30 September 2011

Your 100 Day Prayer by John Snyder


Your 100 Day Prayer The Transforming Power of Actively Waiting on God

By John Snyde
Published by Thomas Nelson

Book Description

Readers are guided through 100 days of intentional prayer and biblical truth that transform their spiritual lives and reveal God's provision for their needs.
Anything worth having in this life is worth waiting for and worth striving for. Unlike the world, though, Christians are called to a much different kind of pursuit when they survey their dreams, desires, and needs. Instead of an indulgent wish list, Christians are called to live a transformed life where they become more like Christ through the journey of striving after God’s will. In a time when both the world and even some Christians preach instant gratification, Your 100 Day Prayer offers another path—one of transformation while asking, seeking, and knocking for deep desires and desperate needs.
There is nothing guaranteed about 100 days, but as author John Synder says, “This sustained, stubborn, never-give-up spirit of prayer is not so much to persuade God to give us what we want, but rather to transform us in the process.” Your 100 Day Prayer helps readers combine their need with God’s will in a measured, structured, and instructional experience that results in greater spiritual maturity, clarity about God's provision, and real answers to their very real needs. Because our “Father in heaven gives good gifts to those who ask him." (Matthew 7:11).

Author John Snyder takes the reader through 100 days of consistently seeking God for an answer to a specific issue in your life. The reading for each day includes a bible verse, short meditation, a leading prayer and journal space to put down thoughts regarding the day's progress in receiving an answer from God. The book ends by asking the reader to record how God answered his or her prayer.

We've all felt that God does not hear us sometimes.  I know that I have been face down before God many times praying for hope, solace and resolution.  I often feel that I am lost.  My little girl asked me this morning why God doesn't answer all of our prayers.  I told her that when it seems like God doesn't hear us it us, it is actually us not listening to Him.  Sometimes we don't like what God's plan is for us.  Sometimes we can't see the wisdom of God's plan for us.  It is our walk of Faith that leads us to peace. It is up to us to have faith that God is good, to have faith that God will not abandon us, to have faith that God will provide.  We must believe and trust in our Lord or else we will find ourselves without hope, without reason.  I don't have all the answers.  I do know one thing however, and that is that the Lord has blessed me beyond measure.  I am willing to accept his plan for me, it is up to me to have the courage to follow him faithfully.  It takes courage and perseverance but with the Lord with me I know that I do not endeavor upon this path alone.  

As my walk with the Lord has grown and matured I do not pray the same prayers that I once did.  I only pray for what I need...Give us this day our daily bread.  I pray that my life honor Him...Thy Kingdom come thine will be done.  I pray that I will always remember that I am His.  I pray for the safety and well being of my daughter.  I pray just to be nearer to God.  I used to pray the prayers of youth; "Dear Lord please let me get a spot on the cheerleading squad.  I promise to go to church if you do.  Thank you!"  I used to pray the prayers of the irresponsible;  "Dear Lord please just give me 300 dollars and I promise to never use my credit card again.  Thank you!"  I used to, but that was a long time ago.  It wasn't until I began praying the prayers of the faithful;  "Dear Lord, eternal source of all that is good, keep me faithful in serving You.  Help me walk in Christ's Truth, and fill my heart with His Love so that I may serve You in faith and love",  that I began to understand that the Lord answers our prayers, whether we pray them or not, every single day, every single moment, with every heartbeat and breath God is listening and responding.

How do I fell about this book then?  If it brings more people to their knees then I am all for it.  If it leads more people to the Lord then I can think of nothing better.

This book helps one to focus, not just on your need, but on how God meets needs in ways we may not realize or allow ourselves to see. I think the book is especially appropriate for those new in their walk with the Lord, or just beginning on the road to seeking God in prayer. The author's writing style is very personable and not preachy. He gives insight as a person who has walked the walk and now is assisting others to walk theirs.


