- Romans by St. Paul
Book On Tape
Someone onces said That Shakespeare, he's just one quote strung after another. That is kind of the way I feel about Romans. So many memory verses, if you're attention flags for a moment while listening I find myself wrenched back online when I hear one of my old stand by verses. Wow. Paul makes no excuses. We're all flawed, we all sin, and God's done something about that! Thank, uh, God. I'm also starting a nice series of Bible studies in Romans from the fine folks at CatholicExchange.com - you can find them here. (go ahead, they're free!).
- Assassins by Jenkins and Laheye
BOT Ack. Good reading and presentation, but I only lasted 2.8 out of 8 tapes. Too busy right now to listen and ... it gets a little wearing, especially when you disagree with the violence they do to the Biblcal material. Switching to Nero Wolfe, some space history books, and listening to the New Testament on tape
Friday, March 29, 2002
Wednesday, March 27, 2002
Some Buried Caeser by Rex Stout
There is nothing like reading Archie Goodwin describe his employer, Nero Wolfe. I sure won't try, but I'd never miss a chance to read it. Maybe it is fluff, but a good mystery is better than most fiction - Stout is sooo good, I don't know why I'm wasting time listening to the Left Behind books. Well, partly so I can talk about them with folk who read them, but the LB books (for me anyway) require a reader- i.e. someone else who is forced to turn the pages and read them out loud. Stout is like Lois McMaster Bujold (another favorite writer) who I have to force myself to STOP reading.
So what if this book was written in the 30's. It is fresh, far fresher than most contemporary fiction, because Stout makes these people LIVE, not just act out his story.
Monday, March 25, 2002
Buy these books or any you want!
Books read so far, Spring 2002 at least that I remember...(Winter 2002 reading list here.)
BOT read by Richard Ferrone. Also improved, though alas not abridged, by the reader Ferrone. Good enough story, though lots of laughable stuff if you think too hard about it. Again, read MacFarlane's _Pierced_By_A_Sword_.
BOT read by Frank Muller. I'm no fan of the Left Behind books. A lot of questionable theology and interpretation. And.. not the best prose. Muller is a superstar (he did King and Grisham too, before his motorcycle accident) turns it into excellent fast paced material. Helps that it is abridged, too.
Good teaching from the Catechism:
The Church's ultimate trial
675 Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. 573 The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth 574 will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. 575
676 The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgement. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, 576 especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism. 577
677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. 578 The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven. 579 God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgement after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world. 580
No nonsense, good detective and mystery writing with Nero Wolfe in good form. The title comes from .. well I can't say, but a great tense - and awful - moment for Archie Goodwin, who suffers a lot here feeling chivalrous and responsible in this book.
Buy these books or any you want!
Books read so far, Winter 2001-2002 at least that I remember...(Autumn 2001 reading list here.)
Oltion, an old Trek hand gives a fun, what-if, story reminiscent of Heinlein. Brave, brash, clever, and maybe a little headstrong "smart guy" invents an interstellar drive that gives EVERYONE the ability to pack up and move across the galaxy. Cool story, fun people. Nothing earth shattering, but just a nice down-to-earth hard science SF story.
I think of the line in Galaxy Quest, when the hero tells the young fan "its all TRUE!". In this book Anderson sets out to tell us "you know all that fantastic stuff Jules Verne wrote about? ITS ALL TRUE!".
Inventing a young friend of Verne, Andre Nemo, Anderson creates a heroic figure who goes out into the Victorian world to triumph through incredible circumstances, all of which Verne uses to concoct his fabulous books.
Anderson gives us a Verne who longed to go off to adventure, but dutifully stayed home. Vicariously living through his friend, he finally achieved success as a writer by recasting his friend's life into book after book.
A great story - and fun historical romp with lots of interesting detail!
Good SF either presents good ideas or good stories using SF themes and
GREAT SF does both. Brin's book is one of them. A detective story set in a world where everyone has access to cheap
"golem" copies (made of clay - really) that you can send off to do your
work, and at then end of the day (before they expire) you can upload your
memories. A world of cheap, skilled labor, it is a world radically different
from ours, yet echoing our day again and again ("there is no new thing under
the sun. ")
The hero in this book is a classic detective... with the twist that he can
send out expendable selves to sleuth and maybe die. Told in first person
by the many selves he spins out, it can be confusing and is very complex.
