Book Reviews

Larry Fox has a broad range of interests, yet is selective about the books he reads. He has begun writing short reviews of some of those books and those with favorable ratings you will find categorized below. You can also see his reviews on Amazon. Check back occasionally for new posts.

Book Categories (alphabetical order):

Christian Living

Dreams and Visions

End Times

Finances and Business

Health and Healing

Heaven, Life After Death

Holy Spirit

Independent Author

Israel

Other

Science and Technology

Social Issues

Spiritual Maturity and Godly Character

Spiritual Realm

Most Recent Posts:

Unmasking the Devil; Posted 12/2017; Category: Spiritual Realm

The Power of a Covenant Heart; Posted 12/2017; Category: Christian Living

The Overcomer’s Anointing: God’s Plan to Use Your Darkest Hour as Your Greatest Spiritual Weapon; Posted 12/2017; Category: Christian Living

Internet Business Insights; Posted 12/2017; Category: Finances and Business

The Final Roman Emperor, the Islamic Antichrist, and the Vatican’s Last Crusade; Posted 10/2017; Category: End Times

The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic; Posted 9/2017; Category: Other

The Power of Covenant: Stop Misunderstanding God; Posted 8/2017; Category: Christian Living

Derek Prince on Experiencing God’s Power; Posted 8/2017; Category: Christian Living

Murach’s Visual Basic 2015; Posted 8/2017; Category: Science and Technology

Living From the Heart Jesus Gave You; Posted 8/2017; Category: Health and Healing

Unleashing Heaven’s Breath: Discover the Ultimate Secret to Releasing Signs, Wonders & Miracles; Posted 7/2017; Category: Health and Healing

Christian Living

The Power of a Covenant Heart
by David Huskins (2000)
Rating 3; Posted 12/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

Easy to read and has very short chapters. The author closely follows the Old Testament story of David and Jonathan, and explains their commitment to a covenant relationship, the most important and meaningful one we can have. I commend the author’s skill in presenting covenants, a topic virtually unknown in western cultures, drawing his main points from the biblical story. Having studied covenants in depth, however, I think the author mistakenly includes certain character traits as covenant elements, which implies we must be like David or Jonathan to enter a covenant. This misleads the reader by distorting the perspective of covenants, this most important relationship people can experience, so I gave the book only three stars.

The Overcomer’s Anointing: God’s Plan to Use Your Darkest Hour as Your Greatest Spiritual Weapon
by Barbara J. Yoder (2009)
Rating: 5; Posted 12/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

This is a powerful explanation of an experience almost all Christians have but few understand. The author examines Bible passages and uses her personal experiences to help us see how God uses our darkest, seemingly hopeless situations for our benefit. Whether we call them wilderness experiences or dark nights of the soul, we need to know how to respond to these important experiences and this book provides invaluable insight. The book is understandable and skillfully written. A must read.

The Power of Covenant: Stop Misunderstanding God
by Craig Hill
Rating: 5: Posted 8/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble (not listed)

This book describes the appropriate, biblical way for Christians to deal with adversity. It explains how misunderstanding God’s sovereignty and our authority can make us conclude he is responsible for our problems or is unjust in the way he cares for us. However, a proper understanding of our covenant relationship with him will completely change the way we view adversity and respond to it.

Derek Prince on Experiencing God’s Power
by Derek Prince
Rating: 5; Posted 8/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

This is a collection of nine short books by Derek Prince in a single volume. The book makes it clear why the author was one of the world’s most-admired Bible teachers. It contains very understandable explanations of scripture, timeless truths and life-changing insights. Topics include the Holy Spirit’s activities in each believer, healing, God’s remedy for rejection, the marriage covenant, a biblical perspective of money, the importance and impact of what we say, how to fast successfully and why, the value of combining prayer and fasting, and spiritual warfare. Regardless of your spiritual condition, I’m confident you’ll find several of these topics helpful.

Spiritual Avalanche: The Threat of False Teachings that Could Destroy Millions
by Steve Hill (2013)
Rating: 5; Posted 6/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

Based on a vision from God, the book uses snow-skiing and avalanches as visual images representing the dangers of false teachings prevalent in today’s churches. I’ve never snow-skied, but the author’s explanations of the dangers associated with it are interesting and understandable, which then helps the reader understand the dangers presented by false doctrines. As the author explains, the remedy to false doctrines is to carefully examine the Bible, especially the words of Jesus – the “words in red.” The book is easy to read and important for believers at all levels of spiritual maturity.

Create Your World: Activating Your God-Given Power to Create Realms and Atmospheres
by Patricia King (2012)
Rating: 4; Posted 6/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

The author’s premise is that we have God-given authority to create a life of blessing, favor and success. The problem is that most of us don’t realize we have that authority or don’t know how to use it to achieve our destinies, but the author identifies multiple keys to doing this effectively. She legitimately cautions against idolizing one’s wealth or personal success, and advocates “strategic worship” by focusing on the attributes of God’s nature. The book includes practical recommendations based on scripture, her life experiences and scientific evidence.

Living Among Lions: How to Thrive Like Daniel in Today’s Babylon
by David & Jason Benham (2016)
Rating: 5; Posted 1/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

I highly recommend this book, written by two young men with a message every Christian needs to hear and take to heart. It’s an easy read and biblically accurate, showing how we’re to focus on serving the people in our culture rather than our own well-being, serving as light rather than cursing the darkness. I especially enjoyed the “Benham Principles” at the end, a list of their main points which we could use as guiding principles for life.

