Who was Jesus and what did he preach? Does it match the gopsels message? How did Christianity become so popular? These are amongst the questions that Reza Aslan answers in this book that attempts to find the most plausible history to Jesus and the story of Christianity.
Most of those interested in this book know how it turns out so no spoilers to worry about, and so I will give you the short answers proposed....
Jesus was an itenerant preacher-healer that took over John the Baptist's mission upon John's death. This mission challenged the Jewish leadership and Roman rule. Jesus preached of a new world order that would come in his lifetime. He preached this message to the unsophisticated and poor and found a good following. His mission climaxed when he entered the temple at Jerusalem and kicked over tables and unleashed animals. At this point he became a criminal wanted for sedition, and for his sedition he was ultimately executed.
His message was not of peace and love to everyone rather it was about how the Jewish world was corrupt and needed clensing. It was a message to Jews for Jews. In the years after his death much of what he taught was changed to make it more palitable for new converts and to smooth over relations with the ruling class. Early church leaders like Paul completed hi-jacked Jesus's message and changed it so that he was God not man and so that gentiles were the primary evangelical target.
I have read a lot of religious material both from a faith perspective and from the historical perspecitive. Nothing I have ever read in this subject area has been as gripping as this narrative was to me. I really appreciate the context that was drawn around Jesus's life and the answers given to many of the inconsistencies in the new testament. I realize that there are other answers out there but this book took the simplest approach and most plausible I have ever read to explaining Jesus. The only downside was that the author would often jump around in history by many years which was a little confusing at first. I also wish he had devoted more time to the resurrection. That said I like the pacing and the length which helped this from becoming boring like so many other books on the subject.
I wanted to hear the back story of Edward Snowden. I wanted to hear about his life before, during, and after his disclosures. Snowden is discussed in the 1st quarter of the book but even this is superficial. The rest of the book discusses privacy and the NSA documents. I found this repetitive and boring. I also felt that Glenn Greenwald painted himself very favorably and so, to me, this book rang a little self serving and preachy.
The story follows mostly Libby and her quest for the truth of her family's murder. A lot of this story was told in flashback, and I loved how the tension slowly ratcheted up as the characters hurdled towards their fate. This isn't an action thriller or a mystery as such. I felt like it was more of a personal transformation story with elements of thriller and mystery woven into it. I liked it. True, the story is gory and gruesome at times, but I doubt you'll put this book down. The author is very skilled at pulling the reader in and taking them to dark places.
This is a story about the spiritual awakening of a fussy guy (Otto) with everything going for him. Circumstances align for Otto to take a cross country trip with a guru, and we follow Otto's transformation over the course of the trip.
I like the premise, and I like the idea of presenting spiritual lessons in story form. However, I found everything too easy for Otto - he had nothing at risk. The biggest challenge that Otto faced during the trip was a yoga session, which was so much for Otto that afterwards he immediately scheduled a massage session....you get the idea. By the end of the story Otto started to get on my nerves. That being said, I liked the guru's lessons. I suspect everyone will like the guru's lessons since they are pretty universal and don't offer anything too difficult to consider.
Gone Girl is the BEST mystery/thriller I have ever read! Wow. Wow! WOW! This book held me firmly in its grips from cover to cover and now still haunts me!
Great Book! Best book I've listened to in a while!
In ways it reminded me of Hitchcock's "Rear Window" and also the film "Memento."
Three narrators kept things from becoming too confusing - though at first it was still a little confusing.
It was hard to put this book down!
Tim Conway is about the luckiest guy in the world and he knows it. "What's so Funny" is comprised of vignettes of Conway's life woven together to form a life story.
The stories were all very positive and overall had such strong tones of irrepressible optimism that at times this book felt more like a performance and less like honest sharing. Tim Conway is not shy with the praise of others and at times this too seemed heavy handed.
In total, this is a fairly tepid memoir that will offend absolutely nobody. This can be good or bad depending on what you are looking for. I found this book to be "laugh out loud" once but mostly it just mildly amused me.
I am a little too young to have appreciated most of the characters and the stories here. I would say that this book would be most loved by folks that were middle aged in the 60s and 70s.
This is a wonderful book. 1776 was an amazing year and the author captures the events and action with so much detail that its like he was there. I learned a lot about the revolutionary war - things I would have never learned in school. One thing that I found particularly interesting was how there were so many coincidences leading to wins or gains for the continental army. It was amazing how many times things looked like they were just about done for Washington's army only to see them turn around (sometimes overnight). I think that 1776 surprised everyone - including Washington himself. It was a great lesson in never giving up! Great read and I highly recommend for anyone - not just history buffs.
Seems like people love the Dave Robicheaux mysteries but I don't see it.
This book had all the get-up-and-go of a Mississippi barge during a drought. Sure, there was action but it all seemed gratuitous. To me the mystery almost seemed secondary to this story. I didn't feel like there was a plot force driving all the characters towards a conclusion. It was just Dave and his pal Clete meandering around and beating up bad guys. Speaking of "bad", the class-hate (rich=bad) is so cliche these days that it often drives all mystery right out of mysteries.
I did like the descriptions of Louisiana and the people. I also loved the narration. Having said this, the novel was too long for me and not much fun. I only recommend it to Robicheaux fans. For me...it was my first and last of Monsieur Robicheaux. To you sir, I must say adieu.
Gorky Park is a detective novel set in the former Soviet Union. It is a dense book with many characters and a plot that seems to plod along - never boring but also never truly exciting. What made this story good, however, was the author's imagery. So many times I thought, "Wow that is a great description!" Also, the author's knowledge and understanding of the Soviet Union seemed very deep. I only hope that the bleakness described has been been lifted since the story was written. It was a fascinating novel if for no other reason than to get a glimpse of this.
The low part of this book, which lead to the title of this review, was the narration. The narrator was more a reader and less a performer. He needed better timing, better intonation, and better character voices for this story to work as an audio book. I felt lost sometimes in scene transitions and in dialogue.
This is a clever book in so many ways and it attempts to confront so many social and philosophical questions - questions all the way up to the meaning of life.
I read this story in high school and remember it being pretty good, so I decided to read it again. What I found was a much different book. Now I know why there were rumors about it being provocative. I must have read the cleaned up version, with none of the main character's sexual hang-ups. This book is tragic, sad, and thought provoking. I recommend it for a book club.
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