-->

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books First Quarter 2019

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books First Quarter 2019

This quarter I have read 123 books. Of those 123 a total of 53 books received 5/5 stars and are first time reads and are therefor eligible for this quarters top ten list. That left me with 15 to choose from for the fiction and 30 for the non-fiction. For a few of the selections I have picked series. I could just not narrow it down to 10 books.

Here is my top ten fiction and non-fiction books of the first quarter of 2019. 

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books:
1. Called by Name: Twelve Guideline Meditations for Diocesan Priests - Michael E. Giesler
2. Illustrissimi: The Letters Of Pope John Paul I - Albino Luciani - Pope John Paul I
3. Life Lessons Fifty Things I Learned in My First Fifty Years - Patrick Madrid 
4. The Lamb Will Conquer: Reflections on the Knock Apparition - Nigel Woollen 
5. Remember Your Death Memento Mori - Theresa Aletheia Noble
6. Devotions to St Thomas Becket - John S. Hogan
7. Christian Shrines Series - Catholic Truth Society
8. Understanding the Diaconate: Historical, Theological, and Sociological Foundations - W. Shawn McKnight
9. Saints of the Isles Series - Catholic Truth Society
10. Be Saints! An Invitation from Pope Benedict XVI - Amy Welborn and Ann Kissane Engelhart

Top Ten Fiction Books:
1. Tortured Soul - Theresa Linden 
2. With Two Eyes Into Gehenna - Jane Lebak
3. Dragon Assassin - Arthur Slade
4. No Middle Name - Lee Child - Jack Reacher 21.5
5. Seven Angels Short Story Bundle - Jane Lebak - Seven Archangels Short Stories
6. I Am God's Storyteller - Lisa M. Hendey and Eric Carlson 
7. The Friendship War - Andrew Clements 
8. The Adventures of Lee and Bucky - Jane Lebak
9. Toward the Gleam - T.M. Doran 
10. Relic of His Heart - Jane Lebak

This quarter has been my most prodigious in reading since I started keeping track. Some of that is attributed to lifestyle changes. I now commute to work on a bus and read on the bus every day. A few years ago, I removed all games from my phone and tablet, except for a brain training game. And over the last six months or so I have been reading far more non-fiction again than fiction. And many i find hard to put down.


Note: I did not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they were in the bonus section. As stated it was no easy task making this quarter. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list. This post is going up early because of the end of the quarter falling during holy week.


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2019 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

143 - January-March 2019
359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996




Friday, 29 March 2019

Jack Reacher’s Rules - Lee Child

Jack Reacher’s Rules
A Jack Reacher Book
Val Hudson (Compiled) 
Lee Child
Penguin Random House Canada
ISBN 9780345544292
eISBN 9780345544308
ASIN B008ZPG7RW


I have been on a bit of a Reacher kick, 6 books in 3 weeks and already working on the next. I love lists and I love rules. And this book is both. It is sort of a tough guy version of Life's Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. it is what I hope will someday come to print from NCIS in a collection of Gibb’s Rules. But it does not matter if like me, you like lists or rules, if you enjoy the Reacher books or movies this is a fun volume to pick up and read. This book was compiled by Val Hudson and has a wonderful introduction by Lee Child. 

