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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World

Thomas Nelson Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World

Have you ever wondered what such an outlandish world says about its Source? Trying to make sense of this carnival ride we call creation, Wilson takes a lighthearted look at everything from the "magic" of quantum physics to the problem of evil. His whimsical portraits will open your eyes to God's story unfolding among us. 224 pages, softcover from Nelson.
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3.4
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Customer Reviews for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Review 1 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

My favorite Book of the year

Date:December 14, 2011
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mfuller
Location:Beaverton, OR
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I am not usually one for poetry, or long rambling sentences, and this book certainly has both, but in this case, the ideas are so deep that it works. It adds to the topic rather than distracting.
This is the best book that I have read all year. I didn't want it to end, and so I put it down and waited for months (Stupid I know) I have a new appreciation for creation, I am seriously convinced that the world is made up of Quarks and Leptons and that those bits are the spoken Word of God.
I also fully believe that "He [God] is the rock He can't lift. He is the Infinite struggling to capture Himself, to reveal every faced of His Infinite Self in the limitations of tiny space" (188) and I also believe that if you want to love God, then He has begun a great change in you.
This book deserves a longer review, but I cannot possibly pick out my favorite quotes, or even favorite chapters, and so I will just say - read this. You will be glad you did.
+1point
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Review 2 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:June 23, 2010
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Kristi Stephens
Somehow Wilson manages to look at the existence of God, the nature of good and evil, the reality of hell, and other such "light" topics in a poetic, sarcastic, highly unusual, dizzying, and sometimes provocative way. I really do feel like I am spinning a bit after stepping off a carnival ride... This reads like a stream-of-consciousness rambling from a poet who loves science and philosophy but loves God more. And I loved it!My only objection would be that, although I loved the artistic way he wrote about it, I would have liked to see him more clearly explain that the evil and brokenness in this "beautiful but badly broken" world was not the way God intended His creation to be - the sin of humanity shattered the original beauty. He does allude to this in many ways, but never really says that outright.This book was worth the read just for his chapter on hell. His description and explanation of the reality of hell was the most thought-provoking and beautifully stated I have ever read. It is a beautiful bookend to the way Wilson begins the wild ride through this book - he pictures this world as a carnival with "darkness lurking in the corners," and where we are all "carnies" along for the ride. He stitches this thought together with this wonderful statement:"Would you go to heaven? There is a sign you must stand beside where the man with the cigarette takes the tickets. There is a height you must achieve.You must be wretched. That is your ticket and your only qualification. It is an unexclusive ride, but wild, with weather you've never seen, and deafening light." (page 180)I loved this dizzing trip as I tried desperately to keep up with Wilson's train of thought. It left me with a profound sense of my smallness - and at the same time a reminder of the great security we have when we come in our wretchedness to the Maker and Sustainer of our souls.So, if you're in for a wild ride... this is worth a read.
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Review 3 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:October 23, 2009
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Vershal Hogan
N.D. Wilson has done a good thing with his book, Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl he argues for a creator and then he argues that creation is good, a notion lost to many evangelicals today.At times, Wilson examines the whole of the world from the subatomic level quarks, leptons and other tiny things that you cannot see but do exist.At other times, he just seems to get caught up in the joy of living in a world over which God pronounced, It is good. But the part I appreciated the most was that he avoided veering into the kind of hard scientific apologetics that evangelicals have gotten very good at doing very badly ultimately, thats not his point. The book is both a superb if unintentional argument for general revelation, as well as for another idea, that you should enjoy what God has created.The writing in Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl is kind of like being on a tilt-a-whirl, and Im not sure how many folks it will suit. I liked it; Im not sure everyone else will. Its not irreverent, but I suspect some people will think it so; at one point Wilson comments that Jesus transformed water into wine, and later the wine into urine. Should we deny it?, he asks.N.D. Wilsons Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl is a good and even fun to read book. Its not the most remarkable thing Ive ever read, but I recommend it to those who like to read books that can be described as both sound and trippy.