The Spirit Contemporary Life: Unleashing the Miraculous in Your Everyday World
by Leon Fontaine (2016)
Rating: 5; Posted 1/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

This is a fascinating and insightful book about the author’s experiences as he learned how to be an authentic Christian in today’s culture. He explains how we can and must be relevant to everyday life, meeting people’s needs miraculously yet in a natural and loving way. He encourages us to get back to the basics of real Christianity by presenting the reality of God’s love to the world that desperately needs him, even if they don’t realize it.

Driven by Eternity: Make Your Life Count Today and Forever (10th Anniversary Edition)
by John Bevere (2016)
Rating: 5; Posted 1/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

John Bevere does it again! He skillfully explains how biblical revelation of our eternal future should motivate us in life, knowing that what we do now affects both where and how we’ll spend eternity. As he states, “when we stand before our Creator, it is too late for a do-over.” An excellent book for individual or group study, with discussion questions after each section.

Operating in the Courts of Heaven: Granting God the Legal Right to Fulfill His Passion and Answer Our Prayers
by Robert Henderson (2014)
Rating: 4; Posted: 5/2016
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

This book explains many of the otherwise confusing scenes we see and statements we read in the Bible. God operates by standards and protocols he established, which from our human perspective we’d call a legal-judicial system. The author uses human terminology and understanding to describe an overlooked aspect of our relationship with God, as well as the rights and responsibilities we have as a result of that relationship. It’s time we begin viewing our interaction with the spiritual realm from a legal-judicial perspective. Four stars only because I believe the author stretches the context of some biblical passages to make them fit his point; his message, however, is totally accurate.

Aligning with Heaven: Unleashing Ancient Secrets to Power, Blessing and Harvest
by Dr. David Herzog (2015)
Rating: 4; Posted: 4/2016
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

This is a combination of new and old themes from a different perspective. The author presents biblical wisdom, revelation and knowledge as keys to receiving what God promises. He describes the value of identifying seasons and locations that provide greater access to God’s presence, and the importance of acting within the protocols of heaven. If we’re wanting greater effectiveness in life, including spiritual matters, we’d be wise to align ourselves with God and the way he works.

Birthing the Miraculous: The Power of Personal Encounters…
by Heidi Baker (2014)
Rating: 5; Posted 6/2015
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

If God has given you a promise that seems totally impossible – as promises from God almost always are – then this book is for you. It’s Heidi Baker’s firsthand account of how God led her through countless humanly impossible steps to touch millions of children with his love and mercy.

Baker writes that there may be a steep price for the promises God’s given us, but if we honor our relationship with him, we’ll pay the price. It’s easy to hear a great prophetic word but often it’ll be costly and challenging to do our part to “give birth” to it. We must decide to nurture the promises God gives us and believe they’ll be accomplished, especially when we see no evidence. Each day we must faithfully make choices and decisions that align with the promises and nurture them as they grow. “The Lord wants to take you beyond who you are and what you can do.”

Though my experience hasn’t been as dramatic as Baker’s, I can relate to her struggles and perseverance. I found this book to be very encouraging, and you probably will, too.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
by Eric Metaxas (2010)
Rating: 2; Posted 7/2016
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

I was overwhelmed by the historical detail, much of which amounted to trivia. I’m glad so many people enjoyed the book, but I couldn’t finish it.

Dreams and Visions

The Divinity Code to Understanding Your Dreams and Visions
by Adam F. Thompson & Adrian Beale (2011)
Rating: 5; Posted 9/2015
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

This ranks among the best books I have seen on interpreting dreams and visions. It’s a comprehensive resource, yet is written clearly so it’s useful as a first book on the subject or an addition to a library. The authors’ main premise is that God is the source of dreams and visions, so the Bible is the most reliable resource for interpreting them. Every section includes biblical examples and insight. Chapters 9 and 10, dealing with principles of interpretation, seem to cover points made in other books plus several more; all of them very relevant and helpful. Three-fourths of the book is dedicated to sample dream and vision interpretations, a metaphor dictionary (one-half of the entire book!) and a name and place dictionary; all valuable resources. Because it’s written by two Australians, you may need to investigate a few terms like boom gate, nappy, pram and torch, but not many. This is a great resource!

Dream Language: The Prophetic Power of Dreams
by James & Michal Ann Goll (2006)
Rating: 5; Posted 9/2014
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link 

This book by James and Michal Ann Goll is possibly the most authoritative yet understandable book on dreams I have read. Every part of the book was insightful and helpful, but for me the Categories of Dreams was one of the most interesting. The definitions of intrinsic and extrinsic dreams were especially helpful. Most of our dreams are intrinsic dreams because they’re about us personally, primarily involving self-disclosure. A breakthrough for me was the description of extrinsic dreams, about our spheres of influence, which God gives us as glimpses of what’s ahead to motivate us. The Categories of Dreams and Twenty Most Common Dreams were intuitive and very useful. This is an excellent dream interpretation handbook.

