Packs a large amount of spiritual understanding into a small number of pages.

READ REVIEW

Abundant Life and Loving God

LET GOD CAPTURE YOUR HEART

A brief autobiographical self-help book about Christianity and seeking a relationship with God.

Drawing on his time in the business world, Wander, in his nonfiction debut, urges fellow Christians to adopt a cardinal rule from that world: “The customer is job #1”—“If the customer calls, you stop what you’re doing and answer the phone,” because they’re more important than your bosses or your other duties. In Wander’s conception of Christian faith, God is the customer, and Wander sees in many Christians a decided neglect of that relationship. “Are we willing to cancel even one thing in our schedules to be with God,” he asks, “or does God lose out if there is any conflict?” The deceptively simple idea of spending time with God is the heart of Wander’s brief faith meditation in these pages. He looks squarely at the large numbers of professed believers who believe an hour’s attendance at church each week discharges their duties toward their Creator. “How can we expect to know and love God,” he points out, “if we spend so little time each week in seeking Him?” In the course of his book, Wander proposes several ways his readers can increase the time they spend in that seeking: making friends among other churchgoers, reading Christian books, and even listening to Christian radio stations, as well as more spiritual exercises, like being grateful for God’s gifts or making a more concerted effort to love others (also on this list is a suggestion many of his nonfundamentalist readers will find puzzling: to study and profess creationism, rejecting “Darwin’s false theory”). He rejects the “prosperity gospel” idea of “Perceiving God as a heavenly Santa or a cash machine” and instead paints a portrait of a God who merely wants a relationship with his people, even though he’s given them the free will to reject such a relationship.

Packs a large amount of spiritual understanding into a small number of pages.

Pub Date: May 17, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4917-6192-2

Page Count: 78

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2015

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 48 LAWS OF POWER

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?

No Comments Yet

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more