Monday, November 21, 2016

Review: The Bad Habits of Jesus: Showing Us the Way to Live Right in a World Gone Wrong by Leonard Sweet

Review: The Bad Habits of Jesus: Showing Us the Way to Live Right in a World Gone Wrong
Leonard Sweet
Tyndale House Publishers

The Bad Habits of Jesus: Showing Us the Way to Live Right in a World Gone Wrong  -     By: Leonard Sweet
Leonard Sweet can be counted on to give his readers a good read.  I think so anyway.  May not like what he has to say or what he says, but the book will be very readable.  He can pour on the academic stuff from time to time, but he generally leaves that for others to do.  He has a way of sneaking up on the reader with a story or something that brings his point home.  Sometimes the point is sharp enough to make you uncomfortable with yourself.

The Bad Habits of Jesus he admits was written in record time, six weeks (ix), and some of it he gathered from a crowd-sourcing (x) event on his Facebook page. A new-fangled way of getting material for his book.  Yes, I do look at prefaces and acknowledgements.  Even introductions.

As you might suspect Jesus’ bad habits are determined bad only but some that oppose/d him.  His habits “reveal truths about God’s love and message that are vital for us.” (xv)  you know that but this is a little different twist to the content, one that is not so serious that it scares you off.  I want to say it’s more lighthearted in presentation without sacrificing the important nature of the content or the Person of Jesus.  Does that work?  Does for me. 
Some of the chapter titles will help maybe.  Jesus Procrastinated, Jesus Offended People, Jesus Hung Out with Bad People, and Jesus Thought He was God.  The chapters are not long, they held my interest, and some of them tread on my toes.  They’d make good discussion for a group and there are some questions at the end of the book to help get it started.  I wouldn’t read this straight through.  Instead read a chapter and chew on it for a while.  They will reveal more than you think.

Would I recommend this book?  Yes.  It’s not a Bible study though.  It relies on the readers’ prior knowledge of the Biblical text, but the references are available in the notes for you to use if you need it.  This is a food for thought book.

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

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Review: The Lesser Bohemians: A Novel by Eimear McBride

Review: The Lesser Bohemians: A Novel
Eimear McBride

I had no preconceived notions what expect from this book.  Its other reviews were anywhere from brilliant to not so much so.  The prose style, at least initially, accomplished what I think its purpose was---to show the reader the impressions of a person encountering a new experience.  Short, chaotic type snippets from all directions that begin to take shape as she acclimates to her new surroundings.  Had me thinking of a Beckett novel at times, but less serious.  As the book moves forward the prose becomes more like what the reader is accustomed to except where the experiences are new, overwhelming or in some other way acts to unbalance the status quo.  

The Lesser BohemiansThe book descriptions given in the other reviews and elsewhere sum up the story line.  Young girl in a new town, older guy helping find her way.  Yep, that’s it.  Both of their stories seemed too labored, in my opinion.  Hers, the innocent small town girl becomes urbanized.  His, a bit of twist on a traumatic home environment during his teen years.  Most of their learning situations seemed to require detailed descriptions of the sex going on between them in whatever scene I read.  The romance story arc stays intact for this book in a contemporary sort of way.   A lesser bohemian sort of way.

Overall, the book made a weak three-star rating for me.  

I received this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for a review.