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Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada)
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The Porch and the Cross: Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Modern Christian Living
The Porch and the Cross: Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Modern Christian Living
Price: CDN$ 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing read., May 22 2016
I have been a fan of Kevin Vost's writings since I first encountered them. And even though I seldom read physical books any more I made an exception for this book as the eBook is not yet release. For as much as I have truly loved all of Vost's book I have read to date this book has had a massive and immediate impact on my life. For in this volume Dr. Vost takes us on a whirlwind tour of stoic philosophy, specifically 4 Philosophers and how as Christians we can leverage their wisdom and help take our practice of the faith to a new level.

The stoic scholars that we encounter are: Gaius Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, Lucius Annaeus Seneca or Senica the Younger and Marcus Aurelius. No to be honest I had encountered three of our four teachers, and have read Aurelius's Meditations numerous times over the years. Vost approaches these four in a unique way, first he provides a brief biography, then he draws extensively from their own work some with more commentary than others and the a final chapter on each how in applying it we can become better at being. Then as a finale Vost ties it all together in a conclusion that unites what is good from stoic wisdom with true Christian love and how they combined can have an immense impact on our world.

While reading this book one of the biggest things that impacted me was the concept of how our reaction to an event or circumstance that drives our response. If we can learn to step back and look at the event, as just an event then often our reaction and out interpretations of those events will be radically different. From my first encounter of this though in the book I have been applying it there has been drastic change in my home life, my professional life and my social influence. By learning to look at events from the perspective of what is under my control and what is not and always moving forward towards what is best my life has already been changed. Matthew Kelly often states that God's plan for our life is "to become the best version of our self", Kevin through these four philosophers gives us numerous tools and techniques to work and strive for that one goal.

I must however give you a few warnings about this book. First if you are not open to change, to striving to be better do not bother picking up this book. Second if you do not have a true hunger and thirst for righteousness; "Blessed is he who does hunger and thirst for righteousness for he shall be filled" Matthew 5:6 leave this book on the shelf, it will challenge your beliefs about who you are, your role in the world and your calling as a Christian. And third if you simply want to read a short 200 page book, and then by all means leave in the store, for once you read you will likely reread it, or go off and read more from our 4 teachers from the porch. It will likely kick off a long reading list as you endeavor to go deeper into these lessons and work to achieve true wisdom. But if you are willing to take those risks, then this book is tremendous and can have a wonderful impact upon you; then because of the changes in you, on your family, your workplace your community. In my opinion the reward far outweighs the risk!

Kevin in quoting Mark Forstater about Marcus Aurelius quotes: "It's in the nature of books about the spirit that they can be visited again and again. How often we return to books after a gap of some years and find that, with broader experience, we are able to read them in a deeper way, to see new facets that we had previously missed. Marcus Aurelius's book is one of these - it can't be outgrown; it does not date. It reads in a different way to someone who is twenty than to someone who is sixty yet still has something profound to tell them both about living the real good life." I belive the same could be said about Kevin's books in fact reading this one has inspired me to pick up and reread some of his other books.

This book was an amazing read and to be honest as soon as I finished it I put it back on my 'to be read list' to read through it again. There is also a companion volume by Shane Kapler - The Epistle to the Hebrews: and the Seven Core Beliefs of Catholics. Separately they are both great reads but together they pack an amazing 1, 2 punch. And should be read together for the magnifying effect the teachings of each has upon the other.

Journey (Geoterra Book 2)
Journey (Geoterra Book 2)
Price: CDN$ 2.53

4.0 out of 5 stars Good follow up in a great series, May 22 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I read this book immediately after finishing book one, Exodus, in this series. Finding a new series with three books out and nine planned is a wonderful place to be. I must admit, I absolutely loved book 1 and I did really enjoy book two, but at paints it seemed like it was trying too hard. A.J. (Alfred) Gillette in a new name in Canadian Science fiction, he has release the first three books in the Geoterra series and has a few other projects brewing. This is proving to be an awesome series and I eagerly expect the rest of the books.