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Review 4 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:October 2, 2009
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Keiki Hendrix
A refreshing christian perspective on our physical 'world' in all its magnificence.Just as some carnival rides are not recommended for those with weak hearts, this book should also carry a disclaimer. The pace is quick, the references wide reaching and very well researched but there may be some who cannot bear the jolts and jerks. As for me, I loved it.Preparing for this review, I rediscovered the definitions in the title of N. D. Wilson's "Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World".Wide-Eyed: meaning with the eyes open wide, as in amazement, innocence, or sleeplessnessWonder: the emotion excited by what is strange and surprising; a feeling of surprised or puzzled interest, sometimes tinged with admirationThere are times when one needs to search out something one has know or grown accustomed to just to rediscover it. This book is quite appropriately named.In short, I would tag this book as C. S. Lewis on steroids. Written in bursts that provoke deep thoughts, each chapter is filled with short takes of the writers life with scientific observations on the world that may have stopping to catch your breathe. Be prepared to reread sections, first perhaps for clarity and at times to soak in the doctrine that lies beneath.If you are a careful reader (meaning you must research statements before taking them as your own), you will find yourself searching out many of the statements made. This added to my enjoyment of a book in that it sparked my interests on other topics beside the main theme of the book itself.From a span of the 'philosophers' to the magic of 'quantum physics', you will certainly not be bored and you just might view this 'world' in a very different way. I will accept the idea that N. D. Wilson suggests .. that this life and this world is God's novel and I have been written in.Keiki HendrixVessel Project Book Reviewer
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Review 5 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:September 18, 2009
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sdshaw
I must admit I have a love-hate relationship with this book. I love the challenge he gives to the reader to experience life to its fullest through observing and awareness. Some of the topics he covers in his most creative way:the problem of Evil, Heaven and Hell, does God exist, Creation, and the Sovereignty of God.I love the creativity of his writing and alliteration as well as the imagery his words invoke. Also that he truly is "showing" you his insights from the Tilt-A-Whirl. I also love the challenges to see the world through God's creative eyes, not missing all that He is trying to show us through this "ride" called life. For instance one of my favorite quotes: "We are always on stage. We are always in a novel, and even when no other characters are around, the art continues. The Triune audience watches" (p. 33)But I do "hate", which is truly too strong a word for my emotions with this, how long it takes him to make a point due to his creative use of words. I do "hate" how he uses offensive slang and curse words at times, I think its unnecessary and to some I think it will be offensive and they will miss the points because they are focusing on the words too much. I "hate" how he never resolves questions leaving the reader to wonder where he stands.Finally, reading this is definitely a wild ride. It is an experience. If you are a logical, "just give me the facts and the bottom line" type of reader I can almost assure you that you will be frustrated reading this book. However if you are an experiential reader, loving the ride that the author will take you on while gleaning from his insights then you will love this book. Having the words Tilt-A-Whirl in the title are indicative of the "ride" you will be on from the very first chapter to the end.
+1point
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Review 6 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:September 11, 2009
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Phil
N.D. Wilson's "Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World" is contagious, if you let it be. In wonder of the creation I take for granted all of the time, Wilson's words stir me to pause and marvel at my Creator, as his book moves through seasons and species with the awe and conviction of a 200 page meditation on Romans 1:18 - 20. "God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made (Romans 1:20)" are passionately celebrated from cover to cover of this book, while still acknowledging the problem of pain, suffering and death in what He made. Wilson tempered his vision of the often overwhelming beauty of the world with glimpses of the horrors that are a frequent cause of doubt in fallen creation. Then, like a Psalmist gives it all back to God, in praise of His greatness. Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl earns high marks from me (if that matters to anyone . . . but you're still reading). The pacing was good; you won't "pull a hamstring." (p. xi) The language was picturesque, but as Wilson said, "This world, shaped by His words, can never be tamed by mine." (p. x) Having said that, there are some word choices that some might find offensive (be warned).
