Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical review

Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the SkepticalMaking Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical by Timothy J. Keller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book is basically a bunch of arguments for Christianity. While the author doesn’t try to prove the existence of God (which I appreciate!), he does make a number of arguments that I found pretty convincing about why the secular idea of morality still requires faith in something. (although not necessarily God)

There’s definitely some overlap with his other book The Reason For God, but I found this book thought-provoking and helpful.

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30-Second Philosophies review

30-Second Philosophies: The 50 most thought-provoking philosophies, each explained in half a minute30-Second Philosophies: The 50 most thought-provoking philosophies, each explained in half a minute by Barry Loewer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was fine enough. Having one page per philosophy is neat and a good way to introduce a bunch of stuff at once, but it turns out I’m really just interested in the ethics-related topics.

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Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You’re Not): A Parents’ Guide for Kids 3 to 23 review

Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You're Not): A Parents’ Guide for Kids 3 to 23Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You’re Not): A Parents’ Guide for Kids 3 to 23 by Beth Kobliner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great book! This is a straightforward guide to how to talk to your child about various money-related topics all the way from preschool to after college. Each chapter is a different topic (like debt, savings, spending, insurance, etc.) and has a lot of good advice. I was happy to see that her advice to parents lined up with what I knew for the stuff I knew about, which is a good sign for the stuff I don’t know about.

Splitting the book by topic and then by age makes it easier to read straight through, but probably more annoying once our kid is old enough to fall under the preschool category, since the preschool advice is distributed in every chapter. But that’s a minor quibble, and I look forward to referring to this book in the years to come!

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Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler’s Defeat review

Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler's DefeatChurchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler’s Defeat by Giles Milton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very interesting look at guerilla warfare and other “ungentlemanly” fighting during World War II. The book is charmingly British and is a good look at the origins of the organization all the way up to their big missions. It really paints a pretty complete picture and the writing was engaging.

There was some overlap with The Winter Fortress as that’s one of the missions they covered, but happily the description of the sabotage lines up with that book.

Recommended!

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Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right-and How We Can, Too review

Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right-and How We Can, TooViking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right-and How We Can, Too by George Lakey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was a good look at why Scandinavian countries are so awesome in health, happiness, income equality, etc. Basically, they have strong unions, and high taxes that provide for a lot of services that help even things out.

It was a bit repetitive, though. And it was really painful reading this in the early days of the Trump administration…

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The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb review

The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic BombThe Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very well researched and interesting book! I thought I was going to have trouble keeping up with all the Norwegian names, and…well, I did, but it was still a very enjoyable read.

It also got me to thinking about how tough it must have been to be an undercover agent after the Nazis took Norway. They knew they were on the side of right, but they also knew they could be captured, tortured, and killed, and they were also putting their families and friends at risk. (the Nazis would retaliate if they found saboteurs) They also knew that they were probably going to kill civilians who had done nothing wrong but were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yet it was still the justified thing to do, as Hitler getting the atomic bomb would have been catastrophic.

Anyway, for some reason it made it hit home about how they really had to be strong and brave to do the right thing and not collaborate with the occupying Nazis.

(I am desperately hoping this does not have any lessons for the coming years…)

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 review

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 by John Tiffany
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(really more like 3.5 stars)

All in all, it was pretty good. There were parts of it that felt a bit fan-fictiony to me, and I feel like the author of the play (who was not JK Rowling, I guess she wrote the story it was based on?) didn’t quite nail the characters. But maybe that’s because it’s set 19 years in the future and I’m being too harsh.

Also, it has this line of dialog which made me laugh out loud

Your solidarity is admirable, but it doesn’t make your negligence negligible

Which, two things:
– No one talks like this. Not even witches and wizards from England.
– “negligence negligible” – seriously? Google results for this phrase only turn up dictionaries and this play.

It’s 300 pages but it’s literally the script to a play so it’s a fast read. Also, I kind of want to see how they stage this thing – there are lots of descriptions of people doing magic, and how would that work?!

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