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Monday, 31 August 2020

The Message and Prayers of Fatima - Donal Anthony Foley - CTS Prayers and Devotions

The Message and Prayers of Fatima
Prayers and Devotions
Donal Anthony Foley
Timothy Tindal-Robertson
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784691394
eISBN 9781784692193
ASIN B072BC3178
CTS Booklet D812


Over the last few years, I have read over 150 volumes from the CTS. I have read books from many series. And many authors. Lately I have read several books that are part of the CTS Devotions and Prayer Series. I have read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series, and the Great Saints Series. Prior to that I had only ever read two other books from the CTS and it was by Donal Anthony Foley, Apparitions of Mary, a wonderful volume I picked up on retreat almost 14 years ago.

This is the third volume I have read by Donal Anthony Foley. This book was first published in 2016 and the eBook was released in 2017. It was published for the 100th Anniversary of Fatima. The description of the book is:

“Our Lady’s appeal in 1917 to the three shepherd children of Fatima, for prayer for peace and for a deep conversion of heart, rings out from the site of her apparitions at the world-famous shrine with greater relevance than ever for the people of our times. This is explained in the concise summary of the remarkable developments that have continued up to the present time, which accompanies the Fatima prayers and devotions together with other Marian prayers and reflections that are included in this eBook.”

And the chapters are:
The Centenary of Our Lady of Fatima, 1917-2017 written by Timothy Tindal-Robertson
Fatima Prayers and Devotions compiled by Donal Anthony Foley
Our Lady of Fatima and the Rosary
Acts of Consecration and Reparation
Other Marian Prayers
Novenas to Our Lady of Fatima
Fatima and Immaculate Heart Litanies 
Fatima Hymns

The beginning of the Introduction states:

“The 13th May 2017 is the centenary of Our Lady’s first apparition at Fatima. One hundred years later, it is clear that as a result of recent developments with regard to Our Lady’s message, it has become more relevant than ever, both for the well-being of the Church today as well as for the development of its mission for the salvation of mankind in the years that lie ahead.”

The centenary of Fatima is now a few years behind us. But the message of Fatima and the prayers are just as important today. The collection of prayers are wonderful. This is one of the smallest books I have seen from the Catholic Truth Society. In comes in at 64 pages in the print edition. 

This is a fantastic little volume. Well worth picking up. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.


For reviews of other books in the CTS Devotions series click here.

Books by Donal Anthony Foley:
Our Lady and the New Evangelisation
Christian Living: The Spirituality of the Foyers of Charity
Message of Bernadette: Lourdes 2008 - 150th Anniversary of the Apparitions
Understanding Medjugorje: Heavenly Visions or Religious Illusion?
Marian Apparitions, the Bible, and the Modern World
Medjugorje Revisited: 30 Years of Visions or Religious Fraud?

Fiction:
The Glaston Chronicles:
The Secret of Glaston Tor
The Dark Tower






Saturday, 29 August 2020

Loki Wolf - Arthur Slade - Northern Frights 03

Loki Wolf
Northern Frights Book 3
Reprint Edition
Arthur Slade
Dava Enterprises
ASIN B08DM3D4D9


There are three books in the Northern Frights series by Arthur Slade. They are some of his earliest published works and each is a story based on Norse mythology. They were published under the name Arthur G. Slade by Orca Book Publishers between 1997 and 2000. The original title of this volume was The Loki Wolf and is now published as just Loki Wolf. It is now back in print in this new edition.

What would you do if your nightmares started coming true? That is what happens to Angie, while on vacation over Christmas holidays with her grandfather and cousins, visiting the ancestral home in Iceland. The Norse legends the family grew up on seem to be coming to life again. With a mix of dead relatives, rumors of a shape shifter and strange encounters, this family vacation has turned into a nightmare. Can Angie and her cousins put the pieces of the story together and solve the mystery? With the aid of their uncle's farm hands, can these four youngsters stop an old evil that is rising again?

