Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jean Fritz

Jean Guttery Fritz is well known for writing American biography and history. When I started reading Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider my eyes opened and I started to really enjoy historical books. I also like her just as much for her historical fiction. As for her biographies well......I'm not a huge fan of them. To be brutally honest I think they're boring. Though I thought they were the best biographies I've found. So if you happen to like biographies I think you would really appreciate them.

Jean Fritz parents where missionaries to Hankow, China. She lived in China until she was twelve. Growing up she went to a British school where she kept a diary of her life in China. She then went to college and got married to Michael Fritz. They later had a son David and a daughter Andrea.

Her first historical novel was The Cabin Faced West (Published in 1958.) In 1986 she received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her books. Other titles she has written are: Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider, What's the Big Idea Ben Franklin, Do you want Women to Vote Lizze Stanton, and much much more.

All the titles I've read that Jean Fritz has written have been very appropriate and did not put up any stumbling blocks for me. I have enjoyed Jean Fritz for a long time and I hope you do too!


This is a review on the life of a Christian writer who lived in the 19th century.
He is a amazing man who was not afraid to stand up for what was right, and defy the
beliefs that were leading many astray.
Here is the link to the books that he wrote.
One book that I really recommend is the man who was Thursday.
It's a really great book.

Born in Campden Hill in Kensington, London, Chesterton was educated at St Paul's School. He attended the Slade School of Art in order to become an illustrator. The Slade is a department of University College London, where he also took classes in literature, but he did not complete a degree in either subject. In 1896 Chesterton began working for the London publisher Redway, and T. Fisher Unwin, where he remained until 1902. During this period he also undertook his first journalistic work as a freelance art and literary critic. In 1901 he married Frances Blogg, to whom he remained married for the rest of his life. In 1902 the Daily News gave him a weekly opinion column, followed in 1905 by a weekly column in The Illustrated London News, for which he continued to write for the next thirty years.
Chesterton was baptized at the age of one month into the Church of England, though his family themselves were irregularly practising Unitarians. According to Chesterton, as a young man he became fascinated with the occult and, along with his brother Cecil, experimented with Ouija boards.
Chesterton credited his wife Francis with leading him back to Anglicanism, though he began to see Anglicanism as a "pale imitation". He converted to Roman Catholicism in 1922.
Chesterton early showed a great interest in and talent for art. He had planned to become an artist and his writing shows a vision that clothed abstract ideas in concrete and memorable images. Even his fiction seemed to be carefully concealed parables. Father Brown is perpetually correcting the incorrect vision of the bewildered folks at the scene of the crime and wandering off at the end with the criminal to exercise his priestly role of recognition and repentance. For example, in the story "The Flying Stars", Father Brown entreats the character Flambeau to give up his life of crime: "There is still youth and honour and humour in you; don't fancy they will last in that trade. Men may keep a sort of level of good, but no man has ever been able to keep on one level of evil. That road goes down and down. The kind man drinks and turns cruel; the frank man kills and lies about it. Many a man I've known started like you to be an honest outlaw, a merry robber of the rich, and ended stamped into slime."
Chesterton was a large man, standing 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) and weighing around 21 stone (130 kg). His girth gave rise to a famous anecdote. During World War I a lady in London asked why he was not "out at the Front"; he replied, "If you go round to the side, you will see that I am." On another occasion he remarked to his friend George Bernard Shaw: "To look at you, anyone would think a famine had struck England". Shaw retorted, "To look at you, anyone would think you have caused it". P. G. Wodehouse once described a very loud crash as "a sound like Chesterton falling onto a sheet of tin".
Chesterton usually wore a cape and a crumpled hat, with a swordstick in hand, and a cigar hanging out of his mouth. He had a tendency to forget where he was supposed to be going and miss the train that was supposed to take him there. It is reported that on several occasions he sent a telegram to his wife Frances from some distant (and incorrect) location, writing such things as "Am in Market Harborough. Where ought I to be?" to which she would reply, "Home". Because of these instances of absent-mindedness and of Chesterton being extremely clumsy as a child, there has been speculation that Chesterton had undiagnosed developmental coordination disorder.

