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Friday, 29 May 2020

Dragon Assassin 7 Hidden Powers - Arthur Slade - Dragon Assassin Book 7

Dragon Assassin 7: Hidden Powers
Arthur Slade
Dava Enterprises
ASIN B083QPFPL9


This series consistently gets better. We had to wait a longer for this installment in the Dragon Assassin series, but it has proved more than worth it. I have been a fan of Slade’s work for many years, and this series is pure classic fantasy. It reminds me of the fantasy I first fell in love with late in grade school and in high school. When I first started reading after overcoming my dyslexia. It is the type of book that helped me fall in love with reading. And it is a series I am now sharing with my son. Reading this is great fiction and a trip down memory lane.  The series start as episodic, is both a good thing and a bad thing. At first it was about a book a month. And the original goal was to publish a book a month for a year. But things changed and we had a wait for book 6, and a longer wait for book 7 and my understanding is book 8 will be released soon after this volume to wrap up the series.

This installment again is very different than the others to date. It is another excellent piece of writing. In this volume Carmen, Brax, Thord, and Megan have been flying for days. They are on a quest from Brax’s dead master Vecterix.  They are flying to the lands in the east, and looking for a man with no mane. And boy ok boy are they in for a surprise. And what a sight they must make. Carmen, riding Brax the dragon, And Thord and Megan on their black swans. 

There are more twists in this story than I expected, and I was waiting for a bog one. This is another wonderful story from the masterful pen of Arthur Slade. In a classic fantasy style. It was a book that I could not put down, and as the penultimate tale in the Dragon Assassin series it sets us up for an incredible finale. 

If you have not read an of Slade’s writing, you owe it to yourself to give them a try. And this is an incredible series. Great stories, excellent characters. A plot full of action and twists. I highly recommend this book and this series they are great!   

Books by Arthur Slade:
The Dragonfly's Journey (1996)

John Diefenbaker: an Appointment with Destiny (2000)
Dust (2001)
Tribes (2002)
Monsterology (2005)
Villainology (2005)
Megiddo's Shadow (2006)
Jolted (2008)
Shades: 17 Startling Stories (2011)

Flickers (2016)
Crimson (2018)
Death by Airship (2019)
...

Hunchback Assignments Series:
aka Modo Mission Clockwork Series:
The Hunchback Assignments (2009)
The Dark Deeps (2010)
Empire of Ruins (2011)
Island of Doom (2012)

Modo Embers End - Graphic Novel (2014)

The Northern Frights Series
Draugr (1997)
The Haunting of Drang Island (1998)
The Loki Wolf (2000)

Northern Frights Reprint Editions:
Draugr (2020)
Drang (2020)
Loki Wolf (2020)
...

The Canadian Chills Series
Return of the Grudstone Ghosts (2002)
Ghost Hotel (2004)
Invasion of the IQ Snatchers (2007)


Librarian. Assassin. Vampire Series:
Amber Fang: The Hunted
Amber Fang: Betrayed
Amber Fang: Revenge
Amber Fang Box Set Books 1-3
...

Dragon Assassin Series:
Twin Fury
Shadow Hunter
Dark Wings
Bitterwaters
Elder Magic
Royal Blood
Hidden Powers
Burning Empire
... 

Books as Stephen Shea:
The Not So Simple Life
Damage
Viper - Short Story


Visual Bibliography for Arthur Slade
Author profile interview with Arthur Slade.

Author profile interview with Stephen Shea. 









