Book Report

Since I read so many books, I thought I would share what I’ve been reading.  Hence, Book Report.  I plan I making this a regular series, because, like I said, I read a lot.

Non-fiction

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Hobson, Theo.(2013) Reinventing Liberal Christianity.

Hobson gives an excellent history of the theological and philosophical developments in Protestantism, especially as it applied to liberal Christianity.  The text goes from the Reformation on up through present day looking at the major movers, theologians, and philosophers of Protestant Christianity.  Hobson covers Germany, England, and the United States and their roles as theological havens and the impact and intertwining liberal Christianity had and has on politics.  Liberal politics and liberal Christianity are not opposite sides of the same coin but rather the same side split from itself. 

I found the book rather informative, useful in understanding the history of Protestant theology and it’s impact on American politics, and how it’s development has actually created a lot of the problems we face today.  I recommend this book.

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Swedish Roots, Oregon Lives, edited by Lars Nordstrom

This book contains the stories of fifteen men and women of Swedish origin who in their own words tell their own history of leaving Sweden and ending up in Oregon.  These are all stories of real people, told in their own words.  Most left Sweden due to economic reasons and a few are second generation.  It’s an easy read.  If you are untreated in Swedish-American history or oral history, this is a good book.

Fiction

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Shaw, Johnny. Big Maria

This is the second novel I’ve read by Shaw.  The first Dove Season A Jimmy Veeder Fiasco was entertaining enough for me to continue. Plus, Shaw writes about where I grew up so it’s even more entertaining.

In this novel, three men set out to find the lost Big Maria gold mine.  None of these men are friends, at least to begin with, and are largely nobodies without a future.  The characters alone are hilarious.  Harry, Ricky, and Frank end up on the most unbelievable path to fortune.  The characters are human, with all their flaws showing. They are almost unbelievable characters and yet that’s what makes them endearing. While there were one or two scenes I refused to read, and the language could be over the top, it was still an entertaining read. I recommend this book.

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Brown, Eli. Cinnamon and Gunpowder.

A private chef gets.kidnapped by a female pirate and is forced to cook for her.  Owen Wedgwood gets kidnapped by Mad Hannah Mabot after she kills his employer in cold blood right in front of him.  He documents his journey in a journal, which is how the book is set up. 

Wedgwood ends up part of the crew, being forced to cook for Mabot. He points out life on a pirate ship and doesn’t quite totally fall into extreme Stockholm Syndrome.  His falling for Mabot seems a bit over the top and not really believable as a love story. And there are certain elements and scenes that are almost unnecessary and to me seemed contrived, as in if Brown knew that by adding them he was checking off a marketing list of popularity rather than letting the story tell itself. 

While food is relevant to the story, and the book is touted as a foodie book, a lot of the dishes seem as if they’ve been transplanted from the 21st century rather than the beginning of the 19th century.  I know odd and exotic dishes existed even as far back as the Roman Republic but these seemed like they didn’t quite belong.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad book but it wasn’t a great book either.  I don’t recommend this book.

So a few reads.  I’ll post again.  I don’t know how frequent I’ll, post Book Report but I will post. 

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