Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Review: Remarkable! Maximizing Results Through Value Creation by Dr. Randy Ross and David Salyers

Review: Remarkable! Maximizing Results Through Value Creation
Dr. Randy Ross and David Salyers
Baker Books

Assessment, Alignment, Adjustment, Advancement, all woven into what the publishers have called a leadership parable.  It’s tale of a chat at a car repair shop that leads the wisdom seeker into change.  His business prompted the conversation, but, as with lots of things in life, the advice and instruction he receives goes deeper, but the focus remains on his business questions.
Ross and Salyers parable reads easily, is a bit pedantic to suit me, but gives the patient reader plenty to ponder.  Within the four sections listed above illustrations from car repair lead to application elsewhere, as is the way of the parable.  The meat comes in the last few chapters.  The first half is the ground work.  The rewards are to those that read both, even though I nearly set the book aside in that first half.

Summary graphics in the appendix tie it together in a neat package.  A glossary of terms is helpful too.  Beyond that, they provide a link to the Remarkable Engagement Index to evaluate your own performance in areas covered within the text.  Other material is available as well.

I did find the book helpful and do recommend it to you.  It does require chewing on the information presented; don’t expect an easy fix is what I am trying to say.

I received this book from the publishers in exchange for a review.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Review: NKJV, Apply the Word Study Bible Thomas Nelson

Review: NKJV, Apply the Word Study Bible
Thomas Nelson

9780718042523, Apply the Word Study Bible : Live in His StepsNew King James Version (NKJV) Bible has been around for quite a while, and, as the preface explains in some detail, is based on the King James Version.  The preface also explains the format design and much more to help the reader along as he encounters various notes throughout the text.  It’s probably a good idea to read that before jumping into the main text and all the notes that accompany it.  I won’t comment on the biblical text itself since I am no expert in the languages, history, culture, etc.  Best to trust the scholars on that one.

The study portion of this Bible seems to be organized into themes as the reader encounters them in his reading.  For instance, a portion of Leviticus 19 is applied to modern topics like ethics in the workplace or as they titled it “Theology for the Marketplace” (160).  If the reader desires more on that topic several other references are provided under the “More” note found below the main title header.  For example, this marketplace topic sends the reader to John 5:17 for more study, and that also has a reference for follow-up.  The commentary is not complicated, but it is thought provoking.  As the reader works his way through the biblical text, he also works through the application as well.  

The publishers have included other features like a concordance, color maps, and book introductions. Nelson offers more on their website like reading plans, study resources, and most important to me a lifetime guarantee of the quality of workmanship of their product.  The text font is on the smallish side but quite readable, crisp and clear.  I tried a yellow highlighter and it did not bleed through or crinkle the paper.  The only negative for me was the weight, but it is a study bible and it does have over 1600 pages.

I do recommend this Bible.

I received this book from the publisher in return for a review.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Review: What Happened, Miss Simone?: A Biography by Alan Light

Review: What Happened, Miss Simone?: A Biography
Alan Light
Crown Archetype

Nina Simone.  For some nothing more needs to be said.  For others, like me, this biography opens the way to the part of life we missed somewhere along the way.  If you came of age in the 1960’s you might have missed a significant person of interest, Eunice Kathleen Waymon, otherwise known as Nina Simone.  

Light follows her life from her humble beginnings to her final moments in his biography which the cover says was inspired by “the acclaimed Netflix documentary.”  The quote from Maya Angelou that opens this book sums up what happened throughout Simone’s life.  Angleou sees Simone’s “loneliness…, so little tenderness…, and …a commitment to the battle of Life…”.   That says it all.  Light fills in the details.

After about the third repeat of Simone’s cyclic life pattern I gave up on a majority of the text and skipped to the final chapter.  Her life like so many others before and after her shows the down side of fame, wealth, and the unfulfilled desire for lasting intimacy or love.  Her personal habits and attitudes fluctuate and finally make her nearly unapproachable for a large portion of her life.  A very sad story, but one that seems to surround so many of the very talented people in many fields.

Do I recommend this book?  Yes, and no.  It is well written, but the life he chose to cover while important in many ways is so difficult to watch unfold that I quit reading it.  If it could serve to help those today that are so involved in human rights issues to find a different path it’d be great.  I suspect given the history of many, that it will not serve as any kind of warning.  So read it if you like, but don’t expect a happy story. 

I received this book from the publisher in return for a review.