Chesterton loved to debate, often engaging in friendly public disputes with such men as George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell and Clarence Darrow. According to his autobiography, he and Shaw played cowboys in a silent movie that was never released.
Chesterton died of congestive heart failure on the morning of 14 June 1936, at his home in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. His last known words were a greeting spoken to his wife. The homily at Chesterton's Requiem Mass in Westminster Cathedral, London, was delivered by Ronald Knox on 27 June 1936. Knox said, "All of this generation has grown up under Chesterton's influence so completely that we do not even know when we are thinking Chesterton." He is buried in Beaconsfield in the Catholic Cemetery. Chesterton's estate was probated at £28,389, approximately equivalent in 2012 terms to £1.3 million.
Telegram sent by Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (future Pius XII) on behalf of Pope Pius XI to the people of England following the death of Chesterton.
Near the end of his life he was invested by Pope Pius XI as Knight Commander with Star of the Papal Order of St. Gregory the Great (KC*SG). The Chesterton Society has proposed that he be beatified.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Kathryn Lasky

Kathryn Lasky is mainly a fictional writer. She has written some historical books with the children's historical writer, Jean Fritz. Lasky wrote the best selling series Gaurdians of Gahoole. Gaurdians of Gahoole is a series about an owl kingdom trying to survive. We will write a review on the particular books in time. She also wrote The Wolves of the Beyond series. That is about a wolf who was treated very badly, but later finds enough power to lead a pack of wolves.

I highly recommend Kathryn Lasky. She is a very talented writer. I would warn you though she is not a Christian writer so some of her books mention spirits and an owl saying a curse word. Regarding the curse word it was said in the owl language. This stuff happens rarely in books, and I would still recommend her.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Christmas Candle(movie).

This movie is based on a book written by Max Lucado.
It looks very good, and is coming to theaters tomorrow.
I can't wait to see it.
Here is the trailer.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Journey to theCenter of the Earth(book).

 This is another good book written by Jules Verne.
It is very intriguing and full of a lot of complicated words, but it is a very good read.
And in this review, i got a lot of this from parts of other people's reviews.

The story begins in May 1863, the Lidenbrock house in Hamburg, with Professor Lidenbrock rushing home to peruse his latest purchase, an original runic manuscript of an Icelandic saga written by Snorri Sturluson ("Heimskringla"; the chronicle of the Norwegian kings who ruled over Iceland). While looking through the book, Lidenbrock and his nephew Axel find a coded note written in runic script. (This is a first indication of Verne's love for cryptology. Coded, cryptic or incomplete messages as a plot device will continue to appear in many of his works and in each case Verne goes a long way to explain not only the code used but also the mechanisms used to retrieve the original text.) Lidenbrock and Axel translate the runic characters into Latin letters, revealing a message written in a seemingly bizarre code. Lidenbrock attempts a decipherment, deducing the message to be a kind of transposition cipher; but his results are as meaningless as the original.
Professor Lidenbrock decides to lock everyone in the house and force himself and the others (Axel, and the maid, Jimmy) to go without food until he cracks the code. Axel discovers the answer when fanning himself with the deciphered text: Lidenbrock's decipherment was correct, and only needs to be read backwards to reveal sentences written in rough French. Axel decides to keep the secret hidden from Professor Lidenbrock, afraid of what the Professor might do with the knowledge, but after two days without food he cannot stand the hunger and reveals the secret to his uncle. Lidenbrock translates the note, which is revealed to be a medieval note written by the (fictional) Icelandic alchemist Arne Saknussemm, who claims to have discovered a passage to the centre of the Earth via Snæfell in Iceland. The deciphered message is written in what Axel calls bad Latin, which when translated into English reads:

The Runic cryptogram
Descend, bold traveller, into the crater of the jökull of Snæfellsjökull, which the shadow of Scartaris touches (lit: tastes) before the Kalends (calends) of July, and you will attain the centre of the earth. I did it. Arne Saknussemm

Professor Lidenbrock is a man of astonishing impatience, and departs for Iceland immediately, taking his reluctant nephew with him. Axel, who, in comparison, is cowardly and anti-adventurous, repeatedly tries to reason with him, explaining his fears of descending into a volcano and putting forward various scientific theories as to why the journey is impossible, but Professor Lidenbrock repeatedly keeps himself blinded against Axel's point of view. After a rapid journey via Lübeck and Copenhagen, they arrive in Reykjavík, where the two procure the services of Hans Bjelke (a Danish-speaking Icelander eiderdown hunter) as their guide, and travel overland to the base of the volcano.
In late June, they reach the volcano, which has three craters. According to Saknussemm's message, the passage to the centre of the Earth is through the one crater that is touched by the shadow of a nearby mountain peak at noon. However, the text also states that this is only true during the last days of June. During the next few days, with July rapidly approaching, the weather is too cloudy for any shadows. Axel silently rejoices, hoping this will force his uncle – who has repeatedly tried to impart courage to him only to succeed in making him even more cowardly still – to give up the project and return home. Alas for Axel, however, on the last day, the sun comes out and the mountain peak shows the correct crater to take.
After descending into this crater, the three travellers set off into the bowels of the Earth, encountering many strange phenomena and great dangers, including a chamber filled with combustible gas, and steep-sided wells around the "path". After taking a wrong turn, they run out of water and Axel almost dies, but Hans taps into a neighbouring subterranean river. Lidenbrock and Axel name the resulting stream the "Hansbach" in his honour and the three are saved. At another point, Axel becomes separated from the others and is lost several miles from them. Luckily, a strange acoustic phenomenon allows him to communicate with them from some miles away, and they are soon reunited.
After descending many miles, following the course of the Hansbach, they reach an unimaginably vast cavern. This underground world is lit by electrically charged gas at the ceiling, and is filled with a very deep subterranean ocean, surrounded by a rocky coastline covered in petrified trees and giant mushrooms. The travelers build a raft out of trees and set sail. The Professor names this sea as the Lidenbrock Sea. While on the water, they see several prehistoric creatures such as a giant Ichthyosaurus, which fights with a Plesiosaurus and wins. After the battle between the monsters, the party comes across an island with a huge geyser, which Lidenbrock names "Axel's Island".
A lightning storm again threatens to destroy the raft and its passengers, but instead throws them onto the coastline. This part of the coast, Axel discovers, is alive with prehistoric plant and animal life forms, including giant insects and a herd of mastodons. On a beach covered with bones, Axel discovers an oversized human skull. Axel and Lidenbrock venture some way into the prehistoric forest, where Professor Lidenbrock points out, in a shaky voice, a prehistoric human, more than twelve feet in height, leaning against a tree and watching a herd of mastodons. Axel cannot be sure if he has really seen the man or not, and he and Professor Lidenbrock debate whether or not a proto-human civilization actually exists so far underground. The three wonder if the creature is a man-like ape, or an ape-like man. The sighting of the creature is considered the most alarming part of the story, and the explorers decide that it is better not to alert it to their presence as they fear it may be hostile.
The travellers continue to explore the coastline, and find a passageway marked by Saknussemm as the way ahead. However, it is blocked by what appears to be a recent cave-in and two of the three, Hans and the Professor, despair at being unable to hack their way through the granite wall. The adventurers plan to blast the rock with gun cotton and paddle out to sea to escape the blast. Upon executing the plan, however, they discover that behind the rockfall was a seemingly bottomless pit, not a passage to the centre of the earth. The travellers are swept away as the sea rushes into the large open gap in the ground. After spending hours being swept along at lightning speeds by the water, the raft ends up inside a large volcanic chimney filling with water and magma. Terrified, the three are rushed upwards, through stifling heat, and are ejected onto the surface from a side-vent of a stratovolcano . When they regain consciousness, they discover that they have been ejected from Stromboli, a volcanic island located in southern Italy. They return to Hamburg to great acclaim – Professor Lidenbrock is hailed as one of the great scientists of history, Axel marries his sweetheart Gräuben, and Hans eventually returns to his peaceful life in Iceland. The Professor has some regret that their journey was cut short.
At the very end of the book, Axel and Lidenbrock realize why their compass was behaving strangely after their journey on the raft. They realize that the needle was pointing the wrong way after being struck by an electric fireball which nearly destroyed the wooden raft

