Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Priest's Graveyard

Ted DekKer
Center Street

Danny Hansen came to America with hopes of escaping haunted memories of a tragic war that took his mother's life.  Now he's a priest, incensed by the powerful among us who manipulate the law for their own gain, uncaring of the shattered lives they leave behind.  It is his duty to show them the error of their ways, even if he must put them in the grave.
Renee Gilmore is the frail and helpless victim of one such powerful man. Having escaped his clutches, she now lives only to satisfy justice by destroying him, regardless of whom she must become in that pursuit.
But when Danny and Renee's paths become inexorably entangled things go very, very badly and neither of them may make it out of this hunt alive.

If you read through this blog, you will see that I am a fan of Ted DekKer.  In fact, his work is the reason I even started this blog in the first place. His books have pulled me in and set me into a place of truly loving the written word.  Because of that, I get excited when I see a new book from DekKer. The Priest's Graveyard is no exception.  DekKer has such a masterful way of drawing the reader into the story that you literally become the character, and experience what they feel.  The one thing that will never cease to amaze me is DekKer's uncanny ability to create a twist that is unforeseen.  After having read 20 DekKer titles, I still didn't see this twist coming!

The story itself is incredibly well written.  Not once did he ever lose me, nor did any scene falter in it's realism.  I truly felt the character's passion and disgust, love and hate, euphoria and sorrow.  At a scant 360 pages, it's shorter than a typical DekKer novel, and this is sad because the pages fly quickly.

I am always impressed with the different ways that DekKer approaches love.  He seems to find it everywhere, in every scenario, and in every person he sees.  The Priest's Graveyard takes that to a place I never would have suspected.  I think we all have a little bit of Renee's tendencies when it comes to love, it's just that ours are more hidden than most.  I would really love to delve into the topic and explore how we are similar, but that would give everything away.  You'll just have to read the story to find out.

If you love thrillers, get this book.
If you love love stories, get this book.
If you love action, get this book.
If you love the written word, get this book!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Average Joe

by Troy Meeder
Multnomah Books

What is happening to my life? Have you ever honestly asked yourself that question? As young boys, we dreamed of being pilots firefighters, doctors, and cowboys. Now we're older, with a wonderful wife and kids, as well as a mortgage, a minivan, and a fulfilling but not-so-glamorous job. What happened. All the dreams that once inspired us have evaporated into traffic jams, computer screens, bills and deadlines. Why is life so ordinary?
If you think your life is nothing special, take a look at it through God's eyes.

I have to admit, when I got this book I was ready to tear it apart. I had just finished reading a bunch of books like Wild at Heart, Life without Limits, and outlive your life. I wasn't really ready to read a book that seemed to glorify average. The tagline of the book is "God's extraordinary calling to ordinary men" and that read to me that we are all normal and boring.
Boy, was I surprised.

Troy Meeder takes us through a journey in his own life - a journey of discovery and revelation that, even though you may not be an astronaut, rock star, or famous A-list movie star, you still have the ability to be an extraordinary man.
Throughout the book, Meeder recounts story after story of seemingly ordinary men being extraordinary - even if it is in ways that the world will never see. The gentle strength of his grandfather guiding their boat during a horrendous storm, the gardener who taught him honesty and integrity, and the December fishing trip with an old friend out on a lake where Troy learned the meaning of humility and putting others first. Not a single one of these men will ever be remembered by society at large, but each one of these men are incredible and far beyond average.
Meeder, although I don't think it was his intent, shows us that you are only average if you choose to be and that these men chose to live a lifestyle that the world doesn't promote, yet is sorely needed today: Honestly, integrity, humility, fairness, strength, and calm.

The author's writing style is engaging, and his chapters are short. This is an excellent read if you don't have a lot of time or if you don't want to get caught up in a lengthy book. Meeder's short, sweet, and to the point analogies and stories being the focus back to his true intent: revealing that, though we may be 'average' as the world labels us, we all have the ability to be a superstar to someone.

I highly recommend this book. If you are a man searching for meaning to what you consider to be a dreary life, you definitely need to read this. If you are married to a wonderful man who may not be able to see himself the way you see him, get him this book. It is very inspirational and motivating.

You can download a sample of the book by clicking here.

I received this book for free as part of Mulnomah's blogging for books program. I was not required to write a positive or negative review. All opinions of the book are mine.