Seeing the Voice of God: What God is Telling You through Dreams & Visions
by Laura Harris Smith (2014)
Rating: 5; Posted 9/2014
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

Having read several other books on dreams and visions, I benefit from each author’s perspective as I did from Laura Harris Smith’s. Her categorization of dreams is based on her experience and interpretation of scripture, so there are some differences with other authors but her presentation is solid. I like her describing how her medical investigation of dreams and personal health crises were part of her learning process, which gives the reader greater appreciation for her insight. The book covers important related topics with their scriptural basis and is an easy read. I definitely recommend it.

Dreams and Visions: Understanding and Interpreting God’s Messages to You
by Jane Hamon (2016 edition)
Rating: 3; Posted 8/15/16
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

This book is written clearly, is easy to understand and contains very good scriptural evidences for types of dreams and visions. The author provides numerous examples of dreams and demonstrates how to interpret them. This is a great starter guide because it explains basic principles, but has little value beyond that.

End Times

The Final Roman Emperor, the Islamic Antichrist, and the Vatican’s Last Crusade
by Thomas Horn & Cris Putnam (2016)
Rating 5; Posted 10/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

The authors explore the fundamental beliefs of Judaism, Catholicism, Christianity and Islam to show the basis for various eschatological views and how they motivate global and national leaders, militant groups and everyday people. It’s also interesting to see how ancient religions and mythology still affect people’s interpretation of their sacred texts. The authors develop a very plausible end-times scenario, showing how various eschatological beliefs might clash to produce the very events people expect.

Unearthing the Lost World of the Cloudeaters: Compelling Evidence of the Incursion of Giants, Their Extraordinary Technology & Imminent Return
by Stephen Quayle & Dr. Thomas R. Horn (2017)
Rating: 5; Posted 6/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

While I’m skeptical of some of the authors’ assumptions, such as the Genesis 1 gap theory and the existence of pre-Adamic human races, I find their research and proposed explanations very intriguing. The book would have been impossible to put down if it weren’t 470 pages long, but you’ll want to come back for more. The authors identify similarities in folklore, myths, ancient writings and petroglyphs from around the world, and compare them with the Bible, archeological and scientific findings. Their amazing amount of research leads to very clear conclusions and plausible explanations. The book provides lots of food for thought.

When the Lion Roars: Understanding the Implications of Ancient Prophecies for Our Time
by Carl Gallups (2016)
Rating: 5; Posted 10/2016
Amazon link; Barnes & Nobel link

As the Foreword states, this book doesn’t require you to hold to a specific end-times view, but it will bring to life the stark realization that we are living in the most profound days of biblical fulfillment since Jesus’ first coming. Part 3 of the book contains 24 short chapters dealing with current technological, geo-political, military and spiritual developments that fulfill biblical end-times prophecies. While most Christians seem to be spiritually asleep and waiting for some huge, instantaneous event to alert them to the end, the author points out repeatedly that prophecy unfolds most often in many small, relatively insignificant steps. The book is well-documented and definitely achieves the author’s goal of presenting clear evidence these are the last days.

Forbidden Gates: The Dawn of Techno-Dimensional Spiritual Warfare
by Thomas and Nita Horn (2010)
Rating: 5: Posted: 5/2016
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

Many of us who read reports of GRIN technologies consider them simply the latest advances in science and technology; a little unusual, maybe, but potentially beneficial and worth pursuing. This book, however, is a definite eye-opener for anyone with an understanding of humanity’s compulsion to be like God – beginning in the Garden of Eden – the great flood and its cause, and the continuing war between the two spiritual kingdoms climaxing in the last days. The authors lead us to solid conclusions based on scientific research and biblical insight. Whether researchers in these technologies have altruistic or malevolent motives may not matter, because the results likely will be the same: a new phase of spiritual warfare affecting literally everyone on earth. Yes, this material can be deeply disturbing, but the final chapter reveals the other side of the story for those who prepare themselves spiritually.

Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs
by Mark Biltz (2014)
Rating: 4; Posted 10/2014
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

I appreciate the author’s in-depth research and explanations, and I understand his enthusiasm about his discoveries. His humility about his findings is both refreshing and admirable. His research is thorough, which is essential for a topic like this; it’s a great investigative blend of science, the Bible and Jewish teachings. I’ve read other materials on the blood moons, and Mark Biltz’s book is the most thorough and authoritative work I’ve seen, which is appropriate because he originally introduced the topic. The only detraction is how long it takes him to get to the subject.

Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change
by John Hagee (2013)
Rating: 5; Posted 10/2014
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

This book by John Hagee is inspired by the work of Mark Biltz, but published the year before Biltz’s book. It describes the events experienced by the Jews around the rare occurrences of blood moon tetrads occurring on the Feasts of the Lord, accompanied by total solar eclipses in 1493-94, 1949-1950 and 1967-68. He skillfully presents historical narratives that help the reader understand the great significance of those periods for the Jews and Israel. He then demonstrates this same rare phenomenon will occur in 2014-15, but this time it coincides with a Shemitah year, which is “astronomically rare,” in the author’s words. Given the unquestionable significance of previous blood moon tetrads and the much greater significance likely for this one, Hagee examines biblical prophecies and Israel’s current status in the world to conclude, “Something big is about to happen!” This is an excellent read and I highly recommend it.

