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review 2020-02-24 22:52
Opium by Martin Booth
Opium: A History - Martin Booth

This book contains some interesting information and provides a broad and in-depth historical look at its topic. However, it’s a bit dull, rations its commas much too severely, has a tendency to overgeneralize, and its racial characterizations and blind spots are troubling. And by virtue of being published in 1996, before the current opiate crisis, it’s dated now, focusing mostly on the 19th and 20th centuries.

The early chapters provide a good overview of how opium is grown, its effects, and its use from antiquity through the 18th century. The author has a tendency to want to make everything about opium (like every image in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner – there’s a lot about Romantic poets here), but I still found this fairly interesting.

But its Anglocentric perspective becomes clear as it gets into the Opium Wars of the early 19th century and beyond, with wide-eyed details about drug smuggling and an approving view of the drug war. While it’s not exactly surprising that this white British author failed to draw the insights Alexander did in The New Jim Crow fourteen years later, I find literature about the drug war that doesn’t consider its racialized nature to be fairly worthless reading today. It’s like reading a history of the American South that never mentions black people – sure, you might still get some information from it, but how much that’s really useful? There’s even a howler about how increasing heroin use in black and Hispanic “ghettos” in American cities “so worried the FBN [predecessor of the DEA] that, in 1951, a mandatory minimum sentence of two years was instituted for a first conviction of narcotics possession.” Worried…. because “worry” (with its implications of stewardship and compassion) is what causes officials to throw poor young men of other races into prison for two years for a minor, first offense. Right.

Weird racial comments are even more prevalent regarding Asians: the “beautiful Oriental whores” of Hong Kong, the “native ignorance of hygiene” that caused illness from needle sharing in 19th century China (given that the hypodermic syringe wasn’t invented until the 1840s, I’m pretty sure its safe use was new to everybody at that time), the comment that “[t]he sight of opium addicts in the streets of Hong Kong was a commonplace which most Chinese ignored but which even long-term expatriate residents could seldom see without a shudder of sympathy.” Given that the author’s sources are overwhelmingly European, I’m not sure why he thinks it’s appropriate to contrast European feelings with Chinese action, unless it’s in service of some unsupported idea about Europeans having finer feelings, perhaps?

At any rate, I learned some stuff from this book, though I really only read the first half for its information and skimmed/skipped over the second with its cluelessness and racism. Worth looking at if you’re interested in the older historical aspects, less so for the modern history.

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review 2020-02-21 13:41
Body Language
Body Language - Julius Fast

This book was interesting in part and also rather dull. It is an older book so many of the examples use outdated information or subjects. I'm glad I finally read it though and can now cross it off of my list.  

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review 2020-02-15 08:00
Forgotten Faith Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book


Book: Forgotten Faith

Author: Lauren Reeves

Genre: Non-fiction/Christian Devotional

Release Date: December 20, 2019

When Christians are challenged to explain what they believe and why, too many fall short. Do the majority of Christians feel true commitment to their faith anymore? Are they able to retain hope and perseverance when trials come? Or do they find themselves questioning God’s goodness? We live in a time where Christians seem to have forgotten their once strong faith.

In her book Forgotten Faith, popular podcaster and speaker Lauren Reeves teaches Genesis in a way that keeps her reader wanting more. She provides the foundation necessary to make the rest of the Bible make sense long after this book’s last page is turned. From cover to cover, the believer will find a fascinating study of Genesis and that Genesis and Revelation go hand in hand, painting a picture of the End Times and the reason for hope. The content has the ability to do for readers what might otherwise take years of study to unveil.

Forgotten Faith seeks to uncover treasures in Genesis that have long been hidden away, treasures that are relevant to today and the End of Days and have been waiting for the right time to be known—and the time is now.

Behold, I am coming soon . . . I am the Alpha and Omega,
the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
Revelation 22:12–13

 Click HERE to get your copy of the book!  

About the Author

Lauren Reeves loves to encourage the heart of a person into a deeper walk with Christ. She believes the mind informs the heart, so offering resources that are engaging and fascinating is necessary. Bible literacy ranks as one of the biggest ways she wants to influence the body of Christ, and she has an extraordinary gift for explaining intimidating theological ideas in easy-to-understand ways that keep a reader wanting more.
She is the co-host of Joy for the Journey Podcast with Tammy Whitehurst (www.joyforthejourneypodcast.com) and loves teaching God’s word, songwriting, and leading people into worship. She is currently completing her master’s degree in Christian apologetics from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in religion from Baylor University. Lauren and her family live on a ranch in Texas. Learn more at www.laurenreeves.com.  

