A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac by Margaret Rose Realy

A Catholic Gardener's Spiritual Almanac: Cultivating Your Faith Throughout the Year by Margaret Rose RealyI'm not a gardener.In fact, I'm so not a gardener that I realized I don't have a single plant growing in my home. I have a few container plants on the front porch which I remember to water when we're in the middle of the blazing Texas summers.(Do you hear that? I think we can hear Margaret Rose's heart breaking right now.)And yet I read and enjoyed her A Garden of Visible … [Read More...]


Book Review: Anne Frank by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon

Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon Anne Frank's story of hiding in occupied Amsterdam from the Nazis has had several treatments in several different mediums (all based on the diary that she wrote while in hiding). I was excited to discover this graphic-novel treatment at my local library. While most versions focus on the time hiding in the attic, this book gives a full overview of Anne's life, starting with the marriage of her parents. … [Read More...]


The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb

The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb Genesis is the source for many illustrated books. Noah's Ark is probably the most popular story in toddler books. Other stories are less kid friendly (like Noah's drunken nakedness) and even less graphic friendly (like the genealogies). This book depicts the entire fifty chapters and aims at a mature audience. It's a big ambition with mixed results.Crumb does a great job communicating the emotional impact in the stories through the expressions on … [Read More...]

Book Review: The Reality of God

When I see a book about about the scientific evidence for God I have some trepidations. Especially since there are many ways this can go badly. So when I received The Reality of God: The Layman’s Guide to Scientific Evidence for the Creator by Steven R. Hemler for review I had that in the back of my mind. Since it was from Saint Benedict Press I should have known not to be concerned.This book is rather straight forward and divided into three major categories regarding God’s existence. The cos … [Read More...]

Book Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

"Do you think that doing the right thing will always be pretty?"I really loved Rosamund Hodge's first book Cruel Beauty (my review here). I was not sure how she could possibly match it, especially with a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood which is a fairy tale I've never cared for much.I am happy to say that Crimson Bound is a compelling story just as fresh, just as exhilarating, just as complex, just as stay-up-til-midnight-reading-as-fast-as-possible engrossing. While being completely … [Read More...]

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...]