Midpoint

Midpoint: A Memoir by Patricia Angeles

Book Reviewed by Daniel Ryan Johnson

In Midpoint: A Memoir, author Patricia Angeles reveals many of the important moments in her life that helped shape the person she has become. The stories contained in this memoir help paint the picture of a woman growing up in the modern world. One of the reminders found throughout the book is how small the world has become and that there are more ways in which people are alike than different.  Purchase Here.

Despite growing up in Manila, the majority of the tales from Patricia’s childhood could just as easily have been set somewhere in the United States. The stories contained within Midpoint: A Memoir mostly focus on growing up and finding your place in the world. The author makes it clear that while the book is meant to be an enjoyable read for anyone who picks it up, the audience at the forefront of her mind is her daughters. The stories aim to show that anything is possible while also demonstrating that things are not always easy and that everyone makes mistakes.

The snippets of Patricia’s life vary in tone. However, she carries a level of humor throughout the book. Refreshingly, she does not shy away from admitting to not being perfect, which is not always the case with autobiographies. Rather than ignore her mistakes, she highlights them and takes us through where she went wrong with the invaluable tool of hindsight. Throughout Midpoint: A Memoir, Patricia carries a feeling of good cheer. Whether writing about a funny story from her youth, or a trying time that left her shaken, it is clear that she realizes it all led her to the life she has now, which she wouldn’t trade for anything.

While almost anyone can find relatable material in many stories throughout this memoir, there are still moments when the unique challenges faced by an immigrant and a minority remind us that this small world we live in can be experienced very differently depending on your background. Midpoint: A Memoir is an easy read full of the short stories that make up a life. Patricia Angeles has a thoughtful and elegant way of writing that enables the reader to immerse themselves in her life, one tale at a time.

 

 

Keep Quiet Black Boy

Keep Quiet Black Boy: A Leadership Guide to Mentoring Millennials by Rev. Dr. Jerome Frierson

Book Reviewed by Lily Andrews

Keep quiet, Black Boy” is a nuanced leadership guide to mentoring millennials and a transparent empirical Christian guide whose thought and concept have been drawn from a line of real experience and multifaceted surveys and interviews, which culminate in the author’s passion to break a hideous cycle that has limited many young African American men for decades.  Purchase Here.

Coming from a black community where humiliation, discrimination, oppression, poor economic status, racism, and agony stood paramount, the author carefully carves this book in skill and ardor into an eye opener, whose sole purpose is to enlighten and deliver infinite wisdom and liberating truths to similarly disadvantaged African American young men, who he strongly feels have a greater need for social support than others.

As an experienced preacher, the author bases his research on Christian values and biblical foundation making this a transformative handy guide for the Christian community. The bustling findings derived from well-thought questionnaires and surveys not only draw the reader’s attention to detail but interpretation as well.

Keep Quiet, Black Boy” is a vast read that has employed candid talk and dialogue, a writing style that makes this read natural and original all through. End notes, biblical testimonials, and a vast list of references qualify this book as authentic and also make readers appreciate the deep and exhaustive research undertaken by the author. The author’s objective to have mentorship as the basis for this sumptuous study not only showcases it as an integral tool for transformation, growth, and development but also as a rewarding and fulfilling tool whose benefits are abounding.

Rev. Jerome Frierson intelligently manages to issue an essential clarion call to the church, school, and community leaders to stand up for African American young men, by creating mentorship and awareness sessions in a world that deeply advocates for sponsorship rather than mentorship. His boundless effort to see a generation thriving and flourishing stands appreciated and valued.

Keep Quiet Black Boy: A Leadership Guide to Mentoring Millennials” by Rev. Jerome Frierson is, without doubt, a much-necessary read in modern times and an incentive to adduce further discussion on the subject of a complex subject little voiced.

 

Embracing God in the Right Perspective with the Right Foundation of Faith in Him

Embracing God in the Right Perspective with the Right Foundation of Faith in Him by Chris Tham

Book Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Author Chris Tham guides and inspires, with his work in Embracing God in the Right Perspective with the Right Foundation of Faith in Him. Within the text of this work combining spiritual and intellectual wisdom, spiritual stimulation abounds as he imparts his heartfelt template for study and contemplation which leads to uncovering your true spiritual self-buried within. Purchase Here.

