Monday, November 30, 2015

Review: Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing by Jamie Holmes

Review: Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing
Jamie Holmes
Crown Publishers

I’ll admit it now.  I pick this book for its title and especially its subtitle.  For whoever makes the decisions related to titles, you picked a winner.  The author was unknown to me, but from the rear flap should be better known among the millennial generation.  Don’t let that be the deciding factor for this book though.
Holmes has assembled nine chapters plus some extra stuff, and a set of annotated end notes that are worth reading themselves.  Yeah, that’s weird, but I figure if it’s included why not give it a glance.  I’d suggest reading them as you go along through the text.  

Each of the chapters looks at different facets of knowing, and how people come to the point of believing they know what’s going on in a particular situation. The chapters were well written discussions that could be standalone articles.  That’s a good thing and a bad thing.  Good in that they were well done, bad in that, except for a basic overall look at information processing, there was little to keep the reading going.  I found myself repeatedly putting the book down and then having to remember to pick it again. 

I didn’t find much original information or original thought in this book, either.  It’s a combination of psychology, sociology, and several recent business books that dealt with decision making processes.  Nice mix since life, business, or creativity in general isn’t a neat little package of any one of those fields of knowledge.  It is good that the author has found a way to remind his readers of that. 

Would I recommend this book?  Yes, as an airport read perhaps.  

This book was provided by the publishers in exchange for a review.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Review: The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning

Review: The Ragamuffin Gospel
Brennan Manning
Multnomah Books

This is a 25th anniversary issue of this Brennan Manning book.  John Blase mentions in his preface to this edition that the book has already sold nearly a million copies over its 25 year run. (ix)  What I found interesting is that with just a few exceptions this book is as current now as it was when it was written.  
Product Details 
This is my first time reading this book.  I had read a couple Manning’s other works and decided it was time to read this one as well.  I was not disappointed in the least with it and found it to be encouraging.  It reinforced a line from one of his other books that had stuck with me for years now---God loves you and there’s nothing you do about it.  That’s probably a paraphrase but close and I cannot remember which book it’s from.  Sorry.

There’s not a lot that hasn’t already been said about this book already since its 25 years old now, and I’ll just say it is well worth the read.  It’s about grace, and the majority of the discussion revolves around how even when you mess up, fail, or otherwise just miss the mark grace still has you covered.  Most of us don’t understand or believe that concept and struggle as a result.  Manning freely admits to being one of us strugglers, too.  He’s no theory guy; he lived it and I believe learned most of it the hard way.  

I do recommend this book to you and believe that most of us can benefit from his wisdom.

This book was provided to me by the publishers in return for a review.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Review: Your Best Destiny: Becoming the Person You Were Created to Be by Wintley Phipps with James Lund

Review: Your Best Destiny: Becoming the Person You Were Created to Be
Wintley Phipps with James Lund
Tyndale Momentum

It has been several years since I’d seen a book similar to this, and there’s probably a need for it again now.  Phipps discusses eight pillars that support a person’s ethos.  Ethos according to Phipps is “a combination of our personality, character, emotions, guiding beliefs, habits, ideals, attitudes, fundamental values, and lifestyle.” (17)  All that describes who we are and especially who we are when the tough times arrive.  What are the pillars that support that and how can I keep them sturdy?  How does that help me find my best destiny?  Well, that’s what this book is about.   

Phipps takes each of the eight pillars and examines them more closely.  Some of the chapters will speak to the reader more directly than others, depending on the individual’s current state of ethos.  Following his discussion there are some questions for thought and a brief list of the attributes of each pillar.  For instance, perseverance has subcategories like cooperation, flexibility, tact, fellowship, and other related areas.  The idea is to check how you are doing in each subcategory. 

To help with that, in the back of the book, there is an assessment tool for each of the pillars and their subcategories.  It will give you an idea where your strong and weak points lay.  Obviously, the point is to improve where the weaknesses appear.  Also, there’s a link to an on line assessment tool that I suppose will compile the results, but I wasn’t able to connect.  That might be just my browser, though.

For anyone interested in an ethos checkup this may be what you’re looking for.  I suspect that discussing the results with someone you trust well would be an excellent idea.  

This book was provided to me by the publisher in return for a review.