Saturday 28 April 2007

Meme 100 Books

Since this is predominantly a book blog I thought I would do this one. I grabbed it from the Lapped Catholic.

A List of Books: Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, cross out the ones you won’t touch with a 10 foot pole or would never recommend, turn blue the ones on your book shelf, and asterisk* the ones you’ve never heard of. (add a list of others by same authors you preferred to those on this list.)

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible (Over 15 different Translations both on shelf and read)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)

52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)?
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) (Both French and English)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Books Preferred:
Of Love and Other Demons (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
Space Trilogy (C.S. Lewis)
Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis)
The Eye's of Heisenberg (Frank Herbert)
The Green Brain (Frank Herbert)
Surfacing (Margaret Atwood)
What's Bred in the Bone (Robertson Davies)
Wind, Sand & Stars (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
Tigana (Guy Gavriel Kay)
Debt of Bones (Terry Goodkind - Illustrated Edition)
Stories from Watership Down (Richard Adams)
Tale of an Unknown Island (Jose Saramago)

I won't tag anyone but if you feel like doing this one, be my guest! Just leave a link to it in the comments so I can go take a look! (Now I do have many of the others in some format of ebook but the blue's are actual books on the shelf.)

Previous Posts:
BBC The Big Read - Top 200 Books
Meme 100 Books 2009-02-25
Meme 100 Books 2007-04-28

Wednesday 25 April 2007

Catholic Carnival 116

The Carnival is up at Cause of our Joy the theme this week is 'Pearls of Wisdom'! Check it out.

Check out the Catholic Carnival submission form complete with screenshots in this post: Submission form.

Or join the Google group to be made aware of call for submissions and when new Carnivals are up and where they are up.

The Catholic Carnival FAQ.

Monday 23 April 2007

Saints Meme

The assigned task is to list my four favorite saints, two favorite blesseds, and one person I think should have been a saint. Here goes.

1. Four Favorite Saints
St. Josemaria Escriva
St. Joseph
St. Patrick of Ireland
St. Bridget

2. Two Favorite Blessed

Bl. Damien the Leper (Damien of Molokai)
Bl. Pope John XXIII

One person I think should have been a saint. (How do you take this question, is it someone I wish was a saint but isnt and never will be named one, or someone I think should be a saint and is just not named one by the church yet.)
My wife for putting up with me?
My Grandmother?


Stephen Biko of South Africa?
Alfred Delph
Thomas Merton?
Henri Nouwen?

This is a very hard one to answer depending on how you read it.

I tend to personally go through phases with Saints, for the longest time it was St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori, then I went through a phase with St. Sebastin because he has the coolest iconography. And the statue of Saint Gaudens has always haunted me and I am not even sure which saint Gaundentis it is suppose to be or even if it is. Yet Mary and the Rosary devotion are always very high on my list, and others saints come and go depending on where I am at in life. I find with having become a father less than a year ago I now often ask St. Joseph to pray to help me become a better father and husband.

I tag Jim at Real Life Rosary, and the Men over at Thursday Night Gumbo and the collective Catholic-Dads.
(For a list of current Blesseds click here.)

Friday 20 April 2007

Most Visited Catholic Websites

I found this list a while ago and saved it. I had hopped to visit all the sites and write a bit about them but time keeps getting away from me. This is is supposedly the most visited Catholic Sites on the web. This list was compiled and taken from the second site on the list New Adevent.

1. The Holy See
2. New Advent
4. Catholic Exchange
6. ACI Digital
8. Catholic Online
9. Spirit Daily
10. Zenit News Agency
12. Centro Católico de Evangelización
13. Catholic Answers
14. (Mexico)
15. Catholic Community Forum
16. Opus Dei
17. American Catholic
18. Amy Welborn's Open Book
19. Christus Rex
20. Conférence des évêques de France
21. Catholic World News
22. Jimmy Akin
23. The Catholic Company
24. Catholic Culture
25. Catholic Singles

Enjoy your browsing.

Tuesday 17 April 2007

Catholic Carnival 115

The Carnival is up at To Jesus Through Mary!
Check it out.

Check out the Catholic Carnival submission form complete with screenshots in this post: Submission form.

Or join the Google group to be made aware of call for submissions and when new Carnivals are up and where they are up.

The Catholic Carnival FAQ.

