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Reviews Written by
TMPlym "tanya2124" (England)

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The Vanishing of Dr Winter: A Posie Parker Mystery: Volume 4 (The Posie Parker Mystery Series)
The Vanishing of Dr Winter: A Posie Parker Mystery: Volume 4 (The Posie Parker Mystery Series)
by L.B. Hathaway
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious Cambridge mystery, 11 May 2016
I’m a huge fan of this cosy crime series, set in the 1920s. This one was a little different to the others -a missing person rather than a murder, and lots of flashbacks to the First World War. For me it was really interesting to think about how the First World War would have impacted the mood of the 1920s, and it was another great Posie Parker story, this time set in Cambridge. I love love love this series – check them all out – they’re so reasonably priced.


Exposure
Exposure
by Helen Dunmore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Slow-build but rewarding read, 11 May 2016
This review is from: Exposure (Hardcover)
This is a slow-build, tense, not-quite-thriller novel about someone falsely accused of spying in the Cold War in 1950s Britain. What was particularly outstanding about this book was the characterisation – the narrative followed three voices in the conflict, and it was utterly compelling. I hadn’t read anything by her before but now I want to read her other books. It’s a relatively slow start, but the interesting characters are utterly captivating. Like Ian McEwan’s Saturday the menace builds slowly, and is a tense page-turner by the end – I heartily recommend it.
*I received an advance review copy in exchange for my honest review, which this is*


To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
by Joshua Ferris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £2.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Clever, but his previous one was more fun, 11 May 2016
This is a Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novel, and I absolutely loved his previous book, Then We Came to the End, so I had high hopes for this one. The narrator is a dentist who is searching for meaning in life and feeling vaguely suicidal, when one of his patients begins to impersonate him online, stealing his identity and writing strange things about a ‘religion and people more persecuted than the Jews’. In its favour: it’s wry and sardonic, and I laughed out loud several times, especially in the beginning. But the parts about the supposed religion were unnecessarily long and convoluted, and the protagonist isn’t very likeable, though he is hilariously tragic. As a sardonic examination of the narcissism of America’s Generation X, it’s pretty good, and it’s definitely worth a read, but in terms of story and reading experience, I would vote for his other one, Then We Came to the End, Booker-Prize shortlisted or not.


Surprised by Oxford
Surprised by Oxford
by Carolyn Weber
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.18

4.0 out of 5 stars For lovers of literature and theology, 11 May 2016
This review is from: Surprised by Oxford (Paperback)
This is the story of how a Canadian atheist, studying a Master’s degree in English Literature at Oxford in the 1990s, was wooed by a man (and his belief in Christ) and through subsequent discussions became persuaded of Christianity. It’s long, but an enjoyable read, and as someone who’s lived in Oxford before, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip back down the cobbled streets of memory lane.

She describes Oxford life as it is – with the earnest, intellectual (and occasionally pretentious) debates and discussions that Oxford students and dons have about religion in pubs and coffee shops. She interweaves her study on poetry throughout the book, which is beautiful but sometimes hard-going, even for a literature graduate like me, because the poem extracts are often quoted without context or explanation. This would appeal especially to anyone who’s lived in Oxford or lovers of literature and theology.


Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark
Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark
by Addie Zierman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Must-read for anyone struggling with dark night of the soul, 11 May 2016
When We Were On Fire, Addie Zierman’s first book, was possibly the best Christian memoir I’ve ever read, so I had high hopes for her second book, and I wasn’t disappointed. How can you believe in God when you can’t feel God anymore, when your faith has gone dark? This is the question Addie wrestles with, as she takes a 3,000-mile road-trip down to Florida to escape the Minnesotan winter. (With two children in the car under the age of five).

Addie is the master of spiritual memoir, and she not only captures the relentlessness of winter and mothering two small children, but the loss of childhood faith, and the search for more. This is a must-read for anyone struggling with a dark night of the soul, or anyone feeling the weariness of parenthood. Funny, poignant, beautiful – I highly recommend it.


