Tag: Kim

Friant’s Video Friday: Book Review: The Secret Room by Cynthia Mercati

Today Kim is bringing you a video review of The Secret Room  by Cynthia Mercati.

The Secret Room
Author: Cynthia Mercati

Published: August 15, 2000
72 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Annie of Holland learns about her values and the importance of hope and memories while helping care for a Jewish family hiding in her father’s church during WWII.

Kim’s Video Review:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Bone Chase by Weston Ochse

Bone Chase
Author:
Weston Ochse

Published: December 1, 2020
336 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

There were giants on the earth in those days—at least that’s what the Bible says. But, where are they? Did they ever really exist at all?

When out-of-work math teacher Ethan McCloud is sent a mysterious box, he and his ex-girlfriend begin to unravel a mystery 10,000 years in the making—and he is the last hope to discovering the world’s greatest conspiracy. Chased by both the Six-Fingered Man and the Council of David, Ethan must survive the chase—and find the truth.

Kim’s Review:

I love a good adventure story, especially the ones based in history. Biblical history is even better. But this adventure stories have to make sense, they have to be based on logic and evidence, even if that evidence doesn’t necessarily exist in real life. Nothing kills historical adventure like assumption and fallacy. Unfortunately, Bone Chase is rife with both. Maybe if religion had been left out of it, I’d feel differently. But the idea that the existence of giants would somehow bring religion to its knees; it did nothing but make the entire plot seem inconsequential and anticlimactic.

Thankfully, there was enough action and mystery to keep me going through the book, so it wasn’t a total loss. But throwing in complicated math concepts that have really nothing to do with the story and then not explain them clearly so laypeople can understand … This was just a disappointing read. Although it’s fiction, The DaVinci Code didn’t feel inconsequential because Langdon was dealing with things of true theological significance. The existence of giants, even talked about in the Bible is a big deal historically and even scientifically, but theologically? I was just disappointed.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
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Friant Video Friday: Book Review: Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals

Today Kim is bringing you a video review of the coffee table book Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals with photography by Christopher J.Payne and an essay by Oliver Sacks.

Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals
Photographer:
Christopher J. Payne

Published: September 4, 2009
209 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

For more than half the nation’s history, vast mental hospitals were a prominent feature of the American landscape. From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth, over 250 institutions for the insane were built throughout the United States; by 1948, they housed more than a half million patients.

The blueprint for these hospitals was set by Pennsylvania hospital superintendent Thomas Story Kirkbride: a central administration building flanked symmetrically by pavilions and surrounded by lavish grounds with pastoral vistas.

Kirkbride and others believed that well-designed buildings and grounds, a peaceful environment, a regimen of fresh air, and places for work, exercise, and cultural activities would heal mental illness. But in the second half of the twentieth century, after the introduction of psychotropic drugs and policy shifts toward community-based care, patient populations declined dramatically, leaving many of these beautiful, massive buildings–and the patients who lived in them–neglected and abandoned.

Architect and photographer Christopher Payne spent six years documenting the decay of state mental hospitals like these, visiting seventy institutions in thirty states. Through his lens we see splendid, palatial exteriors (some designed by such prominent architects as H. H. Richardson and Samuel Sloan) and crumbling interiors–chairs stacked against walls with peeling paint in a grand hallway; brightly colored toothbrushes still hanging on a rack; stacks of suitcases, never packed for the trip home.

Accompanying Payne’s striking and powerful photographs is an essay by Oliver Sacks (who described his own experience working at a state mental hospital in his book Awakenings). Sacks pays tribute to Payne’s photographs and to the lives once lived in these places, “where one could be both mad and safe.”

Kim’s Video Review:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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