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Friday, January 31, 2014

Balance of January

During the month of January, I reviewed the following:

Books:
- "A Study in Scarlet" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Read my review.
- "Eat Like Jesus" by Andrew Hoy. Read my review.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Book "Eat Like Jesus" by Andrew Hoy

About the Book: "Eat Like Jesus" offers a simple, scientific, and comprehensive Bible-based dining theology, examining and explaining what the Bible teaches about food and eating.
Drawing heavily from the Bible texts, "Eat Like Jesus" puts food-related topics such as veganism, kosher diets, cleansing rituals, and animal physiology (including diet, hygiene, diseases, etc.) into proper perspective, harmonizing New Testament accounts of Jesus, Peter, and Paul with Old Testament teachings of Moses.
"Eat Like Jesus" uniquely reveals why the first law in the Garden of Eden was dietary, why Noah took extra pairs of certain animal species into the Ark, what kind of animals did Peter saw in his vision, and what Jesus really meant as he "called all foods clean".

About the Author: Andrew Hoy worked as a professional engineer for over 15 years. Searching for greater meaning, he embarked on African missionary work, where he began questioning traditional church doctrines. Only after moving to Israel to study the Scriptures did he find answers, along with a passion for discipleship and an authentic understanding of the Great Commission.

My Review: This is a remarkable book, where the author did an incredible work of exegesis to give us a completely new perspective on the message God gave Adam in the Gardens of Eden,  and later to Noah after the Great Flood, as He gave His blessing to them to multiply and reign over all his creation, including what they should eat. Being a theologian, I personally know the difficulties of studying the original text in Hebrew of the Old Testament texts and figure out the correct interpretation of what was written. Kudos to Mr. Andrew Hoy! There is a lot of research and study involved in the production of this book. His analyses provides clear explanation on kosher diets and much more. I highly recommend this book to any reader that is interested on a good research done by the author and wants to increase his/her understanding on a completely new perspective provided on food-related topics on the Scriptures.
I received this book from the author for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book "A Study in Scarlet" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

In the process of remaking our blog to a brand new domain, the archived post has been transferred to BooksCrier.com.

About the Book: In 1887, a young Arthur Conan Doyle published A Study in Scarlet, thus creating an international icon in the quick-witted sleuth Sherlock Holmes. In this, the first Holmes mystery, the detective introduces himself to Dr. John H. Watson with the puzzling line "You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive." And so begins Watson's, and the world's, fascination with this enigmatic character." Doyle presents two equally perplexing mysteries for Holmes to solve: one a murder that takes place in the shadowy outskirts of London, in a locked room where the haunting word Rache is written upon the wall, the other a kidnapping set in the American West. Quickly picking up the "scarlet thread of murder running through the colorless skein of life," Holmes does not fail at finding the truth - and making literary history.

