Saturday, 19 June 2021

The Remarkable Power of Consistency - Michal Stawicki - My Slight Edge Journey to Success

The Remarkable Power of Consistency: 
My Slight Edge Journey to Success
Michal Stawicki
ISBN 9798511270289

I read my first book by Michal back in 2014, and since then including this volume I have read his books a total of 25 times. And with every book I read I am challenged, encouraged and inspired to try harder or try something new. I have been greatly impressed by his writings, and that is because they are written out of his own experiences. He writes from what he has tried and what works. And this volume is a compilation of all those small success’s and a few failures. He is open and honest. But he has built a new life on the success of small steps. The beginning of the description of this volume is:

“What if an average Joe could succeed 9,999 times out of 10,000? What if you could read an 8-year, painstakingly-detailed success story compressed into 100 pages? What if you could avoid mistakes and draw inspiration to pave your own ironclad path to success?

In 2012, Michal Stawicki was a miserable corporate cog — an average Joe — living from paycheck to paycheck, socially retarded, overwhelmed with family responsibilities, a bit overweight, and depressingly purposeless.

In August 2012, he read The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, and turned his life around. Michal liberated his wife from her day job, started a business, become an author, and downsized his corporate gig to 10 hours a week.

And he documented the whole process.”

And the chapters are:

False Perspective of Success
My Origin Story 
The Slight Edge Report - Year 2
The Slight Edge Report - Year 3
The Slight Edge Report - Year 4
The Slight Edge Report - Year 5 
The Slight Edge Report - Year 6 
The Slight Edge Report - Year 7
The Slight Edge Report - Year 8
The Success Blueprint
Pep Talk: Yes, You Can
Meet Michal Stawicki

Michael goes through his annual reports of his successes, steps forward and back steps. He shares the things that worked and the things that did not. And most importantly he shares what worked that he stopped doing and how success was regained by doing it again. Having read all of Michal’s earlier books, and being on his mailing list there was a lot of information in this volume that I was familiar with or aware of. But it was an excellent reminder, and amazing to see all this information gathered in once place and as a witness to the power of consistency. Stawicki states:

“Success is a process, not a destination. You must enjoy the process to at least a certain degree, or you will not achieve success. You may achieve a specific goal, but at what price? If you don’t enjoy the process, you will be miserable for 99.99% of the time. You will get a quick pang of triumph at the end and that will be your whole reward.”


“Consistency is how I succeeded, and it is how you can succeed too. An average Joe already has a day job that he dedicates almost a third of his life to. An additional enormous effort will kill him much faster than it will make him successful. An average Joe is in debt, so he cannot leverage his way to success with money. An average Joe’s health is not so great, which also hampers his efforts. 

But the average Joe, exactly like a successful Joe, has twenty-four hours and can start consistently inching toward success, ten minutes at a time. 

You can succeed starting with what you have now, where you are now, and who you are now. Real success, not the shiny stories from the news, is attainable because it’s based on time, the one commodity that is given to each of us evenly. 

Be consistent, and you will succeed. It won’t be overnight. It may take you a decade or two, but you WILL be successful.”

This book is the witness to us average Joe’s that we can do it as well. Not overnight. Not in the face of stunning and overwhelming adversity or struggle. But Daily 10 minutes at a time. It is the testimony of how one man and his family have learned to live the principles espoused in the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen. It is a book that will encourage you no matter where you are on your journey. No matter what area or areas of your life you want to make changes: physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually. And it will inspire you to take those first small steps, and to strive to stay consistent in them.

This book is an excellent read, and one I believe that any who read will benefit from! 

