Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Vigilante by Robin Parrish

I will show you a better way. 

Nolan Gray endured the most cruel and inhumane tortures while serving overseas. Narrowly escaping with his life and sanity, he returns to America as a war hero. There is only one problem, evil thrives over here too, just in different forms. Nolan decides to do something about that, he will show everyone a better way.

Vigilante is basically a super hero story in novel form. No super powers, it relies more on gadgetry and fighting techniques is a fashion similar to Batman. Of course, there is a villain present, and what what a super hero story be if it didn't take place in New York City? Okay, they don't all take place in New York City, but this one does.

I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started Vigilante- there isn't exactly an abundance of super hero novels. I was afraid it would be cheesy, but this novel manages to successfully minimize that. It's almost more like a government mission, except that Nolan is of course a Vigilante.

The suspense was good short term, that is to say, between chapters. However, the overall page turning, must-read-entire-book-now suspense was lacking. I didn't feel a need to return to the book. What I did really like was the characters. They are very full and realistic. And the ending is perfect.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Eat This and Live! by Don Colbert

Nutrition these days is something of a war zone. Finding nutrition in foods can be both easier and more difficult than we think. But with flashy advertizements, tempting aromas, and foods under the guise of being healthy are everywhere. Combined with the seemingly high cost of healthy food, it's hard  to know what healthy really is.

Eat This and Live! is a guide to just that. Pointing out how normally foods can be unhealthy, explaining processes and chemicals that go into things like white flours, artificial sweeteners, and trans fat. And at the same time, providing a guide to what actually is healthy, and how we can incorporate it into our daily diet.

In this age, a lot of Americans are realizing that we need to care about our nutrition. You can't just eat whatever you want and somehow expect to be healthy. But there is so much conflicting information about what healthy food is, it's difficult to find what is actually true.

After reading countless online health journals, and a handful of health books, Eat This and Live! stands out. It is a go-to guide that explains some of those gray areas, explaining things like refined, bleached flour, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, MSG, and pesticides and herbicides. This book actually explains in depth what these things are, how they are produced, and the health effects. It also explains the nutrients and enzymes in healthy food, good sources, and their health effects. Confused on all the information on saturated fats, omega-3 and ALAs, and poly and monounsaturated  fats? It is all about to make sense.

Also included is a guide to eating out healthy, and how to prepare healthy foods in the best way. I highly recommend this book to those trying to eat healthier.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff

Sometimes Christianity can be funny- all of our little habits and ways of speaking. This book is filled with the humor found in faith- including topics such as the culinary magic of the crock-pot, finding typos in worship music, secretly Christian bands, and holding hands.

Need some help in your spiritual walk? Jonathan Acuff has got you covered. There are go-to lists for which meals to pray before, which position to go for in a prayer circle, and the likely story behind how you came to own 14 copies of the Bible.

As a first note, I would only recommend this book to those who have been Christians for several years. It's basically about the little habits we can pick up over the years.

This book is flat-out hilarious. I was laughing out loud during a good quantity of the book. I showed the book to a few of my friends, and they were laughing out loud too. The humor is simply excellent.

A lot of the sections were great because I found out how many other people do the same things I do. It is a peculiar language we speak, and this book translates it. On a more serious note it pointed out some of the things we as as Christians need to change.

I will, however, say that a few of the essays seemed a bit over-the-top. The humor is sarcasm, but I think a couple of the things went a bit too far. Though, as I previously stated, this is as much of an eye-opener of what we need to stop doing as it is to get some laughs.