Review: The Devil Went Down to Georgia: Stories by Charlie Daniels

A little devil-butt kicking for Halloween!Charlie Daniels is a country/southern rock musician most famous for his fiddle-duel song The Devil Went Down to Georgia. He's had a long career as a song writer and this is his first foray into literary writing rather than song writing. Some of the stories are based off songs from the band (like The Devil Went Down to Georgia and Uneasy Rider) and some are character sketches or scenes from life. The stories work fairly well though the titular story … [Read More...]


Review: Render Unto Caesar by Charles J. Chaput

A book relevant to the impending election in the United States (and indeed all of the future elections)...The phrase "separation of church and state" is popular in political discussions involving intense moral issues of the day. Unfortunately the phrase is often interpreted in ways that are most congenial to the user's argument. Looking at the history, context, and intention of the original user of the phrase is generally ignored; instead, pundits assume a personally useful interpretation. … [Read More...]

Review: Persuasive Pro-Life by Trent Horn

I have been very impressed with the work of Trent Horn of Catholic Answers. I always enjoy when he is answering calls on Catholic answers and his last book Answering Atheism: How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity was excellent. So when I had heard he was writing a new book I certainly looked forward to it.Now having read Persuasive Pro Life: How to Talk about Our Culture’s Toughest Issue which was recently released I can say this book is another winner. Still I had … [Read More...]

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Review: The Holy Land: An Armchair Pilgrimage

I don't know what the chances are that I'll ever get to the Holy Land. Honestly, it wasn't until I read Fr. James Martin's Jesus: A Pilgrimage for our book club conversation at that I first felt the stirrings of any desire to go there.Which is ironic, because I received a copy of Fr. Mitch Pacwa's The Holy Land: An Armchair Pilgrimage MONTHS before I started reading that. In my defense, though, I opened the envelope at my mother-in-law's house and generously let her borrow it. … [Read More...]

Review: The Hobbit Party

When it comes to books regarding J.R.R. Tolkien and his books it has become much like scripture interpretation. Which means in this case is that you learn much more about the philosophy of the author and very little about Tolkien’s works. Famously his books have been taken up by socialists who rather crazily assumed he was a fellow traveler, to environmentalists, and hippies. Anybody with a narrative can read into his books much like scriptural eisegesis.So I was both intrigued and … [Read More...]

Brave New World

Review: Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited

Brave New World is a classic in dystopian fiction. It shows the world circa 700 AF (After Ford). The world is seemingly ruled by one central authority, which can be looked at in two ways. In one way, the central authority is the Alphas, individuals raised to be the intellectuals and social organizers who keep society running peacefully and efficiently. Part of the efficiency managing the production of all classes of people--Alphas, Betas, Gammas, etc. They are grown in special "Hatchery and … [Read More...]


Review: The American Catholic Almanac

As I was cruising through my new favorite book, The American Catholic Almanac: A Daily Reader of Patriots, Saints, Rogues, and Ordinary People Who Changed the United States, I came upon the April 7 entry, entitled "The Duke."It began, When asked about his religion, John Wayne usually gave one of two responses. Either he claimed to be a "presbygoddamnterian" or a "cardiac Catholic." Now, my husband has endured his fair share of my reading aloud from this particular book, prefaced by an … [Read More...]

On Writing by Stephen King

Review: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Few authors are as prolific and successful as Stephen King. In 2000, he published this book, part autobiography and part writing advice. The memoir covers his early years, from childhood until he broke his addictions to booze and drugs. King does not give a thorough or strictly chronological biography but "snapshots" of moments influential in his writing. The details of his dirt poor childhood, his school life, and his marriage are interesting. Always his writing and struggles with publishing … [Read More...]

unwind complete

Why I Recommend the Unwind Series to Everyone

Last summer, my eighth grade niece insisted I would LOVE a book she was required to read for her Language Arts class. The book was Unwind, by Neal Shusterman.As it turns out, she was more than right. I did love it.In fact, watching Shusterman talking about his inspiration for writing the book only made me more interested.I have since gone on to read all the books in the series and I'm in the midst of the final book, which came out last week (on October 14).(Link to interview w … [Read More...]

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Review: The Quick Reference Guide to the Catholic Bible

How many times, asks the back cover of The Quick Reference Guide to the Catholic Bible, have you wanted some context and background about a book of the Bible but didn't have the time to wade through a long commentary?Well, I answer, plenty. Isn't that why we have the internet?Oh lo, the internet and the imperfections of searching for scriptural help online. It's a crapshoot at best and a dangerous game of roulette at worst.I didn't have time to give this book a complete and thorough … [Read More...]