The book in some ways reads like a Spider Robinson book or like Stainless Steel Rat books by Harry Harrison. A little bit of science, a little humor and a lot of fun. Is this a deep read by no means, does it ask a few questions worth thinking more deeply about, defiantly. It is entertaining, highly.

This book is slower paced than the first, but the crew of the 5 ships have some interesting adventures. We have a few crew members who face near certain death, we have accelerated pregnancies, the threat of imprisonment. The aid from some very advanced races. And encounter a race so small they are not visible to the humans. A lot happens in this short novel. And throughout the story are interspersed pop culture and sci-fi references from the 80's, 90's and 2000's. We see some interesting developments within the crew dynamics.

The story is driven mainly by the characters and their goal of starting over again away from Earth, and away from Interstellar travel. They desire to start a new earth where the choice to not have interacted with other races had been made. But The journey is long and the obstacles many and with every encounter they are either making friends or enemies. And some of those enemies are very determined.

This book was a fun read. And I am really looking forward to where book three will lead. If you have not read his books I give them a big thumbs up and say give it a go.

Don't Just Try... Train!: How Spiritual Discipline Can Transform Your Life
Don't Just Try... Train!: How Spiritual Discipline Can Transform Your Life
by Matthew Kelly
Edition: Audio Cassette

5.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared for change, May 13 2016
After listing to Matthew Kelly's Becoming The Best Version Of Yourself, from Lighthouse I have become more addicted to both Matthew Kelly's audio and written teachings and also some of the amazing resources available from Lighthouse Catholic Media. This was an audio talk given shortly before Christmas, Matthew reflects on the importance of spiritual disciplines, with a focus on being the right person. He talks about the culture we go out to and are surrounded by every day. But Matthew calls us to draw nearer to the Lord, to find the true meaning of Christmas.

He reminds us that we want to become better people, but or spiritual life is often 3 steps forward 2 steps back, or we fall and do not want to get up. Matthew states: "People do not fail because they want to fail, they fail because they do not know how to succeed. We don't not make this journey because we don't want to make this journey because don't know enough about the journey." And to be honest based on all I have listened to and read from Matthew Kelly that teaches is geared towards helping us succeed and to become the best version of ourselves! "Transformation is not just about trying; it is about training." He highlights that we train for everything else in life, sports, jobs, hobbies but we just show up for church on Sunday. He highlights that as human beings we have a natural capacity to increase our abilities, physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. But in order to do so we will need to put in some work.

And ultimately our spiritual growth begins and ends in prayer! And through becoming people of prayer we will discover our sense of mission, our purpose. And if we pursue it life will not just pass us by. We need to step back from life, enter the silence of prayer, and cultivate our soul and through that we will discover our greater purpose in life. We will learn that who we become is much more important that what we do. Who we are out our core is more important than our job. That relationships are the most important thing in our life. We need to draw near to the lord, we need to imitate Christ. For that is the path to true happiness, to true holiness.

I have listened to this about 6 times over the last 2 months. The Christian life is not just about trying it really is about training! And this is a great tool to remind us of this core importance.

Fulton Sheen's Wartime Prayer Book
Fulton Sheen's Wartime Prayer Book
Price: CDN$ 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Still great after almost 75 years, May 11 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book was a very interesting read especially in this day and age. For weather we like it or not the work is at war, a war with terrorists, a culture war, even currently a war about bathroom use. Originally composed in 1943 as The Armour of God this book is a collection of prayers, thoughts, reflections and quotes from the bible, saints and church history. In a time of ISIS and a time of gang attacks and terror attacks in Europe we need to be a people of prayer more than ever before. We can learn so much from this book written almost 75 years ago, and learn it from a man who devoted his life to prayer and teaching and was a Catholic pioneer in new media.

