June 5, 2016

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 Superversive... Read more

June 2, 2016

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... Read more

May 27, 2016

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... Read more

April 27, 2016

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... Read more

April 24, 2016

The Journey of the Mind to God by Bonaventure Saint Bonaventure was a medieval Franciscan theologian. He wrote this brief but dense work inspired by Francis of Assisi, who often focused on seeking peace as a way to God. Bonaventure meditated on this peace and found a way to the mystical contemplation of God. He describes six steps that lead to God. The first step considers the very faint image of God in the “vestiges of the universe.” By our... Read more

April 18, 2016

Jeff Cavins latest book When You Suffer: Biblical Keys for Hope and Understanding is aptly titled. Added to the well known “Death and Taxes” should be added “suffering” as something guaranteed for us. Jesus did not say “If you happen to have a cross, pick it up.” It is how we handle suffering that is the crux of the matter (use pun intended as always). So how do we handle suffering without losing hope? The whole modern world seems to... Read more

April 11, 2016

Handed Down: The Catholic Faith of the Early Christians by Jim Papandrea. Published by Catholic Answers Press. There are plenty of Catholic apologetic books showing the falseness of the idea of Sola Scriptura. As a part of this the subject of Apostolic Tradition is often covered in part. This book goes more in-depth regarding Apostolic Tradition and charts some of the development of doctrine as these traditions handed down become concrete in Church teaching. This charting is done via the... Read more

April 5, 2016

Thomas More: A Portrait of Courage by Gerard B. Wegemer This birth-to-death biography of Saint Thomas More has an interesting twist. As it goes through the personal history of More, it stops to review his various writings when he wrote them. Thomas More was the first great Christian humanist to write in English. He was close friends with Desiderius Erasmus, a Dutchman who was also a scholar and committed Christian. They studied and translated the Greek classics and both agreed that humor... Read more

March 28, 2016

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. In this post-nuclear-war future (centuries from now), education is something despised. Along with wiping out the government officials (all of whom were blamed for the war), the mobs killed as many intelligent people as they could (who were blamed for giving the government officials the power to wage such destructive war). In the aftermath, a small community of monks strives to preserve learning. One monk is on a Lenten retreat in the... Read more

March 22, 2016

English Catholic Heroines edited by Joanna Bogle English Catholic Heroines covers the history of Catholicism from the 600s up to the present day (the last woman, Helen Asquith, died in 2000). Readers get a clear historical picture, seeing the original evangelization, many key figures during Reformation, the intellectual rebirth of Catholicism in the 1800s, and the many different works accomplished during the 20th century. The women are quite diverse. Some of the women, like Queen Margaret of Scotland and Queen... Read more

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