Over the years I had tracked down a few copies of this book and the series to give to friends, family, and our school library. I am very excited to see it back in print. Pick it up, you will not be disappointed! An excellent read in an great series. 

Books by Arthur Slade:
The Dragonfly's Journey (1996)

John Diefenbaker: an Appointment with Destiny (2000)
Dust (2001)
Tribes (2002)
Monsterology (2005)
Villainology (2005)
Megiddo's Shadow (2006)
Jolted (2008)
Shades: 17 Startling Stories (2011)

Flickers (2016)
Crimson (2018)
Death by Airship (2019)
...

Hunchback Assignments Series:
aka Modo Mission Clockwork Series:
The Hunchback Assignments (2009)
The Dark Deeps (2010)
Empire of Ruins (2011)
Island of Doom (2012)

Modo Embers End - Graphic Novel (2014)

The Northern Frights Series
Draugr (1997)
The Haunting of Drang Island (1998)
The Loki Wolf (2000)

Northern Frights Reprint Editions:
Draugr (2020)
Drang (2020)
Loki Wolf (2020)




Friday, 28 August 2020

The Case of the Stolen Rosaries - Karen Kelly Boyce and Sue Anderson Gioulis - Sisters of the Last Straw Book 3

The Case of the Stolen Rosaries
Sisters of the Last Straw Book 3
Karen Kelly Boyce
Sue Anderson Gioulis (Illustrator)
TAN Books
ISBN 
9781505111903
eISBN 9781505111910
ASIN B07DLBGB5W


With each book I read in this series, I appreciate it more. Late last year I read the fifth book in this series, The Case of the Christmas Tree Capers, a Christmas story. Over the last three weeks I have read the first three books in the series. I have enjoyed each of the volumes. And thing they are great fun reads for younger readers or really for readers of any age. I previously stated that the series reminds me of Tales of a Magic Monastery by Theophane the Monk. These are really fun reads. Bu they also have good lessons. Lessons that kids will pick up on and lean from, but also lessons that we as adults can appreciate and be challenged by. I plan on reading a book a week until I have finished the series. As I am prereading them prior to reading them with my youngest two children. A great story in a very entertaining and amusing series.

In each volume we find out more about Sisters of the Last Straw. How they came to be, and what some of them are working on personally in their process of striving to become saints. They always seem to end up in a awkward circumstances. They still have a grouchy neighbour. And in this story, a thief is taking things in the neighbourhood.  They are trying to prepare a surprise birthday party for Mother Mercy. Deal with the repeated thefts, and live life in community, while witnessing to the world around them. 

The sisters in this story are fun, and the tale is often funny. The sisters are:

Sister Krumbles
Sister Shiny
Sister Lovely
Sister Wanda
Sister Lacy
Mother Mercy

In this volume the black and white illustrations by Sue Anderson Gioulis continue to add to the story. The book teaches us about human nature, about living the gospel, and about trusting God. It also teaches us about the different strengths and weakness in different characters, and how to live in community. The nuns seem to end up in strange situations, but with faith, hope, and prayer they usually come to a solution. From the chapter titles you always have a preview of what is about to happen next:

That Darn Rooster
Baffling Bandits
Planning a Surprise
A Visit to the Farm
Making Friends
A Little Powder
A Shining Example
A Big Party

In this story we have nuns getting lost, because of an upside-down map, losing the map in the wind. An exploding cake. And a most unusual thief. I admin I figured out who the thief was fairly early on, but that did not detract from the fun and humor in the story. 

