A Reader's Guide to the Major Writings of Jonathan EdwardsA Reader’s Guide to the Major Writings of Jonathan Edwards by Nathan A. Finn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a good book but was, frankly, above my current theological skill level. There are ten chapters, each written by a different person. Each chapter talks about different works of Jonathan Edwards and pretty much all of them discuss the theology of each book covered.

If I were a more skilled theologian I would probably like this book more.

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HCSB Minister's Bible, Black Genuine LeatherHCSB Minister’s Bible, Black Genuine Leather by Anonymous
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this Bible. I originally purchased it for the wide margins for note taking. However, I love the translation. It is easy to read.

The HCSB falls somewhere between a word for word literal translation and a thought for thought dynamic equivalence translation. At times the text agrees almost word for word with my ESV 2015 Reformation Study Bible, and at other times I find it is very close, if not word for word, with my other favorite translation-the 2009 New Living Translation. This combination gives me the best of both worlds. B&H Publishing refers to it as an Optimal Equivalence translation in the introductory notes to the Bible. Whatever it’s called it makes for a great, readable and entirely understandable translation that is used in many mainline churches.

The wide margins are very good for making notes. It is a single column Bible but has very few references in it. There are footnotes at the bottom of each page that are very helpful.

The cover is a soft, flexible cowhide. I don’t believe it is top grain cowhide though. The liner inside is a synthetic paste down liner that is also very soft. Since this is not a Study Bible, there are no notes or study helps beyond the footnotes on each page.

The minister’s helps at the end of the Bible are very helpful and includes such helps as classical wedding or contemporary weddings. There are helps for adult funerals and another for a child’s funeral. There is even a three page help to give the minister Bible passages for a variety of counseling needs among many other things.

The font used looks to be about 8.25 – 9.25 pt for the text and maybe a 7 pt font for the footnotes. It is not a large print Bible, but I wear bifocals and have no trouble reading either the text or the footnotes either one without my glasses. The paper is not excessively thin. There is very little ghosting even though the text doesn’t appear to be line-matched. I use Pigma Micron pens for all of my underlining and note taking and there is little if any bleed through.

I have only one complaint. The black end sheets are doubled for extra thickness but they are not completely glued together. They are only glued half- way up in both the front and back end sheets. I have no idea what the purpose of that was.

All-in-all the Holman Christian Standard Bible Minister’s Bible is an excellent edition and a great addition to my growing collection of Bibles. If you are a minister or just looking for something to make notes in like I was, I can easily recommend this one.

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Great Story but only So-So Narration for Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Left Hand of Darkness.”

The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle #6)The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When an envoy from earth lands on the planet known as winter he encounters a species unlike any other in the intergalactic coalition. His job is to facilitate their entrance into the coalition but first he must find a way to bridge the gap between them. Those os earth are either male or female, but the inhabitants of Winter can change their gender at will.

This is my first book by Ursula K. Le Guin even though the book is over 50 years old. I enjoyed it very much and plan to listen to others I have been curious about like The Dispossessed. I think it was good that I waited until my fifties to read this book. If I had read it as an adolescent I would have missed the more subtle aspects of the book and thus entirely missed the point of the book.

This is also my first book narrated by George Guiddall. I don’t think he did a bad job of narrating the book, but I wish there were more distinction between the various voices. It was often very difficult to tell who was talking. Sometimes a character would make a statement about something and the next character replied in the same voice. This happened so often that Guiddall might have well have just gone with a straight reading. I don’t know what his other books sound like but if they are like this one I don’t think Guiddall is in danger of becoming a favorite narrator of mine.

The rating is for the book alone. Guiddall’s narration is at best a three star ratingmaking the overall rating four stars for me.

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I loved this book as an adolescent and love it even more as an audiobook!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

I remember loving this book when I was an adolescent in the 9th grade at Gresham Junior High School. I remember how it made me laugh back then so I was delighted when I saw it in the recent SciFi & Fantasy Sale on Audible. I had never listened to anything narrated by Stephen Fry but had heard great things about him. I jumped at the chance to listen to this book hoping that I would find it just as humorous as I did when I read it in print back in the 1970’s.

I was not disappointed! This book not only held up well over the almost 40 years since I read it but I think I enjoyed it even more because this time I understood the subtle humor as well as the blatant stabs at society and things such as religion, politics, and evolution. There are just so many nuances that I cannot remember getting the first time I read it and Stephen Fry just brings a whole new dimension to the story.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough and I will be buying Douglas Adams other books that are available on Audible, especially if Fry is the narrator.

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A So-So book with just an okay narration

Mechcraft (Mechcraft, #1)Mechcraft by Brian Fitzpatrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book and its narration and gave them 4* only because you cannot give a book 3.5*.

Both the book and narration were good but ultimately forgettable. When I first found out that the main protagonist was a teenage boy entering puberty I thought middle grade or maybe young adult, but after hearing some of the language in the story I thought “nope, definitely adults only.” There is no way I would recommend this book to an adolescent. I would not have allowed my daughter to read itand would not recommend it for my grandson. I took off one star for that reason. The other half star was because of its forgettable nature.

Meghan Kelly did a decent job of narration but she never really varied her tone that much. For example, when I read a battle scene in a book Itend to read it with more intensity in my head. Kelly just gives it a straight reading without any enthusiasm. For all I know that’s what the producer or director wanted. Seems that the only time the reading took any intensity was when the characters were arguing. I haven’t made up my mind whether or not to listen to any follo up books in the series. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I received this book from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

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First audiobook I have finished this year!

B-17 Flying Fortress RestorationB-17 Flying Fortress Restoration by Jerome J. McLaughlin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book from Bill Nevitt in return for an honest review.

I very much enjoyed this book as it details the restoration of the B-17 Flying Fortress The City of Savanna. Much detail regarding the history of the B-17 in general and this aircraft in particular. Jerome McLaughlin does an excellent job of telling the story. Bill Nevitt does an equally excellent job of narration. My only complaint about this book is that McLaughlin frequently takes the reader out of the story and onto rabbit trails in sidebars that are informative but distracts from the unfolding story. I would have preferred them to be put into an appendix in the back of the book and just let the story unfold naturally.

This is the only audiobook that I have finished so far this year.

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A Wonderful Short Biography About An Amazing Man

Martin Luther: A Life InspiredMartin Luther: A Life Inspired by Wyatt North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonderful Short Book on a Great Man of God

There are longer biographical text on the man; Martin Luther, but I doubt there are any more concise volumes that celebrate the man and his ministry.

I learned more about Luther from this book than perhaps any other. Its chapters are short and concise and focused on the many aspects that made Martin Luther the man, the minister, and the Reformer that he was. For example, he was a prolific preacher but was scared every time he stood up to preach.

If you are looking for a quick read, I would highly recommend this one. Coming in at only 117 pages with short chapters, I believe this is one of the best biographies I’ve read.

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