Books by Michal Stawicki:
The Art of Persistence: Stop Quitting, Ignore Shiny Objects and Climb Your Way to Success
A Personal Mission Statement: Your Road Map to Happiness
Trickle Down Mindset: The Missing Element In Your Personal Success

Slicing the Hype
99 Perseverance Success Stories: Encouragement for Success in Every Walk of Life
Power up Your Self-Talk: 6 Simple Habits to Stop Beating Yourself Up and Reclaim Your Life
99 Habit Success Stories
The Remarkable Power of Consistency

Six Simple Steps to Success
Simplify Your Pursuit of Success - Book 1
Know Yourself Like Your Success Depends on It - Book 2
Bulletproof Health and Fitness: Your Secret to High Achievement - Book 3
Making Business Connections That Count - Book 4
Directed by Purpose: How to Focus on Work That Matters, Ignore Distractions and Manage Your Attention over the Long Haul - Book 5

How to Change Your Life in 10 Minutes a Day Series:
The Fitness Expert Next Door - Book 1
Learn to Read with Great Speed! Only 10 minutes a day! - Book 2
Release Your Kid's Dormant Genius In Just 10 Minutes a Day: Parenting Your Smart Underachiever With Consistency and Love - Book 3
Master Your Time In 10 Minutes a Day: Time Management Tips for Anyone Struggling With Work-Life Balance  - Book 4
From Shy to Hi: Tame Social Anxiety, Meet New People, and Build Self-Confidence  - Book 5

Author Profile and Interview with Michal Stawicki

Friday, 18 June 2021

The Case of the Perambulating Hatrack - Cedar Sanderson

The Case of the Perambulating Hatrack
Sanderley Studios
ISBN 9798731390224

This is the fifth volume by Sanderson that I have read since I first encountered her works in Cracked: An Anthology of Eggsellent Chicken Stories, and after reading her piece there knew I had to track down and read something else from her pen. And to date everything I have read has been worth reading and entertaining. But this story threw me for a bit of a loop. For as I was reading it I could not help but feel that it was a ‘fix up’ novel The definition of which is:

“A fix-up (or fixup) is a novel created from several short fiction stories that may or may not have been initially related or previously published. The stories may be edited for consistency, and sometimes new connecting material, such as a frame story or other interstitial narration, is written for the new work.”

Now there is nothing wrong with a fixup. In fact J.F. Powers won the National book award twice and both were fix up novels. And there are several other books that come to mind that I know were fixups. But reading this story I was not expecting that. I picked this up because it was the latest release from an author I have grown to respect and whose stories I have enjoyed greatly. Now if I had read the dedication I might have guessed at a fix up earlier:

“This book is dedicated to the MOTE crew. The Hatrack would never have come to life without the weekly prompts and encouragement of the Odds.”

And Sanderson confirmed the fixup theory I had in the afterwards:

“Last year, the year I wrote this book, was 2020. 'Nuff said, yes? But the Hatrack, which began as a thousand words or so of fluff and nonsense, kept me company all year. From one prompt to another, a Drunkard's Walk of mathematical improbability that a coherent novel could be woven of such variable strains. And yet... It happened.”

And to answer her musing, yes it does become a coherent novel and a very fun one at that. It sort of reads like Mike Hammer set in a noir urban fantasy story. Humans, orcs, trolls, magicians, a possessed hatrack, and a fedora with the personality and memories of the owner. A lot of action. An ever deepening mystery. And a whole lot of fun. Oh and a budding relationship between an orc and a … Well to be honest to find that out you will need to read the story. A few explosions, many destroyed domiciles, and a realm hopping adventure. So much packed into one story. And yet Sanderson pulls it off. And pulls it off very well. The description of this one is:

“She was trouble, and from the moment she sailed into his office in search of a PI, Soldagh Dennessey was caught in her wake.In a city where the streets started mean and went worse, Soldagh had carved a relatively solitary existence out between the goblins in their dens of minty iniquity, and the gnomes who'd snitch on their own mothers for rent money. Rough as it was, he'd come from worse family, and had no intention of going back. As the case grows tangled and terrifying, Soldagh is starting to suspect the past he's been avoiding lies at the bleeding heart of the matter. And only the few friendships he's made and an unexpected ally might be enough to save them now...”

There is that fixup feel, but it is a good read. And an expansion of my working through Sanderson’s canon of work. If you dig Urban Fantasy or PI Noir definitely give this tale a try.

