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Jesus The Christ

Book Review: Jesus the Christ | Jest Kept Secret

Title: Jesus the Christ Author: James E. Talmage Genre: Religion (LDS) Blurb First published in 1915, Jesus the Christ is the classic Latter-day Saint presentation of the life and ministry of the Savior. Elder Marion G. Romney said, “One who gets the understanding, the vision, and the spirit of the resurrected Lord through a careful study of the text Jesus the Christ by Elder James E. Talmage will find that he has greatly increased his moving faith in our glorified Redeemer.” – Goodreads My Thoughts It took me a long time to get through Jesus the Christ, but that’s only because it’s (1) really long, and (2) full of so much material. Jesus the Christ greatly improved my understanding of the life and teachings of the Savior by providing insight into the customs and practices of the time, supported by historical research and ecclesiastical writings. Many passages of the New Testament that were once enigmatic were made clear, and my testimony of Christ’s divinity and Atonement were strengthened. I still refer back to Jesus the Christ often when reading the scriptures, regardless of which book I’m currently studying. I highly recommend this book for any Christian—LDS or otherwise—who wants to improve their understanding of and relationship with their Savior and Redeemer. Score:     And don’t forget to save this book to your Pinterest reading list! Thanks!

H is for Hawk

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my affiliate policy here.  Title: H is for Hawk Author: Helen MacDonald Genre: Memoir Content Warning: Brief, scattered language Blurb When Helen Macdonald’s father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer—Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood—she’d never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk’s fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel, and turned to the guidance of The Once and Future King author T.H. White’s chronicle The Goshawk to begin her challenging endeavor. Projecting herself “in the hawk’s wild mind to tame her” tested the limits of Macdonald’s humanity and changed her life. Heart-wrenching and humorous, this book is an unflinching account of bereavement and a unique look at the magnetism of an extraordinary beast, with a parallel examination of a legendary writer’s eccentric falconry. Obsession, madness, memory, myth, and history combine to achieve a distinctive blend of nature writing and memoir from an outstanding literary innovator. – Goodreads My Thoughts I have always had a strong interest in raptors and falconry, and was interested in this book solely because it had “hawk” in the title (hence its appropriateness for the assigned book challenge cattegory). H is for Hawk is extremely well written, and this is one of those rare occasions when I think a book lives up to its best seller hype. The descriptions of the English countryside made me pine for my home across the sea, and I love love loved Mabel the goshawk. The central core of the story—Helen’s grief over her father’s death—is handled with grace and raw honesty. And the prose was gorgeous. MacDonald definitely has a way with words. The only thing I didn’t love was how much page time was devoted to T. H. White and his own goshawk, Gos, about which he wrote a book called—go figure—The Goshawk. While some of the details were nice and it provided a nice juxtaposition for Helen’s own experience training Mabel, it felt at times like a rather tedious book review. I would rather just read The Goshawk myself instead of a synopsis scattered throughout another book. This would have been a solid 4 without it. Score:  

The Omnivore’s Dilemma

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my affiliate policy here.  Title: The Omnivore’s Dilemma Author: Michael Pollan Genre: Non-Fiction Blurb Today, buffeted by one food fad after another, America is suffering from what can only be described as a national eating disorder. Will it be fast food tonight, or something organic? Or perhaps something we grew ourselves? The question of what to have for dinner has confronted us since man first discovered fire. But, as Michael Pollan explains in this revolutionary book, how we answer it now, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, may determine our survival as a species. Packed with profound surprises, The Omnivore’ s Dilemma is changing the way Americans think about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating. – Goodreads My Thoughts I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. Maybe I’ve just had bad luck picking out non-fiction books for myself, but I can literally count on three fingers the number of non-fiction titles I’ve read from cover to cover. So if a non-fiction book can manage to land itself securely on my Top Ten Favorite Books list, that is saying something. Such is the case for The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Now I know that this book was all the rage a couple years ago and you’ve probably already read it, but I have this habit of showing up late to parties. And if you’re like me and you haven’t read this book yet, you need to add it to your list. It tells the story of Pollan’s gastric journey through three distinct food chains: industrial (corn-based), pastoral (grass-based), and wild (hunting and gathering). He gives an honest accounting of the American food industry in a way that is both entertaining and terrifying. He minces no words, either—he’s quick to point out that even the organic industry isn’t perfect. My favorite quote, from pp. 107-108: Very simply, we subsidize high-fructose corn syrup in this country, but not carrots. While the surgeon general is raising alarms over the epidemic of obesity, the president is signing farm bills designed to keep the river of cheap corn flowing, guaranteeing that the cheapest calories in the supermarket will continue to be the unhealthiest. Pretty much, I think this should be required reading for Americans who eat food. Knowing what we put in our bodies is important, and unfortunately, a lot of that is controlled by politics and money. Understanding what goes on in the industry helps us make more informed decisions as consumers. I know every author every controversial position has to be taken with a grain of salt, but I believe that The Omnivore’s Dilemma is a good place to start. Then again, this book also gets a lot of credit for inspiring me to go to grad school, so I admit I’m a little biased. Score:

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