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Review 7 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:September 1, 2009
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Sandra De
Just to be clear, I live on a near perfect sphere hurtling through pace at around 67,000 miles per hour. Mach 86 to pilots. Once a month or so, my wife will find me lying in the lawn, burrowing white knuckles into the grass, trying not to fly away.This excerpt from Mr Nelsons welcome in Notes from the tilt-a-whirl is so appropriate as it reveals the essence and flavor of his book. Absolutely full of meaty chunks from start to finish, it is full of information about this life we live and share with a plethora of created life.Ah, but was it created? That question is asked repeatedly and a bounty of responses are laid out from a smorgus-board of thinkers throughout time for our perusal. The validity of each is left for us to decide but he is profoundly sold out to knowing where he came from, from what he is made, and where he will be finishing his ride and chapter of his life.What will happen to the dust he was made from is the only question he can not answer. In fact this and other quirky questions arise continually, providing a refreshing new perspective over the stale views that pervade our culture.Having read Notes from the tilt-a-whirl, I will however suggest a few riding rules.* Read a whole chapter in one sitting as the thoughts he presents meander through a plethora of analogous metaphors and stories but does tie up neatly at the chapters end.* Read when you are mentally alert. He definitely shuns the shallow, his thoughts going to depths inhabited only by the naked mole rats he addresses.* Dont read if you are a black and white thinker. You just wont get it.As one who loves substantial quotes, I started to copy his profound thoughts out but found, I would merely be making another copy of the book. So full of content, although as one not prone to read a book twice, to get the most out of this book I think I am going to have to make an exception.I will be brave and hang on for a second ride of this tilt-a-whirl book.
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Review 8 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:August 25, 2009
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Lynne Modranski
Nathan Wilson unites the theology of God, speaker of Life into creation, with poetic prose. He paints a picture with words and allows the reader to see how the seasons that God speaks in nature are picturesque of human life. This author is a skilled debater and for a moment or two you will wonder which side he's on.By the end of the first three chapters, I felt as though I was on a tilt-a-whirl. I enjoyed all Wilson's word pictures in the introduction. I thought they were fun and exciting, but like rides at the carnival, fun at first until you feel sick, the constant motion of the book tends to do the same thing. As I moved on to chapters 4 and 5it seemed I was reading a long and never ending poem. The prose and the word pictures are wonderful. However, my need for a book to actually say something is greater than I might have ever imagined. Finally in chapter six his style changed from poetry to debating and from word pictures to banter. A good switch for me because the change finally gives way to a legitimate Christian discussion. He's obviously not afraid to share the opposing side's position, and he has an answer for every angle. Although he continues with the poetic feel, Wilson begins to reveal his message in the last half of the book. He shares quite eloquently and with great skill his thoughts on the Creator, the evil in the world, the Son and the brevity of life. He makes no apologies for his beliefs, but manages to to make you truly ponder them. While there is remarkable truth in Wilson's words, I honestly can't say as to whether I would recommend it or not. Some will absolutely love it, others will think it nonsense. Ill tell you this: Should you decide to begin to read this work and find yourself in the latter category, don't give up on it too early. Wilson shares a marvelous truth in such a way that you may find yourself inspired. A Thomas Nelson Book Reviewer http://brb.thomasnelson.com/
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Review 9 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:August 25, 2009
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Lynne Modranski
Nathan Wilson unites the theology of God, speaker of Life, with poetic prose. He paints a picture with words and allows the reader to see how the seasons that God speaks in nature are picturesque of human life. This author is a skilled debater and for a moment or two you will wonder which side he's on; however, keep reading, you will see his true position.By the end of the first three chapters, I felt as though I was on a tilt-a-whirl. I enjoyed all Wilson's word pictures in the introduction. I thought they were fun and exciting, but like rides at the carnival, fun at first until you feel sick, the constant motion of the book tends to do the same thing. As I moved on to chapters 4 and 5it seemed I was reading a long and never ending poem. The prose and the word pictures are wonderful. However, my need for a book to actually say something is greater than I might have ever imagined. Finally in chapter six his style changed from poetry to debating and from word pictures to banter. A good switch for me because the change finally gives way to a legitimate Christian discussion. He's obviously not afraid to share the opposing side's position, and he has an answer for every angle. Although he continues with the poetic feel, Wilson begins to reveal his message in the last half of the book. He shares quite eloquently and with great skill his thoughts on the Creator, the evil in the world, the Son and the brevity of life. He makes no apologies for his beliefs, but manages to to make you truly ponder them. While there is remarkable truth in Wilson's words, this is not a work that I would normally have read. I honestly can't say as to whether I would recommend it or not. Some will absolutely love it, others will think it nonsense. Ill tell you this: Should you decide to begin to read this work and find yourself in the latter category, don't give up on it too early. Wilson shares a marvelous truth in such a way that you may find yourself inspired.
