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John Howard Reid "John Howard Reid" (Wyong, NSW Australia)

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Love & City Dreaming Poems by Margaret Havill Reid
Love & City Dreaming Poems by Margaret Havill Reid
by Margaret Havill Reid
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.96

5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful selection of verses from an award-winning poet!, 27 Nov 2009
This is a second anthology of verse by Poet-of-the-Year, Margaret Havill Reid. The first book, SONG OF THE WAYWARD WIND and Other Poems, was published shortly after her death in 2004. Before she entered hospital for the last time, Margaret had already selected the poems and provided the illustrations. For her second book, she had envisaged using a title poem, "Face of the City". However, in my opinion, an earlier (and shorter) version of the poem (there were four or five) was superior, so I decided to alter the anthology's title to "Love & City Dreaming". Another reason for this change was that I'd discovered a large notebook full of heartfelt romantic verse of such quality, it really deserved publication. And I also wanted to publish some of her really hilarious humorous pieces, such as "The Wiz of Wizzinzee" and "Muzzacoffalox", and at least one of the inspired works that were aimed primarily at children, like the delightful "Mida, the Spider".

In all, the 80 poems included in "Love & City Dreaming" fully reveal Margaret's mastery of an extremely wide range of poetical subjects and genres.


What the Gospels Meant
What the Gospels Meant
by Garry Wills
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stimulating Re-Interpretation of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, 4 Feb 2009
This review is from: What the Gospels Meant (Hardcover)
Although many books have been written about the Gospels and their supposed authors, Professor Wills approaches the topic in a new and invigorating way. He does not see Mark, for example, as Peter's secretary or interpreter, even though Peter himself affectionately describes Mark as his adopted son in his postscript to the letter written by Sylvanus under Peter's own name, known as "1 Peter" (see my Essential Bible Wisdom: GOOD NEWS by John, the Beloved Disciple, and John, the Elder for the full text). Instead, Wills believes that Mark the evangelist actually has a poor opinion of Peter, which he disguises to some extent by putting words of self-abasement into Peter's own mouth. Although these words come across to me as examples of Peter's humility (and I have treated them as such in my own new translation of Mark's entire gospel in More Bible Wisdom for Modern Times: Selections from the Early New Testament), they could be interpreted, Wills argues, as a deliberate literary device. Therefore the Mark of the Gospel could not possibly be the same Mark whom Peter refers to as his "son". This also frees Wills to view the evangelist as a man of far greater literary artistry than the primitive Greek-speaking Mark we all know and love. Personally, I find Wills' hypothesis far-fetched, but his is nonetheless a fascinating theory, well-researched, captivatingly written and absolute must reading for all who wish to understand the depth, breadth and complexity of the Gospels.


The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-up in History
The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-up in History
by Michael Baigent
Edition: Paperback

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mildly Attention-Grabbing But Irredeemably Flawed, 24 Jan 2009
I must admit that Michael Baigent had me going there for a while, as I skimmed through his pages. But on page 130, I was brought to my senses when Baigent states that Mark uses two different words for "body" in the space of two verses (Mark 15:43-45). Now being particularly well acquainted with Mark, I knew that he did no such thing. I had recently provided a fresh translation of Mark's entire Gospel for my book More Bible Wisdom for Modern Times: Selections from the Early New Testament. Baigent builds an entire case on Mark's use of the word "ptoma". (A good English equivalent would be "the remains". The word is employed only once in the entire New Testament when it is used to describe the dismembered body of John the Baptist). But Mark does not write "ptoma". Instead, he repeats the usual, commonplace Greek word for "body", "soma". So, once alerted to one error, other Baigent suppositions built on misquotes and similar flimsy evidence become more evident. The book looks impressive, but at its core is fatally flawed.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 12, 2009 4:47 PM BST


Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why
Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why
by Bart D. Ehrman
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Testament -- Textual Problems and Resolutions, 18 Jan 2009
As mentioned by other reviewers, textual problems in the Bible generally and the New Testament in particular have been known to and acted upon by scholars for well over 150 years. Professor Ehrman deserves a lot of credit for making these problems more generally known, even if there is a danger that some faint-hearted people might lose their faith. Jesus Himself tells us that "if you know the truth, the truth will make you free." (John 8:32). And the truth is, of course, that not only has Jesus been misquoted, but all the writings in the New Testament have been altered throughout the centuries, both intentionally (e.g. all quotations from the Old Testament have been altered to conform to the Hebrew Version rather than to the actual Scriptures Saint Paul and company originally referenced in the Greek Septuagint) and unintentionally. I hope that Professor Ehrman's work will make more people interested in consulting New Testament texts prepared by scholars such as Andy Gaus and Garry Wills. My own work is at present confined to Mark's Gospel as printed in More Bible Wisdom for Modern Times: Selections from the Early New Testament and the Gospel of John and his three Letters, plus the so-called First Epistle of Peter in Essential Bible Wisdom: GOOD NEWS by John, the Beloved Disciple, and John, the Elder.


The Black Pharaoh
The Black Pharaoh
by Christian Jacq
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Pot-Boiler from Christian Jacq, 16 Jan 2009
This review is from: The Black Pharaoh (Paperback)
As other reviewers have commented, this novel comes as a very disappointing effort from Christian Jacq. The plot is weak, while potentially interesting characters are undermined by dialogue that contrives to be both dull yet far too colloquial. The whole novel lacks style and gives the impression that it was written in a hurry. Some of Jacq's earlier novels took years to write. It's not just the initial writing, but the revising and the attention to the smallest details that give a novel readability and style. My own book In All His Glory which is also set in Ancient Egypt took over three years to write and revise. As a result, it reads smoothly yet forcefully. It has impact. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of "The Black Pharaoh".


