Official Review: Formulas for the Soul by Jeremy Brown

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SamSim
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Official Review: Formulas for the Soul by Jeremy Brown

Post by SamSim » 20 Dec 2018, 14:31

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Formulas for the Soul" by Jeremy Brown.]
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1 out of 4 stars
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"From there, we must discover what God wants us to do, when to do it, and how best to do it. The objective, the plan, the implementation... Once implemented, the faith we have must be inseparable from our formula for the soul."
In Formulas for the Soul, Jeremy Brown seeks to enlighten his readers regarding his theory that any "concern" (sin, problem, subject of interest, or desired change) can be addressed through a Biblically-based, cyclic, 3-part plan or structure. These are the formulas after which the book is titled. He clearly writes from a Christian point of view for Christian readers, with the hope of helping his audience apply these formulas in order to cultivate a more God-centered, calm, and balanced life.

The somewhat wandering introduction, which accounts for nearly 16% of the book, left me bewildered and struggling to understand the author's "formula" premise. Thankfully, the main chapters are more approachable and follow a formula of their own: Each one introduces 3 formulas (for a total of 18) that, more or less, apply to the same area of life. There are "formulas for the heart," "formulas for increase," etc. Brown discusses the featured formula, explains its 3 parts and their interplay or relationship, then provides the scripture(s) on which that formula is based. Chapter 7, "Establishing Our Own Formula," instructs the reader on how to develop his or her own formulas for the soul, and it is followed by a section summarizing the entire book.

In my opinion, Brown's "formulas for the soul" are intriguing and not without use. For example, my favorite formula appears in chapter 5, "Formulas for Change," and is called "Resist, Replace, Refresh." Citing Acts 3:19 and Matthew 16:19, the author explains that, in order to bring about positive change in our lives, we must resist negative thoughts, words, and behaviors; replace these with God's truth and productive behavior (seeking support as needed); and we will find refreshment in our improved circumstances or mindset as a result. Then, having addressed and corrected the target sin, vice, or issue, we begin again by choosing another to "resist" and "replace." Notably, Brown encourages us to actively support others in their efforts to resist and replace issues which we have already overcome in our own lives.

Unfortunately, "Formulas for the Soul" has many issues of its own that nearly render the formulas inert. In my opinion, the book feels like a rough draft, with numerous editing problems, such as mid-sentence tense changes, misspelled words, missing and misused commas, quotation marks, colons, semicolons, capitalization, apostrophes, and hyphens. There are frequent instances of use of the wrong word, such as "pitcher" for "picture" and even "bearing" where "barren" was intended. I also found many redundancies, missing or incorrectly inserted words, double negatives, and awkward, incomplete, or simply incoherent sentences. For example:
"As he continued to look, his continence begins to change what he saw had suddenly saddened him."
Beyond these errors, Brown quotes (and misquotes) scripture without providing the version of the Bible from which he drew. In my efforts to check the accuracy of his quotes, I had to search many different versions and translations in order to figure out which he was quoting. I believe this would frustrate the readers who may want to refer to their own Bible while following along with this book. The combination of editing problems and inaccuracy is best shown in Brown's rendering of 2 Timothy 1:7:
"For the Spirit, God gave us is not of fear, but gives us power, love, and a sound mind."
I appreciate Jeremy Brown's admirable intentions for his formulas. As a Christian, I value heartfelt works like this one, where one believer is attempting to give other believers a "leg up" in following God's will and exhibiting Christ's love. Intense proofreading, fact-checking, and editing will perhaps refine this book into the useful, dynamic tool it was meant to be. As it stands, I can't, in good conscience, recommend it to anyone, which means I also can't give Formulas for the Soul more than 1 out of 4 stars.

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Formulas for the Soul
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Samantha Simoneau

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Post by Ayat paarsa » 22 Dec 2018, 02:43

By your review I feel, the author has done a fabulous work, and the book will appeal to them who want formulas for the soul. Thanks for a good review.
:reading-5: @paarsa. :escribir:

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Post by kandscreeley » 22 Dec 2018, 10:51

It sounds as if the author has words of wisdom for fellow Christians. They are drowned out, though, by the extremely poor editing. Hopefully this can be fixed with a thorough round of editing. Thanks.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