Friday 13 April 2007

Meme Booked by 3 April - 3 Characters

Booked by 3: April From Shelly's BookShelf

In Character

Name up to 3 characters:

1. You wish were real so you could meet them.
  • Meg Murry-O'Keefe - Madeleine L'Engle's writings.
  • Vlad Taltos - Steven Brust's novels.
  • Dr. Ransom - C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy
2. You would like to be.
  • Jacob the Baker - Noah benShea
  • G'kar - Babylon 5 Novels
  • Michael Garibaldi - Babylon 5 Novels
3. That scare you.
  • Dr. Hannibal Lecter

Wednesday 11 April 2007

Bleg prayer request!

Please Be praying for my friends Grand and Janet. Read their post below and see if your hear does not break.


Please be praying for them!

The Carioni's Adopt: You've got to be kidding me?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday 10 April 2007

Catholic Carnival 114

This week's Catholic Carnival is now live:

at Profound Gratitude.

Hosted by Shellie at Profound Gratitude!

Check out the Catholic Carnival submission form complete with screenshots in this post: Submission form.

Or join the Google group to be made aware of call for submissions and when new Carnivals are up and where they are up.

The Catholic Carnival FAQ.

Friday 6 April 2007

The Best Things In Life by: Peter Kreeft

The Best Things In Life: A Contemporary Socrates Looks at Power, Pleasure, Truth & the Good Life
Peter Kreeft
IVP Books
ISBN 0977849226

Peter Kreeft is known for writing in the dialectic style. Though Kreeft is famous for using this style, he does not pull it off in this book as well as he does in some of his other books. This book is written as a dialogue or series of dialogues between Socrates and two University students. ‘Peter Pragma’ and ‘Felicia Flake’ both of whom have 6 discussions with Socrates on different subjects.

That is just the beginning; the names are all puns in the book, as we have seen from our two main protagonists(Peter and Felicia). The puns continue through all the professors and personalities encountered. The president of Desperate State University is “Fudge Factor” and is as inept as his name implies. We also meet “Marigold Measurer”, the scientist who is addicted to data but without really understanding its purpose or use. Felicia has some mentors in her life - “Pop Syke” who is the guru of pop psychology, and “Karl”, the communist who is brother to “Adam”, the Capitalist.

Having read a number of Kreeft’s other books, this one was a bit of a letdown. The puns with the names got to be so trying and tiring that it was hard to finish the book. The same information could have been conveyed in conventional prose, with half the words. The dialogue grew boring and irritating. I just wanted the meat from this book and had to go through a lot of bone and grist to get to it.

The book has a lot to offer in the examination of why someone does what he does, and to help one live a more examined life. But the book often does it in a very long, roundabout way.

I never like to give a book a bad review, and often go back and read a book a second time before I will do so. This book, though hard to get through the first time, was more than worth it the second time. It teaches you the basics of philosophy, the Socratic method, as well as the Oxford method, for having an argument or discussion.

Much like some of his other writings - for example, Between Heaven and Hell and Making Sense out of Suffering - this book is one I will return to and re-read many times during my lifetime. So even if it seems cheesy and trite at first, I encourage you to persevere. It will be well worth the effort.
(First Published in Across the Creek 2007-04-02 "Book Look' Book Review column.)

Other Kreeft Reviews:
Socrates Meets Jesus
The Sea Within
Handbook of Christian Apologetics
Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics
The Journey
The Unaborted Socrates
The Best Things In Life
Between Heaven Hell
Doors in the Walls of the World
Catholic Christianity

Thursday 5 April 2007

Catholic Carnival 113

The Carnival is up at Living Catholicism!
Check it out.

Check out the Catholic Carnival submission form complete with screenshots in this post: Submission form.

Or join the Google group to be made aware of call for submissions and when new Carnivals are up and where they are up.

The Catholic Carnival FAQ.

Wednesday 4 April 2007

Amistad - DVD Review

Steven Spielberg

ASIN: 0783231202

Amistad is a true story about an 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship that is traveling towards North America. It is a story in the period when new slaves were illegal, but trading in slaves that were already slaves, was allowed. With a powerful all-star cast including Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins and Matthew McConaughey, it is a story that will grip your heart and move your spirit. Much of the story takes place in a courtroom drama about the free-man who led the revolt, and deals with questions of freedom, humanity and dignity.

The movie, though slow moving, is intense, and the drama builds as many groups claim the slaves as their property. This story is truly gripping and a story of extreme importance in understanding our own history. This lesser-known Spielberg film is truly a must see.

Tuesday 3 April 2007

The Mission - Roland Joffe - DVD Review

The Mission
Roland Joffe

This is a true story and it is a very sad one in the history of the west and of the church. Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson and many more take us through the history of slavers in South America. Irons, who plays a Spanish Jesuit Priest, goes into the wilderness to build a mission, to convert the Indians. DeNiro plays a slaver who eventually joins Irons' mission and serves the native peoples.

The main question in this film is that of ownership, and the right to make slaves. The mission begins in Spanish territory that is sold to the Portuguese. The Portuguese do not want to accept that the natives are humans - but at best trained monkeys - and that their Christianity does not protect them from becoming slaves. The Cardinal who came to oversee the decision came with a decision already made, and his inner turmoil, as the narrator, draws the viewer into the political side of the decision and the political side of the church's role in the decision, at that time, in a way that few other films ever have.

The film is a cinematographic masterpiece. While watching the movie, pay close attention to light and darkness, the music, and the angles used in filming. This movie is great and a must see because of the story it tells and the way it tells it. It is truly a film and not just a movie.

Monday 2 April 2007

Dead Man Walking by: Sr. Helen Prejean

Dead Man Walking
Sr. Helen Prejean - Book

ISBN13: 9780679751311
Tim Robbins - Movie

This is both a book and a movie that you need to interact with. Particularly in a day and age when there is a movement here in Canada to try to bring the death penalty back. The book is much more in depth than the movie. The book profiles the first three men that Sr. Prejean goes to the death chamber with as Spiritual
Director. It profiles her mistakes as she journeys down this path for the first few times. She witnessed her first execution on April 5th, 1984 and she has been advocating against the death penalty since then.

The book does a great job of showing the disparity in how the
death penalty is applied. It goes through the studies on its lack of effectiveness, and how for the most part, it is the poor and the African-American who are on death row. Even if you only read the appendices, the book will challenge you to view the death penalty in a different way.

The movie was the inspiration and starred Susan Sarandon. Sarandon was given the book while on a personal retreat at a monastery; she came home and gave the book to her partner, Tim Robbins, who directed the film. Together they approached Sr. Prejean, who went out and rented Bull Durham. She was a little leery of having them do the film, but after meeting with them went ahead with the project.

The film co-stars Sean Penn as Matthew Poncelet, a compilation of the 3 men in the book. The movie, while slow moving, is incredibly intense and draws you into the drama of waiting for a death when you know the date and time of that approaching death.

As an interesting aside, another good book is Forgiving the Dead Man Walking by Debbie Morris, who was one of the victims of Robert Lee Willie from the book. Debbie always said if they ever made a movie, Penn would have to play Willie because they looked so much alike.

So read the book and watch the movie, and if you want yet another challenging book, give Forgiving the Dead Man Walking a read also.

Sunday 1 April 2007

Holy Week Reflections - Palm Sunday

It is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy week. That has me reflecting back on my goals for Lent and my article on 'Lenten Preparation'. It has been a very different Lent than I expected. I did not actually finish any of the books I had hoped to read. I did get a fair bit of reading done while on retreat but I focused on books from the retreat house's library that I do not own, rather than what I took with me.

I know that Lent is just the beginning of the Easter season and that there are the weeks of Eastertide ahead of us in the liturgical year. The six weeks following Easter are also part of this season. Yet my failures to stick to my commitments through Lent have cast a shadow on the celebrations and the sorrows we commemorate this week.

I did not pray the way of the cross or the Stations of the Cross each day. I did not read all the books I wanted to read. I have not even done that well on my new year's resolutions. But Easter is also a time of renewal, a time of hope, and a time of joy. So I need to let go, and move forward. I need to embrace the Easter season and its true meaning and start over again.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:6 "I am come that you might have life and have it more abundantly." Embracing the Easter message is the beginning of the abundant life!
Those are my reflections on Lenten goals and their outcomes as we approach the sorrows and celebrations of Holy Week and Easter.

Peace and Strength!
Yours, learning to be
Steven R. McEvoy

"The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it."
- Leo Rosten

"Among all the aims of our lives, there is only one which is truly necessary: it is to reach the goal which God has set for us; to attain to heaven, by living our own individual vocation to the full. In order to achieve this we have to be ready to lose everything else, to clear away anything which would obstruct our way. Everything must be a means for reaching God, and if anything whatever proves not to be a means but an obstacle, then we must put it right or give it up in sacrifice."
-Francis Fernandez
-In Conversation With God Vol #1 p.121

(Photo Courtesy Gerald Augustinus with permission from the blog The Cafeteria is Closed!)