John I. Snyder

Dr. John I. Snyder is a pastor, author, and conference speaker. He has taught New Testament Studies at New College Berkeley, California, and has pastored and planted churches in California, New York, and Switzerland.
John received his Bachelor of Arts from Vanguard University (Costa Mesa, California); his Master of Theology and Master of Divinity degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary; and his Doctor of Theology from the University of Basel, Switzerland.
He has contributed articles to Theology Today, Dialog, Theologische Zeitschrift, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, The Washington Times, and others. John has also served on the adjunct faculty of New College Berkeley as well as the World Journalism Institute. He is the founder of Community321.com, an online faith community.
Currently, John is organizing church planting in Europe with his wife, Shirin, and two daughters, Sarah and Stephanie.

* I received an advance copy from the publisher for purposes of review. I was in no way obligated to write a review much less a favorable one. The opinions stated herein are all my own.

26 September 2011

Casting Crowns - Glorious Day

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a Virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He

Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He

Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

'Cause living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He's ascended, my Lord evermore

Death could not hold Him
The grave could not keep Him from rising again

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day
Glorious day

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my beloved one bringing
My Savior Jesus is mine

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day
Glorious day, oh, glorious day

25 September 2011

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Iron Fey Website

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.
Unless he can earn a soul.
To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.
Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her
irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.
With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.
To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.
And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.


The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa was not what I expected.  It's a book about a Fairy prince that has fallen in love with a human and this is a story about his journey to gain a soul so that he can be with his love.  My first impression was that this might be a sweet, lyrical and magical read.  You know, a summery diversion, something light and ethereal like...well, like fairies.

Ms. Kagawa has created a solid world built upon all the mythological and fanciful fairy tale creatures that have been passed down through the ages.  She writes with an authority I found beguiling.  Could it possibly be true that our imaginary creations live on in some other realm, fed by our thoughts, dreams and stories?  What if our imagination, our creativity, our world of make believe and fantasy were as real as our reality?  And what would happen to all of our progeny if we simple ceased to believe in them?
We are the product of their hearts and minds.  Without a soul we are immortal, yet empty.  Remembered, we exist.  Forgotten we die...
There is a central battle between good and evil at work in this book.  The forces of Iron seek to destroy anything it can.  Think of the rise of civilization, the increasing mechanization of our society.  Think of all that we, as a society, have gained and lost to the modernization of our world.  Then think of the amazing a natural wonders of nature itself.  The simple yet magnificent way a sunset can make you feel, the cool of the shade beneath a broad tree, how bees manage to fly.  These are the forces that struggle against each other in Julie Kagawa's world.  

The relationship between the characters is complex and iconic.  Ms. Kagawa knows her characters intimately and she writes them with confidence.  she portrays them with respect and gives them room to be themselves without apology, seeming to allow them to make their own decisions.  The Knight seeking a soul, is a seeker on a spiritual journey.  He is willing to give up all that he knows for the one singular purpose of being human, having a soul.  Might I say that he is like us all?  Seeking for that one thing that makes it all o-kay.  Some of us seek meaning in things, stuff we hope can fill that gap.  Others seek in the people we love or people we don't.  Still others seek for our souls, like the knight, we seek for our essential truth.

It is very important to note that this book is only the latest in a long series of books.  I have not read the rest of the series and really, it mattered not.  Ms. Kagawa manages to do what so many authors who write series books can not figure out how to do.  She seamlessly clued the reader into what happened in past novels without it feeling like an intrusion.  Just enough information to allow a new reader sufficient background yet not so much that seasoned readers feel like they are reading a rehashing of previous books.  Honestly, that talent alone is worthy of mention.

About Julie Kagawa:
 Born in Sacramento, California, Julie Kagawa moved to Hawaii at the age of nine. There she learned many things: how to bodyboard, that teachers scream when you put centipedes in their desks and that writing stories in math class is a fantastic way to kill time. Her teachers were glad to see her graduate. Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and a plethora of pets. She still laughs whenever she sees  centipede. Visit her at www.juliekagawa.com.

24 September 2011

1000 Page Views and Counting!

Fireworks Pictures, Images and Photos
Thank you for taking the time to stop by...

My little spot on the interweb has been up and running for nine months and today dear readers marks a special day for me.  I've reached one thousand unique page views.  I just want to say thank you for taking time out of your day to spend with me here.  It means a lot to me and it would be a lonely place without you.
Thank you.

