#BookReview: An Anatomy of Pain by Abdul-Ghaaliq Lalkhen

More Memoir Than Hard Science. This was a memoir-based look at the field a man has made his career in, what the science he uses is, his thoughts on his field and his practice, and ultimately a bit of a guide on the general issues of the topic at hand. For what it is, it is very well written and easily readable. But those looking for a more “hard science”, heavily referenced examination of the topic… won’t find that here. But from a perspective of “I’ve been in this field for decades, and here is what the field is, what I’ve done in it, and where I think it should go”… yep, this book is exactly that, and a very good general overview of the field from that perspective. Very much recommended.

This review of An Anatomy of Pain by Abdul-Ghaaliq Lalkhen was originally written on October 15, 2020.

#BookReview: When They Come For You by David Kirby

Well Written. Flawed in Spots. Didn’t Live Up To Potential. This book was solid in a journalistic sense – it has quite a bibliography at the end, though it went a bit editorial at times. Does a good job of showing some of the numerous ways the US government at every level works to deny the rights of its citizens, and mostly does a good job of balancing criticism between “both” “major” US political parties. Cites the dramatically undercounted Washington Post numbers when making claims of how many people police have killed – that number counts for several years less than the number of people that are actually killed in any given year. Similarly misinformed regarding vaccines, but that one in particular shouldn’t be shocking given the author’s prior work. Overall a good primer for those who aren’t yet aware of the full breadth of the US government’s abuses, though independent research should be done after reading this book. Recommended.

This review of When They Come For You by David Kirby was originally published on May 25, 2019.

#BookReview: The Nonsense Factory by Bruce Cannon Gibney

Alarming and Yet Also Hilarious. Even as someone who was once a political activist with some fairly high level (if State, rather than Federal) access to the halls of legislative deliberation, this book was pretty shocking in revealing just how much of a mess the American legal system truly is. While the author himself is clearly in favor of some form of ideal government that works, this book just as easily makes the case that anarchy would at least be preferable to the current system. Yet throughout, the author’s acerbic wit is what makes the book such an enjoyable read – even as the critiques it makes show just how depressingly dreadful the current US legal system really is. Very much recommended reading. Just maybe try to do it in a place where plentiful alcohol is readily available. 😉

This review of The Nonsense Factory by Bruce Cannon Gibney was originally published on April 23, 2019.

#BookReview: The Ultimate Guide for the Avid Indoorsman by John Driver

ducational and Informative. This book is full of tips and tricks for the Indoorsman that are both hilarious and, in fact, educational. Which is which? Test them and find out. 😀 Overall, a truly laugh out loud book that also made great, perfectly valid, points in nearly equal measure. Very highly recommended reading, particularly as you look to set or maintain your resolutions for the new year.

This review of The Ultimate Guide for the Avid Indoorsman by John Driver was originally published on January 10, 2019.

#BookReview: In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

Enlightening. This book makes its case well, and taught me much I genuinely didn’t know. Very intriguing read, and one I’ll likely use as a general guide to healthier eating. No matter what you think about food or weight loss or anything related to the very basic act of eating and the more elaborate structures of cuisine, this book should teach you something and/ or challenge any beliefs you may already have.

This review of In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan was originally published on December 26, 2018.

#BookReview: Undiluted by Benjamin L. Corey

Solid Effort. In this book, Corey puts forth a clear message that no matter what you think of Jesus, you are more than likely wrong in at least some aspect. He challenges very nearly every reader on at least some issue, and in that vein he truly shines. But in the end, he just can’t quite fully overcome his own particular bent, and ultimately this mars what could have been a truly stellar work. Still a worthy read, but could have been even better.

This review of Undiluted by Benjamin L. Corey was originally published on December 12, 2018.

#BookReview: Disarming Scripture by Derek Flood

Solid Trajectory, But Not Far Enough. I’m not completely sold that the “trajectory” reading of the Bible Flood bases his premise on is entirely correct, but for now let’s go with it. Flood raises a lot of good points that will, as the title implies, “step on toes” across “both” sides of the American political divide. But there are certainly times where he contradicts himself and others where he reveals his own cloudy understanding of violence, choosing to view violence only as genocide, murder, explicit assault, and the like. But in the end, Flood doesn’t go quite far enough in his own line of reasoning and instead tends to embrace certain forms of “acceptable” violence, in ways reminiscent of the very blatantly antiquated notions he is attacking in this book. Absolutely recommended for those that either openly embrace the wanton slaughter of the Old Testament or those that fully reject it, as this will at least open you to the basic concepts of nonviolence.

This review of Disarming Scripture by Derek Flood was originally published on November 23, 2018.

#BookReview: Twain’s Feast by Andrew Beahrs

Twain Would Be Proud. This lighthearted yet fascinating look at the life of Mark Twain through the Feast he laid out in one of his books – but never actually ate himself – is a breathtaking. From describing the prairie hens as Twain would have known them (more multitudinous than even the famed bison) to San Francisco as Twain knew it to his beloved Mighty Mississippi. The combination of tales of food and food history with the history and writing of perhaps the world’s first true mega-celebrity is a delight to read, particularly as today is itself Thanksgiving Day 2018.

This review of Twain’s Feast by Andrew Beahrs was originally published on November 22, 2018.

#BookReview: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman

Greatest? Maybe. Most Hilarious? Quite Possibly. What happens when you get two very busy comics who each have one breakout role on television and who happen to be married to each other get together to discuss their nearly two decade long relationship? Hilariousness ensues, that’s what. They get into controversial topics from time to time, and this is definetly not a book you want to listen to with kids around (and you need to actually listen to this one, rather than read it, even if you know their voices precisely… which would be kind of creepy anyway… moving on…), as there is a fair amount of… colorful… language used (though nothing XXX rated, just to be clear). Overall, a truly hilarious tale about their lives together and their thoughts on relationships, fashion, celebrity, and all kinds of other things. I actually got my Closer badge on Audible with this book, thanks to a 6 hr drive – and it is absolutely worth reading in one sitting. 🙂

This review of The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman was originally published on October 21, 2018.

#BookReview: Jesus Called – He Wants His Church Back by Ray Johnston

Interesting Concept, Not Much Substance. I went into this book expecting a great discussion calling the American Church back to Jesus Christ. What I got was a couple of decent points and a lot of sermon promoting the status quo for the American Church. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. So much promise, so little delivery.

If you’re in the American Church and wondering why so many people despise you – you won’t find many answers here.

If you’re a former member of the American Church that is begging for someone to call it to repentance – you won’t find that here.

If you’ve never been part of the American Church and you’re desperately seeking any acknowledgement at all of your problems with it – you’ll find here that some of them are mentioned… and quickly dismissed and yet again, you are to blame, according to the author.

What you *will* find here is more proof-texting (taking Bible verses out of context in service of whatever contrived point the speaker is attempting to make), more victim blaming, more The-Spirit-Of-God-Compels-You level berating, more scare tactic “evangelism”, and more trite Churchisms about how everyone else is the problem.

But there are *just* enough good or at least decent points to keep this out of Gold Mine level (tons of detritus for a few scarce flakes), so there is that at least.

This review of Jesus Called – He Wants His Church Back by Ray Johnston was originally published on October 20, 2018.