The most read review from November 2012. Click the titles for the full review.
I love books. I love people that love books. I love books about books by people that love books.
Karen Swallow Prior is an English Professor, writer, and essayist. She has written a memoir highlighting the books (and poems) that have changed her life and made her who she is today.
Each chapter highlight a book and then uses that book to help tell the story of her life. Sometimes the book helps her to learn, sometimes the book helps her to explain. But in each case, it is her as a reader that comes through….
Takeaway: Obscurity, humility, smallness. All undervalued and difficult disciplines in a world of individualism, social media and mixed messages.
I ran across the very interesting book Embracing Obscurity on Tim Challies’ blog. His review gave a bit of the back story and resulted in the book being put on sale for a couple weeks at Amazon.
An anonymous author decided to write a book about humility. The author realized that writing a book about humility was in itself an un-humble activity so he (and I think it is pretty clearly a he) decided to write and publish a book secretly. Even his family is unaware.
Summary: Very helpful, quick overview of John Paul II’s theology of the body.
I purchased this about a year ago after I read Matthew Lee Anderson’s very good Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to Our Faith (first review, second review). I was looking a basic introduction to John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and Christopher West has written several books on it.
I started The Casual Vacancy with eyes wide open to the fact that this was no Harry Potter novel–and yet, even though I wasn’t offended by the much more adult tone (and content!) that Rowling establishes right out of the gate, I was a little surprised by it. No matter how prepared you are, it’s just weird to hear the f-bomb dropped by one of Hermione Granger’s literary cousins. What didn’t surprise me at all, though, having read and loved multiple analyses of them, was Rowling’s masterful plotting and the literary alchemy she weaves to engage the reader and drive the story. Indeed, that is what merited my 4 stars for the book.
Summary: A cute early reader books about two girls that do not like one another because both of them are named Stephanie.
This summer Kevin and his 6 year old daughter wrote a book together. Kevin used a Kickstarter Campaign to get the book published and yesterday the book officially launched.
The Stephanies is a early reader book about two girls that do not like one another because they both have the same name. Over time they figure out how to be friends. I picked up the kindle version, but I think I am also going to buy the Color Your Own version so I can read it with my nieces and let them color it as well.
Summary: Five different perspectives on how we seek out meaning in scripture.
Over the past two years I have spent a fair amount of time coming to terms with how to read and understand scripture. Mostly this time has been confirming a couple of ideas. 1) The bible is not a magical answer books. 2) Christians (Evangelicals in particular) spend more time arguing about the bible than reading it (myself included.) 3) We think that everyone else ignores their cultural pre-suppositions, but that we have it right. 4) Understanding of scripture should be primarily a community, not individual activity.
Biblical Hermeneutics (how to to understand scripture) takes five authors with five different perspectives and shows how those different perspectives affect the way that we understand scripture.
Summary: A series of lectures on the state of the Catholic Church that was later turned into a book.
Over the past several months I have been reading about Catholicism (see below for other reviews). Many of the book have been written by Evangelicals that have converted to Catholicism. I chose several of them precisely because I knew that they would write with language that I as an Evangelical would mostly understand.
But it is time to start reading more widely and I want to start reading more books written by Catholics to other Catholics. I picked this audiobook up on a whim from Audible because I had a couple dollars of promotional credit and it was on sale.