Book News

{mosimage}It’s Not My Fault, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend (Integrity Publishers, 241 pages, softcover $19.13).

TORONTO - It’s Not My Fault is a book for those who are seeking goals they cannot seem to reach, but goals they still would like to achieve. Authors Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend say the problem doesn’t stem from circumstances around a person, but from within themselves.

Sharing the contradictions of a poet-priest

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The Forgotten World of R.J. MacSween: A Life by Stewart Donovan (Cape Breton University Press, softcover, 280 pages, $23.95 list).

Stewart Donovan’s biography of his former St. Francis Xavier University professor, priest-poet Roderick MacSween, is a sincere, elegant and thorough account of an unusual life. The Forgotten World of R.J. MacSween is written in a lucid, unassuming style that reflects something of its subject — MacSween’s poetry is characterized by a plainness that modestly conceals the erudition of the professor. Donovan’s book, transporting us to rural Nova Scotia in the last century, provides a soothing retreat from the hurly-burly of most contemporary lives.

Lowering the boom on Bibby

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{mosimage}The Boomer Factor by Reginald W. Bibby (Bastian Books, 246 pages, soft cover, $19.95).

If, as Reginald Bibby suggests, there has been a cultural shift from “we” to “me” which has accompanied the baby boomers, then is it not obvious that there would be negative social repercussions to such a shift? Bibby’s newest book, The Boomer Factor, proposes that the change has been mostly positive and does not offer sufficient explanation of the negative consequences.

The spirituality of Margaret Laurence

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{mosimage}Margaret Laurence. A Gift of Grace: A Spiritual Biography, by Noelle Boughton (Women Who Rock Series, Women’s Press, 208 pages, softcover. $19.95.)

Margaret Laurence wrote with a sense of vocation. She experienced writing as a “gift of grace.” Her Christian faith taught her respect for the “unique and irreplaceable” nature of each character in her fiction. Those familiar with Laurence’s autobiographical writings may already know these facts and much of the rest of what Noelle Boughton tells us. However, those who know Laurence through having read a novel or two, or simply by reputation as an activist, feminist author whose works some have wanted withdrawn from high school classrooms will be intrigued to learn how deep the spiritual dimension runs in her work.

Exploring the myth of Jews as killers of Christ

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{mosimage}Christ Killers: The Jews and the Passion from the Bible to the Big Screen by Jeremy Cohen (Oxford University Press, 337 pages, hardcover, $34.95).

There aren’t many of us who would walk into Chapters or Book City and ask for the book Christ Killers. It is a difficult title to get our heads and hearts around. Which is a shame, because Jeremy Cohen has written a remarkable book.

Scorsese’s movie vision shaped by religion

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{mosimage}Gangster Priest: The Italian American Cinema of Martin Scorsese by Robert Casillo (University of Toronto Press, 600 pages, softcover, $39.95).

This year Italian-American director Martin Scorsese won his first Oscar for The Departed — a Catholic version of the Buddhist Asian film Infernal Affairs. Both dealt with a fallen world in which the dynamics of law and crime reveal the same patterns of manipulation, abuse and duplicity. This is Lenten fare, for as the psalmist says, “Put not your trust in those in power, in mortals in whom there is no help” (Psalm 146:3).

How to say yes by saying no

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{mosimage}The Thrill of The Chaste, by Dawn Eden (W Publishing Group, 212 pages, soft cover $13.99 U.S.).

In a world where Sex and the City infiltrates television sets and one-night stands are the every day norm comes Dawn Eden’s The Thrill of The Chaste. This book talks about an almost unheard of way of looking at love and relationships in the 21st century.

Following Christ’s lead on devotion to peace

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transfigurationTransfiguration: A Meditation on Transforming Ourselves and Our World by John Dear (Image Books, soft cover, 238 pages, $14.95 list)

If there is one lesson we can never learn too many times it is how to read the Bible. Jesuit Father John Dear’s Transfiguration shows us clearly and concretely how it’s done.

There is more to Africa than poverty, pestilence

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faceofafricaFr. Stan Chu Ilo is a Catholic priest from Nigeria, now based in the diocese of Peterborough. He is an Igbo, a tribe from the Eastern part of Nigeria. The aim of his book is to present a true story of Africa, with a message that “Beyond the shadows of the present gloom lies the true face of Africa.”

Jesus charmed men and women alike

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jesus_womenJesus: A Meditation on His Stories and His Relationships with Women, by Andrew M. Greeley (Forge Books, 176 pages, $21.95, hardcover).

Many know Andrew Greeley primarily as as the writer of a long-running series of crime novels featuring Irish-American sleuths such as Fr. Blackie Ryan. Others know him as a sociologist of religion, a frequent political and spiritual pundit on network TV. But what is often forgotten is that, first and foremost, Andrew Greeley is a diocesan priest — Fr. Andrew Greeley — with more than 40 years experience as a pastor and homilist.

‘The Gospels still work’

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secularityThe title of this book may be surprising. When the terms “secularity” and “Gospel” are included in the same sentence, they are usually contrasted. We naturally look  for the word  “versus”  between them.