Rachel R. (A2JC4life) - Reviews

1 to 20 of 41 - Page:
The Best Freezer Cookbook: Freezer Friendly Recipes, Tips and Techniques
Review Date: 11/3/2006


I was not especially impressed with this book, overall, although I did copy a few (mostly potato) recipes from it.


Beyond Numbers: A Practical Guide to Teaching Math Biblically
Beyond Numbers: A Practical Guide to Teaching Math Biblically
Author: Katherine Loop
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 11/3/2006
Helpful Score: 1


A must-read for every Christian homeschooler. Miss Loop, herself homeschool graduate, points out to us that nothing is neutral. Thus, mathematics taught as "neutral" actually sets forth an unbiblical worldview - that things can exist apart from God. She offers some basic principles to help you teach math with biblical foundations. The only thing that would make this better is suggestions for teaching specific mathematical concepts from a biblical worldview.


Candle in the Darkness (Refiner's Fire, Bk 1)
Candle in the Darkness (Refiner's Fire, Bk 1)
Author: Lynn Austin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 132
Review Date: 11/3/2006


This was a disappointment. It is a Christian historical fiction novel set at the time of the Civil War. It did a good job of portraying both Northern and Southern perspectives, but clearly (and strongly) favored the North, likening the South to Egypt and Pharaoh and painting them as "unChristian" or "ungodly."


Celebrating Biblical Feasts: In Your Home or Church
Celebrating Biblical Feasts: In Your Home or Church
Author: Martha Zimmerman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 11/3/2006
Helpful Score: 2


While this book did contain some good ideas, overall I was not impressed. Only the Levitical feasts are covered (no Purim or Hanukkah). This is fine, but I would have expected some explanation of WHY Purim is omitted, at least. The book falls short of being either "free" of Jewish tradition, or of being Jewish: the formal Jewish "flavor" of the celebrations is kept, along with many of the extra-biblical Jewish ceremonies, and yet blessings are changed and other traditions are added. The author does not make it clear which components are altered (or even THAT they're altered - I only know because I'm slightly familiar with the holidays already).

The layout of each chapter is difficult to follow, as the biblical reasons for celebrating, the traditional means of celebration, and the author's ideas are all jumbled together. I was also not crazy about the fact that several Bible translations were used and most of them were very loose ones - even some of the blessings and other parts of the ceremonies are quotes from paraphrases.

If you have no desire to use the book as a reference and simply want someone to tell you exactly what to do, you might appreciate the book. It also addresses the Passover Seder more thoroughly than some other books (although the ceremony and the reason behind each element are in different parts of the book, making it difficult to decide whether you want to incorporate them all). If you are looking for a solid introduction to the reasons for the holidays, for the historical means of celebrating each holiday, for a more "relaxed" idea of Christian celebration, for a thoroughly Jewish treatment of the holidays, and/or for something which incorporates Purim and/or Hanukkah, keep looking.


The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy That Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease
Review Date: 2/9/2007


Wow; what an eye-opener! This book should be required reading for EVERY American. Chapter by chapter, Ravnskov systematically proves that the government, major medical organizations (like the American Heart Association), and the media have been lying to the public for years regarding the "danger" of cholesterol. There is no proof that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol levels. There is no proof that dietary cholesterol raises blood cholesterol levels. There is no proof that high blood cholesterol contributes to heart disease. Don't believe me? Read the book! Data don't lie, but scientists do. In study after study, the results were warped, portions conveniently omitted, and/or summaries just plain invented to convince readers of what the scientists WANTED to see. (A quick comparison of the graphs on pages 73 and 79 will clearly illustrate this data manipulation.) If you really care about your health, you owe it to yourself to read this book.


Christian Unschooling : Growing Your Children in the Freedom of Christ
Review Date: 11/3/2006
Helpful Score: 1


This book was written to confront the idea that "Christian unschooling" is an oxymoron. According to a traditional definition of unschooling, I believe it is. However, the author's notion of unschooling seems to be unSTRUCTURED, as opposed to unDIRECTED. The focus is on facilitating learning, rather than stuffing facts into a child's head. Overall, good stuff!

For more information and/or discussion, see: http://blog.homeworksbest.net/archives/5


The Continental Congress: Americas Forgotten Government
Review Date: 11/3/2006


This is an interesting book for reference. It covers an era not usually well-addressed, containing both primary texts and biographical information. It is, however, in dire need of a better editor.


