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Showing posts from August, 2011

Review: The Breath of God

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Jeffrey Small's debut novel, The Breath of God, was heralded as a "novel of suspense" and likened to the work of popular novelist Dan Brown.  I was very excited and couldn't wait to crack the spine.  Once I got in, however, I found a far different book than I anticipated — and not as enjoyable.

Grant Matthews encounters a 2,000-year-old text that reveals what Jesus Christ did during his two decades of action accounted for in the Holy Bible.  Before he can unpack his bags, a Southern preacher with ambition decides to debunk Matthews' prematurely and unintentionally published revelations.  However, technology fails him and he must travel east again to find the original documents, following Kinley and the surreptitious clues he leaves with a few different people around the world.  Only he's not alone, and this self-proclaimed "servant of God" will stop at nothing to protect his religion — and his church.

Of course, Small threw in a brilliant teacher; …

All Hallow's Read: Are You In?

I really like Neil Gaiman.  Not only is he a great author (American GodsNeverwhereStardust, to mention a few),  he comes up with other good ideas, too — like All Hallow's Read.
Instead of giving out candy on Halloween, Gaiman suggested giving out scary books, and encouraging people to read.
How quickly can I say, "I'm in!"?
Now, to be fair, it's not going to be easy.  There are plenty of people who don't like Halloween, or who associate the wrong spirit with it.  Plus — perish the thought — some people don't like scary books or stories.  (I know, crazy, but they're out there.)
So, how will I encourage it in my new neighborhood?
First of all, I won't go cold turkey on the candy.  I'd hate to be known as "that house that doesn't give out candy."  I certainly don't want to get mixed up with the house that gives out toothbrushes, or political pamphlets.  (Darn the American election system for putting elections so close to Ha…

Review: Sarah's Key

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The past is never far from the future, especially in Tatiana de Rosnay's haunting novel, Sarah's Key.  The lives of two strong, compelling characters weave together an unforgettable story of chance, courage, pain and French history.

But first, a public service announcement: marketers need to stop referring to books of this ilk, including The Kite Runner and other beautiful, poignant and disturbing books as "beloved" — or they should be fired on the spot.  Winnie-the-Pooh is beloved.  The Eyre Affair is beloved.  This novel is many things, but certainly not "beloved."  Readers will resent being played like that and will stop reading books plied in such a stunningly deceitful way.

Thank you.  We now return to our regular programming.

In the summer of 1942, the Vichy government cooperated with the Germans to deal with the "Jewish problem."  French police and French soldiers rounded up many of the Jews of Paris and corralled them in the VĂ©lodrome d…