A commendable guide for finding meaning after considering suicide—from the heart of a survivor.

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DESTINED TO LIVE, DESPITE ME

BIBLICAL TRUTHS FOR SUICIDE SURVIVORS

A suicide survivor shares her conviction that the Christian faith can overcome a suicidal past.

As a pregnant 14-year-old, Shanks felt she had nowhere to turn and attempted to end her life—but she survived. The ensuing kindness of her sister and of an older Christian woman who took her in led Shanks to realize that life was worth living. Looking back on her ordeal nearly three decades later, Shanks credits God for saving her life, changing her direction and sustaining her through the years. This book is an attempt to share her sense of hope and joy in the wake of near-tragedy. Shanks’ intended audience is suicide survivors—those who have attempted suicide and those who have considered it—and she addresses them from the heart. Chapter headings are drawn from Shanks’ suicidal thoughts, such as “No one truly cares about me!” and “Life is too hard, and suicide is my only escape!” Working from each of these desperate mindsets, Shanks discusses what brings a person to such a point and then provides a Christian answer to the problem, drawing extensively upon scripture. Shanks’ work is, in many ways, an evangelical primer on the Christian faith for the unbeliever or new believer, including an explanation of the Trinity, the basics of salvation theology and an exposition on the importance and role of scripture. The book’s trajectory shows readers that, through faith, they can make sense of, and rebuild, their lives. Some readers may be taken aback by the unapologetically evangelical tenor of the book, while others will be drawn to it through the sincerity of the author. Shanks is completely committed to her faith and to presenting Christianity to the reader in an evangelical manner. Though often unpolished, her writing is accessible and genuine in tenor.

A commendable guide for finding meaning after considering suicide—from the heart of a survivor.

Pub Date: June 14, 2010

ISBN: 978-0578054681

Page Count: 141

Publisher: Anchor Distributors

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2011

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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