Friday, June 10, 2011

An Over View of Sara Palin's Positions

Sara Palin is a dynamic figure who polarizes public opinion. This book pulls together her views on a variety of topics from economics, to family, religion, gun control, foreign policy and other areas.

I like Sara Palin. I think she has the best interests of America at heart. This was reinforced by the quotations presented in this book. I particularly enjoyed her views on foreign policy, economics and energy. This lady has good ideas and contrary to the opinion of the media she knows what she's talking about.

On the negative side, the book does get repetitious. Many of the same ideas continually crop up in different sections, particularly her views on energy policy. However, since the book is intended as a resource for her quotes, I don't think this is a draw back.

I recommend this book to all friends of Sara Palin.

I reviewed the book as part of the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze Program.   

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What is Out of Character?

Is character a stable trait? The authors, Desteno and Valdesolo, don't think so. They think character is a fight between our long term planning and our short term search for gratification. I tend to agree. The situation is often responsible for how we respond. I liked their analogy about the grasshopper (instant gratification) and the ant (long term planning). It makes for easy reading and an ability to quickly understand what the research is about.

The book, even for non-psychologists, is easy to read. The examples drawn from real life cases are fascinating and present a good basis for their research. I found the presentation, moving between real life scenarios and research methods, very easy to follow and enjoyable.

On the negative side, I found that the farther the authors got into the book, the further they were stretching to make their hypotheses apply. I had a problem with the chapter on gratitude. It wasn't at all clear to me that the subjects were responding in the way hypothesized by the experimenters. However, that is, unfortunately, the case with most behavioral research. The one hypothesis fits all doesn't work very well.

I enjoyed the book, but would caution readers to read with a grain of salt. Accept what you can and leave the rest.

I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Debunks the Romance of Art Theft

The Dr. No image of art theft is, as we all guessed, a product of Hollywood's imagination. The real story presented in “Sealing Rembrandts” is much less dramatic, but still extremely interesting. From the author's stories, it is apparent that art theft is often carried out not for love of the art, or on contract from a wealthy collector, but as a means to collect ransom, or to barter a deal with law enforcement. The number of thefts for these purposes is astonishing. What is particularly amazing is that the thefts are well planned, in many cases. Apparently the thieves think there is a serious reward in the offing. Unfortunately, this appears to be not the usual case, and the art is put in danger for no gain, or a remarkably small return on the time invested.

I very much enjoyed the book. It's written as an informative set of essays, rather than a detective story, but the detective story is there. The recovery of art is a fascinating story all by itself. I particularly enjoyed the interview with Myles J. Connor, jr. He is a thief who doesn't mince words about how easy it is to get access to valuable paintings, and what the rewards are for the thief.

I highly recommend this book to lovers of true crime and to people who want to know more about the fascinating world of art theft.

I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Waiting Place Makes Waiting More Meaningful

Eileen Button taps into a life situation that faces all of us . . . waiting. Most of us hate it, but waiting has it's place in God's plan. Astonishing things can happen in the waiting place. The trick is to take advantage of them. Too often we fail to see the wonderful things that are happening because we are so focused on the future. I recommend reading The Waiting Place as a way to slow down and see all the marvelous things happening in your own life.

The book consists of short essays about various life situations: waiting to grow up, waiting to get married, and even waiting for fish to bite. I found the essays poignant. Sometimes I laughed, sometimes I cried, but I couldn't stop reading.

This is the kind of book you give to your children. The kind of book that if someone is in a difficult place can bring solace. I loved it. I particularly loved the fact that it brought back my own memories of being in the waiting place. Perhaps now I will look more closely at what's happening when it seems as if life is at a standstill.

I reviewed this book as part of the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze Program.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Poignant Story of Growing up with and Alcoholic Father

This is a story that grips your heart from the first page. Ian Cron grew up in the kind of hellish family that can only be created by an out of control alcoholic. He wanted to love his father and be loved in return, but his father was unreachable caught up in his own demons. Cron managed to grow up with the help of his beloved Nanny and Jesus. The church plays an extremely important role in this book. Sometimes the stories are hilarious, like a seven-year-old boy showing up to serve as an altar boy three in the morning. Others show the power of the church to give consolation and focus. I loved the story about stealing the host to feel close to Jesus.

I loved this book. It's well written. Sometimes it makes you cry, at others you laugh until you're in tears. Sometimes the stories are hard to read because they portray teenage angst so movingly. This book should be read by all parents. None of us are perfect and our children survive and even grow to love us for our faults, but an alcoholic or addictive household is another matter. Children are a sacred trust. We shouldn't lose sight of that in ministering to our own demons.

I highly recommend this book.

I reviewed this book as part of the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze Program.