An exciting new “Catholic” novel!

Julie at Happy Catholic tips us off to what sounds like a fascinating new novel, Valley of Bones.Julie is so excited about the book that she is giving it a rave while still only halfway through it:Aside from the intricate mystery there is the spiritual factor. Emmylou claims to have communion with the devil which leads to her being put in a mental institution where, at the detective's request, she begins writing a confession. However, her confession is more along the lines of St. Augustine's … [Read more...]

The Verdict: “Brede” is a remarkable book

I must admit, it is kind of thrilling to me to be receiving so many emails from both men and women of all ages, who tell me they have taken my advice and picked up or borrowed a copy of Rumer Godden's classic novel, In This House of Brede. Within the last 24 hours I have received email from two gentlemen, who were exceedingly taken with the book - one wrote,"I wanted to write and thank you for your recommendation. I am a lapsed RC, but the book was still full of meaning and wonder. Its hard … [Read more...]

Harry Potter Spoilers

If you are still unaware of what happens in Book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and you don't want to know...DO NOT READ THIS.I'm not kidding, I plan on going into some detail, here, so if you want to read the book, and you get mad when people spoil the fun...DO NOT READ THIS!I have waited a whole week to comment on it, figuring it would be unfair to readers just nosing around to suddenly get information they did not want.But a week is enough time. While waiting to be able to … [Read more...]

Flannery O

Jim Manney of People of the Book directs us to this excellent and fun page If Flannery Had Blog. He found it via an Amy Welborn reader.He picks out a choice (and favorite) morsel from The Habit of Being; The Letters of Flannery O' Connor:I was once, five or six years ago, taken by some friends to have dinner with Mary McCarthy and her husband, Mr. Broadwater. (She just wrote that book, “A Charmed Life.”) She departed the Church at the age of 15 and is a Big Intellectual. We went at eig … [Read more...]

Captain Ed reviews Potter

There are reviews of Harry Potter all over the blogosphere, many with spoilers. I think Ed Morrissey has written the best, most succinct review - giving little away but a hearty recommendation. I'm about 2/3 of the way through the book, and I concur with his opinions, completely - particularly his observations that Rowlings' writing skills are much improved, overall, and that the story seems quite relevant to our modern times, rather than with WWII.I also admire, quite simply, his economy of … [Read more...]

Jeanette reviews “Ezekiel Option”

I am not much of a fiction reader; I tend to stick to biographies, and what fiction I do read is classic stuff (Pride and Prejudice, Catch-22, Brede, Wodehouse books) that I've read before or the Potter series. For that reason I know little about the "Left Behind" series beyond that they are novels which portray "end times" scenarios based on the Book of Revelation, and other books of the bible. I understand they're pretty popular.Jeanette has written a review of an installment called The … [Read more...]

A favorite Dave Kopel piece on Harry Potter

I am a little perturbed. I ordered my copy of Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince ages ago, from, and I fear it will NOT be in my mailbox today! Amazon has not yet sent shipping notice. :-(I am terribly vexed. I had plans to read it, immediately.As we wait for Harry, I thought you would enjoy this piece by Dave Kopel from just about two years ago. Discussing John Granger's excellent book The Hidden Key to Harry Potter (unhappily hard-to-get and pricey, although Granger's … [Read more...]

Harry Potter and the Pope

I've had two emails from people asking me my thoughts on the Pope Hates Harry story. One email was very nice and simply wanted to know my thoughts, as a Harry Potter fan. The other was rather spiteful, sneering that since the Pope didn't like Harry I would now have to distance myself from the books or risk being a "hypocrite" and a "bad Catholic." Because we Catholics are "mindless sheep."What nonsense.Pope Benedict XVI is a good an holy man whom I respect and revere, but I needn't take … [Read more...]

The Book of Tobit is useful and under-utilized

Earlier, I wrote that I am in the process of putting together the liturgy for my brother's funeral.That's not just a hard sentence to write, it is a difficult task to set oneself to. It requires a willingness to say, "yes, I suppose this must be done, and better to do it now, when I am thinking clearly..." when one really doesn't yet want to...quite...believe that the end is near.Choosing from an approved list of prayers used throughout the Mass of Christian Burial is not difficult, even … [Read more...]