Monday, July 30, 2007

Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date – Dennis Rainey

Family Life’s mastermind has developed a superb tool for dads: Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date: 8 Steps to No Regrets. This small book is just what dads who want to protect their daughters have been waiting for. We are finally given permission to “meet the boy.” The book is designed with dads in mind—it’s short, it’s practical, and it’s straightforward.

Rainey (father of four daughters and two sons) takes you on the journey of why to and how to approach all of those boys who want to spend time with your precious little princess. This journey starts with trust that must be built between dad and daughter, and helps us to realize that taking time to take an interest in the suitors (or would-be suitors) who notice our daughters want to be held accountable for their actions—they need us (the dads of their dates) to help them be the men that they want to be.

No longer do you have to depend on the Louisville Slugger in the corner to intimidate the pimple-faced beast that’s appeared at your door on prom night. No longer do we have to meet them with our revolver on the table amidst cleaning supplies. No longer must we, as one friend said, toss the boy a bullet followed by “the next one’s coming faster.” With the help of Dennis Rainey, we can actually get to know the young men who come by to see our daughters.

Some argue that this book is designed for those whose daughters are already or on the verge of dating. I would disagree. My oldest is 5 and I’m glad to have had a chance at this book years before her debut. I now have a few years to continue building the relationship that will build the trust needed so that when boys do start coming around, it will be natural for my baby to say, “You’ve got to meet my dad first.”

Rainey also includes samplings from the many of these interviews he has conducted. Knowing that each interview will be different based on the boy who shows up at the door, Rainey includes five general areas of concern that should be addressed: Family, Work habits, Life plans, Christian testimony, and Driving record. He also includes an outline that helps guide the nervous father through the basics to cover that will be telling about the prospect and put both interviewer and interviewee at ease as they come to an agreement about what is a proper date:

  1. Recognize women as God’s beautiful creation.

  2. Acknowledge that attraction is normal and good.

  3. Remember your own young adult sex drive.

  4. Hold him accountable for his relationship with your daughter.

  5. Challenge him to purity.

  6. Ask him to respect and uphold your daughter’s dignity.

  7. Confirm that he understands your message.

  8. Be sure you can count on him to challenge his own children to purity someday.

Scattered through the book are stories of other men who developed relationships with their daughters making it clear that new boyfriends must pass muster before dates would be allowed. In short, this book is a must for dads who want the best for their daughters and for the boys they date.

(here’s the new “rating” system for my reviews) I give Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date 5 thumbs. Get a copy for the father of a daughter today.

—Benjamin Potter, July 30, 2007

Free Book Friday

The guys over at Pastor Bookshelf are giving away books. They do it every Friday (when they have time and books). All you have to do is post and link, then wait for them to choose you from the entrants. So, this type of announcement may become regular here at Book 'em Benj-O. This week's book , Questioning Evangelism, looks interesting, so I'm signing up.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Friday Book Give-away

The guys over at Pastor Bookshelf are giving away books. They do it every Friday (when they have time and books). All you have to do is post and link, then wait for them to choose you from the entrants. So, this type of announcement may become regular here at Book 'em Benj-O. This week's book looks interesting, so I'm signing up.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Saturday Review Reading Challenge

Pardon me as I take another pause from reviewing to tell you about this reading challenge. Because it doesn't require too much out of the order extra time from me, I'm joining. Sherry over at Semicolon has issued the challenge related to her "Saturday Review of Books" series. Each Saturday she invites people to post links to books they have reviewed during the week. She's been doing this about a year and to celebrate, she's invited readers to choose six books from the list of recommendations to read between now and the end of 2007 (that's only about one book a month). The object is to read the books, review them and provide links to your review at Sherry's blog. Easy-peasy, right? Head on over and join with me. (You'll also want to be looking for the reviews to come from the books on my list.)

And now here's my list for the challenge:
I've also chosen these alternates if (a)I have difficulty finding copies of my first choice at the library, or (b)I have extra time before the deadline:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

New Reviews Site Going

I've just had my first review posted over on Pastor Bookshelf. Their Review Program is a way for pastors and pastors in training to find worthwhile books (by reading helpful reviews) and even build their libraries for ministry. I've reviewed on a less academic level Simple Church before at my general blog site.

