I admit it. I’m a late-comer to The Hunger Games. I first found out about it on Jenny’s blog in 2010 and the feminist blogosphere has been discussing it for ages. But I only read it this weekend. You, like me have probably seen the hype around the movie; I’ll restrict myself to the book here, as I’ve only read the first one so far and haven’t seen the film. Here’s my main reflection: this has been done before.
I’m not saying I didn’t like The Hunger Games. Actually, I loved it. I thought Katniss was a sympathetic and complex protagonist; I enjoyed the issues it raised; the writing was easy and pleasurable. Saying it’s been done before isn’t negative, then. It’s the observation that this book felt to me like Z for Zachariah meets Tomorrow When the War Began, both classic Year 8-9 English texts which I used in my days as a middle school teacher. Read more
Grumpy Day is a picture book from Matthias Media which I agreed to review as part of their Free-For-Bloggers promo. It begins ‘It wasn’t a very happy day for anyone’ and we’re introduced to three kids: Ben who can’t get his blocks to stack; Emily who can’t get her toys to sit straight on her train (no gender stereotyping in this story!); and Luke who can’t kick his ball outside because it’s raining. Ben and Emily’s problems are easily solved by Mum and then the focus turns to Luke. It’s really his story. Read more
What sort of Bible do you own? Perhaps, like me, you own more than one version: different sizes; different translations; perhaps a study or devotional edition. Yet, all of these versions probably have one thing in common: their design.
When you open a Bible, what does each page look like? A number of features are pretty much standard, like chapter and verse numbers, section headings, double columns, and perhaps margin notes or cross-references.
But consider this: what other publications actually look like that? The closest thing to it is probably an encyclopedia or textbook. However we’re using our Bibles, their pages have the feel of a reference book or technical manual — like a mere repository of information. Read more
I approached No More Hurting: Life Beyond Sexual Abuse by Gwen Purdie, with considerable caution after the disappointment of Feminine Threads and I am My Sister’s Keeper, also from publisher Christian Focus. However, this is an excellent resource both for those who have experienced sexual abuse and for those who want to help them.
Purdie is the co-founder of Dove Christian Counselling in Scotland and her experience shows. Her book is filled with practical examples and stories of those she’s met and counseled. Read more
This is the first installment of a two book review. Both books are from publisher Christian Focus (the same one that published Feminine Threads). The first, I am My Sister’s Keeper by Denise George, addresses Christian women about ‘reaching out to wounded women’. The second, No More Hurting by Gwen Purdie, is about ‘life beyond sexual abuse’. It’s more specific in its topic but broader in its clientele.
I am My Sister’s Keeper is a brilliant idea: a short collection of Bible studies and advice about how to be with women in their pain. It’s not exhaustive (childlessness and singleness are absent, for example) but it does deal with things like divorce, past sin, spouse abuse, childhood sexual abuse and being a mother of a suicide victim. It’s not written for the women who experience those things but for the women who might be alongside them at church or in their neighborhood. It encourages them to listen to their stories and to consider how Jesus would act in that situation. Read more