Books by Cedar Sanderson:
A Time To Die
Snow in Her Eyes
Warp Resonance
The Dwarf's Dryad
One-Eyed Dragon
Memories of the Abyss
Little Red-Hood and the Wolf-man
The Eternity Symbiote
Plant Life
Sugar Skull
Snow Angel
Inktail & Friends: A Coloring Book
The Twisted Breath of God
Voyageur's Cap
Fairy Little Sister

Pixie for Hire Series:
Pixie Noir
Trickster Noir 
Dragon Noir
Pixie for Hire: Omnibus Edition

Children of Myth Series:
Vulcan's Kittens 
The God’s Wolfling

The Tanager Series:
Jade Star
Tanager's Fledglings 

Witchward Series:
Possum Creek Massacre

Illustrated by Cedar:
Something Wicked #15
Jormungandr's Venom (Fenris Unchained Book 3)
Hunted Behavior

Contributed to:
The Hearts' Enchantment
Calexit- The Anthology
Supernatural Streets
Something Wicked Anthology, Vol One
Something Wicked #15
Mythic Delirium Magazine Issue 0.4

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Why go to Mass? - Bishop Michael Evans - Encountering Christ in the Eucharist

Why go to Mass? 
Encountering Christ in the Eucharist
ISBN 9780851839660
eISBN 9781784692575
CTS Booklet DO639

A few years ago, I stumbled across the books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society quite by accident. I was researching an author I had run across, and was trying to track down all of her works. Soon I had a long lost of books from the CTS on my Wishlist, and it seems that for everyone I read I end up with 1 or 2 more on my wish list. At the writing of this review I have read almost 200 titles from the CTS over the last 4 years and currently have over 200 either in my ‘to be read’ pile or on my wish list still. I have read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series, and the Great Saints Series. This book was originally published in 1995 it was revised in 1998. The eBook edition was released in 2017.

The description of this booklet is:

“Some Catholics go to Mass simply because they have always done so, out of obligation, or because their parents, teachers or peers demand that they come. Others have either given up completely or are still searching. Relying greatly upon the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, Fr Michael Evans provides a beautiful summary of the meaning of the Mass and the powerful reasons why it holds the central position in the life of the Church and Christians. How can we love God, and our neighbour without the love of Christ?”

And the chapters are:

Catechism of the Catholic Church
Celebrating the Christian Mystery
The Eucharist and the Mystery of the Trinity
Thanksgiving to the Father
Sacrificial Memorial of Christ
An Easter Communion
The Church's living memory
New meaning, new value
The presence of Christ
Through faith not the senses
Historical thought
Reception and Adoration
Christ the Priest
The Mass of all Ages
Communion with Christ
Communion with one another
Communion with the poor and oppressed
‘Ite, missa est’
A service to others
Forward to the Future
Sacrament of Love

My first time through this book I highlighted three passages.

“‘Going to Mass’ has always been a key sign of a committed Catholic, from those first Christians who met in their houses for ‘the breaking of bread’ (Acts 2: 42, 46), to Catholics who risked their lives by celebrating Mass during times of persecution, to those Catholics today who make a conscious choice to take an active part in the life and worship of the Church. In every century there have been Catholics who have opted out of the Church’s worship, but taking part in the Mass, above all on Sundays, has always been seen as central and crucial for living fully the Catholic faith and life. Coming to Mass, taking part in a Catholic Eucharist every Sunday, is still the main visible sign of being a Catholic. Living the Mass, taking an active part in it and allowing its power to transform our lives, is what being a Catholic is all about (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 1389, 2177– 9; all references are to this Catechism unless otherwise noted).” 

“We come to Mass to share in the wonder of our Father’s love, to participate in the saving work of Jesus his Son, and to be transformed by the Spirit of holiness. From our Sunday celebration, we go forth together to be and to live what we have celebrated. For the rest of the week (or for the rest of the day if we go to Mass more often) our life as Christian communities, families and individuals flows from the Mass and looks towards the next celebration. Every Mass is also a reminder that there is a greater life to come: in the Eucharist we already share that heavenly life, and look forward to its fulfilment: ‘We hope to enjoy for ever the vision of your glory’ (Eucharistic Prayer 3).”