Thursday, 28 May 2020

Prayers Before the Eucharist - Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman

Prayers Before the Eucharist
St. John Henry Cardinal Newman
TAN Books
ISBN 
9781505116427
eISBN 9781505116472
ASIN B081NX3694


This is third of three new editions of works from this saint, available from Tan Books in new editions. The other two volumes that were released at the same time are Stations of the Cross and Prayers Before The Eucharist. The first was a reprint in new format, the second one was a new volume, and this one is an edited work.  This book is drawn from Meditations and Devotions of the Late Cardinal Newman, originally published in 1916. The sections in this volume are:

Hope In God — Creator
Hope In God — Redeemer
God And The Soul
Sin
The Resurrection
God With Us
The Properties Of God
The Forty Days’ Teaching
The Ascension
The Paraclete
The Holy Sacrifice
The Infinite God

The twelve selections are each powerful and moving in their own way. Once I started reading this volume I could hardly put it down. In the editor’s introduction we are told:

“When one thinks about John Henry Cardinal Newman, they remember the great English convert from Anglicanism, a great controversialist, writer, thinker, and above all—an intellectual. Brilliant in Greek and Latin, deeply learned in the Fathers and history, the last thing one would think of when they hear the name of Cardinal Newman is that of a mystic.

The publication of the Meditations and Devotions of the Late Cardinal Newman in 1893 rather changed this view. The meditations revealed a side of Newman with which the general English public was altogether unaware. Just as he was a profound thinker, he was possessed of a deep mystical love of Jesus Christ.”

This volume was composed with the intent for it to be used during visits to the blessed sacrament, or during adoration of the exposed sacrament. The editor states:

“These prayers are perfectly suited for meditations on the Blessed Sacrament, not only because of the singular focus on God’s mercy, perfections, and love for us that transcends the depravity of our sins, but also because of the frequent familiar conversation which engages God in each meditation and moves the heart to greater devotion.”

After the editor’s introduction we begin with a Prayer Before
Eucharistic Adoration. There are 56 meditations across the 12 chapters. With some chapters having as few as 3, and the most in a chapter is 9. And most of them are under 2 pages of text in the eBook edition. A sample is:

HOLY COMMUNION

My God, who can be inhabited by You, except the pure and holy? Sinners may come to You, but to whom should You come except to the sanctified? My God, I adore You as the Holiest; and, when You came upon earth, You prepared a holy habitation for Yourself in the most chaste womb of the Blessed Virgin. You didst make a dwelling place special for Yourself. She did not receive You without first being prepared for You; for from the moment that she was at all, she was filled with Your grace, so that she never knew sin. And so she went on increasing in grace and merit year after year, till the time came, when You sent the Archangel to signify to her Your presence within her. So holy must be the dwelling place of the Highest. I adore and glorify You, O Lord my God, for Your great holiness.

O my God, holiness becometh Your House, and yet You make Your abode in my breast. My Lord, my Savior, You come to me, hidden under the semblance of earthly things, yet in that very flesh and blood which You took from Mary. You, who first inhabited Mary’s breast, comes to me. My God, You see me; I cannot see myself. Were I ever so good a judge about myself, ever so unbiassed, and with ever so correct a rule of judging, still, from my very nature, I cannot look at myself, and view myself truly and wholly. But You, as You come to me, contemplate me. When I say, Domine, non sum dignus—“Lord, I am not worthy”—You whom I am addressing, alone understand in their fulness the words which I use. You see how unworthy so great a sinner is to receive the One Holy God, whom the Seraphim adore with trembling. You see, not only the stains and scars of past sins, but the mutilations, the deep cavities, the chronic disorders which they have left in my soul. You see the innumerable living sins, though they be not mortal, living in their power and presence, their guilt, and their penalties, which clothe me. You see all my bad habits, all my mean principles, all wayward lawless thoughts, my multitude of infirmities and miseries, yet You come. You see most perfectly how little I really feel what I am now saying, yet You come. O my God, left to myself should I not perish under the awful splendor and the consuming fire of Your Majesty. Enable me to bear You, lest I have to say with Peter, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

My God, enable me to bear You, for You alone can. Cleanse my heart and mind from all that is past. Wipe out clean all my recollections of evil. Rid me from all languor, sickliness, irritability, feebleness of soul. Give me a true perception of things unseen, and make me truly, practically, and in the details of life, prefer You to anything on earth, and the future world to the present. Give me courage, a true instinct determining between right and wrong, humility in all things, and a tender longing, love of You.”