Finances and Business

Internet Business Insights: Lessons Learned and Strategies Used by 101 …
by Chris Naish & Buck Flogging (2017)
Rating 2; Posted 12/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

I’m glad I got the Kindle version, because paying more would have been a waste. The author clearly did a lot of research and I respect that. There are some worthwhile insights and interesting data, but there wasn’t anything really usable for my existing business. Maybe startups would find it helpful with initial decisions, but I skimmed through it pretty quickly.

Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown
by David Wiedemer, Robert A. Wiedemer, Cindy Spitzer (2011 edition)
Rating: 4: Posted: 5/2016
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

The authors have proven accurate in their financial forecasts in the past, but there still is risk in their recommendations because no one can anticipate all potential problems, which the authors readily admit. They offer very solid research and explanations, and the book is a very good resource for financial decisions. Carefully consider what they recommend and make wise, not emotional decisions. I recommend getting the latest edition.

Five Wealth Secrets 96% of Us Don’t Know
by Craig Hill (2012)
Rating: 5; Posted 10/2014
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

I’ve taught adult classes on the principles of money management (including the envelope method) and can recognize a simple and workable system when I see one. This book is it. The Five Jar (or envelope) method is simple enough I adapted it for my grandchildren and taught them the basic principles. I give them an allowance with the proper change they need for their envelopes and occasionally ask them how they’re using certain funds, just to make sure they understand and are being faithful to the plan. They’re learning to live within their means, honor God with their tithe, be generous to those in need, save for the future, look for investment or business opportunities and still have spending money. Virtually every time I explain what I’m doing to another adult, that person says, “I wish I’d learned that when I was a kid.” Use this book to train your grandchildren, train your children, train yourself. It presents valuable lessons in real life scenarios.

Nolo’s Guide to Single Member LLCs
by David M. Steingold
Rating: 5; Posted: 2/2017
Amazon link; not linked to Barnes & Noble

This is a great manual and covers lots of options for SMLLCs. It’s an important resource for existing businesses or start-ups and I recommend it to other business owners.

Your Limited Liability Company: An Operating Manual
by Attorney Anthony Mancuso (6th Edition, 2010)
Rating: 5; Posted 12/2015
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

This was an invaluable resource as I was setting up my LLC. It explains the necessary documents, requirements for meeting documentation, business resolutions, loans, templates for necessary documents and much more. Whether you’re setting up or already functioning, either a multiple-member or single-member LLC, you’ll be glad you have this manual in your office.

Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money
by Rabbi Daniel Lapin (2010)
Rating: 5; Posted: 12/2015
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

Rabbi Lapin presents financial wisdom in a form that is practical, informative and entertaining. His enlightened perspective ranges from who we are as people, why relationships are important, why business is essential to us individually and collectively, what money really is, how to use it to serve others, how to anticipate changes, what prosperity really is, and so on. Because of my age, Lapin’s tenth commandment, “Never Retire,” was especially meaningful. I’ve said for years that retirement isn’t a biblical concept; just an American fantasy. Lapin points out that the very idea of retirement erodes the quality of perseverance. So, regardless of your age, you’ll benefit greatly if you read this book and apply what you learn.

Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders
by Joel Manby (2012)
Rating: 5; Posted: 1/2016
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

The book presents seven principles of effective leadership that are applicable to business, nonprofits and government agencies; principles that are relevant regardless of the economy, organization culture or work environment. They are very practical applications of biblical love – agape – that hold leadership accountable and help the organization become healthier and its staff more enthusiastic. The author demonstrates that putting love to work actually takes very little time or effort but produces major improvements in staff performance, customer satisfaction and the bottom line. In reality, every one of us is a leader, because we all influence other people either positively or negatively, so the book is valuable to all of us, though its target audience is those in leadership positions.

Health and Healing

Living From the Heart Jesus Gave You, 15th Anniversary Study Edition
by James Friesen, James Wilder, et al
Rating: 3; Posted 8/2017
Amazon link; no Barnes & Noble link

Someone recommended this book to me, so I ordered it though I didn’t realize it primarily was about helping people recover from life’s traumas. I can see why so many find the book helpful, but I don’t think it measures up to other materials I’ve read and training I’ve received.

Unleashing Heaven’s Breath: Discover the Ultimate Secret to Releasing Signs, Wonders & Miracles
by Steve Hannett (2016)
Rating: 5; Posted 7/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

This is an excellent book about allowing God’s power to produce supernatural results in people’s lives. It’s comprehensive and very readable. Each chapter includes a summary of main points, questions for reflection and a sample prayer. If you want to be mentored in the supernatural, this is an excellent resource. As the author explains, we need three things: an understanding of the source of supernatural power, an understanding of how to access it, and an understanding of how to live by it. The author covers all of these points and many more. An excellent book and I highly recommend it.

The Healing Creed: God’s Promises for Your Healing Breakthrough
by Becky Dvorak (2017)
Rating: 4; Posted 6/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

This is a very good resource for any believer. The author combines scriptural teaching with healing testimonies and years of her ministry experiences, making the book easy to read and apply personally. Each chapter includes a closing prayer and self-examination, which helps the reader actually apply the material, not just read it intellectually.