The sections and chapters in this volume are:
Introduction by LEE CHILD
Be Prepared
Breaking and Entering
Choose Your Weapons
The United States Army Military Police
The Rules of Coffee
Conquer Your Fear
Confronting Death
Cracking Codes and Passwords
Dogs
Fighting
Fighting Tips
Food
First Aid
Getting Mad
Hand-to-Hand Combat
How to Shake Hands
The Wimbledon Cup
Hitchhiking—the Rules
How to Extract Information
Know How to Find Your Way Around a City
West Point
Keep on the Move
Codes Used by the Military Police
Lessons Learned in the Military
Live off the Grid
Hogan’s Alley
On Walking Through a Thirty-Inch Doorway
How to Tell if They’re Lying
Learn to Read Their Body Language
Man Walks into a Bar—the Rules
A Medley of Military Acronyms
Respect Your Opponent
Noticing Stuff
The Twelve Signs of a Suicide Bomber
The U.S. Army Military Police Code of Ethics
Reacher’s Moral Code
Military Police Training
How to Open a Locked Iron Gate with a Chrysler
The Science of … The Perfect Shot
Personal Grooming
The Pentagon
Why It’s Not Smart to Have a Phone
Potential Aliases for Use When Booking a Motel
Use Your Wits—Psychology
Miranda
The Science of … Burning Down a Building
Sleep
Knowing the Time
Travel Light
What to Do in the Face of:
When to Speak
Blind Blake
How to Win the Battle
How to Win the War
Man’s Toys
Women
How to Sleep in a $350-a-Night Hotel Room for $50
How to Leave Town

At the end of the introduction Lee Child states:

“Jack Reacher has always followed his own rules. He grew up in a fractured way, six months here, three months there, always moving, never stable, never belonging. Then he was a soldier, but too wise to buy into all the nonsense. He obeyed only the rules that made sense to him. Then he was cut loose and became a true outsider, profoundly comfortable with solitude. Does he have a tribe? You bet. He’s human. But in his case he kept on slicing and dicing until he got all the way down to a tribe with just one member—himself. But that tribe still needs rules, to guide, and embolden, and simplify, and reassure.

What follows are some of them.”

And that is exactly what we get in this volume. Not having read the majority of the Reacher canon of work There was a lot in this book that was unfamiliar. But there were several I recognised immediately. I cannot classify myself as a Reacher aficionado, but I am working on it. I have set the goal of reading the entire Reacher collection this year. And this book sparked even greater interest in completing that goal. 

Many of the pieces of advice are sage wisdom that can be applied in any career or area of life. A few Examples from the first chapter are:

“Optimism is good. Blind faith is not.”

“Most guys who don’t check new equipment are still alive, but by no means all of them.”

“Hope for the best, plan for the worst.”

“The less I relax, the luckier I get.”

This is a fun read. Some of the advice you can apply directly, some will need translation. And some will not apply at all. But no matter who you are if you enjoy the Reacher books or movies you should give this volume a read. 

Books by Lee Child:
Jack Reacher Books Publishing Order:

Killing Floor
Die Trying
Tripwire
The Visitor /Running Blind
Echo Burning
Without Fail
Persuader
The Enemy
One Shot
The Hard Way
Bad Luck and Trouble
Nothing to Lose
Gone Tomorrow
61 Hours
Worth Dying For
He Affair
A Wanted Man
Never go Back
Personal
Make Me
Night School
The Midnight Line
Past Tense
Blue Moon

...
Jack Reacher's Rules
...
Reacher Short Stories and Novella’s:
No Middle Name – Complete Collected Short Stories

Stories in No Middle Name Collection:
Too Much Time
Second Son
Deep Down
Guy Walks into A Bar
James Penney’s New Identity
High Heat
Everyone Talks
Not A Drill
Small Wars
Maybe They Have A Tradition

No Room At The Motel
The Picture of the Lonely Diner


Other Short Stories:
Good and Valuable Consideration
The Fourth Man
The Christmas Scorpion
...
Faking a Murderer with Kathy Reichs
...