I have been slowly dipping my feet in the waters of Fulton Sheen's works, I know many who love listening to his old radio broadcast or watching his TV appearances but I am still a person of the written word. This is the third book by Sheen that I have read this year and I have a few more planned. But from the get go this one was very moving, and I have returned to it a few times to pray specific prayers or with specific intentions since I have finished reading it.

The chapters in the book are:
Introduction
Clearing Away the Debris
Thoughts in Wartime
Thoughts for Soldiers
Reflections on Prayer
Looking into My Soul
Encouragement
The Eucharist
The Blessed Mother
The Stations of the Cross
Basic Prayers
Morning Prayers
Evening Prayers
Occasional Prayers
Appendix

When I purchased this book I was expecting a collection of prayers, and this book is that but it is also so much more than that. I highlighted a number of passages in this book on my first read through. And here are those passages as examples of some of the wisdom and guidance found in this volume.

"There are only two philosophies of life: the Christian, which says: first the fast, then the feast; and the pagan, which says: first the feast, then the headache. In either case, there is pain. The Christian never ends with it, even if he waits until the end of time."

"I am not fighting for a freedom that means the right to do whatever I please but for a freedom that means the right to do whatever I ought. Oughtness implies Law; Law implies Intelligence; and Intelligence implies God."

"I am not fighting to preserve the kind of world we had just before this war. If I were, I would be fighting to preserve a world that produced tyrants and dictators. The new world must be a better world than that, or it is not worth fighting for."

"We do not pray in order that we may change God's Will; we pray rather to change our own."

"We do not pray that we may have good things; we pray rather that we may be good."

"Unless we have some work in hand, unless we are struggling, unless we are fighting with ourselves, we are not followers of those who "through many tribulations entered into the kingdom of God."
A fight is the very token of a Christian. He is a soldier of Christ; high or low, he is this and nothing else.
If we have triumphed over all mortal sin, then we must attack our venial sins; there is no help for it; there is nothing else to do if we would be soldiers of Jesus Christ."

"My station in life, my routine duties, my work, my family - all these are but the species of my life, which may remain unchanged; but the substance of my life, my soul, my mind, my will, my heart `transubstantiate,' stantiate,' transform them wholly into Thy service, so that through me all may know how sweet is the love of Christ. Amen."

If from these few quotes you are not intrigued enough to pick up this book I will be surprised. So I will add, this book is transformative, it will help to transform your heart, it will help to transform your will. And if you let it, it will help to transform your life and through that help you to be an agent of transformation in the world. One of the key ways it will do that is that it will inspire you to become a person of prayer, a prayer warrior for it is true as Christians, as Catholics we are all called to be in the army of God.

Exodus (Geoterra Book 1)
Exodus (Geoterra Book 1)
Price: CDN$ 2.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome New Canadian Science Fiction!, May 9 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
There is a new name on the horizon in Canadian Science Fiction and that name is A.J. (Alfred) Gillette. The first three books are now available in this amazing new series. These books mainly written during National Novel Writing Month Competition (NaNoWriMo) in various years are now seeing the light of day, and if the first book is anything to judge by this will be a truly wonderful series to read. The writing is like a cross between Harry Harrison, Spider Robinson and Robert J. Sawyer. Fred has a computer science background but his writings so far is not a tech focused as Asimov and is more story telling driven.

The story begins just outside of Ottawa when Alfred Joseph Freeman, Joe wins a very very big lottery. He decides he will focus his time and effort on creating a new communications system. Being above average intelligence, and better than most at what he focused his time on, he soon consumed all he could about wormholes and quantum entanglements. His discovery would change earth and life for all humans in ways they could never imagine. After first contact is established humans are given an option to either join space faring or stay separated. A new one earth government decides to join and things start changing very fast.

Joe soon realized that maybe earth made a mistake and finding out others with similar sentiment soon puts together a plan. Working with a team they plan and prepare to execute the greatest mission humans have ever undertaken.