23 September 2011

UARS - Keep Those Helmets Handy Folks

Friday morning update to the UARS Web page changed the scenario: NASA says that the satellite’s descent has slowed and is expected to fall sometime late Friday or early Saturday. There is an increased, "low" probability that the expected 26 pieces of surviving debris could land in the United States.
The odds that any of the wayward satellite chunks will hit a person remain slim. There's only a one in 3,200 chance that a piece of UARS will hit anyone anywhere on Earth. Your individual chances of getting hit remain around one in 21 trillion.

This information direct from NASA:
NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, is expected to re-enter Earth's atmosphere late Sept. 23 or early Sept. 24 Eastern Daylight Time, almost six years after the end of a productive scientific life. Although the spacecraft will break into pieces during re-entry, not all of it will burn up in the atmosphere.

The risk to public safety or property is extremely small, and safety is NASA's top priority. Since the beginning of the Space Age in the late-1950s, there have been no confirmed reports of an injury resulting from re-entering space objects. Nor is there a record of significant property damage resulting from a satellite re-entry.

It is still too early to say exactly when UARS will re-enter and what geographic area may be affected, but NASA is watching the satellite closely and will keep you informed. Visit this page for updates on the satellite's orbital track and predicted re-entry date.

› Re-Entry and Risk Assessment (498 KB PDF)
› Frequently Asked Questions: Orbital Debris

The updates posted here come from the Joint Space Operations Center of U.S. Strategic Command at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., which works around the clock detecting, identifying and tracking all man-made objects in Earth orbit, including space junk.

The actual time of re-entry is difficult to predict because it depends on solar flux and the spacecraft's orientation as its orbit decays. As re-entry draws closer, predictions on the date will become more reliable.

Because the satellite's orbit is inclined 57 degrees to the equator, any surviving components of UARS will land within a zone between 57 degrees north latitude and 57 degrees south latitude. It is impossible to pinpoint just where in that zone the debris will land, but NASA estimates the debris footprint will be about 500 miles long.

If you find something you think may be a piece of UARS, do not touch it. Contact a local law enforcement official for assistance. 

21 September 2011

The Monster in the Hollows (Wingfeather Saga) - Andrew Peterson

"It is an ancient need to be told stories. But the story needs a great storyteller."

Purchase Here

 Book Three of The Wingfeather Saga
Janner Wingfeather's father was the High King of Anniera. But his father is gone. The kingdom has fallen. The royal family is on the run, and the Fang armies of Gnag the Nameless are close behind.
Janner and his family hope to find refuge in the last safe place in the world: the Green Hollows--a land of warriors feared even by Fangs of Dang. But there's a big problem. Janner's little brother-heir to the throne of Anniera-has grown a tail. And gray fur. Not to mention two pointed ears and long, dangerous fangs. To the suspicious folk of the Green Hollows he looks like a monster.
But Janner knows better. His brother isn't as scary as he looks. He's perfectly harmless.
Or is he?
Join the Wingfeathers on an adventure filled with mystery, betrayal, and sneakery in a land of tasty fruits. There's a monster on the loose and the truth lurks in the shadows

Andrew Peterson is a master wordsmith.  A storyteller extraordinaire.  His books make all of us that read his words better people.  He spins a yarn effortlessly, brilliantly but that is not what he does best.  What he does best is remind us that there is more to us than us.  He reminds us that our Lord and Maker is our one true gift, he never leaves or deviates from that one primary, central truth.  

Lest one think that this is simply just another Christian fantasy novel please hear me when I say that 'The Wingfeather Saga' is no more a trite trio of books than the 'The Lord of the Rings' was simply another tale of elves and wizards.  Andrew Peterson deserves his place among the great authors that came before...Tolkien, Lewis.  If you have ever lamented the fact that you were too young to have witnessed first hand the birth of a classic novel then I suggest you begin reading Andrew Peterson post haste, for here in this collected work we have true artistry, a classic tale destined to be read and reread for generations to come.  How blessed we are to have a writer like Peterson among our midst.