Monday, November 18, 2013

Nathan D. Wilson

Image of N. D. Wilson

Nathan Wilson (commonly known as N. D. Wilson) is a fictional and theological writer. His father is Doug Wilson a popular theologian and writer. N.D. Wilson wrote the bestselling series the 100 cupboards. The series is composed of The 100 cupboards, Dandelion Fire, and The Chestnut King. He also wrote the Ashtown Burials series (The Dragon's Tooth, The Drowned Vault, and The Empire of Bones.) Additional books are: Death by Living: Life is Meant to be Spent, Notes from the Tilt-a-whirl, Leepike Ridge, The Dragon and the Garden (Old Stories), In the Time of Noah (Old Stories), Right Behind: A Parody of Last Days Goofiness, Spurggendon: A Really Big Geddon, and Emerging from Shadows: An Explanation of the Shroud of Turin.

WARNING WHEN READING THEOLOGICAL BOOKS BY N. D. WILSON: N.D. Wilson does not believe that in everyday matters God does not have time to guide you. Meaning you should not consult God for guidance in everyday matters.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mysterious island(book)

 This is the sequel to 20,000 leagues under the sea written by Jules Verne.
The plot goes like this.
It's March 1865, the final days of the American Civil War, and five prisoners of war are held captive in Richmond. Desperate to leave the city, they make a daring escape in a hot air balloon during a terrible storm. Carried by the storm's winds for 4 days, the balloon crashes near an island in the South Pacific.

The castaways are stranded on this unknown shore with nothing but the clothes on their backs and each other. Fortunately the island is rich in natural resources they'll need to survive. They name the island after President Lincoln and make it their home until they can find a way off. The castaways even consider themselves colonists who will claim the island for the United States and plan to return to it if they ever get home.

As time goes on the colonists become aware of strange happenings that they cannot explain. Most of these are considered to be the work of Providence. Eventually they begin to realize that they're not alone on the island.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

You were created to sing.

 This is a blog post titled
"You were created to sing"
by a writer for http://www.desiringgod.org/
It is very true and if you do not follow the blog, i suggest that you follow it.

You were created to sing.
By Tony Reinke.
God created you in his own image to dream, and work, and laugh, and love, and labor, and hope, and eat, and enjoy the good gifts in this world.
“A man is such a noble work of God,” said nineteenth century preacher Charles Spurgeon, “he cannot have been intended merely to measure off yards of silk, or to weigh pounds of sugar, or to sweep street crossings, or to put on crowns, and robes, and diamonds. There is something grander than that for man to do.”
Yes, and most grand of all: God created you to worship, praise, and sing.
The beauty of Christ is the cause of our songs. His glory draws worship from our hearts to our lips (Revelation 5:6–14, 7:9–12).
This Christ-centered, thank-filled worship is the capstone over everything else we are and do in this life (1 Corinthians 10:30–31, Colossians 3:17).
And so we sing.
To the best of our ability, we sing in our homes.
We sing with our families.
We sing alone in our cars on the drive to work.
We sing together on Sundays.
And as we raise our voices in church we are “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19–20).
So how do we “speak to one another” in our singing?
Pastor Rick Gamache explains it like this:
We come here to worship together — to respond rightly to the glory of God in Christ as the church. And when we do that, we are fulfilling the very reason we were created. And as we do that, as we sing, we are also helping others fulfill the reason why they were created.
Maybe they came in here burdened by their circumstances and their heart is cold, but when they hear you sing of God’s sovereignty and wisdom and love, the burden is lifted and so they lift their voice in song with you.
Maybe they came in weighed down by the knowledge of their own sin, but when they hear you sing about Christ, who died to bear the punishment of our sin in our place, and who lived a righteous life that’s now credited to our account, the weight is lifted and the heart is softened and they join you and lift their voice in song.
As we sing, our Spirit-filled delight in Christ ministers to the burdened, nudges them to look past the afflictions they carried in, points them back to Christ, and encourages them to rejoin the pleasure of engaging in what we are all created for — worshiping our glorious Savior.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Drowned Vault (book)

