Review: The Gospel of John: The New Daily Study Bible

The Gospel of John: The New Daily Study Bible
The Gospel of John: The New Daily Study Bible by William Barclay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Again, read this in tandem with Michael Card’s Biblical Imagination commentary. Each author was helpful; together they were powerful.

Barclay’s insights into the vocabulary and background of the books is always impressive. He explains away rather a lot of the elements, but does not impose his views.

Now, for the hard part: Having worked through the four gospels, which title next? Since these have been part of my morning reading, I guess I have a day to decide!

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Review: Guardian of Lies

Guardian of Lies
Guardian of Lies by Steve Martini
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s been a while since I looked at a Paul Madriani novel, and then I picked up the one two after this at the library. I quickly put it aside and found the intervening novels.

This was good enough, not nearly the legal thrillers of earlier in the series, and I am reading the next ones, but I’m not sure I buy the defense attorney turned national security operative (no further spoilerish elements, I promise).

And now, back to the next book in the series….

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Not sure if it’s because I have a lazy mind (third sentence, penultimate paragraph), but quite enjoyed this. Thanks, Carol.

Originally posted on Stumbling Blocks and Stepping Stones:

The waitress for our table was extolling a shrimp dish they offered. “O, no thanks,” I said, looking like I didn’t want to be poisoned. “You can’t eat shrimp?” Her expression indicated she thought I was very odd. “Too bad. I’m so sorry!” Although I assured her I had lived many happy and satisfying years without shrimp, she walked away shaking her head, unconvinced.

In the same way, when I say that I have not turned on the TV in months, I am looked at as being really odd. I don’t fit the norm. How can I live or enjoy life without chillin’ in front of the tube? Odd, indeed. I know there are those who have the set on almost 24/7, who eat, sleep, baby sit the children and make love by its flickering light. But five minutes of its noise, its subliminal message, is all it takes to…

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My self-assessed book nerd status affirmed

I don’t often check the postings on the various groups I’ve joined on Goodreads, but was drawn to a thread with the title, The Most Awesome Thread > Are You A Book Nerd?  I took the self assesmsent and scored 40/51, which some might consider conclusive.

And then another member posted this, originally from Barnes and Noble.  I am so #3 and #10 (not that the others aren’t accurate).  Perhaps I should have used the word “Busted” in the title of this post, rather than “affirmed.”

And re #1, although I didn’t buy them with this feature in mind, I am pleased that many of my sweaters and coats have inner pockets the perfect size for my e-reader.

Thoughts?  (Interventions not welcome.)

A Field Guide to Spotting a Fellow Book Nerd
Posted by Ginni Chen on January 8, 2015

The modern book nerd is a mysterious and agile creature, able to blend convincingly into masses of non-book nerds. They come in many shapes, sizes, and sartorial styles, so sweeping generalizations about their appearance can be difficult to make. The identification of the genus libris nerdus requires patience, discipline, and a study of behavioral traits in various settings. But spotting a fellow book nerd can be a life-changing experience, one that sparks a lasting friendship and livens up an otherwise dull social gathering. To aid book nerds in the easy identification of their brethren, we present The Field Guide to Spotting a Fellow Book Nerd.

1. The most telltale sign of a book nerd is, of course, the book or ereader consistently found somewhere on their person. This can be hard to confirm, however, if the individual is wearing coats with pockets or carrying a bag.

2. Book nerds quickly assess new environments. Upon finding themselves somewhere unfamiliar, whether it’s an office, someone’s house, or a coffee shop, a book nerd will immediately inspect the bookshelves (or stare at the walls where they wish bookshelves could be).

3. Book nerds learn to make do. If there are no bookshelves in the new environment, a book nerd will start reading random printed material around them. Pamphlets, discarded newspapers, the packaging on a box…

4. Book nerds have sharp powers of observation. A book nerd will be the first to find grammatical errors and typos in printed text. They may also be the first to tell someone, “You’re using that word incorrectly.”

5. Book nerds are less capable at text-speak and emojis than the average human. A book nerd prefers proper spelling and grammar when texting or communicating electronically.

6. Book nerds often come when called. If you clap your hands and say “Pynchonesque” three times under your breath, a book nerd will appear within minutes.

7. Book nerds find the paper-and-ink smell of books intoxicating. When they think no one is watching, book nerds like to smell books. Leave a leather-bound volume casually open on a table, and see how your target responds.

8. Book nerds have been known to camouflage their desire to go into bookstores. Pay close attention to the craning of their necks and the longing in their eyes when you pass one.

9. The natural habitats of book nerds share certain traits. Examine their home. Is their bookshelf the biggest piece of furniture? Are there books in every room?

10. Book nerds have a highly variable capacity for patience. They will contentedly wait for a delayed plane, a table in a crowded restaurant, or a chronically tardy friend if they have a good book to read. Book nerds without a book? Most impatient people on the planet.

11. Book nerds have a diminished ability to recognize famous people on the covers of magazines. Book nerds will stare blankly at a photo of the Kardashians, but they can recognize their favorite authors walking on the street at 50 paces.

12. Book nerds have a broad and deep understanding of vocabulary. They would never use “ironic” to describe something that isn’t.

Review: The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is whatever the opposite of synergy is. Many of the characters had interesting traits, there were a number of salient observations, but the characters were so bleak, so petty, that it was difficult to enter into their lives.

I don’t remember the last novel I read where I wasn’t interested in any of the characters returning in a sequel of stand-alone work.

And that’s all I’ll write, so as to avoid spoilers.

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