“Is this dimension of thanksgiving central enough to our own understanding and celebration of the Eucharist? Do we come to the Eucharist consciously united with all creation in praise of the Father, simply to lift up our hearts to God because ‘it is right to give him thanks and praise’?”

I admit it was not easy to pick up and read this book. But it was also one I felt was important to read. After 16 months of lockdowns, stay at home orders, social distancing … It was hard to read a book about attending mass. In part because I have only been in person a handful of times over those months. At the beginning I attended mass in French (Which I had not done in over 30 years), I attended the Latin Mass, and the Extraordinary Form. I was able to virtually attend masses all over the world with priests I followed on social media, whose books I have reviewed, and some who are friends. But I so desperately miss being able to go early and pray and prepare for mass. Or stay after and just spend time in front of the Tabernacle. I miss mass and confession more than anything else during these times. 

This volume does an amazing job of showing us the importance and centrality of Mass to the Christian faith and living out our Catholic faith. It makes clear why we are to attend, and what we should be experience. It helps us to remember the centrality of this experience to our faith and hopefully our lives. 

This was a wonderful book to read. No matter how heart-breaking. It is one I will treasure. And pray that we get back to mass in person soon. Another great read from the Catholic Truth Society!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Bishop Michael Evans:
Why be Confirmed?
Is Jesus Really Present in the Eucharist?
Why Priests?
Mary, Mother of the Lord, Sign of Grace, Faith and Holiness
Being a Catholic

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Handbook of Novenas for Feasts and Seasons - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston and Raymond Edwards - CTS Devotions

Handbook of Novenas for Feasts and Seasons
Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
Raymond Edwards
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784691271
eISBN 9781784692124
CTS Booklet D809

This is the sixth volume from Glynn MacNiven-Johnston that I have read, and the fourth from Raymond Edwards. Over the last several years I have read almost 200 books from the Catholic Truth Society. They have many great series, and books. And the CTS Devotions is among my favourites. The description of this booklet is:

“These specially composed novena prayers provide opportunities to develop our prayer life throughout the year. Each season and feast has its own themes and focus; the wonder of the Incarnation and news of Jesus's birth, the contemplative period of Lent and the joy of Easter, and the example of Mary as her life story is told through her feast days. These novenas open up the feasts of the Church’s year for us and we learn more of novenas as a form of prayer.”

The chapters in this booklet are:
Immaculate Conception
Sacred Heart
Exaltation of the Cross
Christ the King

The book begins with these words:

“A novena is a way of praying, often for a particular need or grace. It consists of a prayer or prayers said over nine days. The word novena is originally Latin, and means “in a group of nine”. 1 This is because a novena lasts for nine consecutive days; on each day, there is a particular prayer to be said, or devotional practice to be made.”

We are also informed in the introduction that:

“There are many different sorts of novena; you can make a novena using any prayer you want: the main thing is to pray it regularly for nine days in a row. Nevertheless most people will make a novena using a prayer composed for the purpose. Some novena prayers are long, and may include litanies, or meditations; others are short. You can make a novena using the same prayer nine times, or nine different prayers, one for each day. There are no rules; what follows are only suggestions.”

And they are some wonderful suggestions. I have set calendar reminder’s to do a few of these Novena’s over the next year. There is also a companion volume we are informed:

“Many novenas (including those in the companion volumes Handbook of Novenas to the Saints (CTS, 2010) and Handbook of Scriptural Novenas (CTS, 2015)) ask the intercession of a particular saint or biblical figure for whatever our intention may be. As well as interceding (praying) on our behalf, the saints are also examples of how the Christian life has been lived.”

At the end of the introduction is a section called How To Use This Booklet and it states:

“Each novena in this booklet reflects on a particular feast or season within the Church’s year, and invites us to put our own needs in this context. Where possible, we have given short passages of Scripture for each day, followed by a reflection on some aspect of the feast or season, and then a prayer. 