There are some excellent lessons for the young readers of the series for whom it is written for, and also for us older folks who might read it with or to them. Or even just on our own. It is another great story in a very fun series. And we look forward to reading the rest of the stories, and hope there are yet more to come. Pick it up and laugh at and with the sisters of the last straw.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Karen Kelly Boyce:
A Bend in the Road: A Year's Journey Through Breast Cancer
Down Right Good
According to Thy Word
Into the Way of Peace
In the Midst of Wolves


Sisters of the Last Straw Series:
The Cause of the Haunted Chapel
The Case of the Missing Novice
The Case of the Stolen Rosaries
The Case of the Flower Phantom
The Case of the Christmas Tree Capers
The Case of the Easter Egg Escapades



 

 






Thursday, 27 August 2020

The Invisible Invasion - Dustin Brady - Trapped in a Video Game Book 2

The Invisible Invasion
Trapped in a Video Game Book 2
Dustin Brady
Jesse Brady (Illustrator)
Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN 9781449494896
eISBN 9781449496128
ASIN B07B8CMRQL


We picked up the first book in this series, Trapped in a Video Game, after my son started reading it with his cousins. They read every night before bed and he was hooked after the first few chapters. We picked up the eBook as soon as we were home, and my son devoured it. My son read it to me as part of his daily reading. He often reads well beyond the minimum 20 minutes a day. And we are already well into book three. Any book that inspires my son to keep reading when the timer goes off is a big winner in my books. And because of that it got a solid 5/5 stars from both of us.

This is the second installment in a five-book series. We are a little late to the game, in that the whole series has already been released. It just means we can read them back to back. The story was first self published in 2016, then picked up and published in 2018 by Andrews McMeel Publishing.

This is again a story about friendship, about video games, and about survival. Jesse Rigsby who hates video games. His best friend is Eric Conrad loves games and can’t wait to play the latest and greatest. And Mark who sacrificed himself in order o help them escape from Full Blast. So, when Jesse has what he thinks is a dream about a toy telling him there is a way to save Mark he jumps at the opportunity. And this lands him back in a video game, this time a mobile app. He is in a game called Go Wild It is like a cross between Pokemon Go and My Singing Monsters

Soon Jessy is teamed up with Mister Gregory, the father of one of the kids in his class, and employee at a game development company. He needs to get Eric’s attention, and help in order to use a combination of the features of Go Wild, and their cunning to free Mark from the video game company’s servers. 

In this story the risks are higher, the dangers more intense, and the ploy races along from beginning to end. And it ends on a cliff hanger. You will need to read to see all that Jessy, Eric and Mr. Gregory go through to try and save Mark. Far less gun, but a lot more monsters in this installment of the Trapped In A Video Game Series

This is another great read in what is proving to be an excellent series. This family gives it top marks and highly recommends the book and the series!

Books by Dustin Brady:
Superhero for a Day


Trapped in a Video Game Series:
Trapped in a Video Game
The Invisible Invasion
Robots Revolt
Return to Doom Island
The Final Boss


Leila & Nugget Series:
Who Stole Mr. T?
Bark at the Park
The Case with no Clues


Life Lessons Series:
A Marathon Is Really Long When You Have to Pee
Black Friday Is for Suckers
Dogs Ain't Dumb
How to Tell Off a Telemarketer


Escape from a Video Game Series:
The Secret of Phantom Island







Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Maria Goretti Teenage Martyr for Chastity - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston - CTS 20th Century Martyrs

Maria Goretti: Teenage Martyr for Chastity
CTS 20th Century Martyrs
Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 
9781860820250
eISBN 9781784692995
ASIN B072MJC5VR


This was the seventh volume in the CTS 20th Century Martyrs series that I have read. It is also the sixth by Glynn MacNiven-Johnston. Over the last few years, I have read over 150 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. I believe there are eight volumes in this series. And about half of them have eBook editions. This is one that does. I believe there are few Catholic who have not heart at least the name Maria Goretti. And though I knew the name and the basic details I was not aware of the whole story. This volume though small gives that whole story. The description of this volume is:

“In 1902 in an Italian village a young girl, Maria Goretti, was murdered during a sexual attack. Her killer, Alessandro Serenelli, himself a teenager, was a close neighbour well known to her and her family. He had been threatening her for some time. What does it mean, how can it help, to say that she is a virgin and martyr? This is an often misunderstood and sentimentalised story. When many parents and teenagers strive for a balanced view of sexuality, of personal integrity, of Christian family life, and forgiveness to those who do irreparable harm, Maria's story speaks powerfully and authentically. It echoes John Paul's cry to today's youth - 'Do not be afraid to be saints!'”

