Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grooming Deals Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals Cyber Monday Video Game Deals Shop Now HTL
Profile for Travis Hawks > Reviews


Travis Hawks' Profile

Customer Reviews: 4
Top Reviewer Ranking: 27,140,298
Helpful Votes: 21

Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Travis Hawks RSS Feed (Texas, USA)

Page: 1
Spiritual Combat Revisited
Spiritual Combat Revisited
by Jonathan Robinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.43
26 used & new from $5.25

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Self-Help" Book that Matters, February 2, 2009
Spiritual Combat Revisited is a "translation" of a centuries old book into a form that the modern reader can understand. The original book was written in a time when the Christian was perhaps more accustomed to submitting themselves to a regimen of self-betterment and a desire to achieve holiness and closeness to God. The disparity between the original work's timeframe and today would most certainly make adjustments to the text necessary for us to fully grasp and apply.

Not having read the original text, it seems that Robinson does an admirable job of discussing the original work's tactics as well as casting them in a form we can definitely understand. The book is quite a challenge to get through; not a challenge to comprehend, but a challenge spiritually, emotionally, and personally. This book may very well rattle you and your daily life.

Unsettling the modern norm is certainly the point, though. The path the book takes should not be abandoned early on or you might end up worse for trying. Spiritual Combat Revisited tears down the reader at the beginning, only to slowly build him back up with a series of techniques and reassurances that, although difficult, are entirely feasible to apply in everyday living.

The writing seems to quote the original work as much as the sermons and writings of J. H. Newman. The other primary sources for inspiration are the Catechism of the Catholic Church and scripture. Any reader who is not Catholic might not be able to get behind this book as much as those that are, but anyone not opposed to basic Catholic teachings can certainly benefit from working through this book.

I have only completed one read through of this book, but it sits on my shelf waiting a second reading in a few years. In a way, I miss my nightly reading of this text, as it served as an inspiring way to complete a day and energize me for the next. Even though I struggled at times while trudging through some of the concepts, I was always left with positive thoughts as I drifted off for the night.

Place Called Freedom
Place Called Freedom
by Ken Follett
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
322 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You're Free to Read Something Better, November 25, 2008
A friend of mine continuously praises Ken Follett's work, and used book store inventory being as limited as it is, this was the most interesting Follett book I could find the one time I looked. There is no need to discuss this book in depth, as that would mislead anyone reading this review into thinking the book itself had anything beneath the surface. The characters are realistic enough and the settings and events somewhat intriguing. The pace of the book is speedy and the conflicts keep you turning pages. The sex scenes are abyssmal, written by a 13 year old boy who has unbridled internet access.

If you are going on a plane ride and this is what is available to you, then you will be entertained. Just don't be fooled by the historical fiction backdrop and the hints on the cover that Follett was looking to educate us all about a fascinating piece of the past. All of the set up is just an excuse to root for the underdog, gallop around on horses, and get rough in the sack.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 26, 2008 12:22 PM PST

What We Can't Not Know: A Guide
What We Can't Not Know: A Guide
by J. Budziszewski
Edition: Paperback
58 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing with Hints of Fanatacism, October 22, 2008
To be clear, I am not a natural law expert, but was only familiar with the concepts and knew the basics before delving into What We Can't Not Know. Budziszewski has written this book for readers much like me who are already convinced of at least the fundamentals of the philosophies he discusses. He states as such in the opening pages. The portion following these opening pages is where the book has its strong moments. A seemingly thorough review of natural law principles written in generally accessible language is put forth and made quite readable. I am uncertain if a careful logical review of his discussion will not find errata and points of contention, but from a somewhat casual standpoint, it all came together quite well. A chapter is even presented with a hypothetical conversation with a person trying to argue the foundations of natural law. All of this is a thought provoking discussion of the topics at hand.

Then the book takes a dramatic turn. Budziszewski begins to discuss issues of modern day, from the obvious social issues to the more minute like playing Dungeons & Dragons. Even though I agree with his overarching sentiment in these discussions, the language used often pushes it into screed territory. It's a shame too, as he discusses the fallacies of those trying to convert others to his ways of thinking but never calls out his own brand of extremism that will do nothing but put his opponents on the defensive. Again, he has stated that this book is written for the believer, so the language is not intended for the potential convert, but he had to know that he would attract all brands of readers.

Overall, the natural law discussions in the book are at least intriguing and some of the societal commentaries are valid. Just be prepared for blunt denouncements of many beliefs that could perhaps use some toning down to be more approachable without falling into what Budziszewski calls "accomodationism."

This Gaming Life: Travels in Three Cities
This Gaming Life: Travels in Three Cities
by Jim Rossignol
Edition: Hardcover
40 used & new from $0.01

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Step Forward in Writing about Games, August 4, 2008
Rossignol has crafted a nice little book that exudes the feel of a series of expanded magazine articles. The stories he tells of his travels related to gaming and how these stories address his larger theses and sub-theses are engaging and insightful. Even though many "gamers" of today's ilk think more of the living room console when they consider their beloved activity, This Gaming Life centers on PC gaming. This is a fair enough choice as these are the experiences Rossignol has the largest revelations about and they do drive the points home.

The way the book is promoted makes one think that it will be an autobiographical look at one person's adventures with games, but really the personal tales are just a nice starting point for his larger arguments. The book is well written and enjoyable. It is quite an easy read and its short length keeps it from really losing any punch as you continue through it.

The only quibbles I have with the book are largely technical ones. As the book progresses and it begins to refer to its own previous sections, the choice was made to place parenthetical references back to those sections. Although this doesn't sound like a big issue, it is quite the distraction and somewhat insulting. An additional technical gripe is the misuse of the phrase "begs the question." This is a common mistake, but it shouldn't show up in a book from a professional writer, reviewed by professional editors. It just looks sloppy and detracts from Rossignol's authority. The concluding bits of the book are a tad meandering and don't really tie together the previous sections that were overall well thought out and almost poignant.

All in all, this is a good read for anyone who enjoys gaming or tech and pondering the effect they have on our lives. There isn't an "inside baseball" feel to the book that should scare off non-gamers, but it is still unlikely that many who aren't gamers will pick it up and read it. This is another book, like Chris Kohler's Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life, that is working to create a discourse on games beyond screenshots and history lessons. This Gaming Life is a fun step in the right direction.

Page: 1