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Post by SamSim » 22 Dec 2018, 12:53

kandscreeley wrote:
22 Dec 2018, 10:51
It sounds as if the author has words of wisdom for fellow Christians. They are drowned out, though, by the extremely poor editing. Hopefully this can be fixed with a thorough round of editing. Thanks.
That sums it up exactly. Thanks for reading and replying!
Samantha Simoneau

“But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value."
~John Adams :greetings-clapyellow:

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Post by SamSim » 22 Dec 2018, 12:53

Ayat paarsa wrote:
22 Dec 2018, 02:43
By your review I feel, the author has done a fabulous work, and the book will appeal to them who want formulas for the soul. Thanks for a good review.
Its potential is completely undermined by the lack of proofreading and editing. Thank you for reading and commenting!
Samantha Simoneau

“But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value."
~John Adams :greetings-clapyellow:

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Post by Ayat paarsa » 22 Dec 2018, 13:18

SamSim wrote:
22 Dec 2018, 12:53
Ayat paarsa wrote:
22 Dec 2018, 02:43
By your review I feel, the author has done a fabulous work, and the book will appeal to them who want formulas for the soul. Thanks for a good review.
Its potential is completely undermined by the lack of proofreading and editing. Thank you for reading and commenting!
Many times we feel during a read that it's probably a rough draft, but just because of an interesting subject we continue reading it, for example here: What God wants us to do? But of course, if you are saying that it's bothering then it definitely would be. Thanks for a helpful, considerable suggestion. :)
:reading-5: @paarsa. :escribir:

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Post by chironwolf52 » 22 Dec 2018, 18:21

It sounds like the author really wanted to express something meaningful to the world but was either in a rush to get it out into the world and/or he had no support for such an ambitious project (like proofreaders and editors). I appreciate that you maneuvered your way through to the end. It must have been difficult. :angelic-cyan:

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Post by Eva Darrington » 23 Dec 2018, 01:30

It's tough to get through a poorly-edited book, but you did a nice job of evaluating this one. It sounds like, while some beautiful wisdom was obscured by errors, perhaps a good editor could make it work. Great job on this review.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

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Post by SamSim » 23 Dec 2018, 14:15

chironwolf52 wrote:
22 Dec 2018, 18:21
It sounds like the author really wanted to express something meaningful to the world but was either in a rush to get it out into the world and/or he had no support for such an ambitious project (like proofreaders and editors). I appreciate that you maneuvered your way through to the end. It must have been difficult. :angelic-cyan:
Brown is definitely passionate about his subject. My guess is that you're right on both counts. Thank you for reading and commenting!
Samantha Simoneau

“But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value."
~John Adams :greetings-clapyellow:

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Post by SamSim » 23 Dec 2018, 14:16

Eva Darrington wrote:
23 Dec 2018, 01:30
It's tough to get through a poorly-edited book, but you did a nice job of evaluating this one. It sounds like, while some beautiful wisdom was obscured by errors, perhaps a good editor could make it work. Great job on this review.
Thanks! You're right - A good editor would make all the difference on this one.
Samantha Simoneau

“But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value."
~John Adams :greetings-clapyellow:

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Post by gen_g » 24 Dec 2018, 00:16

Hey SamSim, it's been a long time since I saw one of your reviews! It's really a pity when the book itself is not constructed well - the errors only make it worse. I'll have to give this a pass; thank you for the lovely review still!!

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Post by Book Lover 35 » 25 Dec 2018, 01:00

It's a shame about the editing. Hopefully the book is good enough to read past it. Thank you!
:tiphat:

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Post by SamSim » 26 Dec 2018, 08:57

gen_g wrote:
24 Dec 2018, 00:16
Hey SamSim, it's been a long time since I saw one of your reviews! It's really a pity when the book itself is not constructed well - the errors only make it worse. I'll have to give this a pass; thank you for the lovely review still!!
And thank you for your kind comments!
Samantha Simoneau

“But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value."
~John Adams :greetings-clapyellow:

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SamSim
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Post by SamSim » 26 Dec 2018, 08:58

Book Lover 35 wrote:
25 Dec 2018, 01:00
It's a shame about the editing. Hopefully the book is good enough to read past it. Thank you!
Unfortunately, in this case, I think the errors are highly distracting. Thank you for reading and replying!
Samantha Simoneau

“But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value."
~John Adams :greetings-clapyellow:

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Post by C-Extra22 » 01 Jan 2019, 08:26

The book sounds a bit complex for me. I don't think I'm interested in reading this one.

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