Saturday, November 19, 2011

In Defense of Flogging by Peter Moskos

Picture this scene. You are standing in front of the judge, having been found guilty of fraud. The standard sentence is 6 months in jail. In a surprising turn of events, the judge offers you the possibility of 5 lashes or canings in lieu of prison time. Do you take the flogging and short-term pain, but walk out a free person? Or do you choose instead the conventional prison term and subsequent loss of freedom?

Peter Moskos, the author of “In Defense of Flogging”, holds to the belief that our prison system is flawed - inefficient, ineffective, and expensive. Instead of rehabilitating prisoners, prison is psychologically destructive and damaging to family and society. Moskos believes that flogging is a healthier form of justice.

I have to admit that I began this book as a sceptic. Even as he put forth his arguments a part of me said “yeah, but....does a civilized society hit? Parents aren’t even allowed to spank for heaven’s sake!” However, by the end of the book he had me convinced. His arguments are well researched and logical. The tone makes for an easy-to-read book that not only sets forth Moskos’s theories but also provides a blueprint for implementing the system.

Definitely not politically correct, but challenging and thought-provoking.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So Long Insecurity (leaders guide) by Beth Moore

"So Long, Insecurity - Group Experience" is a leaders guide to the book "So Long, Insecurity" by Beth Moore. There are 10 weeks of study and an introduction included. The introduction has suggestions for leaders as per time frame, getting through the material, tone of the group and dealing with problems. Each weeks lesson includes a warm-up, word from Beth, digging in (which has questions), in the light of the Word, wrap-up and on-your-own activities for participants to do. In the sidebar there are "before you meet" assignments as to the chapters to read for the following session and a few thought-provoking questions to think about while reading.
I haven't read the book this quide is based on , but am intrigued to search it out. As a linear person this guide was very comfortable to navigate. I could see myself using it in either a group situation or even on my own, although a group would definitely be more advantageous as more points of view would be raised. I would recommend this study to any women's bible study group or several friends who want to get to know one another better and help each other grow.
I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.

Pattern of Wounds by J. Mark Bertrand

There are books about travel and then there are books that travel. "Pattern of Wounds" is a book that traveled. It traveled from my spot at the table to my husbands spot in the living room. And then from there to my bedside. From my bedside it might go to my husbands comfy couch downstairs. Yes, it was the battle of the book for a few weeks until we both managed to finish it (he won by finishing first, but didn't let on what the ending was). This murder mystery did have me perplexed at times keeping characters straight. But it was interesting from beginning to end. The main character is Roland Marsh who is a hardened cop with relationship issues that many can relate to. Keeping your work life out of your marriage can be hard, especially with a high-stress job like a policeman. Watching Marsh deal with the tensions added some depth to the story-line.
This book came to me free in exchange for reviewing from Bethany House.