Malestrom
Malestrom
by James Carolyn Custis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How patriarchy damages men, and how the Bible challenges it, 11 May 2016
This review is from: Malestrom (Hardcover)
What does the Bible say about the nature of manhood? This is a follow-up to her widely-praised book, Half the Church, but whereas her first book focused on the damage of patriarchy to women, this book focuses on the concept of manhood, and how patriarchy damages men. It is a brilliant book – she writes engagingly and fluently about how patriarchy is currently damaging cultures across the world, and she goes through the Bible looking at examples of where God’s followers, and ultimately Jesus, challenged patriarchal values and showed truly what it is to be a man as God intended. She is clearly an incredibly gifted Bible teacher, and I found her fresh insights and rigorous scholarship riveting. It is a book I would love men (particuarly pastors) to read – but I fear that, ironically enough, patriarchal values will mean that men are less likely to read it because it’s written by a woman. I hope I’m proved wrong and that men and women alike explore the issues raised in this book, because it is a discussion that needs to happen. A brilliant book – highly recommended.

*I received a review copy in exchange for my honest review, which this is*


Murder at Maypole Manor: A Posie Parker Mystery: Volume 3 (The Posie Parker Mystery Series)
Murder at Maypole Manor: A Posie Parker Mystery: Volume 3 (The Posie Parker Mystery Series)
by L.B. Hathaway
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping mystery on Dover Cliffs, 6 April 2016
I absolutely love this ‘cosy crime’ series, and was honestly counting down the days before its release, and sneaking back to Amazon to check if it was out yet. It didn’t disappoint: the third Posie Parker novel is set in on the cliffs near Dover, and the twists and turns just kept on coming. I tried my best to eke it out, but I gobbled it up in two days. SO good. If you love Agatha Christie novels, then you’ll love this series (and they are very affordable at just £2.79 each). I will be reading Book 4 next month! Highly recommended.


The Handmaid's Tale (Contemporary Classics)
The Handmaid's Tale (Contemporary Classics)
by Margaret Atwood
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly great literature, 6 April 2016
This, I am ashamed to admit, was my first Margaret Atwood, and I only read it because Jenny Rowbory recommended it, and she is ALWAYS right. And boy, was she right with this. A dystopian novel about a world in which women are subjugated, it was a fascinating, breathless read. It is both literary and very readable, which is a sign of truly good literature. Highly recommended.


From Topic to Thesis: A Guide to Theological Research
From Topic to Thesis: A Guide to Theological Research
by Michael Kibbe
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for theology undergraduates, 6 April 2016
This book is designed for those writing a theology dissertation (probably for undergraduate level, though it might also be useful for Masters level). It’s quite a niche market, but I think it will do well, because it is just so good. It does what it says on the tin – taking you through each step of the process of writing a dissertation – with clear and engaging writing. Highly recommended if you’re in that niche market (comes from a mostly evangelical and American perspective, but still useful if you’re elsewhere).


BANDERSNATCH
BANDERSNATCH
by Morrison Erika
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.18

3.0 out of 5 stars Freeing and challenging approach to worship and mission, 6 April 2016
This review is from: BANDERSNATCH (Paperback)
I imagine that this book will be a real lifesaver for those Christians, particularly in big American churches, who feel constrained by the unspoken rules of how Christians should behave or act, and who have a bit more of a hippy spirit in them. Erika speaks of how she found value in listening to the Spirit and becoming more like herself in so doing. What I found most interesting was her approach to mission: how she prays and takes time to actually connect with people on low incomes, or homeless people, and stops to see Jesus in them and honour the imago Dei in them – not by ‘examining them’ or valuing them from afar but by really connecting with them. This book was not exactly memoir or typical Christian teaching, but rather a journey round someone’s head – and a very interesting journey it was, too.


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