An admirable guide for those seeking a greater depth of belief in God.

A REVELATION OF FAITH

A LOOK INTO WHAT FAITH IS AND WHAT FAITH CAN DO

A debut book offers a pastoral exploration of the meaning of Christian faith.

Faile explains that prior to his mother’s fatal battle with cancer, God revealed various definitions of faith to him. These disclosures, fleshed out with scriptural examples, form the framework for this brief work. The author utilizes short chapters, each starting with a relevant Bible passage, to provide a spiritual lesson. Each lesson includes a definition of faith, or at least a description of the work of devotion in the life of a believer. These are wide-ranging but truth-bearing: “Faith isn’t bound by what we see or believe but by what God sees in us and believes for us”; “Faith is believing God will do what you can’t”; “Faith comes by hearing and is strengthened by obeying,” to list only a few. The scriptural passages undergirding these delineations call to mind great heroes of faith, such as Elijah and Paul, as well as minor characters like the woman with a bleeding problem or the believing centurion. Faile brings up a number of very real issues of faith and continuing discipleship, including examining works resulting from spiritual belief, leaving one’s comfort zone, putting trust in God instead of in worldly things, and using devotion as a gateway to accepting God’s grace. Drawing on his background as a pastor, Faile is able to address authentic questions and problems with the benefit of extensive experience. His book is a completely accessible work for believers and spiritual seekers of any age. The author’s approach is thoroughly traditional and orthodox yet far from fundamentalist or judgmental in tone. The volume should be an especially worthwhile and simple read for newer believers who are still trying to grasp the meaning behind faith in an omnipotent God. It could even be seen as a helpful resource for other pastors and Christian educators struggling with how best to illustrate or lead discussions about faith.

An admirable guide for those seeking a greater depth of belief in God.

Pub Date: Dec. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5127-6973-9

Page Count: 108

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 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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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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