Tag Archives: reviews

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

stiff

Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers—some willingly, some unwittingly—have been involved in science’s boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

*****

While this is a bit odd for me, I really did not pick this book out myself. I received it from a friend at work, who is also an avid reader. He said that it was interesting and filled with many things which would intrigue me. So, I took him up on his offer, and challenge of sort! It was, without a doubt filled, cover to cover, with all sorts of interesting information, education of the uses of cadavers in our lives. History has filled pages with what and how cadavers have touched our lives. Truly an interesting book and is worthy of your time, to say the least!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Thinking Strategically by Avinash K. Dixit, Barry J. Nalebuff

Thinking Strategically

A major bestseller in Japan, Financial Times Top Ten book of the year, Book-of-the-Month Club bestseller, and required reading at the best business schools, Thinking Strategically is a crash course in outmaneuvering any rival. This entertaining guide builds on scores of case studies taken from business, sports, the movies, politics, and gambling. It outlines the basics of good strategy making and then shows how you can apply them in any area of your life.

****

A very tough read, but chock full of information which would aid anyone who desires to enlighten themselves in the world of thinking strategically. Full of examples and the basis of their logic and line of thinking. But remember, this is a tough read, not intended for light reading by any stretch of the imagination!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left by Dinesh D’Souza

Big Lie

What is “the big lie” of the Democratic Party? That conservatives—and President Donald Trump in particular—are fascists. Nazis, even. In a typical comment, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow says the Trump era is reminiscent of “what it was like when Hitler first became chancellor.”

But in fact, this audacious lie is a complete inversion of the truth. Yes, there is a fascist threat in America—but that threat is from the Left and the Democratic Party. The Democratic left has an ideology virtually identical with fascism and routinely borrows tactics of intimidation and political terror from the Nazi Brownshirts.

To cover up their insidious fascist agenda, Democrats loudly accuse President Trump and other Republicans of being Nazis—an obvious lie, considering the GOP has been fighting the Democrats over slavery, genocide, racism and fascism from the beginning.

Now, finally, Dinesh D’Souza explodes the Left’s big lie. He expertly exonerates President Trump and his supporters, then uncovers the Democratic Left’s long, cozy relationship with Nazism: how the racist and genocidal acts of early Democrats inspired Adolf Hitler’s campaign of death; how fascist philosophers influenced the great 20th century lions of the American Left; and how today’s anti-free speech, anti-capitalist, anti-religious liberty, pro-violence Democratic Party is a frightening simulacrum of the Nazi Party.

Hitler coined the term “the big lie” to describe a lie that “the great masses of the people” will fall for precisely because of how bold and monstrous the lie is. In The Big Lie, D’Souza shows that the Democratic Left’s orchestrated campaign to paint President Trump and conservatives as Nazis to cover up its own fascism is, in fact, the biggest lie of all.

*******

I found this book quite fascinating. It added to the knowledge I already had and expanded on that. Much I suspected, but never got too much into the history of the Brownshirts & Blackshirts. Nazi propaganda, however, seems to run rampant within our political and activist realms. A worthy read and well worth the time to do so!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

BJAmericanLife

In this authoritative and engrossing full-scale biography, Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Einstein and Steve Jobs, shows how the most fascinating of America’s founders helped define our national character.

Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us, the one who seems made of flesh rather than marble. In a sweeping narrative that follows Franklin’s life from Boston to Philadelphia to London and Paris and back, Walter Isaacson chronicles the adventures of the runaway apprentice who became, over the course of his eighty-four-year life, America’s best writer, inventor, media baron, scientist, diplomat, and business strategist, as well as one of its most practical and ingenious political leaders. He explores the wit behind Poor Richard’s Almanac and the wisdom behind the Declaration of Independence, the new nation’s alliance with France, the treaty that ended the Revolution, and the compromises that created a near-perfect Constitution.

In this colorful and intimate narrative, Isaacson provides the full sweep of Franklin’s amazing life, showing how he helped to forge the American national identity and why he has a particular resonance in the twenty-first century.

I must admit, this seemed to have been one of the best, if not THE best biography of one of our founding fathers of this country. The detail of his life were astounding with a plethora of source material. Walter Isaacson dis an outstanding job with this biography! BRAVO! Well worth the read, well worth the time, and well worth the expense!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Prevail: Discover Your Strength in Hard Places by Cindy Trimm

Prevail

Your problems don’t define you; they refine you.

