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Raising Boys and Girls: Books that Build the Family July 12, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Books, Family.
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In a previous post, I mentioned the recent release of the Dangerous Book for Boys, and now I want to recommend several other titles that can make your home, backyard, and weekend far more exciting for your kids and you, without the TV.

First, I have no girls, but Mom, so I’ll recommend the girls’ book first, American Girls Handy Book: How to Amuse Yourself and Others. Its filled with low tech entertainment for girls, from May-baskets to homemade fireworks, and it will not disappoint.

Now to the boys. Since I have already mentioned books like this in the past, I’ll jump right in:

Second, The Field and Forest Handy Book: New Ideas for Out of Doors. This book is authored by the founder of the Boy Scouts of America, Daniel Beard.

Third, The Boy Mechanic: 200 Classic Things to Build, this book will teach you and your son to build like a man. From the editors of Popular Mechanics, this book includes all sorts of gadgets that will keep the boys busy, without TV or PSP.

If you know of another book that helps out in the backyard, let me know.

Boys must be boys July 9, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Books, Family.
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Is you know a boy that can tell you what PSP, PS2, and X360 stand for but has no idea how to tie a bowline, clovehitch, or a hasty harness, then you need to spend a few dollars on him and buy him a book. Not just any book, but the Dangerous Book for Boys. There are several additional titles that carry similar themes, including one for girls, and you must start somewhere.

I have used these books with my 3 sons for some time now, and every day is an adventure, but these books are not written for the disengaged dad. Get ready to build forts, hew canoes, design booby traps, and get ready to release a hearty roar or rumble with you kids.

Al Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, reviewed the book on his blog in late May. He also uses it at home with his family.

Also, The Weekly Standard reviews it this month, and the review alone is worth the purchase price of the book.

If you are a father, hope to be one some day, or know a dad in need of some chest-thumping with his sons, get the book–you’ll be glad you did.

Watch the trailer for the book here.

Post Warning: For Serious Book Readers Only July 6, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Books, Family.
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If you’ve ever read at the local cafe and wondered why it seems you spend more time talking and looking than reading, then this post is for you (Warning: if you are suffer from claustrophobia, this post is probably not for you).  Scientists agree readers spend more energy fighting distraction than on reading itself.

Sakura Adachi, a furniture designer in Milan, admires pigeons for their ability to create private nooks in public spaces. That avian factoid of note inspired her to create a bookshelf, “The Cave,” for readers who want their furniture to be stylistic, yet functional, and especially for readers.

Read the NYT says about it.

The indispensable Book: Bible and Its Sufficiency June 4, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Bible & Theology, Books, Campus, Church, Culture/Society, Missions/Evangelism/Apologetics.
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What happens in our churches when we disregard the sufficiency of Holy Scripture? Confusion, sermons stripped of all but praxis, doctrinal error, and evangelism without power or effectiveness—the situation we see commonly today.

The Bible is indispensable to Christianity. From Pentecost to the present, no period in the history of the church has seen any substantial work of God without the powerful preaching and teaching of Christ through the Scriptures. The New Testament records a time when churches developed around the foundation laid on the teaching of the apostles and prophets.  But beyond simple history, the Bible provides formative and principled instruction on the establishment of simple bodies that bear the mark of Christ.

Link here for article on line.

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Dawkins, Delusion, and Disdain for Faith-heads May 15, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Bible & Theology, Books, Church, Culture/Society, Missions/Evangelism/Apologetics.
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In the Times, Richard Dawkins responds to the critics who offer the following criticism of his book, The God Delusion:

  1. I’m an atheist, but I wish to dissociate myself from your shrill, strident, intemperate, intolerant, ranting language.
  2. You can’t criticise religion without detailed study of learned books on theology.
  3. You ignore the best of religion and instead . . .
  4. You’re preaching to the choir. What’s the point?
  5. You’re as much a fundamentalist as those you criticise.
  6. I’m an atheist, but people need religion.

Hot quote: “You and I are too intelligent and well educated to need religion. But ordinary people, hoi polloi, Orwellian proles, Huxleian Deltas and Epsilons need religion.”

His closer: “I believe that, given proper encouragement to think, and given the best information available, people will courageously cast aside celestial comfort blankets and lead intellectually fulfilled, emotionally liberated lives.”

Pray for Dawkins, and for those whom the Lord has cross his path, that they may bring a word that yields life from death and light into the darkness.

Read the article here.

‘New’ Tolkien novel, ‘The Children of Hurin,’ to be published 34 years after death April 16, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Books, Campus, Culture/Society.
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From the feed: “More than 30 years after his death, a “new” book by J.R.R. Tolkien goes on sale on Tuesday which may well be the author’s last complete work to be published posthumously. Tolkien’s son and literary executor Christopher, now in his eighties, constructed “The Children of Hurin” from his father’s manuscripts, and said he tried to do so “without any editorial invention.”Already told in fragmentary form in “The Silmarillion,” which appeared in 1977, the new book is darker than “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” for which Tolkien is best known.

