Monday, June 27, 2016

The Everything Saint Book:

The Everything Saint Book by: Jenny Schroedel
Non-fiction: religion,biography, NYR,  e-book

E-Book Count: 11

Book Count: 15

First, some notes: there are a number of formatting issues, typos, and minor mistakes in the book.  Most are not a big deal; as you learn that the e-fact is in the middle of the rest of the text and  read accordingly etc, but the book cuts out at the beginning of appendix a in the e-book for some reason, which is annoying.  And it includes some information that isn't correct; for example most priests in the Latin Rite of the Catholic church can not be married, but in the Eastern Rites there are different traditions, and there are some situations in which a married man can become a priest in the Latin Rite.  Which is something that I would expect a book that deals with saints in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches to know. 

Second, as noted earlier,  this book deals with people that are seen as a saints in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.   Some are considered saints in both churches as they lived before the Great Schism, but unlike many books I have read, it deals with saints that are modern and from Orthodox Churches.   So it was interesting to read about people that I would not otherwise learn about.   Also as this book is a few years old there are a number of people that were listed as on the path to being declared a saint that since the publishing of this book have been declared a saint.  But it also has a number of notes on other books one can read for more in-depth biographies of some of the people, so if one wanted more then a couple pages of information they could find out more.   

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Canticle for Leibowitz:

A Canticle for Leibowitz By: Walter M. Miller Jr.
Fiction: Sci-fi, religion, NYR, 338 pages
Physical Book Count: 6
Book Count: 14

I picked up this book because after working a convention, at the after party over some Scotch old enough to drink Scotch, a not religious friend( I think he is agnostic but I'm not sure what label he would use for sure,)  of my husband and me, who knew we were Catholic and that we were looking for some good sci-fi to read, suggested this book.  (as well as a couple others.)   After I finished this book, one of the religious websites that I follow, listed this as one of the 10 books Catholics should read in their life. (Besides the Bible and other  religious non-fiction books, as it was a list of fiction books only.) So as you might have guessed this book is both a good sci-fi epic and a book that deals with the deeper issues of faith, belief and religion.  

As this book is an epic, there isn't just one or two main characters that the book follows.  The story is broke into 3 parts and takes place over generations of humanity.  The common thread is that it is the story of the monks of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz.  An order founded by Leibowitz, who at the start of the book isn't even officially  a saint, a man who lived threw the fire deluge (nuclear war) and who's order was dedicated to saving the writings and intellectualism of the past during a time of a violent reaction against the knowledge that caused the cataclysmic events that set the world back a millennium plus.    The story starts when the world is still at a time of war against intellect, even though the time from the fire deluge is enough that people only know of it from stories and legends, and a number of things that they "know" about it is not based on facts.  It then jumps to a time when people are rediscovering science and technology.  And it ends at the time when humanity has advanced to the level like that of the time of the fire deluge and the question of will humanity destroy itself is once again an issue.  

Although the story is set well into the future, a basic knowledge of Ecclesiastical Lain will be helpful in reading this book, as they are monks.  At the start of the book they do translate important phrases, and it is not necessary to translate all of the Latin to understand the story line.  A basic knowledge of monastic life would be helpful and as always the parts of the Mass that are still in Greek are still in Greek.  Also, interesting right before reading this book I had a conversation during Taco Tuesday (the smallest, most unofficial small group in our parish) about why there wasn't a completely missing the point legend about a certain Biblical figure like there was of the wandering Jew from Matt 24:34/Mk 13:30/Lk 21:34 and they were in there in the legendary storyline that I was thinking of.  Also in the future Litanies sound much more hardcore, while still keeping with the traditional format.  

Friday, June 03, 2016

Swept Under the Rug:

Swept Under the Rug (Laundry Hag Series, Book 2) By: Jennifer L. Hart

Fiction, Mystery, E-book

E-Book Count: 10

Book Count: 13

This is book two in the series.   The review of book one is here.   This book happens shortly after the end of book one.   Maggie is cleaning houses in her new business and stumbles on a mysterious fax.  From there she gets into a whole new mess of a mystery.  She also is dealing with finding that her best friend's husband is cheating, her brother coming home with his very pregnant new girlfriend,  and a guy named Richard Head.