A Tale of Two Books.

Fair warning, there's no knitting in this post. It's about books I finished in the last month or so.
I recently came across an interesting website, BookSneeze.
I review for BookSneeze
Cute slogan. I signed up because even though most of my free time where I could be reading is usually spent knitting, I do enjoy new books and if Thomas Nelson is willing to provide me with a complimentary copy of this book, then so be it.

I selected "The Map: The Way of All Great Men" by David Murrow.

Here's the description from BookSneeze: A map, hidden in the gospel of Matthew, is the key to awakening the sleeping giant in the church—men.

Sounds like fiction, but it's true. The apostle Matthew embedded a map into his gospel. History's greatest men, including Christ himself, followed this map.

The Map begins as a fictional tale of murder, deception, and greed as three men fight to uncover the most important discovery since the Dead Sea Scrolls. Then, using the tale as a parable, Murrow shows men what the map looks like, where it is found in the Bible, and how to walk its three ancient pathways today:

* Submission
* Strength
* Sacrifice

David Murrow stumbled across the map by accident in 2006. After three years of research and writing, he is ready to reveal it to the world.

So, the book starts out in an admittedly "DaVinci-code"-ish way - there is mystery about an ancient map that is hidden in the Bible text. That part was interesting - it kept my attention as I was curious as to what would happen next. But then, in the second part of the book you are let in on the secret, that the story in the beginning is all for show, but that there is a "map" in the Bible, right there in front of our noses and it is important for men to follow in order to feel more involved in Church and be more like Jesus. Jesus is presented as following a path of submission, strength and sacrifice. I found the discussion of the map and the path of the map interesting - it did bring together much of the Catholic education I received as a kid in a way that I hadn't considered before, yet makes complete sense. However, the second and third parts of the book lost me. This is where the book started to loose me and I started to skim the pages. Maybe because I am a woman. Maybe because my religious background is Catholic. Maybe because all I kept thinking of was mega-churches and evangelists (and honestly, I don't know much about them, maybe I've already got some prejudice there from the media). While skimming the last part of the book I felt I was being talked down to, not inspired, and I just wanted to give the book a big ol' eye roll. Yes, the author is clever in his presentation, but I think he's the only one who finds himself amusing. Point for the author: He's got a dachshund though according to the author information on the back cover.

If you're interested in this book I'm happy to pass it along, I'll be sticking with Eat, Pray, Love (which I absolutely adored!).

On a different book note, I borrowed a great book from my mom, Art of Racing in the Rain - I am talking this book up to everyone that I know. If you've ever had a dog (especially a "good dog") or known a good dog, you must read this book. Told entirely from the dog's point of view, this is a story of a dog and his devotion to his owner / family, and their life through the good and bad. I often stay up at night to read when Dan goes to sleep and so many points brought on such emotion I wanted to wake him up to discuss! But I didn't, instead I'm waiting for him to read this book. Enzo, the dog in the book, is truly deserving of a "Good Dog" title - he is thoughtful and eloquent and now I look at Jackson and wonder if he thinks in a similar fashion.

Ok, enough about the books for today. I do have knitting to finish up - hoping to post about that tomorrow!


WifeMomKnitter said...

I took your suggestion and signed up with them, too,a while back. The first book was really interesting.

I get the feeling that Thomas Nelson is a mostly Christian publishing company. I have no problem with this, as I was raised Catholic and, while I don't attend church on a regular basis, I still have my faith in God and pray regularly.

But, I have to agree with you. There is an evangelical feel to the description of a lot of the books offered recently, which is kinda a turnoff to me.

Becca said...

So now I want to read The Map. First I have never heard of it before. Second I'm already annoyed in your review about how "men" have to follow the map...was this book written 50 years ago or is the author really that sexist. Plus then I just want to see what it is about.

Elizabeth said...

I loved Racing in the Rain and read it in one sitting one a plane. Which, was not necessarily the best thing, since I had to fight back tears several times. Such a good book!

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