This volume is an excellent read. And it is one I will return to time and time again. You could randomly flip it open and read any of the sections. Or read it by jumping around the topics by chapter. Or just read it from beginning to end. But no matter how you choose to read it I am sure it will inspire and challenge you. And you will be thankful that you picked the volume up. 

I have read this book, and plan to reread it a chapter a month, each month before my monthly recollection, and really take some time to reflect upon the 12 devotions. And might end up doing that again and again over the next few years. Another excellent volume. One well worth picking up.  

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Reviews of other books by John Henry Newman:
Stations of the Cross

Meditations on Mary, Our Mother 
Prayers Before The Eucharist
...

CTS books about Newman:
John Henry Newman: Lead Kindly Light -Dr. Raymond Edwards
Newman His Life and Legacy – Fr. Ian Ker
John Henry Newman Apostle to the Doubtful - Meriol Trevor and Leonie Caldecott
Newman Prayer Book - The Birmingham Oratory (ed)
The Mind of Cardinal Newman: From His Own Writings - Charles Stephen Dessain

Daily Christian Living with John Henry Newman

CTS Books by John Henry Newman:
Meditations on Stations of the Cross
Christ upon the Waters - CTS Onefifties Book 3


Reviews of other books about Newman:
Take Five: Meditations with John Henry Newman -  Mike Aquilina and Juan Velez




Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Prepper Jack - Diane Capri - Hunt For Reacher Book 9

Prepper Jack
Hunt For Reacher Book 9
Diane Capri
August Books
ISBN 
9781942633402
eISBN 9781942633211
ASIN B07TXKT824


Last year I read 42 stories featuring Jack Reacher. First I read the 29 Jack Reacher Novels and short stories by Lee Child. And then Ai read all the books in this series. This is the ninth novel in the Hunt for Reacher Series, and the twelfth story featuring Otto and Gaspar. The source book for this volume was Lee Child’s Die Trying. In that one Reacher was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and could not leave a woman behind. In this one someone else is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it has serious consequences for agent Otto. 

I enjoyed :

Kim L. Otto
Charles Cooper
Lamont Finlay
Carlos Gaspar
John Lawton
Michael Flint
Holly Johnson
Pinto Vigo
Mason O’Hare
Jake Reacher

and
Jack Reacher

I enjoyed Die Trying but it is not one of my favourite Reacher novels. And this is not my favourite Hunt For Reacher novels either.  In fact, for the first time in this series I put this book down twice and read other books before coming back to it. I did read it over a few days, but it felt strained. Maybe part of it is that Gaspar is retired and Otta is working on her own. Or maybe the abduction of Lawton. Otto is out on her own in this story in more ways than one. She is almost killed during a routine questioning of people at a place of interest. She realizes she needs backup and Reacher owes her one and she reaches out. But She never know if or when he will show up. 

The story involves preppers who just want to get by. A drug lord with grand plans. Balloning, helicopters, and a daring rescue before a morning raid by authorities. 

The story is a good continuation of Die Trying but in my opinion it is not on the same level of the others in the series. But still a good read. After the other 11 stories in the series my expectations are very high. If you are a fan of the series it is a must read. If you have not read any of them, start at the beginning! 

Books by Diane Capri:
Hunt for Reacher Series:

1.0 Don’t Know Jack
1.1 Jack in a Box
1.2 Jack and Kill
2.0 Get Back Jack
2.5 Jack in the Green
3.0 Jack and Joe
4.0 Deep Cover Jack
5.0 Jack the Reaper
6.0 Black Jack
7.0 Ten Two Jack
8.0 Jack of Spades
9.0 Prepper Jack
10.0 Full Metal Jack



Justice Series:
1.0 Due Justice
2.0 Twisted Justice
3.0 Secret Justice
4.0 Wasted Justice
5.0 Raw Justice
5.5 Mistaken Justice
6.0 Cold Justice
6.1 False Justice
6.2 Fair Justice
6.3 True Justice
7.0 Hunt for Justice
8.0 Night Justice


