Book Reviews

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Ebook)

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

This nonfiction book is about how economics theory can be used to explain wildly different concepts. The book is quite readable, and I enjoyed reading it. Continue reading

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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

As usual, I finished reading this non-fiction book a day ahead of my Third Tuesday Book Club meeting on June 20th, 2017; unusually, it is a non-fiction book (not fiction, as most of our books are), and, unusually, I will not be attending the Third Tuesday Book Club meeting, as I am going out of town that day. This was a very enjoyable book, and I very much enjoyed reading it. Continue reading

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The Mummy: A History of the Extraordinary Practices of Ancient Egypt by E. A. Wallis Budge

The Mummy: A History of the Extraordinary Practices of Ancient Egypt by E. A. Wallis Budge

I finished reading this somewhat old-fashioned book today; but although it was written in 1894 (assuming it is the same book as The Mummy: A Handbook of Egyptian Funerary Archaeology), it must be observed that when one is talking of Ancient Egypt, not a whole lot changes from year to year. I very much enjoyed reading this very thorough book. Continue reading

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The Noonday Devil: Acedia, The Unnamed Evil of Our Times by Jean-Charles Nault, Translated by Michael J. Miller

The Noonday Devil: Acedia, The Unnamed Evil of Our Times by Jean-Charles Nault

I finished reading this non-fiction Catholic book today, which explores Acedia, which, although it became subsumed in the deadly sin of Sloth, is not laziness. And I enjoyed reading this book, and recommend it to those weary of their lives. Continue reading

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13 Things that Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks (Ebook)

13 Things that Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks

I finished reading this non-fiction book today via Kindle on my tablet; it is a very readable exploration of things that science both can and cannot prove or disprove, and I very much enjoyed reading this book. Continue reading

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The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot by Jonathan Witt and Jay W. Richards

The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot by Jonathan Witt and Jay W. Richards

This non-fiction book is an exploration of the politics of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Oxford philologist and don, as expressed in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings (and, very occasionally, to The Silmarillion and other writings of Tolkien); the authors also refer from time to time to Peter Jackson’s three-movie epic based on The Lord of the Rings (2001 – 2003, which I do not care for).  Having said that, this is a very entertaining book, and a must-read for those who love Tolkien and for those interested in how Tolkien’s opinions in favor of economic freedom and small government. Continue reading

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50 Ideas You Really Need to Know: Religion by Peter Stanford

50 Ideas You Really Need to Know: Religion by Peter Stanford

I finished reading this non-fiction book yesterday, and mostly enjoyed it, but not as much as I had hoped I would; I had the definite impression that the book was patronizing towards those aspects of religion that the author did not personally agree with. Continue reading

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The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life by James Martin

The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life by James Martin

This non-fiction book is a very readable book, which shows how one can use the techniques of Ignatian spirituality in one’s own life. I love the Jesuits (Father Martin writes and is an editor-at-large for America Magazine), and I loved reading this book. Continue reading

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Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment by Deepak Chopra (Ebook)

Buddha by Deepak Chopra

This 2007 novel tells the story of Siddhārtha Gautama, who lived in the eastern part of India between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE, and who is revered as the Buddha. The book was written by Deepak Chopra (born 1946); while Chopra has been for many years promoting his particular brand of alternative medicine, I believe that he has composed a very good book about the Buddha. Continue reading

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Shanghai Girls by Lisa See (Ebook)

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

As usual, I have read this novel a day ahead of our Third Tuesday Book Club Meeting tomorrow (April 18th, 2017) to discuss the book. It is novel about China and the Chinese people, both in China and in the Los Angeles area, and it is also about family relationships, what can happen during wartime, and family secrets. I very much enjoyed the book. Continue reading

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Son by Lois Lowry (Ebook)

Son by Lois Lowry

This young-adult book is the fourth in The Giver Quartet, and brings the story told in The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Messenger to a fitting conclusion. Continue reading

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Sights Unseen by Kaye Gibbons

Sights Unseen by Kaye Gibbons

This novel is about bipolar disorder, narrated by the daughter who essentially did not have a mother for twelve years, and then got her back for fifteen years. I very much enjoyed reading the book. Continue reading

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The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms by Amy Stewart

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This nonfiction book is about the humble earthworm, and their mostly beneficial effects on the environment. I found it a fascinating read, and very much enjoyed reading this book. Continue reading

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Messenger by Lois Lowry (Ebook)

Messenger by Lois Lowry (Ebook)

This young adult book (which I read on Overdrive via my tablet) is the third book in the Giver quartet, preceded by The Giver and Gathering Blue. This book was a great book, which I enjoyed reading. Continue reading

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The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

This post-apocalyptic novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2007 (I am reading these books in order), and was the Oprah Book Club selection announced on March 28th, 2007 (I am reading these books in order, so long as they do not conflict with the Pulitzer Prize books, which is why I have not read an Oprah Book Club book since 2007). This book is depressing, but hopeful, and it was a very good read. Continue reading

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