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Friday, June 26, 2015

Libriomancer - Jim C. Hines

Isaac has an unusual power hidden behind his librarian persona. Through libriomancy he is able to make virtually any object in a book come to life. It's a good thing too, seeing as he has to fight supernatural creatures like vampires and other assorted villians. With his faithful flame spider, Smudge, and the help of a Nymph he intends to get to the bottom of the attacking vampires and the disappearance of Johannes Gutenberg.

Hines pays tribute to some of the world's most popular novels and tales, including The Lord of the Rings, King Arthur, and Narnia. In addition, he adds a few fake titles of his own. For the reader's convenience, he even includes a bibliography at the end to look up each book.

While there's nothing particularly special about this novel, it is pure fun, especially for those of us who read a lot.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I forgot to finalize my drafts, so several of them did not post when they were supposed to. I am backposting to correct this error. Thank you for your understanding.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Dear Children of the Earth - Schim Schimmel

Mother Earth petitions her children for help to protect the environment and in turn save all of her creatures, our brothers and sisters. Elephants, whales, lions, tigers, and more come to life in the striking illustrations accompanied by beautifully written text that expresses the need for all of us to be more conscientious of our choices and how they effect ourselves, the earth, and every creature around us.

I was feeling nostalgic when I ordered this book. After reading it and admiring the illustrations, I was happy to add it to my bookshelf. The paintings are so vibrant with bright colors and detail, a mix of real life and imagination. The message speaks to my heart and reminds me why I did and still do try my best to live a simple and sustainable life.

Also by the author:
Children of the Earth Remember
The Family of the Earth

Friday, June 12, 2015

Deerskin - Robin McKinley

The most beautiful woman in the kingdom once had princes from all over the country perform tasks to win her hand. Eventually there was a man who could complete the task and took her as his wife. The king and his queen had a lovely daughter, but nobody had time for Lissla Lissar when her mother had the eye of the entire kingdom. Her only companion is a hound given as a gift from a prince. When her mother passes away, she is suddenly remembered. And tragedy finally visits the sheltered princess, leaving her no choice but to run away.

With memory lost and body broken, she must somehow find a way to heal both her own body and that of her hound. If she can manage that, perhaps better times await the forgotten princess../td>

Like many of McKinley's works this novel is based on a folktale: Donkey Skin by Charles Perrault. McKinley's style is engrossing and I always feel a kinship toward the characters she puts forth. While Lissla's circumstances are far more dire than any I have experienced, I could see my own life reflected in her feelings of brokenness and I recalled my own experience in healing while reading.

Source Material:
Donkey Skin - Charles Perrault
Recommended Reading:
Daughter of the Forest - Juliet Marillier

Friday, June 5, 2015

Strange Heaven - Jon M. Sweeney

There are a number of Christian sects and each one of them varies in their theology and teachings, including their ideas on the mother of Jesus Christ: Mary. Sweeney explores Mary through the use of biblical sources, apocrypha, tradition, and continued modern interpretation.

Why is Mary a virgin? Why is Mary sometimes called the First Disciple and what does it mean? Part One reveals an image of Mary through the use of multiple sources, including her origins in Hebrew prophecy, the gospels, and apocrypha.

Part Two explores the tradition of Mary in Catholicism, including Apparitions, the Rosary, the evolution of the "Hail Mary" prayer, and her many titles. It also addresses dogmatic teachings about her such as, divine motherhood, immaculate conception, assumption to heaven, redeemer, and the imagery of milk.

Part Three presents Martin Luther's understanding of Mary, the divine feminine, and finally what Mary means to followers of Christianity today.

Although this contained a lot of information I was already aware of, that information was presented in a readable and concise manner. It also contained a lot of new information for me, like the milk imagery and Martin Luther's perspective on Mary. I felt it handled the controversial 'praying to Mary' argument well, which as a Catholic is important to me. Whether a seasoned reader on the topic or new, I would recommend this book.
Recommended Reading:
Goddesses and the Divine Feminine - Rosemary Ruether