Sometimes life feels like a roller coaster ride filled with ups, downs, twists, turns, and unexpected sudden drops. Instead of moving forward with peace and purpose, our lives spin out of control. When chaos and uncertainty threaten to make you feel helpless . . . what do you do?

Don’t let life’s detours take you for a ride. Get back in the driver’s seat!

In Prevail , life strategist, Dr. Cindy Trimm, reveals how you can turn problems into opportunities so no pitfall will throw you off course. Discover how you can:

See your current challenges as doorways to new levels of success

  • Break through barriers that keep you from enjoying life and loving the real you
  • Develop a winning perspective that positions you to prosper
  • Wake up every morning with a sense of meaning, purpose, dignity, and hope
  • Your success, fulfillment, satisfaction, and destiny await you on the other side of your struggles, fears, setbacks, and disappointments. In the same way that a diamond is brought to beauty through immense stress, your true strength of character, worth, and value are found by embracing the prospering power inherent in your problems.

 

You are tougher than your tough times.

*******

I found this book to be rather interesting. A great read and a real page turner. Many simplistic notions and ideas to change your way of thinking and approaching your life. We are headed for disaster, each of us, if we do not see that we are headed toward a brick wall, BUT we must be willing to look at our direction with an open mind and with a true out-of-the-box outlook!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It by Brigitte Gabriel

stopped

They Must Be Stopped is New York Times bestselling author Brigitte Gabriel’s warning to the world: We can no longer ignore the growth of radical Islam―we must act soon, and powerfully. Gabriel challenges our Western and politically correct notions about Islam, demonstrating why radical Islam is so deadly and how we can halt its progress.

Brigitte Gabriel speaks her mind:

*Fundamentalist Islam is a religion rooted in seventh-century teachings that are fundamentally opposed to democracy and equality.

*Radical Islamists are utterly contemptuous of all “infidels” (non-Muslims) and regard them as enemies worthy of death.

*Madrassas in America are increasing in number, and they are just one part of a growing radical Islamic army on U.S. soil.

*Radical Islam exploits the U.S. legal system and America’s protection of religion to spread its hatred for Western values.

*America must organize a unified voice that says “enough” to political correctness, and demands that government officials and elected representatives do whatever is necessary to protect us.

THIS was an excellent book! Brigitte Gabriel went to great lengths to explain the Islamic mindset and thought process. Enabling you and I to see how they plan to use our system of rights and laws to get their way and tear our system down. Thus replacing it with Sharia Law. And she follows on with how we can combat such tactics. Unfortunately for us, there are just too many Liberal & Activist politicians, judges and lawyers.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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The Sermon On the Mount by Vincent Cheung

Sermon on the Mount

An exposition on the Sermon on the Mount. Topics covered include: the kingdom of God, the Christian counter-culture, the relevance of God’s law, the commandments on murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, retaliation, love, and Jesus’ teachings on biblical inerrancy, hypocritical piety, hypocritical judgment, legalism, materialism, exclusivism, and antinomianism.

*****

Vincent Cheung is a rather prolific writer with respect to the teachings of the bible and the words of Jesus. He is a no-holds-barred teacher who tells you in very brutal terms what is meant by the word of God! Sadly, I must agree with his style of teaching, wherein people within the Christian communities (as a whole) need that fire and brimstone sermons brought forth in their lives. We are now entering into a Politically Correct era where the bible has warned us that:

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. ~Isaiah 5:20 NIV

But regardless of what is to happen, we as Christians MUST, ABSOLUTELY MUST, stand up for what the word of God states. Unlike what many think, to speak truth is not evil…but to say nothing is to acquiesce to the evil at hand.

Great book! Great read! Well worth the time!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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A History of God The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam by Karen Armstrong

Abridged download

Is the Universe wholly apart from God, or is Creation in some sense, a part of God? Is God solely One in nature, or is there a Threeness, or a Manyness, or an Infinitude to God? Is God knowable or beyond knowledge? Is God personal or impersonal? Does God have feelings? Billions of people have had an opinion on these matters, and that’s the subject of this groundbreaking book. Those who depend upon the unshakeableness of their beliefs may find this book upsetting or worse, but to those who consider and question their faith, Karen Armstrong’s A History of God will be challenging and illuminating, and perhaps, as I found it, even thrilling.