Thursday, 28 March 2019

John Southworth - Michael Archer - CTS Saints of the Isles Series

John Southworth:
Priest and Martyr
CTS Saints of the Isles Series
Michael Archer
Catholic Truth Society

ISBN 9781860826689
eISBN 9781784693800
ASIN B073GZWCJQ
CTS Booklet B730


This is the third book in the Saints of the Isles series from the Catholic Truth Society that I have read. And I have read 60 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society in the last year. I have encountered many great books and many excellent series. And I love this series focused on the Saints of the Isles. It has been fascinating and inspiring to read about the Saints and Martyrs of the British Isles. There have been 13 titles in this series to date. Three of the 13 are available as physical books and are still in print, and I believe 7 are available as eBooks. The more I read about the saints, martyrs and faithful Catholics from the Isles, the more I appreciate my own spiritual heritage. And looking at the political environment in both Europe and North America, the more I pray for the future. Prior to reading this volume I am not sure I had encountered the name of Saint John Southworth other than in passing or in conjunction with the English Martyrs as a group. This volume 

The chapters in this book are:
Poor Persecuted Catholics
Douay 1613 - 1619
London 1619 - 1624
Lancaster 1625 - 1630
London 1630 - 1635
Plague-stricken Westminster 1636 - 1640
Old Bailey 1640 - 1654
Tyburn 28th June 1654
Return to Douay - 1655
Return to Westminster - 1930
Prayers

The book ends with two prayers a Prayer for England and a wonderful prayer to Saint John Southworth:

Almighty God,
You made your Church grow
through the missionary zeal and apostolic work
of Saint John Southworth.
By the help of his prayers
give your Church continued growth
and an increase among its people
of holiness and faith.
We make this prayer
through our Lord
Jesus Christ your Son
who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit,
one God
for ever and ever.
Amen. 

This is a family simple prayer, but one that really spoke to me. I created an email reminder to pray this prayer every evening after praying the Angelus

This book begins with these words:

“The England into which John Southworth was born in the year 1592, in the county of Lancashire, during the reign of Elizabeth I, was a land where the Catholic faith was under constant attack. In 1558 the Catholic bishops of the Catholic Queen Mary’s reign were deposed and replaced by Protestant bishops. Parliament with The Act of Supremacy in 1559 made it High Treason to maintain the Pope’s authority, and imposed an oath acknowledging the Queen as Supreme Governor in all spiritual or ecclesiastical things as well as temporal.”

Growing us as an Irish Catholic, I was always taught about the British persecution of the Irish. I am now learning so much about the persecution of British Catholics. There are parts of this history that are not easy to read. And The specific case of father John Southworth includes some of the most tragic events. But I really believe it is important that we are reading about these events. First, we will know our own history better, second we will be inspired and challenged, and third we can be vigilant in prayer going forward into the future. Events like those in this book are happening right now in many places in the world. And Saints like John Southworth, can serve to remind us of the value of standing up for the gospel, and being willing to follow where God leads. 

This is a great book in a very important series. The Catholic Truth Society is currently one of my favorite Catholic publishers. There are so many excellent books and series. And I give this book and the Saints of the Isles series my highest recommendation. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books in the Saints of the Isles Series:

Edmund Arrowsmith - John S. Hogan 
Margaret Clitherow - Jean Olwen Maynard
Edmund Campion - Alexander Haydon
John Southworth Priest and Martyr - Michael Archer
Saint Thomas More - Alvaro de Silva
John Ogilvie - Eleanor McDowell
Frances Taylor - Eithne Leonard
Mary Potter - Elizabeth Gilroy
John Fisher - Richard L. Smith 
Robert Southwell - Fiorella Sultana De Maria
Ignatius Spencer - Fr. Ben Lodge
Sr Elizabeth Prout - Dominic Savio Hamer 
Forty Martyrs of England and Wales - James Walsh
...







Wednesday, 27 March 2019

The Friendship War - Andrew Clements

The Friendship War
Andrew Clements
Random House
ISBN 9780399557590
eISBN 9780399557613
ASIN B07DSZDNRT


A few years ago I read 17 books by Andrew Clements. All were good reads, many were excellent reads. This book is the 18th book by Clements that I have given a read, and it is one of the best! Once I got reading this book, I could not put it down. It is an excellent story about friendship, about fads, and about forgiveness. Andrew Clements writes amazing Middle grade fiction. His stories are fun, entertaining and great for starting discussions. I have yet to read a book by Clements I have not thoroughly enjoyed, or that I did not look forward to rereading with my children.

