The start of another school year has really thrown a wrench into the works. Looking back, it appears I’ve written mainly about burgers and what happened in a given week without many of the random daily posts I used to do. Ah well, the blog is visual evidence of the ebb and flow of my own life, then. Since it’s also been some time since I reviewed any books, I thought I’d do that today. So, without any further ado, here we go:
- Renegade byAndrea Grosso Ciponte – This graphic novel biography of Martin Luther is an English translation of an earlier Italian work (2015), published in the United States by Plough Publishing just in time for the 500th anniversary of the 95 Theses. As I’m currently in the process of submitting a professional review of this book, I’ll say no more other than to give it 4 stars.
- The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan – The conclusion to the Strain trilogy is my favorite installment by far. The Master is victorious; it is only a matter of time before he or his lieutenants wipe out all resistance. Humanity has fallen into routine, with some siding with the Master for personal gain and profit. At times, the obvious Nazi imagery is a bit heavy-handed, but when considered as part of the entire mythos it makes sense. I liked the ending because it was the logical conclusion to the story, albeit one not many readers might enjoy. This was one reason I stopped watching the TV series; a twist early in Season 2 made the written ending impossible. 4 stars.
- Wars of the Roses by Dan Jones – I enjoyed this English history much more than I did The Plantagenets. Jones wrote an epic account of love, hate, ambition, weakness, and revenge – all leading to the ruin of one of the most powerful families in English history and the rise of an improbable king in Henry VII. Coincidentally, I finished the book the day before the anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth Field. When I tweeted this fact, Jones himself liked it. Huzzah! (And Henry VII will never be my monarch, the illegitimate usurper!)
- The Essential Hamilton: Letters & Other Writings by Alexander Hamilton, Joanne Freeman (editor) – I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of en educator promotion. I enjoyed reading Hamilton in his own words, though it did not change my opinion of him as an individual. One can only wonder what he would have accomplished had he not been such a jerk so as to get himself killed. I give Hamilton’s ideas 4 stars, Hamilton the man 2 stars, and this book 4 stars.
- Surfing with Sartre: An Aquatic Inquiry Into a Life of Meaning by Aaron James – I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway. I know nothing about surfing, and just enough about Sartre to be dangerous. I read this book over the Labor Day weekend, and found it a pleasant read. There were bits that seemed a bit dull or overly simplistic, such as the section on Nature, but overall I found it enjoyable. I did find myself disagreeing with the title, for though Sartre does make the majority of appearances, James brings in many other philosophers as well, particularly Wittgenstein. However, Surfing with Sartre rolls off the tongue, whereas Surfing the Existentialist Wave does not. 4 stars.
- The Art of Death by Edwidge Danticat – This book is less morbid than you might be led to believe. Danticat tells her own story of working through her mother’s death, and how that death has influenced her writing. In so doing, she also discusses how authors write death, and how society as a whole reacts. It is both a literary and philosophical journey, and I couldn’t help but think of Terry Pratchett’s DEATH while reading. 5 stars.
- The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide by Terry Pratchett – I found this book in the bargain bin of a local bookseller for $5; can you believe it?! The “Big Wahoonie” is brought to life in this travel guide, giving the traveler must-know information before visiting the most famous city on the Disc. I especially enjoyed the large removable map (which I may end up framing). I docked the book one star for its design: the cardboard dust jacket does not appear to actually fit the book; only one cover can be inserted at a time, though there are pockets for both. 4 stars.
I was told years ago by an online acquaintance to read Pratchett and I never did. Maybe I am missing something! As for Hamilton I am not certain how I feel about him yet. I feel similarly about his death, though sometimes a man had to do what he had to do in that culture. I’m not sure.
Up to now my favourite book on death, if one might have one, has been A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis. I’ll add this one to my list.
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Ditto to A Grief Observed 🙂
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