Thursday, May 20, 2010

Billy Graham: His Life and Influence by David Aikiman; An Honest Review

Ok, this is to let you all know that I am reviewing this as a biography in itself, NOT an article saying I'm supporting or criticizing Billy Graham's beliefs, teachings, and etc. You can get that everywhere else. This is a book review, ok people?

  • Summary: 'Billy Graham: His Life and Influence' is intended to be a full biography of world-known evangelist Billy Graham, up to the current date of 2010.

  • Writing Style and Product: The writing style of the author was quite enjoyable. I'm not a biography fan, but Mr. Aikam is definitely not boring, and I was kept interested throughout the book. He covers Billy Graham's life from birth till the present; going over major changes, controversies, influences, and etc. You name it, it's here. It was quite thorough, yet not bogged down with useless details. I've always wanted to know more about Mr. Graham, and this was the perfect book to read. The product itself (softcover) is nicely made, fair quality.
  • Reading Experience: As I said, I did enjoy reading this book. However, the reason I could not give it 5 stars was because though he may not have meant to, the author did come off as slightly biased. I say slightly, for I could tell he was trying not to, and in most of this work, he wasn't. Be that as it may, there were a few parts I read where I felt him biased in favor of Mr. Graham in spite of controversial situations; such as the Billy Graham/Bob Jones issue, and his relationships with certain past presidents of the United States.

All in all, this biography is quite good, and I would recommend it to others who want to learn more about Bill Graham, or want some clarity on the controversy surrounding him.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rooms- An Honest Review

Summary: 'Rooms' is a fiction novel by James Rubart, and tells the story of a man who has fled from his past, his God, and himself. What he doesn't know, is that God doesn't give up that easily. Through a set of mysterious and bizarre circumstances, Micah is brought back to face what he thought he buried, and to find freedom. Note: Though this book is a work of fiction, the author intends it to be a sort of devotional as well, teaching readers his beliefs on christianity. Christian and non-christian readers should take this into consideration.

Writing Style and Reading Experience: In the beginning, the way the author described certain characters annoyed me. A woman the looked like Oprah? Come on. But it didn't really matter, so I kept reading. Descriptions like this litter the book, as well as titles of various movies, books, American food chains and stores, etc. I didn't like the advertising, but it wasn't that bad as the story soon distracted me from it. As for the story itself- I could not put this book down. Dishes and the kitchen floor have suffered because of this. It was unique and refreshing, a real breath of new air. I loved it. Micah was real and I could relate to him in many ways. Some characters, like Julie, did fall flat, so I didn't feel much emotion for her.

Theological Disputes and Observations: Readers should know that this is a christian fiction novel, and it gives you a heavy dosage. Also, the author is quite clearly a charismatic, so parents and others may want to consider that before buying or borrowing. One part did bother me greatly: In a scene where Jesus sees all the movies Micah has watched, after it is through, He picks up a copy of 'Braveheart' and tosses it to Micah saying 'This is a good one.' I think this is highly presumptuous of the author, since many christians would not agree, not to mention the Bible. Also, it's blatant advertising. There was no need for it whatsoever. Many christians may differ from the theology taught here, so I would advise them to check into it. It's not your standard stuff, and I'm still trying to work it out, as the author walks a fine line.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I Am Hutterite, by Mary Ann Kirkby- An Honest Review

  • Summary: 'I Am Hutterite' is intended to be the story of a woman's past growing up in a Hutterite colony, as well as dealing with the tragic loss of leaving it and adjusting to the outside world.

  • Writing Style and Reading Experience: Mary Ann Kirkby is an excellent wielder of pen. I thoroughly enjoyed her story, and could hear her voice between the lines.
    The story itself is one worth sharing; I was completely captivated by the events and the life represented. Mrs. Kirkby is a wonderful author- her words made me laugh, and even cry. I felt I was truly by her side while her childhood unfolded.
  • Insights and Facts: This book is written from the perspective of growing up in a Hutterite colony, a religious sect very much like the Amish in that it's way of life is very closed off from the outside world. This work offers us a magical, rare peep inside the Hutterite lifestyle, and I loved it. Much of the way of living is revealed here that you would not learn anywhere else. It was so fascinating, that I will definitely pass this book on to family and friends, knowing they'll enjoy it.
  • Point Of View: Religious sects such as the Hutterites, Amish, etc. are very often criticized and called out as cults. While this may or may not be true, Mrs. Kirkby gives her point of view, and it is one of bitter-sweet memories. The politics in the group, bias, and tragedy are also enveloped in the close ties of family, friendship, and love.
Ultimately, Mary Ann comes out with her freedom, but with a cherished past that she embraces. It is an amazing journey, and I highly recommend you come along.