In this story Grace and Ellie have been best friends since second grade. And Grace has always felt a little like Ellie’s side kick. But at the beginning of the sixth-grade things change. Grace realizes that things with Ellie are not fair. And Ellie shows off a lot, and she tries to control things, and often does. Both with Grace and to a large extent with all the girls in their grade. But this school year Grace has started a new fad. The fad is buttons. It started over the summer while she was visiting her grandfather. They find 30 cases of old buttons in the factory her Grandfather purchased, and Grace has asked for them all. Once they become popular at school Grace has a power she has never had before. And Because of the conflict with Ellie she is determined to go to war and to win. 

But soon things start going from bad to worse. Grace is beginning to regret her actions but does not see a clear way out of the path they are on. Based on some advice from her older brother on supply and demand. She believes is she floods the button market maybe buttons will become the last old thing, like rainbow looms, fidget spinners, silly bandz and more. But Sometimes the best laid plans have very unexpected consequences. Can Grace restore her friendship with Ellie? Can she keep growing her new friendship with Hank? Can the friendship war come to an end without someone being destroyed?


This is a great realistic fiction novel. The events could take place at the school around the corner, or down the block, or in the next subdivision over. The story is deeper than some by Clements. It would be a great book to read in class or with a group of kids and have some discussions on. It is another excellent read from Clements and I give it a solid 5/5 stars!  

Books by Andrew Clements:
Bird Adalbert
Noah and the Ark and the Animals
Santa's Secret Helper
Temple Cat
Mother Earth's Counting Book
Billy and the Bad Teacher
Who Owns the Cow
Bright Christmas: An Angel Remembers
Frindle 
(Adapter)Philipp's Birthday Book
Riff's BeBop Book
Real Monsters Go for the Mold
Things That Go EEK on Halloween
Real Monsters Stage Fright
Music Time, Any Time
Double Trouble in Walla Walla
Workshop
Gromble's Haunted Halloween
Hey Dad, Could I Borrow Your Hammer
The Landry News
Look Who's in the Thanksgiving Play
The Mouse Family
The Janitor's Boy
Circus Family Dog
The Christmas Kitten
The School Story
Things Not Seen 
The Jacket 
A Week in the Woods
Slippers at Home
Naptime for Slippers
The Report Card
The Last Holiday Concert
Slippers at School
Slippers Loves to Run
A Million Is a Lot of Dots
Lunch Money
Things Hoped For
Room One: A Mystery or Two
No Talking
Things That Are
Lost and Found
Extra Credit
Troublemaker
About Average
The Map Trap
The Friendship War
The Losers Club
...

Pets to the Rescue Series
Ringo Saves the Day!
Brave Norman
Tara and Tiree, Fearless Friends
Delores and the Big Fire

Jake Drake Series
Jake Drake Know-It-All
Jake Drake, Bully Buster
Jake Drake, Teacher's Pet
Jake Drake, Class Clown

Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School Series
We the Children
Fear Itself
The Whites of Their Eyes
In Harm's Way
We Hold These Truths

Reading Program Books
Karen's Island
Three Wishes for Buster
Bill Picket: An American Original, Texas Style
Hurricane Andrew
Ham and Eggs for Jack
Life in the Desert
Desert Treasure
Inventors: Making Things Better, Steck-Vaughn
Milo's Great Invention

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Forever And For Keeps - Jane Lebak - The Adventures of Lee and Bucky Book 2.0

Forever And For Keeps
The Adventures of Lee and Bucky Book 2.0
Jane Lebak
Philangelus Press