Moreover, he delves into our relationship with God, and his desire for us to be like him in thought and deed in addition to maintaining faith and understanding that we are all children of God, no matter your walk of life, and worthy of an abundant life and afterlife, which culminates into a solid spiritual foundation for surviving life. Additionally, the proceeds from the sale of the book go to charitable organizations which helps to further the nurturing intent towards his fellow men of author Tham’s work.

Immediately engaging, this comprehensive and scholarly tome waxes on transcendent truths, throughout, dutifully demonstrating the expansiveness of God’s love proven through biblical text. Also, within this work, author Tham offers the spiritually inclined a significantly insightful, inclusionary, and lucid approach to the spiritual realm as well as attending to the scriptural mindset.

Altogether, this work is fueled by deep dives into biblical interpretation using a variety of resources, not just the bible, including works like the Quran, wisdom from other well-known figures like Lao Tzu, as well references to other spiritually based works. He also includes juxtaposing, well-known biblical figures and their stories of connection, faith, and wisdom, including Abraham and Isaac, King David and King Solomon, Elijah and Elisha, Moses and Joshua.

Moreover, Chris Tham furthers his studious journey into fomenting a faith-filled relationship with God, with earnest exploration of existential topics delved into from his thoroughly researched perspective. He dives deeply into the heart of each pertinent subject necessary for soul growth and healing.  His work garners the spiritual curiosity, by providing answers to questions and issues necessary for building the foundation for true spiritual growth.  He includes topics such as Who is God? and Who are you? Who is the Devil? Knowledge vs Truth, The Three dimensions of Man, Who are the evil spirits?, Trinity of God and much more.

What truly stands out in this work is the author’s tangibly authentic intention to lead others to their true selves through his thorough exploration of each topic. Albeit while this is a large book filled with many great perspective-altering points, I found Chapter 4; The Three Dimensions of Man to be an outstanding exploration of the aspects of the multifaceted human, viewed as essentially composed of spirit, soul, and flesh. His work within this book emphasizes on the spirit aspect because, with attending to the spirit first brings enlightenment; while on the other hand attending to the flesh first, keeps one mired in struggle and fighting with darkness.

Overall, Embracing God in the Right Perspective with the Right Foundation of Faith in Him by Chris Tham made for a heartfelt read that I enjoyed. And while persistence is required for this read, because this is a large book that is expansive in its scope, it is well worth the effort because this is a spirit-based study guide that allows for the accessing of the deepest of spiritual levels.  In fact, this is somewhat of a survival guide for the spirit affecting the mindset and speaking to the soul.  With each well-written chapter, came a wealth of insight, which is sure to give hope and inspiration to all its readers and I do recommend this work for spiritual readers from all walks of life.

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Against the Current

Against the Current in the Silent Service by R.W. Herman

Book Reviewed by Timea Barabas

Against the Current in the Silent Service is a gripping memoir by R.W. Herman about navigating the uncharted waters of life. Through the pages of the book, the author takes a deep dive into his personal life while in the service of the Navy and his winding road of self-discovery.  Purchase Here.

While this memoir was written as a continuation of the author’s debut book, The Unopened Letter, it is well-rounded enough to stand as an independent read. This first book details the author’s experiences in the Navy during the Vietnam War Era, offering a peek behind the curtain of history from a uniquely personal perspective. Readers already familiar with the author’s life will finally know the answer to what happened next and why the author is called Commander. Those freshly introduced to R.W. Herman’s writing will discover an alluring and thrilling personal universe.

After building a reputation as an exceptional sailor (with an intriguing rebellious streak) R.W. Herman aims to become a commissioned officer. However, career advancement lies at the end of a winding road sprinkled with obstacles. To succeed, Herman must navigate the troubled waters of the system, inner struggles, and family life. At one point – which turns out to be a stepping stone for his dream future – the author is thrown into the foreign universe of submarine service.

Herman’s life story of trials and tribulations is an inspiring illustration of how hidden currents may guide our lives to the shores that we recognize as home. Also, his drive and ingenuity in thriving in adverse conditions keep the reader glued to the pages of his life. What is more, Herman skillfully decodes hostile conditions and uses the data and his knowledge as a world-building kit.

Readers might expect the setting for Against the Current in the Silent Service to be within rigid Navy and Marines confines. However, that is not the case. The story expands from within these systems touching on some of the great literary themes of love, loss, self-discovery, and freedom. The author interprets freedom as self-acceptance and allowing oneself the liberty to pursue the realization of a future self and a future us.

