Aug 2, 2011

Review of J.R.R. Tolkien by Mark Horne

Most of us know of, have seen, and hopefully read The Lord of the Rings. Many are anticipating the release of the Hobbit movie next year. There are also a few who have braved the Silmarillion and enjoyed the brilliant stories written in it by Tolkien. But how many of us really know him or what kind of man he was? Mark Horne's new biography of J.R.R. Tolkien is brief, but informative. It brings you back into the world where Tolkien grew up and gives insight into what kind of man he was. He really is a fascinating figure who lived in a tumultuous time. He was born in South Africa before 1900, fought in WWI, lived through WWII, taught at Oxford and in the midst of all that spent his life creating the world that we know as Middle Earth.

Horne does a wonderful job of giving readers a glimpse into the life of J.R.R. Tolkien and helping us to understand what made Tolkien who he was and how that impacted the stories that many around the world love. While this book is not as thorough as a work like Humphrey Carpenter's biography of Tolkien, it is certainly worth the read if you are interested in the world behind the Lord of the Rings. Hopefully, by reading this someone would be more interested and dive into Tolkien's world and work since there is so much about this great writer that cannot be discussed in a 144 page book. If you enjoy Tolkien's work, I suggest that you read this book. It's a quick read and will help understand a little more about the world behind Middle Earth.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Aug 1, 2011

Who are the Millennials?

Well, for starters I'm a millennial. So is my wife and so are all of my friends. Those of us born in the 80's and 90's are the Millennials. Most of us probably wouldn't take the time to figure out ourselves, and there really is no way to stereotype all of us. But, Thom and Jess Rainer have tried. While on vacation, my wife and I listened to the audio version of Thom and Jess Rainer's book The Millennials. It was a fantastic listen (and I'm not saying that in a self-centered it's all about me sort of way). I would recommend that you read/listen to it, too.

With almost 78 million, we are the largest generation in America. There are many of us who have graduated and are in the work force and still many left to go through college and enter the workforce. We are literally a force to be reckoned with since there are so many. There is good news, however. Most of us want to make a positive impact on the world. We care deeply about social justice and fairness. We care more about what we do with our lives than how much money we are making. If you are a leader of any type of business or even of a ministry, I would dare say you need to read this to understand the millions of us who will be applying for the job openings at your business and attending your church.

This book does a fantastic job of describing the millennials. There are a lot of us. We are wanting to make an impact on the world. We are very open to different viewpoints, while at the same time most of us are not very religious. We are highly connected to media. Most importantly, we are highly connected to people. We love our families and respect our elders. We love to communicate and build relationships. Thom and Jess (the authors of the Millennials) are very optimistic about us and think that we could make a large positive impact in the world.

Like I said, I think that you should read this book. Please don't read this post as self-serving or as a millennial simply wanting you to like his generation. Read it as a millennial asking you to take the time to understand all of us and as a millennial asking you to give his generation a chance.