Let Food Be Your Medicine: Dietary Changes Proven to Prevent or Reverse Disease
by Dr. Don Colbert (2016)
Rating: 5; Posted 8/2016
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

Dr. Colbert provides specific dietary guidelines for optimum health based on his Modified Mediterranean Diet. The primary goal is to reduce inflammation, which is associated with many of the diseases and ailments in developed countries. There are specific foods that contribute to these and specific ones that reduce them. Dr. Colbert has years of research, personal experience and medical practice to back up his recommendations. A great handbook for those concerned about the effects of the modern American diet.

The Bible Cure for Allergies
by Don Colbert, M.D. (2000)
Rating: 4; Posted 12/2015
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

I was motivated to read this book by allergies I’d had for decades and my belief that health practices based on the natural means of God’s creation would be most effective. I wasn’t disappointed. Dr. Colbert addresses environmental and dietary causes and presents practical steps to eliminate or reduce those causes. Even without using his guidelines for an elimination diet, I was able to identify several sources of my allergies and significantly reduce my symptoms.

Toxic Relief, Revised and Expanded: Restore Health and Energy Through Fasting and Detoxification
by Don Colbert, M.D. (2012)
Rating: 4; Posted 12/2015
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

This book is an easy read although some sections are full of technical details; yet even those sections are worth reading. Dr. Colbert’s descriptions of his earlier health problems and those of his patients demonstrate how important it is to eliminate the foods, behaviors and environmental conditions that cause health problems. He also describes the enormous role proper diet plays in restoring our health. Many of his recommendations for recovery are common sense, once you understand why they work. In reality, all of us are exposed to toxins and they can seriously affect our health. There’s no reason to accept poor health as a fact of life. Read “Toxic Relief” and you might discover the sources of your symptoms and how to get rid of them.

Heaven, Life After Death

Appointments with Heaven: The True Story of a Country Doctor’s Healing Encounters with the Hereafter
by Reggie Anderson (2013)
Rating: 5; Posted 9/2014
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

Doctor Anderson’s personal story is a fascinating read, because it candidly deals with human responses to tragedy and God’s involvement in death and near-death experiences. Through his description of his personal struggle with tragedy at age 10, turning against God, then his life-changing encounter with God years later, the reader can identify with his reactions. All of his early experiences seemed to prepare him for a life of witnessing his patients’ spiritual transitions from life to death. This and his own heavenly encounters gave him insight that helped him deal with the trauma of losing loved ones. As a human-interest story and for gaining insight to the reality of the spiritual realm, I highly recommend this book.

Holy Spirit

Living in the Spirit: Drawing Us to God, Sending Us to the World
George O. Wood (2009)
Rating: 5; Posted: 4/2015
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

This book is an easy-to-read explanation of our relationship with the Holy Spirit. I found the chapter, “The Work of the Spirit,” to be very insightful, because in it the author describes ten ways the Holy Spirit works in us; topics that deserve much greater emphasis in churches and Bible studies. All of the material is excellent and the author’s personal experiences help the reader understand and relate to the biblical truths. The book covers the many aspects of living in the Spirit and I highly recommend it for general instruction, but it’s a little disappointing because I was hoping for much more from an author of such high caliber. Maybe the author is so knowledgeable of his material and skilled at writing that he makes it really easy to understand.

Independent Author

The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living
Peter Bowerman (2014)
Rating: 5; Posted: 12/2014
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

This is a valuable resource that covers self-publishing from beginning to end, and beyond. I need to develop a long term marketing strategy and this book lays it out clearly with a broad range of options – website, business materials, social media, spin-offs, special offers and other very practical tools. Thanks to Mr. Bowerman for such a valuable resource!

Sell More Books! Book Marketing and Publishing for Low Profile and Debut Authors
J. Steve Miller (2011)
Rated: 5; Posted: 2/2015
Amazon link, (not available on Barnes & Noble)

I needed to develop a long term marketing strategy for my books and this resource was extremely helpful. Especially helpful were the chapters on getting blurbs from influential people and publications, building an online presence including a press/media page and finding alternative locations to promote one’s books. This is an invaluable resource full of ideas and practical advice.

Book Reviewer Yellow Pages: A Book Marketing Guide for Authors and Publishers
Christine Pinheiro (2015)
Rating: 4; Posted: 10/2015
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

As a self-published author, I found the “Yellow Pages” to be very helpful. However, at least some of the information it contains is outdated or inaccurate. It’s much better than nothing, but I’m encountering a lot of dead ends because listed reviewers are too busy to receive unsolicited requests or simply disinterested. Like everything else in this industry, success requires patience and perseverance.

Goodreads for Authors: How to Use Goodreads to Promote Your Books
by Michelle Campbell-Scott (2013)
Rating: 3; Posted: 12/2015
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

This is a helpful introduction to Goodreads. Some of the instructions are obsolete (websites change, but books don’t) so I relied on Goodreads Help pages more than the book. The material could have been presented with a lot fewer words. The ebook is inexpensive, so the investment was worthwhile.

Aiming at Amazon: The NEW Business of Self Publishing
by Aaron Shepard (2009)
Rating: 5; Posted: 12/2015
http://www.newselfpublishing.com/books/AimingAmazon.html

This is an excellent resource for getting one’s books promoted on Amazon. I had no prior experience with Amazon and I found this to be very comprehensive, with practical instructions, tips and recommendations. It covers a wide range of topics, such as optimizing the book for Amazon, configuring the book’s information on Amazon, and pointing potential readers to the book on Amazon. I now have my books on the U.S. and international Amazon sites and sales are beginning to trickle in from around the world. The book is now available as a free PDF download on the author’s website (above).

