Jim Williams – A Message to the Children

Who wouldn’t want to leave a lasting impression to children and grandchildren? There are a lot of stories to tell and share about youth, upbringing, neighborhood, school, and how you fell in love. What is your background? What traits can be found in your bloodline? Jim Williams started to write his memoirs in essays, but unlike other reflections, A Message to the Children is mixed with chapters instructing wannabe authors to construct similar writings and pointing back to all kinds of details in the painting with words that were overlooked in the first reading session.

To me, the chosen format of essays didn’t resonate well. The book better can be understood as a collection of short stories since you don’t know any of the characters, contrary to memoirs written by or about living or deceased celebrities. Yet, A Message to the Children inspires to think of a way to convey your own memories to your descendants before Alzheimer or other neurological disorders take away the memories or the capabilities to share them.

About the author

Jim Williams first hit the news when his early novels had the uncanny knack of coming true. The Hitler Diaries was published nine months before the celebrated forgery came out in 1983. Farewell to Russia dealt with a nuclear disaster in the Soviet Union months before the Chernobyl disaster. Lara’s Child, his sequel to Doctor Zhivago, provoked an international literary scandal and led to his being a guest speaker at the Cheltenham Festival. Scherzo, a witty and elegant mystery set in the eighteenth century Venice, was nominated for the Booker Prize. All of his fiction has been published internationally. American Values is his fourteenth novel.

I received a free review copy from City Publishing in exchange for my personal, unbiased opinion upon reading.

Henk-Jan’s soundtrack to 2019: 21-31 July

Each day I add music to my soundtrack to 2019 Spotify playlist. Here’s the list for the third leg of July 2019.

Sunday 21 July: Tony Thomas – Apollo 11

Fifty years ago Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin put the first steps on the Moon. Apollo 11’s is being remembered this weekend.

Monday 22 July: David Ruffin – Blood Donors Needed (Give All You Can)

I donated blood plasma again today.

Tuesday 23 July: Scott Stapp – Purpose of Pain

Hard rock during this hot summer week. Creed’s front man Scott Stapp released a new solo album, The Space Between the Shadows. I’ll review this one soon!

Wednesday 24 July: Manafest – This Is Not the End

Manafest‘s back stating that This Is Not The End.

Thursday 25 July: Lauren Daigle – Don’t Dream It’s Over

It’s #throwbackthursday Lauren Daigle recently covered the Crowded House 1986 hit Don’t Dream it’s Over. Maybe you want to compare this to Leigh Nash singing the same song on the Sixpence None The Richer 2002 album Divine Discontent.

Friday 26 July: Costa & Cathy Burton – Always

New uplifting vocal trance to kick of this weekend. DJ Costa and Cathy Burton collaborated Always.

Saturday 27 July: The New Division – Fascination

Synth pop band The New Division will release Modus on 23 August. Fascination is the lead single.


Sunday 28 July: Ellie Goulding – Sixteen

Our youngest turned sixteen today. Time flies. Let’s celebrate!


Monday 29 July: Staygold, Style of Eye, Pow – Wallpaper

Tear down wallpaper before painting walls with fresh paint. A 2012 song by Staygold, Style of Eye, Pow to help us.


Tuesday 30 July: Swinder – Noar Stad

Again, working for my daughter’s new pied à terre in the city of Groningen a.k.a. Stad.

Wednesday 31 July: Of Monsters and Men – Alligator

Fever Dream, the new Of Monsters and Men album came out last Friday. Let give the Alligator something to chew on.


Randy Kirk – The Elon Musk Method

Is there a secret formula that can make all of us as successful as Elon Musk, the entrepreneur that built Zip2, X.com, Tesla en SpaceX? Randy Kirk in The Elon Musk Method, with indeed a pretentious title, collected insights from biographies, press, websites, etc. without a single interview with the admired Elon Musk himself to paint a picture of the business biography of this man. The book takes the CEO through the opening, the growth years, and into maturity. The real purpose, however, is to give you some insight into yourself. Identifying what makes you tick and developing some of the attributes we find in Musk, can benefit you and your business. It closes with recommendations.

Randy Kirk is experienced in bicycle production, not a  rocketeer, a car manufacturer, or software developer, but managed to retrieve and select valuable lessons from Musk’s life e.g. experimenting, never give up, setting examples to your employees, and sticking to your passion and organizational goals. You need followers, employees that are willing to travel along with you. Musk takes no ‘no’ or ‘can’t be accomplished’ for granted, has really stretched ambitions, and has a probably higher risk appetite than you and I. Curiosity, trying new approaches, being an amazing listener and questioner are among the advices given. Jim Cantrell, the founding member of SpaceX, endorses The Elon Musk Method.

I received a free review copy of this book in exchange for my personal, unbiased review upon reading.

John MacArthur – Remaining Faithful in Ministry

To be honest, I expected lessons in what a minister in a Christian congregation should be doing more e.g. read the Bible, pray, serve the community, or less e.g. abuse power, value money or make use of others given the book title of John MacArthur latest, Remaining Faithful in Ministry.

Actually, the lessons MacArthur draws from the life of the apostle Paul are the core part. Paul remained faithful to the end. He persevered out of sheer love for the Lord, for the simple joy of obedience, with his hopes fixed firmly on heaven. The second letter to the Corinthians is taken as a starting point. There are nine reasons why Paul didn’t lose heart amidst adversaries, persecution, and tragedies. He saw himself as a steward of God, touched by the grace of God. He was determined to stay pure and upright and focused to preach Jesus as the Christ. God’s Word never returns void. Being humble and understanding that our suffering and weakness are the means for God to show His power. Familiarity with the faithful in the Old Testament and a heart fixed on heavenly treasures and rewards are unwavering convictions that can help contemporary ministers just as Paul. Expect more of a Bible study than a self-help book.

About the author

John F. MacArthur, Jr. is a United States Calvinistic evangelical writer and minister, noted for his radio program entitled Grace to You and as the editor of the Gold Medallion Book Award winning MacArthur Study Bible. MacArthur is a fifth-generation pastor, a popular author and conference speaker and has served as pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California since 1969, and as President of The Master’s College (and the related Master’s Seminary) in Santa Clarita, California.

I received a free review copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my personal, unbiased opinion upon reading.

Elyxr – Eternal Life Eternal Youth

Via Color Theory en de Pansentient New Synthpop Daily afspeellijst werd ik op het spoor van synth pop act Elyxr gezet die onlangs hun Eternal Life Eternal Youth album via Bandcamp uitbracht. In 2017 is toetsenist en producer Kasson Crooker (Symbion Project, Freezepop) dit muzikale samenwerkingsproject gestart, zoals Joey Belville (The Echoing Green) dat met Pristina deed: verschillende vocalisten uitnodigen voor eigen en andermans liedjes.

Kurt Larson (Information Society) is te horen in de 6 minuten moddervette 80’s sound van Strange Stubborn Proud. Casey Desmond (CMB) zingt in het mid-tempo, radiovriendelijke anti-love song Take Me There. “I don’t want to think about love. Every time I do it kills my buzz.” Voordat Eye for an Eye echt op dreef is, moet je even doorbijten. Hier is Crooker wel los gegaan. Spraakzang wordt verzorgd door Katrina Kope die in 2017 met Crooker ook de single Crystalline opnam. Kope is ook te horen op de Blondie cover Heart of Glass.

Elissa LeCoque (Kodacrome) past goed bij de synthpop for a darkened room in Planes. Ook verzorgt ze de afsluiter Engine, destijds de eerste single van Elyxr. Zoetgevooisd en gelaagd klinkt Melissa R. Kaplan (van trance band Splashdown) in het warme Lakeside. Ze zingt ook in Such Letting Go is Love, dat ook eerder als single werd uitgebracht. Brian Hazard (Color Theory) heeft een eigenzinnige invulling voor The Last Days of Summer.

Labelmaatje Sonja 3v3t3a (The Planets Won’t Let You Sleep Tonight) is dromerig in A Love Song with Consequences. Drie kwartier in tien nummers die de aangename kanten van eigentijdse synth pop laten zien.