Monday, October 1, 2012

Books for September, 2012

A Primer on Worship and Reformation A Primer on Worship and Reformation by Douglas Wilson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a pretty good little book (or booklet, actually). Not my favorite from Wilson, nor (I think) his best writing, but good nevertheless.

Most of this book is solid advice and direction. As is not uncommon for Wilson, there is a section or two of complaints about how far we’ve all fallen from being good at what we’re supposed to be good at; in this case, engaging in full and rich worship. I don’t outright disagree with him on this, but oh how weary I am of such polemical stuff — especially because for some (though NOT Wilson, to his great credit) polemical theology seems to be all they are able to produce. That’s much like a carpenter who only seems to be able to take a project through demolition stage.

As it turns out, I heard 80% of the content of this book in a lecture Wilson gave on the topic of “Life Together” — minus the polemic about the sad state of church life and worship today. The lecture and the booklet were both good, but both left me wanting much more detail on some parts. That’s understandable with the lecture, but a bit dissatisfying, if not unforgivable, in a book.

Still, Wilson’s little monograph has much to offer, and is a quick and easy read for those who would like to begin to think about worshiping more fervently and richly.

Safe at Home: A NovelSafe at Home: A Novel by Richard Doster

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading through this novel by Richard Doster: a strong storyline, compelling and believable characters, and an underlying message that both encourage and challenge the heart.

Set in the 50s in the deep South, Doster presents an indirect (and sometimes quite direct!) commentary on civil rights and the struggle of two vastly different cultures to come to grips with life together. At times the tale is surprising; yet had you told me this was a memoir instead of fiction, I would have believed it.

Those who find the accounts of the hardships and difficulties of segregation too far-fetched or exaggerated need only read some of the actual history of the era to learn that, if anything, Doster was too gracious in his representation.

Thanks to Richard Doster for a great read!

InDesign Ebook ConversionsInDesign Ebook Conversions by David Bergsland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very good, though very brief, summary of how to format ebooks using InDesign.

This version/edition has some acknowledgements of the latest version of Adobe’s InDesign (CS6), but only just so — that version of ID had only just been released, so it is somewhat understandable that the author isn’t yet fully versed in the changes. Using his advice within that version of ID, I was able to create valid ebooks without any trouble.

I found this to be a much more approachable and usable guide than the more involved texts like EPUB Straight to the Point: Creating eBooks for the Apple iPad and Other ereaders by Elizabeth Castro. While Castro’s book is thorough, it is perhaps overly so if your intention is to utilize the most recent tools available.

View all my reviews

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