“It’s not Harry Potter,” said David Brawn, director at Tolkien publisher HarperCollins, a division of News Corp.

The story is set long before “The Lord of the Rings” in a part of Middle-earth that was drowned before Hobbits ever appeared, and tells the tragic tale of Turin and his sister Nienor who are cursed by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord.

Brawn said the initial worldwide print run for the new book, featuring illustrations by Oscar-winner Alan Lee, was 500,000.He told Reuters that Christopher, who does not give interviews, wanted to put the spotlight back on Tolkien’s writing after Peter Jackson’s hugely popular film trilogy based on “The Lord of the Rings.”

“As publishers we’ve been through the most extraordinary time with the films,” Brawn said. “They created this parallel strand of publishing and exploitation and once we had gone through that we said, ‘How do we get people back to the books?’

“When I became Tolkien’s publisher … one of the first files I came across was a proposal for ‘The Children of Hurin’, but it got buried.”

Exciting developments…

Read the news here.

Harvard University, Reading and the New Student April 6, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Books, Campus.
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As our culture continues to amuse ourselves to death, books and reading and other disciplined educational instruments will continue their decline in the home and classroom. To many children, reading a book these days is just above brussel sprouts on the list of things to do. Realizing the impact voluminous reading has on the mind and body remains critical to the growth of the mind’s ability to process complex critical thinking processes. Ever wonder how much reading affects one’s life? The Deans at Harvard have. (more…)

The Future of Academic Publishing at Broadman & Holman March 29, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Bible & Theology, Books, Campus, Church.
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I visited with Ray Clendenen at Broadman & Holman several weeks ago over coffee, and he shared with me his vision for the Academic division that he now chairs.

If you wonder where he would like to see B&H move, then you should read this recent statement reflecting his hopes in the SBC and the future of academic publishing.

HT: JH

Spring Fever-Plagiarism Big Problem on campus today March 19, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Books, Campus.
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In a cut-n-paste society, university campuses are dealing more than ever with term papers, which consist more of “search” than “research.”  The problem–plagiarism.

The article explains, “Plagiarism on campus grabbed the state’s attention in 2001 when a University of Virginia physics professor, acting on a tip, checked student papers using a homemade computer program. The school eventually charged 158 students with plagiarism. Nineteen months later, 20 students had been found guilty of honor violations and kicked out, another 28 admitted guilt and left the school on their own, and 90 students were exonerated. The rest received lesser punishments or treatment, such as counseling, the university reported.”

Plagiarism software packages like “Turnitin” are increasingly in popularity.  Turnitin is used “by thousands of colleges and high schools in more than 90 countries,” the article reports.

Read the article here.

New Spin on Charlotte’s Web January 22, 2007

Posted by moverstreet in Books, Culture/Society, Family.
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This weekend, I took my boys to see a movie that I hoped would measure up to the book they’ve loved for years. Better yet, I hoped it would contain the hope of White’s original fiction wed with the animatronic hilarity of “Babe” from a few years back. Instead, little “Fern,” the girl who saves runty Wilbur from the axehead, early in the movie exhibits disrespect, and demands “If I had been born small, would you have killed me?” An awful expression of emotion never expressed in the book, Fern’s words have no explanation on-screen. Moreover, the movie forgets to inform the audience that Fern actually sold the pig to Homer Zuckerman (a point the book makes clear early).

Beyond the missteps from the original, perhaps the greatest obstacle to the movie is the overwhelming proportion of celebrity giants that voice the thoughts of the boorish barnyard animals: Robert Redford plays the arachnophobic horse, Reba McEntire and Kathy Bates are a couple of homecows, Oprah Winfrey and Cedric the Entertainer are a gaggle of geese, John Cleese is the lead sheep, André Benjamin and Thomas Haden Church are crows, and Steve Buscemi plays Templeton, the rat. Their voices too distracting to move the plot along, I kept expecting to see Oprah the goose sit on her club chair across from Buscemi the rat counseling him on his anger issues, or giving her Book of the Month to all the barnyard animals–only Dr. Phil was missing from his sty. And (drumroll) Julia Roberts plays Charlotte, only she sounds more like Julia than a spider who’s dying to save little pig’s life.

The movie attempts to convey the importance of keeping promises and other mores, but lacks the genuine farm harmony of the book and the early 1973 cartoon. But overall, the story remains, complete with all of the animatronic technology, even if all of the movie’s zing was spent on making Julia look pretty instead of hideous.

Watch the movie, but know you’re seeing a B- before you go, and when you get home, read the book. The kids will thank you for it. More than sweetness, it contains the simplicity and imagination that a pig storyline demands. But if you need a movie, this pig will do.

Watch the trailer (here).