Cook-a-Doodle-Doo
Cook-a-Doodle-Doo
Author: Susan Stevens Crummel, Janet Stevens
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 11/3/2006


My preschooler picked this out at the library and I am hooked! The story revolves around Big Brown Rooster, the great-grandson of Little Red Hen. He has become bored with chicken feed and wants some real food. Rooster locates his great-grandmother's cookbook and a few assistants and goes to work. The story quickly becomes silly as the kitchen helpers misunderstand the instructions at every point of the cooking process. Rooster sets them straight, though, and the result is a yummy strawberry shortcake (recipe included). Every spread in the cooking section of the story is accompanied by a sidebar explaining the relevant step of the process. These sidebars cover ingredients, measuring, turning on the oven, etc. The fun story and delightful illustrations will draw children in, but Cook-a-Doodle-Doo is more than just a story. This is a terrific introduction to cooking, and I will be adding it to my homeschool library.


The C.S. Lewis Chronicles : The Indispensable Biography of the Creator of Narnia Full of Little-Known Facts, Events and Miscellany
Review Date: 11/3/2006


While this is very boring to sit and read through, due to its layout, the content is interesting. It's set up as a timeline of Lewis' life. I especially like this quote: "I never had the experience of looking for God. It was the other way around; He was the hunter (or so it seemed to me) and I was the deer. He stalked me like a redskin, took unerring aim, and fired. And I am very thankful that that is how the first (conscious) meeting occurred. It forearms one against subsequent fears that the whole thing was only wish fulfilment. Something one didn't wish for can hardly be that." I also got a kick out of the the note (May 2, 1941) that The Screwtape Letters were originally published in a religous serial publication, and one reader canceled his subscription because, "much of the advice given in these letters seemed to him not only erroneous but positively diabolical."


The Decorated Page: Journals, Scrapbooks & Albums Made Simply Beautiful
Review Date: 11/3/2006
Helpful Score: 2


This book is chock-full of very practical suggestions for journaling creatively. I took copious notes.


Desire and Duty : A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Review Date: 11/3/2006


The authors certainly seem to have done their homework on the time period - the endnotes are extensive. (But who expected endnotes in a novel, anyway?) Unfortunately, the endnotes are the only interesting part of the book. While the story may have been good (I don't know; I didn't get that far.), the writing was awful. The characters were unbelievable and did not resemble Austen's characters of the same names. The dialogue was stilted and fake. Descriptions were forced. All in all, I found this very amateurish. I could not "get lost" in the story or "feel" the characters because the poor writing continually drew my attention. After several chapters, it was simply too painful to continue reading and I returned the book to the library. I do not believe I have EVER read such a poorly-written story; if possible, I would give it 0 stars.


Dinner with a Perfect Stranger: An Invitation Worth Considering
Dinner with a Perfect Stranger: An Invitation Worth Considering
Author: David Gregory
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 109
Review Date: 11/3/2006


This story seemed to be something of a repository for the author's favorite arguments in favor of Christianity, but some of them were interesting. Not Sovereigntist (/Calvinist/Reformed).


Eat Well for Fifty Dollars a Week
Eat Well for Fifty Dollars a Week
Author: Rhonda Barfield
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 11/3/2006


This was very good, although I didn't really get anything new out of it, personally. Please note that, since prices have gone up considerably since the printing of this book, you will NOT be able to serve the author's menus for $50/week. (The new version of book has a different title, incorporating "$12/day," which comes out to $84/week.)


Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Author: Lynne Truss
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 274
Review Date: 11/3/2006
Helpful Score: 1


This book about punctuation is hilarious! If you are type who is driven crazy by signs like "20 items or less," you have got to read this book.


Review Date: 1/5/2007
Helpful Score: 1


This is a very quick read. It consists primarily of basic concepts to look for as positive or negative indicators of a text's worldview (primarily history/economics texts). Definitely worth having around if you want to study TRUE American history!


Femininity
Femininity
Author: Susan Brownmiller
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 11/3/2006


I found the title of this book a bit misleading. Webster's defines femininity as, "the quality or nature of the female sex." Ms. Brownmiller's book is not really about innate femaleness; it's about cultural expectations of women, which are sometimes NOT natural qualities. In fact, that is the very point of the book, which I did find interesting despite its purpose having been different than I expected.

