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Reviews Written by
Rodge (Ontario, Canada)
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The Gospel And The Mind: Recovering and Shaping the Intellectual Life
The Gospel And The Mind: Recovering and Shaping the Intellectual Life
by Bradley G. Green
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.43
12 used & new from CDN$ 7.93

4.0 out of 5 stars A good book on the gospel-centered mind, Jan. 27 2015
This is a good book on the gospel and the mind. It's weakness is perhaps that it only gives us a guided tour of the thoughts of others, rather than providing strong insights from the author himself. The latter chapters of the book are also superior to the first - as Green discusses language and the moral nature of knowledge.

The Cross Of Christ
The Cross Of Christ
by John Stott
Edition: Hardcover
22 used & new from CDN$ 2.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, Jan. 27 2015
This review is from: The Cross Of Christ (Hardcover)
This is a magisterial work - it doesn't talk down to the reader - but it manages to stay accessible at the same time. Perhaps a challenging read, but one that remains accessible to the reader ready to stay the course. Each chapter is quite relevant to the modern Christian as well. John Stott ably guides us through Biblical interpretation, including varying views on the subjects he addresses. Far from just a "get saved" tract, this book shows us how profoundly Jesus' death provides the center for understanding Christian life. This book will likely remain a classic, certainly an evangelical classic, for some time. Perhaps you should read his "Basic Christianity" first; this book will take you further up and farther in.

Predictably Irrational Revised And Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
Predictably Irrational Revised And Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
by Dan Ariely
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.43
38 used & new from CDN$ 9.37

4.0 out of 5 stars A fun exposure of humanity's "predictably irrational" ways, Jan. 26 2015
This entertaining book essentially shows us the many ways that humans do not behave as economists would predict we do. We are not rational but irrational - furthermore we are irrational in predictable ways. Ariely shows us through a series of chapters which essentially distill the results of his and other experiments how this is so. It is not always clear how this is to be made use of, and some of the experiments seem to be little beyond mind games, despite Ariely's scientific protestations.

Shallows, The
Shallows, The
by Nicholas Carr
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.96
46 used & new from CDN$ 6.42

5.0 out of 5 stars An eloquent appeal to row against the Internet's tide, Jan. 26 2015
This review is from: Shallows, The (Paperback)
This book seems likely to be a cranky rant, but Carr raises the bar way higher than that. Rather than resorting to being a Luddite, he chronicles how science shows seemingly incontrovertibly that using the internet changes the way our brains work - indeed that is true of all technology. The process is "neutral" - that is we lose something and we gain something and we should not confuse change with progress. In the end, what we are losing is precious and it is worth rowing against the tide, as Carr so eloquently shows us.

Penguin Classics History Of Mr Polly
Penguin Classics History Of Mr Polly
by H G Wells
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.11
53 used & new from CDN$ 0.45

3.0 out of 5 stars An original character bound in Wells' merely good prose, Jan. 19 2015
H G Wells' prose is a bit much, and this story is merely amusing rather than funny, not enough to cover for Wells' rather moralizing narrators voice behind the story itself. The creation of Mr Polly is quite good - he is a pretty original character, who although being the protagonist, fails to act in ways that are particularly heroic or moral. He has a tendency for "epithets" which you may or may not find to be amusing ~ his misuse of the English language remains a continuing feature of the story.

Basically he is a "lower middle class" shopkeeper in an unhappy marriage who doesn't like his work - and then he rather accidentally finds a way out of his situation. Not a bad 150 pages or so, but not a must-read

The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade
The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers CA
Price: CDN$ 18.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Explores the religious elements driving WWI, Jan. 19 2015
Philip Jenkins has written an immensely valuable book chronicling the religious elements that drove World War I. By examining the religious elements that drove the war, Jenkins opens our eyes to the religious motivations that helped to sustain the war effort as well as the consequences of the aftermath of the war for religion, both Christian and Islamic. This book is about 400 pages but its scope is sweeping. By the end, your views on many things will be transformed. If you want to read a book that dramatically changes your views of what the First World War was about, this book is one to pick up.

Taken at the Flood: The Roman Conquest of Greece
Taken at the Flood: The Roman Conquest of Greece
by Robin Waterfield
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 31.89
25 used & new from CDN$ 17.93

4.0 out of 5 stars A well written account of a complex series of events, Jan. 17 2015
This complex story is told in a clear-headed and only minimally confusing way. We basically know how it ends but Waterfield enjoyably shows us the ups and downs that were involved in getting there. He also clearly elucidates how Rome was clearly imperialistic throughout this time period; even though they tried to rule Greece by remote control, they still expected to be the final authority in the region. In the end this led to the complete destruction of any Greek independence. Waterfield mostly stays focused on the task at hand although he does let slip some of his views on modern events. The reader can take or leave the parallels that Waterfield draws. I personally find that this ancient history does sound familiar on some levels. Human nature and the aims and methods of governments don't always change that much, especially when they have the ability to turn their aims into reality, as Rome did.

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956
by Anne Applebaum
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 25.04
8 used & new from CDN$ 18.54

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account of the establishment of communism in Eastern Europe, Jan. 15 2015
This painstakingly researched and organized account will blow away your misconceived preconceptions about how Eastern Europe became communist. For one thing, what is "Eastern Europe" - there is a great deal of difference between Poland, East Germany & Hungary which are the three states Applebaum focuses on here. Any possibility that the so-called iron curtain was a response to western aggression is put aside here. The Soviets planned from the ending of the war to put these states under their thumb and proceeded to rig the game to ensure it was indeed so. In the first part of the book, Applebaum goes through how Communism seized control through politics, the radio and other methods. In the second part "High Stalinism" she shows how the new Communist states tried to achieve the Communist ideal in arts, cities and other areas before almost inevitably coming up short. In the 1950s revolutions were put down and the illusion of Communist success was pretty much smashed - only oppression was left to maintain the system.

Applebaum's research ends great depth and humanity to what is a story westerners might think of as grey or uninteresting. This book proves that it is far from the case and provides a case study of totalitarian "success".

The Light Between Oceans: A Novel
The Light Between Oceans: A Novel
by M.L. Stedman
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.71
14 used & new from CDN$ 8.92

4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling character-driven novel, Jan. 9 2015
The strength of this novel lies not so much in its plot, which is both predictable and far-fetched, but rather lies in its depiction of its characters, who respond believably and develop in a convincing way. The story moves along at a leisurely pace which I found initially uninteresting. However, once you are a third of the way in, the story grips you and keeps you on board right until the end.

A baby washes up on an island and the lighthouse keeper and his wife, having lost 3 babies of their own to miscarriage and stillbirth, decide to keep her as their own. The baby, however, is not an orphan as they supposed and their decision creates guilt, heartbreak and sets off an emotionally straining series of events.

As I mentioned before, the most compelling element is the way the author draws the characters and their response to events, rather than the events themselves, which are rarely surprising.

Geronimo (The Lamar Series in Western History)
Geronimo (The Lamar Series in Western History)
Price: CDN$ 14.40

4.0 out of 5 stars A balanced biography of an unpleasant man, Jan. 7 2015
This is a well-researched and balanced account of a complex and not terribly likable figure. Rather than a hero or villain, Utley provides us with as close a view of the man himself as we are likely to get. The first part of this book makes for awkward reading ~ due to scarce materials about Geronimo himself, Utley's focus jumps around from event to event, some of which Geronimo was part of, some of which he was not. The overall writing style is awkward in places, with repeated phrases and excessive wordiness at times. Nonetheless if you want a real historical account of Geronimo, this biography is a good place to go

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