Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Know Orphans by Rick Morton REVIEW

KnowOrphans: Mobilizing the Church for Global Orphanology

The global orphan crisis is complex. The church's response should be comprehensive, but is it? In this provocative follow-up to Orphanology, author Rick Morton provides the framework for families and churches to have a gospel-centered response to the growing global issue of orphan care. KnowOrphans addresses three distinct areas associated with global orphanology. Delving deeper into the criticisms of the movement, the need for reform, and what families can expect, author Rick Morton helps shape realistic perceptions of the challenges and rewards adoptive parents face in transnational adoptions. Through illuminating the work internationally adoptive families can expect, KnowOrphans offers solutions for the church in remedying the ills and deficiencies surrounding the church's role in equipping and supporting families before, during, and after the adoption process. Knowing that the church's response and attitude should be one that goes beyond adoption, KnowOrphans also addresses the complexities of how Christians are to respond ethically, compassionately, and comprehensively to the biblical call to care for orphans. KnowOrphans is the next step in conversation as this evangelically based movement of orphan care matures and begins to live out James 1:27 globally.

Reading a book like this about orphans reminds us that there are still problems in the world outside of our own life and the lives of people we know as well as in the news. Reading this for me, reminds me that I want to help out in any way I can. That there there are still kids in our country, along with other countries where kids young and older still need homes and a family to love and care for them. This book is especially a good book/guide for those who want to adopt or know of someone wanting to adopt. I read a book a while back called Little Princess. This book isn't a guide to adopting but it his account about going to another country and working at an orphanage. I highly recommend both of these reads as they are both eye opening, inspiring, and educational. 

                                                                   I received this book for review from Litfuse Publicity Group

The Blonde by Anna Godbersen REVIEW

The Blonde

From the  New York Times  bestselling author Anna Godbersen and Alloy Entertainment, a chilling re-imagining of the life of Marilyn Monroe that is part biography, part love story, and part thriller.

Marilyn Monroe is at the height of her fame, the object of the world’s desire. Attention is her drug, the very definition of who she is. Her own wants and needs have become fleeting at best, as if she sees herself only through others’ eyes. But there is one thing Marilyn still wishes for beyond all else—to meet her real father. That’s the part you already know, the legend—but here’s the part that’s never been told.

In Anna Godbersen’s imaginative novel, set at the height of the Cold War, a young, unknown Norma Jean meets a man in Los Angeles—a Soviet agent? A Russian spy?—who transforms her into Marilyn the star. And when she reaches the pinnacle of success, he comes back for his repayment. He shows her a photo of her estranged father and promises to reunite them in exchange for information: Find out something about presidential candidate John F. Kennedy that no one else knows. At first, Marilyn is bored by the prospect of, once again, using a man’s attraction to get what she needs. But when she meets the magnetic Jack Kennedy, she realizes that this isn’t going to be a simple game. What started with the earnest desire to meet her father has grave consequences for her, for the bright young Kennedy, and for the entire nation. The Blonde is a vivid tableau of American celebrity, sex, love, violence, power, and paranoia.

This was definitely a book that creates mixed emotions. I think especially if you aren't a fan of Marylin Monroe, you may wonder why she has so many fans; if the character accurately demonstrates and exemplifies who she was. She was known as the harlot of Hollywood in the day. And she fortified that by being the first to pose for Playboy. But I do believe there was more to her than her sexuality. I have seen a few of her movies and she did have skill and talent. I got a bit tired of her same sweetheart image and whispery voice. I did like the writing and style of the book. The character that portrayed Marylin Monroe annoyed me but I did like the book. It isn't a book I would recommend to everyone but I would recommend it to fans of her and others with an eclectic and open mind.


                                                                             I received this book for review from FSB Associates

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Monday Monday by Elizabeth Crook REVIEW

Monday, Monday: A Novel

In this gripping, emotionally charged novel, a tragedy in Texas changes the course of three lives. On an oppressively hot Monday in August of 1966, a student and former marine named Charles Whitman hauled a footlocker of guns to the top of the University of Texas tower and began firing on pedestrians below. Before it was over, sixteen people had been killed and thirty-two wounded. It was the first mass shooting of civilians on a campus in American history.Monday, Monday follows three students caught up in the massacre: Shelly, who leaves her math class and walks directly into the path of the bullets, and two cousins, Wyatt and Jack, who heroically rush from their classrooms to help the victims. On this searing day, a relationship begins that will eventually entangle these three young people in a forbidden love affair, an illicit pregnancy, and a vow of secrecy that will span forty years. Reunited decades after the tragedy, they will be forced to confront the event that changed their lives and that has silently and persistently ruled the lives of their children.With electrifying storytelling and the powerful sense of destiny found in Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, and with the epic sweep of Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins, Elizabeth Crook’s Monday, Monday explores the ways in which we sustain ourselves and one another when the unthinkable happens. At its core, it is the story of a woman determined to make peace with herself, with the people she loves, and with a history that will not let her go. A humane treatment of a national tragedy, it marks a generous and thrilling new direction for a gifted American writer.

I really enjoyed how energetic this book was. The first chapter entitled The Tower dives right into the story and plot of the book with gripping sadness and confusion of the shootings from the bell tower at the University of Texas at Austin in 1966. Right away you are hooked. I found it difficult to put this story down. What I found to be one of the tips of the many icebergs of this story was, before this ex-marine and marksman sniper attacked many innocent people with the bullet of his skills, he had already taken the life of his wife and mother. 
I fully enjoyed this book even thought it was dark and tragic. Although, I felt that the author was trying to warn the reader that something bad or sad was about to happen. Even though some readers like the "heads up", I am not one of them. But all in all, I did enjoy this read.

I do recommend this book

                                                                            I received this book for review from FSB Assoiciates

Whistler: A Life for Art's Sake by Daniel E. Sutherland REVIEW

Whistler: A Life for Art's Sake

The first biography in more than twenty years of James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) is also the first to make extensive use of the artist’s private correspondence to tell the story of his life and work. This engaging personal history dispels the popular notion of Whistler as merely a combative, eccentric, and unrelenting publicity seeker, a man as renowned for his public feuds with Oscar Wilde and John Ruskin as for the iconic portrait of his mother. The Whistler revealed in these pages is an intense, introspective, and complex man, plagued by self-doubt and haunted by an endless pursuit of perfection in his painting and drawing.

In his beautifully illustrated and deeply human portrayal of the artist, Daniel E. Sutherland shows why Whistler was perhaps the most influential artist of his generation, and certainly a pivotal figure in the cultural history of the nineteenth century. Whistler comes alive through his own magnificent work and words, including the provocative manifestos that explained his bold artistic vision, sparked controversy in his own time, and resonate to this day.

 I love reading biographies and true stories. This biography is no exception. Especially reading about the life of James McNeill Whistler; a great American painter. I do wish there were more personal aspects to the biography. Such as the letter correspondences between Whistler and his family, friends, and peers and other personal touches such as stories and anecdotes. Although, the reader will be able to see that research was done well to do this biography and the author wrote it well and captures the reader from the beginning. I did find a few parts of the biography as dry or lacking in interest, but all in all, I did enjoy reading this biography and would recommend it.

                                                                               I received this book for review from Library Journal