'The Monster in the Hollows' is a book you will want to read with your children if you have them.  If not, then it is a book that you will simply want to read.  I feel compelled to warn you before hand that once you pick up this book you will have a very hard time putting it down.  Expect long nights, missed appointments and for your answering machine to fill up.  Feed your pets ahead of time and fill your coffee cup because you are in for a fantastic journey.


Andrew Peterson

Hey, folks. If you're just discovering me or any of my work, it can be a little confusing because there are several facets to it. Here's the rundown:
* I write songs. I also record them to these cool things called CDs and put on concerts around the country. (And beyond! To my great delight, I get to play in Europe every year or so.)
* I write books. Right now I'm three books into a fantasy series for young readers. It's called the Wingfeather Saga. I just published book three (of four), in May of 2011. I also illustrated some of the pictures. (WingfeatherSaga.com)
* I'm the proprietor of the Rabbit Room., a community of songwriters, authors, and artists interested in storytelling, faith, and fellowship. We have a yearly conference called Hutchmoot, which is as awesome as it sounds. (Hutchmoot.com)
* I'm a proud member of the Square Peg Alliance, a happy band of singer/songwriters who write together, tour together, and eat together. (SquarePegAlliance.com)
* I've been married for fifteen years to Jamie, and we have three sweet children: Aedan (12), Asher (11), and Skye (8). We live in a magical place we call the Warren, just south of Nashville.
The common thread in all this is my love for Christ and his Kingdom, my belief in the power of story and art, and my need for family and community. If I had to boil it all down, I'd say this: I want to use my gifts to tell the truth, and to tell it as beautifully as I can.

* I received an advance copy from the publisher for purposes of review. I was in no way obligated to write a review much less a favorable one. The opinions stated herein are all my own.

20 September 2011

Photo Post

Andrew Peterson-The Author

Available NOW

Why do I really like Andrew Peterson?  Is it because he is a creative author?  A poetic songwriter?  A singer with a lovely voice?  Well, no.  Actually, he is all of those things but the reason I admire him as an artist and a human being is because of this...

A Note to Parents

I have three kids.
Right now they’re 10, 9, and 6, and they devour books like crazy people. They gobble them up like sugar cereal. When we come home from the library, each of them has five or ten books under each arm. At first I tried to keep up, tried to preview every book they read. But these days, when my oldest zips through a Hardy Boys book in one afternoon? No way.
So I wanted to let you know, in case you’re wary of these books, I’m not one of those writers churning out stories for money, or to push a political agenda, and I’m not writing fantasy just because I have a thing for swords and dragons, and I don’t want to corrupt your kids with shady philosophy or trick them into practicing witchcraft. I don’t want to expose them to words or situations I wouldn’t want my own children exposed to.
Here’s why I’m writing these books.
I bear the Maker’s image, and one of the ways that plays out is that I delight in making. I’ve loved to draw for as long as I can remember. From the moment I picked up the guitar I wasn’t content to play another guy’s songs–I wanted to sing my own. Ever since I was a kid I wanted to write stories. I love stories, and thrill to an imagination on fire.  I sat down in front of the blank page and let my imagination run wild, did my best to tell a story I would want to be told. If a reader is willing to trust me with a little of his or her imagination, I want to light it up with truth, and beauty, and goodness.
I want you to know that I take my job as storyteller very, very seriously. I believe deeply in the power of Story. It has informed the way I live, my relationship with God, and, as crazy as it sounds, my understanding of the meaning of life (if I may speak in such grand terms). My dad’s a preacher from the South, so you can imagine how folklore, anecdote, humor, absurdity, good character (and odd characters), good and evil, and the Bible shaped the narrative of my childhood.
So this is a story about light and goodness and Truth with a capital T. It’s about beauty, and resurrection, and redemption. But for those things to ring true in a child’s heart, the storyteller has to be honest. He has to acknowledge that sometimes when the hall light goes out and the bedroom goes dark, the world is a scary place. He has to nod his head to the presence of all the sadness in the world; children know it’s there from a very young age, and I wonder sometimes if that’s why babies cry. He has to admit that sometimes characters make bad choices, because every child has seen their parent angry or irritable or deceitful–even the best people in our lives are capable of evil.
But of course the storyteller can’t stop there. He has to show in the end there is a Great Good in the world (and beyond it). Sometimes it is necessary to paint the sky black in order to show how beautiful is the prick of light. Gather all the wickedness in the universe into its loudest shriek and God hears it as a squeak at best. And that is a comforting thought. When a child reads the last sentence of my stories, I hope he or she drifts to sleep with a glow in their hearts and a warmth in their bones, believing that all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
Thank you for trusting me to lead you and yours along this old footpath.

