Thursday, May 21, 2015

All You Want to Know About The Bible in Pop Culture - A Review

All You Want to Know About
The Bible in Pop Culture
Kevin Harbey

A Review

A mix of cultural reflection, Biblical application, and Bible study.

The book starts with an interesting premise – what does pop culture reveal about our faith and the world in which we find ourselves. It does this by looking at the details found in a variety of cultural milestones – from television to movies to music. By looking at a variety of snippets from assorted media, the book attempts to look at how faith, or at least the world's impression of that faith, has influenced the arts.

While the text does accomplish its purpose by looking at these snippets of media content, it does little to prepare the user to do his or her own reflection on the media in the future. The book is designed to show a view of the world as it is found in the first two decades of the 21st century. Along with its text, the book does this with a set of trivia challenges associated with each chapter and with the book as a whole. In fact, these trivia puzzles occupy about 20% or more of the book.

It is the lack of tools to help the reader to continue reflecting on culture which is the major drawback of the book for this reader. It would have been helpful to include principles, not just illustration after illustration, of how to find faith's influence on modern culture.

Is the book of value? Yes, for the individual attempting to understand the possible role of faith in the first half of the 21st century. It will be of less help for the person hoping to evaluate faith's role moving into the next five decades of the century.
This review is based on a free copy of the book provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Case of the Invisible Dog - A Review

The Case of the Invisible Dog

Diane Stingly

A Review

A well-written, but disappointing, mystery.

The characters are fascinating – I cannot determine who is crazier: Shirley Homes or her new protege, Tammy Norman. The writing is suburb, yet the plot feels more like a TV soap opera in which the reader is forced to watch (I.e. read) the next episode.

Shirley Homes's claim to fame is being the great, great, grand-daughter of the brilliant Sherlock Holmes. The question of Sherlock's actual existence remains unanswered – since the whole world knows of him as a fictional character, while Shirley claims to have proof that of his historical existence. Perhaps she is crazy, perhaps not.

Tammy Norman's relationship history has many missteps. Among those are her ex-husband and that with her new employer, Shirley Homes. Perhaps she should have listened to her gut, and … well it is too late now.

What draws them together is Shirley Homes' first case – a young man who cannot sleep through the night because of a noisy dog that no one has seen or heard. His murder makes increases the necessity of following the leads laid before them.

The story does hold the reader's attention, but it ends with no resolution. I will look forward to reading the next book in the series, perhaps it will answer the unanswered question raised by The Case of the Invisible Dog.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.