Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Naturalist

I live in Washington, DC and am ashamed to admit I do not know the history as well as I would like to. In order to work on that, I chose this book about Teddy Roosevelt, thinking it would give me an insight into his life as President. While it does mention that part of his life, this book focuses on one of Roosevelt's biggest passions - the natural world. He loved studying it, choosing to live a life of adventure. I found this book fascinating because it did not focus on his presidency but his lifelong passion of studying the natural world around him.

I must make a disclaimer here that simply states I am from the Midwest and was not at all bothered by guns, hunting, and taxidermy. Roosevelt had a great respect for the natural world and did not just use hunting as a sport for fun. He was collecting specimen to be studied and displayed in the Smithsonian Museums in DC. This "asthmatic city slicker" loved being outside (76).

Lunde shared that Roosevelt had his share of grief when his mother and wife, Alice, died on the same day (108). He eventually ended up marrying his childhood friend, Edith Carow (155).

The Republican Party wanted to kill Roosevelt's political career and encouraged him to run as William McKinley's VP. Sadly, McKinley was assassinated, making Roosevelt President (157, 162).
"Whether the species lived on or died out, Roosevelt was empathetic that people needed to see the white rhinoceros. If they couldn't experience the animals in Africa, at least they should have the chance to see them in a museum" (247).

"To really understand Roosevelt the naturalist, we need to locate him in the naturalists' world that he knew - a world that wholeheartedly embraced guns, hunting, and taxidermy as equally important to the naturalists' craft" (255).

I received this book for WaterBrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books. I received this book for free in exchange for a review of the book.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Wired Soul

I'm telling myself this all the time in this have-to-be-on-Facebook-all-the-time culture. This book is a good read for the end of the year (I actually finished in December). It helps to refocus and remember what is important. Like Rhodes, I have a love-hate relationship with technology. It's supposed to make you more connected but can oftentimes make you feel lonelier. There were four parts to the book: Lectio, Meditatio, Oratio, and Contemplatio. Basically getting back to slowing down the pace of life and not looking at a screen all day. How are we to know the thoughts of God if we are distracted by so much noise? Although I did not participate in the activities in the book, it could help someone who needs to slow down and rediscover our mysterious God.

Here were a few of my favorite quotes:
"Can you say with confidence that technology is a servant to your needs rather than a silent taskmaster over you" (7)?

"[T]oo much digital engagement... can keep me from showing up for my life, from being mindful of God, from living in the present moment, whether set aside for work, rest, connecting with other, or even play" (76).

"Contemplatives move at a slower pace. [T]hey see things other people miss" (182). I love that. Consider me in the Slow Club.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review.