I use both a Nook and Kindle so if you see a book you wish to borrow just let me know and let's be

March 30, 2014

Book 17 of My 2014 Goal

HEAVEN IS IN YOUR FUTURE: The gift you cannot refuseHEAVEN IS IN YOUR FUTURE: The gift you cannot refuse by David Arthur DuRocher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Heaven Is In Your Future: The Gift You Can Not Refuse by David Arthur DuRocher has such a peaceful and inviting cover, I couldn't pass this book by. After all, the stairway into the clouds: stairway to heaven is what most religious people hope for when their time here on earth is done. In reading the author's description of the book, I liked his frank and easy writing about it and was interested in the 'hidden messages' he spoke about.

The author takes certain Bible Verses and interprets the meaning with his explanation of why he came to that conclusion (for the most part, there are a few things he does say that is not backed-up). What he interprets the meaning to be saying is not what we were taught in Sunday School, that is for sure. Is he wrong, then? It is a matter of who's interpretation you wish to believe. He also tried to explain some questions we are left with such as; Was what we were taught correct? If so, then why has it changed over the years? If not, then why were we taught it to begin with? In other words, there is no right or wrong here if you read it with an open mind and not let all your religious lessons get in the way with what the author is saying, it is a matter of interpretation. Let me be clear in saying that there is no 'Bible Bashing" here. He is not saying what the Bible says is totally wrong or just made up, he simply explains his interpretation of the translation (remember it was not originally in English) and in some cases it is as simple as 'and' should have been translated as 'or' which puts a whole new meaning in certain verses.

I still had some problems understanding even the author's interpretation because it seems some of it contradict itself. In chapter three the author tells us that all souls eventually go to heaven after they become baptized/free from sin. (No matter the baptism of water or fire, all souls will enter heaven.) Later on in the book the author translates Jesus telling his disciples that their souls will not experience what the kingdom of God calls death: death of the soul (with the exception of Judas). So isn't Judas (soul) sin free and he went to heaven? If the disciples are not going to have their souls die, then does that mean we all have our souls die? If all our souls die then how do we enter heaven? If all souls (or any) die, then why did the author state in his Introduction that all souls are eternal and none can ever be destroyed? Maybe I am missing the clarification of these parts which could be in a later chapter and I just didn't make the connection but as for now I am missing it and still confused. But (and I can not stress this enough) this is not a one time read, this is the type of writing that I feel needs to be read over and over and pondered. With all this information that is new (at least to me) and the insight of the author's thoughts and feelings, it is just impossible to read, understand, and digest in a single sitting.

I can't help but notice the amount of time the author put into this book, it must have been quite an undertaken. I just wish he formatted it differently because the repetitiveness did drive me crazy. Sometimes the verses are listed three or four times to make his point and I would just skip to the end of the verses which also was annoying to have to do so often. I did enjoy the casual writing the author used in his comments though.

I don't quite know how to recommend this book. After all, it isn't a story with a plot or characters, it is a work of interpretation that I did find interesting to read even though they are different from what I was raised to believe. I do recommend it to those who would be interested in reading these thoughts/interpretations, it gives some new insight as to what is possibly really being said in these verses.

*I received a free copy of this book for my honest review.

View all my reviews

March 25, 2014

Book 16 of My 2014 Goal

Off The GridOff The Grid by Dan Kolbet
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just the cover alone of "Off The Grid" by Dan Kolbet sparked my interest with that power tower there among the stars. It had sort of an eerie glow behind the tower yet darkness all around. I figured this had to be a story about being cut off from power (by the name and cover picture) and after reading the authors description I found that the book was about much more than I thought it was. It is about murder, revenge, spying, love, and more.

I won't go into a long description of what the story is about but I will say it is about wireless electricity. I thought the characters were well developed in the book. The main character, who is named Luke, I wasn't even sure what company he was really working for. There are so many twists and turns as this story plays out, just when I think I figured him out something else would happen and I was back to not really knowing until the end. Then again, he wasn't the only one as there was another character who I thought was on one side but turns out was on another, plus there is one I still was not sure where she stood other than by her actions toward the end. In other words, don't think the first impressions or motives of all the characters are correct when you first start reading it. They may not be going where you think they are.

I did find some of the story slow in parts but this was mainly for either character building or to 'set up' for another twist in the story. (I also should just tell you that I was sick when I read this so I did put it down between readings which tends to 'lose' something. Maybe if I had read it daily or in one sitting, these slow parts weren't as slow as I think they were but thought it only fair to mention what *I* felt.) But even so, this story did have me wanting to know what happened next.

I am looking at this as a fictional story which is what the author intended, I am not trying to apply this to real life so as long as you don't do that, it is a great story. By this I mean, as I told you it is about wireless electricity and I was not concerned about the effects this 'wireless electricity' had on humans or animals; how it can be transmitted wireless without electrocuting anyone/anything nearby or why those 'off the grid' didn't use wind power or other types of energy not requiring fossil fuels. I just took the story at face value and assumed there was a reason but it wasn't 'vital' to this story so it was left out as to not complicate the story the author intended to tell.

