Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli


This is a rare gem of a book from a female photojournalists view spanning the period from 1963 to 1975. Unlike so many other books written during this time period, this one gets deep and personal for a long period of time. Helen has lost her father and brother to war and goes to Vietnam as a young college drop out. She finds herself in the midst of war and experiences life on a deep level, bonding with soldiers, journalists, the Vietnamese people, and the land. Despite being historical fiction, this novel creates a very personal account of what it might have been like as a female photojournalist during the Vietnam war.

The author opens the book near the end of the time period, and then builds the story leading up to the opening. Near the middle the book falls flat, almost mimicking the way Helen feels about being home. But the novel comes to life again once Helen was back in Vietnam, much the way Helen felt as well.

Author Tatjana Soli does an excellent job of breathing life into the characters and especially Vietnam. Despite the war, Helen finds love, beauty, peace, and a life worth living. The final third of the book was the most engaging because by then most of the characters and situations were well developed. The ending is incredibly predictable, but after investing almost 400 pages of reading, I would not have wanted it to end any other way.

4.5 Stars

Monday, April 26, 2010

Review: Will the World End in 2012 by Dr. Raymond Hundley


The first time I saw a Nostradamas documentary I was only twelve years old. I still remember it vividly. The writers, directors, and producers did a great job of frightening me and they certainly made quite an impression on my young mind. That was almost thirty years ago.

Then I made it through 2000 when everyone caught Y2K fever. Granted, people weren't thinking the world would "end" they just thought our computers would get awfully confused and unable to even run power plants and cash registers. Guess what, we're still here. Yet, every generation and every milestone seems to bring the question about: Will this be the end, or the end of the world as we know it.

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only."
Matthew 24:36

I tend to believe that there is still a lot more contained in revelation that must first come to pass. Assigning a date to the end of the world is foolishness and only creates parnoia.

Author Raymond Hundley has written an interesting book called, "Will the World End in 2012?: A Christian Guide to the Question Everyone's Asking". Written as a true guidebook, he explains the issues that our world faces today, their probability, and his Christian perspective. I learned more than I thought I would, especially about solar storms, volcanoes, and the Hadron Collider. Dr. Hundley keeps the book very down to Earth and highly readable. Some theories were super silly and entertaining like The Web Bot Project and Earth's Alignment with the Galactic Plane.

If you're looking for a guide that can help you to partipate in a dialog with people concerned that the sky is falling, this would be an excellent choice. The book is very light reading, with very few pages devoted to each subject, but presents a broad overview of the read and perceived threats to our planet.

I received this book free of charge from BookSneeze.com.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Review: The Red Letters Project


The Red Letters Project has been one of the more interesting things I've reviewed. It's a 3-CD set of the Book of Matthew that sets all of Jesus' spoken words from the book of Matthew to upbeat, soft rock music.

Although most of the music on the CD's is very enjoyable to listen to, there are some songs that I did not enjoy. For the most part though, I have enjoyed listening to the CD's

The group plans to tour in the near future, which I expect will be a tremendous success.

I also love that the group has put their songs online at http://www.theredlettersproject.com/home.php. About one-third of the tracks are available for online listening, which should give you a good idea of whether or not you would enjoy the music.

I received this CD set from Tyndale House Publishers for review.