Just a Guy – Bill Engvall with Alan Eisenstock

What?! You say. This guy is writing books now?! Yes. While it’s pretty safe to say the addition of the co-writer helped Bill to write something that was readable. Bill Engvall, that other guy on the Blue Collar Comedy tour, the “Heeeere’s your sign” guy has written a book. It’s a memoir, an autobiography, a journal after the fact. My wife and kids picked up a copy and gave it to me for Father’s Day and I finally got around to reading (and finishing) it.

Beginning with his birth, Engvall invites readers in to witness the development and shaping of what makes a Blue Collar comic. We ride with Bill on his bike through early years in Texas, formative years in Winslow, Arizona, and then later years in Dallas. He lifts the shades to let us peek in on the good times the bad times and the ugly—lots and lots of ugly.

The opening chapters of Just a Guy remind you of Engvall’s comedy. They are funny to the point of tears as he remembers and you remember because you are “just a guy” too. You hide with him as he waits to scare his sisters or other family members (almost giving Grandpa a heart attack). You can hear and smell the sounds and smells of the little league field, swinging right along with Bill to make not only one but two homeruns in an early career. As you read you can almost hear Bill leading into the next punch line. It’s a great romp.

About one-third of the way through the book you get hammered with his parents’ divorce and the book almost gets too personal. You want him to be funny, but the hurt that comes through doesn’t allow funny. He does regain some of the comic charm as he tells about his father’s remarriage, how Mary becomes “mom” and not just “step-mom”, the highs (literally) and lows of his misspent college days, his break into comedy accompanied by his romance and marriage to Gail.

He reaches all your emotional bones—funny, sad, and otherwise—with his readable prose. If you’re “just a guy” you’ll want to read this. If you’re really a “guy” you’ll wait for the movie—or at least wait for Bill to include it in his act. I’d recommend this book to some and not to others. Sorry Bill, the best I can do for you is 4 thumbs, but that’ll get you back home.

—Benjamin Potter, July 12, 2007

Friday, July 6, 2007

Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

One moment between the covers of Bridge to Terabithia reveals why Katherine Paterson’s walls are filled with awards. Not only did this volume win the coveted Newberry Medal but many other awards as well. As a matter of fact Paterson’s writing has won literary awards time and time again. I first encountered Paterson and Bridge as an education student earning teacher certification. I was taking the class we lovingly called “Kiddie Lit.” I re-read it because a film-maker decided to adapt the story for the screen and the result has been released on video. I’m hoping to view the movie soon, and at the same time hoping not to be overly judgmental toward what the previews promise to be completely different from the book.

Why is it a bad thing for the movie to depart from the book? Because the book is such a great story about childhood, having little or nothing to do with fantasy, that’s why. Bridge to Terabithia is the story of Jesse and Leslie, two fifth-graders who become friends and whose friendship is the occasion for creating a new land where Jess is king and Leslie is queen.

Paterson deals with a variety of issues that budding adolescents deal with: new relationships, school bullies, religion, and others. She makes the most exquisite use of foreshadow that I have read in years. The tragedy that is the premise for the book (the building of a bridge to the fantastical land of Terabithia) is foreshadowed from the opening scenes of the book to the Easter service where Jesse is bored and Leslie fascinated.

This book is great writing on a number of levels. The children are believable as children, the settings are real. Bridge to Terabithia has it all—great characters, great stories, great scenes, great dialog, and it is an award winner. Read it before seeing the movie, read it instead of seeing the movie, read it for the first time, read it again for the first time, just read it.

—Benjamin Potter, July 6, 2007

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Can't Resist Free Books

PastorBookshelf has started a Blog. They're instigating a Friday giveaway for pastors, pastors-in-training, and trainers-of-pastors. If you'll indulge me, since this is my book site, I'll post about the giveaways here. The first book offered is Recalling the Hope of Glory by Allen P. Ross. Read about the contest here.

Popular Posts