Israel

Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel
by William Koenig (2008)
Rating: 5; Posted: 11/2014
Amazon link, (not available on Barnes & Noble)

This is an outstanding compilation of record-setting problems in America coinciding with its actions against Israel. Why would America suffer so much for pressuring Israel to divide its land for a “two-state solution”? Because we’re Israel’s strongest ally and Israel needs us, so we receive full consequences for pressuring them to compromise with enemies committed to annihilating them. This is a convincing presentation that reveals America’s future unless she once again treats Israel as a trusted and valuable ally. The author is a professional correspondent with access to the highest levels of American government, so the book is expertly researched and written.

As America Has Done to Israel
by John McTernan (2008)
Rating: 4; Posted: 11/2014
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

The author presents the historical perspective of the relationship between America and Israel, then shows how major events in America correspond to its treatment of Israel. America was blessed when it honored Israel and had major problems when it treated Israel poorly. The author convincingly shows America’s recent treatment of Israel has placed her on a “collision course with God.” Part Two of the book explores Bible prophecies about Israel’s future.

Other

The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic
by Michael Medved (2016)
Rating: 5; Posted 9/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

It’s popular today to agonize over America’s exceptional history and express shame over our national faults. Author Medved states this “confuses the reality of American exceptionalism with fantasies about American perfectionism. To argue that a higher power directed the United States to a unique and valuable role in the world isn’t the same as insisting that our national saga unfolded without flaw, folly, or failure.” As the author explains, the founders and builders of our nation believed deeply in heavenly favor for their efforts and he provides excellent insight to critical moments in our history and how people’s strengths and weaknesses impacted the results. This is an excellent book for those who believe in a loving God who guides imperfect people to accomplish his will despite their limitations and failures. I’m not normally interested in history, but this book was so compelling I could hardly put it down.

Prosper!: How to Prepare for the Future and Create a World Worth Inheriting
by Chris Martenson, Adam Taggart (2015)
Rating: 4; Posted: 1/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

There are major trends in the world that likely will shape our way of life over the next several decades. With that in mind, if you’re uncomfortable with the assumption that “they” will take care of what’s important, then this book is for you. The authors present a case for individual resilience – having the right mindset and performing the right actions to prepare yourself and family by knowing how to “do some useful things, keep a deep pantry, know your neighbors, and help when you can.” The book examines eight forms of capital each of us have and how we can develop them. Even if the authors are entirely wrong about the future, everything they recommend is still worth doing.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
by Susan Cain (2012)
Rating: 5; Posted: 4/2016
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

I’ve known for years I’m an introvert and lived accordingly, feeling comfortable and confident in that identity. “Quiet” was a fascinating read with its research and stories of very successful introverts. I believe the entire world would benefit from the insight in this book, especially Chapter 11 – “On Cobblers and Generals: How to Cultivate Quiet Kids in a World That Can’t Hear Them.”

The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future of Our Economy, Energy, and Environment
by Christ Martenson (2011)
Rating: 4; Posted: 2/2016
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The author identifies major economic, energy and environmental trends that are shaping our lives, then describes realistic ways we can respond as individuals and a society. This is a comprehensive, well-documented study; definitely not light reading but worth the effort for those who are concerned and want answers. “Part VII: What Should I Do?” contains the good news – we already have what we need to correct the harmful trends. We simply need the desire and motivation to make the necessary changes a priority. As individuals, we can decide which ones are best suited to our abilities and needs. This is a lengthy book, but it definitely will help you reset your priorities and come to terms with the inevitable changes that face us.

When a Nation Forgets God: 7 Lessons We Must Learn from Nazi Germany
by Erwin W. Lutzer (2010)
Rating: 5; Posted: 2/2016

Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

Most of this book identifies the root causes of cultural collapse in Nazi Germany and today’s parallels in America. The final chapters describe appropriate – that is, biblical – responses and perspectives. This is not a depressing book, though it addresses our major cultural problems, because it affirms that the American church’s best days are ahead. According to the author, the future will provide opportunities to show our faith and courage in a nation becoming officially hostile to Christian values. Among other things, he identifies essential godly character qualities and a biblical perspective of victory. He writes, “As Christians we can welcome an assault on our freedoms as long as we see this conflict as an opportunity to bear an authentic witness for Christ.”

Science and Technology

Murach’s Visual Basic 2015
by Anne Boehm
Rating: 4; Posted 8/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

As an experienced programmer but new to Visual Basic, I consider this to be an excellent training resource and reference. It uses a topic-based approach that brings related concepts and functions together. Throughout the book, you’ll find descriptions of a topic on the left page, then on the right page you’ll find bullet-point summaries, screen shots, syntax and examples of code from actual applications. It’s self-paced and includes excellent training exercises.

Revision: I originally rated this 5 stars, but the more I used it the more limitations I discovered. For example, the applications I develop require data/line graphics and printing capability. Not in the book. If you specialize in database applications, you’re good; otherwise, you’ll have to find other resources.