19 September 2011

Andrew Peterson

Illustration by Stephen Crotts.
Andrew Peterson is a quiet, insistent voice that lyrically calls out into the world.  His is a voice that brings glory to God in such poetic, beautiful words that it reminds us that this world that God created is truly an amazingly lovely place to be.  He is an author, songwriter, poet and musician.  His stories delight readers on every page, his music brings hope to a jaded world, his vision is fresh and sublime.  I am currently reading his latest book "The Monster in the Hollows" and will be writing a review that I will post on Wednesday however, today I just wanted to leave you with this...Enjoy:)

Come climb the hill with me
Come and be still with me
Come watch the sun sink away
If you will with me

Come watch the garden grow
Down by the gravel road
Come warm your hands in the gold
Of the afterglow

Into the peace of these wild things,
Into the wild of this grace,
Into the grace of this blessing,
Speak in the peace of this place

Come walk the cedar stand
Over the broken dam
Sit on the bench at the bend in the trail again

Look how the children laugh
Out in the tumble grass
Bright as a fire and as fine as a photograph


Here at the magic hour
Time and eternity
Mingle a moment in chorus
Here at the magic hour
Bright is the mystery
Plain is the beauty before us
Could this beauty be for us?

What is this voice that sings
Holy and hovering
Over this hill in the still of the evening?
(Son of God, speak)

My Cuppa Joe...

Cafe Du Monde Coffee and Beignets
Chicory dates back 5,000 years and was referred to in the days of Cleopatra and Napoleon. A charming plant with azure-blue flowers, chicory has grown along the Nile River for thousands of years. Egyptians used chicory for the heart, and Romans believed it kept the blood pure. In France, chicory leaves are cooked and eaten like spinach. The root of this age-old plant is the part most commonly used, though. Early herbalists made a tonic from chicory root, said to protect the liver from effects caused by excessive coffee drinking. Also called "succory," chicory root is best known today as a key ingredient in the famous coffee blends from New Orleans. The roasted root has an aroma like coffee, but chicory contains no caffeine, making it a satisfying alternative (or additive) to coffee.
It was thought of not only as a beverage but as a vegetable, and praised for its medicinal like effect on the digestive tract. Introduced to the American colonies by the governor of Massachusetts in 1785, it became a common household product - served as an herb beverage and as a hot or cold vegetable at mealtime. In recent years, it has been preferred as a caffeine free beverage and as a great way to enhance, enrich and extend ground roast coffee.
Today the chicory plant is grown commercially for it's roots, rather than its beautiful flower. The roots are sliced, kiln-dried, roasted, and ground into a powder before being served. The Acadians brought chicory to Louisiana in the 1800′s, and it was used in New Orleans during the Civil War to stretch the unpredictable coffee supply which resulted from the Union’s Naval Blockade of the Mississippi River. Chicory coffee is still a staple in New Orleans and surrounding areas.  I suppose my ancestral roots are showing because I simply love it. Chicory adds a bittersweet taste to coffee, it is usually served with milk or cream au lait style and I always drink it with Almond Milk and a little sugar. Chicory Has Some Amazing Health Benefits Chicory consists mainly of fructose, protein, and natural fiber and is considered a prebiotic, which cleanses the body of toxins and has a calming effect on the nervous system. Prebiotics are food substances that promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines and supports the natural functioning of the digestive system. In her post Why Prebiotics are Essential to Your Heart Health & Immune System, nutritional consultant, Donna Gates, states…
Prebiotics are one of the newest fields of nutritional research and offer promising benefits for your heart, your immunity and more. Prebiotics stimulate the growth of healthy microflora that populate your large intestine. When these healthy microflora (beneficial bacteria) are allowed to flourish, they help keep you healthy and strong.

