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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life by Henri J. M. Nouwen is a collection of letters written over the course of the last twenty odd years of Nouwen's life. The recipients of these letters vary greatly and cover the spectrum from close friends to people he doesn't know who have written him with a criticism or a thank you to one of his books.

Edited by Gabrielle Earnshaw, this collection of letters offers great insight into Nouwen. Each letter is introduced by a short explanation about the recipient of the letter and his/her relationship to Nouwen, as well as any relevant details to a particular situation mentioned in the letter, or that was going on in Nouwen's life. There are also footnotes throughout the book that offer further explanation as needed. The result is that even without the letter written to Nouwen, the reader has all the information necessary to appreciate what he writes. There is no sense of feeling lost or of missing something.

Nouwen was a prolific letter writer. He was honest about his struggles, and most of all gracious with those he was writing to, regardless of the depth of relationship. His character shines through in this collection of his letters. They are put together masterfully, and this is a must read for anyone who appreciates Nouwen's life and writings.

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, October 3, 2016
True Faith and Allegiance: A Story of Service and Sacrifice in War and Peace by Alberto R. Gonzales is the autobiography of the only lawyer in history to serve as both White House counsel and Attorney General of the United Sates. Gonzales shares the story of his life, focusing on his time in public service with George W. Bush first in Texas, and then in Washington D.C.

Alberto Gonzales has lived the quintessential American story. The oldest son of parents who had very little formal education, Gonzales grew up in a two bedroom house that didn't have running hot water. His parents raised all eight of their children in this house. After graduating high school, Gonzales spent some time in the Air Force. He then attended the Air Force Academy before graduating from Rice University. He then went to Harvard Law school and spent a number of years at a prestigious law firm before going to work for George W. Bush who was the governor elect of Texas.

Gonzales' career would be linked to Bush's for the next several years. When Bush was elected president, Gonzales moved to D.C. to serve as White House counsel for four years. After Bush's re-election, Gonzales served as the U.S. Attorney General until his resignation.

In True Faith and Allegiance, Gonzales gives an inside peek into the tumultuous years of the Bush presidency.  He clearly presents what happened as he remembers is, refuting many popular assumptions and media reports about some of the most controversial events including the use of torture in the War on Terror, and the decision to invade Iraq. It is clear that Gonzales always has been, and always will be, a staunch supporter of George W. Bush and his policies.

Regardless of one's political leanings, True Faith and Allegiance is an interesting look at our government at an unprecedented time in history. The decisions and policies Gonzales was a part of creating shaped the world we live in today. This book is easy to read and understand. I would recommend it to anyone interested in modern American history.

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