This is a pretty face paced story. At first some of the different story arcs seam pretty separate much like a Tom Clancy novel, but when they start to come together you wonder how you failed to see it coming. There are some great characters, some face paced action. To be honest the story was so good that when I finished I did not wait to write a review as I usually force myself to do, but immediately started on book two.

These books have great writing and I really look forward to seeing where the series will go. The only drawback is we only have 3 of the nine planned books available so it will soon be a waiting game. Check them out and for the price you cannot go wrong.

Making Business Connections That Count: The Gimmick-free Guide to Authentic Online Relationships  with Influencers and Followers (Six Simple Steps to Success Book 4)
Making Business Connections That Count: The Gimmick-free Guide to Authentic Online Relationships with Influencers and Followers (Six Simple Steps to Success Book 4)
Price: CDN$ 3.87

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide, May 7 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I read an early draft of this book, and have just finished reading the final version. I loved the draft copy and this is in many ways even better. This is also the 12th book by Michal I have read in under a year, well actually the 9th book but I have read a few of them twice because they were so good. Many of Michal's other books are a synthesis of compilation of thoughts on different topics for self-improvement, but this one is almost completely original thought, and as much as I like his other books this alone makes this book that much more powerful. Michal always writes from his own experience, and in this book again he shares tips from what he has learned.

So let's take a quick look at some of the quotes I copied from this amazing little book and hear from Michal in his own words:

In the beginning Michael states: "I was a little frustrated about my life. Everything was OK- my health, my spiritual life, my finances, my career and family- but none of it was great. I had no vision for my life; I was just getting by each day. However, I was in the right mindset to try new things." The form and shape of those new things was to be writing he says: "At the beginning of April 2013 I started writing my first book. In the next two and a half years I published twelve books and sold over 17,000 copies. I attribute my successes, in the most part, to my networking skills. Many successful businessmen say that the core of a business is connections and interactions with people, rather than any business- specific skills or market acumen. I tend to agree with them." And Michal has grown his network and now mentors, motivates and coaches, not only through his writings but also through other avenues.

He is very upfront that there is not 6 quick steps, or 5 easy secrets he declares: "You probably wonder if I have a secret. Good news for you: there is no secret. There rarely is a "secret sauce" in any business realm. It's quite easy to learn the "hows" of any business; it's the personal implementation that gets tricky. But if you ask me the core of my networking success, I would say simply authenticity and tenacity. I didn't have to do anything fancy to connect with other people. It was enough to just be me. I consistently followed some people over long periods of time and provided value to them. Those two traits are behind my successes, and anyone can apply them." It will take work but Michal shares his successes and some of his failures, and by learning from him we can seek our own success. But he emphasises that knowing that alone is not enough, "Accepting truth and acknowledging possibilities is just a tiny step forward. Then comes the toughest obstacle: "can I do it?"" And we must come to the conclusion that we can, or we will continue to remain frustrated and unfulfilled.

One of the biggest points that Michal reinforces again and again through this book is authenticity! "You see, everybody has this deep desire to live an authentic life, but very few do. There are a multitude of reasons for that, but they all come down to different ways of avoiding pain. The human brain's default option is avoiding pain (remember the tiger?), so the majority goes along this path (and regrets it on their deathbed)." Along with that we need integrity "How does integrity make anyone effective? Simply put: people trust individuals with integrity. Trust eliminates the friction from the cooperation process." With that trust almost anything is possible.

Jumping to a new topic he then talks about self branding. He quotes "Jeff Goins in his book "You Are a Writer" said that in the end you are your brand. Either you stand behind what you say and your deeds are compatible with your words, or your brand is a shambles, unlikely to produce any meaningful results." And by your brank you will be known, you do not have a questionnaire about a brand you interact with it, and the same with people "You don't send someone a survey about their values. You interact with them to determine if they are the right candidate for a long-term friendship.." And we all have something to bring to the table, Michal states "How does one provide value? What if you have nothing to say? In my view, you are never without the potential to add to the conversation. If you don't have new facts or knowledge to bring, you can always bring gratitude, appreciation, encouragement, and a positive attitude. This world is a desert when it comes to such qualities. We can never have too much of these things."