Jess Kimball Series:
0.5 Fatal Enemy
1.0 Fatal Distraction
2.0 Fatal Demand
3.0 Fatal Error
4.0 Fatal Fall
4.5 Fatal Edge
5.0 Fatal Game
6.0 Fatal Bond
6.5 Fatal Past
7.0 Fatal Dawn


Heir Hunter Series:
1.0 Blood Trials
2.0 Trace Evidence


Jordan Fox Mysteries:
False Truth Part One
False Truth Part Two
False Truth Part Three
False Truth Part Four
False Truth Part Five
False Truth Part Six
False Truth Part Seven
False Truth Part Eight
False Truth Part Nine
False Truth Part Ten
False Truth Part Eleven


The Park Hotel Mysteries Series:
1.0 Reservation with Death
2.0 Early Check Out
3.0 Room with a Clue
4.0 Late Arrival


Other Books:
Angel of Music















Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Scriptural Way of the Cross - Father Adrian Graffy - CTS Devotions

Scriptural Way of the Cross
Father Adrian Graffy
CTS Devotions
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784696276
CTS Booklet D832

 
This lent I have used several different versions of Stations of the Cross and Way of the Cross. Including a few from The Catholic Truth Society. This is a new one that was released in 2020.  Over the last few years I have read over 100 volumes from the CTS. I have read books from many series. And many authors. This was the first book I have read by Father Adrian Graffy. The book is only available currently in print, there is no eBook edition.

The description of this volume is:

“The Stations of the Cross devotion, meditating on Jesus’s journey to Calvary, is loved by Catholics around the world. In this new set of meditations, Scripture scholar Fr Adrian Graffy draws us deeper into the Passion of Jesus by placing a greater emphasis on God’s Word.

Each Station begins by meditating slowly upon a passage from Scripture, which is further brought to life by a prayer to Jesus which is directly related to the Station and the Scripture just read. Finally, each Station ends with relevant prayer intentions, bringing the devotion to the very heart of the Church today.


The Stations are accompanied by beautiful images of the Stations of the Cross which hang on the walls of the Catholic Church of Christ the Eternal High Priest in Essex."


This is a good version of the Stations of the Cross. The sculptures of the stations are great art to use for reflection during the prayers. The prayers and stanza for after the station are all at the beginning of the book. So there will be a lot of back and forth flipping. 

The reflections by Father Graffy are well written. The reflections are shorter than many versions I have used this year. The advantage of that is you can still work through the stations, especially if time is an issue. A sample reflection is:

Second Station
Jesus Receives the Cross

From the gospel according to mark

(8:34-35)

Anyone who wants to be a follower of mine must renounce self and take up the cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save life will lose it: but whoever loses life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.


Pause


Jesus, your cross is the means of our salvation. Help us to be willing to lose our lives for your sake. Show us the beauty of generosity and self-giving love.


Pause


Ask for the grace to give generously and deny self. Welcome the joy of the gospel which no suffering can remove.”


This is another great resource from the Catholic Truth Society. I found it very beneficial. And other than wishing there was an eBook edition, can highly recommend it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Link to other Lent Resources
For other books in the CTS Devotions Series click here.

Books by Father Adrian Graffy:
A Manual of Hebrew Poetics
Alive and Active: The Old Testament Beyond 2000
Discovering the New Testament
Discovering the Old Testament
Gospels of Mercy: 12 Steps to the Love of God
Scriptural Way of the Cross
Scripture of Mercy: The Love of God in the Old Testament
Trustworthy and True: The Gospels Beyond 2000
Twelve Steps to the Love of God






Monday, 25 May 2020

Our Lady, Untier of Knots - Miguel Cuartero Samperi - CTS Devotions

Our Lady, Untier of Knots:
Story of a Marian Devotion
Miguel Cuartero Samperi
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860829017
eISBN 9781784694951
ASIN B075RDSGBT
CTS Booklet D769



Over the last few years I have read over 150 books from the Catholic Truth Society. There have been many wonderful reads. And this was a volume is one of them. It is part history, and part novena. Originally published in Italian in 2013, the book was translated into English in 2014, and the eBook was released in 2017. I believe it is the only work by Miguel Cuartero Samperi available in English and it might be the only book he has written. You can easily read this volume from cover to cover in an afternoon. An, in fact, I read it in a single sitting, and am currently going back through and doing the novena. The description of the volume is:

“During his studies in Germany, Pope Francis encountered a local devotion centred on an image of Our Lady in the Church of St Peter in Augsburg. Many had come to pray with seemingly irresolvable family and marriage problems and had been helped. On his return to Argentina he set about spreading this devotion and its novena. This booklet gives a brief history of the devotion and the main prayers to Our Lady Untier of Knots.” 