Navigating Genesis: A Scientists’ Journey through Genesis 1-11
Dr. Hugh Ross (2014)
Rating: 5; Posted 12/2014
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link (not yet available)

This is an outstanding comparison of the first eleven chapters of Genesis with the latest scientific discoveries, showing that the facts in both are compatible. Dr. Hugh Ross is skilled at researching both science and the original texts of scripture, and presents his findings very convincingly. He explains the fallacies of many theories surrounding the creation account, the age of the earth, the flood, decreasing life spans, fossil fuels and so much more. I’ve been intrigued by both the Bible and science all my life and this book integrates them masterfully. Even the science explanations that were over my head were still worthwhile reading. God’s work is absolutely amazing and science helps us appreciate what he’s done. Whether you agree with all of Dr. Ross’s conclusions – and it’s hard not to – you’ll definitely benefit by reading this with an open mind. I read it relatively slowly to savor each thought. Truth is truth, regardless of where you find it, and it’s fun to watch scientific truth support and confirm biblical truth. As Dr. Ross shows us, the alleged contradictions between the two are the results of misinterpretation or inadequate information. I’d rate this with seven stars, but I’m limited to five.

Social Issues

How Should Christians Vote?
by Tony Evans (2012)
Rating: 5; Posted 9/2014
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

The author addresses the real issues in an election, explaining why we Christians must vote according to our biblical values. It’s easy reading, straight to the point and right on target.

The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
by Naomi Wolf (2007)
Rating: 4; Posted 1/2015
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link
I read this book several years ago and reviewed it recently. Though some of the author’s remarks are very dated, the important trends she identified continue today, regardless of who occupies the White House. Politically, the author and I are very different, so I disagree with some of her observations, interpretations of history and conclusions, yet we share many of the same concerns about our nation. I totally agree with the author’s conclusion, that “we must stand up directly to confront those who have committed crimes against the Constitution — and hold them accountable, as the Founders trusted us to do.” I recommend this as an important read, regardless of one’s ideology, political affiliation, gender or age. It raises legitimate concerns and identifies dangerous trends that demand our attention.

Spiritual Maturity and Godly Character

[Pending]

Spiritual Realm

Unmasking the Devil: Strategies to Defeat Eternity’s Greatest Enemy
by John Ramirez (2015)
Rating: 5: Posted 12/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

Ramirez was a Satan-worshiper for 25 years and became a warlock and demonic high priest before being transformed by the power of God. He definitely was an insider in the dark kingdom and now exposes the devil’s strategies and limitations. The author reveals specific spirits dominating world cultures, neighborhoods, families and individuals. He shows how we give evil spirits authority to influence us, gain greater power over us and ultimately control us. He identifies common practices that expose us to the enemy’s activities in our lives and nine critical areas we Christians must be aware of to gain our spiritual freedom, including how to use our spiritual authority effectively.

Angel Armies: Releasing the Warriors of Heaven
by Tim Sheets (2016)
Rating: 5; Posted 4/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

This is a great biblical presentation about the nature and activities of angels. The author draws truths from scripture that most of us overlook or simply don’t understand. He explains the angels’ involvement in our lives to perform God’s will and provide us with indispensable help, even when we don’t realize it. His description of how our words and actions determine what our “invisible allies” can do for us is enlightening. I definitely recommend the book. It’s well-researched and easy to read.

Encountering Angels: Real-Life Experiences of Heavenly Intervention
by Jerame Nelson
Rating: 4; Posted 4/2017
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

The author presents some very interesting firsthand experiences with angels in his ministry and daily life. The book is an eye-opener about angelic involvement in our lives, including everyday activities, serving others and fulfilling one’s life purpose. Especially helpful are insights to how our attitudes, actions and proper use of our spiritual authority affect angels’ work in our behalf and how we can determine whether we’ve actually encountered one of these magnificent beings. I haven’t had extensive firsthand experience as the author has and I can’t find biblical confirmation for some of his assertions, so the book may deserve five stars but I only gave it four.

Needless Casualties of War
by John Paul Jackson (1999)
Rating: 5; Posted 9/2014
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

John Paul Jackson consistently makes spiritual matters understandable for the rest of us and “Needless Casualties of War” is an excellent example. While the overall topic is spiritual warfare, the principles the author describes are relevant to all believers, not just intercessors and others who actively engage in spiritual conflict. The key is realizing that our spiritual authority is relevant to our domain, not universal. “Needless Casualties” is an important read for any Christian who wants to know more about the spiritual realm.

School of the Spirit: Operating Powerfully in the Spirit Realm
by Roberts Liardon (1994)
Rating: 5; Posted 11/2014
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

This book contains important insights that can help a Christian work more effectively with the Holy Spirit. It begins by describing human structure — the human spirit, soul and body — then explains why it’s essential to build up one’s spirit and how to do that. It shows why it’s important to use spiritual authority correctly, to speak and pray in tongues, to recognize the ways God leads us and how to use prophecy correctly. The book is relatively short and easy to read and presents the material well, which makes it a great asset for anyone who wants to live a spiritual life.

Sharpen Your Discernment: Because When Life Looks Grey It’s Really Black and White
by Roberts Liardon (1997)
Rating: 5: Posted 11/2014
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

I like to highlight important points in the books I read and a few are so full of important points they have highlights on most of the pages. Sharpen Your Discernment is one of those books. This one statement summarizes the book’s scope: “To go forward in the strength of God, you must discern the character differences between the Spirit of God, godly angels, demon power, human motivation, and spiritual mixtures.” The author expertly develops these points in separate chapters then explains how we can sharpen our discernment and why we sometimes fail to discern accurately. The book is full of spiritual wisdom we desperately need today.