About the Author: Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born on 22 May 1859 at 11 Picardy Place, Edinburgh, Scotland. From 1876 to 1881, he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, including a period working in the town of Aston (now a district of Birmingham) and in Sheffield, as well as in Shropshire at Ruyton-XI-Towns. While studying, Doyle began writing short stories. His earliest extant fiction, "The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe", was unsuccessfully submitted to Blackwood's Magazine. His first published piece "The Mystery of Sasassa Valley", a story set in South Africa, was printed in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal on 6 September 1879. On 20 September 1879, he published his first non-fiction article, "Gelsemium as a Poison" in the British Medical Journal. In 1882 he joined former classmate George Turnavine Budd as his partner at a medical practice in Plymouth, but their relationship proved difficult, and Doyle soon left to set up an independent practice. Arriving in Portsmouth in June of that year with less than £10 (£900 today) to his name, he set up a medical practice at 1 Bush Villas in Elm Grove, Southsea. The practice was initially not very successful. While waiting for patients, Doyle again began writing stories and composed his first novels, The Mystery of Cloomber, not published until 1888, and the unfinished Narrative of John Smith, which would go unpublished until 2011. He amassed a portfolio of short stories including "The Captain of the Pole-Star" and "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement", both inspired by Doyle's time at sea, the latter of which popularized the mystery of the Mary Celeste and added fictional details such as the perfect condition of the ship (which had actually taken on water by the time it was discovered) and its boats remaining on board (the one boat was in fact missing) that have come to dominate popular accounts of the incident. Doyle struggled to find a publisher for his work. His first significant piece, A Study in Scarlet, was taken by Ward Lock Co. on 20 November 1886, giving Doyle £25 for all rights to the story. The piece appeared later that year in the Beeton's Christmas Annual and received good reviews in The Scotsman and the Glasgow Herald. The story featured the first appearance of Watson and Sherlock Holmes, partially modeled after his former university teacher Joseph Bell. Doyle wrote to him, "It is most certainly to you that I owe Sherlock Holmes ... Round the center of deduction and inference and observation which I have heard you inculcate I have tried to build up a man." Robert Louis Stevenson was able, even in faraway Samoa, to recognize the strong similarity between Joseph Bell and Sherlock Holmes: "My compliments on your very ingenious and very interesting adventures of Sherlock Holmes. ... Can this be my old friend Joe Bell?" Other authors sometimes suggest additional influences—for instance, the famous Edgar Allan Poe character C. Auguste Dupin. A sequel to A Study in Scarlet was commissioned and The Sign of the Four appeared in Lippincott's Magazine in February 1890, under agreement with the Ward Lock company. Doyle felt grievously exploited by Ward Lock as an author new to the publishing world and he left them. Short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes were published in the Strand Magazine. Doyle first began to write for the 'Strand' from his home at 2 Upper Wimpole Street, now marked by a memorial plaque. In this period, however, Holmes was not his sole subject and in 1893, he collaborated with J.M. Barrie on the libretto of Jane Annie. Doyle was found clutching his chest in the hall of Windlesham Manor, his house in Crowborough, East Sussex, on 7 July 1930. He died of a heart attack at the age of 71. His last words were directed toward his wife: "You are wonderful." At the time of his death, there was some controversy concerning his burial place, as he was avowedly not a Christian, considering himself a Spiritualist. He was first buried on 11 July 1930 in Windlesham rose garden. He was later reinterred together with his wife in Minstead churchyard in the New Forest, Hampshire. Carved wooden tablets to his memory and to the memory of his wife are held privately and are inaccessible to the public. That inscription reads, "Blade straight / Steel true / Arthur Conan Doyle / Born May 22nd 1859 / Passed On 7th July 1930." The epitaph on his gravestone in the churchyard reads, in part: "Steel true/Blade straight/Arthur Conan Doyle/Knight/Patriot, Physician, and man of letters". Undershaw, the home near Hindhead, Haslemere, south of London, that Doyle had built and lived in between October 1897 and September 1907, was a hotel and restaurant from 1924 until 2004. It was then bought by a developer and stood empty while conservationists and Doyle fans fought to preserve it. In 2012 the High Court ruled that the redevelopment permission be quashed because proper procedure had not been followed. A statue honours Doyle at Crowborough Cross in Crowborough, where he lived for 23 years. There is also a statue of Sherlock Holmes in Picardy Place, Edinburgh, close to the house where Doyle was born.

My Review: After returning injured from Afghanistan war, Dr. Watson finds through common friends a roommate in London, to share the expenses of a studio. His room mate is no other than Sherlock Homes, a man with estrange habits, that works as a consultant detective. He is asked by detectives from Scotland Yard to help them in solving a double murder in the outskirts of London. Through reasoning and observation he links a love story followed by another double murder that happened in Utah, United States, to this current murder case, to come up brilliantly with the identity of the assassin. The idea is fantastic and the intertwining of the two stories is very well executed. No wonder why this is a classic!
I bought this book from amazon.com in its electronic version. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment.