Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

60. “Plaguemaker,” Tim Downs

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment

FBI agent Donovan must work with a mysterious British informant to stop a bioterrorism event of unprecedented scale from occurring during the New York City Fourth of July fireworks.

This isn’t the sort of book I usually read. I was sort of embarrassed whenever a co-worker asked what I was reading– and they did it a lot more than usual with this book. And then they wanted to talk about it. And I just wanted to read my book, not speak to them, and not feel like I had to defend the fact that I was reading fluff.

As far as fluff goes, this was pretty decent. There’s a fair mix of science, and the Christian elements (which earned it a full page of reviews from sites like were important to the plot but not too preachy. I’m reading another Tim Downs book now.

I’d say it’s a B-/C+. Better than average, but not my usual taste. If you like this sort of book– thriller with a “ripped from the headlines” premise, you’ll likely rate it higher.

Page count: 391
Page total: 16,489


36. “My Jesus Year,” Benyamin Cohen

June 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Benyamin Cohen, the son of an Orthodox rabbi, begins to doubt the faith he was born into and wonders how Christianity manages to be so appealing. He under-takes a year-long pilgrimage to various Christian churches trying to understand why Christianity feels vibrant, main-stream, and personal while Judiasm feels staid, unusual, and isolating.

As one might expect, it ends happily, with Cohen gaining useful insights into his own religion through the Christians he speaks to and approaches Judaism with new enthusiasm.

This book, incidentally, ushers in a new tag, don’t judge a book by its cover, for books that utterly fail to live up to the expectations created by their marketing. The book was a fast an fairly enjoyable read, but “hilarious” it was not.

Page count: 252
Page total: 9,004
Call number: F294.A89J525 2008

22. “Slaughter-House Five”, Kurt Vonnegut

March 10, 2009 Leave a comment

I really love this book though, as with anything by Kurt Vonnegut, you end up sounding like an idiot when you try to explain to people why you are clutching it to your bosom. “Well, it’s a fictional account of Kurt Vonnegut’s experiences in World War II when he was a prisoner of war. He was in Dresden when it was firebombed and was one of very few people to make it out alive. [They nod empathetically.] So, Vonnegut decides to write about his experiences in the war and focuses on a soldier he knew, Billy Pilgrim, who hascomeunstuckintime and keepsexperiencinglifeeventsoutoforder and forawhilethere,heisanexhibitinanalienzoo. And there is this lovely phrase the Vonnegut uses whenever the talks about someone dying. It’s just ‘so it goes’, because theTramfaldorianscanseeintothefourthdimension and believe that when a person is dead, they are merely in a bad state right then, but are okay in many other moments.”

Oh Vonnegut. You can make a fool out of me any day.

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