There are 4 main sections in this volume:

Forward
History
Prayers to Our Lady Untier of Knots
The Novena

The forward begins with these words from Radolo Selvadagi Auxiliary Bishop of Rome:

“Praying to the Mother of the Lord is an essential part of the Catholic faith.

It is one of the first ways we learn to pray as children. The thousands of paintings and sculptures which depict the relationship between the child Jesus and his Mother inspire feelings of tender affection in the person who turns in trust to Mary, Mother of the Christian and Mother of the Church.”


And further along:

“Marian devotion has as many faces as there are images of Mary that the faithful venerate, whether in great shrines in parish churches, in small chapels, or even in alcoves at the corners of buildings in cities and towns.”

And that forward ends with these words:

“Also distinctive is the spiritual aspect of the devotion, vigorously highlighted by the then-Cardinal Bergoglio, who advised his flock to turn to Mary in order to gain a crystalline clarity in their faith in Jesus, free from such obstacles as frailty, fear, misery, selfishness that prevent us loving Jesus with a free, serene, and trusting spirit.”

It is it a wonderful devotion. And prayer. Even in my days when I was furthest from my Catholic faith, I often turned to Mary. We are told in the History chapter:

“The devotion to “Mary Untier of Knots” emerged in Germany at the beginning of the 17th century. Historical data is scarce, and not very detailed. Essentially it is a story not of a Marian apparition, but of the everyday life of a family that bears witness to the great effectiveness of prayer addressed to Mary, mediatrix of grace for mankind.”

The story of the ribbon becoming untied during a time of prayer is deeply moving. We are told:

“Often selfishness means man lives for himself alone, and this renders him incapable of opening up to another, in order to give himself completely to them. Hence the need for “moral miracles”. Christ, “our Peace,” makes forgiveness and full communion possible, by breaking down the wall of separation that is raised between people.”

And about the painting:

“The image of Mary intent on untying the knots cannot help but recall the expression of St Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (who died in the year 202). In his treatise Against the Heresies, St Irenaeus affirmed: “The knot of Eve’s disobedience found a solution through the obedience of Mary. That which Eve had bound by her incredulity, Mary untied by her faith” (Adv. Haer. 3, 22, 4; cf. CCC 494). We can speculate that the author of the painting was inspired by the words of the holy father of the Church, even if there is no evidence of a direct connection with the patristic text.”

We are reminded that we all have knots in our life. Knots we have tied and knows we have allowed the words and actions of others to tie for us. What this devotion does is helps us turn to our mother Mary, and ask her to help untie those knots in our lives. I think of the times my own children have come to me with a tangled yoyo string, a knotted necklace, or other instances. And their joy as I work out the knots one by one until the whole is unravelled. That is What Mary will do for us and in us.

“Mary untier of knots is therefore invoked above all for family problems: marital crises, incomprehension, infidelity, separations and divisions between spouses, problems of every kind with the children, disputes between siblings, risky pregnancies, violence in the family, illnesses, work problems and other kinds of difficult situations that, like small and large knots to be untied, make family life a cluster of tangles.”

Almost half of the book is the history of the devotion. There are a few pages of prayers and then the novena. The novena is done during a time of praying the rosary. You recite the first three decades of the Rosary do the meditation for the day and then the final 2 decades.

A wonderful little volume that I highly recommend.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.



For other books in the CTS Devotions Series click here.