More from Lauren


Why did I write this book? Because I’ve often been told that learning and understanding Genesis is the foundation for the rest of the Bible. Much of the Christian worldview can be found there, which effects our decision making. But Genesis not only lays the foundation for the rest of the Bible, it is closely linked with Revelation, the last book in the Bible. Just about every time I’ve asked a Bible study group what they would like to learn about next, one of the number one answers was always “Revelation” or “End Times Events.” Even though for years people have been hungry to learn more about Revelation, most Christians and churches try to steer clear of this subject because the end times plan can be intimidating and is not 100 percent clear from Jesus’s revelation to John in that book. Since differing opinions often cause dissension, people understandably avoid areas of the Bible that aren’t absolutely clear. However, I believe those words would not have been given to us to read if we were supposed to avoid studying them. For that reason, I’ve taken the risk and written a book on Genesis that ties Genesis and Revelation together helping us to understand the end times plan more clearly. One thing I hope is clear in my book, though, is you don’t have to agree with my interpretation of end times events to glean great truths and a greater understanding of the Bible through my book. One stance had to be taken to talk about the subject in detail, but truly, if a reader does not agree with my stance, it’s not a big deal. There’s way more to the book than that. The goal was to make us all think on and around Genesis and Revelation to help us study it and have opportunity for the Holy Spirit to reveal truths to us through the Word. I hope other books are written from different end times stances so we can read and study from a different angle. The more we read from different angles, the more we grow in knowledge and understanding. It is my belief that being certain that there IS an end times plan is what helps anchor the hope of Christ firmly in our souls. If we don’t have a forward view, it is so easy to get stuck in the tunnel vision of the here and now, which can often appear hopeless. So, now more than ever before, Christians need to be studying the first book of the Bible to know what we believe and the last book of the Bible to know that there is an end times plan that is sure and wonderful. I hope this book stirs your soul in a unique way. It is deep, yet devotional. I really believe it is a book for today.

My Review


“Forgotten Faith” is an informative, thought-provoking study of Genesis and Revelation. Author Lauren Reeves ties this first and last book of the Bible together in order to demonstrate how the promises and hope extended by God in the beginning continue on to the End Times. She does this in part by pointing out parallels between the Biblical figures and events in Genesis and Revelation, and more broadly in the other books of the New Testament. As Reeves explains, “The Old Testament contains the physical representations of the spiritual realities found in the New Testament…The Old Testament records the physical stories that actually happened so they could be picture lessons to help us understand the spiritual realities under the new covenant in Jesus.”

This book makes some very stimulating points and connections that would serve a study group well, although it can also be approached privately in a devotional style. Reeves takes readers through each of the main stories in Genesis, offering insight into details that might have been overlooked. For instance, she points out that in Eden, the serpent targeted Eve first because as a woman she is the one through whom the Messiah would ultimately come. With regard to Cain and Abel, she discusses how Cain also had “fruit issues” like his mother, thinking that he could come before God with a better offering than the one God had already ordained. Later, she compares Nimrod and the Tower of Babel to “A Tale of Two Cities”, remarking that “The first city is Jerusalem, the city of the living God and of Christ. The second is Babylon, the city of our Enemy—the father of the antichrist.” This is one of the aspects of this book that I appreciate the most, the ability to make these kinds of connections and then return to the Word itself and develop clearer wisdom and understanding.

Connecting Genesis and Revelation seems to have been executed rather quickly at the end of the book, but again the insights are intriguing. I enjoyed the charts that Reeves includes a few times in the text; they would be even more impactful in the print version because the text was very small and difficult to read on my Kindle. She does list the interesting similarities between Joseph in Genesis and Jesus toward the end of the book. Throughout the narrative, she seeks to answer common challenges posed to the Bible. There are a few points that I do not entirely agree with, but I nevertheless found this to be a timely, easy-to-read study. Overall, “Forgotten Faith” serves as an edifying book that reminds readers to keep fighting the good fight and to remain strong in the faith.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

Blog Stops


Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 3

Blossoms and Blessings, February 4 (Author Interview)

Godly Book Reviews, February 5

deb’s Book Review, February 6

Texas Book-aholic, February 7

Through the Fire Blogs, February 8 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, February 9

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, February 10 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, February 11

Mary Hake, February 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 13 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

For the Love of Literature, February 15

Artistic Nobody, February 16 (Author Interview)




To celebrate her tour, Lauren is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


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review 2020-02-11 05:00
God Hears Her Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book

Book:  God Hears Her

Author: Our Daily Bread

Genre: Non-fiction / Christian / Devotional

Release Date: September, 2017

Tour Dates: February 1 – 14

When you’re having one of those days, you just want to know that someone is on your side. You have more than just someone  . . . you have your Heavenly Father! He is with you. He is for you. He hears your heart’s cry. And He will reassure you of this through the beautifully designed, hardcover devotional collection, God Hears Her. The personal stories, Scripture passages, and inspirational quotes pulled from Our Daily Bread devotionals will lift you up and remind you that God is bigger than the trials you face.

Click HERE to get your copy!  

About the Author


Our Daily Bread Publishing - Our Daily Bread Publishing is a division of Our Daily Bread Ministries. Founded in 1938, the ministry has grown from a small group of dedicated radio listeners to millions of people around the world who use our Bible-based resources, including the beloved Our Daily Bread devotional. Our Daily Bread Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit organization with staff and volunteers in over 37 offices working together to distribute more than 60 million resources in 150 countries. Regardless of whether it’s a radio or television broadcast, DVD, podcast, book, mobile app, or website, we provide materials to help people grow in their relationship with God.  