Along the way he takes on all kinds of issues, from cyber porn to
copyright protection, open source and monopolies... Like I said, a great
Kluger (Lovell's co-author in Lost Moon, AKA Apollo 13) does a terrific job of humanizing the adventure of un-manned exploration of the solar system. His book spans the time from the first JPL missions to the moon to all the planets of the solar system (including the planned Pluto-Kuiper Express). The big story is the many moons, both relating the discovery of many, and the remote exploration of them.
The drama of problem solving problems on far flung spacecraft is shown to be tremendously exciting, as well as the fight to launch and support these adventures of exploration. There is an old saying "nobody gives parades for robots". Partly because the robots don't come back, but partly because people don't recognize the effort and sacrifice men and women make to send these explorers. I don't expect ticker tape soon, but perhaps people would give a few cheers if they read this book.
Okay, I'm trying to do it... re-read the Narnia books, in what is supposedly the (NEW) official order, chronologically. We'll see if it holds up... but no matter, a charming, wonderful book. And full of cautionary tales well heeded by scientists and others who look for power and wealth without the right compass. "what shall it profit a man..." indeed.
Terrific TOS-era Trek book. The author, an alumni of the "Strange New Worlds" contests does a wonderful job pulling in all kinds of details we Trek-faithful know and love. RAther than be burdened with this weight of canon, Ward turns wonderful creative ideas, including a very subtle approach to everyone's favorite Klingon Question : Why did their heads turn bumpy?
GREAT read. Lots of interesting details about Cooper's career and life. I was a little concerned seeing the glowing recommendation from Art Bell on the cover, and yes, there are some .... *odd* things. An interest in UFOs that goes beyond casual. Though he is careful to make clear he NEVER saw any... in space, at least, as some have claimed. He is a real believer in them though.
Lots of good details about Mercury and Gemini, as well as other aspects of space exploration.
We bring you good news
of the promise made to
the fathers, that God has fulfilled the same
to us, their children, in that
he raised up Jesus. Acts 13:23 WEB
by John B. Olson and Randall Ingermanson
Wow - really, really good book. Hard SF
mission-to-mars-gone-wrong, very realistic. Having read books on Apollo
13, and Mercury programs recently this thing was astonishingly good. Much
better than that "Mission to Mars" movie, or a couple of other
mission-to-mars-gone-wrong books I've read recently. And yeah, it is a
Christian book, with people wrestling with their faith in pretty real
ways. It should get attention outside the Xian market - hope it does!
Forgive me, I'm not the Tolkien fan some are. I enjoy the books, but not like Narnia! But I had to re-read this before seeing the movie. Saw it. .. it was... okay. Kind of nasty and violent, though.
Not a lot of reading done lately. Busy time of year, Christmas and all... but I've finished John finally, and am on into Acts, which I love for its focus on Messianic Prophecy. (a project that diverted me from reading is at > http://Star.Mrklingon.org, a "prophecy explorer")
Anyway John's gospel is a wonderful thing - especially in his summary words: "these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life."John 20:31
Buy these books or any you want!
Books read so far, Autumn 2001 at least that I remember...(Summer 2001 reading list here.)
"...what the nun study teaches us about leading longer, healthier, and more meaningful lives". This is a wonderful book! It is inspiring and informative. Not only are there a lot of insights into aging (and aging well), but it lets the reader see inside the worlds of the convent AND epidemiological research. Snowdon does not let his scientific work keep him from being a real human. Excellent book! Read it!
Wow! This is my second time through Card's new pass on the Ender saga and it is still a really great read. There is such good writing here. Adventure, deep issues, and a love for his characters. There is talk of an Ender's Game movie that includes this material. Done right that would be something to which to look forward!
A good collection of "coming home" stories from eleven Lutherans (including a number of pastors). Very interesting reading and would go well with the book "Why I am Still a Catholic," which (obviously) comes from a diverse group of believers who never left the Church. Now on to a book about Chesterton!
Apollo 13 was not the only mission for which Gene Kranz was Flight Director. Apollo 11 was another, not to mention Mercury and Gemini missions. Kranz's story parallels history in The Right Stuff and Lost Moon (AKA Apollo 13), and it is worth reading. The people who fly are only a fraction of the crew - the effort, the care and heroism of Kranz and his kin is impressive. Heroes that don't get noticed and rarely get parades or medals... are still heroes, all the same.
