Book Review: The Lost City of Z
Author: David Grann
The Lost City of Z tells the story of a sensational disappearance that made headlines around the world. A quest for truth that lead to death, madness or disappearance for those who seek to solve it. Fawcett did not find that treasure, but was hooked by the notion of treasure hunting in general. The rest of his life was one long quest. His mishaps and triumphs were followed by would-be adventurers around the world. The tale of a deadly obsession.
In 1925, Fawcett ventured into the Amazon to find an ancient civilization, hoping to make one of the most important discoveries in history. For centuries Europeans believed the world’s largest jungle concealed the glittering kingdom of El Dorado. Thousands had died looking for it, leaving many scientists convinced that the Amazon was truly inimical to humans. But Fawcett, whose daring expeditions inspired Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, had spent years building his scientific case. Captivating the imagination of millions round the globe, Fawcett embarked with his 21-year-old son, determined to prove that this ancient civilization–which he dubbed Z–existed. Then his expedition vanished. Fawcett’s fate, & the tantalizing clues he left behind about Z, became an obsession for hundreds who followed him into the uncharted wilderness.
The Lost City of Z tells two stories: of the explorer chasing his mirage, and of the reporter chasing the explorer chasing his mirage — twin obsessions spun together like strands on a helix.
To purchase The Lost City of Z, click on a link below.
Book Review: The Shack
Author: W.M. Paul Young
Tragedy can strike at any moment. Mack understood that more than anything. After a family trip, everyone comes back home accepts his daughter. While on a camping trip, Mack’s daughter is abducted by a stranger who is a familiar face at the camping grounds. Prior to Mack’s daughter’s disappearance, similar stories had been reported with the same abductor at the suspect. Mack is going through a parent’s worst nightmare. Returning home, Mack and his wife are at a disbelief about the disappearance of their daughter. They don’t know why it’s happening to them, but God does. Throughout The Shack, God is guiding Mack to seek higher guidance to understand the reason behind why his daughter has left him. He is lead to a place where the answer to all his questions are revealed.
When we go through things, we want to know why it is happening to us. The thought of it possible being our fault runs through our minds. We reminisce on past arguments that were unsettled, past events that changed our lives that were unforgiving. The lifestyle that we are living is now in question. Should we change? Forgive? The Shack teaches us about forgiveness and how to deal with those who have forsaken us. God has a way of changing our perspective, but are we prepared? Do we want to know the truth?
The way you choose to live daily is the way you choose to live your life. Most Christians are aware that if we choose to live for Christ, we will be crucified in His name. Sacrificing is a major topic in Christianity because once you say “yes” to God, you are saying “no” to friends, family, old ways, temptation, addictions, and many other things that distract you from God.
Chapter 9 tells us stories of people who have or who is serving God in different ways. Many of those people have passed on and left a legacy. Others are still serving God despite sickness, difficult times, and having money to do so. What are you doing to serve God?
Obsession: To have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single emotion or topic.
When you look around and see what you have, your day-to-day schedule, your friends, etc, what can you say you are truly obsessed with? It is money? Popularity? Image? Are you more obsessed with those things than God? Obsession with God shows through our actions and our willingness to help those in need, including our enemies.
We all know that when we do the right things, other things have to be sacrificed. If we choose to live a certain lifestyle, at times, somethings are lost such as friends, family, popularity and reputation. “The temptation to level off increases with each passing year. Pride tells you that you’ve sacrificed more than others. Fear tells you it’s time to worry about the future. Friends say you’ve given enough, that’s it’s someone else’s turn now.”
Chapter 6 Synopsis: Self-Love
Do we have to stop loving and pursuing Christ in order to sin? Or vise versa, do we have to be in love and pursuing Christ to not sin? We can’t do anything with Christ? To move forward in Christ, we must first give up self.
“Crazy Love” Synopsis Chapter 3: Would they forgive you?
Would you be disappointed if the person you lived the most told you that they only love you because of what you can do for them? Do we do the same to God? If you feel you have only loved God because of the things He has done for you, then the good thing is that He forgives. Can you say them same for your friends or family members? If they knew you only loved them for the things they provided for you such as food, money, or other materialistic things, would they forgive you?
How much do we really appreciate life now that we have it? What if we didn’t exist? Would we matter then? In “Crazy Love”, Francis Chan discusses life and death as if most don’t appreciate it when they have it. Death is inevitable and life is a blessing. It’s all about how we look at it. Not only is it important to appreciate everything in life, but to also enjoy them. To be able to enjoy anything, we must first understand it. Who you are is the most important thing to understand about life. Do you know your purpose here on earth? Once we leave earth the only thing left of us are memories.
Chapter 2: Why worry?
We all know that worrying causes stress, but does worrying mean that we don’t trust God? Worrying causes stress which causes our cognitive thinking to change. We don’t make rational decisions, which can ultimately put us out of character. In this chapter, you will read of great people who chose NOT to give up themselves and God to help those around them.
The Samaritan Perspective is a great book. I’ve always been intrigued with the mind, the different mindsets and the why behind everything. Eric Stender did a great job writing about the view-point from individuals with different beliefs, backgrounds, and ulterior motives in a situation where morals and values had to be put to the test. Today, we struggle with what to do because we juggle with right or wrong. The initial thought is what others may think about our decisions. In The Samaritan Perspective, Eric focused on one scenario and put all characters within that scenario. With each character having a different mindset and a conscious, we read about how they decided on what to do based on where they are in life, their experiences, and the end results.
Another intriguing thing about the book is that it is written in third person, so we get to read as the characters are thinking. It makes more sense why they would make the decision to do what they did because each character started in one place and then ended up in the same situation. All, dialogued why they were doing what by giving us brief background stories that may or may not have played a part in their decisions. I recommend this book. It’s a great read.
Check out Eric’s website by clicking on link below.