Friday, 22 May 2020

Abby In Oz - Sarah Mlynowski - Whatever After Special Edition 2

Abby In Oz
Whatever After Book 13.5
Special Edition 2
Sarah Mlynowski
Scholastic
ISBN 
9780545746694
eISBN 9780545746700
ASIN B07NNSN254


Four years ago, when my oldest daughter, Abby, was a much more reluctant reader we began this series. As part of the family reading challenge she needs to read at least 20 minutes each day. When we began this series, I would read 2 pages for every page she read. Now she reads to me. And this book she read to be beginning to end over nine days. And She read to me while I worked out, killing two birds with one stone. Last summer while on a road trip with her Aunt and Nana she read them two of these books. And she read me the other special edition last fall. And this second Special Edition she has just finished reading to me.

We both really enjoy the whatever After books. As have other family members she has read them to.  This is the fifth that we have read together. And of all the Whatever After books this one is now my daughters favorite. She really liked that there was less focus on Jonah not being with Abby this time. She also appreciated the conflict between the friends, and how they had to all realize things in order to overcome it. She loved the final conflict with the witches, and is now using this story in her own bid to get a new puppy. 

Again after reading this story we also talked about what other books we would love to see Abby dropped into. Her top pick would be one of the Narnia books, specifically The Magician’s Nephew, or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I on the other hand thought immediately of the possibilities if Abby were to find herself and her friends in The Giver by Lois Lowry, or Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit. But I am getting ahead of myself, lets take a look at this specific book. My daughter also wondered about dropping Abby in the tv Series Once where things are already messed up. 

This second Whatever After Special Edition they are different than any of the other books for a number of reasons. First, Jonah and Abby do not go together into the story. Second, they do not get to the story via Mary Rose the magic mirror in their basement. In this one Abby and her friends get caught up in a tornado while in a tree house and are transported to Oz. What is similar is that they end up in a story. Then they mess the story up somehow and need to fix it to find their way out. But this time they need to not only find a way home themselves, they need to help Dorothy and Toto find a way home. They encounter many of the characters from the story, and one evil fairy who has a nasty plan and purpose, and Gluck is out to get them, especially Abby.

With the first Special Edition I mentioned I enjoyed it more than the source story. That was not the case this time, but it was still a great read. I really enjoy that my daughter who is now 13 still enjoys these books and is willing to read them to me. This is a great addition to the stories in the ‘Whatever After’ world. We both give it a very solid 5/5 Stars!

Books by Sarah Mlynowski:
Magic in Manhattan Series:

Bras & Broomsticks
Frogs & French Kisses
Spells & Sleeping Bags
Parties & Potions

Whatever After Series:

Fairest of All
If the Shoe Fits
Sink or Swim
Dream On
Bad Hair Day
Cold As Ice
Beauty Queen
Once Upon a Frog
Genie in a Bottle

Sugar and Spice
Two Peas in a Pod
Seeing Red
Spill the Beans


Whatever After Special Editions:
Abby in Wonderland
Abby in Oz


Upside-Down Magic Series:
Upside-Down Magic #1
Sticks and Stones #2
Showing Off #3

Other Books by Sarah:
Milkrun
Fishbowl
Monkey Business
As Seen on TV
Me Vs. Me
Gimme a Call
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Don't Even Think About It
Think Twice
Know It All
A Nice Fling is Hard to Find
A Little Bit Broken
Cruisin'
Party Girls
The Two-Month Itch

Books Coauthored:
See Jane Write (with Farrin Jacobs)
How to Be Bad (with E. Lockhart and Lauren Myracle)

Books Contributed To:
Girls' Night In
Girls Night Out
American Girls About Town
Fireworks
Vacations from Hell





Thursday, 21 May 2020

The Early Church From Christ to Constantine - Fr Anthony Meredith SJ - CTS Concise Histories

The Early Church From Christ to Constantine
CTS Concise Histories
Fr Anthony Meredith SJ
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860824203
CTS Booklet H506


This is the third volume I have read in the CTS Concise Histories series. I have enjoyed the few books I have read in this series. This volume could almost serve as an introduction for the first book in the new series Reclaiming Catholic History Series, The Early Church by James L. Papandrea. This book was a great little read. 