The title goes for brevity over accuracy. Perhaps it could have been titled “A History of the Idea of God in Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” but that would have lacked panáche, to say the least. Armstrong concentrates on the changes in the concept of God, particularly the unique aspects of monotheistic theology, for instance, God as separate from Creation, God having a “personal” nature, and so forth.

religious cultures in conflict

Armstrong makes theological history simply fascinating. Beginning with the evidence for near-universal worship of a Sky God in prehistory, Armstrong traces the shift from the Sky God to the Earth Mother to polytheism, and then focuses on the revolutionary development of Abraham’s faith in one God which would clash with Canaanite, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian paganism for the next 1500 years. Many Christians interested in objective Biblical scholarship are familiar with the “Documentary Hypothesis” of the Pentateuch stemming from sources J, E, P, and D. Yet never have I seen an attempt to reconstruct the history and interplay of these perspectives throughout ancient Israel and the surrounding regions, and not in my wildest dreams would I have imagined it would be so illuminating…

For instance, Armstrong shows the revolutionary effect of the prophets in Judaism, beginning with Isaiah, at the time when the J and E material was still being written. She shows that prophetic Judaism was an “Axial religion,” a development of the Axial age when cities became the centers of culture in Asia and the Mediterranean. Other Axial religious developments included the teachings of Socrates, Plato, Zoroaster, the Upanishadic sages, the Buddha, Lao-tse, and Confucius. These all taught a universal ethic, insisting that God or the Absolute needed no temple, transcended all, was accessible to or within everyone, and that compassion was the highest virtue.

The prophets’ teaching that “God desires mercy, and not sacrifice,” was in sharp contrast to the priestly, Temple-based establishment, which insisted the Temple was the ultimate dwelling on God on Earth, having chosen the Israel out of all the nations. (This was the beginning of a clash which would endure until John the Baptist and the ministry of Jesus.)

But this is just the beginning. Instead of specializing on a single religion or period in time, Armstrong boldly takes up all the threads of theology throughout the four millennia of the monotheistic religions. With them, she weaves a tapestry of our collective religious experience which can help us understand our faith and ourselves better. Subsequent chapters focus on the life of Christ, early Christian theologies, understandings (and misunderstandings) of Trinity, the influence of Greek philosophy upon Christianity and Islam, mysticism, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and Fundamentalism.

three persons or three personae?

A special treat is her insight on Trinitarian thought. It was a surprise to learn that the term “persons” in “One God in three Persons” came from the Latin word personae, referring to the masks of characters in a drama. Personae was the Latin translation of the Greek word hypostases, “expressions.”  The different words used in Greek and Latin to describe the Trinity reflected (and influenced) very different understandings of God’s nature. For the Eastern bishops, the Trinity described how One God, whose essence (ousia) is mysterious, ineffable, utterly beyond and above being known or described in any way, imparts his energies (energeia) to Creation through the expressions (hypostases) of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In other words, the Eastern view of the Trinity reconciled knowledge of God as both personal and beyond personal, knowing and loving in his expressions, and yet beyond any human conception at all in essence. Have you ever heard it like that before?

world-wide paradigm shifts

Brilliant also is her ability to relate the historic phenomena of mysticism, reformation, rationalism, and fundamentalism beyond just the Christian perspective, into a world-wide perspective simultaneously developing in all “the religions of God.” Her revelation that the Reformation was not just a Protestant reformation, but a universal one is a brilliant example. As the printing press spread, the authority of the written word took on unprecedented dimensions. Galileo, she points out, was condemned by the Catholic Church not because his heliocentric universe conflicted with any doctrine or dogma, but because it contradicted an extremely literal reading of the Bible.

Especially helpful is her knowledge about Islamic history with revealing treatments on philosophical and mystical eras in Islam, before the relatively recent phenomenon of Islamic Fundamentalism. It was fascinating to learn that some Sufi schools were so devoted to Jesus that they adapted the Shahada to “there is no God but God, and Jesus is His Prophet.”

