Devout Christians will relish these journallike passages of religious fervor coupled with relevant biblical passages and...


A quiet book of personal reflections on the joys of Christianity.

For Turner, no religious issue, be it finding God, casting out the devil, avoiding hell or plotting a path to heaven, is too big for a daily rumination. In her debut, “joy jots” and scriptural quotes bracket short vignettes about embracing joy and Christianity. Each segment contains a story and a lesson related to a biblical teaching, with episodes featuring puppies going through difficult times and the simple pleasure of a cleansing breath in a quiet house. More serious topics include the devastating loss of a child as seen through the eyes of a faithful Christian and finding joy in the knowledge that the child waits in heaven along with a grateful heart for the time it spent here on Earth. Perhaps the most poignant story dwells on a reflection concerning Jesus Christ’s sacrifice brought about by Turner seeing a curbside “free” sign. Although the author aims to reach a broad audience, the stories remain specifically Christian. One of the strangest topics begins by asking, “[W]hy do bad things happen to good people?” Rather than addressing the question, the author suggests that only sinners need dwell on such a puzzle; in an illogical twist, the counterquestion, “why do good things happen to bad people,” is presented as an odd reverse question. Although counterintuitive, such a question segues into further topics concerning evil in the world, which the author tackles with a surprisingly whimsical attitude. Throughout the book, infectious, genuine joy and abundant faith leap from the pages. In particular, readers who drink coffee at coffee shops will enjoy the segment about thwarting evil.

Devout Christians will relish these journallike passages of religious fervor coupled with relevant biblical passages and snippets of joyful mantras.

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-1490825045

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: July 11, 2014

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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