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Review 10 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Date:August 24, 2009
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Brian
In the book, Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl, the author N.D. Wilson wonders at the creation of the world. He considers some of the questions we ask of the world, What is this world? Why are we here? Etc. In the chapter Tickets Please he wonders, in the light of an infinite God, why we would even consider some of the reasoning of the philosophers in regards to the worlds creation. He asks, does God speak? His answer is to look outside at his creation he is continually speaking.The book is filled with the author asking questions regarding creation and our purpose of being here. Eg. The chance of us being here, 1 in 8 million (the number of sperm cells looking for a egg) is no chance at all. God created for a purpose.He deals with the issue of right and wrong and says that if there were no god, we would have no standard for things that are beautiful, good or even a standard for what is bad.From there he touches on the subjects of death, heaven and hell.My only criticism of the book would be that it was too wordy and though some of the questions were thought provoking there were too many of them. The book would have been better at 30 pages less. Why do authors/publishers feel like all books have to be around 200 pages?
-2points
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Review 11 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:August 21, 2009
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Bob Fuhs
Take a half cup Donald Miller, 2 Tablespoons of CS Lewis, sprinkle in a pinch of Kierkegaard, Sartre, Hume, and a handful (no, two) of Chesterton. Let it simmer for an hour, then baste with colorful metaphors (earth=a carnival ride, Shakespeare= a lesson on evil and suffering, kittens=more lessons on evil and suffering). What you might get is something like N.D. Wilsons wonderful book, Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl.One of the problems with writing a review of a book like this: I dont write as well as N.D. Wilson and probably never will. If you like books that are more like art than science, that are more like a meal of words, that cause you to think: Oh, I wish I could say things like that. Then, youll love this book.This book is, at the heart, an apologetic (apologetics=a defense of the faith) book covering questions of the existence of God, the problem of evil and suffering, intelligent design, why would God send people to hell, and whos to say whats right and whats wrong? Its meaty stuff covered as a poet might, not as a scientist. The arguments are logical and well-thought-out, mind you (they really, really are), but N.D. writes in a freeform prose that draws on the best of metaphor and word-picture.Bottom line: I loved it and cant wait to read it againthis time slower, taking in each word, each phrase, each argument. Hop on, I think youll enjoy the ride.
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Review 12 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:August 11, 2009
Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl is a dizzying ride through carnival life, and the world around us. N D Wilson is a fantasy writer for children, and that shows in this book! He has a very childlike way of explaining things. He brought me back to the first ways i saw the world and thought about how much God loved me. it will open your eyes and bring you back to a simple yet very deep faith.Some may not like the slightly druggie writing. Or how Wilson makes you feel like you just stepped off of the world's tallest roller coaster. Others might find it to be a refreshing change from some of the "drier" christian non fiction out there. I certainly did! Several chapters reminded me of Rob Bell's Everything is Spiritual DVD. N. D. Wilson talks about how infinitely small the world is and yet how infinitely big too.Not a book you'd want to skip!This is one author i would love to spend a dinner with, and just talk about life and it's meanings :)
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Review 13 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:August 10, 2009
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Christy McGraw
The reason I picked up this book in the first place was the title. At this point in my life it feels like I am riding a tilt-a-whirl so the title piqued my interest immediately!I was fascinated with this book from the preface. N.D. Wilson clearly states this book does not go straight. And then I saw the chapter titles and laughed out loud as one is named for the small town I live in.this book was a definite go for me!The author was correct in that this book does not go straight.but in the end it spoke to me in so many waysas life does not go straight! To me this book was a lot like poetry. Some people love it and some people are going to hate it. For some poetry is deep and meaningfulfor others it is just a bunch of words.Personally I enjoyed the book tremendously. N.D. Wilsons writing style is unique and quite descriptive. I love that he asked questions and ponders on things. And to be honest he does not answer many of those questionsas they are not meant to be answered here.The tagline of this book is simply Wide-Eyed Wonder in Gods Spoken World. I cannot think of a better description of this book.it is creative and unique and a fresh outlook. It is written in a way that reminds me of an artist. To me it makes perfect sense as our God is a most wonderful Artist and this was a fun way to explore the beauty that is.Notes from a Tilt-a-Whirl is a funny and yet thoughtful book.that goes around and around but I for one really enjoyed the ride!