Despite five well-earned frims, A History of God has minor but significant flaws: Awkward sentences abound, and her lack of direct experience with conservative American Protestantism makes her disdain for it seem less than objective. Furthermore, errors like “Maurice Cerullo” (i.e. Morris Cerullo) make it feel insufficiently edited, particularly in the age of the Internet. However, none of these are fatal flaws by any means; Armstrong has created a landmark work, undoubtedly unique in its combination of depth and scope. What can I say, but read it!

+++++++++

This was a worthy read, though I felt I could not pin down precisely where the author’s beliefs lie. There was a great amount of philosophical input (both pro & con), also there was a good amount of information as it related to several differing sects of Christianity, and information concerning the Islamic faith. However, I felt that she was a bit disingenuous with respect to the information presented about the Islamic faith. She had mentioned that Islam was, in essence, a successful coalescing religion which brought together and united the many clans (never once mentioning the warfare onslaught in order to do so, nor any mention of the believe in Allah or die ultimatum.) She touted that there was no compulsion in religion, yet time and again the Quran states (emphatically) or infers that there would be death to the non-believers.

Over all, I thought it was a decent-good read with much unknown information, philosophies, and other religious input. Worthy of the time it took to read. I feel a bit wiser as I understand a few things better, I have been made aware of a few things I didn’t know before, and I understand how others can be misguided as they do not do enough adequate research into their fields of study. They take what is written as truth and leave it there.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! by Andrew Breitbart

RighteousIndignation

Known for his network of conservative websites that draws millions of readers everyday, Andrew Breitbart has one main goal: to make sure the “liberally biased” major news outlets in this country cover all aspects of a story fairly. Breitbart is convinced that too many national stories are slanted by the news media in an unfair way.

In RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION, Breitbart talks about how one needs to deal with the liberal news world head on. Along the way, he details his early years, working with Matt Drudge, the Huffington Post, and how Breitbart developed his unique style of launching key websites to help get the word out to conservatives all over.

A rollicking and controversial read, Breitbart will certainly raise your blood pressure, one way or another.

********

I found this book to be extraordinarily written, in that it was aimed toward those people who need every possible aid in defending their view with respect to the Liberal Progressive mind set. If you are looking to get into the game, not necessarily politics or television or the media, but you are seeking a way to get your point across without giving up your ethics or moral standards. Many see themselves having to compromise in their morals or ethics, but you don’t.

Sadly, instead of having a discussion with some people actually becomes hard work when they have a Liberal, Progressive, Socialistic, or Communistic position. You do have to be a bit brash in order to get your point across, but do you actually think you will change their minds? Probably not, all you can hope for (from my experiences in evangelizing or witnessing to non-Christians) is to plant a seed in their minds.

Andrew Breitbart was a Liberal minded progressive person, by his own admission and by the indoctrination that he had gone throughout his schooling. But he was steered away from it through the ideas of others and began to think for himself. In his first chapter he showed that he repeated much of what he had been told and his mind was on autopilot…then he learned what he was doing and began to relearn things and became the man he was destined to be!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results by Mark Sanborn

Fred20

Nine years ago, bestselling author and business consultant Mark Sanborn introduced the world to Fred, his postman, who delivered extraordinary service in simple but remarkable ways. Fred’s story inspired millions. Companies–even, cities–were inspired to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary each day.

Today, with stiff competition from the networked global economy, delivering extraordinary results is more important than ever. With Fred 2.0, Mark not only revisits the original Fred to gain new insights, but also equips all of us with new strategies to achieve more. You’ll not only be inspired by Fred 2.0, you’ll also have the tools and strategies to aim higher and achieve the extraordinary.

This was the follow-up to THE FRED FACTOR. While I have not read that book, yet; this one does give you insights as to how you can be a better Fred, Fred Shea that is. But, in a nutshell, the Fred Factor and Fred 2.0 are about the Biblical mind of the Golden Rule, loving your neighbor as yourself…but is more of a business use, not just a personal life venture. Although, by treating everyone as you would like to be treated, regardless of business or personal life will make your life a whole lot easier! No discerning is necessary as to who must be treated how…treat everyone you meet and come in contact with with love and respect! Go that extra mile with each person. THAT is the Biblical mindset!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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