What Jesus Meant
What Jesus Meant
by Garry Wills
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.28

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Startling Re-Appraisal of the Gospel Message, 14 Jan 2009
This review is from: What Jesus Meant (Paperback)
In re-interpreting what Jesus meant, Professor Wills has obviously set out with the sole intention of debunking traditional "wisdom". While in some respects, this aim has its commendable side, there is always a tendency among "reformers" to throw the baby out with the bath-water. And this is exactly what Wills has done. Wills seems to resent the fact that Jesus chose to bring His message primarily to the common man. He chose the illiterate, rough talking, ill-mannered, slovenly, unrefined citizens of Galilee rather than the rich, powerful, upper classes of Rome. Why He did this, one can only guess. But in any event, it was to the common man that Jesus spoke. And it is a waste of time talking to the common name in the refined, poetic, philosophical language of Jesus Ben Sirach. Rough men demand rough speaking.

Professor Wills also makes much of the fact that the New Testament was largely written in rough, illiterate, market-place Greek. He feels it should be translated accordingly. I have a degree of sympathy for these thoughts. Certainly, as he says, the language of the King James New Testament is so far removed from what the various authors actually wrote, there is a definite danger of mis-interpretation. In my opinion, the modern translator has a duty to correct the excesses of the King James version, but at the same time he should avoid aping bad grammar and an impoverished vocabulary simply for the sake of reproducing the literary style (or rather absence of style) of the original. In my new translation of John's Gospel, for instance, I have tried to make it as easy to follow as possible. Essential Bible Wisdom: GOOD NEWS by John, the Beloved Disciple, and John, the Elder


Unvarnished New Testament (New Translation from the Original Greek)
Unvarnished New Testament (New Translation from the Original Greek)
by A. Gaus
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.17

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Daringly Innovative Yet Highly Readable New Testament, 13 Jan 2009
"Why not present the New Testament simply as it appears in the original Greek?" was the question Andy Gaus asked himself. And why not indeed? Andy Gaus has fulfilled his aim admirably. True, one can still argue over interpretation. In some respects, I feel the translator has gone too far. In other respects not far enough. This is only to be expected. Just compare a short passage from John 18 with that in other Bibles. Here is the Gaus version: Now Simon Peter and another of Jesus' students were following him. The other student was known to the high priest and came into the high priest's courtyard with Jesus, while Peter stood outside the door. So the other student who knew the high priest came out and spoke to the doorkeeper and brought Peter inside. So the maid watching the door says to Peter, "You aren't one of that fellow's students too, are you?" He says, "No, I'm not."
An interesting comparison can also be made with my own version published in Essential Bible Wisdom: GOOD NEWS by John, the Beloved Disciple, and John, the Elder: Simon Peter and I followed Jesus. I was known to the High Priest, and therefore accompanied Jesus right into the palace, while Simon Peter stood outside at the entrance. I then went back and told the woman gatekeeper that I was a disciple of Jesus and asked her to admit Peter. The woman therefore said to Peter, "Are you one of that man's disciples too?" "I am not!" that excuse for a disciple emphatically replied.


New Testament in Modern English-OE-Student
New Testament in Modern English-OE-Student
by J. B. Phillips
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Mainstream Translations, 13 Jan 2009
In preparing this revision of his translation of the New Testament published in 1960, Canon Phillips has admirably consulted what he rightly terms "the latest and best Greek text", namely that published by the United Bible Societies in 1966. However, although he examined his every word in the light of that scholarly text, Phillips has actually changed very little from his original 1960 edition. The United Bible Society's text provides a splendid "apparatus" in which variations between the various manuscripts are scrupulously noted. I must admit that I was a little disappointed that Phillips was not a little more adventurous. It seemed to me that he always preferred the mainstream or traditional version, rather than any of the alternatives noted in the "apparatus". In many respects, his original translation was rather daring for 1960. But for 2009, the present 1995 Touchstone edition does not break any further new ground. Readers seeking a less traditional approach will find more stimulation in my own translations, such as More Bible Wisdom for Modern Times: Selections from the Early New Testament (which features the Gospel of Mark) or Essential Bible Wisdom: GOOD NEWS by John, the Beloved Disciple, and John, the Elder.


Egypt: Splendours of an Ancient Civilization
Egypt: Splendours of an Ancient Civilization
by Alberto Siliotti
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A Really Splendid Book on the Wonders of Ancient Egypt, 13 Jan 2009
This superb, extra large format, prestigious full-color book was published in 1994, shortly after I had started revising my novel, In All His Glory. I found it of immense help with my revisions. The text is not only insightfully accurate and breezily informative, but the pictures are an absolute wonder to behold. My only criticism is that the paper stock used is so gloriously thick and heavy, it forces the paperback cover to come apart.


Rita Hayworth: A Photographic Retrospective
Rita Hayworth: A Photographic Retrospective
by Caren Roberts-Frenzel
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a Magnificent Pictorial Record of a Charismatic Star!, 14 Dec 2008
Ever since I saw her dancing up a storm in "Cover Girl", I've been a keen Rita Hayworth fan. I have already featured her on the covers of five of my own books, including CinemaScope Two: 20th Century-Fox and Hollywood Classics Index, Books 1-16: A-Z. In this superlative tribute to one of Hollywood's greatest stars, the author has not only brought together a collection of some of the most striking photos and stills ever published, but has accompanied these with a most informative commentary.


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