What is truly impressive about the read is the multiple levels of complexity that embrace the core story. The systematic exploration of social dynamics stands out as particularly relevant. Herman captures the fragile and subtle couple dynamics as two individuals jointly venture into a shared future. However, he also peers into the cracks of a seemingly rigid and stern system to uncover shifting and often unpredictable dynamics driven by a complex mixture of self-interest, duty, preservation, and sacrifice.

Against the Current in the Silent Service is an effortless read that can easily entrap readers into its flawless web of writing. While Herman displays an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the Navy and communication systems, his life story is not weighed down by technicalities. All that remains is to witness a most captivating life unfold in the pages of this book.

Singing the Land

Singing the Land: A Rural Chronology by Chila Woychik

Reviewed by Teri Takle

Many people write about the events in their daily life and the thoughts that make it memorable. Daily record keeping is unnecessary, but every few days is needed to view what we have enjoyed in our little snippets in the back of our minds. Purchase Here.

Depending upon where you live, life is different. If you live in a large city, it is busy, crowded, noisy, and many residents thrive upon that lifestyle.

For some of us, we live in Iowa, one of those fly-over states. We thrive in the quiet life of the country, or a small town, or even a large city.

For the author, Chila Woychik, she adores her life on her farm with her husband in the beauty and joy of nature in Iowa.

January 21

“First snows, like first loves, leave one panting for breath.”

January 31

“Iowa is nothing in winter, but endless roads slick with lonesome.”

How can these two entries be written just ten days apart? The answer is Iowa. The first draws the reader inside the beauty, silence, and complete awe of the first snow. The second reflects the days of hard work, shoveling, and the constant slipping and falling on the ice.

Another author, Stephanie E. Dickinson, is also an Iowa native. In her foreword to Chila Woychik’s chronology, she reveals her love of the people and the way of life in Iowa. She also beautifully reflects about her childhood memories in Iowa.

Many visitors to Iowa frequently have no clue what to expect when they arrive in our state. (Yes, a visiting professor from the east coast appeared before a class wearing a pistol around his waist and cowboy boots that were new and hurt his feet. My class, including myself, were not impressed. How can an educated man be so unaware of this part of his country?)

People who have always lived in large cities sometimes have difficulty understanding the peace and contentment of living in a rural community. Iowa is a land where hard, physical labor brings a joy with living daily with the wonders of nature.

Singing the Land is unique. This non-fiction gem explains how Iowa compares to other places like Alaska in the winter.

Singing the Land is Chila Woychik’s monthly journal of the family farm’s events for one year. Yes, it is likely to change from year to year, depending on weather and challenges. She seems to capture the hearts of those who choose Iowa as their home. However, Chila has a gift of optimism and hope with every word she writes to create this beautiful book, complete with many of her pictures. Between joys and sorrows, births and deaths, unpredictable weather, reflections upon life, time, religion, hard work, and a sense of accomplishment are all part of this book’s gemstone.

The Secrets of Living a Fantastic Life

The Secrets of Living a Fantastic Life: Two Survivors Reveal the Thirteen Golden Pearls They Discovered by Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life by Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka is a very inspirational and thought-provoking book written by two people who lived through extremely traumatic and trying experiences. The authors learned from those experiences and grew to understand that they did not have to allow what happened to them to influence the rest of their lives negatively. Instead, they both chose to move on and have successful careers and happy lives, and decided to collaborate and write a book to help others also live “fantastic lives.” Purchase Here.

The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life is subtitled “Two Survivors Reveal the 13 Golden Pearls They’ve Discovered.” Those “golden pearls,” or life lessons, aided them to get past the traumatic events in their lives and to move on. The self-help book that they wrote, detailing what those 13 golden pearls are, is full of revelations that the authors hope will inspire readers of the book. The negative things that everybody experiences in their lives, to one extent or the other, do not have to define who we are as people.

I really liked it that Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka opened up in The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life and revealed the nature of the traumatic experiences they went through. Dr. Lycka was diagnosed as having Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and he was told he only had six months to live. Harriet Tinka was a fashion model and a Woman of Distinction who lived through the terror of being kidnapped by someone she knew, stabbed by the man, and left for dead. Dr. Lycka and Harriet Tinka could have let these things embitter them and alter the course of their lives and careers for the worse. Instead, they moved on, grew, and didn’t let the negative things they went through define them.

