Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Review: No Place Like Holmes

No Place Like Holmes, by Jason Lethcoe, is a book aimed at readers outside of my demographic. Thankfully, I have a 9-year-old son who is an avid reader and who fits perfectly. He read the book before I did, and he liked it so much he read all 200 pages in one day.

The story revolves around Griffin, a boy genius who is often misunderstood and who is often misunderstood and picked on by kids and adults alike. He goes to visit his uncle, a private detective who lives next door to Sherlock Holmes. the uncle is barely scraping by, even as his neighbor's business thrives. Not surprisingly, as the story moves forward, there is a mystery to be solved, and not surprisingly, Griffin plays a part. This being a Thomas Nelson publication, there is a spiritual component of the story which separates it from most other mystery series such as Sherlock Holmes, Encyclopedia Brown, or Boxcar Children.

My son liked it.. I liked it. I recommend it for those readers who fall within the demographic. The publisher gave me a copy for review purposes, but they didn't tell me to recommend it. They're cool like that. 

Monday, April 18, 2011


"Max on Life", Max Lucado's latest book, is unlike most of Lucado's best-known efforts. Typically, he will base a book on a book of the bible such as Romans ("In the Grip of Grace") or Acts("Outlive Your Life"). But "Max on Life" deviates from that format in that it consists of Lucado's answers to 172 questions he has been asked. The questions have been submitted, by believers and unbelievers alike, to the author over the years, and reflect a wide spectrum of topics, such as prayer, the goodness of God, sex, scripture, money, heaven, and hell.

I have to admit: at first, I was thinking this review was going to be pretty negative. It seems that most of the questions and answers touch on surface-level topics and and never delve deep enough for my taste. But upon reading it more closely, I cannot deny that the answers are in fact enlightening, thoughtful, and full of wisdom.

I still don't think this book is for the most seasoned Christians. But there are many people who this book is for, and who can benefit greatly from it. So I'm giving it 3 out of 5 stars. I'm recommending it, not for everyone, but for most readers.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program; I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Take Action Bible: A Review



In short: I like it.  The purpose of this edition of the bible is summarized in the headline at the top of the back cover: "Put the word of God into action".  And it gives you plenty of ideas how to do exactly that. Besides the expected biblical text, it includes several stories about different modern-day people who heard the call of God and answered, in the form of giving, going, serving, or otherwise presenting their lives to God for His purposes.

At the end is a list of 52 suggestions (one for each week of the year) for how readers can make a difference in their community for the advancement of the Gospel. Each suggestion has an accompanying bible verse. This edition also includes a bible-reading plan.

Of course, there are the usual things one would like to have a bible to have: red letters for Jesus' words, a concordance, maps, and helpful notes and cross-references throughout.

(The Take Action Bible, published by Thomas Nelson, is a paperback New King James bible, a free copy of which was provided to me for review purposes.)