Reviews for: “The King’s Gambit,” “The Living Machine,” “The Vegan Bodybuilder’s Cookbook” and “The History of Christianity”

The King’s Gambit by John Maddox Roberts


I heard about this book through this booktube channel.

This is a historical fiction, mystery story taking place in ancient Rome. Arson and murder is afoot in the years prior to Ceaser’s rebellion, the the protagonist, a politician/cop, is assigned to come to the bottom of it. What unfolds is a conspiracy of piracy, trade routes, slave politics and racism.

I really enjoyed this, for what it is. The author researched the setting well, and brought the past to life. I especially liked how the author interrogated and brought to life the unpleasant aspects of ancient slavery. Also, the book was short, and I enjoyed that shortness.

However, it’s not a perfect book. Some of the prose felt rough, and the book had a bit of a cold open. It was a short book, almost too short. It could have used a bit more.

The Living Machine: Engineering Strength with a Plant-Based Diet by Bradie S. Crandall


This short nonfiction book is an explanation of why athletes should switch to a plant-based diet. I am in the process of improving my diet/exercise routine, and I’m concerned with improving my diet, so I decided to do some research into plant-based diets. This booklet does a good job of explaining the micronutrient benefits of veganism, as well as providing recipes and protein combinations. It also provides advice on supplementation, for stuff like Vitamin D and B12.

Was this worth reading? Yes, especially if you’re an athlete or are considering adding more plants to your diet. I read this for “free” through Kindle Unlimited.

The Vegan Bodybuilder’s Cookbook by Samantha Shorkey, Amy Longard

This is a cookbook containing healthy recipes. I’ve tried a couple of them, and they were pretty good. Not much else to say, besides the fact that it’s good food. If you’re looking for a vegan cookbook for building muscle, this is a good one. Remember the rule of thumb of having two servings of fruits a day, and 4 of green veggies, along with your carbs, proteins and fats, and you’re golden.

The History of Christianity by Luke Timothy Johnson


This is a good lecture series about the early history of christianity, from the time of Christ’s death to the protestant reformation. It focuses especially on early controversies like Monophositism and Aryanism; the Great Divorce between Catholicism and Orthodoxy; the history of monastic life, from desert fathers of Egypt to the (relatively) plush lives ‘Dark Age’ monks; and on and on and on.

When I listened to The Church History by Eusebius a few weeks ago, I was left baffled by the internecine events the author used… which makes sense, as that was written centuries ago. This was a much more approachable angle on early Church history, focusing on the past using a more modern lens to inform how those events played out to this modern era.

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