Friday, July 16, 2010

More angels among us

I just finished Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, and I have to say that it is the first book in a very long time that I was unable to put down. In fact, I read it from beginning to end in less than 24 hours!

Oh, the book was not perfect; the characterization was weak in places and there certainly could have been more depth to the plot. But Fitzpatrick has certainly mastered the art of holding her readers' attention! Wow!

The other thing I appreciated was the biblical...well, I suppose logic would be the correct word. I'm not suggesting that this was a novel that promoted Christianity, but for once it was a book about angels that did not directly contradict what I know (and believe) as a Catholic. That was refreshing.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Once upon a time, in the the village of Understanding...

I just finished Little Bee by Chris Cleave, and while there are so many thoughts and ideas swirling about in my head, the back cover of the book says this:

Once you have have read it, you'll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds.

To honor that wish, I will simply say that you must read this book! Do not let it become lost in the pile of books under your coffee table or next to your bed. Pick it up and read it. Then let's talk!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lost and Found

I just finished What Was Lost, a novel by Catherine O'Flynn. It is billed as a book about a young girl who goes missing, and while the first part of the book is indeed about that, the rest of the book is really about what happens to everyone else as they try to carry on after someone simply vanishes into thin air.

It's a mystery, which makes it hard to discuss without giving too much away. So read the book--it is well-written, and includes some thought-provoking observations about consumerism, work ethic, family dynamics, and social class.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

I've always wondered (dare I admit this in writing?) which parts of the Gospel are absolutely true, and which parts might have been affected by the author's perspective or the subsequent years of translation. The story, it would seem, is generally correct, and although the expression "the devil's in the details" seems inappropriate in this case...well, you know.

I did know going in that Philip Pullman is an agnostic, and that he seems to have taken special umbrage toward the Catholic Church. I also knew that he is a masterful storyteller--arguably among the best of our generation. I read the book with the expectation that I would not agree, coupled with the belief that ignorance is not really bliss--it's just ignorance.

All that being said, the book did not offend me because it simply did not ring true. While parts of it were thought-provoking, the premise--that Mary gave birth to twins, one named Jesus and the other Christ--just struck me as fantastic to the point of being silly. Certainly history does not get everything right, but that would be an oversight more remarkable than even a skeptic can imagine. Well, with the obvious exception of Pullman himself, that is.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Less Spooky, More Funny

The other day I finished Spooky Little Girl by Laurie Notaro. I hadn't ready any of her books in a long time, and I had forgotten how funny she is!

Lucy Fisher comes home from vacation and finds everything she owns on the lawn of her (apparently ex-)fiance's house. She gets fired from her job. Then she gets hit by a bus and dies. And that's just in the first few pages! Needless to say, funny stuff follows; it's also a good story, and a very different take on what happens when we die.