Monday, November 19, 2012

The Fourth Fisherman by Joe Kissack

The Fourth Fisherman by Joe Kissack is the story of how God uses seemingly random and disconnected events as He weaves beautiful stories of redemption among His people. It is the tale of two stories that eventually become one. One of those stories involves the incredible survival of three Mexican fishermen after nine months adrift at sea; the other is about a successful man brought down by the pressure of trying to do life on his own.

Kissack was a fabulously wealthy and successful part of the television industry. He rose quickly to the top and had everything he thought he wanted. Eventually the emptiness of his life ate away at his soul, and Kissack spiraled into addiction, separation from his wife and children, and suicidal behavior. Jesús, Lucio, and Salvador are three Mexican fisherman who got lost at sea and spent over nine months drifting across the Pacific Ocean. Using alternating chapters, Kissack describes the rise and fall of his life, and the story of the fishermen from the beginning of their trip through their rescue and return to Mexico. The two stories become one when during his time of rehabilitation, Kissack hears the story of the fishermen and realizes that they hold the key to what he is searching for.

The Fourth Fisherman is an easy and fascinating read. Kissack seamlessly weaves the two stories together in an easy to read fashion. Many people will be able to relate to the difficulty faced in both stories. The truth of the sufficiency of God in both stories comes through in a powerful way. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in a good story, reading about the fullness of Christ in people's lives, or even just an easy read.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogging for Books book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

A Year with G.K. Chesterton, edited by Kevin Belmonte

A Year with G.K. Chesterton: 365 of Wisdom, Wit, and Wonder is a collection of excerpts from Chesterton's writings edited by Kevin Belmonte. Each day there is a Bible verse and at least one excerpt, usually less than a page in length, from one of Chesterton's many published works. On many days there are notes about important events from Chesterton's life or dates of publication for his writings.

Chesterton was a fascinating man and prolific author. I'm not very familiar with much of his work, but many of the authors who have shaped my thinking the most cite him and his works as an inspiration in their lives. Therefore, when I had the opportunity to read and review this book, I jumped on it. As far as its quality as a devotional, the entry lengths are just about right for a small taste of Chesterton each morning. This isn't a devotional with a certain theme or to help one accomplish something. Instead, each day offers a glimpse into Chesterton's mind through his writings.

The design and layout of A Year with G.K. Chesterton is aesthetically pleasing. It has very clean and simple lines and font. The appendix of supplemental readings at the back with special entries for "the main festival days of the church" is a nice extra feature. The entries are selected from over fifty publications of Chesterton's work, and vary in nature from poetry, to literary review.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Chesterton; the samples of his work provided will help one decide if one wants to read more of him or not. This book is also obviously great for anyone who is already a fan of Chesterton. Also, anyone who is simply a fan of good writing will enjoy this selection of samples from one of the greatest literary minds of his time.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255