On each day of the novena, say these, and add your particular intention, if you have one; then say the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be. Do this on each of the nine days. 

You may find it helpful to keep a short time of silence after reading the passage from Scripture. Scripture is the Word of God; God speaks to us through it. But to hear what he wants to say to us, we need to be quiet and listen. We may have much to say to God; he surely has something to say to us.”

What follows is 12 wonderful novenas. This is an excellent little volume. A wonderful book to have in your collection. And pray the novena’s around the church year. An excellent resource that I highly recommend. And you will likely want to pick up the companion volume I did before I even finished this one.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Glynn MacNiven-Johnston:
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


Books by Dr Raymond Edwards:
Catholic Traditionalism
The Dowry of Mary 
Handbook of Novena to the Saints
Handbook of Novenas for Feasts and Seasons
Handbook of Scriptural Novenas for Various Needs and Intentions
J.R.R. Tolkien - His Life, Work & Faith
Prayer on the Go
A Simple Glossary of Catholic Terms
Stories of World War I
The Miraculous Medal
The Reformation in England

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Greater Treasures - Karina Fabian - A DragonEye, PI Story

Greater Treasures
A DragonEye, PI Story
Karina Fabian
Laser Cow Press
ISBN 9781484848296

I love Karina Fabian’s writings. She is a master at crafting entertaining tales. Science Fiction, fantasy, and faith based stories. This is the seventeenth book I have read by Karina Fabian, fifteen of them in the last year. I really love her style, her sense of humour, and the variety of stories she writes. This is the second stand alone piece set in the DragonEye PI series that I have read. I have encountered Vern previously in anthologies, and one other book, If Wishes Were Dragons. And this is another wonderful tale set in this world.

For those not familiar with the DragonEye PI series, Vern is a Faerie dragon currently stuck on our side of the barrier. He is a Private Investigator he fights crimes both human and Fairy. But in this tale things go very sideways pretty quick. He is on the hunt for the spear that pierced Jesus’s side, and soon his partner is in the hospital. The chapters in this book are:

Dragon and Nun 
Dart in the Dark 
Junior & the Fat Man 
Fall Drake 
The Roman Lance 
The Lord’s Gift

Chronologically this is the second of the Vern tales, at least for the books. But it is so well written it can easily be read on its own. It is is a very well written story in an awesome series. Vern is a great character. A dragon defeated by Saint George and stripped of most of his powers, now working for the Church working off his debts, in order to get his powers back. He needs to walk a tight line between working off his debts and getting what he wants. There are several groups interest in the artefact. All with different reasons, and not all saying the real reasons. 

Vern must weave his way through the half-truths, the lies, and the building rally against the fairies to get to the truth. To find out how he solves the case and if he saves his partner you will need to read this excellent story.

Fabian has written an excellent story. So give it or one of the other DragonEye PI stories a try, I am sure you will be entertained. A great read in a wonderful series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan!

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

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
If Wishes Were Dragons
Of Slings and Feeling Vexed
Nun of My Business

Space Traipse Series:
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 1
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 2
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 3
Space Traipse Stories

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

Monday, 14 June 2021

Finding God in Anxiety and Depression - Father Antonio Ritaccio - CTS Finding God Series

Finding God in Anxiety and Depression
CTS Finding God Series
Fr Antonio Ritaccio
Catholic Truth Society
eISBN 9781784694579
CTS Booklet PA43

I have read several books in the ‘Finding God Series’ from the Catholic Truth Society. The first book I read in this series was by Deacon Donnelly as well, Finding God When Prayer Doesn't Work. I have also read almost 200 volumes from the Catholic Truth Society over the last several years. 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. But this series is very different. All the titles and volumes in this series are about difficulties in life, or in the family, in faith. I have benefitted from all the books I have read from the Catholic Truth Society. I believe that Father Ritzccio has published just three books and they are all in this series. The description of this volume is:

“Anxiety and depression are among the two most common mental health conditions today. Social stigma is still attached to mental health and sufferers can be under pressure to hide their condition. While good medical treatment and care are often necessary, what place does faith have in aiding recovery?

