Book Reviews – Here and There

Bergoglio’s List - Nello Scavo This book investigates the time from when Fr. Jorge Bergoglio was 39 years old and on. In the multiple biographies I have read on him I have seen some mention of the work he did to get people out of prison and out of the country. It is fascinating the degree to which this happened and it was not just a couple of occasions. The book estimates he saved 100 people from torture, imprisonment, and even death. I don’t thinks this is much exaggerated as the book also spe … [Read More...]


Book Review: Messiah: Origin adapted by Matt Dorff

Messiah: Origin adapted and edited by Matt Dorff, translations by Mark Arey, art by Kai Carpenter A lot of superhero franchise reboots suffer from the same problem. The adapters don't appreciate the source material from which they craft a "new take on" or a "more relevant version of" someone like Superman, who has been ill-served recently in both comic books and on the big screen.Messiah: Origin takes on a person much more significant than Superman. It retells the story of Jesus Christ's … [Read More...]


Book Review: Aristotle for Everybody by Mortimer Adler

Aristotle of Everybody: Difficult Thought Made Easy by Mortimer J. Adler Writing a comprehensive and concise summary of Aristotle's ideas is a difficult task, especially if the author wishes it to be accessible not only to the average reader but also to children in middle school. That ambition is what Mortimer Adler aimed at with this book. His thirteen year-old and his eleven year-old read the manuscript and gave helpful feedback, so he certainly thinks it is a success. But is it readable for … [Read More...]

McCammon’s Acknowledgements

For a while on my book wish list sat one called Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon. It finally landed on my actively reading list. I was pretty much totally caught unaware by the talent of this author, although somehow it made it to my wish list. Reading Swan Song I kept drawing comparison to Stephen King’s The Stand my favorite of King’s books. There are comparisons to draw, but they are also very different stories and I found Swan Song]swan to be even superior in parts. Heresy to my mind con … [Read More...]


Book Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Before there was the blockbuster movie, there was the book it came from--The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. My children have seen the movie and a few weeks ago we decided to read the first book in the Oz series for bedtime reading. Like the movie, the book starts with the grey and hard Kansas life of Dorothy. Unlike the movie, there aren't all the other characters (the farm hands, Elmira Gulch, Prof. Marvel) who are mirrored in the fantasy world. Baum devotes two pages to Kansas before the cyclone … [Read More...]

Book Review – Redeemed by Grace

There is one genre that I would like to see grow and then have no need for at all. That is the conversion testimony of those who were once pro-abortion and were involved in the business of providing abortions. There have been some startling conversion stories such as founding member of NARAL the abortion doctor Bernard Nathanson. In recent years it was the story of an ex-Planned Parenthood manager Abby Johnson in her book Unplanned. I enjoy reading conversion stories since while there are … [Read More...]

Book Review – 40 Days, 40 Ways

Once again Lent is coming around again in it’s a annual cycle. Yet with Easter being a movable feast we still are always a bit surprised by the start of Lent regardless of whether Ash Wednesday starts earlier or later than average. Lent is almost something you can look forward to. We know we need that spring cleaning of the soul and that we have some work to do to get our spiritual lives untangled. Still if we think of an upcoming Lent at all we also know that we want to make good use of i … [Read More...]

Lenten Reading: The Big List of Nonfiction

I thought about rereading something this year but feel that I want something new. Something that I can just read a little at a time and soak up and reflect upon. Somehow Romano Guardini has come to my attention this year. I have requested The Lord and The Living God from the library to take a look at them.If you're still trying to figure out what to read, here's a great big list of spiritual books I have found rewarding.Jesus: A Pilgrimage by Fr. James Martin Martin's goal is to help us … [Read More...]

Lenten Reading: The Big List of Fiction

One giant list of fiction to inspire them all and in the light to find them. Oh. Sorry. I've begun rereading the Lord of the Rings and it does show a bit!This is a huge list to be sure. But it has some of the most thought provoking books I know which can both entertain and inspire. It ranges from science fiction to mystery to Uncle Tom's Cabin and Silence by Endo.The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Or, since Lent is only 40 days, at least the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring. … [Read More...]


Book Review: If Aristotle’s Kid Had an iPod by Conor Gallagher

If Aristotle's Kid Had an iPod: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Parents by Conor Gallagher A popular internet parenting meme is "Steve Jobs didn't let his kids have an iPad." I've never taken the click-bait since I don't have any idea whether Jobs was a good parent or not. Sure, he's a brilliant entrepreneur and a smart guy, but that doesn't make him a good dad. Then I saw the title of this book and knew I wanted to read it. Aristotle did have a son, Nicomacheus, for whom his Nicomachean Ethics is … [Read More...]