School of the Supernatural: Live the Supernatural Life That God Created You to Live
by Ryan Wyatt (2011)
Rated: 5 stars; Posted: 11/2014
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

While most Christians remain focused on everyday natural life on earth, author Ryan Wyatt insists that authentic Christianity is inherently supernatural. “When Jesus came to the earth in human flesh, He came to be an exact prototype of what is possible for every born-again believer…. As believers, we are a new breed in the earth.” On that foundation, the author presents keys to becoming effective in the supernatural. He explains how to develop essential skills, such as recognizing God’s voice and seeing what he shows us, and how to align ourselves with him. The next step involves developing our spirits so we can sense what’s happening in the spiritual realm. The author skillfully guides the reader through key steps to living in the supernatural.

Beyond the Ancient Door: Free to Move About the Heavens
James Durham (2012)
Rated: 5 stars; Posted: 1/2015
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

Quality time with God is essential and it’s helpful to schedule appointments on our calendar to honor him and to prepare ourselves psychologically and spiritually for what he’s doing. We’ll begin to look forward to that time and become eager to meet with him. We have free access to him at any time, but dedicated quiet time is special and a top priority.

James Durham describes an important protocol for entering God’s presence that not only honors him, it radically changes our attitude and prepares us to interact with the Almighty, the one and only true God. This protocol celebrates who God is and what he has done to reconcile us to himself and redeem every part of our life and nature through his Son, Jesus.

The author describes some of his experiences in Heaven and creates an appetite in the reader that can’t be satisfied with anything less. He then explains how to prepare oneself and actually enter the spiritual realm. He also explains very clearly why godly character is essential for anyone pursuing spiritual experiences.

The author explains that God clearly wants all of his people to visit the Third Heaven, but not just as an exciting experience. God uses those visits to train and commission us for greater spiritual responsibility on earth, so the question is whether we’re willing to obey the Lord regardless of how challenging the assignment may be.

I’ve read several books about intentionally preparing oneself and seeking visits to Heaven, and each offers a different perspective and insights. This book is among the best I’ve read. I’d give it 10 stars if I could.

100 Days in Heaven
James Durham (2013)
Rated: 3 stars; Posted 7/2016
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

It’s encouraging that visitations of heaven are possible and God’s intent and this book provides insight to what one might expect, so it’s beneficial reading. I strongly agree with the author that it’s crucial for us to spend more quality time with the Lord to experience what he’s prepared for us. The author gives numerous references to what God spoke to him, which I also experience, but I’m concerned such emphasis may discourage those who believe they can’t hear God speak. I don’t remember any explanation of such in the book. Overall, I I found the book disappointing because I expected much more after reading the author’s original, “Beyond the Ancient Door.”

Keys to Open Heaven
James Durham (2014)
Rated: 3 stars; Posted 7/2016
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

The author gives practical steps to effective Christian living, which are appropriate for all believers and I’m certain are beneficial to many readers. Having read “Beyond the Ancient Door” by this author, however, I eagerly anticipated a follow-up and was very disappointed.

Gazing Into Glory: Every Believer’s Birthright to Walk in the Supernatural
Bruce Allen (2011)
Rated: 5 stars; Posted: 1/2015
Amazon link, Barnes & Noble link

The first mention in the Bible of relationship with God describes man walking and talking with him face-to-face each day. Through his death on the cross, Jesus made that same relationship available to us today. Bruce Allen explains how God wants to interact with us and allow us to experience his glory through dreams, visions and face-to-face encounters. These are all available as a birthright for every born-again believer.

God gave us imagination and it’s a major key to such experiences, so it’s essential that we purify our thoughts and imagination. Our imagination enables our mind to “see” the spiritual realm and what’s coming from our spirit. As the author states, “The bridge between the soul and the spirit, between the natural and supernatural, is a sanctified imagination.” We need to honor our imagination and understand its language, which consists primarily of images. Properly using our imagination is a key to exercising our faith. Imagination enables us to “see” beyond our current situations, to visualize the reality of what God said, is doing or about to do.

The author describes many biblical images and passages, emphasizing the key role of seeing, visualizing or gazing in each. Of course, these all are activities of the imagination. These explanations are “eye-opening” and greatly increase our appreciation for how God uses our imagination.

The remainder of the book – nearly half – addresses experiences in the spiritual realm, including being caught up into the Third Heaven, transporting to other earthly locations and experiencing God’s glory.

This book is among the best I’ve read about intentionally preparing oneself for experiencing the spiritual realm. I very highly recommend it.

Spirit, Soul & Body
by Andrew Wommack (2010)
Rating: 2; Posted 7/2016
Amazon link; Barnes & Noble link

Some of what the author states is good, but I strongly disagree with some of his key points.

Angels at Your Service: Releasing the Power of Heaven’s Host
by Mac Hammond (1998)
Rating: 2; Posted 7/2016
Not posted to Amazon or B&N

This should be read with caution, because it sometimes twists scripture to conform to the author’s topic.

 

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