Drawing on Jesus’ own suffering on the cross, the author shows how hope, prayer, forgiveness, closeness to God and an understanding of his plan for our lives can act as powerful lifelines. There is a rich selection of considered, practical tips to aid readers, and a resource section with helpful contacts and recommendations on further reading.”

The chapters in this small volume are:

God has a plan for your life!
Finding hope when faith is weak
When forgiveness is impossible
When we don’t have strength to carry the cross
Clinging to God in Prayer
Useful resources

This book begins with these words:

God has a plan for your life!

Anxiety and depression are the two most common mental health conditions in Britain today, yet sufferers can often feel ashamed of what they are going through because of the stigma attached to mental illness. Sometimes sufferers can be misunderstood and judged by others to be morally weak. Comments like “Try harder” or “Pull yourself together” can make things worse. For this reason, some people who live with anxiety, depression or both can be extremely good at hiding their condition. In a few cases, the consequences of pretending that everything is okay can be devastating. The 2004 document Cherishing Life, produced by the Bishops of England and Wales, states:”

When I picked this book up it was only because I really enjoyed the series. I have a friend who calls me a completionist, in that I find authors I like and read everything they published, or that once I start a series I have to finish it. There were a few titles in this series, this one included, that did not directly apply to me. But the series is so well written That I wanted to read them to be able to speak about them to friends, and to review them. But that being said, there was still much that I benefited from in this book. I now want to review all of the books in the CTS Finding God Series. As mentioned, as I was reading it I realized there was a lot I could learn from and apply. I picked it up just to complete the series but have benefitted greatly from reading it. This is a very important title in the collection. I know many people who have struggled with anxiety and or depression. And this volume would be excellent to read with the. 

In one of the passages that hit me most Father Ritaccio declares:

“Another common mistake is to treat prayer as a relaxation technique with the goal of avoiding the cross by “emptying the mind”. Prayer techniques based on New Age spiritualities such as yoga and reiki are increasingly being offered, even in churches and schools. These should be avoided, because they do not flow from the Christian tradition handed down to us from Jesus and his Apostles and therefore can even be harmful to those who are already spiritually vulnerable (see Pontifical Councils for Culture and Interreligious Dialogue, Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian Reflection on the “New Age”, 2002).”

This mirrored much of what I have read previous, for example in, A Catholic Guide to Mindfulness by Susan Brinkmann, and my own experience with yoga. But he doesn’t just tell us what to avoid, he provides several helpful tools. Including information on:

Vocal Prayer
Meditative Prayer
Spiritual Reading
Contemplative Prayer

And many others tools and resources. This is another excellent read in a very important series. And it was one that I really needed. I needed the reminder of several things from this book. I look forward to reading the remaining few books in the ‘Finding God Series’. Now I have several different series from CTS on the go, and over 100 books on my want to read list from the CTS. So many great books so little time. This is an excellent resource that I highly recommend.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Understanding the Ordinariate Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony - Father Edward Tomlinson - CTS Explanations

Understanding the Ordinariate: 
Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony
Father Edward Tomlinson
Catholic Truth Society
eISBN 9781784693879 
CTS Booklet EX58 

I have read almost 200 books from the Catholic Truth Society, CTS, over the last several years. This is the fifth title I have read in the CTS Explanations Series. I have read books from many series. And many authors. 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.  This is the first by Edward Tomlinson that I have read, and I believe it is his only book to date. The description of the booklet is:

“In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI formally responded to petitions for closer unity from many of the Anglican patrimony. Thus, the Personal Ordinariates were created – a new space within the Latin Rite in which the Anglican tradition may flourish: no longer in separation from Rome but now in unity with it. Common questions asked about the Ordinariate are answered here, explaining the different Ordinariates, how they were founded, how they function and relate to other Catholics; how to enter the Ordinariate, and questions on the role of clergy, lay faithful, the Mass, marriage and other topics.”