 This volume was first published in 1997 and the eBook edition was released in 2017. 

The chapters in the volume are:

Saint Maria Goretti
The Goretti Family
Living with Serenellis
Death of Luigi Goretti
Maria’s New Circumstances
First Communion
Troubles with Alessandro
The Day of the Attack
Maria Mortally Wounded
Maria Forgives Alessandro
The Aftermath
Alessandro Serenelli
Alessandro’s Repentance
Beatification and Canonisation
Love is Stronger than Death

The book begins with these words:

“Maria Goretti was an eleven year old girl who, in 1902, was murdered in the course of a frenzied, sexually-motivated attack. She was beatified in 1947, in the face of much cynicism from the secular press who did not believe that a child could have shown that kind of depth of faith and only three years later she was canonised and named patron of youth.

Why is she a saint, recommended to us in the 21st century as a powerful Christian witness? A virgin and a martyr! – but what does that mean, how does it help? This all happened nearly a hundred years ago in an obscure Italian village. It involved an uneducated farm girl and a boy, not that much older than her, who was a close neighbour. Some say that this kind of tragedy happens all the time. What makes this one different?

Maria Goretti’s story touches on several important themes: the dignity of the human person; the objectifying of sexuality; the importance of Christian family life; how an individual and a family can forgive a person who has done them violence and irreparable harm and how Christian love can change someone’s life.”

And further on:

“In an age which demands justice, we are shown that in Christ it is possible to forgive. At a time when no one accepts blame, there is a story of repentance.”

And that is what we find in the biography of this saint. We have an example of Christ. We see in action the turning the other cheek. Carrying the pack a second mile. But this is also the story of her family, that instilled in her a deep faith. And the story of her attacker, and his eventual repentance and changed life.

This book is not an easy read. It is a wonderful witness. An amazing story of Christian virtue, and of forgiveness. Well worth the read.  An excellent volume in an important series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books in the 20th Century Martyrs Series:
Sophie Scholl and the White Rose: Resistance to the Nazis - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky
Johann Gruber & Jacques Bunel Victims of the Nazis - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky
Maximilian Kolbe, F. Jagerstatter, K. Leisner, R. Mayer: Victims of the Nazis - Franz Jagerstatter
Edith Stein, Marcel Callo, Titus Brandsma: Victims of the Nazis – Matthew Monk
Saint Maria Goretti: Teenage Martyr for Chastity - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
The Atlas Martyrs – Jean Olwen Maynard

Jerzy Popieluszko Victim of Communism - Grazyna Sikorski
Isidore Bankanja - Jean Maynard

...

Books by Glynn MacNiven-Johnston:
Biographies:
Maria Goretti Teenage Martyr
Pier Giorgio Frassati Inspiration for Students
Father Damien Apostle to the Lepers
Martin de Porres

Rita of Cascia 
...

Prayer Books:
Handbook of Novenas for Feasts and Seasons
Devotions to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
The Infant of Prague
Handbook of Novenas to the Saints: Short Prayers for Needs & Graces
Handbook of Scriptural Novenas: For Various Needs and Intentions
Devotion to St Jude: Patron of Hopeless Cases

...








Tuesday, 25 August 2020

War Stories - Gordon Korman

War Stories
Gordon Korman
Scholastic
ISBN 
9781338290202
eISBN 9781338290219
ASIN B07WKSLDD3


Over the last year my son and I have read about a dozen books by Gordon Korman. To date we have loved all the books we have read. And though some of them deal with series matters, there is always a humour to the storytelling. This story is different. It is much more serious. And is told in a very different way. 

