Tag Archives: reading

9 Favorite Posts by Michael Hyatt

For several years now, I’ve been following Michael Hyatt, the Chairman of the Board of Thomas Nelson–the largest Christian publisher in the world. Mike sees clearly and has a wealth of experience. He’s a great resource for authors, writers, fellow travelers on spiritual journey, and proactive, transformational leaders.

The following are my nine favorite posts from his website:

Should You Dare to Take a Sabbatical?

What Every Author Should Know About Radio and Television Interviews

Advice to First-Time Authors

Do You Make These 10 Mistakes When You Blog?

Creating A Life Plan

The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter

The Future of the Book


Seven Steps to Writing a Successful Guest Post

This is a guest post by Jeff Goins on Mike’s website

Hope you enjoy these posts as much as I have. Please pass them on to your friends too. It’s great when we can help equip one another by recommending important resources by creative individuals.

QUESTION: Which are your favorite? Why?

Seven Reasons I Love My Kindle

Until recently, my greatest excuse for not owning a Kindle was the cost. Then Amazon released the $139. newest generation version. Excuse one demolished. I could spend that amount in a bookstore buying four hardcover books. So my handy second excuse came to the rescue–I’d rather hold a book in my hands. I like the tactile experience and feel of a solid book, with pages and cover art. After all, I’m an author. Books are a great love of mine. This is how I remained Kindle-free for since its invention.

Recently, after seeing and being oriented to the new Kindle by a friend, and having viewed the interview with Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, I decided to give it a try. I have now been an avid Kindle user for five months. And now am a Kindle advocate. I would not want to be without it. Let me give you at least seven reasons I love my Kindle.

  1. Ease of Use. The Kindle is simple to use. The point of reading is to engage with the author. Kindle removes the complexity and removes the distractions. After just a short time of learning how to navigate around, I found myself no longer thinking about the Kindle, but fully engaged with the authors. Typing out your notes is tight if you have big fingers like mine, but otherwise it’s not bad if you’re patient.
  2. Affordability. Kindle is only $139.00. Many books are free. Classics and collected works are usually free. I own a large number of free books–more than I could read in a lifetime. Other books, newer books, usually sell for around $8.99. Some are higher, some are lower. But with the money I have already saved from not having to pay the full retail or even 30% off sale price, I have already paid for my Kindle.
  3. Subscription services. I receive USA Today every morning on my Kindle. I do wish it had my local paper available, but perhaps I should visit their office here in town. AND my blogs and my wife’s blog posts appear in the menu whenever we post to our website. You can subscribe not only to magazines and newspapers, but to blogs as well. And you do so with a 14-day FREE trial. So you can test read first before you commit. Then if you like what you’re reading, blogs are 1.99/month. Some are only .99/month.
  4. Reading Experience. Screen. Fonts flexible. Background music (yes it can replay MP3’s, but very limited. It’s a reading tool and doesn’t try to complicate things). I find it easy to hold. It’s very lite. I love the screen and pages. Because it is not backlit, my eyes are very comfortable and I can read for hours. When they get tired (at night), I can enlarge the font and voila, I’m able to continue. Though perhaps having to enlarge the font should be my indicator that it’s time to GO TO BED! You can also post your notes and a photo of your book cover with just a couple of clicks. I love that feature. I have a number of readers who enjoy the comments I’ve made about the books I’m reading.
  5. Portability. I can carry several large books with me. I can carry my whole library if I want. I have over 2.5gig of space to store my books. If I had to carry in boxes all the books that I can hold on my Kindle, I’d need a Mayflower mover to come with their biggest rig. AND . . . I absolutely LOVE the feature that let’s me delete books from the Kindle to store online in my safe online Kindle library for retrieval anytime I need them again.
  6. Battery Life. The battery life is 30 days of normal reading. If you keep your wireless connection up, then life may be 7 days. Still . . . that’s GREAT! I’ve not had a battery problem yet. And my Kindle also powers the light which comes with my Kindle cover (sold separately).
  7. You can LOAN your books. The loan feature is wonderful for bibliophiles like me who don’t like my books to go out of my library. First, I’m afraid they’ll either be damaged (not everyone loves my copy of the History of Piracy the way I may). Or,  second, they don’t get returned and never find their way back home. With the loan feature, no problem. I can loan most Kindle books for a 14 day period. After the 14 days are up, they return to me AUTOMATICALLY. WOW! You’ve gotta love that bibliophiles!

If any of my seven reasons help you to get off the fence, you can find out more about Kindle at Amazon.com. I’m not an employee, nor will I earn anything by you purchasing a Kindle directly at Amazon. Don’t forget to try a 14-day FREE trial of “David’s Place,”  my blog for Kindle. I will get .99 a month for that if you like it enough to stay. But more than that, I’ll gain a new Kindle friend. If you REALLY appreciate (or hate) your new Kindle come back and let us know.

QUESTION: Do you already own a Kindle? Tell us what you think of it if you do.

©2011, David C Alves

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The Facade

Heiser, Michael S. The Façade, AcidTest Press, 2007. 330pgs. $19.95  Available at:  AcidTest Press


Finished Mike Heiser’s novel, Façade. It was an enjoyable read. A page turner. Has all the elements of a good novel, though it told more than showed, but it’s a first novel. Could have benefited from professional editing. Found several copy errors and spots of awkward construction or word choice. I believe that the sequel will be improved.


