A thoughtful, soothing book of religious thoughts and affirmations.


A Christian daily devotional for a calendar year.

Philip’s substantial nonfiction debut has its roots in a Facebook page, “Daily Food for Soul and Spirit,” that she created in 2016 with the aim of providing Christian readers with daily reflections on Scripture and their personal faith. The book begins with an entry dated Jan. 1, and in it, and the 364 that follow, the author offers general observations—sometimes about the general time of year, the season, or a specific occasion—before broadening her themes and grounding them in the New Testament. Often, Philip asks questions of readers directly, as in May 28’s entry: “What is your greatest priority? Is it material or spiritual? What are you working towards?” The tone of many queries is one of gentle exhortation, with Philip consistently urging her readers to renew their faith and remember their commitments: “Let Christ be your priority,” she writes in the entry for Jan. 23. “He will direct your life and meet your needs.” The author’s prose throughout is smooth and invitingly lucid, and her calls to her readers are always encouraging and empathetic even when her concerns are pointed: “Let the warning or concern of another brethren be an opportunity for you to perform a self-assessment,” she writes in May 3’s entry. “Ask yourself, ‘Was my action in keeping with God’s Word?’ ” The literary device of a daily devotional calendar is a tried and tested one in Christian literature, and Philip’s take on it is warm and generous, providing readers with a wide, sometimes-unpredictable range of reflections on faith. They may occasionally present some doctrinal hurdles for some Christian denominations, as when Philip bluntly writes, “We are saved by grace, and not by our works!” But in general, the tone is broad enough—and certainly sympathetic enough—to include many of the Christian faithful, and it’s a book to which they’ll likely return often. 

A thoughtful, soothing book of religious thoughts and affirmations.

Pub Date: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-973617-57-0

Page Count: 426

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?



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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet