Book Review: Saints by Gene Luen Yang

Saints written and illustrated by Gene Luen Yang In the mid-1880s, a girl is born into a Chinese family. She was the fourth daughter, though her three older sisters are already dead. The family doesn't name her and takes to calling her "Four-Girl." "Four" is a homonym for "death," so it's sort of a joke. She's isn't well respected. Her grandfather even calls her a devil. She embraces this and starts making a devilish face. After a while, her mother can't stand it any longer and takes Four-Girl … [Read More...]

Book Review: Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism by M. Mignola and C. Golden

Father Gaetano's Puppet Catechism by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden World War II Sicily is home to much hardship. The church of San Domenico has just lost its priest so young Father Gaetano is assigned. The parish rectory has been converted to an orphanage that is supported by nuns from the next-door convent. The children (a mixture of boys and girls) are taught by the nuns but catechism class falls to Father Gaetano. He has trouble connecting to the children until he discovers a puppet … [Read More...]

Book Review: Purgatory by Dante

The Divine Comedy Volume II: Purgatory by Dante Aligheri, translated with an introduction, notes, and commentary by Mark Musa Here's the link to my review of Volume I: Inferno.Dante the Pilgrim continues his journey through the afterlife. Having slogged his way through Hell and come out on the other side of the earth, he and his guide Virgil (author of the Aeneid) begin their ascent of Mount Purgatory. Instead of the circles in Hell, Purgatory has various terraces where sins and the … [Read More...]

Book Review: Inferno by Dante Aligheri

Inferno by Dante Aligheri, translated with an introduction, notes, and commentary by Mark Musa The Divine Comedy is a classic of Western literature. Completed in 1320, Dante Aligheri's epic poem is a journey through the afterlife. The first part is called Inferno and describes his trip through Hell. The poem starts on Good Friday eve, 1300 AD, and Dante wakes up in a dark valley where he is pursued by three wild animals. He runs into Virgil, the Roman poet. Much like the Blues Brothers, Virgil … [Read More...]

Book Review: Vikings at Dino’s

So I had noticed a social media acquaintance had published a book, and so bought it in the interest of friendship. When it comes to self-published books I have lost some of my prejudice towards them as I have found some exceptionally good ones.Specifically I am speaking of Vikings at Dino’s: A Novel of Lunch and Mayhem by William Duquette who blogs over at Cry ‘Woof!’.The initial premise is that when Michael Henderson goes to lunch a band of Vikings trash the place performing all kinds of … [Read More...]

Book Review: Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel

Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love by Dava Sobel Among his other accomplishments, Galileo Galilee had three children out of wedlock. His son was eventually "legitimized" by the Grand Duke of Tuscany; the daughters, probably unmarriageable due to their illegitimacy, became nuns in the convent of San Matteo in Arcetri, a town that was basically a suburb of Florence, Italy. Despite the situation, Galileo was a devoted father and kept in touch with his children, … [Read More...]

Book Review: Between the Wall and the Fire

I recently finished a new collection of short stories from various authors I have not read before.Between the Wall and the Fire edited by Russell S. Newquist, who also provides three stories. “Between the Wall and the Fire – A collection of superversive science fiction and fantasy stories celebrating family devotion, including the stories” If you have not come across the term superversive before, it describes a literary movement with an informal mission statement. The goal of the Super … [Read More...]

Book Review: The Walls Are Talking

The Walls Are Talking: Former Abortion Clinic Workers Tell Their Stories is a new book put together by Abby Johnson, the former manager of a Planned Parenthood in Texas. She told of her conversion into the pro-life cause in Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line which was an exceptional book.Since leaving the abortion business she started And Then There Were None, a registered nonprofit organization that exists to h … [Read More...]

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien

Old Norse and Germanic tales were a huge influence on J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. He was a university professor specializing in philology, studying ancient languages and texts. Among the works he studied were the old Norse and Icelandic poems (called Edda) along with the later prose work Volsunga Saga. He re-wrote the poems concerning the hero Sigurd, who slays the dragon Fafnir, takes his horde of gold, frees the Valkerie Brynhild, and winds up at the court of the Niflungs (known in … [Read More...]

Book Review: Richard III by David Baldwin

Richard III by David Baldwin King Richard III (1452-1485) is one of the most controversial kings of England. He was the last of the Plantagenet line and was replaced by Henry Tudor, who became King Henry VII. Richard came to the throne through a mixture of circumstances and deliberate acts. His decision to take the crown may not have been the act of unbridled ambition it is often portrayed as. He lived a hard and unstable life, seeing many relatives die and many reversals of fortune as the … [Read More...]