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Reviews Written by
Rodge (Ontario, Canada)
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

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The Art of Biblical Narrative
The Art of Biblical Narrative
by Robert Alter
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.82
39 used & new from CDN$ 12.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible and for anyone with an interest in the Bible, May 24 2016
This book will be of value to anyone who has interest in the Bible - "believer" or otherwise. Alter convincingly outlines in very accessible fashion how the Bible's narrative can truly be read as literature, as worthy of close examination as Homer or Shakespeare. Alter also guides us in understanding the unique ways the Bible uses narrative in contrast to other well-known literary traditions so that we can truly appreciate it's well-deployed economy of means.

The Radical Reformation
The Radical Reformation
by George Huntston Williams
Edition: Hardcover
4 used & new from CDN$ 119.80

5.0 out of 5 stars There's nothing else like it, May 24 2016
Though much of his analysis may be open to debate, this book is simply essential and incomparable for getting a bird's eye view of the reformational ferment outside of the "magisterial" reformation. There was a lot of stuff going on. As a Mennonite, this book helped me gain more perspective on Anabaptist roots as well as the various responses to it. We get to hear the voices of groups that essentially no longer exist and therefore don't get much attention today, but were significant in the development of the time. This book covers the first 2 generations, approximately, of the Reformation period and takes us all over Europe to see the "Spiritualists", "Anabaptists" and "Rationalists" at work - as Williams categorizes them

The Gods of Newport
The Gods of Newport
Offered by Penguin Group USA
Price: CDN$ 10.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read, no more, May 10 2016
John Jakes is a master of historical fiction, in this novel the formula shows through. The story is engaging enough to keep your interest throughout, but most of the developments are perfectly obvious and the characters are cardboard. Good for an entertaining time-killer, no more

Smarter Faster Better
Smarter Faster Better
by Charles Duhigg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 30.76
3 used & new from CDN$ 15.06

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and probably useful for the diligent reader, May 2 2016
This review is from: Smarter Faster Better (Hardcover)
This books is entertaining - "Gladwellian" would be an appropriate word - and provides us with a series of stories illustrating different elements of living a productive life. This book is highly enjoyable, however getting value out of it will probably take more work. Duhigg gets bonus points for his notes at the back of the book which allow some further digging into his ideas as well as pointing to some controversies.

The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones
The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones
26 used & new from CDN$ 7.14

4.0 out of 5 stars Non-fiction historical thriller, April 28 2016
Asbridge pretty much nails the historical page-turner genre here. If you think a medieval biography sounds like a chore, think again. If you read historical fiction set in this time period, this could be a good book to ease you into reading about the real Middle Ages! Definitely far more interesting than you might think.

Our knight William Marshal lived in an era much different from our own in many ways. Asbridge is realistic about the appealing and less-appealing sides of his nature. Marshal was not quite the "power behind five English thrones" as the subtitle suggests, but he did serve Henry the Young King, Henry II, Richard the Lionheart, King John and finally Henry III. There are many ups and downs in this story, but somehow William Marshal made it through it all, and managed to die in his bed in his seventies (so that's the spoiler). How he got there, though, is an endlessly fascinating read.

The Great Hunt: Book Two of 'The Wheel of Time'
The Great Hunt: Book Two of 'The Wheel of Time'
Offered by Macmillan CA
Price: CDN$ 9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable fantasy, April 28 2016
If you like high fantasy, this is definitely what you are looking for. Jordan has annoying elements in his writing but overall succeeds at the main mission, creating a fantasy world and adventure that is complex and original enough to make you feel compelled to move forward. However, outside of those who enjoy fantasy, this is not really a book that gives you other reasons to read or that stands as a classic in its own right. I can't see myself reading much deeper into this series.

Reasonable Enthusiast: John Wesley and the Rise of Methodism
Reasonable Enthusiast: John Wesley and the Rise of Methodism
by Henry D. Rack
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 26.55

4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough worthwhile biography, not terribly easy to get through, April 21 2016
This is an very good biography, but definitely not easy to read. Wesley doesn't really come alive but we get a very deep analysis of Wesley and his relation to his culture and religious environment. Not many other books will give you this perspective on Wesley. An understanding of all the different religious movements and factions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries would be of great help as Rack refers to different movements without really explaining what they were about

38 Nooses: Lincoln, Little Crow, and the Beginning of the Frontier's End
38 Nooses: Lincoln, Little Crow, and the Beginning of the Frontier's End
by Scott W. Berg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 33.00
23 used & new from CDN$ 6.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Good readable account, April 21 2016
This isn't quite Nathaniel Philbrick, but something along those lines is what Scott Berg has achieved here. We have a pretty engaging account of the Dakota set against the backdrop of the Civil War raging at the same time as well as Abraham Lincoln's involvement for good measure. Berg does a good job of writing an engaging story, keeping the Dakota war front and centre while providing a critical if understanding evaluation of each participant. Berg keeps us aware of the background of the Civil War for the key participants in the story, not ignoring it but not overdoing it either. As a prelude to the later more famous Indian Wars, this book is worth a read for yet another tragic chapter in the story of Native Americans and their struggle against remorseless white encroachment.

Life and Witness of Peter, The
Life and Witness of Peter, The
by Larry R. Helyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 32.72
10 used & new from CDN$ 21.26

4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview of Peter's life and doctrine, April 13 2016
This is a highly readable, accessible volume giving an overview of Peter's life and theology as brought out in the Bible. Helyer assumes that 1 & 2 Peter are actually Peter's writings, which many scholars would challenge. Nonetheless, what we have here is a strong bringing together of Peter's life and theology as best we can know it. The issues surrounding Peter's authority in the church are handled from an evangelical perspective, but with sensitivity

Neither Poverty nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possessions
Neither Poverty nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possessions
by Craig L. Blomberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 25.32
41 used & new from CDN$ 15.50

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Christian stewardship studies I've read, April 13 2016
This is the best, or one of the best, books I've read dealing with Biblical theology and stewardship. Blomberg sticks with the Biblical texts and avoids speaking where they don't speak. What emerges is a very sober, convicting picture of the excessive consumption of the American Christian versus what the Bible teaches about giving. Rather than trying to defend capitalism or socialism, Blomberg unveils Biblical teaching and shows how they link up with other spiritual issues. You'll be challenged to develop a giving plan commensurate with your position in life

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