Rich scriptural commentary with real-life relevance that offers hope, direction, and encouragement.

THE OTHER SIDE

A debut book analyzes two well-known biblical stories to address the issue of survival during life’s most difficult trials.

In the first part of this volume, Ramey takes readers on a verse-by-verse exploration of Matthew 14:22-36, the account of Jesus’ disciples facing a violent storm. They witness Jesus walking on water, calming the sea, and eventually reaching the other side. The second part moves into the Old Testament with the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt and their journey to the Promised Land. Ramey has written this work using the foundation of his own excruciating tempests in life, most notably his sister’s battle with cancer. His insights about these scriptural passages are focused on enduring hardships. Some of his premises include: God lets individuals experience tribulation so they can discover his faithful character and learn to trust him; “miracles happen on both sides of the storm”; and God is always “working, moving, orchestrating things, and preparing you for what is yet to come.” The author also advises readers: “God is healing, deliverance from depression, restoration in relationships, heart mending. God is good, and He is reaching out to you. Cling to Him.” The quality of Ramey’s writing is superb—rich with meaning, easily comprehensible, and highly engaging. He is able to extract profound meaning from every verse, employing the details available. He also takes the creative liberty to annotate the ancient setting from his own perspective, which truly brings the Scriptures to life; there is an organized and balanced harmony between scriptural commentary and present-day application that is ambiguous enough to pertain to a wide variety of situations but structured enough so as not to lose readers. The book is also interspersed with novel and memorable one-liners like “God, I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow” and “God loves an underdog story and a good comeback. We can never place a period where God has placed a comma.”

Rich scriptural commentary with real-life relevance that offers hope, direction, and encouragement.

Pub Date: March 23, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5127-7974-5

Page Count: 140

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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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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