A common theme that runs through most of Michal's writings is that or habit, either big H habit or tiny habits. It is habits that have helped him progress to where he is today and habits that will help him achieve his stretch goals of today. He uses habit tracking to make it all happen, from physical changes, establishing connection. He says: "For my commenting habit, I use the Coach.me app for all of the above. My trigger is going through my habit list in the application. When I see I haven't commented yet, it ignites me to find and read an appropriate blog post. After commenting I mark the habit off on the Coach.me list and the sense of accomplishment connected with this activity is my reward. Coach.me also serves as a tracking tool." And based on his advice in earlier books I can personally attest to the effectiveness or habits and specifically tracing them.

He reminds us a few times about the power of encouragement, he states: "Encouragement is much rarer and more precious than money." And that combined with work ethic is worth a lot, "Whenever you present yourself as a doer, you shine among the throng of talkers.".

To be honest considering the length of this book there is an amazing amount of good advice. Michal states that "Vulnerability and authenticity are the bridges to friendship. It's hard to build a relationship without some level of openness. Be yourself." But he also reminds us to use caution in both who and what we put our energy and time into he says "Armed with that knowledge, be mindful about those you allow into your social circle. Consciously seek relationships with people you want to emulate. Consider who you want to become, and what character qualities you want to possess. Then associate with people who already have these." But then it all comes back again to hard work, it is going to take work, time and effort to make this happen: "Get rid of your instant gratification mindset. It's an illusion. Nothing is instant in this world (except maybe instant coffee; but is that stuff really coffee?). The most valuable things are built with time: muscles, relationships, children, enterprises."

So now it comes down to you. Are you willing to spend the time reading the book? Are you willing to listen to his lessons and work at applying them in your life? Are you willing to work to eliminate bad habits and gain new habits that will help you achieve your dreams? Because those are the challenges that this book will present to you.

This was another great read by Michal, maybe his best. If you are already a fan you will love it. If you have not read any of his books give it a try it will likely not be the last of his you read. Michal writes in a very simple and engaging style, he writes from experience and that will draw you in and keep you reading and maybe spark some new dreams in your life!

Basic Field Manual for Hearing God's Voice: 11+ Ways to Distinguish Between God's Voice, Satan's Voice and My Voice
Basic Field Manual for Hearing God's Voice: 11+ Ways to Distinguish Between God's Voice, Satan's Voice and My Voice
Price: CDN$ 1.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Good little tool, May 3 2016
I do not even recall how I came across this book, it might have been recommended based on other books I had read or bought. But to be honest you cannot beat the price. The ebook is available for a very reasonable rate. In many ways it reminds me of a bible track or 4 Spiritual Laws booklets that were used for evangelization by non-denomination groups when I was at university. It is a very short volume. But in reality has a pretty solid message.

The main focus of the book is to be a guide to help us in growth of discernment during our times of prayer and meditation. The main focus is that we hear four voices when we pray, two are internal and two are external. The internal one's or distractions and or our own wish fulfilment, the external are either Satan trying to lead us astray or the authentic voice of God speaking to us and guiding us. In the introduction the author states: "As always, I suggest taking everything to a trusted spiritual director, who acts as God's instrument and can help you sift out what is true and what is false. I hope this short eBook gives you the clarity you are searching for." And even for someone who has prayed for years there are some good tips in this book worth pursuing. Through the rest of the book Philip gives clear concise teaching, drawing heavily upon saints and church tradition to help us learn how to discern between the four voices. He draws extensively from Saint Ignatius and he has an amazing quote from Father Jacques Philippe.

