Media Reviews for November 5

Media Reviews for November 5

And the Bells Were Silent (Again)

Charles Lober. Rocky Heights, 2020.

Charles Lober is an experienced author taking his fifth turn at a novel with “And the Bells Were Silent (Again).” In doing so, he makes a brave decision to employ as his narrator the voice of a 16-year-old Gabrielle Appleton. It’s not easy for an adult author to write the perceptions, attitudes, observations and language of a much younger character while moving the story forward for the reader.

Even if there are moments here and there where the voice doesn’t seem entirely authentic, Lober pulls off a plot that makes twists and turns through rumors of Confederate gold, the revenge of an ex-con and the love interests of high schoolers.

Gabrielle deals with common questions of teenage life, such as whether her boyfriend will invite her to the prom, and she navigates the lessons that come from her grandmother’s fading memory. Yet she also takes off on dangerous escapades to search for hidden treasure while working through the mystery of the twin bells stolen from her father’s church.

This latest release is a follow-up story to a previous Lober novel, “The Bells Were Silent.” (Minnie Lamberth)

Jesus the Great Philosopher: Rediscovering the Wisdom Needed for the Good Life

Jonathan T. Pennington. Brazos Press, 2020.

Christianity is the true philosophy that through faith and the power of the Spirit enables people to see the world in a certain way and to live accordingly.

“It is the way to the truly Good Life,” writes biblical scholar Jonathan T. Pennington in the first section of his book, “Jesus the Great Philosopher.”

Over the next 200-plus pages, Pennington, an associate professor of New Testament interpretation and director of research doctoral studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, offers a researched assessment that emphasizes Jesus as Philosopher, in addition to more familiar names of Savior, King, Shepherd and Messiah.

For a weighty subject that recalls ancient figures such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, he takes on a light tone as well —
offering input from examples of modern culture and entertainment. “The Good Life,” Pennington writes, “is not referring to the lives of the rich and famous as revealed in a tabloid or expose show. The Good Life refers to the habits of practiced wisdom that produce in the human soul deep and lasting flourishing.” (Minnie Lamberth)

Wonderfull: Ancient Psalms Ever New

Marty Machowski (author) and Andy MacGuire (illustrator). New Growth Press, 2020.

Parents or those at church responsible for the Bible education of children may find “WonderFull: Ancient Psalms Ever New,” authored by Marty Machowski and illustrated by Andy MacGuire that special resource they have been seeking. Oliver, the main character, finds a book in his grandfather’s study. A note on the top reads, “A gift for Oliver.” This begins the wonderful adventure Oliver and his grandfather will share as they read and examine the Psalms to learn about God and how to talk to Him in prayer.

Part devotional and part fiction, Machowski offers the Scripture passage, a narrative for discussion and activity suggestions to help readers take a closer look at each psalm. Conversations between Oliver and his grandfather are woven throughout the book, highlighting not only a relationship between grandfather and grandson, but also a relationship with God. As Oliver and his grandfather find special moments together, readers will also discover the same love of the 150 songs that make up the book of Psalms. (Martha Brown)

Nell’s Journey: A Caregiver’s Memoir of Alzheimer’s

Bill Whitfield. Wyatt House Publishing, 2019.

Those who minister to individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease — and especially their caregivers — will get a clear picture of the overwhelming and heartbreaking experience in Bill Whitfield’s book, “Nell’s Journey.” The author has essentially opened his diary and put dates on the moments where he is processing what is happening to his wife of more than 60 years, letting us all be witness to his confusion, doubt, sorrow and unrelenting commitment.

This raw account of losing a loved one to the progressive debilitation of Alzheimer’s disease is not easy to read.

Whitfield takes us from the pre-diagnosis moments in 2013 when he doesn’t understand why Nell doesn’t know how to operate the GPS through the days after her funeral in December 2017.

Whitfield was organizing pastor of Cypress Shores Baptist Church, Mobile, and was also on staff at Dauphin Way Baptist Church until 2016 when he resigned to become a full-time caregiver. (Minnie Lamberth)

EDITOR’S NOTE – Reviews of films, books, music or other media that appear in TAB are intended to help readers evaluate current media for themselves, their children and grandchildren in order to decide whether to watch, read or listen. Reviews are not an endorsement by the writer or TAB Media.