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Review 14 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Date:July 12, 2009
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Janet
I did not enjoy reading Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirlat all. I usually try to find something nice to say when I review a book, even if I havent particularly cared for it, but this book was offensive to me.N.D. Wilson is obviously highly intelligent and well-educated. Hes a deep thinker with a gift for word-crafting. (There, I said something nice.) Unfortunately, he seems obsessed with whats morbid, distasteful, nasty, and gross. (And I was absolutely shocked to be assaulted by his use of the s-word in a Thomas Nelson bookwith no good or even potentially justifiable reason. He just felt like writing it and did, and Thomas Nelson let him get away with it.)Wilson uses illustrations from science and nature to prove Gods existence, explain the existence of evil, and explore other religious/philosophical ideas. His arguments are on-target, well-written, and intriguing, but are lost in the shock of the disgusting examples he chooses. Instead of walking away from the book thinking, Our God is so awesome!which I think Wilson had hoped his readers would, I left it thinking, That was just so gross!Id like to see Wilson write more. If he cleans up his act, he has a lot of potential. But I think Ill be afraid to trust another book. Itll have to get a raving review from another bold soul before I do.
-1point
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Review 15 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Date:July 11, 2009
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JDieterle
Wilson likens life to a Carnival and explores philosophical and faith issues in a stream-of-consciousness style. He endeavors to make sense of the world and our questions about it. The chapter called Unwomb the World, for example, has some interesting and challenging thoughts about God and how evil can exist in the world.When I like a non-fiction book, there are often notes in the margins and passages highlighted or underlined. And there were a few places in this book where I made those sorts of marks, like when he wrote Change this world. Use your body like a tool meant to be used up, discarded, and replaced. Better every life you touch. (pg 154) Overall, though, I found this book difficult to read and difficult to like. There were pages where I read and read, but couldnt pinpoint what the author wanted to say or wanted me to understand. This was just not my style of non-fiction book, although I have a few friends who would love it. Also, sensitive readers may be surprised by some word choices the author makes and how often he talks about sperm for a Christian book that isnt about sex.I am a Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger.
0points
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Review 16 for Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Date:June 25, 2009
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wjcollier3.wordpress.com
In Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl, Nate Wilson takes us on a rambling journey exploring the world we live in and the God who created it. Taking his cues from the four seasons, he describes with wide-eyed wonder the work of God in creating and sustaining the universe. When I referred to the book as a rambling journey, I am not kidding. There were many instances where I was, and am still, not sure where Wilson was going. He speaks in various creative terms: novel, play, poem, drama, etc. It was often hard to tell if he was talking about us as humans, God as creator and sustainer, or the earth as the creation. It might have been all of the above. Perhaps, I am not the target audience. I accept that possibility. Someone a little younger than my less than forty years may get it. It is almost as if Wilson is trying a little too hard to write like Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz), another authors popularity I do not understand. Maybe that is where I should leave this review. If you like Miller, you might like Wilson.More information about Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl, including a preview, can be found at Thomas Nelsons product page (http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?sku=0849920078). I am a member of Thomas Nelsons Book Review Blogger program (http://brb.thomasnelson.com/).
+1point
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