12 September 2011

Two Days of Music, Inspiration, Humor and the Camaraderie of Like Minded Souls...

 (I apologize for the stock photo...I had planned on taking numerous pictures but as luck would have it I encountered technical difficulties)

Imagine for a moment thousands of women gathered together in one place with one goal in mind...to give glory to the Lord.  That was the case over the past weekend in Anaheim California.  Two days of worship filled communion, women sharing their personal histories, building faith through each other and gaining spiritual strength in the process.
I remember someone saying a long time ago how peaceful the world might be if women were in charge instead of men.  I'm not necessarily sure that's true but if the majority of the women in the world are anything like the several thousand that have spent the last few weekends together over the course of the last month attending the various Women of Faith conferences across the country then maybe the world would be a much gentler place.
Thank you Women of Faith for providing so many women across the country with the opportunity to worship together under such wonderful circumstances.  It was truly a blessing and I eagerly look forward to next year.

08 September 2011

2011 Women of Faith - OVER THE TOP

I have been selected as a blogger for the Women of Faith event!

Women of Faith is a faith-based women's organization encouraging women of all ages and stages in life to grow in faith and spiritual maturity through a relationship with Jesus Christ and an understanding of God’s love and grace.
Hundreds of thousands of women are meeting up in 28 cities across the U.S. for one-of-a-kind weekend events filled with laughter, music, drama, heart-tugging stories, and more.
Whether you attend an Over the Top event or spend two days at Imagine, you’re in for a wonderful time. Some even call it life-changing.


EBOOK: 9781612190068

It's hard being a single dad—especially when your son is a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle. 

There’s nothing more troubling than having your child break down on the side of the road, leaking oil, overheating, and asking tough questions like, “What is death?” and “Why did Mom leave?”
But stay calm!
Because How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive is not only a dizzyingly beautiful novel, it’s also a handy manual with useful chapters on “Tools and Spare Parts,” “Valve Adjustment,” “How To Read This Novel,” and, most important of all, “How Works a Heart.”
Welcome to Christopher Boucher’s zany literary universe, a place where metaphors shift beneath your feet, familiar words assume new meanings, objects talk, trees attack, and time actually is money. Modeled on the cult classic 1969 hippie handbook of the same name, How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive is an astonishing tour-de-force that tackles some of life’s biggest questions: How do you cope with losing a parent? What’s the secret to raising a child? How do you keep love alive? How do you get your car to start?

This is a tale about a man, his father and the man's son.  That is almost all I can say.  Boucher is a wordsmith extraordinaire.  He uses symbolism and metaphor like most people use their cell phones.  I'm equally torn between absolutely loving this book and being totally frustrated by it.  While I find creative use of language fascinating and engaging, in this instance it made me feel like I didn't totally "get" everything that was happening. I played along for most of the book because it is a very well written novel with an unusual take on storytelling and I love when authors push the limits of their craft.  I particularly love when authors take the craft of writing into the realm of creative art. However, I felt abandoned as a reader by Boucher as he seemed more concerned with obscuring reality than letting the reader actually understand what was going on.  Instead of breathing life into the emotional aspects of the story the author chose to hide that emotion amidst symbology, representation and shifting words in odd ways. Boucher nearly had me singing his praises ardently, he nearly had me swooning with adoration.  As it stands now Boucher will be an author to keep a keen eye on. 
"Yes, I think it was, because it was the same day that I bought the corpse of an old accordian who'd gotten in a bar fight and been stabbed and killed. I bought it from a moustached truck who was selling it for two and a half hours."

CHRISTOPHER BOUCHER received his MFA in Fiction from Syracuse University, where he studied with George Saunders and Junot Díaz. Before moving to Syracuse, he worked as the Arts and Entertainment Writer for The Daily Hampshire Gazette, and drove (when it started) a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle. He currently teaches writing and literature at Boston College, and is the managing editor of Post Road Magazine. In his free time, he plays banjo in a bluegrass band.

* I received an advance copy from the publisher for purposes of review. I was in no way obligated to write a review much less a favorable one. The opinions stated herein are all my own.

