5 Most Read Reviews in Feb 2015

The most read review of the month was not of a book but of the Scribd ebook/audiobook subscription service.

I am a fan of the service, although it does not work with my Kindle Paperwhite, which is my prefered device. But it does have a lot of audiobooks, which is what I have been using it for more than anything else.

The second most read review was about the areas that I think Scribd needs to improve. A few of them have already had updates since I posted (and I have updated the post where the improvements made a difference.

Lifehacker mentioned Scribd as one of the five best audiobook services last week.

Continue reading the main Scribd review or the areas for improvement

Summary: A readable, recent introduction for those new to Anglicanism.

The Anglican Way is a fairly recent book that is still spreading by word of mouth. I saw last week that it was the best selling Anglican book on Amazon.

If you are interested in the concept but don’t want to read the book, you might be interested in McKenzie’s podcast of a five week teaching of the main content of the book. I listened to all of it and while there was certainly overlapping content, the podcast had enough new material and questions from the audience that it was well worth listening to.

Continue reading the full review of The Anglican Way by Thomas McKenzie

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Looking Back on Arthur C. Clarke’s Predictions

Looking Back on Arthur C. Clarke’s Predictions

080318-clarke-hmed-3p.rp420x400Born almost 100 years ago, Arthur C. Clarke showed an interest in space travel and futuristic ideas at a very early age, which manifested into predictions which captivated the general public. He began writing science fiction as a teenager, and his works became immensely popular as his career progressed, culminating with his screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey, largely considered his most popular work. He was even regarded as one of the science-fiction genre’s “œbig three” alongside Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. Throughout his career Arthur C. Clarke made many futuristic predictions about life and technology, an astounding number of which have come true and are now considered essential to life in the 21st century.

In a 1964 BBC interview titled “œHorizon“, Clarke admitted that it was difficult and virtually impossible to accurately predict the future, but that any prediction that did not seem astounding could not possibly be true. He went on to predict that, by the year 2000, communication satellites would make it possible for people to communicate instantaneously, regardless of distance and regardless of exact location. He believed telecommunication would make travel and commuting unnecessary for business, except for cases of pleasure, and allow a doctor in England to perform surgery on a patient in New Zealand.

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2015 Reading Goals

Several years ago, I started doing pretty specific reading goals. Last year I moved away from it because it felt a bit constraining and my life was changing. It is continuing to change. But I do like the idea of some reading goals, whether I actually end up following them or not. So here they are:

  1. Find some more contributors to Bookwi.se, so I can intentionally read some different and longer books. I don’t think I edit myself too much around content, but I do pick up shorter books instead of longer books so I can keep up with a review schedule that no one else really cares about. (If you want to review with Bookwi.se let me know. I have started paying $5 for book reviews, which is just a token since it obviously doesn’t pay for the time to write the review, let alone read the book.)
  2. Intentionally be adventurous with my reading. 2014, while it had a number of good books, felt more mediocre than normal. And I think that is at least partially because I have not been adventurous enough.
  3. Read for fun. My friend Rob commented last week that he wished I read more fun stuff like Carey Ewes’ memoir of princess bride instead of another book he was not fond of. And while Rob and I would probably disagree about what I should be reading less of, he is right. I need to be reading more fun stuff. So I picked up three books last night that are all fun or adventurous for me (while they were all on sale).
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More Best of 2014 Book Lists

The best of 2014 Books lists are coming out strong now. There are a lot of repeat books (last year there was a summary list that someone put together to compile all the books and how often they were cited, so hopefully someone will do that again.) But I have to wonder how much book lists like these matter to general readers. Here is an earlier post on other Best Books of 2014 lists

I have to give props to Bill Gates for turning himself into a Lego to give his best books he read this year.

  • NPR – 250 titles with filters and categories to give most everyone at least a few books they would like. But 250 seems way too many to be helpful.
  • Amazon has their best selling lists of 2014.  I always am interested that the best selling Kindle books lists and paper books lists are so different.  The lists are both the top 100, but the top 10 only have 2 overlapping books. And the next 10 only have 2 more.
  • Paul Sohn at Salt and Light has the 11 most thought provoking books on leadership. This is a Christian site, but most are general books instead of specifically Christian leadership books.
  • Relevant Magazine has a list of best books to give as gifts. The list was prepared by C Christopher Smith of Englewood Review of Books and has a number of good books for a variety of readers, ages and interests. I have read two of the books on the list and have already bought two more
  • Vulture – a culture review site has their 10 best. I have never heard of the site before, but they have my top book of the year as their top book of the year.
  • Publisher’s Weekly has their top 10 books. Several lists have mentioned Thirteen Days in September about the 1978 Camp David Accords, Deep Down Dark (about the 33 trapped 69 days in the Chilean Mine collapse of 2010), and A Brief History of Seven Killings about 3 decades of Jamaican history centering on an attempted assassination of Bob Marley. I am interested in the Camp David Accords one at least.
  • Washington Post’s list (other than 7 Killings and Being Mortal) has 8 books I have not heard of.
  • Boston Globe has a variety of lists with nothing that explains them (not all that helpful)
  • Slate has staff picks. Which I think I like better than straight best of lists. I would rather get someone tell me their book that might be a bit quirky instead of the “˜best’ lists that often focus on literary merit more than enjoyability.
  • Audible has their Best of 2014 – which also has a short video and includes a number of categories, like best narration, listener favorites, and several book category lists.

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Why I Wrote Another Book About Grace

Welcome Bob Santos. I asked him to talk about the reason he wrote yet another book about Grace. His new book, The Divine Progression of Grace ““ Blazing a Trail to Fruitful Living will be free on Kindle this weekend, but you can buy it now.


Try doing a web search for books about grace and you will find dozens of titles””many of them by well-known authors. It makes a person wonder why anyone would consider writing yet another book about grace. Haven’t we already said all that needs to be said? In short, the answer is a definitive no.

I’ve been involved with various facets of Christian ministry for well over twenty years, and I still find a lot of people are confused about grace. Based on some recent trends, the problem is probably as bad now as it’s ever been.

“œBut,” a person might wonder, “œdoes our understanding of grace really matter all that much?” Absolutely!

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Week of Thanksgiving Plans

I will be traveling this whole coming week. First for work and then to see family. I have new reviews scheduled for Monday to Friday (taking Thanksgiving Day off.)  I might have time to add some free book posts, but it will probably be light and later in the day than normal when they do … Read more

Most Read Bookwi.se Reviews in October

This month I am a bit broader and including my reviews of the Kindle Unlimited after Three Months and the new Kindle Voyager and Kindle Basic Touchscreen since by page views, they were among the most read reviews of the month. The most read reviews at Bookwi.se: Discovering Your Heart with the Flag Page Test … Read more

Out of Town Again

Roughly once a year, a group of my guy friends from college go on a trip together.  We have been doing this since 1995 and this is our 21st trip.  (We are going backpacking in Colorado this year.) It is hard to schedule six guys that now live in four different countries (including the US), … Read more