An uplifting, approachable, and heartfelt work of apologetics.


Reencounter With Jesus

An appeal to readers to seek a relationship with Jesus Christ.

In this solidly evangelical work, Hernandez (Take Your Sandals Off, 2015, etc.) weaves his own personal story into a broad-based, positive call for Christian belief. Although it’s rudimentary at its core, the work is filled with simple meaning, as the author approaches readers with honesty and humility, encouraging people who only know of Jesus to come to truly know him personally. He points out that most people have had exposure to Jesus’ story, whether through cultural references, family, or church attendance. However, these are only encounters with the Lord, the author says, and they must be superseded by a “reencounter” in which the believer fully commits. Although he doesn’t name specific denominations, Hernandez tells of being raised in a church where the study of Scripture was not valued and where calcified religion took the place of vibrant faith. He seems to aim this book, in many instances, toward readers who have experienced similar churchgoing backgrounds. For instance, he discusses a cousin who would not embrace religion because, in the author’s view, it would have forced him to also give up a life laced with sinful behaviors. The book addresses such topics as God’s love as a source of protection and provision; Jesus as the true source of forgiveness; getting to know Jesus on a personal level; and abiding peacefully in God’s love. But although Hernandez alludes to judgment for nonbelievers, he focuses more upon God’s grace and his welcoming spirit. As a result, he effectively presents his view of God as a loving entity who stands ready to forgive any past sin if a believer approaches him in true faith and humility. A running theme in his work is the idea of putting one’s trust in God and not in people, cultures, or even mere churches; the author has found that “People have made the good look bad and the bad look good.” Overall, it’s clear that Hernandez is willing to be vulnerable for the sake of his readers, and his personal style is a plus for a book of this kind. As a result, this work will be valuable to new believers or to those returning to a life of faith.

An uplifting, approachable, and heartfelt work of apologetics.

Pub Date: June 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5127-4668-6

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2016

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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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An informative, nostalgic evocation of a special urban dining experience.


An account of once-popular New York restaurants that had a rich social and cultural history.

“Since, by choice or historical necessity, exile and travel were defining aspects of Jewish life, somewhere a Jew was always eating out,” observes cartoonist and MacArthur fellow Katchor (Illustration/Parsons, the New School; Hand-Drying in America, 2013, etc.) in his exhaustively researched, entertaining, and profusely illustrated history of Jewish dining preferences and practices. The Garden of Eden, he notes wryly, was “the first private eating place open to the public,” serving as a model for all the restaurants that came after: cafes, cafeterias, buffets, milk halls, lunch counters, diners, delicatessens, and, especially, dairy restaurants, a favorite destination among New York Jews, which Katchor remembers from his wanderings around the city as a young adult. Dairy restaurants, because they served no meat, attracted diners who observed kosher laws; many boasted a long menu that included items such as mushroom cutlet, blintzes, broiled fish, vegetarian liver, and fried eggplant steak. Attracted by the homey appearance and “forlorn” atmosphere of these restaurants, Katchor set out to uncover their history, engaging in years of “aimless reading in the libraries of New York and on the pages of the internet,” where he found menus, memoirs, telephone directories, newspaper ads, fiction, and food histories that fill the pages of his book with colorful anecdotes, trivia, and food lore. Although dairy restaurants were popular with Jewish immigrants, their advent in the U.S. predated immigrants’ demand for Eastern European meatless dishes. The milk hall, often located in parks, resorts, or spas, gained popularity throughout 19th-century Europe. Franz Kafka, for example, treated himself to a glass of sour milk from a milk pavilion after a day in a Prague park. Jews were not alone in embracing vegetarianism. In Europe and America, shunning meat was inspired by several causes, including utopian socialism, which sought to distance itself from “the beef-eating aristocracy”; ethical preferences; and health concerns. A meatless diet relieved digestive problems, many sufferers found.

An informative, nostalgic evocation of a special urban dining experience.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8052-4219-5

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Schocken

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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