What are the 13 golden pearls that the authors discovered and relate to their readers in The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life? Being an author myself, I don’t want to reveal too many “spoilers.” I’d rather that potential readers of the book get the pleasure of checking out what the pearls are on their own, by reading Dr. Lycka and Harriet Tinka’s book. They reveal what the pearls are in a captivating and entertaining manner by both telling stories from their own lives and also by utilizing a myriad of quotes from famous authors like Ralph Waldo Emerson and celebrities like Sir Paul McCartney, Christopher Reeve, and Bruce Lee.

I will mention a couple of the pearls that I loved reading about the most, though, and those are the importance of forgiveness and laughter. I will talk more about a few of the other pearls with Dr. Lycka and Harriet Tinka in an interview that they graciously agreed to do with me, which can be read elsewhere at this same site.

The ability to forgive somebody who has hurt and wronged you can be very difficult to do, but doing so is an important step if one wants to live what the authors refer to as “a fantastic life.” The authors write about this in the book’s seventh chapter, “Forgiveness.” They relate a story called “My Uncle” told by a contributor to the book, Lauren Magliaro. Lauren begins the chapter by telling about the reconciliation that took place between her uncle and her father, when her father was in the hospital due to suffering a brain aneurysm. Her uncle was there with Lauren and the rest of her family there at the hospital by their side, supporting them and his brother during a time Harriet describes as “the hardest days of our lives.”

After Lauren’s dad recovered, whatever the rift was between him and his brother was like a “slate – wiped clean.” From then on, both sides of Lauren’s family were back together, and she writes that “Family gatherings no longer had a dividing line.” Forgiveness is definitely a very powerful pearl we should all treasure in our hearts. Indeed, Lauren describes forgiveness as being “the essence of love.”

Laughter is such an important part of our lives that it has been sometimes called “the best medicine.” In the eleventh chapter of The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life, aptly titled “Laughter,” Dr. Lycka begins the chapter writing about a run-in he had with an obstinate camel he was trying to ride in Egypt. The camel driver, playing a joke on Dr. Lycka, tells him the camel he’s picked out is his “gentlest” one, but the stubborn animal refuses to obey the camel driver’s commands and cajoling.

The camel repeatedly attempts to throw Dr. Lycka, who by now regrets his decision to try riding the animal, off his back. It is only after the ordeal is over, and the camel driver buys a Coke for Dr. Lycka, that the author can see the humor in the situation and have a laugh about it. Both authors relate various ways that laughter, including being able to laugh at oneself, is important. Dr. Lycka writes that: “Laughter, especially at oneself, tempers ego, interrupts narcissism and improves your happiness in the moment.” It is one of the thirteen pearls the two authors write about that can really make a big difference in our lives, make the problems and worries we all have seem a bit less significant, and help people achieve a “fantastic life.”

The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life is a book I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It is a valuable sand appealing self-help book that will have readers engrossed and entertained while also informing and teaching them about the thirteen secrets, or “pearls,” that authors Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka discovered. The knowledge about these pearls might not make us have fantastic lives overnight, but when put into practice on a daily basis, the nuggets of wisdom that the authors write about will definitely improve readers’ overall outlooks on life and will put them on the road to becoming better versions of themselves. This is a book I highly recommend you check out and add to your reading lists!

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Playing Soldier

Playing Soldier by F. Scott Service

Book Reviewed by Timea Barbaras

Playing Soldier” is a raw and masterfully written memoir by F. Scott Service. The book is dedicated to the personal experience of war. The author starts with the motivation that may lead someone to participate, takes us through a fragment of war, and ending his tale with the aftermath. Purchase Here.

Our journey along Scott starts at the very beginning with his childhood. He was raised in a loving home, but not a perfect home. An only child, he finds refuge from daily life in fiction and play. One day he finds the old field jacket of his father which sparks a new narrative for him, playing soldier. Dressed up in his father’s jacket and armed with a BB gun, he shares the battlefield with the neighborhood kids. School fails to hold Scott’s attention; he would rather continue to explore the many worlds of fiction. He was dreaming of becoming a literary world-builder himself but was repeatedly pulled toward more practical career alternatives.