This is a story about family. About war, about heroics, and about really being a hero. The story alternates back and forth from present day to the second World War. It follows a man, his grandson and his great grandson. Trevor loves the history of WWII, he loves that his Great Grand dad, GG was a hero. He loves war computer games, and he loves listening to his GG’s stories. When his GG, Jacob is invited back to a small French village to celebrate its liberation, for he is the last surviving member of the group that liberated it.

We join Trevor, his dad, and GG are retracing Jacob’s steps from the base where he did his basic training. To the beach he landed on. And his journey across Europe. But something is off. Trevor keeps seeing a blond at all their stops. And His dad and gramps know someone does not want him to go to the town. And thinks start escalating, a dead bird on their rental car, slashed tires, a rock through a window. How far will the activists go? And what is driving them. 

Interspersed with the recreation of the journey are the memories of Jacob’s actual time during the war. The two parts of the story fit together perfectly. We hear some stories that Jacob had told before. And because of the places, he is sharing new stories. Both his grandson and son realize the closer they get to the end of their journey the harder things seem to be for GG. 

This book does an excellent job of bring home the reality of war. Especially to younger readers whose main info about it is video games. The story is well written, and it is absolutely a page turner. I stayed up way too late reading, I just could not put it down. I devoured it in two sitting and am now reading it again with my son. 

This is a fascinating read, and a real page turner.  

Reviews of other books by Gordon Korman:
Restart
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
The Emperor's Code - 39 Clues Book 8
One False Note - 39 Clues Book 2

The Unteachables
War Stories
...

Ungifted Series:
Ungifted
Supergifted
...

Slacker Series:
Slacker
Level 13
...








Monday, 24 August 2020

Colors of Creation - Paul Thigpen and John Folley

Colors of Creation
Paul Thigpen
John Folley
TAN Books
ISBN 9781505114676
eISBN 9781505114690
ASIN B0854LV3CM



I have read some of Thigpen’s theological works. and loved them. When this book arrived for my youngest daughter we were both excited about it. She read it to me immediately after we unpacked it. And she has read it to me three times since. She instantly recognized the color pattern from a VBS a few year ago. The colors appear in this order:

Black
White
Blue
Brown
Green
Yellow
Purple
Orange
Red
Gray

The book is designed to help children see the colors in the world around them in a new way. It highlights the beauty of creation. And the love of the creator. It highlights some of the masterpieces in creation.

Thigpen’s verse in this volume is wonderful. My daughter marveled at the words as much as the illustrations from John Folley. She loved the illustrations and has gone over the book several times. This is a wonderful book for the young ones in your life. An excellent addition to any church or home library. It is an absolutely fantastic picture book for children.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!




Books by Paul Thigpen:
Manual for Spiritual Warfare
Saints Who Battled Satan
My Daily Catholic Bible
New Catholic Answer Bible
My Visit To Hell: A Novel
Manual for Eucharistic Adoration
The Rapture Trap
Gehenna
Saints Who Saw Hell
The Burden
A Year with Mary: Daily Meditations on the Mother of God
A Year With the Saints: Daily Meditations with the Holy Ones of God
The Passion
Last Words of Catholic Saints And Sinners, Stars And Strays
My Daily Catholic Bible: New Testament, NABRE
Catholic Answers to Catholic Questions
A Dictionary of Quotes from the Saints
The Biblical Names of Jesus: Beautiful, Powerful Portraits of Christ
Shaken by Scandals: Catholics Speak Out about Priests' Sexual Abuse
Praying the Rosary with St. Paul
Thessalonians: Stand Firm In Faith Chapters 1-2
1 and 2 Thessalonians: Stand Firm in Faith
Queen Of Heaven Leader's Guide
Queen Of Heaven Study Guide
Praying With Pope John Paul II
Questions Catholics Are Asked: Are You Saved?
The Prayers of Pope John Paul II
...

Picture books by Paul Thigpen:
Colors of Creation
God's Wildest Wonderment of All
A Child's Christmas ABC Book: Angels in the Air Arrayed
...

Contributed to:
Surprised By Truth: 11 Converts Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic
Journeys Home
A Guide to "The Passion": 100 Questions About the "Passion of the Christ"
Doors of Mercy: Exploring God's Covenant With You
...

