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review 2017-02-14 20:40
Grace and the Preacher
Grace and the Preacher: A Novel - Kim Vogel Sawyer

Title: Grace and the Preacher
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Publisher: WaterBrook
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five

"Grace and the Preacher" by Kim Vogel Sawyer

My View....

A little predictable read but still a good one that will keep your attention till the very end. The characters [Grace, Theo, Bess, Philemon & Earl] were all indeed interesting being very well developed, defined, portrayed and believable giving the reader quite a good read. I loved how one of the characters were right on the mark being that she was 'older, wiser women whose counsel was so solid and Biblical.' Be ready for a read about Grace Cristler and Theophil Garrison...that goes through a little bit of it all from 'laughter, love, heart searching, lessons that were learned, more adventures that will go on till the end with grace and finally redemption achieved.' This author gives this novel a beautiful setting for this story that takes place in Missouri. What will happen as Grace gets 'growing affections for a man who turns out to be a con man?' As the story goes on ... I loved how Theo was gifted for being such a 'Good Samaritan.' Now, I will stop here and say to get this whole story you will have to pick up this good read to see for yourself how well this author brings it all out to the reader. So, if you are looking for a good action read with some romance you have come to the right place as 'Grace and the Preacher' will give it all to you.

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text 2017-01-02 02:16
Top 5 Graphic Novel reads from 2016
Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth - Adam Glass,Ryan Benjamin
The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (New Edition) - Neil Gaiman,Sam Keith,Mike Dringenberg
Preacher Book Three - Garth Ennis,Steve Dillon
The Beauty Volume 1 - Jason A. Hurley,Jeremy Haun
The Boys, Vol. 12: The Bloody Doors Off - Garth Ennis






I managed to read 143 comics last year which was a bit more than anticipated and came at the expense of neglecting novels and audiobooks.




I love my comics but this year I'll be trying to pare it back a little and concentrate on getting my novel/novella TBR under control.


Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth - Adam Glass,Ryan Benjamin 


A fun first outing for me with the Suicide Squad team, the star is of course Harley Quinn and I'm looking forward to reading more of her this year.


The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (New Edition) - Neil Gaiman,Sam Keith,Mike Dringenberg 


A beautiful start to the Sandman series with the Robert Smith inspired Dream escaping capture and returning to his kingdom.


Preacher Book Three - Garth Ennis,Steve Dillon 


I loved all six books in this series but the reason I picked this one was due to Herr Starr. He is left wounded by Preacher, his head now resembles a penis and there are some hilarious panels that show him trying on wigs and hats with the same sour expression on his face until the last panel when he finds something he likes.

Image result for preacher book 3 herr starr

Image result for preacher book 3 herr starr

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The Beauty Volume 1 - Jason A. Hurley,Jeremy Haun 


Great premise of beauty being a STD and how society values outer beauty at any cost. Amazing artwork makes this a must read.


The Boys, Vol. 12: The Bloody Doors Off - Garth Ennis 


A shocking end to an amazing series. Garth Ennis is a genius.

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review 2016-08-20 00:00
Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity
Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity - John W. Loftus I really didn't find this book very edifying. I don't think I came across anything that I didn't already know. My rule of thumb, if you're going to write a 30 plus hour book, tell me things I don't already know. The bible was created by man, it has really weird stuff in it, superstition is superstition no matter when, a God that punishes his Son for the sin that a talking snake tricked a man into, and Zombies roaming Jerusalem it's all too impossible to believe. But, the one thing I don't want to have to do is listen to hours of Bible quotes and using the myth believers' sources in order to refute the myth believers. I just refute it by ignoring a special pleading by anyone who thinks their Book is special and offer no proof for that whatsoever.

I just recently read Spinoza's "Tractatus" (it's available for free at LibriVox). One of the arguments this author (Loftus) made against Christianity is that Jesus invokes Beelzebub (the devil) in his argument against the Pharisees when they claim that Jesus is in league with the devil, and Jesus responds "that he can't be of the devil since a house can't stand divided against itself". Spinoza makes the point that those critics who claim that Jesus is accepting the reality of the devil miss the point of the argument. Jesus is only giving a proof by contradiction (or as this author, Loftus, says brilliantly earlier in the book, "opposites can't happen"). Look Spinoza made that point 350 years earlier can't Loftus at least acknowledge that in his discussion.

I really hate wasting my time in inside baseball or in this case inside Bible discussion points. All one has to do is listen to a clever Jesuit (who actually I love listening to) or a clever Orthodox Rabbi to know that if you assume their starting points you won't be able to win the arguments on points. It's books like this one that enable Jehovah Witnesses to argue their absurd points and to win converts.