There were some errors I noticed that weren't picked up by the proofreading. Examples of this are; "Luke knew there was much more the he..", "Using the prongs of ring she wore..." (missing the word 'the' in 'Using the prongs of the ring she wore...). There were also some punctuation errors but none of this was so serious that it took away from the story, to me at least.

I thought this was a good story and enjoyed reading it. I especially loved the ending (it gave me great satisfaction) the way it was done. I recommend this book to those who are tired of reading about the zombies and want a fiction, thriller, mystery that is quite different from the norm.

View all my reviews

March 19, 2014

Book 15 of my 2014 Goal

If I Were KingIf I Were King by Randa Handler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Being a Grandmother of a twelve means I read a lot of children's books. I normally don't post them to my various sites/blog since they are usually are all short and sweet however every once in awhile I come across a book that stands out and "If I Were King" by Randa Handler is one such book.

First thing I noticed is the cover of the book. It is brightly colored which is a real eye-catcher to children as well as adults and based on the cover chances are this book involves animals. I know you shouldn't judge a book by the cover but in this case that assumption is correct. This is indeed a book about animals, jungle animals to be more exact, and the very important lessons they learn as well as the new things about themselves and others that they discover. And to top it off, the brightly colored pictures aren't only on the cover, they are throughout the book depicting scenes of what is going on in the story. Not every page has them but there is one every couple or so pages and the picture is about half the size of a page. In other words, this is not a picture book, it is a story with pictures included and there is plenty of 'story' to this book. Don't get me wrong! I don't mean this book is long and boring, it isn't. It is very well done without any typos (at least I didn't notice them) and actually I found not only the lessons very beneficial but the way the author wrote these discoveries/lessons I found quite amazing.

The story is about how these animals are bored and unhappy, not noticing the wonders around them in their environment. They complain each day is the same as the last and how boring it is being stuck in this routine. So they play a game of pretending they were king of the jungle. Now of course the lion is already king of the jungle so there is no fun in that for him so he pretends he isn't. (After all, if you play a game of pretend and you are already who and what you are, there is no fun in pretending.) As the story progresses the animals take turns having all the animals pretending to do as they do and discovering that it really wouldn't work out for all of them. They are each individuals and have their own abilities and uniqueness that are suited for them. For example, the monkey said if he were king then all the animals would do as he does and swing from trees with their tails. Naturally the elephant thought this would be painful.

Another important lesson in the story is "knowing your turf." When I read it, I thought what you are probably thinking right now, know your grounds/surroundings but in this case 'turf' is not a place. You will have to read the story to find out what is meant by 'knowing your turf' but I just wanted to comment on this because of the way the author approached this subject (Great advise!) was fascinating and unique. Job well done!

Now down to the nitty-gritty of my personal thoughts and observations on this book. The author has this book listed for an audience of preschool/pre-reader. I read the book to my grandchildren ranging in age of one and a half (yes, I know this is way too preschool but it wasn't like I could have him leave the room just because I was reading a book beyond his capabilities of understanding) to six years old (I know this is beyond a preschooler) and I found the following:

I could have been reading a phone book and he would have probably been just as happy although he did look at the pictures. So if you have this book and a young child like this, don't be afraid to read it to him even though he won't understand it for the most part, he loved the pictures and pointing out the "lion" which is one of his personal favorite animals since we watched "The Lion King" a million times.

Four-year-old (the target audience according to the author);
She understood the book (as I read I would stop every so often so we could discuss what happened in the book, their thoughts, and what they would do) although I can't help but feel that some of what the author tried to accomplish in the 'lessons' was lost simply because at the age of four, she isn't able to grasp some of these concepts since her social skills are limited. In other words, "friendship" is an abstract relationship to her and she doesn't understand/never experienced what a real friend is so 'knowing her turf' for her was somewhat lost. Not that I am saying that she was totally lost and didn't understand anything, she totally enjoyed the book and definitely understood some of it, if not most of it.

I found he had the best understanding of the book. I think this is due to him going to school and interacting with other children (other than his siblings) and understanding that there are some children you really like and others who you don't like due to various reasons. He has 'friends' so his understanding of all these lessons that the animals learned seemed much more in-depth as well as his understanding that he needs to find his turf.

To conclude my thoughts, I would expand the target audience from just preschool to go up to and include first graders because it is a shame for any of these lessons to be 'lost' simply because a child isn't able to grasp the lessons yet. For some children school is their first time being exposed on a regular basis to other children their own age and making friends. (Remember that some children are 'only' children and live in very rural areas where the nearest child can be several miles away so socialization/friendship skills don't really start until kindergarten starts.) So for this reason I highly recommend this book for preschool to first graders.

*I received a free copy of this book for my honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion of the book.

View all my reviews