ISBN 9781942133117
eISBN 9781942133162
ASIN B00ZIMFD3O


As of the writing of this review I have read and reviewed 14 novels, novella’s or short stories by Jane Lebak. With everything I read I have a greater respect for her skill and talent. I typically do not read romance novels. I occasionally read novels that have a romance element. And Even less often I read comedy novels. And this is a comedy for sure. But I loved this book and this series. And I sincerely hope that this is not the last Bucky and Lee story. I have stated previously that my introduction to Bucky and Lee was the short story ‘Never pray for Patience’ in the collection Seven Angels Short Story Bundle. That story is also one of the chapters Honest And For True, book 1.0 in this series. Lebak’s three series that I have read are drastically different, From father Jay, the Archangels Short Stories, and this series. Other than the authors, and to some extent the Catholic Faith or Angels there is very little overlap. But this book was hard to put down. And even though I had figured out well in advance where the story was going, it was great fun to get there.

That would be my quick description of this series ‘great fun reads’! This volume is a little darker than any others in the series, as Lee for the first time in her life not only sees angels, and specifically her guardian angel, Bucky. But she encounters a fallen angel. And The link between the dark spirit, her own thoughts and actions and a new man in her life is very well written. Lee (Juliet) Singer has always wanted to live life on her own terms. She has wanted to hang out with who she wants and do what she wants. As long as she does not break her promise to stay chaste until she is married. But being married has never really seriously crossed her mind. But in this volume her and Hal have been together for over 6 months. And her whole family seems to be pressuring her to get married. When her mother starts talking about the color palette for the wedding, and caterers she loses it.

Reacting in anger and rejection Lee makes a bad decision, and that decision starts to have consequences for her, for Bucky, and for Hal. And soon things start spiraling out of control. 

This story is very tightly written. The characters are wonderful. It was a real page turner. It was nearly impossible to put down. I love the way it is written. And as stated desperately hope there will be more Bucky and Lee stories. I cannot help but wonder about an alluded to future conversation between Lee and Hal’s mother. 

This is a great read. It is at times series, it is fun, and it is so easy to engage with. Give Bucky and Lee a chance I am sure they will grow on you!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Jane Lebak:
Pickup Notes
Love's Highway
Forever And For Keeps
Half Missing

Relic of His Heart
With Two Eyes Into Gehenna
...

Father Jay Series:
Bulletproof Vestments
The Boys Upstairs
A Different Heroism

...

Seven Archangels:
1.0 An Arrow In Flight
2.0 Sacred Cups
3.0 Shattered Walls
4.0 The Wrong Enemy
5.0 Annihilation


Seven Archangels Short Stories:
2.1 Damage
2.2 Even A Stone
2.3 Hired Man
2.4 Winter Branches
5.5 Once Only

Seven Angels Short Story Bundle 2.1-2.4

The Adventures of Lee and Bucky:

0.5 Upsie-Daisy
1.0 Honest And For True
2.0 Forever And For Keeps


Rails of Sweet Grove:
2.0 Love's Rules of the Road

Non-Fiction:
Carrying to Term: A Guide for Parents after a Devastating Prenatal Diagnosis





Monday, 25 March 2019

A Way Of Life For Young Catholics - Father Stephen Wang

A Way Of Life For Young Catholics
Fr. Stephen Wang
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860824876
eISBN 9781784692421
ASIN B071HFRSXD 
CTS Booklet DO774


In just over the last year I have read over 60 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. So far there have been many great books, and many excellent series. This book is not called out as part of a series but based on the design and format of the cover it feels like it is at least associated with a few other books I have read or want to read from both Father Stephen Wang and from other authors by the Catholic Truth Society. This book is described as a ‘practical guide to young people wanting to live their faith’. And it is designed to do that, but any Catholic, any Christian can read this book and benefit from the wisdom imparted within.

Now it is true the book is designed to help younger readers establish their own faith. Separate and distinct from the faith of their parents and grand parents. And it is truly filled with practical advice. It is the sort of book I wish I had read 35 years ago when I was an impressionable teen and wandered away from the church off and on for many years. It is the type of booklet I look forward to reading with my children when they are a little older. My oldest is being confirmed this year and I plan on giving her a copy of this book and reading it with her soon after her confirmation.