I want to clarify. This book is not horrible, but it's really using the wrong approach to defend atheism (in my opinion). There is actually almost no science in this book whatsoever. I only mention that because the one book that liberated me from religious thought more than any other was "The 4% Universe". It opened my mind and led to hundreds of other science books and than ultimately philosophy and theology books. (I would recommend learn the science before delving into religion).

Logic can only take you so far. I'll give an example outside of the scope of this book, but relevant to why I didn't like this book. Quantum physics is characterized most succinctly by three statements, 1) at the most fundamental level particles are characterized as waves and particles simultaneously (wave particle duality), 2) cause and effect break down at the quantum level (that darn cat!), and 3) superposition (particles are everywhere and no where at the same time). Each of these are fundamental violations of one of the three rules of logic but we still accept quantum physics to be true. Logical inconsistency by itself is not enough to throw out all of physics (nor should it be). The author is trying to show that logical inconsistency by itself is enough to throw out a Christians worldview, but, perhaps all ontological foundations lead to contradictions.

The one book that's mentioned more often by the books I read than any other except for the Bible is Galileo's "Dialogs Concerning Two Chief World Systems". I just recently read it and it seems to me that most of the authors who cite it (including this author) did not read it with as much diligence as I did. They seem to not really understand it and I would recommend any one should read it and not rely on misleading summaries. The author quotes Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" which I've just recently listened to through audible. Kant does a much more effected job at defending atheism by his antinomies than this book does. In the end, Kant appeals to the moral within man for his proof of God's existence. Look, authors of Atheism books, expect your listeners to have read the books you are citing, because some of us really, really want to understand. Give us something worth knowing beyond the superficial distractions that fill most of what permeates the easily accessible media or popular books!

Overall, I would recommend Bart Ehrman's many fine but detailed lectures or books on many of the topics which were not covered nearly as well in this book. I don't really dislike this author and he probably wrote a decent book for somebody who cares about inside Bible arguments, but in the future I hope the author learns it's okay to teach us things that are complicated and not to be afraid to talk above us. I want to learn, and the Bible offers me almost nothing (I really enjoy Ecclesiastes and therefore it can teach me something more than nothing).
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review 2016-08-09 00:00
Ecclesiastes, or The Preacher
Ecclesiastes, or The Preacher - Anonymous,Doris Lessing This one book of the bible proves that the bible is not full of junk only. This book is good philosophy. I suspect that the last chapter of it was an add on over time because it doesn't flow with the rest of the book. I listened to this book from my "Word of Promise Complete Audio Bible" available from Audible for one credit well worth the price.

I would call this book an Epicurean master piece. Stoics tend to believe that the world from the beginning has evil (vice) and goodness (virtue) baked in to it, while Epicurean's believe that evil and goodness are only possible because of humans or as quoted by the preacher in "The Grapes of Wrath", "there ain't no virtue and there ain't no sin, there's just people doing things". This book, "Ecclesiastes", definitely has that theme running through out it.

"The race doesn't always go to the swift, but time and chance will often decide". What an incredibly wise, non Donald Trump like statement to make. Trump would always blame the person for all the ills that befall on him and even heartlessly mock people who are disable. Time and chance matter.

The bible is not a complete waste of time as long as it has this book in it.

Trumpus delinda est.
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review 2016-07-26 18:05
Preacher: Book 3 by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
Preacher, Book Three - Garth Ennis,Steve Dillon


This comic was so effed up, but in a good way! In this volume, we get the origin story of the Saint of Killers.



He's so badass that he even kills a certain someone in hell. It doesn't really get more badass than that. I did end up feeling something like sympathy for him, which is pretty amazing for a guy that's killed hundreds of people. I felt no sympathy for the residents of Ratwater. You probably won't either.


Cassidy meets another of his kind in New Orleans. These have to be some of the funniest moments in the Preacher series so far. I was laughing out loud, reading all by myself, and I just didn't care. (And by the way, Eccarius IS a wanker. SUCH a big wanker!) As are his little group of sycophants, which you'll discover for yourself when you read this.


Aresface makes another appearance here and seems to be taking off on a whole new life. Preacher and Tulip are still in pursuit of God. We won't even discuss how the scar on Herr Starr's bald head, made by the Preacher, makes it look like a penis. I could NOT. Stop. Laughing.


The humor in this book is the blackest of the black and that happens to be my favorite kind. This series is dark, hilarious, irreverent and so much fun, I just want to read all the rest of this series right now!


My highest recommendation! Period. 

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