By (Father and Son) David E. Fisher & Marshall Jon Fisher
Good book, lots of history, and scientific background on the debate and discoveries related to life on other planets. Very readable, though sometimes chooses to editorialize without need. For example, introducing a significant scientific conference that happened at San Juan Capistrano, the authors waste a lot of time dissing the town, and particularly the Mission (of "swallows return to" fame) which I've visited many times. It didn't really have anything to do with the content except for some kind of stylistic counterpoint, "mundane setting versus cosmic discussions."
Still, a very good, readable book that covers history, biology, astronomy, and more topics credibly and with authority. Of course, it is already out of date, as it was published before the recent claims that the 1976 Viking probe *DID* discover life on Mars.... [Now on to Probability One Why there IS Intelligent Life in the Universe, and Larry Millet's latest Sherlock Holmes in Minnesota story).
Chapter 3 of the Celtic Crusades. At last a few sympathetic (but not many) Roman Catholics. The fact this is long, long before the Reformation keeps this from really being Catholic bashing (I think). Also a few sympathetic Muslims. I felt the development of the characters - how their pilgramage changed them was more interesting in this book. Also, oddly, it made me think of the Narnia books for some reason...
Chapter 2 of the Celtic Crusades. Again, great stuff. Interesting and complex stuff; though I'd like it better if the Latin/Roman churchmen were not uniformly wrong or villainous. On to the third installment, The Mystic Rose.
Wow. This is the first book I've read by Lawhead - I'm really impressed. Very good story and storytelling. Historical fiction, with just a little twist. I was attracted to this series (book one in the Celtic Crusades trilogy) because of current Middle East events. Midway, in this book I thought I'd read some articles on the history of the Crusades... but stopped, because they were giving away plot points...
Intriguing story; I've got the second book in hand, the third on order, and I foresee a bunch more Lawhead books on this list.
I really like Carey's Trek books, and I liked the setup put together in last year's New Earth series, with a frontier settlement in the TOS era. OTOH, this was kind of complex and convoluted. I don't know that I really like the Blood and Kauld and their conflict. I enjoy Nick Keller and his weird hodge podge of a crew, though. I suspect it is going to take me a while to slog through all these Gateways stories...
Thank you Dave Barry! I needed a laugh, and this supplied more than enough. I picked this up for an older brother's 50th birthday (I have YEARS and YEARS (well 3) to go before I hit the big 5.0.).
Dave had me wheezing and gasping. (also recommended (I don't know if this made my summer reading list, Dave Barry Does Japan, which we read before my daughter visited Japan this summer).
(BOT Book on Tape).
This is the latest installment in the "Victorian Mysteries" by Susan Wittig Albert and Bill Albert. Great fun, these books name-drop their way through the Victorian era, give us a good dose of history and enjoyable mysteries. Earlier books covered Jack the Ripper, Beatrix Potter, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling. This book lets us meet Lilly Langtry - my only complaint about these kind of books is that they kind of cloud my weak grasp of real history.
(BOT Book on Tape). This is a great antidote to listening to too much news since 9/11. I have a nice NIV NT on cassette tape, but you can listen to the Bible online for free! http://www.audiobible.com, or http://www.talkingbible.com!
- A Civil Campaign By Lois McMaster Bujold
A comedy of manners - lots of fun, and Miles demonstrates that
his strategic genius does *not* carry over to his personal life.
- Komarr By Lois McMaster Bujold
Love at last for poor Miles! Well, a prospect! If he can live through this book, and foil dastardly plots of Komarran terrorists.....
- Memory By Lois McMaster Bujold
Jumping ahead a bit in Miles's life, but this is a real treat! Career change, catastrophe, intrigue, sleuthing. And the good news is there is a new Miles story coming down the pike in 2002! Hooray!
The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire,
your heart. Miles V.
- The Borders of Infinity By Lois McMaster Bujold
A terrific collection of Miles stories - especially "The Mountains of Mourning", all woven together as an extended hospital-stay-debriefing with Ilyan.
- The Vor Game By Lois McMaster Bujold
Miles must retake the Dendarii! Wearing slippers! A conscious echo of his mother's escape from Beta in "Shards of Honor", also wearing slippers? Those Naismiths can do much with little!
- The Warrior's Apprentice By Lois McMaster Bujold
I feel pretty certain that I will never, ever, get tired of re-reading the Miles Vorkosigan books. Funny, deep, sad, touching... there is so MUCH in these books, that I can barely even discuss them coherently. (Note: most who know me will say : "he cannot discuss them coherently").
