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review 2017-04-24 17:11
ALL THINGS NEW by KELLY MINTER
All Things New - Bible Study Book: A Study on 2 Corinthians (Living Room) - Kelly Minter

I read this for a Bible study at my church. This was good but usually the Bible studies I read are, "Now what do you think about that verse" where this was "Name the 5 reasons Paul gave for writing to the Corinthian church". I guess the emphasis was on the word "study". It was good but with 5 sections each week it was a struggle to finish it during my lunch hour.

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review 2017-04-24 13:28
Charles Darwin - David C. King

Unfortunately, unlike its series companion about Einstein (by a different author) I can't recommend this book, even to its intended age group.

 

Most seriously, there are factual errors: Darwin was not the official naturalist aboard the Beagle. That role was taken by the ship's surgeon (as was often the case), who, jealous of Darwin, quit at the first opportunity and sailed home. (Fortunately FitzRoy was able to hire a new surgeon before continuing the voyage.)

 

Secondly, there are typographical problems that go beyond just the occasional spelling error into missed and repeated parts of sentences.

 

Thirdly, in a book that has separate, boxed definitions for such concepts as "geology", words like "ecosystem" go by without any explanation at all.

 

Not good, which is a shame, since Darwin and his science are so enormously important.

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review 2017-04-22 22:01
This makes me love John Waters a little more
Make Trouble - John Waters

Recently, John Waters was asked to give a commencement speech at The Rhode Island School of Design.  He turned that speech into a book, which I heard about on NPR.  I rarely listen to it, but my family does, and I join in when they do it in the house.  

 

The interview was interesting, but I was most interested in getting my grubby little hands on this book.   My family also likes lounging in Barnes and Noble, and we did so today.  I ended up picking up Make Trouble and reading it in ten minutes; this wasn't a long speech, and it didn't make a long book.   That, however, made it no less self-aware and charming.   John Waters is not only aware of his own faults, he is unabashedly honest about them, injecting some self-deprecating humor into this book.   He talks about wealth, but never in terms of money: he talks about wealth in terms of being his own boss, living life on his own terms, and finding ways to avoid assholes in all walks of life, personal and professional. 

 

He talks about what it takes to be an artist, without crushing dreams, nor with a false promise of success.   Try.   Know you have talent, work at it, and stir things up: look at what was done before, and do something that spits in the eye of that, just to see where it gets you.   Question everything.   Read, watch movies, learn about culture not just by doing but by inhaling that culture.  

 

Also, he talks about parents and their children.  How children can be brats, and how parents can close themselves off to their children's eccentricities.   But be patient, try, and he tells the parents to accept the children as they are, and for the children not to blame their parents for everything.   Everyone is dealt a hand in life, and we deal with it, he says.   (In this context, I think it's about just that: not blaming your parents for absolutely everything and getting on with your life.)

 

And if the text, and the amazing amount that Waters conveys in such a short time, isn't enough to convince anyone to read this, the illustrations - done in the grotesque style when illustrating Waters, or the world ,and otherwise abstract to mimic the words on the page - are just absolutely gorgeous - and again, charming.   I'd loved Waters, even if I wasn't a devotee.  I had a healthy appreciation for his movies, and more than that, I loved the way he just completely accepted himself, while tipping his hat to the little weirdo he was.   (And being a little weirdo myself, I say that with much warmth.)   This, though, this was breathtaking.   And, yeah, I love him a little more for giving this speech and writing this book.

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review 2017-04-22 10:51
Albert Einstein, Frieda Wishinsky
Albert Einstein - Frieda Wishinsky

If one respects the fact that this series is aimed at young people (young enough to need things like "geometry" and "Fascism" defined for them) then I think this is quite a good little book. It's short and inevitably superficial but I'm not sure how it could be anything else considering the intended audience. Nevertheless it gives an insight into Einstein's character and at least an indication of the significance of some of his work.

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review 2017-04-19 02:44
THE OTHER WES MOORE: ONE NAME, TWO FATES by Wes Moore
The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates - Wes Moore,Tavis Smiley
  Interesting story about two boys named Wes Moore, born in Baltimore around the same time. One starts dealing drugs, is in and out of jail and prison, and finally receives a life sentence for the murder of a cop during a robbery. The other has problems and is acting out but has adults who step in to guide him although the choices are hard.

I liked how the contrasts between their lives were shown at different years of their lives. The similarities were also shown. Both could have gone either way but the one had a community of family and friends who stepped in and did what they could to help. The other felt alone. His older brother, Tony, tried to protect him and keep him out but since Tony was doing the same things he didn't listen. He did try to get out of the drug dealing as an adult but the pressures on him pulled him back in.

This is a good read.
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