The Drowned Vault is a fiction novel written by N. D. Wilson. It is the sequel to The Dragon's Tooth. It is the second book in the Ashtown Burials series. I really enjoyed it, and would list in my top five favorite books. N. D. Wilson wrote the 100 cupboards series and Leepike Ridge before this series.

This is a piece of the book:
Rupert pointed his light at the wall of the underwater cave. It had a small crack in the wall. Cyrus swam forward, and saw the that the crack was actually a keyhole. In the water, Cyrus's Solomon Keys had taken their natural shape. He new something weird or bad was going to happen. He tried get the thought out of his head that he was going to open the crack. Cyrus slid the small key into the hole and turned it. Silence, and then a grinding as a slab of the wall fell forward and dropped through the water. Behind it yawned the entrance of the dark passage. Something uncurled out of the darkness and drifted toward them. A tangle floated in front of Cyrus. He touched it, rubbing it between his fingers. It was hair. Four hundred years' worth of hair.

This book made you want to read more and more.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (book and movie)

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the fourth book in the "Narnia" series. It was written by C.S. Lewis. Other books in this series are The Magician's Nephew, The Lion the Witch and the WardrobePrince Caspian, and more.

It is about Edmund, Lucy, and their bratty cousin Eustace. They were sucked into Narnia where they see Price Caspian (now the King.) Eustace in the adventure learns important lessons while Edmund and Caspian learn what greed can do to you.

As I said on the title I am focusing the book and movie unlike usual. The book (in my personal opinion) was the least exciting, the least adventurist of all the books in the Narnia series. Don't get me wrong I think that it is a worth read and watch. Though I would say I felt less intrigued to read more and more. Though you may have a different opinion.

The movie in relation to the book was OK. I think the makers of the movies noticed it needed some tweaking to hold the watcher's attention. Thus the movie did NOT follow the book. I think the movie still was fairly good.

I would say it is very appropriate for Christian teens.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

20,000 Leagues under the sea(book)

This is a fascinating book written by Jules Verne.
And here is how the story goes.                                         