This is one of the smaller booklets I have read from the CTS coming in at 40 pages. But it is packed full of information. I was aware of the name the Ordinariate but really did not know much about it. This book did an excellent job or remedying that. The chapters in the volume are:

1 Understanding an Ordinariate
2 The Anglican patrimony
3 How an Ordinariate begins
4 Entering an Ordinariate
5 The role of the lay faithful
6 The role of the clergy
7 Marriage questions
8 The Ordinariate liturgy
9 Other questions people ask

This book really did an excellent job of explaining the inns and out of the Ordinariate. It does so in clear and concise fashion. In the preface we are told:

“In the interests of securing unity, in 2009, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI responded favourably to a group of Anglicans who, having come to accept the teaching of the Catholic Church, petitioned to join. In the interests of evangelisation they were asked to enter Catholicism retaining aspects of their Anglican/English spiritual patrimony lost at the Reformation.

The Personal Ordinariates were created - a new space within the Latin Rite in which Anglican tradition may flourish: no longer in separation from Rome but now in unity with it.”

Father Tomlinson does an excellent job explaining this. In many ways it is It is like a mini Catechism on the Ordinariate. It is written in the Question and answer format.  A few examples are:

1.1 What is an Ordinariate?

An Ordinariate is much like a diocese within the Catholic Church, except that it is defined primarily by membership not geography. For this reason its territory overlaps that of established dioceses and can cover entire nations. Governed by a bishop (or designated priest) called an “Ordinary”, membership of the Personal Ordinariates is made up of former Anglicans, their family members and eligible new converts who wish to belong to the Ordinariate.”

2.2 What are the liturgical aspects of Anglican Patrimony?

The document Anglicanorum Coetibus states that “without excluding liturgical celebrations according to the Roman Rite, the Ordinariate has the faculty to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments, the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical celebrations according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican Tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See, so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.”

3.2 Does an Ordinariate come under the authority of a local Catholic bishop?

No. An Ordinariate is an autonomous self-governing community and does not come under the authority of local diocesan bishops. Each Ordinariate is accountable to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith only. However, in practice, the Ordinary, his clergy and people work co-operatively with local bishops in the shared mission of the whole Church. Indeed, in many places Ordinariate clergy are caring for parishes that are home to both diocesan Catholics and Ordinariate members alike.

4.3 Can “cradle Catholics” become members of an Ordinariate?

In 2013 Pope Francis widened the remit of the Ordinariates by allowing Catholics who were baptised but not confirmed to be eligible for full membership within the Ordinariate. This gives the Ordinariates a clear missionary focus. Any Catholic who is already confirmed in another diocese is not eligible to become a full registered member but is nonetheless free to worship in an Ordinariate setting and associate themselves with the work and mission of the Ordinariates.”

5.2 Can Anglicans receive Communion in Ordinariate churches?

At the Reformation, Anglicans opted to break from the Bishop of Rome and chose to exist “out of communion” with the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church laments but respects the decision. Anglicans are therefore prohibited from receiving the Sacrament at a Catholic Mass, including those of the Ordinariate, Holy Communion being a sign of unity.”

I hope those few examples will capture your interest and inspire you to give this booklet a read. It was fascinating. It is an excellent little book. Give it a read and grow in understanding about this branch of the Catholic Church. I highly recommend this book. Another great read from the Catholic Truth Society!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

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

Books in the CTS Explanations Series:
Marriage Annulment in the Catholic Church
Jehovah’s Witnesses
Does the Church oppress Women?
Organ Transplant – and the definition of Death
Be Yourself An Explanation of Humility - William Lawson SJ
Gene Therapy – and Human Genetic Engineering
Prenatal tests
Gift of life and Love
Cloning and Stem Cell Research
Contraception and Chastity
Freemasonry and the Christian Faith
Intelligent Life in the Universe
Spirits, Mediums & The Afterlife
Understanding the Ordinariate Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony

