The Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women’s Movement by Laura Swan BlueBridge, 2014. Recounts a vibrant movement of laywomen who practiced a remarkable way of living independently outside formal monastic or religious order life. Women who redefined life for themselves and Christian living. Might such a movement be needed today in the Church?
The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Ten Speed Press, California/New York, 2018. The children’s story from which Tchaikovsky’s ballet was based.
The Color of Time: A New History of the World: 1850 – 1960 by Dan Jones and Marina Amaral, Pegasus Books, New York/London 2018. Using two hundred full color digital renderings of rare photographs accompanied by concise descriptions takes you through one hundred years of world history from the reign of Queen Victory and the American Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and the beginning of the Space Age.
The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz, Little, Brown & Company, 2011. Another of Horowitz’s Sherlock Holmes novels…the usual twists and turns. Homes is accused of murder and arrested…
How To Love Brutalism by John Grindrod, Batsford, United Kingdom, 2018. Brutalism is an architectural style that flourished in the 1950s to 70s but continues on in other forms. The term comes from the French for “raw”, “raw concrete” that is. An intro book.
Positively Catholic: 25 Really Good Reason to Love the Faith, Live the Faith and Share the Faith by Michael Leach, Loyola Press, Chicago, 2011. In these difficult days have you thought about leaving the Catholic Church? Are you on the fringes? Are you staying but nor sure why? Here are 25 reason to stay or return! Brief, broad, humorous, insightful. Some of the reasons are that we Catholics love to party, we view life as a seamless garment, we offer people a garden of various spiritual paths to God, the Communion of Saints, our Catholic imagination, we believe that nothing can separate us from God.
The Power of Silence against the Dictatorship of Noise by Robert Cardinal Sarah with Nicolas Diat, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2017. Do you have difficulty finding quiet time for yourself? Our lives are filled with screens, technology and sound. Cardinal Sarah leads you to understanding that silence is the indispensable doorway to the divine. Topics include Silence versus the World’s Noise, God Does not Speak, but His Voice Is Quite Clear and God’s Silence in the Face of Evil. Looking for some spiritual reading for dark autumn/winter nights?
Moriarty: A Novel by Anthony Horowitz, Harper, 2014. Horowitz takes you where Conan Doyle left off after the disappearance of Holmes and Moriarty over the falls. Did they die? Are either or both of them still alive? Check out The House of Silk and The Magpie Murders.
Great Works: Encounters with Art by Michael Grant, Prestel, Munich, London, New York. Michael Glover, London based poet and art critic invites you to join him in reflecting on 50 pieces of art. What do you see?
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene, Penguin Classics with an introduction by John Updike, This edition 2015. Graham’s masterpiece set in Mexico of the late 1930s. The Catholic Church is outlawed, priests are being executed. A tale of haunted pasts and redemtption.
What Is a Border? by Manilo Graziano; stanford briefs, An Imprint of Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, 2018. Explores the geopolitics of borders to our present day. Challenges the way we think about borders and their realities or not. Great insight into Russian and Chinese view of the world. Check out other stanford briefs.
Sport In Capitalist Society: A Short History by Tony Collins; Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, London and New York, 2013. Why is sport the new opiate of the masses? Gambling, money, amateur vs professional, media, television, politics have all been involved in what we call sport since the 17th century. Very informative and insightful.
The Face of Water: A Translation on Beauty and Meaning in the Bible by Sarah Ruden; Pantheon Books, New York, 2017. Very erudite, disappointing.
Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway by Todd S. Purdum; Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2018. A good history of the development of the R&H Broadway musical, Carousel, South Pacific, Cinderella, The King and I, The Sound of Music…
Revolution Poland: The First Thousand Years by Patrice M. Dabrowski; Northern Illinois University Press, DeKalb, IL, 2014. A good overview of major characters and events in Polish history.
The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ by Fleming Rutledge, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2015. One of the most exciting pieces of theology I’ve ever read. Writing style is accessible to the non-theologian. Powerful. Challenging. Insightful.
A Devotional Journey into the Mass: How Mass Can Become a Time of Grace, Nourishment and Devotion by Christopher Carstens, Sophia Institute Press, New Hampshire, 2017. Wonderfully practical…a step-by-step guide on how to experience the Eucharist more deeply. Some parts could have been developed a bit more but…worth the read.
Warlight: A Novel by Michael Ondaatje, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2018. It is London after the Blitzkrieg. Two children are abandoned by their parents left in the care of an enigmatic man they call The Moth… Wonderful poetic language; told in the first person by one of the children.
The Word Is Murder: A Novel by Anthony Horowitz,Harper, 2018. Murder from the writer of bestselling Magpie Murders. A fun romp through London along with the author who is narrating. Diana Cowper makes her funeral arrangements and then is murdered within six hours…who done her in?