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Friday, March 30, 2012
Congrats to my friend Nicole for being the winner of my first ever book giveaway!

Hopefully I'll be able to do this more often, so make sure you check back for new posts.

Happy Weekend!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Magic has always been somewhat fascinating to me. As a child I went through a phase where I was going to be a magician. I got a little magic kit, a marked deck of cards, and a book that was going to explain it all. Reality quickly set in, and I realized that, like many things, I was more interested in the results than in the hard work it took to get them. It was the wonder of the illusion I was seeking, not the arduous process of creating said illusion. Thankfully, reading Illusion by Frank Peretti was not an arduous task, but a delightful one. The bonus was that it was full of moments that caused wonder, just as watching a magician at work does.

Illusion is about magician couple Dane and Mandy Collins. Mandy is killed in a terrible car accident, leaving Dane to face retirement without her. He moves to the ranch they planned to buy and discovers something startling in his new little town - there is a 19 year old new magician who looks just like Mandy did forty years ago. At the same time, Mandy finds her 19 year old self transported from 1970 to 2010; not only that, but she can move herself and other objects through time and space. Illusion tells the story of Dane and Mandy as they both try to find their places in new worlds, how they're lives intersect, and what is behind all the chaos.

As usual, Peretti has written a novel that pulls the reader into a grand adventure. In every Peretti novel, there is just enough of everyday life to make you think you have some kind of handle on the situation, while at the same time having just enough super natural to ensure you really don't. The use of change of perspective, sometimes quite rapidly, adds to the suspense, especially as the story unfolds and picks up speed. I found myself having to purposely slow down and actually read what was on each page; I wanted to find out what happened next so badly I found myself rushing and missing the richness of the narrative.

Overall, Illusion is an engaging journey whether one is interested in magic or not. Peretti never fails to weave a tale full of adventure, danger, mystery, hope, and reconciliation. It is nice to have Peretti back doing what he does best – telling a story that entertains, informs, and encourages.

I received this book free from Handlebar Marketing. 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, March 27, 2012
I have some exciting news for you, my few, yet faithful readers.

I am pleased to offer my very first book giveaway! The kind folks who handle publicity for Frank Peretti sent me not one, but two copies of his newest book, The Illusion. One was for me to read and review, and one was to give away to one of you.

It's been years since Peretti has released anything new, and trust me, it was worth the wait. I just finished it, and you can read my review here in the next day or so.

Until then, leave a comment about your favorite Frank Peretti book. I will pick one lucky reader to receive a copy.

Happy Reading!
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Tyndale: The Man Who Gave God an English Voice by David Teems is a loose biography of William Tyndale. Tyndale was an Englisher Reformer who created and published the first English translation of the New Testament; he also did parts of the Old Testament. Though he lived during the time of the split between England and the Catholic church, his insistence on the importance of having scripture available in the common tongue, and his belief in faith being the only means of salvation, were his downfall. He was strangled then burned at the stake on October 6, 1536, after an imprisonment of about eighteen months.

Teems' Tyndale is a poorly written, unorganized biography. In fact, its difficult for me to categorize it as a biography, as there is so much conjecture and superfluous material, that the amount of actual information about Tyndale could be printed on just a few pages. The main thrust seems to be trying make the reader understand how important Tyndale was to the creation of the modern English language, as well as a great reformer and man of faith. This is a worthy task, as Tyndale does not receive his due in this area. When it comes to this aspect of studying Tyndale's life, Teems is successful. The appendix with the list of words Tyndale is, or should be, credited with creating is a handy reference. Teems successfully makes the point that Shakespeare is given a lot of the credit that actually belongs to Tyndale.

When it comes to an actual coherent description of Tyndale's life however, Teems fails. He switches from examining Tyndale as an artist/writer, to looking at his theology, to discussing the lives and motives of various other people that may or may not be directly related to Tyndale's story; this makes it difficult to follow any of it. I understand that information about Tyndale is somewhat hard to find, and what is available is often buried in myth; however, stating what is known and putting forth what is commonly accepted, and participating in pure speculation and conjecture about Tyndale's thoughts, feelings, and circumstances are two entirely different things. It is the latter that Teems often engages in, to the point of frustration for one interested in the facts.

Overall, Tyndale was a difficult book to finish. It is bloated, boring, written in a circular fashion, and not at all what I was expecting, since it is presented as a biography. Someone who is studying the beginning of modern English, and the impact Tyndale had on it, may find some parts helpful. Other than that, I wouldn't recommend anyone suffer through Teems' version of Tyndale's life.
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