Friday, 11 June 2021

Blood, Bone and Coffin - Edwin Torr - Dead Means Dead Book 0.0

Blood, Bone and Coffin
Dead Means Dead Book 0.0
Obolus Books

This is the 9th book I have read from the pen of this author. But who is he really? I have read all of his adult crime novels published as J.E. Mayhew. I have read one of his Young Adult collections of short stories as Jon Mayhew. And this is the first I have read under the pen name of Edwin Torr, but it will not be the last. Reaching out to the author before reading this one I believe there are 8 stories published under this name and in this series. There are three novels and 5 novella’s or short stories to date. And though this is the first chronologically I believe it was the last published, and written. It is a really fun story. While reading this I could not help but think about Cedar Sanderson’s The Groundskeeper Raking Up the Dead and Zombie Death Extreme Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator by Karina Fabian all three authors approaches are very different the stories are somewhat similar and just as enjoyable and memorable. 

This story was immensely entertaining. And there is something eerily familiar about Detective Inspector Savage. The story focuses around a job that Tom Coffin; Specialist Funeral Director has been called on to resolve. His job is to put the undead back in the ground. And he is partnered with a cop, Sergeant Quinn, who is on the outs and at first does not believe what they are really up against. Coffin’s mode of transport is a car called Persephone, a Jaguar XJ hearse a 1995 model. A vehicle that looks like the offspring of a family station wagon and the Popemobile.  

But things in Hampton Green are not what they appear. Yes it appears someone has crawled out of their grave. An older man who had been at a retirement home before passing. And by all reports was a very nice, kind and gentle man. And Coffin and Quinn need to put him back where he belongs.  But something still feels off. And by the time Coffin realizes the pieces he missed will it be too late? To find out you will need to read this story.

This story was awesome from the first few sentences. 

“The phone always had a habit of ringing when I was right in the middle of something. I supposed that was true for everyone but, for most people, I guessed that the intrusion was more of an inconvenience than anything else. Maybe their phones rang when they were in the middle of baking something delicate and difficult or when they were smiling across the table into a pair of sparkling eyes. 

I wasn’t cooking a soufflé or on a hot date, I was seconds away from wrestling a dead guy to the ground and sending him back to his maker. I crouched behind a gravestone, knee-deep in long, wet grass with rain water trickling down the back of my neck. The dead guy half sat and half slouched against the stone that bore his name. I could smell him from my hiding place. He’d been underground for a while and that sweet, rotten scent filled the air around him. From where I hid, I couldn’t make out his face, just the slope of his huge shoulders and the grey dome of his bald head. This one had been a mountain of a man and probably still had the strength to make a mess of me if things went wrong.”

And it just kept going from there. It was a quick read but has me completely hooked. I have already picked up the first novel and next short story and will likely devour the 8 works in the series.

This story is Urban Fantasy at its best. It is a good fun story. Action, Adventure, and dealing with the undead. I love his British Crime novels as J.E. Mayhew, and enjoyed his YA as Jon Mayhew, but to be honest this one is right up there. If I had to pick a genre that he was best at I do not honestly think I could do it. This was an excellent story that I give top marks to and highly recommend.   

Books as J.E. Mayhew:
DCI William Blake Series:
7.0 No Time For Sorrow

Books as Jon Mayhew:
Death Road
The Spybrarian
Have a Go

Monster Odyssey Series:
1.0 The Eye of Neptune
2.0 The Wrath of the Lizard Lord
3.0 The Curse of the Ice Serpent
4.0 The Venom of the Scorpion

Mortlock Series:
1.0 Mortlock
2.0 The Demon Collector
3.0 The Bonehill Curse

Collins Big Cat Series:
The Merchant of Venice: Band 16/Sapphire
Hamlet: Band 18/Pearl
Romeo and Juliet: Band 18/Pearl
Macbeth: Band 18/Pearl

Contributed to:
Beyond the Book: A Collection of Short Stories
Storycraft: How To Teach Creative Writing

Books as Edwin Torr:
Dead Means Dead Series
1.0 Demons - 2017
1.3 Cotton Candy - 2017
1.6 The Suitcase in the Hall - 2017
1.9 Remurdered - 2017
2.0 Angel Hunter - 2017
2.5 Cold Caller - 2017
3.0 Jigsaw Girl - 2018