The next stage of his life slowly ushers in and Scott marries his college sweetheart, Rita with whom he raises Spazzy, their beloved cat. Hand in hand they were slowly building their future together. But the sparkly surface blinds Scott from a dark truth that lurks in the corner of his consciousness as there is no substance to this projection of life together. The I became lost in us, or just in her. So, when offered the chance to join the National Guard, Scott, with his wife’s blessing, decides to follow his inner child’s call to adventure. The military still has an almost magical hold on him; it is shrouded in romanticism and thrill. What is more, the recruiter also flaunts the perspective of good pay and better employment opportunities.

But what starts as playing soldier during his training soon spirals into an unrecognizable ouster reality on the edge of existence, as Scott is dropped off in the Iraq war. This is not the military service from his childhood games, nor the image that was blooming in his imagination ever since. It is something beyond scope and reason. War morphs into a black sun that slowly burns away his sense of reality and self. And as Rita decides to file for divorce, Scott’s life from before becomes just another collateral of war.

Disillusioned by war, Scott tries to break his ties with the military and rebuild a new life. But the shadow cast by combat seems unwilling to let him go. The expected social reintegration is severely impeded by an ugly divorce, an existential crisis, and PTSD. The temptation of the final escape triggers a light in Scott and a new journey begins.

Playing Soldier” is a deeply reflexive take on one’s own life and life in general. F. Scott Service skillfully draws in the readers through a series of intimate confessions and gets them hooked on a sweet melancholic note that rings throughout the pages of the book. The effortless and elevated literary language in the book can hook anyone, regardless of his or her interest in the topic of war. After all, this is a memoir dedicated to the human condition at its rawest, walking the line between life and death.

Mystery at the Blue Sea Cottage

Mystery at the Blue Sea Cottage: A True Story of Murder in San Diego’s Jazz Age by James Stewart

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Reaching back in time to the roaring 20’s in southern California, author James Stewart’s debut work, Mystery at the Blue Sea Cottage, offers a compelling view of the intricacies of an unsolved homicide, the murder of young and beautiful, interpretive dancer, Fritzie Mann. Purchase Here.

Based on years of research, this true-crime narrative poses an adept tracing of the history of this once sensationalized murder mystery brought forth through a multi-faceted lens which explores not only the murder but journalistic behaviors, the investigative processes during that era, and a Hollywood sex scandal connection as well as exploring the culture of the time.

Piquing the curiosity from the outset, this work of true crime immediately draws the attention into the fascinating backstory of Fritzie who, for the most part, was a seemingly sensible but “modern” woman in her early twenties who worked to help with her sick sister’s medical bills by dancing. However, to her family, there was an air of mystery in her life when it came to her romantic associations, relationships or dating.

Fritzie’s tragic story starts with the initial discovery of her body with a severe bruise on her forehead on a nearly empty stretch of beach. Initially unidentified as a corpse, it was not until several clues leading to her identification, including a note on a card stating “I am Fritzie Mann” along with other identifying but not immediately associated belongings strewn around the beach, began to build up to her true identity especially once the connection was made that she was a well-known exotic dancer. Her death quickly became front page fodder and grew into one of the most sensationalized news stories at the time in Southern California.

Additionally, the ensuing investigation seemed to lead to a path of evidentiary twists and turns, as clues led to inconsistent theories about her death; Was she murdered? Did she commit suicide? or Did she drown? Moreover, she was discovered to be in “delicate condition” adding more confusion and scandal as to the real reason for her demise. Albeit, once it was discovered that she actually was murdered, Who did it? and Why? became the prevalent questions which then changed the tone of the investigation and introduced several interesting suspects including a Hollywood actor whom Fritzie’s mother insisted was the actual murderer. Moreover, what follows within the narrative is a well- organized, thoroughly detailed work which takes the readers through the intimate details of the life and death of Fritzie as well as bringing to the edifying forefront the culture and lifestyle at the time which did seem to embody a seamier side.

Overall, I enjoyed Mystery at the Blue Sea Cottage. I found it to be a completely engrossing true crime read set in an era when life, love, womanhood and murder were perceived very differently from current modern life. I was captivated by the detailing of the police work, autopsy scenes, investigation methods, culture of the times, and insight into the secrets and scandals played out in the roaring 20’s Hollywood. I do highly recommend this book. It is well worth the read and I personally would love to see it made into a movie.