More from Our Daily Bread


‘Feels Like Home’ Winter Recipes
As the weather turns colder, it becomes the time to pull out those tried and true winter-time recipes. You know, the ones that make us (or even keep us) warm on the inside. This is the time for the food that just feels like home.
Kirsten Holmberg and Elisa Morgan from the God Hears Her blog have shared some of their families personal recipes. These are the ones that are good for everyone. Feel free to try them yourself, bookmark them for later, or share them with a friend.
Kirsten Holmberg
In the winter, I’m partial to any slow-cooker soup or stew because I love coming home to it in the evening. My favorite is a Vegetarian Chili with some Italian influences:
2 bell peppers, diced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
2 lb zucchini halved and sliced
1 lb fresh mushrooms, halved
1 large onion, diced
3 cans diced tomatoes (fire roasted or herbed for the most flavor)
1 can tomato sauce
1 small can black olives, sliced (or fresh in any amount desired)
1 can cannellini beans
2.5 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
½ cup water
Toss it all in a slow cooker for a few hours on high, or all day on low. Or, put it on the stove instead and simmer until the veggies are cooked through and the flavors blended (about 45 minutes). Parmesan cheese on top for an extra zing.
Elisa Morgan
A Cranberry Nut Bread recipe handed down by my mom, Paige Lee
2 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ scant tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
Sift above ingredients together twice. To the juice and grated rind of 1 large orange, add 2 tbs of melted shortening and enough boiling water to make ¾ cup. Mix with dry ingredients and add…
1 beaten egg
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup halved fresh cranberries
Bake in greased loaf pan for 75 minutes at 350 degrees.
If you double the recipe, bake a little less time and use 3 loaf pans. It also makes good muffins and can be frozen. 

My Review

Compiled by Our Daily Bread, “God Hears Her” is an affirming devotional collection by women, for women. Among the plethora of devotionals to choose from, what sets this collection apart is not only the exclusively female authorship, but also the focus on women’s needs. This could be read by other groups, but will speak most to a woman’s heart. Because of its compact size, “God Hears Her” will fit into a handbag or purse, and although unpaginated, the readings are dated by month and day. This worked well for me because I am using a hardback copy, but if an e-reader wants to jump to a certain day or selection, I can foresee this being a problem. I personally would have appreciated a table of contents with the title of each day, simply for ease of use and for concentrating on a particular topic after completing the year of readings.

Each day’s reading is one small page in length, with the Bible verses pertaining to the devotional story listed and the main verse written out. With a short paragraph or two each dedicated to the author’s story and the Biblical tie-in, these can be read in a minute or two. This brevity is advantageous for the busy woman, and I appreciate that about it, but at the same time I feel somewhat unfulfilled. For newer Christians or those unfamiliar with the Bible, this is probably not the best devotional to start your study with, but if you are looking to mix up your routine and want to choose something that is quick and pertinent to women today, give “God Hears Her” a try.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.


Blog Stops


The Avid Reader, February 1

deb’s Book Review, February 1

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 2

Texas Book-aholic, February 3

Mary Hake, February 3

God is Love, February 4

Emily Yager, February 4

Genesis 5020, February 5

A Diva’s Heart, February 5

Girls in White Dresses, February 5

Lighthouse Academy, February 6

amandainpa, February 6

For Him and My Family, February 7

For The Love of Books, February 7

Inklings and notions, February 8

Andrea Christenson, February 8

Blossoms and Blessings, February 9

CarpeDiem, February 9

Older & Smarter?, February 10

She Lives to Read, February 10

For the Love of Literature, February 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 12

Godly Book Reviews, February 12

Artistic Nobody, February 13

Back Porch Reads, February 13

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 14

Kat’s Corner Books, February 14





To celebrate their tour, Our Daily Bread is giving away the grand prize package of  a God Hears Her hardcover, God Hears Her leather-like, God Hears Her journal, God Hears Her CD, God Hears Her pen, and God Hears Her Scripture & Encouragement cards!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


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review 2020-02-11 04:37
What if they had used The Body Back on Spock?
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death - Caitlin Doughty,Dianne Drake

Answering questions posed to her from kids while touring, giving lectures, and living her day-to-day life, Caitlin Doughty has created another delightful book about death entitled Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death. [Yes, this is another book about death. I swear I'm going to space them out from now on.] While there is some rehashing of topics, Doughty manages to cover a wide array of interesting subjects like "What would happen if someone died with popcorn kernels in their stomach and then went into the cremator?" (I won't spoil the answer for you.) One of the best bits (in my opinion) was when she discussed different ways to dispose of remains like The Body Back which is a real thing developed for space travel. The premise is that if someone dies in space, this machine which is basically a giant robotic arm has the ability to shake the body (which has been freeze dried by the atmosphere of space) at such a speed that it's broken into small shards of ice. Heck yeah! Doughty also touches on burial laws and in particular those that concern pets. Are there pet cemeteries? Can you be buried with your pet? (Answer: It depends on your state and its laws.) Conclusion: A quick read that's a lot of fun to brandish on a crowded subway train during rush hour. :-P 8/10


What's Up Next: Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips


What I'm Currently Reading: Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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