It passed my” Rule of 44″* within the first few pages, simply because it’s a good story with an implausible theme by an author I respect personally. Very suspenseful in places, could be a nail-biter movie given a healthy budget and top actors. I could see Donald Southerland as the Colonel, Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts as Melissa, Anthony Hopkins as Neil or Father Benedict, Dr. Brian Scott has to be either  leading man from old ER or Lost.


The storyline moves, has energy. A breathtaking ending. Good first novel. Well done Mike. I recommend it.



*My Rule of 44:” If it doesn’t grab me in 44 pages, away it goes. Too many good books and not enough time. So don’t waste it.  My rule of 44 is based upon the original “rule is 50”, which I read somewhere but cannot for the life of me remember the author. She had a great formula for subtracting pages according to age. I think you subtract from 50, one page for every ten years of life, because life is just too short to waste time reading a book that doesn’t offer anything after 50 pages. But, as recommended, I have adjusted for my age. According to the author, when you reach 70, you get to judge a book by its cover.

God is a Writer, Speaker, and Reader

God is a Writer! It recently struck me again that God is a writer . . . and published author. The Bible is his creation, his master library. Books matter. Writing matters. God is the source for all levels of inspiration and creativity. He calls writers to their work. In the “Preface” of A Stay Against Confusion (Harper-Collins), my friend and author, Ron Hansen, considers writing a vocation which, for him and others, has its source in God’s grace.

But gradually an urgency to write fiction took over; it was a vocation that seemed so exalted and sacred and beyond me I would not even talk about it. . . . Many writers are agnostic and have as their religion art, but just as many are conscious that the source of their gifts is God and have found thanksgiving, worship, and praise of the Holy Being to be central to their lives and artistic practice.

Yes. I am one of the latter. I believe that vocare (vocation–calling) is the fundamental difference between the writer who happens to be a Christian (and may be rather embarrassed to admit it) and the Christian writer (a disciple of Jesus Christ who writes under compulsion of the Holy Spirit).

The Apostle Paul understood this because he says that he preached under compulsion (1 Cor. 9:16; cf. Ac. 9:15; Rom. 1:14 NIV). Being a Christian writer does not limit us to Christian literature, rather God gives us the freedom and responsibility to explore life and exegete creation–always embodying truth in the metaphors he inspires.

God is also a Speaker. He travels and comments on his work and his writings through the Holy Spirit (who will bring back to remembrance all that is said, leading us into all truth). The best example is Jesus on the road to Emmaus:

That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. . . And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:13-15, 27, ESV)

For many years now I have walked in a ministry of speaking the Word. I now sense that God is combining them in my life: writing and speaking. These facts encourage me as a writer and a speaker. I look forward to the doors of opportunity opening wider in my calling. I have a sense, overwhelming at times, of God’s tender oversight and care in what I write and speak. I  know him to be moving my writing at times. I see–in the impact it has in readers–a confirmation to continue. I know in the personal correction and discipline in my life that I am being shaped for these purposes.

God is a Reader. Jesus says to the crowds, “Haven’t you read . . . ”  implying, he had (Mt. 12:3, 5; 19:4; Lk. 4:16). I am encouraged as a reader and student of literature that God grants exceptional understanding in this discipline as well. Simply read the following passage in Daniel:

“As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” (Daniel 1:17, ESV)

If we will let him, God makes us into readers. Good readers. Readers who see more than what’s obvious, lying just on the surface. We will see the deeper truths behind the words, thoughts, and emotions shared by authors.

I want my writing, speaking, and reading to be filled with the grace and power of God. I hope those of you who know me will pray that God will bring this to pass in my life. That I might be a blessing and that my life would make a significant contribution to the lives of others.

Now in my early sixties, I often feel I’m getting a late start, but I MUST entrust that to Him. For he does all things well and makes everything beautiful in his time.

QUESTION: Do you sense God’s involvement in your writing, speaking, or reading? Please take a moment and share an example with us.

© 2011, David C Alves

How Many Books Are You Reading?

by David C Alves

I’m thinking about dissipation and distraction. And what made me think of that? I just updated my current reading list.  In so doing, I noticed that I’m reading too many books at once. I can’t recall when I started doing this. I used to read one book at a time. I’m not sure if everyone does this or just me. What’s behind this?

     Is it that we’re getting older and realizing that time is at a premium? That we might not get to finish all the books that interest us? Or . . . do we have a shorter attention spans?  And need to spread our interests across a wider palette? Sampling here and there? For me, maybe it’s from attending too many covered dish dinners in the past thirty-four years of church ministry–you go down the line and take a little of this and a little of that. Then go back for 2 or 3 helpings of whatever I found to be most appealing.

     In any case, reading 5 or 6 or 7 books at once may be a source for my lack of intellectual focus these days. I seem to be interested in more things than I can read about at once. This produces in me a feeling of being scattered–always feeling that more than one book is demanding my attention. But, I’m going to try to whittle my list down over the next six months. Let’s see if I can do it. I wonder if I can ever get my current reading down to 2!

     Although in my own defense (against my own concerns), usually one book is devotional reading, one is ministry related, and one is personal. In my current list, two are ministry reading and three are personal. I know I can shave several books and limit myself to three. So . . . I’m going to do it! Just like I’m going to follow through with my eating, exercise, weight goal at LoseIt.com

     What about you? What’s your list look like?  Maybe you need to narrow your focus and whittle your list? I wonder if we’ll feel less scattered, dissipated or distracted by setting and keeping a more limited number of books in our current reading stack?

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