I Am Julius... A Centurion of Rome
on Aug. 16, 2015
I consider myself a neopagan, but I was raised in the Christian faith. I love Christianity- I do, and although I don't follow the Bible, I have read the Bible and appreciate it's teachings. I also do believe that there was a man named Jesus Christ who existed as a historical figure. I love reading books targeted at a Christian audience, because I feel as though I can take away a lot from them. I also usually read them side-by-side with my mother who is a practicing Christian and very involved in the church. My mother knew I always loved studying ancient Rome, and she saw this book as a fun one we could read together. She originally purchased it here on Smashwords and we read the book sharing her file. Once finished, I purchased my own copy- to keep for myself, but also to support the author. The book was very well written and I wanted to show them that they had my support with a purchase.
As the book synopsis states, this is a piece of religious-inspired historical fiction. It isn't meant to be taken literally, it's merely a story for entertainment that helps bring to light different characters and places within the Bible. I loved the concept of the book. It's written in a very entertaining way, but the backdrop is that of teaching people the places and people of the Bible. It's not done in a forcing religious way and the spirituality behind it, although vivid, does not overwhelm the story. It was written very very well and there was obviously a great deal of effort put into incorporating Christianity into the story in a subtle way that can make it appealing even to non-Christians like myself.
My mother loved the entire book. The story follows a Roman Centurion who ventures across the Eastern world finding the remnants of the recently deceased Christ along his journey. My mother thoroughly enjoyed how the book took you through many different places present within the Bible and also introduced you to many Biblical characters in a way that was true to the word of the Lord, but also fictionalized in a way that made for a brilliant tale.
This is sort of an adventure story, but the obvious tone is religious. With that being said, as a HUGE fan of historical fiction I've read dozens of books in the genre and this one certainly compares to some of my favorites. It is very entertaining and much of the book is very historical accurate. The author did an exquisite job of bringing to light the scenery and characters within the story in a way that was very easy to imagine. The book was easy to read, flowed well, and had a magnificent story amidst it's religious backdrop. I highly recommend this book to Christians, but I wouldn't discourage non-Christians from reading it either. It's a brilliant book all around, and I couldn't more highly suggest it to readers who find the synopsis worth delving into.
The Dirty GRE
on Aug. 23, 2015
This is definitely the most unique study guide I've ever come across. My boyfriend was studying for his GRE when we came across this. The Dirty GRE features twenty short story collections. Obviously they're not your typical boring college-level reads. These are 'dirty' tales, featuring entertaining and often absurd erotica themes. After each story is a study guide featuring ten vocabulary words in the story that are commonly found on the graduate level admissions test.
So what about the stories? Where do I even start? If you're looking for reads you'll actually remember, then this is definitely the book for you. Between horny incestual squids and a woman who must be covered in fish skin in order to orgasm- you definitely won't have trouble getting through these stories. They are so ridiculous and often offensive that I found myself cringing with each tale. Yet each one is written in an engaging way, that even amidst it's somewhat hard-to-read content, I just couldn't pull my eyes away from the pages. It was like watching a weird porno that you couldn't grasp the entire concept of, but heck- you weirdly enjoyed watching it.
These stories obviously aren't meant to be taken seriously. They're quire short (each one reaching between 1,000 to 2,000 words), but they certainly are memorable. My boyfriend and I had a blast reading each one and then taking the quiz for the vocabulary words afterwords. Granted, I have no college experience or degree, but I avidly enjoy reading and for me learning all of the new words was a lot of fun. The stories themselves made the studying experience fun for my boyfriend as well who has SO much college experience that I'm sure he's sick and tired of most study guides. This one on the other hand kept him fully awake- even into the third hour of studying.
So- obviously this book would be ideal for anyone studying for their GRE, but I don't suggest that others count it out. If you enjoy a vocabulary challenge and totally weird stories- this book is definitely going to be worth picking up. I loved it. I laughed at it. I cringed at it. I REMEMBERED it. Read it for fun, or studies- or both.