2017 I have been reading this book about Liu Zhenying known as Brother Yun. The book is his story of how he came to faith in China and the story of his desire to tell others about Jesus. This lead him to be imprisoned, tortured, to be on the run, to be homeless and broke. Yet in all of this he brought many to faith often because they saw how he still praised God even in all his suffering.

This book, brings you to tears over how badly man can treat man, brings you to joy at how God could bless him where he was.

I do not read many Christian books but decide that this lent I would read some. The first turned out to not be about following Christ so was binned quickly, this the second has been a real encouragement to me as I struggle to deal with my health and how I work for and follow Christ.

Even if you are not a Christian this book is worth reading, if only to see how a Christian deals with adversity and suffering. No violence, just forgiveness and repentance. Asking people to pray for the guards as well as him. Lord I pray I could be as faithful.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brother_Yun

 

Review of ‘On Basillisk Station’ & ‘The Honor of the Queen’ by D Webber


These two books are the first and second in a series based around Honor Harrington a naval officer in Her Majesties Space Navy. Both were very good and easy reads. The Science isn’t to heavy but is explained once when needed, unlike in the ‘Star Carrier’ books. The story runs along at a good speed and the characters are well rounded. I enjoyed reading about the tactical situations from both sides Honor’s and her enemies. These situations are well worked out and described and you end up being drawn in and trying to work out how it will work out.

I enjoyed these two and will try to read some of the others in the series at some point. I read these on my tablet via Kobo.

Review of ‘The Star Carrier’ Books 1-3 by I Douglas


The Star Carrier Series Books 1-3: Earth Strike, Centre of Gravity, Singularity  by Ian Douglas

I got these on Kobo to read on my tablet, I like to read non history every so often and these seemed interesting. I also like Sci-Fi in general and have read lots when younger.

These books are a good read, although I have decided not to read the last two in the series for reasons which will become apparent. The books are hard Sci-Fi in that physics and science play a large part, however you do not need to understand it as it is explained simply as you go.

The story is about the struggle of the human race with each other, to some extent, and various aliens who they have been at war with for some time. The books concentrate mainly on the story of the Star Carrier America, its commander and its Fighter Wing as they try to save Earth.

The story goes along at a fair pace, although some things are repeated a lot. For example, even in one of the books you are told how a fighter moves in space more than once, told how many missiles it carries so often I could not say how often. Now its good to be reminded occasionally of such things but quite so often. In the end you start skipping parts to save reading it again. The characters are very believable and you soon start to identify with them, one or two become the center, the heroes say, of the story.

There are some places which left me confused, not with the story but with the logic.  So you have the ability to produce replacement fighters while in deep space, I will not say how you will find that out reading the books, but you have units with old fighters. Why not just spend a few days replacing them with the new ones you build as replacements for lost ones. It makes no sense within the tech of this story that you would have older tech anything.

Having said all that I enjoyed reading the books. The three I read have a story line which comes to an end. Books 4 & 5 seems from the little you get at the end of 3 to almost start again sightly further ahead in time. Well worth reading the three I read, I can’t say about the other two.

Review of ‘The Greek and Roman Myths’ by P Matyszak


A small book given to me for Christmas. It is a very good guide to the Gods and heroes of Greece and how they where seen by the Romans. It looks at each God or Hero and gives you its potted history and how it fits into the whole. It also does the same with the story of the Trojan war and other Greek stories.

A very good reference book which I will use when running my DIADOCHI WARLORDS Role Play campaign using the Mythras game system.

If you have any interest in the myths of Greece and Rome you will do well to start with this book.  ISNB 978-0-500-25173-7

Review of ‘Being Known’ by Lynda Alsford


This is the second of Lynda’s books ‘He Never Let Go’ being the first.

This one is about her journey of dealing with over eating or more correctly using food to deal with emotions. Therefore it will be of help to any with problems dealing with emotions. Like her first book this is a personal story told simply and easily. He is not a polished book but it has deep truths within it, in the way it is written and in what is says. I knew Lynda at Church Army College and she is a very compassionate and truthful person, so I know I could trust what she was saying in this book.

The book looks at all the things she had done over many years to deal with being overweight, although the same can also be said for those underweight. It takes us through many years of being painfully aware of how others saw her and how she saw herself and the various ways of dealing with that. At one place it moves over to a bit from her other book as she lost her faith at the same time as dealing with all of this.

All in all a good book well worth reading whether you have eating or emotional issues or not. A truthful look into someones life.

Her website is http://www.lyndaalsford.com/

Review of Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire by G RR Martin


I have reviewed by thoughts on the first book and my early watching of the DVD’s here. I have now read the whole 7 books and watched the first 5 DVD’s which cover these books.

Book 1 – A Song of Ice and Fire

Book 2 – A Clash of Kings

Book 3 – A Storm of Swords – Steel and Snow

Book 4 – A Storm of Swords – Blood and Gold

Book 5 – A Feast for Crows

Book 6 – A Dance with Dragons – Dreams and Dust

Book 7 – A Dance with Dragons – After the Feast

I enjoyed the first 4 books, first 3 DVD’s, they flowed along nicely bringing stories together and having a dynamic to them. However the later parts of the story and the DVD’s seem to have lost a lot of that flow and dynamic, the DVD’s in particular jump around trying to cram a lot of story into 10 episodes. But the books also seem to have added new stories which have not been added to the DVD story line.

The DVD’s by leaving out some parts of the story make the later parts a bit disjointed and hard to follow. For instance why did Jon arrive at the wall by foot with the rescued Wildings when he rescued them by ship? I think the DVD makers put two or three different story lines together but it made no sense. Then we have Sansa and the Boltons at Winterfell, the story in t eh DVD does not follow the books nor does the book make a lot of sense as she changes to Arya later.  I think Martin has fallen into the trap of adding more and more stories with no idea of where it all goes. At first I thought this story was going to be about Fire and Ice and that in time the cold things of the north would end up facing off with the fire of the dragon. However if this is ever to happen it is far away from happening in either format. The books have just got boring and lost with no end in sight and its been 5 years since the last one was published. The DVD’s seem to be following their own path but trying to stay at least slightly close to the books.

So all in all I would say the DVD’s are a good watch even if the later ones have lost a bit of internal logic. I doubt I will buy another book even if it ever comes out. I also doubt that either series will ever get to a end point. Some say that Martin is a new Tolkien, I would say no. Martin has no clear story line and I doubt a clear ending. Tolkien wrote a sweeping story which interacted with other characters rather than fixating on them as Martin does in places.

Score – Early  books and DVD’s 8/10 later ones only 5/10