Aug 072012
 


Reading Father Hunger by Douglas Wilson was much like taking a trip out to sea with a definite destination in mind, but with no real hurry in reaching it. You explore a wide area on your way to the destination, and when any landmark captures your attention, you investigate. You do reach your destination, yet after many fascinating detours.

As was said of Why Men Hate Going to Church, Father Hunger too is a start, a beginning of an important discussion. Perhaps that is why Douglas Wilson takes a meandering course in his investigation of fatherhood and the many challenges it faces. He wants to start a conversation, not give decisive answers to the issues he raises.

Written from a view that could be loosely labeled “conservative Christian,” Wilson attempts to distinguish himself from mainstream political conservatism. He really is Chestertonian in his economic discussions, which I was surprised to find in this volume. Wilson presents a clear interpretation of G. K. Chesterton’s distributism, and claims in the end that it is real capitalism, compared to the “crony” capitalism of today’s America. Indeed, I judge that Wilson’s economic presentation is the most straightforward part of the book. Wilson does meander like the sailboat and cover a wide range of issues. He also tends to spin interesting verbal images that once unraveled leave the reader wondering whether terseness would be more effective.

Father Hunger: Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Jun 202012
 

Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow
Whether you agree with all of David Murrow’s points or not, Why Men Hate Going to Church remains provocative and worth reading. Murrow commands, at least ostensibly, a good view of mainstream protestant congregations and born-again groups, but lacks in understanding the Catholic situation, for example. Personally, I think the work would have been stronger if Murrow had focused on what he knows and not attempted too much.  Futile attempts at addressing Catholic problems seem tangential in context and weaken Murrow’s authority over the whole subject, since it is apparent that, at least here, he is not informed. Besides going beyond his scope, Murrow makes, I believe, mistakes in his analysis of the issue and remedies for it. Aware of these imperfections, Why Men Hate Going to Church still addresses a real and important problem: absence of men—not just physically— from organized religion. Why Men Hate Going to Church is a brave first attempt at a complex and sensitive issue. Discussing the relation between men and women, in any sector of society, is an easy launch into social incorrectness. David Murrow is brave, brave for addressing this issue, knowing the possible backlash. Though not the final word, I hope, on the subject, Why Men Hate Going to Church is a start, indeed a good and valuable start to a conversation long overdue.

Why Men Hate Going to Church

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Dec 142011
 
The Weight of a Mass: A Tale of Faith by Josephine Nobisso

Sometimes the greatest truths are best wrapped in fable and fairytale because it is only there that we are prepared not to question immediately their validity.  So it is with Josephine Nobisso’s Weight of a Mass.  The story is ripe in what makes up a fairytale: a beautiful queen from a faraway land, a royal wedding, an old, wrinkled woman who begs her daily bread, a miraculous event that forever changes the characters’ lives.  I marvel a Nobisso’s skill in weaving a tale that so well bolsters a truth of Christian faith, while at the same time never coming across [...]

Dec 012011
 
Wind Power for Dummies by Ian Woofenden

Wind that first tickled your hair on some breezy fall day may also have tickled an idea, an idea that wind power might something perhaps to consider more closely.  If you are serious or simply whimsical about wind power, Wind Power for Dummies is a great place to itch that tickle. Ian Woofenden, Wind Power for Dummies’ author, boasts an impressive history in renewable energy.  This history, which includes being a wind-power consultant, at first, gave me pause in receiving Woodfenden’s ideas.  “Wasn’t he going to tell me that wind power was best for everybody?”  The contrary, however, proved the case.  [...]

Nov 152011
 

A few weeks ago, I received a book from the United Kingdom.  In addition to the less-familiar postage stamps, the packaging itself proved a curiosity.  Usually, books arrive in my box clothed in padded envelopes from some US address.  This volume, however, came decked in a corrugated-board wrapper, which appeared to be simply a flat piece of board folded around my book and somehow sealed.   Bubble-wrapped paperbacks often emerge from their envelopes with a knick or two from their travels.  The book from the UK emerged unscathed, however, after its transatlantic voyage.  In addition, the board fitted perfectly to the [...]

Oct 242011
 
Three Cups: A Lesson in Life and Money for Children

Grade: B+ Enveloped in decided nostalgia, Three Cups presents the reminiscences of a father on the fifth birthday of his son.  The father recalls his own fifth birthday and the gift of three cups he received from his parents.  These three cups, along with the money allowance accompanying them, brought new adventures as his parents taught him life lessons about spending, saving, and giving.  Included with the story is a parents’ guide to implementing the Three-Cups system and bringing its worthwhile message into one’s home. The illustrations by April Willy emanate a warm glow to the tale with an almost impressionistic [...]

Oct 142011
 
360° Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization

Grade: B+ John C. Maxwell remains one of my favorite business authors.  His insight into leadership is outstanding and his output of books is staggering.  I was disappointed with The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization, however, for what appears to have been a lack of sufficient editing and conciseness.  The first half of the book especially seems to suffer from an over use of one or two sources.  Compounding this appearance of shallow and overly narrow research, each quotation from these sources was introduced almost as if the person had not been mentioned only [...]

Oct 102011
 
Etiquette for Dummies

A- It may no longer be the ages of Jane Austen or Queen Victoria, but good manners are never in bad form, even though social interaction may now be more relaxed.  In Etiquette For Dummies, Sue Fox demonstrates a keen understanding that while manners differ from century to century and from place to place, civility and respect to other human beings are timeless and universal. I might question a few of Fox’s perceptions on what today constitutes good manners, such as her thoughts on re-gifting. Nonetheless, her adroitness in addressing perennial problems and new ones can hardly be denied.  Which fork [...]

Oct 052011
 
The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

A+ Insightful, easy-to-read, and powerful, The Five Love Languages takes a simple, but profound look at love in marriage. Whether your marriage is thriving, struggling, or seemingly dead, this book offers a unique outlook into expressing love to match your spouse’s emotional needs.  The Five Love Languages shows that love is possible after the in-love phase.  As Dr. Gary Chapman illustrates, love is a choice, often difficult, but possible. A linguist myself, Dr. Chapman’s approach to expressions of love as “languages” made his points easy to understand.  I also could recall in my own experiences events where heartfelt expressions of love [...]

Sep 292011
 
The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood

Grade: A Bound so as to unite both old and new, The Book of Man is truly an intergenerational book.  Rough-cut pages recall bygone days while a slick cover and interior graphics meld a modern feel with the reminiscence of old cartography.  The one thing missing to complete this ambiance would be a book ribbon to facilitate later recovery of some gem of wisdom. Yes, I would call William Bennett’s Book of Man wise, since it brings together an astute collection of stories, personal profiles, poetry, and reflections of ages past and present.  The purpose of this book’s over five hundred [...]