Sunday, January 22, 2017

Socrates Meets Kierkegaard by Peter Kreeft

One of the many "Socrates Meets X" books written by Kreeft. These books are quick reads and offer some good insights into the thinker under question. This book is essentially a commentary on Kierkegaard Philosophical Fragments.

Fancying myself passably educated in things Kierkegaard, I didn't always agree with Kraft's interpretation of him. But I did get a different perspective on Kierkegaard and for that reason the book is a valuable read.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson

Fascinating story of the hunt for the wreck of a 17th century pirate ship, the rarest of finds among modern treasure hunters. Listened to while running

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Elijah in Jerusalem by Michael D. O'Brien

The sequel to O'Brien's Father Elijah. A much shorter book than the first and not as action-packed, the theme of the book being Elijah's witness to the truth in Jerusalem. In this book Elijah's task is not so much to convert the Antichrist as to bear witness against him. The story is essentially Elijah's attempt to confront the Man of Sin, and his encounter with and witness to various people along the way. A worthy successor to the excellent Father Elijah.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly

I listened to this book from Audible while running. It's the latest in a long series featuring the detective Harry Bosch, an old-school hardboiled cop/private eye. This one has Harry hired by a wealthy man to discover whether or not he has an heir. An excellent story, I'll read more in this series.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture by Michael D. O'Brien

I've been a longtime opponent of the Harry Potter series, since the time I first read them many years ago to discover if they were appropriate for my children. Michael D. O'Brien's book, written in 2010, presents an insightful criticism of Potter world as well as a critique of contemporary fantasy in general.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Father Elijah by Michael D. O'Brien

Father Elijah is a book I read back in the 90's and, for some reason, had a hankering to read again. I'm glad I did. It's an apocalyptic thriller, but very different from what you might expect given that description. There are no car chases or explosions, and the pacing is far more measured than is typical in contemporary fiction. It is apocalyptic in the authentic Biblical sense, an icon of the final battle between good and evil.

O'Brien's religious understanding is orthodox and profound. Since Christ has already won the battle for us in his Life, Death and Resurrection, the apocalypse is not really about defeating evil but saving souls. Thus the Father Elijah of the book's title is not sent by the Pope to destroy the Antichrist but rather to attempt to save the soul of the man who might be the Antichrist (the President of Europe), since as long as a man is alive his salvation is always possible. On the other hand, the forces of evil would like nothing better than to corrupt Father Elijah and claim him as a casualty; the drama of the book is then Father Elijah's journey into the heart of darkness on a quest to save the President while maintaining his own faith in the face of temptation and horror.

The measure of this book is that reading it is itself a spiritual experience and an education in the true nature of the war we are fighting.

The Great Good Thing by Andrew Klavan

I haven't been keeping up with this reading log for some time now, but I'm getting back into it.

The Great Good Thing is a sort of "spiritual autobiography", telling the story of Klavan's conversion from secular Jew to Christian. Key to his conversion is what can be called the education of the imagination through literature, something Chesterton wrote about - and GKC does get a mention in this work. A worthwhile read.