Useful guidance for the spiritual seeker willing to work.

CHAT WITH GOD

40 DAYS PRAYER JOURNAL

A loose, honest guide to prayer.

In this slim volume, Webster discusses the importance of prayer and presents the reader with a four-part method she calls “ACTS”: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. The book begins with an explanation of these practices, peppered with examples from the Bible and Webster’s life. Each chapter ends with nearly identical sets of group discussion questions that focus on the effectiveness of these practices, the reader’s current satisfaction level with the particular practice, the pitfalls the reader encounters while practicing ACTS and a short paragraph of directed evangelizing. Each chapter also ends with a “Notes” section that is a fill-in-the-blank quiz about what Webster has written in the chapter, complete with answer key in the back of the book. The prose itself is stilted and jumps disjointedly from one point to the next. The second half of the book consists of workbook pages for readers to record their progress with the ACTS system over 40 days, as well as a space for self-reflection and an “Accountability” section to record their daily Bible readings. There is also section in which to record “Answered Prayers” and additional self-reflection space following the worksheets. The entire book is peppered with biblical quotes and suggested readings, including the journal pages, which provide fodder for reflection but occasionally break the flow of the text. Despite this, Webster provides good guidance for the often loose and daunting task of daily prayer, especially in regard to the Accountability section of the journal pages. Readers willing to work through clunky prose will find a writer and teacher who earnestly wishes to help people get closer to God. Those serious about improving their prayer life will certainly benefit from ACTS and from Webster’s positive message.

Useful guidance for the spiritual seeker willing to work.

Pub Date: March 23, 2009

ISBN: 978-0615283739

Page Count: 150

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: April 7, 2011

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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 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

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THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS

AND OTHER ESSAYS

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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