 
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The Ranting of an Uneducated Reactionary by Oscar J. Phillips

Book Reviewed by Lily Andrews

The Ranting of an Uneducated Reactionary” is a remarkably ardent and precisely reasoned basal that examines the legislative and bureaucratic systems in modern-day America.  Click Here to Purchase.

Here, Phillips notes that conservatism is a movement for happiness, unity, and social justice with a positive agenda to fight poverty, promote equal opportunity, extol spiritual enlightenment, and help everyone lead happier and more fulfilling lives. He neatly hammers any idea that conservative ideologies lack relevance in today’s rapidly-changing world. As the chapters unfold, the writer presents his viewpoints with candor and precision, examining different structures of governance while not shying away from sharing his atypical assessments.

The Ranting of an Uneducated Reactionary” is readable and consumable, well-written, and thought-provoking. Further, author’s command of facts is august. Having lived within a conservative environment, Phillips manages to bring lucidity to a subject that most analysts misperceive. While some of his beliefs on politics and socialism may appear contentious, his egalitarian approach to the various subjects that he discusses is what gives this book an elevated poise.

This volume offers a refined and enlightened presentation of what is singular about conservative social and political ideas. It is a compendium with an argument, that evokes pondering, reflection, and musing about the future of America and what part each American citizen can play to ameliorate living standards. Blunt and punchy in its own right, the text further suggests rejecting the values set by government socialists and returning to values that allow us to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. He further looks at areas of government, politics, society, and culture offering his insights on the same.

Overall, “The Rantings of an Uneducated Reactionary” is a must-read for anyone interested in the basic tenets upon which the United States was built, and most importantly, a rallying cry for all Americans. Indeed, Oscar J. Phillip’s forthright work is bound to serve as a rousing gallop for Americans and political science students alike. Its arresting viewpoints are worth a good read.

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Salt & Light; The Complete Jesus by Jonathan Geoffrey Dean

Book Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

An extraordinary deep dive into the life of an extraordinary man, Jonathan Geoffrey Dean’s Salt & Light; The Complete Jesus presents a masterful guide for inquiring minds to the definitive life and ministry of Jesus. The first edition to his two-book series, this book offers an intelligently posed wealth of knowledge, garnered from many years of research and fueled by the layman author’s ignited curiosity. As a whole, the book was written in search of the entire true scope of Jesus’ life and works, particularly as an earnest way of seeking to answer three simple questions, 1. Who was Jesus? 2. What did he do? 3. What did he say? However, instead of focusing on the religious elements, author Jonathan Geoffrey Dean leaves his faith out of his search, choosing to focus primarily on the academic aspects, which works out very well throughout the book. Albeit while there is no simple answer to discovering the complete life of Jesus, however, the level of work ethic, thorough research, comparative analysis, and discernment employed by author Dean raises the bar for other books of this nature to meet. Moreover, as thorough, as it is well-written, this work provides a masterful reading venture that is part historical dissertation, populated with literate reaches into obscured aspects of biblical texts, such as the Gospels, and Acts, which contain elements of the true history of Jesus. Moreover, the information contained in this book is catalytic in the way that it does well to offer definitive, perception-altering data when it comes to the life of Jesus, often bruising long-standing myths and alternate religious-based concepts previously known, concerning the life of Jesus. Meanwhile also included are instances of contact with those around him used to establish a credible timeline of his life and ministry.  Click Here to Purchase.

Altogether, author Jonathan Geoffrey Dean did well in answering his proposed questions via sorting through the broad spectrum of information providing sources on the life of Jesus. In part 1 of the book, he delves into the explanation of how myth can become reality and shares the intriguing example of the life of Betty Crocker to prove his point. Additionally, he shares his methodology of reviewing available source materials while meticulously narrowing down the material to a concisely viable list and was able to establish a credible timeline of the true life of Jesus. He examines what made a source useful, including parameters that proved useful in narrowing the scope of truth. Then in part 2 he delves into answering his aforementioned questions by also studying other resources of information including scriptures from Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Pagan perspectives.

Altogether, I enjoyed reading Jonathan Geoffrey Dean’s, Salt & Light: The Complete Jesus and believe this would make a fantastic documentary. This was an absolutely phenomenal read that piqued my curiosity and excited my mind.  This was a work that was easy to relate to because it came from a well-versed layman’s perspective and not from the religious perspective bogged down by dogma. I enjoyed the thoroughness of his methodology and look forward to reading the second book in this series. This is a must read for seekers of the true Jesus.