Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Rogue Heroes by Ben Macintyre

Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War by Ben Macintyre is a fascinating look at the beginning of modern special forces as the western world knows them.

The men who created the Britain's Special Air Service were rugged, action oriented men who had little patience for bureaucracy that kept them from the battlefield. David Stirling was part of a unit that was supposed to act as a commando unit but was constantly standing down before actually going on missions due to one bureaucratic reason after another. Frustrated, Stirling sought and got permission to form a unit of his own. It was much smaller and while the hierarchy was sometimes murky at the beginning, operational control would at first remain with Stirling. This unit was formed specifically to attack Rommel and his forces from behind enemy lines. They were successful not only in causing physical destruction on the North African front, but psychological terror as well.

The specifics of how exactly that all came together as well as how the SAS transferred from North Africa to Europe is the content that makes up Rogue Heroes. Certain men who played a bigger role are given more space while others just have their name listed. However, there is a full honor roll in the back with the names and ranks of all the men involved in the original unit. Rogue Heroes also includes many photos of some of the main men as well as some from the SAS diary.

All in all, Rogue Heroes is a fast paced story about men who stood tall in WWII and changed the face of modern warfare. Macintrye's writing flows well and is easy to follow along with. He makes complicated topics easy to understand and allows the reader to almost feel as though one is part of the original SAS crew. Anyone interested in military, WWII, or special ops history will find Rogue Heroes a fascinating and satisfying read.

Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review. 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

Monday, September 25, 2017

Truth Doesn't Have A Side by Dr. Bennet Omalu

Truth Doesn't Have A Side: My Alarming Discovery about the Danger of Contact Sports by Dr. Bennet Omalu tells the life story of the man who discovered CTE and its link to contact sports, specifically football. Dr. Omalu describes his unlikely journey from a child born during Nigeria's civil war to one of the most well known doctors and leading voices in neuropathology whose life story would be played on the silver screen by Will Smith.

The entire tone of Truth Doesn't Have A Side is one of humility. Dr. Omalu doesn't seem to take any part of his story for granted. He points to God's mercy and provision in his life throughout several key moments. He points out that his discovery of CTE isn't because of anything special in him, but simply because he doesn't share the same conformational intelligence that a native born American could about football. Throughout all of his struggles, especially the fight surrounding CTE and the NFL, Dr. Omalu does his best to minimize his part in the story. The focus is the truth about how full contact sports affect the brain. The focus is on the people who suffer for the sake of entertainment for the masses.

Truth Doesn't Have A Side is an easy and engaging read. Whether one is interested in football or other contact sports should not determine whether or not one reads this book. Dr. Omalu's story would be compelling even if his life was lived entirely in obscurity. People with interests in many areas will find something to relate to or appreciate in Dr. Olamu's life.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLook 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

Monday, August 14, 2017

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander


To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander is the third book in Alexander's Belle Meade Plantation trilogy. While each book is stand alone and can be read as such, there are the same characters in all three novels. To Wager Her Heart centers around Alexandra Donelson, a young woman in her mid-twenties in Nashville in the 1870s. She wants help educate freedmen, despite her family's belief that it is not appropriate for a young woman of her station.

Alexandra meets Sylas Rutledge, a railroad man from Colorado. Though she has a terrible first impression of him, circumstances keep throwing them together. Eventually a relationship develops between the two of them that blooms into more.

I'm usually not a fan of romance novels. However, the historical aspect of this book made me willing to give it a shot. I'm glad I did. Alexander's writing style flows quickly. The pace was quick but not at the expense of character insight and development. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction or romance novels will enjoy To Wager Her Heart.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLook 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

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Paul the Apostle by Robert E. Picirilli


Paul the Apostle: Missionary, Martyr, Theologian by Robert E. Picirilli is a critical examination of the life and ministry of Paul the Apostle. This is meant to be a middle of the road book, such as a college textbook. Paul the Apostle isn't for the casual reader, nor is it an in depth look at all the minutiae others critically examine.

This is a great resource for pastors and students of theology. It is kind of a slog to read straight through, but since that isn't its intended purpose, that isn't a huge problem. The writing is accessible and the structure is very easy to follow. Whether one wants more information about a particular letter, missionary journey, or time in Paul's life, it is easy to find what one needs. There is also plenty of other resources listed if one does want to take a closer examination of a particular aspect of Paul's life.

I received this book free from Moody Publishers as part of their Moody Publishers Blogger Review 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, See Part 255

Friday, July 28, 2017

Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God by Brian Zahnd

Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News by Brian Zahnd is a rebuke against what Zahnd considers the overly wrathful theology of Western Christianity, specifically in America. In fact, Zahnd doesn't believe that in God's wrath at all, only in His love.

Zahnd believes that the perfect expression of who God is is the person of Jesus Christ. Love and forgiveness are the hallmarks of God, not wrath and justice. He examines these concepts in various realms such as hell, Christ's crucifixion, and the kingdom of God.

Zahnd's work is easily readable as well as easy to understand. His thesis is clear and he commits to it fully. However, his theology is nowhere near what would be considered orthodox. The initial premise is interesting, but the way it is spelled out and the implications that follow go to far from the text of scripture. There are several times that assumptions are put on the text that just aren't there.

I cannot recommend Sinners in the Hand of a Loving God to anyone.

Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review. 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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Goliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio

Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants by Louie Giglio is a a strong addition to the library of any believer in Christ. Using the story of David and Goliath, Giglio shows how the major giants we all face in life must be defeated because of Christ's work on the cross. Addressing issues such as fear, comfort, and addiction, Giglio shows how these giants are already dead, but still must fall from the power they hold in our lives.

Giglio communicates clearly and precisely. His writing style is very understandable and has an easy flow to it. In Goliath Must Fall, Giglio shares a few new insights into the story of David and Goliath. These "twists" on the story illustrate how the believer has the power of Christ over every giant in his/her life. Christ killed these giants on the cross, but just like a snake head that has been cut off, they can still be deadly. That is why the emphasis in the title is the word must. Though the giants are dead, they can still be deadly, which is why decisions must still be made and work done to allow a believer victory over whatever giant threatens his/her life.

Anyone struggling with the particular giants addressed in this book would benefit from reading it, though I'd recommend it to anyone interested in reading "Christian Living" books. It has a great perspective on the story of David and Goliath that will benefit any believer in Jesus Christ.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLook 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

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Eugene H. Peterson

As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation On the Ways of God Formed By the Words of God by Eugene H. Peterson is a collection of sermons preached by Peterson over the twenty-nine years he was pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland. The sermons are grouped into seven sections of seven sermons, with each group headed by a different figure from the Bible who plays prominently in the section of scripture each sermon is taken from.

Peterson's writings are always filled with rich insights about scripture. The most notable insights in this book are the parallels between the old and new testaments that he points out. In multiple sermons in each section, he draws a parallel that, to me at least, was previously unclear, and once pointed out, adds a new level of richness to those particular scriptures.

Each sermon takes up about six or seven pages. There isn't really a flow to this book since each sermon is self-contained. That can make reading it somewhat frustrating to read unless one approaches it with the right mindset. However, the insights gained and the depths of scripture opened up far outweigh any frustrations. I'd recommend As Kingfishers Catch Fire to anyone interested in the Bible.

Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review. 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