Friday, July 8, 2011

Curiosities of the Civil War

I got this book for review this spring just after concluded a Civil War unit in our homeschool. It is full of interesting trivia, and the author has attempted to organize this trivia in a way that makes sense (I'm not quite sure he succeeded in that because I have tried in vain to relocate the snippet I read about Lincoln comparing his height to other tall soldiers when visiting the troops). Unlike many books on war, it comes in small bite-size portions that are easy to digest.

This is not a book to use to learn about the war, but it would add great flavor to other books about this pivotal event in history. I think Civil War buffs would really enjoy it. It's not the kind of book you sit down and read cover-to-cover but the kind to enjoy bits of over a long period of time.

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.

The Whole Bible Story

Having grown up with a Bible, I don't experience the "intimidation factor" that some people have when they pick it up for the first time. Many paraphrases of the Bible are available that help with some of the archaic language, and there is even a chronological version available. And of course, there are children's versions which are usually illustrated and leave out the seedier stories and violence.

Dr. William Marty put this book together so that someone could just pick up the Bible the way they would pick up a novel and read it from cover to cover. It's not meant to replace a Bible but to give a reader a hunger to know more. I was anxious to review it because I thought my teenage sons might be more likely to read a Bible in this format.

I was disappointed. Have you ever seen a movie after just finishing the epic novel that the movie was based on? That's the feeling I got. If I had never picked up a Bible before, I might have been satisfied. I would be interested to know what someone who had never read the Bible before thinks upon reading this book.

The author also interjects opinion into the text. For instance, in the flood account the author explains that some think this flood was universal and others believe it was localized. While I didn't find a lot to disagree with, I generally think it's better to separate theological opinions from the text of Scripture.