One of the greatest strengths of the book is the two page appendix, it gives some amazing jumping off points to go deeper on the lessons taught in this book. Of the 22 books recommended I have read a few but after encountering quotes in this book have added a few more of them to my to be read pile. This book was a good enough read at such a great price point that as soon as I finished it I bought another of his and immediately read it also!

The Epistle to the Hebrews and the Seven Core Beliefs of Catholics
The Epistle to the Hebrews and the Seven Core Beliefs of Catholics
by Shane Kapler
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 23.17
12 used & new from CDN$ 22.94

5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible read!, April 28 2016
With averaging over 100 books a year I read a few amazing books, a few great books, a lot of good book and many that I give up on and never finish. Both this book and its companion volume The Porch and the Cross: Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Modern Christian Living by Dr. Kevin Vost are in the amazing category. Until now I have only read a book that Shane co-authored, Tending the Temple, some of his books have been on my to be read pile for a while and after reading this one they really jumped up that ever growing list. I literally read this through in two 3 sessions and know that I will reread it again soon.

Shane takes the book of Hebrews and breaks it down into sections teaching on core Catholic truths. The chapters in this book are:

1. The Trinity (Hebrews 1-3)
2. The Incarnation (Hebrews 2-5)
3. The Word of God (Hebrews 4-6)
4. Christ's Priesthood, Our Salvation (Hebrews 7-11)
5. The Communion of the Saints (Hebrews 11-12)
6. The Eucharist (Hebrews 13)
7. The Authority of the Church's Leaders (Hebrews 13)

Each chapter is broken down into a number of sections or teaching points, with between 3 and 8 sections per chapter. As someone who spent 20 years as an undergrad, I greatly appreciate the scholarship in this book but also its brevity. Shane writes in a succinct manner with a tight economy of words. I wish had had encountered more books like Shane's during my religious studies degree. Not only was it intellectually stimulating but was engaging and addictive to read. As a seasoned Catholic I greatly enjoyed the book, especially the chapter on the Communion of the Saints.

I have always had a great appreciation for the Eucharist, and it was pivotal in drawing me back to the Catholic Church. Shane's chapter puts into words some of what I could only feel in my heart and spirit and not adequately describe. And why it is so pivotal to what it means to be Catholic.

Before I had even finished this book I recommended it to a few friends who have also in reading it got as much out of it as I have. It is an excellent read and I can think of a single reason not to commend it to you.

This book was an amazing read and to be honest as soon as I finished it I put it back on my 'to be read list' to read through it again. There is also a companion volume by Kevin Vost The Porch and the Cross: Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Modern Christian Living. Separately they are each a great read but together they are awesome. And they really should be read together for the magnifying effect the teachings of each has upon the other. So give this book a chance it will have a direct impact upon your faith and practice.

The Porch and the Cross: Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Modern Christian Living
The Porch and the Cross: Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Modern Christian Living
by Kevin Vost
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 23.17
7 used & new from CDN$ 23.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Read at risk or personal growth, April 26 2016
I have been a fan of Kevin Vost's writings since I first encountered them. And even though I seldom read physical books any more I made an exception for this book as the eBook is not yet release. For as much as I have truly loved all of Vost's book I have read to date this book has had a massive and immediate impact on my life. For in this volume Dr. Vost takes us on a whirlwind tour of stoic philosophy, specifically 4 Philosophers and how as Christians we can leverage their wisdom and help take our practice of the faith to a new level.

The stoic scholars that we encounter are: Gaius Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, Lucius Annaeus Seneca or Senica the Younger and Marcus Aurelius. No to be honest I had encountered three of our four teachers, and have read Aurelius's Meditations numerous times over the years. Vost approaches these four in a unique way, first he provides a brief biography, then he draws extensively from their own work some with more commentary than others and the a final chapter on each how in applying it we can become better at being. Then as a finale Vost ties it all together in a conclusion that unites what is good from stoic wisdom with true Christian love and how they combined can have an immense impact on our world.