As the story begins, ships of several nations spot a mysterious sea monster, which some suggest to be a giant narwhal; the creature also damages an ocean liner. The United States government finally assembles an expedition in New York City to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Pierre Aronnax, an expert French marine biologist and narrator of the story, who happens to be in New York at the time, receives a last-minute invitation to join the expedition, and he accepts. Canadian master harpoonist Ned Land and Aronnax's faithful assistant Conseil are also brought aboard.
The expedition departs aboard United States Navy Abraham Lincoln and travels south around Cape Horn into the Pacific Ocean. The ship finds the monster after a long search and then attacks the beast, which damages the steering. The three protagonists are then hurled onto the "hide" of the creature, which they find, to their surprise, is a large metal construction. They are quickly captured and brought inside the vessel, where they meet its enigmatic creator and commander, Captain Nemo.
The rest of the story follows the adventures of the protagonists aboard the creature--the submarine, the Nautilus--which was built in secrecy and now roams the seas free from any land-based government. Captain Nemo's motivation is implied to be both a scientific thirst for knowledge and a desire for revenge on (and self-imposed exile from) civilization. Nemo explains that his submarine is electrically powered and can perform advanced marine biology research; he also tells his new passengers that although he appreciates conversing with such an expert as Aronnax, maintaining the secrecy of his existence requires never letting them leave. Aronnax is enthralled by the undersea vistas, but Land constantly plans escape.
They visit many places in the world's oceans, some known to Jules Verne from real travelers' descriptions and speculation, while others completely fictional. Thus, the travelers witness the real corals of the Red Sea, the wrecks of the battle of Vigo Bay, the Antarctic ice shelves, and the fictional submerged land of Atlantis. The travelers also don diving suits to hunt sharks and other marine life with specially designed guns and have a funeral for a crew member who dies when an accident occurs inside the Nautilus. When the Nautilus returns to the Atlantic Ocean, a "poulpe" (usually translated as a giant squid, although the French "poulpe" means "octopus") attacks the vessel and devours a crew member.
Throughout the story Captain Nemo is suggested to have exiled himself from the world after an encounter with his oppressive country somehow affected his family. Near the end of the book, the Nautilus is tracked and attacked by a mysterious ship from that nation. Nemo ignores Aronnax's pleas for amnesty for the boat and retaliates. He attacks the ship under the waterline, sending it to the bottom of the ocean with all crew aboard as Aronnax watches from the saloon. Nemo bows before the pictures of his wife and children and is plunged into deep depression after this encounter, and "voluntarily or involuntarily" allows the submarine to wander into an encounter with the Moskenstraumen, more commonly known as the "Maelstrom", a whirlpool off the coast of Norway. The three prisoners successfully seize this opportunity to escape, but the fate of Captain Nemo and his crew is unknown.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

To rule the night(book)

This is a wonderful autobiography written by Jim Irwin, a Christian astronaut who by the grace of God
was the eighth man to set foot upon the moon, on the Apollo 15 with Al Worden and Dave Scott,
in the year 1971.

In the first four chapters of the book, Irwin describes the flight to the moon, the stay
on the moon, and the flight back.
From chapter five to the end, he starts from the beginning of his life and
moves all the way up to many years after his flight.

During the duration of the book, Jim writes many times about his close calls
to death and how God was with him many times, protecting him from many dangers.

In his younger days, he was airplane tester.
He often tried to enter service as a astronaut, but got rejected many times.
He also talked about how he married a woman named Marry Edda.
But they found out that they did not work well together, and both being immature,
did not know how to work things out.
Latter, to Jim's sorrow,Marry Edda filed a divorce.
He was heart broken, but he knew it was just as much his fault as it was her's.
Latter he was accepted to go into training to be a astronaut.
He trained with two other men: Al Worden and Dave Scott.
Together, the three of them served as backups for the Apollo 9, and latter for
the Apollo 12.
Then they got selected for the next flight to the moon on the Apollo 15.
The training began in earnest.

And during this whole time, he is always pointing to his creator and savior, always
reminding us that with out the protection of God, he would have never made it to the moon.

Early in the book, Jim Irwin says that when he was on the moon, he felt as if God was very close to Him,
and all around him.
He never felt that way on earth, and it was a feeling that none of us could have understood, and
the memory of it never left him for the rest of his life.

I highly recommend this book.
It's easy to read and is very humorous.

Monday, November 4, 2013

C.S. Lewis

 CS Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis is a fictional and theological writer. He lived November 29, 1898 - November 22, 1963. He was born in Belfast, Ireland. He most commonly known as C.S. Lewis. Many know titles of Christian books are: The Four Loves, The Great Divorce, Screwtape Letters, and more. Fictional books are: The Magicians Nephew, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and much more.

So check out our reviews on his books and ask us to write reviews on your favorites!