Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Book Review - Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger: An Invitation Worth Considering Dinner with a Perfect Stranger: An Invitation Worth Considering by David Gregory

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The premise of Dinner with a Perfect Stranger sounded interesting enough. A man, Nick Cominsky who is consumed by work and the demands of life, is invited to and has dinner with Jesus. Initially, Nick believes it to be a prank. But their conversation touches on everything from faith, religion, punishment of sin, and more, and leaves Nick a changed man.

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger is a very quick and easy, sometimes thought-provoking read. It was relatively basic and not terribly deep, and some of what was presented I do not completely agree with. In fact I almost quit reading when on page 52, Jesus said "...God has to punish sin, because if he doesn't, he lets all creation be sabotaged." But in the end, I am glad I read on.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Review - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Honestly, I couldn't remember if I had read To Kill a Mockingbird when I was younger or not. Having just finished now, I know that I clearly had not previously read this book.

The small fault I found with To Kill a Mockingbird is that it is a bit slow to start. There were pages upon pages of story that occurs before the real story starts for me - and that is when the lawyer, Atticus, is called upon to defend the black man charged with raping a white girl. But then, the story comes alive!

What I enjoyed most were the true to life characters and strong emotions, it's portrayal of the racial prejudices in the deep south, and the overall message that most people, if you just take the time to know them, are good.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Book Review - The Shack by William P. Young

The Shack The Shack by William P. Young

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Weird. But good.

The Shack is a book that will make you think about God and your relationship with God, as well as your relationships with other people. It will get you thinking about what is truly important in life. You just have to get past some of the imagery – for instance, I have never contemplated God as a black woman flipping pancakes. But somehow William P. Young pulls it off with an entertaining, thought-provoking story.

Reading The Shack wasn’t “life changing” for me, or the best book I’ve read this year, or any of the other myriad of descriptions I’ve heard. It isn’t a preachy book, although there are some sections of long dialog that come close, and it certainly isn’t the Bible. What I really enjoyed most about The Shack is how real and authentic God’s relationship is with the character Mack.

Packed with emotion, this is a comforting book and full of hope. It leaves you feeling good and yearning for the simplistic love portrayed.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Book Review - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What's left to be said? (Most everyone has already read this book). J.K. Rowling does a remarkable job of wrapping up the loose ends in this final book of the Harry Potter series. Like the rest of her work, this is a page turner full of incredible imagination, suspense, and true-to-life characters.

My favorite part is finally knowing the true allegiance of Severus Snape. He has been an interesting character throughout the series, and his swaying between good and bad is finally explained.

For anyone left out there that hasn't yet read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, this is a great read! For everyone else, what was your favorite part of this final book in the series?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Book Review - The Manufactured Identity by Heath Sommer

The Manufactured Identity The Manufactured Identity by Heath Sommer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Initially confusing, this novel has multiple characters that at first seem disassociated, but later are pulled together and explained through multiple identities. Perhaps because of the multiple identities, I never felt as though I got to know any of the characters well. They felt superficial.

The storyline was compelling however, and I did find myself wanting to read more to understand who these people were and how they were all connected. Heath Sommer opens the book with an interesting prologue and first chapter that make the reader instantly begin searching for answers.

The Manufactured Identity was provided to me complimentary in exchange for a book review; however I have never met the author who I understand has a 2nd and 3rd book forthcoming. My thanks for the opportunity to read The Manufactured Identity.