The chapters in this small volume are:

Introduction
The Pre Constantinian Church
Apologists for the Church
The Church in North Africa
The Church and Culture
Schism and Heresy
Conclusion

The description of the volume is:

“The growth of the Church in her first three hundred years was faster and stronger than can easily be accounted for on purely historical grounds. While Christianity offered a brighter hope to a weary world than rival religions, it demanded a drastic change of life: the courage of Christians under persecution and their care for the poor and widows were remarkable, but in the end Fr. Meredith attributes her remarkable vigour to her message about Jesus and the continuous guidance of the Holy Spirit.”

This book is a great resource. It is truly a concise volume. Coming in at 48 pages of text. The book does a great job of showing the mixed blessing of Constantine’s conversion and the change in the church from a persecuted minority to much bigger role. Fr Meredith has written a clear history. He presents both the growth of the church. The apostolic age, and the early heresies. 

This is a volume you can read on an afternoon over a large mug of tea. It is a great starting point or jumping off place. It is a wonderful read in an excellent series. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books in the CTS Concise Histories Series:
A Brief History of English Catholicism - Nicholas Schofield
Heresy through the Ages - Jerome Bertram
The Crusades What Really Happened - Jonathan Riley-Smith 
The Reformation in England – Raymond Edwards
The Inquisition – Fernando Cervantes
The Early Church From Christ to Constantine – Fr. Anthony Meredith SJ
The Dowry of Mary - Dr Raymond Edwards and Mgr John Armitage









Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Bat and the Waiting Game - Elana K. Arnold and Charles Santoso - Bat Book 2

Bat and the Waiting Game
A Boy Called Bat Book 2
Elana K. Arnold
Charles Santoso (Illustrator)
Walden Pond Press an imprint of
Harper Collins
ISBN 9780062445865

eISBN 9780062445872
ASIN B072HLS8TT


Last year my youngest child came home from school raving about the first book in this series, A Boy Called Bat. They had read it in the last week of school in grade 3, and it was an instant favorite. When she found out it was the first of a series, she was ecstatic, and wanted us to add it to our summer reading list. Last year we read book 1 and now we have finished book 2 and started book three. 

Bat, Bixby Alexander Tam is a little different than many other kinds. In fact, he goes to a different school than his sister, in order to have some extra help. In the first volume Bat’s mom came home with a baby skunk kit that was just born that day, Bat knows that they belong together. In that first volume Bat negotiated keeping the Kit until it was ready to be released. In that story he makes a close friend, Israel. 

In this story. Bat is getting more and more anxious. As the time is drawing near to having to say good-bye to Thor the skunk. After conflict with both Israel and his sister, Bat sneaks Thor into opening night of his sisters play. It was a big mistake. Soon Bat realized that he needs to make thinks up to both Israel and to his sister. But to pull it off he is going to need a lot of help. And he is just learning to ask for help when he needs it.

Bat continues to struggle; he sees the world in a very literal way. His interactions with others, even his family are often difficult and often overly blunt. But because of his interactions with the Kit, Bat’s edges had been softening a bit. 

This was another fun read. It helped my children understand a few of their classmates more. It does a great job representing the struggle some people have. And The illustrations are fun. All three of us give it a big thumbs up!

Our Ratings:
9 year old – 5/5 Stars
12 year old 4/5 Stars
50 year old 5/5 Stars

And we are looking forward to reading the next book in the series. And we hope that there will be more books to come!

Note: there are German editions of the book, translated by Sylke Hachmeister and illustrated by Maja Bohn.

Books by Elana K. Arnold:
Damsel
What Girls Are made of
Burning
Infandous
The Question of Miracles
Far from Fair
Red Hood
What Riley Wore
An Ordinary Day
The House That Wasn’t There
Starla Jean and Opal Egg


A Boy Called Bat Series:
A Boy Called Bat
Bat and the Waiting Game
Bat and the End of Everything


Sacred Series:
Sacred
Splendor