Monday, April 2, 2012

Decision Points

OK, I gotta be honest.  I didn't finish this book yet.  I plan to...I just haven't yet.  I am a pretty big George W. Bush fan, and I respect him and many of the decisions that he made while in office, but there were also decisions that I didn't agree with or understand at the time.  Not very often do we get the chance to read about the background information on the major (and minor) events in a president's life, so he is to be commended for making himself vulnerable in that way.  He admits in the book that not every decision he made was good, and he might choose differently given more information at the time.  We also get some of his life story...what made him into the man who became President.  His childhood and his relationship with his parents, his struggle with alcohol abuse, and his relationship with his wife and daughters were particularly interesting.    His writing style seems random...a story here, then off on a tangent, then back to the main sequence of events, but I didn't find that too distracting.  I'm now to the point of 9/11, and for many of us, that will be most interesting we all had our eyes on the President as he led our nation through that most difficult time.  So I read on...I am confident that it is time well spent.

Life Application Study Bible Devotional

Although I cannot say I've ever read a "bad" devotional book, there are a precious few that I would strongly recommend.  Most of them seem to put the emphasis on the applications or illustrations with little emphasis on God's Word itself.  This emphasis, while interesting to read, leaves you with very little to "chew on" as you go throughout your day.  This devotional sets out from the very beginning to put the emphasis on the Scriptures, and that is what makes it stand out from the rest.  There are 52 weeks of readings, taken from the key events in Jesus' life described in the Gospels.  Each week has an introduction, then 6 days of readings, including thought-provoking questions that give you something to consider all day long.  I would strongly recommend this devotional to anyone who wanted to spend a year learning more about the life of Jesus and applying His Wisdom to his or her own life.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Farm Fresh Southern Cooking

Now for my first (and probably last) cookbook review!!!  I say last because I'm not much of a cookbook collector.  I figure that I can find any recipe I need just looking on the internet.  BUT, when I saw this title, I just couldn't resist!  I love, love, love going to the farmer's market!  So much yummy fresh food all in one place, and feeling good about the food you're bringing home by supporting local farmers--nothing like it!  But I find myself getting in a rut, buying the same things everytime I go, and preparing the same things...corn on the cob, green beans and ham, squash casserole, fresh peaches, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers...oh, man, I'm starting to drool in anticipation.  But there are so many other things to try...rutabagas and turnips and parsnips and SO much more.  And even better, there are many more ways to prepare my favorites.  But there is nothing I hate more than a great looking recipe with 15 ingredients so I have to go shopping in order to prepare it.  But there's very little of that here.  Each dish seems quite simple, making the fresh ingredients the star of the recipe.  Although the emphasis on Southern cooking gives us several "down-home" foods such as crawfish, grits, or cornbread, there are plenty of appetizers, main dishes, desserts, breakfasts, soups, salads, and breads to please any palate.  There's even a chapter that gives tips for canning so you can enjoy real food all year long.  I'm not sure I will be that ambitious, but I know there is plenty here to keep me busy in a few weeks when the local market opens.  I can't wait!!!