#BookReview: The Make-Up Test by Jenny L Howe

Academic Romance That Is Refreshingly Light On Academic Theory. Wait. A book set in Academia that *isn’t* hyper preachy about white people and/ or straight men being the epitome of all things evil and a scourge on humanity? That alone makes this work from debut author Howe quite refreshing. Now toss in a fat chick who is comfortable in her own body and who learns to stand up for herself even to those closest to her, and you’re getting *really* “out there” in terms of things that simply aren’t usually done in novels of any form, particularly romance novels released by Mega publishers. Now we’re even going to toss in *actual* academic work discussing the variations and themes of medieval literature? Wow, we’re really going on a refreshing romance journey that stimulates the brain as well as the heart! There are a few quibbles here or there with this book, but overall, ignore the people that are hating on it – this is actually quite a departure from the norm for this genre in so many ways, and thus deserves to be explored because of its originality while still being perfectly within overall genre norms. Very much recommended.

This review of The Make-Up Test by Jenny L Howe was originally written on September 9, 2022.

#BookReview: When Did Sin Begin by Loren Haarsma

Intriguing Academic Examination. Let’s make this very clear up front: This is a book for academic types. This is FAR from casual reading. And yet, its premise is interesting enough that many may want to slog through it anyway – as I did. 😀 Just know up front that this *is* a very dense, very logically-detailed examination of its subject. That noted, this text does a phenomenal job of showing what the historical and current academic thinking is on its dual subjects of human evolution and Original Sin, and it does a similarly superb job of explaining in detail, in many cases point by point, exactly how the two might be reconciled. Indeed, particularly for the casual reader that Just. Wants. An. Answer!!!!!… this book probably won’t be what you’re looking for. It never really proffers one, instead acknowledging that there is still more research and thinking to do in both arenas before a definitive conclusion can truly be reached. Still, for what it actually is and for how it is actually written, this is truly a strong work of scholarship and contemplation, and within the space it is meant to occupy it could indeed be quite a standout. Very much recommended.

This review of When Did Sin Begin by Loren Haarsma was originally written on July 23, 2021.

#BookReview: The Age Of Wood by Roland Ennos

Mr. Ennos, I Read This Book On A Kindle. 😉 This was a fascinating and at times novel look at how wood – not stone or metals – has allowed and even encouraged human biological and civilizational evolution. Written by a British academic-engineer, this book looks to the bioengineering of woods of various forms and how the material’s strengths and versatilities have allowed so much human progress, from eras before homo sapien sapien appeared through the future of the species. While the text does have a couple of weaknesses – he assumes that the book will be read on paper and there is a distinct lack of bibliography, at least in this advanced review copy I read – overall the book really is an amazing look at an oft-overlooked feature of human history. Very much recommended.

This review of The Age Of Wood by Roland Ennos was originally written on October 6, 2020.

#BookReview: Scripture First by Daniel B Oden and J David Stark

Interesting Discussion. This is a collection of six academic essays, mostly seemingly from the same basic starting viewpoint of a particular line of academic thought in a particular realm of a particular Christian denomination. So a reader not necessarily steeped in that exact line of thinking may find this a bit more dense than others, but I actually fit exactly that mold (of not being particularly knowledgeable of the intricacies of this viewpoint), and I found the discussions to be interesting if not particularly illuminating in the ways I had hoped. (For reference, I was approaching this more from being a fan of Frank Viola’s Pagan Christianity and as someone who has thought and discussed much within Southern and Independent Baptist circles on the issue at hand – whether Scripture truly is the basis of Christian thought or whether the various traditions have any import whatsoever.) Ultimately this really was an interesting and informative read particularly well suited for anyone with any form of academic interest in Christian theology and practice. Very much recommended.

This review of Scripture First by Daniel B Oden and J David Stark was originally written on September 27, 2020.