5 short book reviews for the " Monthly Reading Challenge"
|Book Reviews for The Monthly Reading Challenge
1. The Jesuits by John W. O’Malley, S.J. (a library ebook from Overdrive)
This writing about history is extensive. It is not a long book.
You will find special information that helps the reader under stand the purpose of the Jesuits organization. It includes information about the founding of the Jesuits.
The Jesuits as a brotherhood have endured since the 1500’s. “More broadly, the Exercises helped the Jesuits see all their ministries as spiritual, ultimately aimed at leading others on a spiritual journey beyond routine of the rite and ritual.” The Exercises is a document discussed within the book.
The criticism of their early establishment was from people who saw being established something that, “made irrelevant the sacraments and other usages of the church in favor of God’s direct communication with the individual.”
This writing is listing of the years of service of the Jesuits from the 1500’s to the present day.
You will find a short synopsis about the author. He has written other books about the Jesuits, and the Popes.
There is a list of Further Reading which states, “but, only in the past twenty years have studies of the Jesuits for the most part altogether shaken off those prejudices and in other ways entered an entirely new phase.”
Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope.
2. Zealot, the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan (a library ebook from Overdrive)
Reza Aslan is a Muslim. Anyone reading this book should realize that the Muslims believe Jesus is a prophet not God in the flesh. They give him credit as a prophet.
Aslan says, “For a kid raised in a motley family of lukewarm Muslims and exuberant atheists, this was truly the greatest story ever told.”
The book includes a map of First-Century Palestine. A drawing of the Temple as it appeared at the times in the book is also included. Be sure to read the Author’s Note. It is relevant to the content of the history.
Other important inclusions are the Introduction and Chronology. And, at the end of the book the Epilogue, and Bibliography are very important.
This is the first book I can remember reading that the bibliography actually refutes some of the information presented in the body of the book. This makes the bibliography an important reading additive.
The book covers a wide range of history of the Israelites and the Roman Empires involvement in Jewish history.
Aslan, speaks of the miracles attributed to Jesus as Magic. The author says, “They may have denounced Jesus as nothing more than a traveling magician, but they did not doubt his magical abilities.”
In another chapter Aslan expounds about, “It is called the messianic secret.”
This book is an intricate writing. Do not read any one part without reading it all. Otherwise, the reader could come away with inaccurate impressions of history or inaccurate impressions of social ideas about Israel and Rome within the historical setting.
3.The Bible, The Qur’an and Science by Dr. Maurice Bucaille / translated by Dr. Maurice Bucaille and Alastair D. Pannell
( An ebook from the Amazon book store)
This book contains many startling statements. Although it states many interesting facts, as a reader you should have an excellent back ground in previous bible studies and also a knowledge of the way science is presented. It would also be beneficial to have previously knowledge of Muslim history, Arab states history and the history of the Qur’an.
As it is written, this book is an opinion writing. There are numerous differences in some instances, between the statements in this work and the actual scriptural accounts. This example, in reference to Jesus: “His birth is described in the Qur’an, and likewise in the Gospels, as a supernatural event. Mary is also given a special place, as indicated by the fact that sura 19 bears her name.” In comparison, the accounts of the birth of Jesus in this book and in the bible extremely differ.
Another problem with the comparisons in this book deals with the word science. The author misappropriates the idea that the bible is a book presented as a scientific work. It is a book containing wisdom of humans down through many ages and especially as it relates to the Hebrew nation.
The Qur’an is a book showing the wisdom of the Muslim people as they were led by Muhammad who is a prophet of God. The influence of the these two works on society as a whole is immense. Neither book should be lauded over the other, but should be used like drawing water from a well, to quench the thirst of the spiritual seeker.
Bucaille uses the manuscript to put forth his own beliefs that Muslims are superior in science. It is a fact, that middle east residents over the centuries have been proficient observers of science facts. I’ve never seen any denial of this evidence, in history that I have read.
Each reader of Dr. Bucaille’s book, Muslim, Christian or lay person should look for the knowledge in a book such as this that will edify equality in our lives. Enjoy what you learn from this book.
4. Here & There by Joshua V. Scher (an eBook from Amazon)
You may find yourself delving into the subject of Physics before or after you read this fictional account of an event. Actually maybe you should take a class or two before you read the story. Will we go into space by spaceships or will some other type of machine move us to a far far destination? Beam me up.
There is more than one science subject being expressed in this story. The jokes are going to introduce you to a different type of humor. “ A Zen master once told me to do the opposite of whatever he told me.”
There are definitions of humanity and contrasts of humanity and science included within the fictional text. If you are not familiar with scientific terms you may read it slowly because this is an intricate plot. There is an appendix and footnotes to help you along the way.
Be prepared for numerous characters that have ideas out of the normal sphere of human thought range. And yet, if you ever read a science magazine and found there, a fact you did not know before; you will understand the life style of the characters in this amazing story.
Read the acknowledgements to get a look at people who put the subject matter together. It is definitely an artistic work.
5. Nano for the new and the Insane by lazette Gifford ( a Nanowrimo eBook distributed during the October Nano Prep Challenge)
This is a small book packed to the fullest in its little binder, with excellent advice on how to write, write, write. I wish I had read it ten years ago. The author shows small tricks, that give the writer incentive, to move forward, with more words each writing moment.
Although it is aimed to help the writer progress through the nano write month of November on Nanowrimo.org, the guidance is useful any day, any month, any year.
Even though Nanowrimo is aiming at getting writers through the first draft of their story, this book ends with a chapter about proceeding after the first draft. We all know the first draft gets the story working. It is the editing and rewrites that makes the story move toward publishing. “sometimes the people will tell you to change things because that’s the way they would have written the story, not because it makes the story you have written better.”
It is not a long book. It is just a book packed with amazing facts to help someone, who may never have actually finished some story, that yearned for years to be written, grow up into a full fledged novel.