Arts & Entertainment
After running our article on sites for reviewing movie content a month ago, we received several requests for an article to screen books as well. Your wish is our command.
I’ll tell you a secret. I almost failed 8th grade because I read too many books. True story. That’s how much I love reading.
Fortunately and unfortunately, the world of literature is larger and more diverse than that of its cinematic counterpart. This means everyone can find something to appease their varying appetites for the written word. It also means sites to review books vary in the number and genre of books evaluated.
The other problem is the manner of evaluation—let’s face it, The Book of Mormon could easily be rated R in movie format. All the war chapters that comprise the majority of Alma, the grisly end of Shiz at the conclusion of Ether, the graphic despotism of Moroni 9? And let’s not get into all the icky sins of Sodom and Gomorrah and all the other such gems we find in the Bible. The lines aren’t quite as easily drawn when assessing the worthiness of literature, and everyone has their own standards for evaluation.
With those caveats, here are some sites that can help you out on your quest for the best of books. Some of them are personal blogs of people who do book reviews, and many of them include traditional book reviews that just happen to also touch on content or only feature books that are already “clean” (according to their personal definition), so feel free to check them out to see which one (or ones) fits your needs best.
Book review sites:
This 3-part documentary series celebrates the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, telling the stories of international politics, intrigue, subversion, bloodshed, fire, and the runaway libido of King Henry VIII that were the backdrop of its creation.
I’m a lover of all things documentary and all things history. I also just so happen to be a big fan of things relating to our church. So when I got the opportunity to prescreen Fires of Faith, BYUtv’s new 3-part documentary about the coming forth of the King James Bible, I was just a little bit excited. (Click here to watch the trailer.)
It didn’t disappoint.
William Tyndale, who has been lauded over the pulpit of general conferences for more than 30 years (see articles here, here, here, here, and here), is the main star, along with other famous Reformation leaders like John Wycliffe and Martin Luther. But others whom you may not have heard of—such as John Frith and Thomas Bilney—also make significant contributions to the film—and the religious world as we know it today. All of this is placed in the greater historical context of Europe: King Henry VIII’s “runaway libido” that led to a break with the Catholic Church and the creation of the Church of England, the invention of the printing press, the Protestant purge in England by “Bloody” Queen Mary I, and more.
We're giving away two tickets to the launch of Hilary Weeks's new CD, Every Step, and 5 runners up will get a copy of the CD.
Hilary Weeks, that vivacious and visionary blonde, is releasing a new CD titled Every Step (click here to learn more). In honor of the fans out there, we're giving away two tickets to her launch concert, which will be held in the Covey Arts Center in Provo, Utah, on October 25.
And even if you don't win (or can't attend), we will be giving 5 copies of her new CD to runners up!
The contest is only running the next couple days so we can get all our ducks in a row, so enter now! (Click here to enter.)
Your turn: What's your favorite song of Hilary's?
In his most recent book, Life's Lessons Learned, Elder Dallin H. Oaks shares the most valuable lessons he's learned and encourages us to consider the same.
What do you want to be remembered for?
While serving as president of Brigham Young University, Dallin H. Oaks was asked this very question. Though it was asked in connection with his position, he applied it to all areas of his life.
“I asked myself, ‘When your children grow up and leave home, or when you die, what do you want them to remember about you as a father?’ This question caused me to see that I was in danger of being remembered for always being critical and nagging about trivial behaviors that irritated me, such as the practice of a teenage daughter who continually scattered her clothes and other possessions all around the house. I wanted to be remembered for fatherly communications of praise and love and other matters of eternal importance.”
In his most recent book, Life’s Lessons Learned, Elder Oaks shares personal experiences from his life and concludes each brief chapter with a principle he gleaned from them. With 37 lessons learned that we can apply in all our lives, I think the book is a definite treasure.
But even if you don’t get a chance to read all of them, you can start applying this lesson today by asking yourself:
“What would I like to be remembered for when I am released from your present position [whether it be my Church calling, occupation, role as parent, or time on earth]?”
The Church needs your creativity, social media knowhow, and filmmaking skills!
This week the Church launched a new campaign called Come Listen that asks members to create a video of their general conference experience. The videos will not only become part of church history (sweet!), but they’ll be used to create a short film titled “Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice,” a film to invite non-members to do just that.
They want to see your general conference traditions, travel, faith, reaction, or anything about your personal experience with it.
This whole campaign sounds pretty awesome. The Church is really trying to get members to utilize social media and new technology to share the gospel, and Come Listen is a perfect way to do that. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said it best in his last general conference address:
“With so many social media resources and a multitude of more or less useful gadgets at our disposal, sharing the good news of the gospel is easier and the effects more far-reaching than ever before. With the blessings of modern technology, we can express gratitude and joy about God’s great plan for His children in a way that can be heard not only around our workplace but around the world.”
So get out your video cameras and start sharing the gospel. For more information on guidelines, visit the official Come Listen website here.