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review 2019-06-10 05:06
Babbit - Sinclair Lewis

I am reading Sinclair Lewis after Min Jin Lee shared her passion for his writing with us at our Library Author lunch. I don't remember reading any of his books, but if I did, it was in the blur of high school required reading, so I am having another go at these. This one reminded me of the Cheever stories I was obsessed with years ago; perfectly capturing the details of ordinary lives, and rendering them memorable.

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review 2018-01-29 23:27
Inspiring Indeed!
N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration - N. N. Light,N. P. Editing

Read for twogalsandabook.com

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review 2016-11-25 17:15
The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests
The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests - Chris Smith,Jon Stewart

Just like Bassem Youssef, I also first heard of Jon Stewart by watching CNN and its weekly (?) The Daily Show Global Edition. I wasn't a regular watcher, but when I happened to catch it, I loved it. I started watching it, still half-seriously during the 2008 election campaign, and became a regular watcher a few years later. Thank you, Internet.

Yes, it was funny (sometimes downright pee-your-pants hilarious), but there was depth there, nuance that made it obvious much thought went into each and every show. It wasn't until after reading this book, that I realized just how much thought, hard work, stress, (figurative) blood and (literal) tears were behind this show that pretended to be just a little oddball comedy, but was indeed more informative and straightforward than "regular" news it made fun of, and more honest and down-to-earth than the politics it criticized.

When Stewart announced his departure, I went on a marathon watch of all episodes made during his sixteen year tenure. Imagine my surprise when I first started with the episodes from way back in 1999. "WTF is this?" I went. "This is nothing even remotely compared to what I enjoy every day."
The change from that first formative year (after Stewart took over from Kilborn) was evident throughout the months, but (too) slow, and this book nicely illustrates just why that was. All the trials and tribulations, the stubborn refusal to yield to something new from the staff, Stewart's stubbornness and resolution to create something meaningful, while also creating a good working environment and a well-oiled machine that is capable of moving forward even without its captain.
The strain and stress Stewart must've been under all the years working on the show, which was also the reason for his "retirement" and which was only faintly seen on screen, was finally made starkly clear, and the man has all my admiration for carrying on as long as he did. Many would've crumbled sooner. Now, I can finally say, I understand what drove him to "abdicate" from his comedic throne.

I loved the narrative style of this book, told mostly from the point of view of Stewart and the crew/staff (old, new, and ongoing) of The Daily Show, and some of the "enemies", with the author injecting only minor points between the recounts. Reading it, it felt like sitting in a room with all these people, listening to their conversation.
The narrative follows the process of creating the show from (basically) nothing, how their own narrative, their point of view, and their "mission" changed throughout the years, what went into creating a single arc of the show or one single episode, with only minor glimpses of dirty laundry or details about backstage feuds. It was mostly a love ode to the show and its creator and "Dad".
I actually expected to see more anecdotes, instead of this being quite a serious book, but I'm not complaining.

If you expect page after page of jokes, you will want to look elsewhere. But if you enjoyed The Daily Show and you're interested in a "post-mortem" of its creation and the development and changes that turned it into a cultural phenomenon, this is the book for you.
Eloquent, a little introspective, and funny in just the right moments.

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review 2016-04-19 00:00
The Upper Room Disciplines: A Book of Daily Devotions
The Upper Room Disciplines: A Book of Daily Devotions - Various Read for work March-April 2016
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review 2014-08-14 00:00
Rejoice in Christ: Daily Insight From the Book of Mormon
Rejoice in Christ: Daily Insight From th... Rejoice in Christ: Daily Insight From the Book of Mormon - Ed J. Pinegar,Richard J. Allen This review originally appears here:

Review - Rejoice in Christ

Is this particular devotional going to be of any real interest to anyone outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? No.

Is that ok? Is that a good thing? Sure it is.

With almost every devotional out on the market containing no references to “anything Mormon”, it is refreshing to see a Devotional designed specifically designed to take the LDS Church member through a daily living reading of messages from Church leaders, The Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, some scant Bible references, and just some plain old questions and comments to reflect on.

This devotional is not meant to be an apology for “Mormonism”, it was not written to defend, justify, it is simply what I would consider an excellent companion to your daily Bible devotional.

Many do not realize that LDS members in fact read and believe both the Bible, and the Book of Mormon, and this is a good opportunity to use this devotional to better understand the Bible, because read alongside a daily Bile devotional, it gives one a much greater insight into the Book of Mormon being “another testament of Jesus Christ”.

For the non-LDS apologist seeking to better know and understand the Judeo-Christian worldview from the “Mormon” POV, this devotional would be a great window into the local Ward/Branch, and its members in your city.

Listening to the words of Church leaders commenting on the works in the LDS canon, and how they should be applied to their members will very easily de-mystify the fear and misunderstanding generated by what other denominations apologists define as a “cult”.

Overall I would suggest this devotional to each and every member, of every stake across the world. It would make a great resource to turn every night into a FHE (Family Home Evening). What an opportunity it would be to share this devotional time with the kids, read to, and along with them.
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