Conservative shoppers will want to be aware that Ms. Brownmiller is firmly and blatantly evolutionist, and that coarse language is used throughout the book. I am, myself, a conservative evangelical Christian and, while I did not always agree with the author's reasoning or her conclusions, I found her observations fascinating and quite accurate. (Much to my surprise, she clearly pointed out that some differences between men and women are, indeed, innate.) _Femininity_ is, essentially, an essay on the subject of cultural expectations of women down through the ages, and the effects of these expectations on women in general and the author in particular. While at times these expectations have had logical ties to biological fact, many times they have had entirely external origins. Some are downright ridiculous.

Unfortunately, the text is a bit dated and I believe that some of the author's comments are somewhat inaccurate, in consequence. (As a stay-at-home-mom, I am quite confident that society's expectation is NOT that a woman should "profess as an article of faith that her husband and children come first"; my decision is far too frequently persecuted for that to be the case.) All in all, I found _Femininity_ to be a fascinating book.


The Frantic Woman's Guide to Life: A Year's Worth of Hints, Tips, and Tricks
Review Date: 11/3/2006
Helpful Score: 3


There is some good stuff here, although very little of it is original. The book is arranged by month (with an extra section at the beginning and one at the end). This would be very good for anyone who would actually work her way through the book over the course of the year.


God's Appointed Times: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Celebrating the Biblical Holidays
Review Date: 11/3/2006


The structure of this book makes it exceptionally easy to follow (and to reference). Each holiday (including Sabbath, Purim, and Hanukkah, as well as the Levitical feasts) gets its own chapter, divided into five sections: historical background, traditional Jewish observance, mentions in the New Testament, prophetic significance, and a guide for believers.

In the first several sections of each chapter, the author's point of view as a Messianic Jew (a Jewish believer) adds a unique depth to the information offered. It is a truly Jewish perspective of the Jewish celebration and historical background, and his explanations of the New Testament significance of each holiday are exciting and easy to understand.

The whole book is, overall, very concise yet quite thorough. Very practical suggestions are given for celebrating each holiday, including recipes and craft ideas. (Although there are MORE practical suggestions in other books. Also, the craft ideas are mostly what I consider "junky" crafts, but the recipes look good.) The author is very down-to-earth and non-dogmatic about celebrating the holidays the "right" way, understanding and communicating that Christians who celebrate these holidays do so for their richness, not out of a lawful obligation. The "Hebraisms" are all clearly defined so terminology is not confusing.

I would like to have seen a glossary, to corral all of the Jewish words in one place for easy reference. A more in-depth explanation of how each detail of the Last Supper fits into the Passover seder would also have been appreciated. However, overall, I was very favorably impressed by this book and would highly recommend it as a first - or only - book about the Biblical feasts.


Grains of Truth, Using Whole Grains the Easy Way
Grains of Truth, Using Whole Grains the Easy Way
Author: Donna G. Spann
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 11/3/2006


Mrs. Spann provides a wealth of nutritional and historical information about twelve different grains (and grain substitutes). This information is fascinating and wonderful for a fuller understanding of grains. The author's writing style is very down-to-earth and personable. Unfortunately, I did not find the book to be a practical guide to "using whole grains," as the subtitle promises. It was not as comprehensive as I would have liked, omitting at least three of the grains/substitutes I'm aware of (quinoa, teff, and milo/sorghum). In addition, although recipes are given at the end of each chapter, I did not view them as adequate treatment of the use of these grains: they would not enable the average home cook to experiment with a variety of grains. Many of the recipes which are included are copied (with permission!) from cookbooks I already own. Some readers will also want to know that the book is written from a distinctly Christian perspective.


The Healing Power of Garlic : The Enlightened Person's Guide to Nature's Most Versatile Medicinal Plant (Healing Power)
Review Date: 11/3/2006
Helpful Score: 3


An excellent book! The first several chapters talk about the history of garlic and serve as something of an introduction to traditional systems of medicine (such as Ayurvedic medicine). Then there are chapters of scientific studies. Finally, various garlic preparations are described and instructions given for treating various ailments with garlic. This is very thorough.


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