Historically not the first in the Chronicles of Miles and his family, this is always a good starting point. Anything I can say about them.. is superflous. Just go read these books - they can't be beat!
- Longitude by Dava Sobel.
Wow. This was a terrific exploration of the little-known (to me, anyway) history of
solving the "longitude problem". Sobel's more recent book "Galileo's Daughter" is a longer and more
detailed story, but (like this ) she reliably delivers a great story.
I'll never look at a clock the same way....
- One Small Step by Susan Wright. Oh, man. I'm probably
going to have to follow this Trek series all the way through. Unlike
the Section 31 Star Trek novels, which pretty much can be read as
separate stories... I'm afraid the Gateways books (this is number one of SEVEN!)
are more closely linked! I'll have to read them to find out what happens after
the cliffhanger in book number one...
Interesting start - especially the sneaky aliens who try to flim flam our buddies on the Enterprise.
(now I've had to go and order the next two books...) we'll see..
- Joshua (Bible) by ? ummm.. God?
Choose you this day, indeed.
But if you are unwilling to serve
the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve....
But as for me
and my family,
we will serve the LORD
- Section 31 : Cloak by S.D. Perry
Another installment in Star Trek's "build a linked series of novels to generate
more revenue". Not a bad intro, and a good entry in the Star Trek history. Perry
is the daughter of Steve Perry, Space opera veteran. She makes great use of all the
MANY Trek reference books and puts together a good conspiracy yarn. Don't know yet if it
convinces me to buy the rest of the books, but it was a fun beginning novel to the series founded on the idea that
the Federation has a super secret spy organization that skulks about working to preserve
the Federation... though not always doing so in line with the noble spirit of the United
Federation of Planets.
- Star Wars Galactic Phrase Book and Travel Guide by Ben Burtt
Burtt is the sound man behind Star Wars. In this guide he provides the first
guidebook to the Star Wars languages. Not at all as formal as the Klingon Dictionary
(it owes much more to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), the glossary/guidebook is
funny and fun - especially with illustrations by Sergio Aragones.
I thought the best part was the short memoir by Burtt, in which he details all the ways
he gathered the sounds and voices that eventually made up the Star Wars linguistic
tapestry. He's no philoligist, but he went to fascinating lengths to create the languages behind
- The Crying Sisters by Mabel Seely
Seely wrote this mystery in the 1930's, but the picture of Minnesota lake resorts will be immediately
familiar to just about anyone who has spent part of a summer "at the lake" - though they'll
never feel quite as peaceful there.
This mystery follows a spinster librarian as she gets caught up in a mystery that
she can never quite understand - till it is all over. Along the way she gets involved
in caring for the 2 year old son of a mysterious man. Is this employer a villain? Is
he the killer? You really don't know what is going on till the last moment
This novel is terrific in being very accessible in the year 2001, while giving a
good picture of the moments hanging before WWII.
Seely is little know, but fortunately her work has been re-released - I look forward to the next
ones I pick up at the library.
- Galileo's Daughter : A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love by
Galileo is a saint. Not officially, but in reading Dava Sobel's excellent book, one gets a picture of a man who goes to incredible lengths to do the right thing. In our age where "cafeteria Catholics" feel free to pick and choose what they will believe in, Galileo is an example, not of a carefree rebel, but of someone who made amazing efforts to follow Church doctrines - even those he questioned.
Sobel gives a wonderful and detailed account of Galileo's time. Through his daughter, the nun Suor Marie Celeste, we see Galileo as a real person with family and responsibilities.
(I'll give "saint" Galileo credit for one minor miracle - reading of his life and times has spurred me to learn Latin.)
- Mars Crossing, by Gregory Landis, is a good adventurers-in-peril yarn,
reminiscent of Martin Caidin's "Marooned" of years gone by, as well as any
number of stories of intrepid explorers forced to extreme ends for
In "Mars Crossing", Landis gives us the third Martian expedition. Hoped
to be the FIRST one that returns. Of course, they run into trouble in a big way (like
no return craft!). Fortunately the two previous, ill-fated, expeditions
left lots of supplies - if only they can cross half of Mars to get them.
With lots of great (and solid) scientific speculation, from someone who
worked on Pathfinder, Landis keeps the pace going, and slowly reveals the
secrets and motivations of the five travelers. With danger from both the
setting and possibly one another, the story hooked me in to the extent
that I pushed through the whole book in virtually one sitting.