While reading this book one of the biggest things that impacted me was the concept of how our reaction to an event or circumstance that drives our response. If we can learn to step back and look at the event, as just an event then often our reaction and out interpretations of those events will be radically different. From my first encounter of this though in the book I have been applying it there has been drastic change in my home life, my professional life and my social influence. By learning to look at events from the perspective of what is under my control and what is not and always moving forward towards what is best my life has already been changed. Matthew Kelly often states that God's plan for our life is "to become the best version of our self", Kevin through these four philosophers gives us numerous tools and techniques to work and strive for that one goal.

I must however give you a few warnings about this book. First if you are not open to change, to striving to be better do not bother picking up this book. Second if you do not have a true hunger and thirst for righteousness; "Blessed is he who does hunger and thirst for righteousness for he shall be filled" Matthew 5:6 leave this book on the shelf, it will challenge your beliefs about who you are, your role in the world and your calling as a Christian. And third if you simply want to read a short 200 page book, and then by all means leave in the store, for once you read you will likely reread it, or go off and read more from our 4 teachers from the porch. It will likely kick off a long reading list as you endeavor to go deeper into these lessons and work to achieve true wisdom. But if you are willing to take those risks, then this book is tremendous and can have a wonderful impact upon you; then because of the changes in you, on your family, your workplace your community. In my opinion the reward far outweighs the risk!

Kevin in quoting Mark Forstater about Marcus Aurelius quotes: "It's in the nature of books about the spirit that they can be visited again and again. How often we return to books after a gap of some years and find that, with broader experience, we are able to read them in a deeper way, to see new facets that we had previously missed. Marcus Aurelius's book is one of these - it can't be outgrown; it does not date. It reads in a different way to someone who is twenty than to someone who is sixty yet still has something profound to tell them both about living the real good life." I belive the same could be said about Kevin's books in fact reading this one has inspired me to pick up and reread some of his other books.

This book was an amazing read and to be honest as soon as I finished it I put it back on my 'to be read list' to read through it again. There is also a companion volume by Shane Kapler - The Epistle to the Hebrews and the Seven Core Beliefs of Catholics. Separately they are both great reads but together they pack an amazing 1, 2 punch. And should be read together for the magnifying effect the teachings of each has upon the other.

The Lost Stone (The Kingdom of Wrenly Book 1)
The Lost Stone (The Kingdom of Wrenly Book 1)
Offered by Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
Price: CDN$ 5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A good beginning, April 25 2016
This book was a recommendation based on other books read and reviewed. I showed the cover to my youngest two and read them the summary and they were clamouring to read it. That enthusiasm stayed through this book and we are now part way through book two. The book was so exciting to children they often did not want to stop and kept asking for one more chapter. Reading the eBook we pause and expand every picture and take a closer look at it.

This is a short story about friendship, responsibility and adventure. It is the story of Prince Lucas, and his desire to have friends, after sneaking out of the castle his father relents and allows him to play again with his only childhood friend his age, Clara the daughter of the queen's seamstress. The adventure is Lucas and Clara receive permission to hunt for the Queen's lost emerald. So together Clara and Lucas travel around the kingdom retracing the Queen's steps for the past few days, to try and find the stone. The two set out to retrace her he way through Primlox, Burth and Hobsgrove.

As an adult reading the series it seems a lot of time is setting up things for other books. There are currently 9 books out in this series and a tenth on the way in under two years. As such this story is a little slower than the next in the series. The kingdom of Wrenly is composed of a mainland and four magical islands, Each island is predominately inhabited by one type of creature, Primlox for the fairies, Hobsgrove for wizards, Burth for the trolls and Crestwood for the dragons.

Overall it was a good read. The kids loved it and love the illustrations and there are lots of them. We will continue on and see how the series progresses.

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