Friday, 21 August 2020

Discovery - Karina Fabian

Discovery
Karina Fabian

Full Quiver Publishing
ISBN 
9781606192313
ASIN B004CLYDUG


I found it hard to believe that I had an 8-year gap in reading books by Karina Fabian, and now I have read 3 novels, and 2 collections of short stories she edited in under 5 weeks. I just cannot seem to put her books down. I already have a few others in my reading queue. I have read some of her contributions in anthologies and love her short form fiction. And I had to read this book after reading her piece, Antivenin, in Infinite Space, Infinite God II. I loved the short story, and I enjoyed the novel even more. I sincerely hope Fabian has more stories available in this world, or stories planned for it, because it is excellent world building.

This is a story about exploration, friendships, religious vocation, and discovery. It is also about survival. A small team has been put together for a classified mission to explore and if possible, recovery an alien ship discovered by chance in the Kuiper Belt on an asteroid. The team includes a wealthy patron, scientists, rockhounds, and sisters of the Order of Our Lady of the Rescue they are post-modern nuns, brave to the extreme. They are pioneers of safety and rescue in space. With unusual habits suited to the work in zero gravity and rigours of space. Sister Ann seems to be a visionary along the lines of Saint Therese of Lisieux, she has great insights into people, and events, sometimes even before they happen. Sister Rita is the head of the orders presence on the mission. She finds herself balancing between the different groups on the mission. The Codists and Wiccans alike on the religious side and the scientist and miners on the skills side.   

The story follows the rag tag group as they prepare and embark on this mission. They are in a partially refitted luxury ship. And The scientific discoveries might be eclipsed by their own personal discoveries and revelations. Oh, and by the way, the archeologist and right-hand man on the mission is a former seminarian with links to our fearless sister Rita. 

As science fiction the story is excellent. It is masterfully written. But the characters are what make this story truly exceptional. You will find yourself engrossed with the personalities both central and on the edge of the main story. And likely you will be left wanting more stories with some of these characters.  

This story is a great piece of science fiction writing. And the way Fabian handles religious themes and sets it in a space context is amazing. I really enjoyed her newer pure science fiction story, The Old Man and the Void, and the follow up volume, Dex’s Way. But I think she shines best when she incorporates more religious and specifically Catholic elements in her stories like in this incredible read. 

This is a great story and I highly recommend it, to fans of religious fiction, or to anyone who just loves a great science fiction story. And this is another excellent read from Full Quiver Publishing a company that focuses on fiction focuses on the Theology of the Body. A most excellent read. I give it top marks. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Karina Fabian:
Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life
Discovery
Perfect Ten
Frightliner

Dex Hollister Series:

The Old Man and the Void
Dex's Way
...

Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator Series :
Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator
I Left My Brains in San Francisco
Shambling in a Winter Wonderland


DragonEye Pi Series:

Magic, Mensa and Mayhem 
Live and Let Fly
Greater Treasures: A DragonEye Novella
Murder Most Picante


Space Traipse Series:
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 1
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 2


Mind Over Series:
Mind Over Mind
Mind Over Psyche
Mind Over All
Hearts Over Mind


Edited by: Karina Fabian:
Infinite Space, Infinite God I
Leaps of Faith
Infinite Space, Infinite God II


Contributed to:
Firestorm of Dragons
The Zombie Cookbook
The Book of Tentacles
Twisted Fayrie Tales
FRIGHTLINER: And Other Tales of the Undead
Mother Goose is Dead
Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary
Image and Likeness Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body
Corrupts Absolutely? Dark Metahuman Fiction
Weird Noir
The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Novels
Manifesto UF
Avenir Eclectia
Planetary Anthology: Jupiter
Planetary Anthology: Pluto
Planetary Anthology: Luna
Planetary Anthology: Uranus
FlagShip Science Fiction and Fantasy v2i5
My Little Book of Headdesks
To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity