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Man on Fire
Man on Fire
by A. J. Quinnell
Edition: Paperback
37 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Strong start. Poor finish., November 12, 2012
This review is from: Man on Fire (Paperback)
I was super excite about this book after reading some reviews which, I have to admit, can often taint my opinion because my expectations are too high. That said, the book starts off extremely strong the relationship and dialogue between Pinta and Creasy is fantastic. Reading the first part of this book left me thinking that this author had much in common with Graham Greene; who happens to be one of my all-time favorites. However, the rest of the book takes a serious nose dive. I am not sure whether this is because of my high expectations which were only compounded after the first third of the book or if the rest of the book was really just not that good. Either way I did not enjoy it. The four star rating was given on the strength of the beginning of the book otherwise this would have been a solid three.

The Fist of God
The Fist of God
by Frederick Forsyth
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
212 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Page Turner, October 19, 2012
I have read one other book by Frederick Forsyth and it was pretty horrible. If my memory serves me the title of that one was The Cobra. That said I have heard nothing but high praise for his books and so I thought that I would grab one of his earlier ones as the early books always seem to be the best work of any author who has had a career this long. I went for The Fist of God and it was infinitely better than The Cobra.

The book takes place during Desert Storm and includes an assemble cast of soldiers, politicians and intellectuals. On the "page turner" level this book delivers in spades. There are night missions by Special Forces, spy work, airplane and helicopter raids, thefts and plenty of all the other shenanigans that we imagine must go on behind the scenes. However what I particularly enjoyed about this book was its historical accuracy. Forsyth approached his subject matter in much the same way that an investigative journalist would. He then added just enough fiction to keep you turning pages wondering what would happen next. I know that it is an interesting idea but I suppose one could make the argument that this is now a historical fiction novel even though the first gulf war was not that long ago in the eyes of many.


Shepherding a Child's Heart
Shepherding a Child's Heart
by Tedd Tripp
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.21
365 used & new from $0.28

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The only parenting book you need, October 9, 2012
Over the last few years I have returned to Tedd Tripp's book multiple times and this is important to know because I have read quite a few parenting books and have never returned to a single one besides this. Tedd Tripp's' parenting philosophy is so helpful because it can be broken down to three main points making it incredibly accessible and practical. These three tools are authority, shepherding and the centrality of the gospel.

We are to teach our kids what authority is and more importantly how to submit to authority. This is integral for both your future success as a parent but more importantly for their future relationship with Christ. Whether we accept it or not; Christ rules not us. The second idea is that we are to shepherd our children. It is too easy to fall into a trap of barking commands or rules and expecting the kids to shape up or else. Tedd Tripp teaches that what we should do is connect with our children at a heart level and understand what is causing them to sin. Once this open communication is established we can shepherd our children toward a better knowledge of themselves and what Christ has done for them. This brings the final point which is the centrality of the gospel. Without the gospel message being at the core of everything we teach our kids we are training them up in moralism. The gospel alone has the power to change lives and the behavior of your children. Not rules or trendy morals.

This book has yet again earned a place on a shelf in my room I call "Books to base your life on" and is one that I am certain I will return to time and time again as my grow into adulthood

I highly recommend this book
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2012 5:57 AM PDT

The Honourable Schoolboy
The Honourable Schoolboy
by John le Carré
Edition: Paperback
28 used & new from $1.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome. Awesome. Awesome., October 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
When I read Le Carré (one of my favorite all time Authors) I am typically looking for vintage Cold War spy novels. I want an icy grey barren Russia, long trench coats, chained smoked cigarettes, huge quantities of vodka, walther pistols and midnight assassination attempts. I love the clichés and when I read a spy novel I want every one of them. The Honourable Schoolboy had almost none of these; it is set in Southeast Asia, contains no vodka and has no one named Vladimir. No pistols, no trench coats and a body count the sits at a mere 3. That said.......I LOVE THIS BOOK!!

I have never read another author who can set the mood of a book as accurately as Le Carré nor another who can tell a story of the main character through the eyes of the ancillary characters so well. His characters are emotive and yet amoral and his plots are startlingly realistic. This has every great quality of the spy genre without all of the clichés and truly stands out for it. In The Honourable Schoolboy Le Carré has brought us another one of his fantastic characters, Jerry Westerby, and one step closer to what I expect to be the stunning conclusion of the iconic Karla trilogy.

Highly recommended

City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction
City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction
by David MacAulay
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.81
206 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is awesome, September 29, 2012
My wife brought this book home after picking it up for the kid's home school curriculum, but I managed to get my hands on it first. I am both a fan of architecture and of Rome so a book like this is incredibly interesting to me. Understanding now how they built their roads, aqueducts, sewage systems and even sidewalks gives me a whole new appreciation for the Roman sense of planning, order and preparation. Each page of this book highlights one area of the construction of a pretend city called Verbonia from the planning and site prep to its completion 20 years later. Each page will typically have a short paragraph about a step in the cities construction and then some beautifully drawn details. Though I read through the book in about an hour one could easily spend twice as lone going through the drawings in detail. Due to this City would also serve as an awesome reference book just to have in one's library.

I can easily recommend this book to just about anybody as its appeal will be broad. The fact that me and my six year old both jumped on it when my wife brought it home attests to this.

I got the chance to flip through this author's book on Pyramids and it is just as good.

Highly Recommended

Hell's Corner (Camel Club, Book 5)
Hell's Corner (Camel Club, Book 5)
by David Baldacci
Edition: Hardcover
84 used & new from $1.24

2.0 out of 5 stars Pass on this one, September 21, 2012
I get that this is not supposed to be "literature" and so should not be reviewed as such, but this book was really really weak. There was really no character development to speak of, the setting and plot where just as weak and the whole idea was really pretty blah. What really frustrated me was that the climax of the book took place in the exact same location s one of his previous books. Seriously? In a nutshell this book had the feel of being dashed off very quickly and from everything that I heard this not what Baldacci is known for. Do yourself a favor and grab one of his other books.

The only reason I did not give it one star is because I (for some reason) finished it.

A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict
A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict
by John Baxter
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.81
49 used & new from $4.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book on a fun topic, September 14, 2012
I like this book. It was extremely well written book in which the author has a very unique sort of lazy and carefree manner or voice. I loved that, as I have not run into anything similar and it gives one a very distinct impression on what his outlook on life maybe. It also has all of the qualities of a good memoir that I have come to love. Such things as not holding to a strict narrative, not filling in all the details and as a whole putting the author in a favorable light; after all no one really wants the truth.

I have two main complaints the first of which was his need to list all of his favorite book shops and what he did or didn't like about them. These lists at times went on for several pages and had the unfavorable habit of rearing their head in almost every chapter. I was also frustrated in that he did not spend more time on what, for me, where his most interesting topics. These topics are his friend Martin Stone and his time in Paris both of which he was able to write about so eloquently as to make the reader want more, more, more.

As a while I enjoyed the book and I think if you have an interest in the used/collectible book world then you would find it to be an enjoyable read as well.

Patriot Pirates: The Privateer War for Freedom and Fortune in the American Revolution
Patriot Pirates: The Privateer War for Freedom and Fortune in the American Revolution
by Robert H. Patton
Edition: Hardcover
65 used & new from $1.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great look at the Naval and Economic Battles America Faced, September 11, 2012
I have read quite a bit about the American Revolution, but none of it has touched on the economic struggles or triumphs of Americans during this period. Nor has it focused on the naval theatre of war. Patriot Pirates does both of these and yet manages to stay very accessible to the casual reader such as myself. This book provides a great overview and history of the man known as "The financer of the revolution" as well as some of the more seedy and despicable characters such as Silas Deane.

One of the things that this book pointed out was that most if not all of the "founding fathers" had an economic interest in both fighting and winning the war. For instance Nathaniel Greene came from the family that owned one of the key foundries in the war production. Additionally, some if not all of these guys made investments into the privateering industry thereby double dipping into the Continental Congress's funds. This is a situation which seemed to repeat itself over and over. I suppose that I was a bit naive but it is still in the least, slightly shocking.

My recommendation is, if you are into the Revolution pick this one up if not give it a pass.

A Struggle for Power: The American Revolution
A Struggle for Power: The American Revolution
by Theodore Draper
Edition: Paperback
Price: $22.75
30 used & new from $7.50

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great academic text on the American Revolution, September 9, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A Struggle for Power deals primarily with the lead up to the American Revolution and the social, political and economic issues that brought it about. I know that in school and we were taught that the reasons for the American Revolution were primarily ideological but Draper paint a very different picture here. At this time France and England were the world super powers, the wealth of both was depleted through war with each other and both were looking for new ways to either raise capital or fight an indirect war with each other. The American colonies new this and so saw the opportunity to work the situation to their advantage. If they could declare war on England with the support of France then they could gain the power, influence and wealth that they so desperately wanted. This is the situation as Draper paints.

A Struggle for Power is a thoroughly researched text by a very well respected author and academic. The only real downside to the book is that it is not for the faint of heart at 500+ pages and lacks that narrative quality the makes a history book digestible by the casual reader.

I highly recommend this book is your desire is to study the America Revolution from every angle. If your desire is for American Revolution 101 you may have better luck elsewhere. I really like to get my history via biographies. So 0ther options would be Joseph Ellis or David McCullough who wrote biographies of the leaders of the time as well as 1776. Isaacson also has a very good book on Benjamin Franklin that I can recommend. Also Patriot Pirates by Robert Patton is a good option because it also looks and the Revolution through and economic lens.

Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer (Bantam Classics)
Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer (Bantam Classics)
by Joseph Conrad
Edition: Paperback
Price: $4.95
361 used & new from $0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars The Original Psychological Thrillers, September 7, 2012
I typically don't like to review classic literature because I find that putting my thoughts on these books into words is an extremely difficult task. However there is something about Joseph Conrad's writing that makes it so easily read and understood today, that for me it falls into the "page turner" category and yet retains all if its literary class. That said The Heart of Darkness is a true master piece and perhaps the best short story I have ever read. I think that it is a combination of Conrad's experience in his subject as well as his eloquence as a writer that makes this and the Secret Sharer so fantastic.

The only bad thing I could say is not about the stories so much as it is about this addition. The book itself has that cheap Bantam Paperback feel and they, for some reason, felt the need to include an introduction to the stories that makes no sense at all.

My final opinion:

Joseph Conrad - 6 Stars
This addition - 2 Stars

You will cherish Joseph Conrad so skip this and spend the money on a good addition!

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