Book News

In the moments before Jennifer Zobair converted to Islam, she had one pressing question for the imam, about a verse in the Quran that seemed to give husbands permission to beat their wives.

A simple formula for those who struggle with prayer

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3 Moments of the Day by Christopher S. Collins, S.J. (Ave Maria Press, 138 pages, softcover $17.60).

Prayer is a conversation with God — but are we delivering a one-way monologue? It can sometimes be difficult to hear God in prayer. However, 3 Moments of the Day presents a refreshingly simple, straightforward method to help us encounter God not only in prayer but throughout the day. 

Antigonish from the sinner’s eye

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The Canny Scot: Archbishop James Morrison of Antigonish, by Peter Ludlow (McGill-Queens University Press, 352 pages, hardcover, $34.95).

For those of us interested in how Church social action really happens, Peter Ludlow has written a fascinating, accessible, full-length biography of Archbishop James Morrison, one of the most important Canadian bishops of the 20th century.

Make room for God in the man cave

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While many men spend time in their man cave drinking beer and watching sports, Todd Stahl would rather pass his time in male solitude with devotions and self-reflection.

God plants the idea, author writes about it

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Irish Beth Maddock says she gets a lot of calls from God late at night or early in the morning. It is during these quiet hours of the night she “downloads” the ideas God plants in her mind.

Road travelled to who I am

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The Man Who Learned to Walk Three Times by Peter Kavanagh (Knopf Canada, hard cover, 257 pages, $29.95).

In a poem by the English poet Ted Hughes, a hawk contemplates its physical form: “It took the whole of creation to produce my foot, my each feather; now I hold creation in my foot.”

Wills’ future stuck in the past

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The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis by Garry Wills. (Penguin, 288 pages, hardcover, $32.95)

At first glance, Garry Wills’ latest book might appear to offer insight into the life and intentions of Pope Francis. But anyone familiar with Wills’ polarizing views might well guess that is not the case. He does discuss Pope Francis — in the introduction and in the epilogue — but his treatment of the Pope is minimal.

Inside the spiritual Martin Sheen

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No one had a bad word to say about Martin Sheen. Sr. Rose Pacatte tried to find someone to disparage the Catholic actor while researching his spiritual biography. But no luck.

Life is meant to be well lived to the end

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Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (Doubleday, hard cover, 304 pages, $20).

We don’t die the way we used to. At the turn of the 20th century, the primary causes of death in the United States were pneumonia, influenza and tuberculosis. Today, heart disease and cancer are by far the major causes of death. In 2010, pneumonia and influenza combined accounted for a slightly higher number of deaths than suicide, but less than Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Tuberculosis was virtually eradicated in the United States by the 1950s.

The political life of a Catholic priest

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Richard John Neuhaus: A Life in the Public Square, by Randy Boyagoda (Image, hardcover, 480 pages, $35).

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus’ life was a broad sweep in many ways. Born into a Lutheran family in the rural Ottawa Valley, he ended up living in densely populated lower Manhattan.

Comic-book reissue of St. John XXIII's life improves on the original

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NEW YORK - Forget the Avengers. The coolest Marvel-related character this year is Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, better known to the world as St. John XXIII.