The chapters in this volume are:
Using this Book
How to Live your Catholic Faith
      Five essentials of Catholic life
      Five activities that will help your faith
      Five ways to appreciate the Mass more
      Five inspiring Christian truths
      How to give your life to God
How to Pray
      Five ways of praying
      Five elements of prayer
      Five fundamental Catholic prayers
      Five other important prayers
      Five prayers for particular times in the day
      Five ‘acts’ to make frequently
How to be Holy
      Five spiritual practices
      Five Christian responsibilities
      Five ways to sanctify your home or room
      Five things to be
      Five saints for young people
      Five great saints of the twentieth century
How to go to Confession
      How to go to Confession: The basics
      Examination of conscience
      Five ways of dealing with recurring temptations
      Five common struggles
      Five things to avoid
How to be Chaste
      Marriage
      The meaning of chastity
      Dating and friendship
      How far can we go?
How to Discover your Vocation
      Five ways to become clearer about your vocation
      Five ways to find a good Catholic husband or wife
      Five ‘signs’ of a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life
How to find Support and Information
      Books
      Websites
      Films
      Catholic groups, communities and movements

This volume was originally published in 2008, and the eBook edition was released in 2017. The book begins with these words:

“This Way of Life is written for young Catholics who want to live their faith more deeply but are not sure what steps to take. It contains practical, down-to-earth advice on all sorts of issues that come up in the lives of young Catholics. It is not for experts, but for ordinary young people who have been touched by God in some way but are not sure how to respond. It will be especially helpful for older confirmation candidates, for students at college and university, and for young adults who are hoping to learn more about their faith and put it into practice in the reality of their daily lives.

This is not the kind of book that you read straight through. It is designed so that you can dip into it. Look at the “Table of Contents” and see if anything interests you. There are lots of lists and headings and things to do - this is to make the book clear and easy to use. The risk with giving lists is that we become overwhelmed and do nothing, and end up feeling guilty about what we haven’t done! But the ideas that follow in this Way of Life are not meant to be a burden. They are here to give you food for thought, to guide you if you are stuck, to put you in touch with the wisdom and experience of the Church, and hopefully to inspire you. Perhaps one or two suggestions will strike you, and you will be able to put them into practice. You could keep this Way of Life on your desk or by your bed, and come back to it now and then. See if something new strikes you. As you grow in the spiritual life, the Lord will give you new insights just when you need them. And he will nudge you to take new steps when the time is right.”

Now admittingly I did not follow the advice given above. I have read this through from cover to cover twice. The first time in one sitting because I could not put the book down. And the second over a few sittings on consecutive days. I love lists and this book is full of them, the first list we encounter is:

Five Essentials Of Catholic Life
   1. Daily prayer
   2. Sunday Mass
   3. Regular Confession
   4. Keep the Commandments
   5. Love Your neighbour

With a paragraph or two expanding upon the subject of each point. The final list other than those of resources is called ‘Five ‘Signs’ Of A Vocation To The Priesthood Or Consecrated Life’. Most of the lists in the book are a series of 5 points. The book includes a wonderful ‘examination of conscience’. Overall it is an amazing little resource. 

Now I am an eBook guy, I read 20 eBooks for every physical book I read. But this is one of those exceptions, I want a copy of this in my prayer table for quick reference, and to be able to flip around as the author suggests in the beginning.

This is an excellent resource for young people. And also great for those of us a little older that want a great tool in our spiritual toolbox. I give this book a very solid 5/5 stars! 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.


Books by Steven Wang:
The Long Road To Freedom: The Story Of Wang Mingdao
The Christian Faith: A Mini-Catechism for Catholics
Aquinas & Sartre: On Freedom, Personal Identity, and the Possibility of Happiness
Meeting Christ in the Eucharist
The New Evangelisation
What is the Catholic Church?
Being a Parent Today
A Way Of Life For Young Catholics
How to Discover your Vocation
...

