Throwback Thursday Review: Nicolas Basbanes’ On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History

Good Thursday afternoon!

I tend to be a reader of biography, history, fiction, and books dealing with Christianity. But in my reading and reviewing for the past ten or so years, I have, from to time, selected books that do not fit these categories, although this book is a historical review of some thing that we use on a daily basis


Nicholas Basbanes,  a writer on American Culture, wrote a marvelous book on the history of paper. I remember feeling a growing delight in the history of this common, everyday tool as I read the book.

I think that you will too!

And I regret, but not too much, giving away my ARC copy of the book to a member of the book club to which I belong!

Here is a link to my 2013 review. Enjoy!



Throwback Thursday Reviews: Joan P Ball’s Flirting with Faith, Holly Burkhalter’s Good God, Lousy World, and Me and Rhoda Janzen’s

How people come to faith in Christ is always of an interest to me both as a Pastor and as Christian. Today’s Throwback Thursday Reviews (and there is more than one) are from three different authors who came to faith from different directions.




The first one is Joan Ball’s Flirting with Faith. A self-described agnostic and atheist Ball encounters Jesus in a dramatic following a Sunday morning worship. I have quoted her coming to faith story numerous times in sermons and conversations.








The next one is Holly Burkhalter’s Good God, Lousy World, and Me.  Burkhalter, a human rights activist, finds faith hard and even impossible as she sees and experiences terrible situations in which people’s basic needs are not being met. So she walks away from faith of any kind. But through several life circumstances found herself reconsidering and eventually embracing Christianity.






Finally, Rhoda Janzen has written two books of her return to a faith of her own. She tells her story with humor and pathos. The first book is Mennonite in a Little Black Dress of which I noted in my very brief Goodreads’ review:

I laughed out loud and often as I read this book. I enjoyed this book and was at times moved to tears and the back to laughter.






Then there is the follow up to Little Black Dress,  Does This Dress Make Me Look Fat? 

As with her first book, Janzen at turns, made this reader laugh and cry as she told her story with a deft touch.




All of these books have educated me in the fact that coming to faith is often a long journey through anger, disappointment, disillusionment, and pain. And they have helped me to reflect on my journey of faith.




Throwback Thursday Review: Anthony Slide’s Hollywood Unknowns

I’m back!!!

After a month off, I am back here!

I needed it too!

I am still on hiatus from reading and reviewing new books and I am thinking June 1st for my return to that activity.

In the meantime, I will continue my twice monthly (or more) posting of previous reviews of books that I think are still worth reading!

And today’s is Anthony Slide’s Hollywood Unknowns 








I have a family member who has been an extra in some recent television shows (sorry no name dropping here) and so the story of how the extra, the bit part, has developed in movie and tv history has a personal connection.

Hollywood Unknowns is a very unique book on how these vital roles have developed as well as the casting process. For you movie and tv history buffs, a required read in my opinion.

Here is a link to my review from 2012



Throwback Thursday Review: Alena Graedon’s The Word Exchange

When the opening line of a novel you are reading for the first time begins with

“On a very cold and lonely Friday night last November, my father disappeared from the Dictionary.”

You find yourself asking, “WHAAT?”

…and you start reading!

This is a fascinating novel about the value and importance of language and community and well… other things which I think that George Orwell would find interesting in this book (and perhaps Derrida and other members of the Deconstructionist School of Literary Criticism).

Enjoy my review of Alena Graedon’s

and enjoy the novel yourself!

Here is the link to my review;


Throwback Thursday Review: Stephen Mansfield’s The Search for God and Guinness

Reviews of three Stephen Mansfield books have been part of this reader/reviewer’s work since 2009:

Ask the Question which I reviewed in 2016 that dealt with the role of faith in politics.

Lincoln’s Battle With God which I reviewed in 2012 which was a narrative about the faith of Abraham Lincoln.

The Search for God and Guinness which I reviewed in 2009.

It is this Mansfield book that has stuck with me and is one of three to five books that I quickly recommend to people to read.

This book, about an Irish family of great faith, who brewed a beer as a alternative to bad water and hard liquor, is an amazing book about what happens when faith is put into practice.

The link to my 2009 review is just below and I hope that you take the time to read it.

Throwback Thursday Review: Andrea Hiott’s Thinking Small

Having read and reviewed over 400 books in the past eight to nine years, I thought I would take a break from reading and reviewing for a few months. (I do have one book that I am finishing which will be reviewed as soon as I finish it.)

But good books are good books and I have read several, ten perhaps fifteen, that come to mind when I think of a book that I would like to re-read myself…and recommend that you read perhaps for the first time.

I am going to recommend those books to you again with a link to the original reviews.

I hope that you find something you might like to read.

The first one is one of the three to five which stick with me all the time. It is about the legendary car – the Volkswagen Beetle.

The book is Andrea Hiott’s Thinking Small: The Long, Strange Trip of the Volkswagen Beetle published by Ballentine Books on January 1, 2012.

If you are a car fan, a Beetle fan, a history fan, or know someone who is, read this book.









Here is the link to my review in 2012:

Happy Reading!