Archive for the 'Religious / Spiritual' Category

November 1st 2010

October’s Reads

October brought two out-of-town trips… a chorus retreat over a long weekend where fewer than usual books were read, and a week-long work-related training excursion where there was little to do besides read when I wasn’t in class.  But I seem to have been obsessed with doing crossword puzzles this month, so I didn’t wind up reading as many books as I otherwise might have.

Big Jack by J. D. Robb:  Another of the early ones that I missed… this one was right after Peabody made detective.  The bantering between Dallas and Peabody is completely mag, as Peabody or McNabb might say.  And I think this catches me up… I’ve now read all of the Eve Dallas books that have been published.

The Angel by Carla Neggers:  In search of some new authors on PaperbackSwap, I ran across Carla Neggers and requested this book.  It’s well-written and has lots of Irish and Ireland connections.  I liked it enough to request the other books in the series.

Compelling Evidence by Steve Martini: The first in the Paul Madriani series.  It’s not as well put together as some of the later ones, but certainly a good first effort!

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood:  Her latest dystopian novel is easily as good as her previous ones.  There is some overlap of characters between this book and Oryx and Crake, but it’s not necessary to have read the earlier book to enjoy this one.  I am a fan of Atwood, so this one is highly recommended!

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde:  His best so far!  Fforde has created a world where no one can see the full spectrum of color, and some people don’t see color at all.  The social constructs of such a world are fascinating to see laid out before us.  Add to it all a bit of a mystery, young lady who doesn’t exactly follow the rules and a young man who asks too many questions, and you have another book I’ll highly recommend!

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer:  A YA novel whose premise intrigued me.  It’s very well written, and I can see the pre-teen crowd thoroughly enjoying it.

The Widow by Carla Neggers:  This book precedes The Angel and gives the whole story of Detective Abigail Browning.  It’s a good mystery, despite the mushy romantic stuff.  ;)  I’d recommend reading them in the proper order.

Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine:  This is the sixth book in the Morganville Vampires series, and I must say that each one gets better than the previous.  Unlike vampires that sparkle, Rachel Caine’s vampires are downright vicious.  While that doesn’t bode well for the residents of Morganville, Texas, as least it’s doing a good job of washing the bad taste I still have in my mind from those Twilight books that I read last year.

Holly and Homicide by Leslie Caine:  The seventh book in the Domestic Bliss mystery series is just as fun and silly as the previous six books.  People die, crazy stuff happens and the mystery is finally solved.  This sort of thing seems to follow Erin Gilbert around like a plague for the past seven books; no doubt the “curse” will continue.  It’s a fun and quick read, and I recommend the series.

Jesus, Interrupted by Bart D. Ehrman: The subtitle of the book is Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don’t Know About Them).  Many of the contradictions were not news to me.  The most fascinating part of the book was Ehrman’s discussion of the early days of Christianity, trying to answer the question of how Christianity developed in the first four centuries after Jesus’ death.  As a comparative religion student, I found that discussion even more interesting than the list of contradiction.  This book is highly recommended for anyone interested in looking at the Bible in an historical context.

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December 4th 2008

The Beginnings of Buddhism

You’d think that after taking a 16-week class and reading a half dozen books on the subject in those 16 week, I’d be done with the topic of Buddhism for a while.  Oh no, not so.

I borrowed this book from a friend a couple of months ago (thanks, Kiran!) and finally finished reading it.  Although it might seem to be a dry, unreadable book from the length of time it took to finish it, that is completely not true.  (Life got in the way, darn it all!)

Kogen Mizuno one of Japan’s leading scholars of Buddhism, and he writes with an engaging and very readable style.  While there was very little in the book that I hadn’t already learned in my 16-week course, it was a delight to once again read about the origins of the Buddhist faith.  I highly recommend this book to anyone even the slightest bit interested in the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.

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March 1st 2008

Buddhist Scriptures

Buddhist ScripturesReligious texts of any sort aren’t quick reads. The fact that I had to turn this into a quick read (because I’m reading it for a class) made it slightly less enjoyable than it might have been if I’d been reading it just for the fun of it.

That said, there are some interesting translations of quite a lot of Buddhist text here. I doubt I’m ever going to be motivated enough to learn Pali or Sanskrit to read the originals, so translations are good. And some show that Buddha Sakymunni had a clever sense of humor.


April 1st 2005

A Goddess is a Girl’s Best Friend

A Goddess is a Girl's Best Friend8. A Goddess is a Girl’s Best Friend by Laurie Sue Brockway

I opened the book with low expectations, and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of research before I reached the end of the first chapter. Granted, it’s not extraordinarly detailed information (after all, the book is less than 300 pages long) and some of the rituals are a bit… hmmm… over the top for my taste, but all in all I’ve very glad I picked up the book.

I’m going to lend it to Jen… then re-read parts of it when I get it back.

Amazon Associate link:
A Goddess is a Girl’s Best Friend

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