06 September 2011

NIV Student Bible-Zondervan

Available: July 2011
World excluding United Kingdom & Europe

A hardcover study Bible for students of the Bible with notes and articles written by Philip Yancey and Tim Stafford. Includes the full text of the NIV Bible, the world’s most popular modern English Bible translation.

This Bible’s proven, common-sense approach to studying the Scriptures appeals to high school students and college readers. Its thoughtful, carefully researched features will help overcome common obstacles to reading and understanding the Bible. Written and edited by award-winning authors Philip Yancey and Tim Stafford. Features: • Complete NIV text • Three-track reading plan • Book introductions and overviews • Insights provide background information on key passages • Guided Tours offer a bird’s-eye view of the Bible • Highlights present short commentary on specific verses • 100 People You Should Know • Indexes, glossaries, and study helps • Subject guide • Eight pages of maps with index

The NIV Student Bible is a helpful introduction to the Lord's Word for youth and adults who do not have experience reading the Bible;  it is also a valuable resource for more seasoned Bible readers, Sunday School teachers, and Bible study leaders. The Reading Plans and many comprehensive helps (e.g., Guided Tour of the Bible; 100 People You Should Know; notes, charts, maps and explanations) enable the novice to understand the underlying themes of the Bible and the many Biblical characters quickly, while offering deeper explanations, understanding and connections to those already familiar with the Bible. 

* I received an advance copy from the publisher for purposes of review. I was in no way obligated to write a review much less a favorable one. The opinions stated herein are all my own.

05 September 2011

Quick-Fix Vegan Healthy Homestyle Meals in 30 Minutes or Less by Robin Robertson

U.S.: $16.99 Canada: $19.99
ISBN: 9781449407858
Format: Paperback
On Sale: October 4, 2011 — Coming soon! 

Robin Robertson's Quick-Fix Vegan provides 150 vegan recipes ranging from starters, snacks, salads, sauces, and sandwiches to stovetop suppers, pastas, soups, and desserts that can all be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Quick-Fix Vegan also features "Make-Ahead Bakes," convenient recipes that are assembled ahead of time (in less than 30 minutes) and then baked before serving.
Quick-Fix Vegan draws upon a myriad of ethnic influences including French, Mexican, Moroccan, Mediterranean, Greek, Cajun, East Asian, Italian, and Middle Eastern, and features recipes such as Spicy Black Bean Hummus with Orange, Korean Hotpot, Rotini with Creamy Avocado-Herb Sauce, Moroccan-Spiced Pumpkin Soup, BBQ Pinto-Portobello Sandwiches, Burmese Ginger Salad, Autumn Harvest Gratin, and Catalan-Style Créme Brûlée.
An introductory chapter provides the reader with basic information on how to maintain a "quick-fix" vegan kitchen, a complete pantry list, and kitchen tips, while an appendix includes recipes for optional ingredients such as homemade vegetable stock and seitan. Cooks of all skill levels will find that the recipes inside Quick-Fix Vegan are just as delectable and adaptable to the omnivore, as they are essential to the vegan lifestyle.
Quick-Fix Vegan is a companion volume of Robin Robertson's Quick-Fix Vegetarian.

This is a very good cook book.  While I am not a full time vegan I occasionally go on vegan fasts and this book really helped out when boredom set in.  The recipes are easy to follow, tasty and contain common ingredients that could be found in an average supermarket.  Easy peasy.  There are no photos in the cookbook so you are left on your own as to how a dish is supposed to end up looking...and let's be honest here sometimes having that little bit of info can make the difference between a successful meal and a disaster.


Robin Robertson

An experienced chef and consultant, Robin Robertson is a 25-year veteran restaurant chef, caterer, columnist, cooking teacher, food writer, and author of 19 vegan and vegetarian cookbooks. She writes "The Global Vegan" column for VegNews Magazine and was a contributing editor and columnist for Vegetarian Times. She has also written for Cooking Light, Natural Health, Better Nutrition, Health, Restaurant Business, and other magazines. She lives in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.  Visit her at globalvegankitchen.com or visit her blog HERE.