Timely reading to me! after reading "Voyage to Mars" and now "Mars
Crossing". I'm ready to go! I don't think it is exactly wishful
thinking, but this report, and some of the discussion in "Voyage to Mars"
point up that the Viking mission did not really return a solid negative
answer finding on life.
NASA Data Point to Mars 'Bugs,' Scientist Says Reuters Jul 27 2001 7:57PM
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Did NASA discover evidence of life on Mars and
then misplace it for almost 25 years? A University of Southern California
scientist argues that is just what happened and that once-lost data
collected by the 1975 Viking probes suggest the existence of Martian
The significance of that finding was overlooked -- along with the data
itself -- after NASA concluded that its experiments showed only signs of
chemical activity on the surface of the "Red Planet," said Joseph Miller,
a USC neurobiologist.
But a careful reexamination of a fragment of the recovered NASA record
showed a surprising pattern: gas released by the Martian soil and tracked
by Viking followed the same kind of rhythms followed by all Earth-bound
organisms from humans to fruit flies in a cycle akin to feeding and
respiration by colonies of microbes.
"I think, basically, that it's bugs," said Miller, a neurobiologist and an
expert in the study of the circadian rhythms that regulate biological
- Voyage to Mars:NASA's Search for Life Beyond Earth by Laurence Bergreen Good look at the people who are exploring Mars. Helps to humanize our ongoing exploration of the Solar System. The Planetary Society likes to say "we can all go to Mars!" - since thanks to Pathfinder and other projects, we all get to virtually "ride along".
- Take a look at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov for current missions and info. Lots of good things there - a trip to Mars is a mouse click away!
- I'd also recommend Donna Shirley's book about the Sojourner/Pathfinder mission, Managing Martians. .
- Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr
The first of the Anna Pigeon books. Another fun summer re-read. (in progress)
- Ill Windby Nevada Barr
The first of the Anna Pigeon books I read (third in the series). A fun re-read.
- Joel(Bible) Here's where you'll read about plowshares being beaten into swords.
"..And anyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved..." (2:32)NLT
So, call already!
- Improbable Cause Anoter JP Beaumont novel by J.A. Jance, back from the earlier days, when JP had just become wealthy, but hadn't dried out yet. Good enough story about who killed the dentist that just about everybody would have liked to. Nothing groundbreaking but a nice read, and fills in more of J.P Beaumont for his fans.
- Diplomatic Implausibility a Trek novel, which gives us
Lt. Worf, newly appointed Federation ambassador to the Klingon Empire.
Good, well researched, and consistent with "known" history. Excellent
use of tlhIngan Hol - even including a glossary of terms
used. Probably not for a non-Trek fan, but it presents interesting new
situations with known characters and lots of Trek lore.
- Race to the Moon a history of the Soviet versus American
space race. Except... it was really more of a chronicle of the German
"space program" and how it ultimately became the USSR vs USA race.
Even more it is a history of Von Braun. Not a bad book, but pretty
thin on the USSR space program. I suspect if it were written now it
would have more detail.
- Nevada Barr books - These are great adventures, similar to the
Navajo stories, since the hero, Anna Pigeon, is a
National Park Ranger, and must deal
with a whole mess of
overlapping jurisdictions. Every book seems to drag you through
all kinds of peril.
- Liberty Falling
- Deep South
- Blood Lure (BOT : I listened to a Book on Tape of it;
- Liberty Falling
- Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy (BOT)
- P is for Peril
- The Neptune File (discovery of Neptune) by Tom Standage, author of
The Victorian Internet. How DID we discover Neptune, anyway?
Same way we find planets outside our solar system! (we now know of
more OUT there than our mere nine!) Fascinating history of science
story that brings history to life.
- In the Beginning (history of KJV) What!? The KJV wasn't exactly
authorized? It was a tool to control the Puritans?
- The Prayer of Jabez - interesting but I recommend these first:
- When in Doubt, Sing (not finished yet)
- Daniel (Bible)
- David Gerrold (author of The Trouble with Tribbles)
wrote these Heinlein-esque books.
Very reminiscent of Heinlein's
juveniles (though not necessarily juvenile; some may find them a
little too adult). Lots of imagination, and good development of the
consequences of technology, particularly a "space elevator". I hope
there is a sequel!
- Jumping Off the Planet
- Bouncing Off the Moon
- Jumping Off the Planet