Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Song of Songs

by Christopher W. Mitchell

It's been a while since I've been content to do my daily Bible reading and call it good. Instead I also have to read books about the Bible, books on Christian history, and an occasional bit of (good) religious fiction. Not to mention literary forays into the writings of and about other religions as well. I am, I admit, a theology geek. But I've got nothing on the Reverend Doctor Christopher Mitchell. Rev. Mitchell has taken the eight chapters of the Song or Songs (aka Song of Solomon, aka Canticles) and written a 1,289 page, monster commentary on the book. It seems like he pulls apart each verse (not just the sexy ones), examining them for knowledge, wisdom, and, of course, Christ. I can honestly say that I both want this book on my shelf and hope to never have to read the entire volume again. If you're looking for insight on the Song of Songs, definitely snag a copy of this commentary.

LibraryThing link

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Friday, March 23, 2018

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

I hate it when I fall behind in by book reviews. Sometimes I'm able to recall the book and my reactions to it. But it's more likely that I stare at the cover and my blank screen and wonder what I can write beyond "On my shelf." So anyway, almost two months ago I read this slim volume, the tale of an inmate in a Soviet labor camp. Many words have been written about this classic. Me, all I can think to say is that Mr. Solzhenitsyn does an amazing job of creating an entire word in his tale. He also fills it with a variety of characters--some very human characters in a dehumanizing situation. I also appreciated that he didn't go for drama, trying to recount some horrid tragedy to illustrate the injustice of that Soviet system, but rather let the quiet pain of day's events speak for itself.

LibraryThing link


Friday, March 16, 2018

Called to Controversy

by Ruth Rosen

This one's a missionary biography--the life story of Moishe Rosen, the founder of Jews for Jesus. The standard plotline for a missionary tale is the missionary feels the call from God, gets an education, heads out to a foreign land, struggles to adapt to life in an alien culture and to connect with people, and finally makes a difference amongst the people he or she went overseas to serve. Moishe Rosen's biography follows a similar line, but is a bit inverted. The conversion story--his own--comes first. The "culture shock" hits when Moishe goes off to Bible school in New Jersey to live and study amongst the Baptist gentiles. His life story is an enjoyable journey and an interesting peek into the functioning of ministry and evangelism from the 1950s through the 1990s.

Check it out
LibraryThing link


Tuesday, March 06, 2018

The Ivanhoe Gambit

by Simon Hawke

Last read in September of 2011.

Still on my shelf
LibraryThing link

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Thursday, March 01, 2018

Humbug, Volume I

by Harvey Kurtzman, et al

Like many of my peers, part of my childhood journey included hours reading Mad magazine. Over the years, as I would read different issues and paperback collections, I began to learn about the magazine's history--how it started out as a comic book back in the 50s. Occasionally I would come across a reprint of a story from that era. They seemed to be wilder than the parodies of the 70s, and I always enjoyed reading them.

I never have got around to reading a collection of the old Mad comics, but I did pick up this collection of Humbug magazine, a 1957 endeavor by Mad alumni Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Jack Davis, Al Jaffe, and Arnold Roth. The contents varied from mildly amusing to that old Kurtzman/Elder/Davis craziness. But for the most part, I enjoyed the collection mostly as a funny slice of nostalgia. I appreciated the jokes, but didn't connect with them the same way I would with humor from my own era.

'Tis excellent waiting room material
LibraryThing link


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