Available in French:
Comment découvrir sa vocation
...

Related CTS Book:
Finding Life's Purpose: Inspiration for Young People - Pope Benedict XVI
Don't Be Afraid To Be Saints - Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II
...


Related Articles:
Daily Study Prayer of Pope Benedict XVI
...





Saturday, 23 March 2019

The Enemy - Lee Child - Jack Reacher Book 8

The Enemy
Jack Reacher Book 8
Lee Child
Penguin Random House Canada
ISBN 9780440334989
eISBN 9780739378526
ASIN B000FC1MBO


As of the writing of this review I have read 6 books about Jack Reacher by Lee Child in the last four weeks. I am getting more familiar with the character and the writing. To date the books are all either written in first person or third person. I started with Past Tense, which was at the time the most recent release. The next novel I read was  I went to the first published, Killing Floor. And now this one which is currently the first novel chronologically. There are a few short stories that predate this book which appear in No Middle Name Short Story Collection.  It has been a little odd jumping around the Reacher timeline and the two different voices. And yet with each one I read I am eager to pick up another. In fact when I finished this volume I picked the volume Jack Reacher’s Rules, The Fourth Man short story, and Night School to add to my reading pile. But now back to this volume.

The title of this book comes from a conversation between Reacher and his new CO (Commanding Office) a Colonel Willard. Reacher states:

“And you’re making a big mistake. Because you really don’t want to make an enemy out of me.”

Any truer words might never have been spoken. This story begins on new years eve 1989 and Reacher has just been transferred to Fort Bird. He is now acting XO (Executive Officer). It seems to be a quiet little military base. Reacher is not sure why he has been pulled out of a major mission in Panama. But the Army said move so he moved. But on New Year ’s Eve a dead body in a seedy motel that at first Reacher pawns off on the civilian authorities is the beginning of a very big can of worms. Within 2 weeks Reacher is back and forth to Europe, and across America chasing a missing agenda to a series of meetings.

Reacher makes some quick assumptions both at the hotel and after meeting his CO. Both have severe consequences. During the novel Reacher has numerous phone messages and a few calls with his older brother Joe. Reacher and Joe go on a quick trip to France to see their sick mother. And Reacher finds out a lot about his mother and himself that he never knew. 

There are some very brutal murders in this novel. And some attempts to stage a crime scene. We see less of the violence directly in this novel. But we do see more of the investigation into it, and resolving it. The story moves at a solid pace, but compared to the other novels I have read takes place over a much longer time frame. It is great to experience Reacher and his brother Joe interacting on the phone and in person. And I loved the discovery about his family history. In some ways the mystery in this novel reminds me of the old movie The Presidio. There is a lot more going on that we first suspect and some great plot twists. 

I really enjoyed this read and look forward to my next Reacher novel!

Books by Lee Child:
Jack Reacher Books Publishing Order:

Killing Floor
Die Trying
Tripwire
The Visitor /Running Blind
Echo Burning
Without Fail
Persuader
The Enemy
One Shot
The Hard Way
Bad Luck and Trouble
Nothing to Lose
Gone Tomorrow
61 Hours
Worth Dying For
He Affair
A Wanted Man
Never go Back
Personal
Make Me
Night School
The Midnight Line
Past Tense
Blue Moon

...
Jack Reacher's Rules
...

Reacher Short Stories and Novella’s:
No Middle Name – Complete Collected Short Stories

Stories in No Middle Name Collection:
Too Much Time
Second Son
Deep Down
Guy Walks into A Bar
James Penney’s New Identity
High Heat
Everyone Talks
Not A Drill
Small Wars
Maybe They Have A Tradition

No Room At The Motel
The Picture of the Lonely Diner


Other Short Stories:
Good and Valuable Consideration
The Fourth Man
The Christmas Scorpion
...
Faking a Murderer with Kathy Reichs
...