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Top 5 Weird Al Songs That Are Better Than the Original

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In a passing conversation recently, I mentioned "Eat It" to my son, and it became clear that, not only did he have no idea who Weird Al Yankovic is, he was equally unfamiliar with Michael Jackson's "Beat It", the song that "Eat It" was based on.

I wanted to show him the Weird Al song, but "Eat It" is only funny if you know "Beat It."  After showing him the videos for both tunes (he laughed), he went off to do this own thing, while I remained at the desktop and allowed myself to get sucked into Youtube's collection of Weird Al songs and clips.

The realization hit me: many of the songs that Weird Al made in fun are actually better tunes than the ones being parodied. Here, then, is my list of the best Weird Al creations that are better than the original:

5. "Achy Breaky Song"

Original: "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus

Comment: This one is unique in that the entire point of the Weird Al song is to dis the Bil…

Book Review: Crater Trueblood, by Homer Hickam

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Crater Trueblood is the third in Homer Hickam's Helium 3 series of novels, after "Crater" and "Crescent".  The main character in all 3 novels is Crater, who, in the course of the story, transforms from a young man who works as a Moon-based miner to an owner of a search-and-rescue business who ends up saving the world. And in this case, "the World" means what remains of humans, who no longer live on Earth but on the Moon.

A young female protagonist, Maria, is an antagonist for part of the story, but it's fairly obvious from the get-go that she and Crater are meant to be. Other characters include Crater's brother and business partner, and then there are litle creatures called gillies, kind of like pets but who have minds of their own.

My son read the first Crater book at the age of 10, and now, at the age of 12, has completed the new one. This series is among the very few works of fiction being offered by Christian publishers these days in which…

Book Review: Billy Coffey's "The Devil Walks in Mattingly"

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The Devil Walks in Mattingly, Billy Coffey's 4th book, extends his string of getting better with each new novel. Like his previous works--Snow Day, Paper Angels, When Mockingbirds Sing--The Devil Walks in Mattingly is set in the fictional town of Mattingly, Virginia. 

The setting is same as from novel to novel, and the Mattingly books do features same recurring characters.  In this story, Jake Barnett is the town sheriff, in addition to being husband to Kate and father to Zach. Jake lives under the shadow of his harsh, disapproving father, Justus. Kate briefly befriends teenager Lucy Seekins, who in turn connects with a hermit named Taylor Hathcock.

As the title suggests, The Devil Walks in Mattingly is darker than Coffey's previous novels. Twenty years before the events in the novel, a teenager's death affects the lives of Jake and Kate, and in the present-time setting. they are still haunted by it. Then a murder occurs, disrupting the town's peaceful existence, and …

Book Review: Manfield's Book of Manly Men

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When the men's movement in Christianity started in the mid-90's with Promisekeepers, it was badly needed for me as I approached my 30's and entered married life. A few years later, I was introduced to John Eldredge's "Wild at Heart" as I became a father.

It's my stance that movements like these are needed, not because men need to assert their place as top of any hierarchy, but because many of our nation's and culture's troubles are caused by the failure of men to be who God called us to be, and to act as God has called us to act. Moreover, as one who grew up without anyone to model manhood for me, I have personally benefited from these books and teachings.

Now, 20 years later, it's likely that many who appreciated the men's movement may have concluded that all has been said that needs to be said; I don't share this point of view. I love the message of Wild at Heart. It was life-changing. But it did leave me at a place where I realize …

Book review -- Ragamuffin Gospel Bible: Meditations for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Brokenhearted

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Although I probably have too many bibles in my house, I had read just enough of Brennan Manning's writing to pique my curiosity about this new bible. Manning, who died last year, is best known for "The Ragamuffin Gospel", which is but one of many Manning books from which quotes, paragraphs, and statements were pulled for this devotional bible. 
The selected writings are, in many cases, perfect for each passage they accompany. Manning had a rare gift, and this bible is a perfect introduction to those who have never read his work before. This devotional accomplishes its purpose of providing excellent commentary alongside scripture. 
The closest thing to a negative, and it's a small one, is that the Ragamuffin Bible only comes in one translation: the NIV. 
The Booksneeze book review program  provided a copy of this book to me in exchange for an honest review.